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OMG So much plastic! How to avoid packaging excess

During my time living in Copenhagen I was a member of an organic local veggie association. Every week I used to go pick up my “dose” of vegetables taking with me a canvas bag, filling it up with potatoes, tomatoes, onions, garlic, salad, beetroots – and again a lot of potatoes, beetroots, potatoes, beetroots, potatoes, beetroots… well, that’s what they eat over there :).

Although we are not lacking similar veggie group purchasing in Italy (es. Cortilia in Milan), I didn’t get the chance to become a member of any of those yet. But I think today I will take action against it, as I was completely shocked at seeing the enormous amount of plastic is used in packaging in supermarkets. I mean, I knew it before… but today I looked down to the cart and…

It kind of hurt my eyes…

And my heart. Think about how much petroleum, processing energy, CO2 emissions, transportation costs, toxins and mould on our food we can save, just by avoiding packaged fruits & vegetables.

Next time you are at the grocery store… Think about this post. Let’s make a change together!

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“Sorry if we used plastic for packaging, but please do recycle it” – What?! Are you kidding me? Of course I will recycle it.

That’s the least I could do, but you, dear producer, should just stop filling up my house, my fridge and my cabinets of it. You and I, we both deserve to nurture ourselves – and leave on a cleaner, healthier Planet.

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Wish you a fabulous and funny Green Christmas

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Snowy and relaxing days are here to come… Well, if you have time and you feel like being a creative sustainable maker, you could try the original “Garden in a ball” challenge:

Check out this useful resource to open source instructions of whatever type.

I have to confess... I bought them online via Grow the Planet – the ultimate social app which connects urban gardeners – yet I’m really keen on trying to make myself one!

Wish you a Happy Green Christmas!

[Instructables]

In questi giorni di neve e relax, ecco un tutorial per sentirsi sustainable maker mentre si festeggia il Natale: “Garden in a ball”, come fare un’originale palla di Natale che racchiude un piccolo giardino permanente. Devo confessare: io l’ho comprata qui già bell’e che fatta grazie a Grow the Planet.

Se non riuscite a trovare l’onda della creatività, su questo sito potete trovare una serie di ‘istruzioni’ open source in molteplici ambiti.

Cultivating (into) rice with Vipot

 

DID YOU KNOW…. ? Rice husk is considered a toxic waste. In Italy, China and Estern countries there is a lot of it because of rice crops. Vipot is an innovative patent that can reuse it in a healthy and useful way.

LO SAPEVATE CHE… ? La lolla di riso è un rifiuto tossico e in Italia, Cina e paesi asiatici ne esiste una gran quantità. Vipot è un brevetto innovativo per sfruttarla e riciclarla in modo sano.

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Handwoven · Tessuto a mano

Originally published on Slowear Journal on Oct 8th

Thanks to Francesca Stignani for translation

Leggi in italiano

Weaving like in the old times is an anachronistic and yet intriguing job. In Peillac, a small town in Southern Provence, Atelier aux Fils de l’Arz, owned by the Lesteven family, is one of the last places in France where they still know how to weave on a hand-operated loom, the métier a bras.

The small firm’s activity focuses on the creation of fine handwoven fabrics, made with strictly natural raw materials – eco-friendly yarns such as hemp (from Italy), linen, soy fiber and zero-mile wool from the sheep bred on the grazing land opposite the maison.

Bruno, father and husband, is in charge of the hard work. i.e. the weaving. It takes accuracy, concentration, quickness and muscular strength to control a huge six-pedal treadle loom. Wife Gaëlle is a couturière – a designer and a dressmaker. She likes to make things for her kids, friends and relatives, while Bruno’s fabrics are sold through the Internet and in the organic textiles fairs.

So what makes handwoven fabrics so unique? Mainly their strength – they last much longer than industrial fabrics, not to mention the fact that they can be customized even as far as small amounts are concerned.

Whoever wishes to learn more about this charming and traditional job can opt for a one-week internship at the Atelier – there are different levels of teaching, according to the apprentice’s basic skills. In case you’re just curious, just ask for a guided tour and you’ll be able to see old looms and century-old fabric remnants.

· Atelier Aux Fils de l’Arz ·

My WWOOFing week in France – #3 Hemp for fashion

Simplicity in the morning

Spring is here, couldn’t you smell the scent of sunny weather and upcoming vacation?

Nature spreads her blooming sounds all around, still people in town are on their way to work starting every day with that stressful annoying alarm clock sound.

Austrian designer Vera Wiedermann imagined a water-based charming clock, a restoring ritual of endless circular flow. You fill up a bowl at night deciding how long you want to sleep and you’ll have a smooth lovely wake up next morning.

No electricity, yes simplicity.

E’ arrivata la primavera, profumo di sole e di vacanze nell’aria… Mentre la natura fiorisce e rinasce, in città si lavora ancora, tartassati dall’odioso cicalio della sveglia mattutina.

La designer austriaca Vera Wiedermann ha progettato una sveglia ad acqua, un immaginario ciclo infinito di naturale armonia con la pace dei sensi.

Il rituale è riempire ogni sera la sfera di vetro con il livello d’acqua secondo il tempo di riposo desiderato e aprire gli occhi al mattino allo scoccare del calmo rintocco.

Senza elettricità, solo semplicità.

[Vera • Wiedermann]

Un pizzico di sale

“They are made from certified biodegradable plastics and natural materials like hemp, organic cotton and cork. These shoes are fully biodegradable, and will sprout flowers after you bury them in your garden.” This is what a product description says on Salt+Ethic, a five languages platform online market-place, launched in Spain a year ago or so. Women/men dresses, shies, bags, accessories: it offers a selection of the best products made by European young fashion designers working with up-cycling and eco-compatible material. Like in a real market place, every brand has its own showcase on the website yet it doesn’t loose its independence and originality. Very cool the prepaid card you can purchase in advance (or better, gifts are welcome!) to have free credit on the site.        •        “Sono fabbricate con plastiche biodegradabili certificate e materiali naturali come la canapa, il cotone organico ed il sughero. Queste scarpe sono completamente biodegradabili,  una volta seppellite cresceranno fiori nel vostro giardino.” Così recita la descrizione articolo su Salt+Ethic, un market-place in cinque lingue che viene dalla Spagna, lanciato online non più tardi di un anno fa. Vestiti uomo/donna, scarpe, borse, accessori: una selezione di giovani fashion designer da tutta Europa che si dedicano all’up-cylcing e alla ricerca di materiali eco-compatibili. Il market-place funziona come una vera e propria “piazza del mercato” dove le “bancarelle” dei vari designer espongono le loro creazioni e Salt+Ethic dà loro lo spazio, senza occuparsi direttamente delle vendite. Di positivo c’è che è possibile optare per una tessera prepagata da farsi regalare… per avere campo libero nella scelta!

[Salt+ethic]

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Bamboo on the go

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Bamboo frame, ergonomic saddle and less than 10% energy used in processing than traditional bikes. The idea came into the world six years ago in Argentina, from university fellow Nicolas Masuelli, now CEO at Bambucicleta, whose mission is making this bicycle a democratic, affordable product. Why choosing bamboo?

Well, it’s hard like maple, at the same time it’s  extremely flexible as shock absorber. So why a bamboo bike?

On the site they say (1) because it is a unique artisanal piece, locally made, expressly to meet personal requirements, (2) it is one of the fastest growing crops and bike’s processing produce hardly waste – if any, it is recycled – and (3) bamboo bike warms up ecological consciousness, so it is actually a social benefit!

Telaio di bambù, sellino ergonomico e meno del 10% dell’energia impiegata per produrre le bici tradizionali. L’idea è nata sei anni fa in Argentina, da un giovane laureando di nome Nicolas Masuelli, oggi a capo di un’azienda che vuole rendere questo prodotto accessibile alle tasche di tutti. Perchè il bamboo per una bici?

Resistente quanto l’acero, ha un’elevata flessibilità adatta ad amortizzare le irregolarità del terreno. Perchè scegliere una Bambucicleta?

Sul sito si dice: (1) perchè è un prodotto artigianale e locale, fatto a mano per soddisfare le esigenze personali, (2) perchè il bambù si rigenera velocemente e il ciclo di produzione prevede scarti quasi nulli – se ci sono vengono riciclati (3) per il suo beneficio sociale: usarla genera coscienza ecologica!

• Thank you for stopping by •

[Bambucicleta • ES ]

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Rayon from bamboo

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Un’azienda in Canada si occupa di fashion eco-compatibile. Come? Disegnando abiti davvero graziosi e alla portata (“alla porter”) di tutti, non solo degli irriducibili estimatori del filato a mano dalle proprie pecore. La scelta è del tessuto innovativo, il rayon di bamboo, estremamente morbido e resistente nel tempo, ricavato da piante a coltivazione biologica tramite un processo a ciclo chiuso che non rilascia agenti chimici in atmosfera o nell’acqua. Distretto produttivo locale per tagliare inutili emissioni di CO2 e contenitori solo di carta riciclata per la logistica. Eco O fashion? Non si deve più rinunciare, siate eco E fashion!        •        In Canada there is a company that has chosen to produce fashion in an environmentally friendly  way. What’s the pinch? Very pretty design in its dress collection! Wearable by everyone, not just by diehard lovers of yarn from one’s own sheep. The twist is innovative fabric – the bamboo rayon – that is heavenly mild and long-lasting, it comes from organically farmed  bamboo and it is closed cycle processed, so that it won’t release any polluting chemicals in the environment. Local production district to cut unnecessary CO2 emissions and paper wrappings for logistics. Eco OR fashion? It isn’t an alternative any more… be eco AND fashion!        •        有機の竹から作られた布地を使って、カナダの会社がエコファッションを紹介した。ウアンピースのいいデザインや高級な布質は特徴である。製造工程も勿論環境に優しくになるようにいろいろな気付をしているそうです。「エコかファッションとこっちが良いのかな〜」と迷う必要も無く、エコもファッションもになりましょう!

Da non perdere • Worth a visit: the company site about page.

[Miik.ca]

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Mushrooms in the room

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Funghi, non solo per il risotto. C’è chi li studia, li raccoglie, li compatta e li forgia, per ottenere un materiale da imballaggio completamente biodegradabile, senza uso di additivi chimici durante la lavorazione ed espressamente local: “Vogliamo arrivare a produrre localmente, come il movimento per il consumo del cibo a km 0. Abbiamo messo a punto formule per ricavare i nostri materiali dalla vegetazione locale: in Cina si useranno gli scarti del riso, in Nord Europa così come in Nord America si userà il grano saraceno, o l’avena.” • Mushrooms are not just for cooking risotto. Some people study, gather, press them down and finally shape them, until you have a 100% biodegradable packaging material, with no chemicals in its process. In addition, locally grown. “Our vision is local manufacturing, like the local food movement for production. So we put out formulations for all around the world using original bio-products. If you are in China you can use rice husks. If you are in Northern Europe or North America you can use buckwheat husks, or oats husks”. • きのこはキッチェンだけで使うわけではなく、化学剤など使わずに100%生分解性資材を作る事ができるそうです。しかも、その地域の生物を使われています。「我が社のビジョンとは国国に製造工程をする事です。格地域の豊熟に工程を合わせます。たとえば、中国ではお米殻を使い、ヨーロッパや米国ではそばとか麦とか使います。」

Watch the video • 9′

[Ecovative Design]