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Sustainable Luxury: QO Is The Tesla Among Green Hotels
In the hotel of the future, sustainability is the standard. Hotel concept QO makes this standard visible, or actually, invisible: and it’s precisely the intention. Sustainable luxury is reflected in the choice of materials, the restaurant menu and installations. This hotel does not place the responsibility with the guest, but takes it. A patchwork of sliding panels and large windows characterizes the façade of the hotel. Above the glass revolving door of the 'Dutch eatery' that is located on the ground floor, you can read the name Persijn – a very conscious choice. The name refers to the thirteenth-century Amsterdam landowner Jan Persijn van Velsen. Connection is most important to the QO: between hotel visitors and local residents, between building and district and between neighbourhood and city. Forming a sustainable vision; everybody needs to belong "An universal need of people is to belong to a community, whether it's in a shed in Guatemala or in a penthouse in Manhattan," says Xander Bueno de Mesquita. With his innovative vision, the project started about ten years ago. When he returned to the Netherlands after a long-term trip, he decided that he wanted to translate this universal need to belong into a sustainable hotel concept. "I wanted to develop the Tesla among the hotels." A sustainability vision was formed to determine an appropriate sustainability label. Bueno de Mesquita did not want to start his project with the certification, to prevent just finishing a sustainability checklist. LEED Platinum proved to be the best fit: in order to achieve this status, sustainability had to be fully integrated. Do not feed waste! A tight schedule reduced the transport movements from, to and at the construction site. In addition, prefabrication resulted in less waste during construction. Ready-made work packages were delivered and assembled according to a just-in-time principle, 95 percent of the waste that still originated was separated on site. Waste recycling and reduction were also included in the contracts with subcontractors, with the motto: "do not feed waste". In the choice of materials, reuse and distance have also been taken into account. For example, the façade of the former Amsterdam Shell tower was ground into granules and processed into the concrete construction of the QO. At least fifty percent of all material used during construction originates from locations within a radius of 800 kilometres. Waste is one of the cycles that the hotel focuses on. The others are water, energy and food. Shower water once again receives value as flushing water for the toilet and vegetables, herbs and fish are grown in a closed system in the greenhouse. The sustainable vision is also reflected in the hotel menu. It’s 'Dutch cuisine', which emphasizes the use of local products. Seeking the connection The hotel actively seeks the connection with the city and the surrounding area. According to Bueno de Mesquita, this is necessary for a sustainable building: "It's about co-creation with unexpected parties, not only with architects, but also with the neighbourhood." The greenhouse on the roof, for example, can serve as an educational location for the local school. The location of the sustainable hotel is no accident. It fits in with the urban plan of the city of Amsterdam to redevelop the Amstelkwartier district in a sustainable way. A sustainable hotel therefore fits in seamlessly. Nevertheless, sustainability and a hotel environment do not automatically match, says general manager Inge van Weert: "In general, a hotel is a very wasteful environment ."   The management of QO deviates from that standard with its zero waste ambition. To achieve this, the QO makes agreements with partners and suppliers. For example, farmers supply fruit and vegetables in crates that the QO provided. In the rooms the care products are in bags, boxes or large refill containers. With each partner, agreements have been made about what happens when products no longer last. "In about a year or two plant pots can be made from the uniforms." Sustainability should be standard Sustainability is the standard in QO, but not yet in the Netherlands. The hotel demonstrates: sustainability can become the standard with a sustainable vision, perseverance and co-creation with unexpected parties. Without the guest having to notice anything, sustainability comes back everywhere: from the construction drawing to the board. https://www.whatsorb.com/category/architecture
In the hotel of the future, sustainability is the standard. Hotel concept QO makes this standard visible, or actually, invisible: and it’s precisely the intention. Sustainable luxury is reflected in the choice of materials, the restaurant menu and installations. This hotel does not place the responsibility with the guest, but takes it. A patchwork of sliding panels and large windows characterizes the façade of the hotel. Above the glass revolving door of the 'Dutch eatery' that is located on the ground floor, you can read the name Persijn – a very conscious choice. The name refers to the thirteenth-century Amsterdam landowner Jan Persijn van Velsen. Connection is most important to the QO: between hotel visitors and local residents, between building and district and between neighbourhood and city. Forming a sustainable vision; everybody needs to belong "An universal need of people is to belong to a community, whether it's in a shed in Guatemala or in a penthouse in Manhattan," says Xander Bueno de Mesquita. With his innovative vision, the project started about ten years ago. When he returned to the Netherlands after a long-term trip, he decided that he wanted to translate this universal need to belong into a sustainable hotel concept. "I wanted to develop the Tesla among the hotels." A sustainability vision was formed to determine an appropriate sustainability label. Bueno de Mesquita did not want to start his project with the certification, to prevent just finishing a sustainability checklist. LEED Platinum proved to be the best fit: in order to achieve this status, sustainability had to be fully integrated. Do not feed waste! A tight schedule reduced the transport movements from, to and at the construction site. In addition, prefabrication resulted in less waste during construction. Ready-made work packages were delivered and assembled according to a just-in-time principle, 95 percent of the waste that still originated was separated on site. Waste recycling and reduction were also included in the contracts with subcontractors, with the motto: "do not feed waste". In the choice of materials, reuse and distance have also been taken into account. For example, the façade of the former Amsterdam Shell tower was ground into granules and processed into the concrete construction of the QO. At least fifty percent of all material used during construction originates from locations within a radius of 800 kilometres. Waste is one of the cycles that the hotel focuses on. The others are water, energy and food. Shower water once again receives value as flushing water for the toilet and vegetables, herbs and fish are grown in a closed system in the greenhouse. The sustainable vision is also reflected in the hotel menu. It’s 'Dutch cuisine', which emphasizes the use of local products. Seeking the connection The hotel actively seeks the connection with the city and the surrounding area. According to Bueno de Mesquita, this is necessary for a sustainable building: "It's about co-creation with unexpected parties, not only with architects, but also with the neighbourhood." The greenhouse on the roof, for example, can serve as an educational location for the local school. The location of the sustainable hotel is no accident. It fits in with the urban plan of the city of Amsterdam to redevelop the Amstelkwartier district in a sustainable way. A sustainable hotel therefore fits in seamlessly. Nevertheless, sustainability and a hotel environment do not automatically match, says general manager Inge van Weert: "In general, a hotel is a very wasteful environment ."   The management of QO deviates from that standard with its zero waste ambition. To achieve this, the QO makes agreements with partners and suppliers. For example, farmers supply fruit and vegetables in crates that the QO provided. In the rooms the care products are in bags, boxes or large refill containers. With each partner, agreements have been made about what happens when products no longer last. "In about a year or two plant pots can be made from the uniforms." Sustainability should be standard Sustainability is the standard in QO, but not yet in the Netherlands. The hotel demonstrates: sustainability can become the standard with a sustainable vision, perseverance and co-creation with unexpected parties. Without the guest having to notice anything, sustainability comes back everywhere: from the construction drawing to the board. https://www.whatsorb.com/category/architecture
Sustainable Luxury: QO Is The Tesla Among Green Hotels
Sustainable Luxury: QO Is The Tesla Among Green Hotels
The Tiny House Plug-In-Plug-Out Boat Of Punta Del Mar
The idea of tiny floating houses is not quite as revolutionary as it was some years ago. That is not to say that we cannot be impressed by the new startups that flaunt their unique take on the concept, often surprising with their refreshingly new interpretations. One of those concepts was launched by the Spanish startup Punta Del Mar. This collaboration between a local innovation hub and an architecture firm has led to a so-called marina lodge experiment - in the form of a plain, sturdy houseboat solution that will allow users to plug in and plug out when needed. What this means? Well, you get to alternate between plugging in to make it a semi-permanent residence or temporary lodge, fixing it in place in a marina or a hotel waterfront; and plugging out, where it basically functions as a naval caravan that lets you explore seas, rivers and lakes. Sustainable boating which stayes in one place   The first option is a great solution for hotels, campgrounds or marinas that are looking to add capacity during high season, or even to function as a permanent extension of its accommodation. The houseboat only takes up very limited space, yet provides great comfort to those given the privilege of staying in it. At the same time, it is a good way of showing that you are concerned with the environment and looking to do well. Although the claims as to how are somewhat fuzzy, Punta Del Mar is dedicated to sustainable boating and employs a green production process that involves the use of recycled, durable materials for building the houseboat.   Move around sustainably The second solution might work well for adventurers, retirees and holidaymakers all at the same time. If you opt for plugging out your houseboat, you will be able to use it much like a caravan, only on the water. It can rather easily be transported both over land as well as towed on water, allowing you to quite literally plug and go. This will let you explore the most gorgeous places that our earth has to offer. After charging the lithium batteries, the fully automated on-board system takes over to create a connected boat. Whether you are controlling it in situ or remotely, all systems on board will be at your fingertips, including safety measures that can detect and fix simple damages. This makes it a ‘smart’ houseboat, hooked up to an app for its lighting, temperature and sound features.   Great interior providing all basic needs Measuring some 74 square meters, it offers a rather comfortable living area. This surface area is divided over two floors, making it suitable for 2 persons in its standard configuration. This includes a fancy master bedroom with en suite bathroom on the first level, with doors opening out onto your private deck terrace.   The second level is the designated ‘chill-out deck’, that can be equipped with comfortable lounge furniture. Guests can sit back and relax, while enjoying great views over the water. It can be accessed through an interior set of stairs, as such easily extending living space outdoors. The houseboat is really playing up this element of outdoor living as it is, since it is keen on letting in plenty of sunlight through floor-to-ceiling windows. All the while, privacy is guaranteed through semi-open cladding of vertical slats. Efficient use of water and energy Punta Del Mar claims that their houseboat is a floating piece of sustainable engineering. Energy consumption is reduced through the use of passive systems, optimising the heat distribution, while water reservoirs are designed to minimise waste. One of the bolder statements as made by the manufacturer is that it is ‘fully immersive and environment-friendly’, which they explain by saying:   “ Visitors seek unique experiences, memorable trips and destinations moving away from mass tourism. This growing concept of tourism is committed to sustainability. Integration with the environment and exclusivity plays a fundamental role. Moreover, getting space from the sea in a respectful manner is an excellent option to increase available space in an innovative and disruptive way.” Maybe not the most sustainable , but intriguing nonetheless Yes, most people will claim that it is merely another fun toy for those who have the money to enjoy it, pointing at the extra waste that having it transported will generate. Additionally, even though Punta Del Mar is repeatedly mentioning its focus on sustainability, its exact carbon footprint remains unknown.   Having said that, we are certainly excited about its slick appeal and premise. Mock-up photos showing entire marinas and hotel waterfronts filled with those houseboats are a sight to behold, perhaps offering a sneak preview of what might be a good solution in years to come if the sea levels continue to rise.   https://www.whatsorb.com/category/travel
The idea of tiny floating houses is not quite as revolutionary as it was some years ago. That is not to say that we cannot be impressed by the new startups that flaunt their unique take on the concept, often surprising with their refreshingly new interpretations. One of those concepts was launched by the Spanish startup Punta Del Mar. This collaboration between a local innovation hub and an architecture firm has led to a so-called marina lodge experiment - in the form of a plain, sturdy houseboat solution that will allow users to plug in and plug out when needed. What this means? Well, you get to alternate between plugging in to make it a semi-permanent residence or temporary lodge, fixing it in place in a marina or a hotel waterfront; and plugging out, where it basically functions as a naval caravan that lets you explore seas, rivers and lakes. Sustainable boating which stayes in one place   The first option is a great solution for hotels, campgrounds or marinas that are looking to add capacity during high season, or even to function as a permanent extension of its accommodation. The houseboat only takes up very limited space, yet provides great comfort to those given the privilege of staying in it. At the same time, it is a good way of showing that you are concerned with the environment and looking to do well. Although the claims as to how are somewhat fuzzy, Punta Del Mar is dedicated to sustainable boating and employs a green production process that involves the use of recycled, durable materials for building the houseboat.   Move around sustainably The second solution might work well for adventurers, retirees and holidaymakers all at the same time. If you opt for plugging out your houseboat, you will be able to use it much like a caravan, only on the water. It can rather easily be transported both over land as well as towed on water, allowing you to quite literally plug and go. This will let you explore the most gorgeous places that our earth has to offer. After charging the lithium batteries, the fully automated on-board system takes over to create a connected boat. Whether you are controlling it in situ or remotely, all systems on board will be at your fingertips, including safety measures that can detect and fix simple damages. This makes it a ‘smart’ houseboat, hooked up to an app for its lighting, temperature and sound features.   Great interior providing all basic needs Measuring some 74 square meters, it offers a rather comfortable living area. This surface area is divided over two floors, making it suitable for 2 persons in its standard configuration. This includes a fancy master bedroom with en suite bathroom on the first level, with doors opening out onto your private deck terrace.   The second level is the designated ‘chill-out deck’, that can be equipped with comfortable lounge furniture. Guests can sit back and relax, while enjoying great views over the water. It can be accessed through an interior set of stairs, as such easily extending living space outdoors. The houseboat is really playing up this element of outdoor living as it is, since it is keen on letting in plenty of sunlight through floor-to-ceiling windows. All the while, privacy is guaranteed through semi-open cladding of vertical slats. Efficient use of water and energy Punta Del Mar claims that their houseboat is a floating piece of sustainable engineering. Energy consumption is reduced through the use of passive systems, optimising the heat distribution, while water reservoirs are designed to minimise waste. One of the bolder statements as made by the manufacturer is that it is ‘fully immersive and environment-friendly’, which they explain by saying:   “ Visitors seek unique experiences, memorable trips and destinations moving away from mass tourism. This growing concept of tourism is committed to sustainability. Integration with the environment and exclusivity plays a fundamental role. Moreover, getting space from the sea in a respectful manner is an excellent option to increase available space in an innovative and disruptive way.” Maybe not the most sustainable , but intriguing nonetheless Yes, most people will claim that it is merely another fun toy for those who have the money to enjoy it, pointing at the extra waste that having it transported will generate. Additionally, even though Punta Del Mar is repeatedly mentioning its focus on sustainability, its exact carbon footprint remains unknown.   Having said that, we are certainly excited about its slick appeal and premise. Mock-up photos showing entire marinas and hotel waterfronts filled with those houseboats are a sight to behold, perhaps offering a sneak preview of what might be a good solution in years to come if the sea levels continue to rise.   https://www.whatsorb.com/category/travel
The Tiny House Plug-In-Plug-Out Boat Of Punta Del Mar
The Tiny House Plug-In-Plug-Out Boat Of Punta Del Mar
Sustainable Way To The Top: Refuge Du Gouter France
Only a small number of us will ever be able to experience it: the last stop before the final climb to the top of the Mont Blanc. This stop on the main route was notorious for its lousy accommodation: a bland, uncomfortable building built in the sixties, that was not only painfully outdated but also an environmental hazard. Those visiting for an overnight stay would do well to prepare themselves for recurring problems with hygiene - the two outside toilets are not only inconvenient, they also heavily pollute the surrounding area through its direct emptying of waste on the mountainside - and freezing nightly temperatures, even inside.   Not exactly a great preparation for one of the biggest climbs in some climbers’ lives, yet it certainly adds a certain something to the charm and roughness associated with mountaineering. Right? Well, that logic might have been sound until recently, when it was high time to upgrade the lodging. A new, sustainable mountain hut This was done in the form of the Refuge du Goûter, a new and ecological hut. The remarkable structure, resembling some kind of futuristic egg, has four stories and an all-wooden structure that has been clad using stainless steel. It partly overhangs the cliff below, guaranteeing breathtaking views and enhancing its ‘curb appeal’. And appeal it certainly has. Not only from an architectural point of view (the Swiss designer Hervé Dessimoz spent five years merely designing the building), but also from an ecological point of view. The building is self-sufficient in its demand for energy and water, boasting a solar thermal system and self-sufficient water supply.   Plenty of ecological features This sophisticated system for water reclamation provides a supply of water for cooking and washing. It makes good use of the egg shape of the building: because of the wind, constant turbulence lets the snow slide across its outer skin, after which it accumulates in a grid of some 60 square meters. Within this grid, heat generated by solar panels melts this snow, after which it is collected in huge tanks. Due to the size of these tanks, the building can operate for 16 days without snow.   These solar panels also generate heat and electricity for the building, providing in nearly all of its heating and power needs - only the kitchen still makes use of gas. When there is no sunlight, a backup generator that runs on rapeseed oil will produce electricity.   Sewage farm and isolation Another huge plus: human waste will no longer be dumped on the mountainside. Instead, the six environmentally friendly toilets within the hut are built to be ecological and clean. The amount of water that they use is minimised through the implementation of a vacuum-suction system that most of us will know from aircrafts. Upon flushing, the human waste will be collected in a tiny sewage farm that processes it into some kind of highly compacted sludge that can, if required, be heliported down to the valley and be disposed properly. No longer will eager mountaineers have to suffer from the cold: the new location is equipped with triple glazing and dual-flow ventilation, as well as insulation provided by wood-fibre panels. All of this ensures an indoor temperature that ranges between 18 degrees Celsius and 22 degrees Celsius.   Construction in pieces The entire structure was put together in pieces: pre-assembled parts were taken in by helicopter and mounted securely using a specific resin adhesive. This drastically reduced the number of nuts and bolts that would be required. It took three years to complete construction, with work only possible in the warmer months of the years - and frequently interrupted by severe weather events.   Despite the difficulties, the project supervisor Thomas Büchi and architect Dessimoz never wavered in their dedication to the project: “ What we're saying is that, if it's possible to build a self-sufficient, eco-friendly building at 3,835 metres, there's no excuse for not doing it at sea level .” And right they are! The need for an ecologically sustainable building at this altitude and in this spot might have been doubted by some, yet it only seems to highlight the possibilities and the ease with which it can be executed, if only those in charge are dedicated to doing ‘the right thing’.   Countering the effects of global warming Even in this small Mont Blanc community, the effects of global warming and other strains that have been put on the natural  environment are starting to show. The number of serious accidents amongst climbers on the Mont Blanc has increased significantly in recent years, most of which resulting from falling rocks. In the past, snow and ice would keep them in place, yet due to warmer temperatures, they are loose and subject to sliding at any time. Last summer alone, more than 1,000 climbers experienced falling rocks on their ascent. With the ever-increasing number of people gearing up to conquer Europe’s highest mountain, it only seems to underline the importance of providing ecological and sustainable accommodation and facilities: to preserve this miracle of Mother Nature for many generations to come. https://www.whatsorb.com/category/architecture
Only a small number of us will ever be able to experience it: the last stop before the final climb to the top of the Mont Blanc. This stop on the main route was notorious for its lousy accommodation: a bland, uncomfortable building built in the sixties, that was not only painfully outdated but also an environmental hazard. Those visiting for an overnight stay would do well to prepare themselves for recurring problems with hygiene - the two outside toilets are not only inconvenient, they also heavily pollute the surrounding area through its direct emptying of waste on the mountainside - and freezing nightly temperatures, even inside.   Not exactly a great preparation for one of the biggest climbs in some climbers’ lives, yet it certainly adds a certain something to the charm and roughness associated with mountaineering. Right? Well, that logic might have been sound until recently, when it was high time to upgrade the lodging. A new, sustainable mountain hut This was done in the form of the Refuge du Goûter, a new and ecological hut. The remarkable structure, resembling some kind of futuristic egg, has four stories and an all-wooden structure that has been clad using stainless steel. It partly overhangs the cliff below, guaranteeing breathtaking views and enhancing its ‘curb appeal’. And appeal it certainly has. Not only from an architectural point of view (the Swiss designer Hervé Dessimoz spent five years merely designing the building), but also from an ecological point of view. The building is self-sufficient in its demand for energy and water, boasting a solar thermal system and self-sufficient water supply.   Plenty of ecological features This sophisticated system for water reclamation provides a supply of water for cooking and washing. It makes good use of the egg shape of the building: because of the wind, constant turbulence lets the snow slide across its outer skin, after which it accumulates in a grid of some 60 square meters. Within this grid, heat generated by solar panels melts this snow, after which it is collected in huge tanks. Due to the size of these tanks, the building can operate for 16 days without snow.   These solar panels also generate heat and electricity for the building, providing in nearly all of its heating and power needs - only the kitchen still makes use of gas. When there is no sunlight, a backup generator that runs on rapeseed oil will produce electricity.   Sewage farm and isolation Another huge plus: human waste will no longer be dumped on the mountainside. Instead, the six environmentally friendly toilets within the hut are built to be ecological and clean. The amount of water that they use is minimised through the implementation of a vacuum-suction system that most of us will know from aircrafts. Upon flushing, the human waste will be collected in a tiny sewage farm that processes it into some kind of highly compacted sludge that can, if required, be heliported down to the valley and be disposed properly. No longer will eager mountaineers have to suffer from the cold: the new location is equipped with triple glazing and dual-flow ventilation, as well as insulation provided by wood-fibre panels. All of this ensures an indoor temperature that ranges between 18 degrees Celsius and 22 degrees Celsius.   Construction in pieces The entire structure was put together in pieces: pre-assembled parts were taken in by helicopter and mounted securely using a specific resin adhesive. This drastically reduced the number of nuts and bolts that would be required. It took three years to complete construction, with work only possible in the warmer months of the years - and frequently interrupted by severe weather events.   Despite the difficulties, the project supervisor Thomas Büchi and architect Dessimoz never wavered in their dedication to the project: “ What we're saying is that, if it's possible to build a self-sufficient, eco-friendly building at 3,835 metres, there's no excuse for not doing it at sea level .” And right they are! The need for an ecologically sustainable building at this altitude and in this spot might have been doubted by some, yet it only seems to highlight the possibilities and the ease with which it can be executed, if only those in charge are dedicated to doing ‘the right thing’.   Countering the effects of global warming Even in this small Mont Blanc community, the effects of global warming and other strains that have been put on the natural  environment are starting to show. The number of serious accidents amongst climbers on the Mont Blanc has increased significantly in recent years, most of which resulting from falling rocks. In the past, snow and ice would keep them in place, yet due to warmer temperatures, they are loose and subject to sliding at any time. Last summer alone, more than 1,000 climbers experienced falling rocks on their ascent. With the ever-increasing number of people gearing up to conquer Europe’s highest mountain, it only seems to underline the importance of providing ecological and sustainable accommodation and facilities: to preserve this miracle of Mother Nature for many generations to come. https://www.whatsorb.com/category/architecture
Sustainable Way To The Top: Refuge Du Gouter France
Sustainable Way To The Top: Refuge Du Gouter France
Meet the eco-friendly tiny house boat
It is the perfect holiday or retirement plan for many. Waking up to the soothing feeling of waves gently rocking you, brushing your teeth to the sound of seabirds, and having your morning coffee whilst overlooking wide open bodies of water. Spending your days cruising the sea and throwing out your fishing rod. An idyllic fantasy, that all too often remains just that - a fantasy. The costs are too high, and not only the monetary costs. Boats have a huge impact on the environment, and the footprint that they leave is significant. That is, up until now. A trend is emerging in the boating industry where sustainability and green living take center stage. Instead of focusing on luxurious and high-tech solutions, manufacturers start looking at the use of renewables and recyclables. This has led to the launch of a number of particularly interesting products; the tiny house boat. Let’s zoom in on one of those innovations. Tiny house  boat Earlier this year, Canadian company The Daigno Group released their unique house boat concept ‘Le Koroc’. Prized as an ‘innovative, bold and refined concept’, it seeks to combine boat living with fishing excursions while providing a portable micro chalet or tiny house. The end-result is a small, yet comfortable boat with a decently sized deck and a living cabin, including a small kitchenette area and a bathroom with shower and toilet. It was built by a team of experienced fishermen, nature lovers and wood connoisseurs. This is clearly reflected in all aspects of the boat, with plenty of space for fishing amenities and add-ons, usage of high-quality and eco-friendly wood, and its sustainable production and consumption process. Or so its press release claims. Sustainable  and recyclable ‘Le Koroc’ is a good example of the boating industry moving towards greener and ecologically friendlier ways of doing business. Materials used are obtained from sustainable resources. The boat’s light weight - about 2,500 kg - ensures that its energy consumption is limited, both on water and on the road. Transporting the vehicle will therefore not use up valuable energy sources. Besides those two main ‘headlines’, there are more examples of nifty ways through which this sustainable tiny houseboat minimises its ecological footprint. For example, the water used in the shower and in the sinks first gets treated by a dedicated charcoal filtering system before being discharged. Photovoltaic panels on the boat serve to capture solar energy. The energy is stored in two batteries, one of which is used for the fridge and the other to power the LED-lighting on board. LED-lighting that, by the way, ensures lower and safer power consumption. The stove in the kitchenette is fuelled with propane, while customers could opt for a bio-controlled litter toilet. Although these are only some of the ways through which The Daigno Group has chosen for sustainability over profitability, it is clearly indicative of a shift towards eco-friendlier boats. Why would you? For those lucky few that can afford to buy a yacht and use it to cruise the world, sustainability has never been much of a focus point. Eco-friendly boats such as ‘Le Koroc’ are clearly trying to change this in several ways. First of all, due to its small size and simplicity, this generation of boats is very affordable, making that retirement dream mentioned in the beginning of this blog a reality. Secondly, and more importantly, it highlights the importance of finding greener vacation and/or living accommodations. Through its use of sustainable materials, reduced energy consumption, and waste-minimising solutions a whole another target group is reached. Would you still rather dream of that luxurious yacht? This is as good a time as any to remind you once again that luxury and sustainability are not necessarily a trade-off. Just look at ‘Le Koroc’, a handcrafted, personalised, complete and light tiny home-on-the-water. Perhaps you could have both. https://www.whatsorb.com/solution/architecture/tinyhouses
It is the perfect holiday or retirement plan for many. Waking up to the soothing feeling of waves gently rocking you, brushing your teeth to the sound of seabirds, and having your morning coffee whilst overlooking wide open bodies of water. Spending your days cruising the sea and throwing out your fishing rod. An idyllic fantasy, that all too often remains just that - a fantasy. The costs are too high, and not only the monetary costs. Boats have a huge impact on the environment, and the footprint that they leave is significant. That is, up until now. A trend is emerging in the boating industry where sustainability and green living take center stage. Instead of focusing on luxurious and high-tech solutions, manufacturers start looking at the use of renewables and recyclables. This has led to the launch of a number of particularly interesting products; the tiny house boat. Let’s zoom in on one of those innovations. Tiny house  boat Earlier this year, Canadian company The Daigno Group released their unique house boat concept ‘Le Koroc’. Prized as an ‘innovative, bold and refined concept’, it seeks to combine boat living with fishing excursions while providing a portable micro chalet or tiny house. The end-result is a small, yet comfortable boat with a decently sized deck and a living cabin, including a small kitchenette area and a bathroom with shower and toilet. It was built by a team of experienced fishermen, nature lovers and wood connoisseurs. This is clearly reflected in all aspects of the boat, with plenty of space for fishing amenities and add-ons, usage of high-quality and eco-friendly wood, and its sustainable production and consumption process. Or so its press release claims. Sustainable  and recyclable ‘Le Koroc’ is a good example of the boating industry moving towards greener and ecologically friendlier ways of doing business. Materials used are obtained from sustainable resources. The boat’s light weight - about 2,500 kg - ensures that its energy consumption is limited, both on water and on the road. Transporting the vehicle will therefore not use up valuable energy sources. Besides those two main ‘headlines’, there are more examples of nifty ways through which this sustainable tiny houseboat minimises its ecological footprint. For example, the water used in the shower and in the sinks first gets treated by a dedicated charcoal filtering system before being discharged. Photovoltaic panels on the boat serve to capture solar energy. The energy is stored in two batteries, one of which is used for the fridge and the other to power the LED-lighting on board. LED-lighting that, by the way, ensures lower and safer power consumption. The stove in the kitchenette is fuelled with propane, while customers could opt for a bio-controlled litter toilet. Although these are only some of the ways through which The Daigno Group has chosen for sustainability over profitability, it is clearly indicative of a shift towards eco-friendlier boats. Why would you? For those lucky few that can afford to buy a yacht and use it to cruise the world, sustainability has never been much of a focus point. Eco-friendly boats such as ‘Le Koroc’ are clearly trying to change this in several ways. First of all, due to its small size and simplicity, this generation of boats is very affordable, making that retirement dream mentioned in the beginning of this blog a reality. Secondly, and more importantly, it highlights the importance of finding greener vacation and/or living accommodations. Through its use of sustainable materials, reduced energy consumption, and waste-minimising solutions a whole another target group is reached. Would you still rather dream of that luxurious yacht? This is as good a time as any to remind you once again that luxury and sustainability are not necessarily a trade-off. Just look at ‘Le Koroc’, a handcrafted, personalised, complete and light tiny home-on-the-water. Perhaps you could have both. https://www.whatsorb.com/solution/architecture/tinyhouses
Meet the eco-friendly tiny house boat
Meet the eco-friendly tiny house boat
Summer tourists cause a 40% spike in plastic marine litter
Tourists are being urged to refuse plastic straws and avoid buying inflatable pool toys as new figures reveal holidaymakers cause a 40% spike in marine litter in the Mediterranean each summer.  Nearly all the waste created by the surge in tourism over the summer months in countries like Italy, France and Turkey is plastic litter, says WWF in a new report.  In a matter of weeks over the holiday season the rise in plastic marine pollution contributes to the estimated 150m tonnes of plastic in the ocean.   Stop dumping waste. Why is plastic being demonised?   Rubbish Beach, Spain Since the 1950s, 8.3bn tonnes of plastic has been produced. Plastic is seen as a versatile, indispensable product, but the environmental impact is becoming more stark. Plastic is now so pervasive that recycling systems cannot keep up and the leakage into the environment is such that by 2050 plastic in the ocean will outweigh fish. Last year scientists found plastic fibers in tap water, and plastic has been found in the stomachs of sea creatures in the deepest part of the ocean. Most plastic waste ends up in landfill sites or leaks into the natural environment, where it is causing huge damage to eco-systems on land and sea, creating near permanent contamination.  According to academics in the United States, by 2015, of all the  plastic waste waste generated since the 1950s, only 9% has been recycled, with 12% incinerated and 79% accumulated in landfill sites or the environment.   Why are the supermarkets under fire?   Producers of plastic include retailers, drinks companies and supermarkets. The Guardian revealed that supermarkets create more than half of the plastic waste in the household stream in the UK. But they refuse to reveal how much they put on to the streets and how much they pay towards recycling it. Supermarkets are under pressure to reduce their plastic packaging and campaigners argue they have the power to turn off the tap. Much of the packaging they sell to consumers is not recyclable: plastic film, black plastic trays, sleeves on drinks bottles and some colored plastic. The Recycling Association and other experts believe supermarkets could do much more to make packaging 100% recyclable and reduce the use of plastic.   Who pays to clean up the waste ?   The taxpayer, overwhelmingly. Producers and retailers pay the lowest towards recycling and dealing with their waste in Europe. In other countries, the “polluter” is forced to pay much more. In France, a sliding system of charges means those who put more non- recyclable material on the market pay more.   What can shoppers do to help? Supermarkets are under pressure, not least from the prime minister, to create plastic-free aisles. A growing number of zero-waste shops are springing up and consumers are being encouraged to ask for products to be sold without plastic.   WWF said in its report the majority of plastic waste polluting the Mediterranean Sea comes from Turkey and Spain, followed by Italy, Egypt and France – countries to which more than 34 million British holidaymakers are preparing to travel this year.  Tanya Steele, chief executive of WWF, said holidaymakers were leaving behind a toxic legacy of plastic waste. The birds, fish and turtles of the Mediterranean are choking on plastic … plastic is ending up in the fish and seafood we eat on holiday. Photo by: Jordi Chias, NPL, WWF A Loggerhead Turtle trapped in a abandonend fishing net Mediterranean   "We’re asking people to think about how they can cut down on the amount of single-use plastic they use and throw away on holiday," she said.  Steele urges holidaymakers to drink tap water where it is safe to do so, refuse plastic straws and skip the purchase of inflatable pool toys. " We can all be part of the solution and not the problem," she said.  Recent pictures of Bournemouth beach after the Bank Holiday weekend in the UK showed mountains of plastic waste littered across the sand. In Europe plastics account for 95% of the waste in the open sea, posing a major threat to marine life, says WWF.   Photo by: rspb.org.uk. Bournemouth beach after the Bank Holiday weekend in the UK.  Europe is the second largest producer of  plastic in the world after China   After China, Europe is the second largest producer of plastic in the world, producing 27m tonnes of plastic waste. The continent dumps up to an estimated 500,000 tonnes of macroplastics and 130,000 tonnes of microplastics in the sea every year, the report says.   But delays and gaps in plastic waste management in most Mediterranean countries mean only a third of the 60m tonnes of plastic produced is recycled. Half of all plastic waste in Italy, France and Spain ends up in landfills.  Home to almost 25,000 plant and animal species – of which 60% are unique to the region – the Mediterranean holds only 1% of the world’s water but contains 7% of all of the world’s microplastic waste. Plastics have also been found in oysters and mussels, while crisp packets and cigarettes have been found in large fish, WWF says.  Plastic waste remains in the environment for hundreds of years. Every plastic cup left by a tourist on a beach takes 50 years to break down, every plastic bag takes 20 years, and a fishing line can remain in the sea for up to 600 years, the report said.  The Mediterranean, semi-enclosed by three continents and home to intense human activity, creates a trap for plastics which today account for 95% of marine litter in the sea.  But Europe is in danger of being left behind on action against single-use plastic by emerging economies. In the most ambitious global action yet to curb plastic waste, India this week announced it was banning all single use plastics by 2022. By: Sandra Laville, TheGuardian https://www.whatsorb.com/category/travel
Tourists are being urged to refuse plastic straws and avoid buying inflatable pool toys as new figures reveal holidaymakers cause a 40% spike in marine litter in the Mediterranean each summer.  Nearly all the waste created by the surge in tourism over the summer months in countries like Italy, France and Turkey is plastic litter, says WWF in a new report.  In a matter of weeks over the holiday season the rise in plastic marine pollution contributes to the estimated 150m tonnes of plastic in the ocean.   Stop dumping waste. Why is plastic being demonised?   Rubbish Beach, Spain Since the 1950s, 8.3bn tonnes of plastic has been produced. Plastic is seen as a versatile, indispensable product, but the environmental impact is becoming more stark. Plastic is now so pervasive that recycling systems cannot keep up and the leakage into the environment is such that by 2050 plastic in the ocean will outweigh fish. Last year scientists found plastic fibers in tap water, and plastic has been found in the stomachs of sea creatures in the deepest part of the ocean. Most plastic waste ends up in landfill sites or leaks into the natural environment, where it is causing huge damage to eco-systems on land and sea, creating near permanent contamination.  According to academics in the United States, by 2015, of all the  plastic waste waste generated since the 1950s, only 9% has been recycled, with 12% incinerated and 79% accumulated in landfill sites or the environment.   Why are the supermarkets under fire?   Producers of plastic include retailers, drinks companies and supermarkets. The Guardian revealed that supermarkets create more than half of the plastic waste in the household stream in the UK. But they refuse to reveal how much they put on to the streets and how much they pay towards recycling it. Supermarkets are under pressure to reduce their plastic packaging and campaigners argue they have the power to turn off the tap. Much of the packaging they sell to consumers is not recyclable: plastic film, black plastic trays, sleeves on drinks bottles and some colored plastic. The Recycling Association and other experts believe supermarkets could do much more to make packaging 100% recyclable and reduce the use of plastic.   Who pays to clean up the waste ?   The taxpayer, overwhelmingly. Producers and retailers pay the lowest towards recycling and dealing with their waste in Europe. In other countries, the “polluter” is forced to pay much more. In France, a sliding system of charges means those who put more non- recyclable material on the market pay more.   What can shoppers do to help? Supermarkets are under pressure, not least from the prime minister, to create plastic-free aisles. A growing number of zero-waste shops are springing up and consumers are being encouraged to ask for products to be sold without plastic.   WWF said in its report the majority of plastic waste polluting the Mediterranean Sea comes from Turkey and Spain, followed by Italy, Egypt and France – countries to which more than 34 million British holidaymakers are preparing to travel this year.  Tanya Steele, chief executive of WWF, said holidaymakers were leaving behind a toxic legacy of plastic waste. The birds, fish and turtles of the Mediterranean are choking on plastic … plastic is ending up in the fish and seafood we eat on holiday. Photo by: Jordi Chias, NPL, WWF A Loggerhead Turtle trapped in a abandonend fishing net Mediterranean   "We’re asking people to think about how they can cut down on the amount of single-use plastic they use and throw away on holiday," she said.  Steele urges holidaymakers to drink tap water where it is safe to do so, refuse plastic straws and skip the purchase of inflatable pool toys. " We can all be part of the solution and not the problem," she said.  Recent pictures of Bournemouth beach after the Bank Holiday weekend in the UK showed mountains of plastic waste littered across the sand. In Europe plastics account for 95% of the waste in the open sea, posing a major threat to marine life, says WWF.   Photo by: rspb.org.uk. Bournemouth beach after the Bank Holiday weekend in the UK.  Europe is the second largest producer of  plastic in the world after China   After China, Europe is the second largest producer of plastic in the world, producing 27m tonnes of plastic waste. The continent dumps up to an estimated 500,000 tonnes of macroplastics and 130,000 tonnes of microplastics in the sea every year, the report says.   But delays and gaps in plastic waste management in most Mediterranean countries mean only a third of the 60m tonnes of plastic produced is recycled. Half of all plastic waste in Italy, France and Spain ends up in landfills.  Home to almost 25,000 plant and animal species – of which 60% are unique to the region – the Mediterranean holds only 1% of the world’s water but contains 7% of all of the world’s microplastic waste. Plastics have also been found in oysters and mussels, while crisp packets and cigarettes have been found in large fish, WWF says.  Plastic waste remains in the environment for hundreds of years. Every plastic cup left by a tourist on a beach takes 50 years to break down, every plastic bag takes 20 years, and a fishing line can remain in the sea for up to 600 years, the report said.  The Mediterranean, semi-enclosed by three continents and home to intense human activity, creates a trap for plastics which today account for 95% of marine litter in the sea.  But Europe is in danger of being left behind on action against single-use plastic by emerging economies. In the most ambitious global action yet to curb plastic waste, India this week announced it was banning all single use plastics by 2022. By: Sandra Laville, TheGuardian https://www.whatsorb.com/category/travel
Summer tourists cause a 40% spike in plastic marine litter
Summer tourists cause a 40% spike in plastic marine litter
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