Playing With Architecture

Playing With Architecture

We can’t all be pros in the fields of architecture and design. But we can play around with architecturally inspired worlds. Check out the following for some inspiration, fun and a good excuse to get your inner creativity on. Designed for both iPhone and iPad, AutoCAD 360 is a free app that lets users draw, draft, edit, share sketches and more. This is a great resource applicable in the field with additional subscription based capabilities, and there is also a web version. MagicPlan is a free iTunes download that provides a platform for drawing out floor plans. Users take pictures and are then provided… read more

Year Round Uses Of Sunflower Gardens

Year Round Uses Of Sunflower Gardens

Planting a sunflower garden is great way to add height and color to a lackluster patch in the yard. Though nice to look at, their seeds also have a wide range of uses. Sunflower seeds can be turned into products that can be used all year around the home. Sunflowers have been grown for many 1000’s of years, as knowledge of their usefulness spread along with their seed crops. They were commonly used for seeds and oil, as well as for medicine and for their fibers, and are still an essential ingredient in these and many other items. Sunflower gardens need a space that… read more

Algae Threatens Manatees

Manatees_swimming

Despite being lovingly referred to as the “sea cow”, manatees are aquatic relatives of elephants. Like them, manatees are herbivores, subsisting primarily on marine and freshwater plants. One of the ways in which they contribute to the balance of their ecosystem is by cutting and spreading the seeds of sea-grasses to promote optimal growth, much like birds and squirrels cultivate plants through seed distribution on land. Along with vast portions of sea-grass, manatees eat seaweeds. Specifically,  algae – and lots of it. This is fine when ingesting the green, stringy algae commonly found on the surface of pond water. However,… read more

What Makes Food Sustainable?

sustainable-food

What makes food sustainable? There are many different definitions of sustainable food. Sustain, a UK charity devoted to promoting sustainable food, emphasizes protection of biodiversity, environmental friendliness, health, and social and economic benefits. According to the University of Queensland, Australia, there are a number of things that impact the sustainability of food, including farming practices (i.e., use of pesticides and other chemicals, harvesting approaches), transport, processing, and business practices (i.e., Fair Trade). Sustain has clear recommendations for sustainable eating and drinking, and these are listed below: – Purchasing local, seasonal foods – Buying food produced by environmentally friendly farms – Keeping… read more

Paper Waste and What We Can Do About It

Paper waste

With the influx of heightened technology, long gone are the days where you have to constantly tote around a pen and pencil to jot down important details. Almost everything you could possibly need to write down can be done on a device, whether on your phone or mobile invention of choice. From calendars to reminder notes, you can just enter information to look at later. Not to mention the availability of online books, magazine subscriptions and virtual offices, most things that were once on paper are now additionally, or exclusively, online. Despite these technological conveniences, paper still remains a mass… read more

The Street Art Connection

The Street Art Connection

Street artists interact with their environment in a way that is reality based; not producing art to be kept locked up behind pristine museum doors, but left exposed, open for interpretation and interaction. Google’s somewhat controversial Street View has made it easier than ever to check out artists and their works that are swirling around the web with their Street Art Project. The project captures street art with its custom built cameras, making it possible to discover works from all over the world. Currently, there are more than 5,000 images in high resolution available. The Street Art Project was developed by the… read more

Alarming Facts About Water

water-facts

Whether it’s the hour-long showers folks in the U.S. take, or the bath-in-the-swamp many people are forced to endure in underdeveloped nations, water is an important commodity, never to be taken for granted. Here are some interesting facts and information about water and how it affects people around the globe. The Good Water is the main constituent in the human body, and forms 50-60% of body weight and approximately 75% of body volume. Water contains zero fat, proteins, carbs, or calories. The average person uses 465 litres of water per day. However, with education and practice, those numbers can be severely… read more

Recycled Phones And The Rainforest Connection

Recycled Phones And The Rainforest Connection

A nonprofit called Rainforest Connection has proposed a unique use for recycled smartphones. Just funded on Kickstarter, their campaign seeks to use old phones and turn them into live listening devices for rainforest areas. They take the secondhand phones and turn them into devices that can be used to detect the unlawful poaching activity and logging that occurs in the rainforest. Illegal deforestation and poaching is an issue that contributes to many other problems. Unlawful logging is responsible for reducing rainforest habitats and further endangering some species. The damages extend beyond the rainforest also. As much as 10% of greenhouse… read more

Preventing Desertification

Image of desertification

Desertification is the process in which fertile land slowly turns into sand-filled deserts. It’s happening all around the world, and increasingly so in the United States. It’s a direct result of poor environmental decisions, livestock grazing, and landowner neglect. The good news is that it’s also reversible and preventable. Allan Savory, a research biologist and President/Co-Founder of the Savory Institute, recently gave an inspirational TED talk about healing our land. His background on the subject is impressive, and should give us pause to heed his words. In the 1960’s while working in Southern Rhodesia (Zimbabwe), he came to understand what… read more

Planting Hope

Planting Hope

For residents in Bil’in, Palestine, planting flowers means more than just gardening lately. As a statement for peace, many residents in the area have planted flowers inside of used tear gas grenades left behind from wars between Palestinians and Israeli soldiers. Vast flower gardens have been planted in the last year as a memorial for protestor Bassem Abu Rahmeh and the many others who have died. The gardens are near the state’s capital, stretching across a 430 mile wall that was regained by Palestinians in the war. Unfortunately, the supply of containers seems never-ending. Luckily, neither is the ability to try and triumph… read more