What do they do at the Green Office?

How to describe a student-driven university department that is responsible for managing Maastricht University’s sustainability portfolio in not more than 20 words? Thank you Lukas.

Founded a couple of years ago, the Green Office has been awarded several times for the quality of its operations and commitment to the sustainability cause- Among the projects: green electricity, pc power management, the sustainable vending machine, Green Office academy and more.

[The Green Office]

Alexander wants to be more professional than planting trees

Thanks to Alexander Shehata

DID YOU KNOW… ? On average a UK citizen is responsible for 15 tons of CO2 emissions a year, a US citizen for 28tons. PC Power Management would save 80tons.
Read my post on a playful tool to know more about our emissions.

LO SAPEVATE CHE…? In media un cittadino inglese è responsabile di 15 tonnellate di emissioni di CO2 all’anno, un cittadino americano di 28 tonnellate. Il programma di PC Power Management potrebbe salvarne 80 tonnellate.
Vuoi sapere quanto “emette” una mela o un matrimonio?  Leggi qui

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Hyper-sustainable architecture: Med in Italy

Originally published on Slowear Journal on Oct 30th

Thanks to Francesca Stignani for translation

Leggi in italiano

A real Italian miracle”. That’s how the press defined the global success of Med in Italy, the very first Italian hyper-sustainable house. The project involved a team of students and architects from the Universties of Rome and Trento, which worked on it for over a year in collaboration with some of the best Italian firms in the field of innovative building industry.

The name evokes the Mediterranean nature of the house, which has been designed for warm climates and as a response to global warming. The layering of the walls, containing sand in aluminum tubes and coatings of natural isolation made with wooden wool, ensure thermal balance, while the heating is provided by solar panels, which produce three times the energy consumed by the house.

The “Mediterranean house” can be assembled impressively quickly: five days are enough to put together the 50 square meter structure, plus five more days for the installation and the testing of the systems. Which is why this house is a perfect solution in case of emergency (i.e. earthquakes) as well as an affordable alternative to traditional building methods.

Med in Italy won the third prize in the general ranking at the Solar Decathlon Europe competition in Madrid, and  the first prize for Sustainability, concerning the environmental impact of the house in its “lifetime”. The low-impact of Med in Italy has been further confirmed by its transportation: the house has been carried from Italy to Spain and back by rail transport, thus sparing around five tons of CO2.

Although it’s not on the market yet, Med in Italy will soon be a real alternative and an attractive novelty for green architecture in Italy and abroad.

•  Spread the voice about Italian excellence!  •
[Med in Italy]

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]


Rayon from bamboo


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.



Mushrooms in the room


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]