A modern green gem rising up out of the Sonoran desert. That might be the best way to describe the Miraval. A resort spa designed by the architecture firm Miraval. Mithun’s design of 16 new single family villas at Miraval’s Tucson, Arizona resort combine the desert’s rich human history with environmentally intelligent practices and brings Miraval’s physical environment in line with its award-winning spa experience, so their site says.
The interesting part of the villa’s design for me are the Rammed Earth walls. Using the dirt from the property to create the walls, the architects, where able to give the villa’s a timeless feeling. Rammed Earth is one of the oldest building techniques known to man. But unfortunately isn’t used very often in modern buildings, because of strict city building codes.
Details about the resort:
Nestled at the base of the stunning Catalina Mountains, Miraval Arizona’s 400 acres of lush Sonoran Desert creates an inspiring backdrop that is warm and welcoming any time of the year. The luxurious accommodations and world renowned spa, have lead the readers of Travel & Leisure, SpaFinder and Conde Nast to vote Miraval the #1 spa in the world, year after year. The award winning cuisine is created with our fundamental belief that healthy ingredients can also mean exquisite flavor. A complete selection of daily programs, both indoor and outdoor, in areas such as fitness, meditation, nutrition, relationships and more, help individuals learn new ways to live and feel better. For time to relax or explore, to spend time with loved ones or with yourself, Miraval provides hundreds of experiences that make every individual’s time at Miraval unique and unforgettable.
G Living’s Brendan Brazier is one the world’s few professional athletes whose diet is 100 percent plant based. He’s a professional Ironman triathlete, bestselling author on performance nutrition, and the creator of an award-winning line of whole food nutritional products called Vega.
One-step nutrition is the term I use to describe food containing nutrients already in a form usable by the body, with no breaking down required. The nutrients get into the body and go straight to work. Nutrients in foods in a typical North American diet are in a form that the body must first break down and convert before it can utilize them.
By consuming one-step foods, the body is fueled and able to rebuild efficiently. Requiring minimal energy to become usable and assimilated, foods containing one-step nutrients in effect provide the body with more energy by helping conserve energy. Gaining the greatest amount of energy from the least amount of food is the goal of the Thrive Diet.
What’s black and white and carried all over town? Not a nun in a parade…Considering how trendy it is, I’m surprised more retailers aren’t offering reusable shopping bags for customers. I’m not talking about the high-end grocers that charge you $15 to buy a “sustainable” bag that lets you walk around town advertising for them. I’m talking about the every day sort of store that cares about the amount of plastic they spread around the planet.
Well, here’s a BYOB idea every store can fly with: Handmade Expressions (whose motto is “Fair trade = justice + peace + love”) has cool grocery bags that measure 12”x16” and are made of several layers of used newspaper and sturdy cardboard. They’re inexpensive and customizable. Best of all, they save new paper from being produced by using paper that would otherwise go into a trash bin.
And they’re totally affordable. At 60 cents a bag, now even Mom & Pops can get you to walk around town advertising for them.
Monkies are not big fans of snow, but we would make an exception to hang out in this cool eco-mountain modern hut. The hut is situated in a small Alpine village, part of Triglav national park in Slovenia, with very strict rules of construction and architectural design. The client bought the site together with existing construction permit for the generic project. Demand was not to change construction permit but change the elements of the house to suit his family, sustainable factor and open the windows toward the views.
What is green about this building? Large corner window was positioned toward the sun therefore in winter-sunny days no heating is needed. Extra thermal isolation is put between the wooden cladding – both in exterior and interior, black foil that is put behind the wood absorbs the heat of the sun and transforms it onto the walls. Upper floor is pushed over the ground floor and acts as sun protector in summer when sun is higher. Rain water is collected from the roof and transported through vertical pipes that are covered with wooden masks
The Solar Tower plant that was once constructed and successfully operated in Manzaneres, Spain, is now the prototype for Australian company Enviromission Limited’s Solar Tower plant. The 50 kilowatt tower in Spain, originally designed by Jorg Schlaich of Schlaich Bergermann Partners, ran from 1982 to 1989. Now Enviromission hopes to have their 200 megawatt scaled-up version running in Australia by 2008. So far, the location is thought to be Buronga in the Wentworth Shire of New South Wales.
Once built, it will be one of the world’s tallest structures. At 1,000 meters, its height alone makes the concept seem a bit surreal. But in reality, the plant has been proven to work and is based on some very simple and tangible principles: the greenhouse, the turbine and the chimney. The higher and wider the chimney, the greater the efficiency.
For the last few days, the song “I’ll kill Her” has been playing non-stop on my computer and in my head when I close my eyes. Yes, I am addicted to the song and the cute french actress / singer who made it. It even turns out Soko is a Vegan, and living right here in L.A.. We might even shop at the same farmers market. You should give “I’ll Kill Her” a listen, which is just below:
Here is the song: “I’ll Kill Her”
Who is Soko: SoKo received world fame after releasing her “I’ll Kill Her” song. It was featured in a 2007 Stella McCartney (a “G” fashion designer) fashion show, played by radio DJ’s from all over the world and even managed to chart in several countries, without a “real” CD release. SoKo really is a modern day musician, gaining fame from the internet and playing sold-out concerts without any promotion.
SoKo (21) was born in Bordeaux, France as Stéphanie Sokolinski. She started out as an actress and appeared in several French movies like Les Irréductibles, Dans les Cordes and Les Diablesses. She picked up singing in 2006, after approaching filmmakers with her desire to sing for the movie she was in.
Yes, a bike made from Flax, the same stuff you toss into your hydrator to make yourself some crackers. I am pretty shocked the flax fibre, is even strong enough. The designers made the Schwinn Earth frame out of 90% Flax Fibre, harvested from Northern France and 10% glass fibre, to stiffen the frame. Adding the glass fibre, may prevent this bike from being composted at the end of its life. One of you will have to try it and let us know.
It is a very cool looking / green bike. The concept on display had custom bags, handle bar grips by the design team of Sogreni.
When it comes to ethical fashion, it doesn’t get much cooler than Social Atelier. The LA-based T-shirt line can be found at the most desirable shopping addresses, both physical and virtual. With an opinion on everything — from Barbie’s vitals and the war in Iraq, to AIDS and global warming — they’re not afraid to speak the TRUTH. Their signature big bold fonts will be as permanently etched onto your retina as they are on their buttery soft 100% organic cotton tees. We caught up Social Atelier co-founder and co-designer, Andrei Najjar.
Architect Michelle Kaufmann today is making custom table placemats using reeds or twigs. This is a pretty simple DIY project using some string and yard clippings. This is part of Michelle’s Green It Yourself Projects. Continue Reading / Additional Photos / Videos
Have a small space that just doesn’t seem right for your hip, modern lifestyle? Can’t afford a big space, but want to stop short of living in the suburbs? Setmund Leung Kam Biu has designed an apartment that moves – literally. The rooms move around on mobile tracks (except the kitchen and bath) akin to track lighting or sliding doors. So, today’s bedroom could be tonight’s dining room.
The point is making the most of small spaces while keeping an open living area. When you’re done in the bedroom, roll it out of the way so there’s more room in your living space. When you’re done cooking, slide a door over the kitchen so it’s out of the way.
It appears that these places come with top-of-the-line appointments like stainless steel, full-sized appliances and BR-111 exotic (i.e. rainforest) wood floors. I checked out BR-111. They pride themselves on selectively harvesting in the rainforests under strict government guideline and stringent reforestation policies, but there are other issues like cutting roads and burning fossil fuels to get the wood out (and for what purpose? To have an exotic floor?). Check out their dedication to the Amazon here.
I am getting pretty big into bikes, since I am preparing to escape L.A. and land in Portland Oregon. For those of you who don’t know, people from Portland are born with bike pedals glued to their feet. I know that sounds odd, but it has something to do with the water.
I also hear people from L.A. are not that welcomed up there, even if your blood does run green. This means, I need to be extra extra green. No more SUV driving, no more walking, no more running. From this point one, its all about being seen on a bike. I will bike to the store, to mail box, going out to eat, swimming, hiking, for everything. I will even replace my office chair, with a bike. To that end, I just found this completely original bike from PUMA. It’s called the Glow Rider Bike.
Possessing the quintessential PUMA characteristics of fun and functionality, the new model distinguishes itself through the unique glow in the dark frame. The bike is part of PUMA Urban Mobility, a collection created with the needs of a city dweller in mind, comprising apparel, accessories and footwear.
Why is it that us humans seem to always worry about what we have lost and not about the things we have? Follow me on this, today we still have oceans teaming with extraordinary life forms. Which we know very little about of course and yet we allow factory fishing fleets and polluters to destroy at will. We allow this to happen because, we actually don’t care about the oceans, right now. We don’t care, because we still have them. But once they are gone, watch out, our mourning phase will kick in we will do everything in our power to bring it back. Of course we will fail and realize it would have been cheaper to just protect it in the first place, but we always realize that a little to late. Doesn’t that sound exactly like us? You have to wonder why the hell we are this thick in the head.
This is why I love documentary series, which enable us to have that roller coaster experience in just an hour. This way, we can mourn before we wipe out the oceans, skies, forest and the animals.
This Natural Kingdom documentary focuses on the exotic tundra of eastern Siberia and a Canadian scientific team exploring the idea of bringing back the long extinct Wooly Mammoth. Featuring original footage of Muskox in the Siberian Badlands, The Soviet Muskox is the epic journey of the returning Muskox and the secret world into which they were placed and includes the dramatic new discovery of the spectacular Nickolai Mammoth.
For explorer Bernard Buigues and paleontologist Dick Mol, the reintroduction of the muskox suggests that mammoths, if they were cloned, could also walk again on the tundra. But for the indigenous reindeer herders of the Taimyr, the return of the muskox holds a different meaning. Are the muskox an ill omen or helping to reveal the land?