Posts tagged ‘Environment’
Here’s a great way to get yourself a free house. Pose as an artist, say you want to create a gallery/meeting space that’s environmentally sound and get your local community to donate all their scrap wood and raw materials that would otherwise end up lying in a skip somewhere.
Now that’s not entirely what German designers Folke Koebberling and Martin Kaltwasser did – their intentions were indeed honest and honourable – but the end result is pretty much the same.
After six weeks of toiling in the Cambridgeshire countryside with a team of volunteers, the intrepid twosome have successfully created a two-storey building from bits and pieces donated by the locals that has cost them next to nothing.
The structure, which lies in the grounds of the Wysing Art Centre in Bourn, might have a bit of a patchwork aesthetic going on, but that’s all part of the appeal apparently.
And while Folke and Martin intend for their creation – christened Amphis – to be used as a gallery for local artists, a case of art imitating life has meant the exhibitor has now become the exhibited.
The whole project build has been captured on film to be displayed in the Wysing gallery.
Because who nowadays does anything if it can’t be accompanied by a Making Of… documentary?
Someone tell the three little piggies to forget their straw, wood and brick houses because I’ve seen the future – and it’s all made of foam.
Already mushrooming up in Japan (where else?) these styrofoam houses are being touted as the solution to the world’s housing crisis. You know those polystyrene cups of tea you get from burger vans? These are made of the same stuff.
Developed by International Dome House Co, they’re quickly-assembled, customisable and cheap (around $30000), so they’re certainly ticking a lot of the sustainable housing boxes (and for those of you living on a faultline they’re earthquake-proof too), but I’m not entirely convinced about their environmental credentials.
Yes, they’re ridiculously well insulated, being made from, duh, foam insulation, but when everyone else seems to be moving away from petrochemical related products these foamy smurf homes would seem to be flying in the face of future sustainability.
Of course I could be wrong … and they are damn cute. Ahhh to hell with the environment, where do I sign?
(More information over at Pink Tentacle)
Depending on how eco-friendly you really are, the following information could have you nodding your head in resigned agreement or furiously head-butting your swanky new flat screen.
It appears that the self-proclaimed Protectors of the Great British Bin Collection (The Daily Telegraph and Daily Mail) have caught a glimpse of a top-secret report by DEFRA that threatens to charge us more (!) for collecting less rubbish, less often, and if we live in a new home – possibly not at all.
Naturally, The Mail and The Telegraph see this as an outrage, unthinkable, and surely political suicide for any party wishing to avoid being consigned to the dustbin of history themselves etc etc. And yet, unnaturally, I find myself in surprised agreement with my right-honourable newspaper pals.
So let’s look at the nitty-gritty of this, shall we?
While the enticingly titled report “Household Waste Prevention Policy” may be a hefty tome, weighing in at 412 pages, details are rather sketchy, and certainly nothing is set in stone – or some other biodegradable composite – at this stage.
Nevertheless, it’s hard to look forward to the prospect of less frequent bin collections, even if this is “the most direct way to compel householders to reduce their waste”.
Having lived in the seagull infested city that is Brighton for many waste-filled years, I can tell you how much we all look forward to the one day of the week when we can free our streets of bird-scavenged bins and generally enjoy a clear pavement for a couple hours.
Would less frequent collections really translate to less rubbish? I slyly suspect, and this is harking back to hazy memories of my student days, that rather than throwing out less rubbish we would just end up becoming engulfed by it (or is that just me?).
More alarming than fewer collections is the grim possibility of a £466 annual bin charge – apparently council tax doesn’t necessarily cover the regular emptying of your household rubbish.
But of all recommendations, it’s new home buyers that might be left with the biggest bin gag, by having a capped amount that would limit how much they can throw away.
It just all sounds too mad to be true. Which sadly means that it probably is.
Internationally famous tycoon Donald Trump and his equally famous side-parting descended upon Scotland this week for an inquiry into his plans to build the ‘world’s greatest golf course’ north of Aberdeen.
Of course, Scotland is widely regarded as being the home of golf but it turns out it’s also the ancestral home of Mr Trump, his mother having been born on the Isle of Lewis.
So maybe that’s the motivation for his proposals to open a £1-billion complex in the north east of Scotland, which, let’s face it, is a wee bit less glamorous and a whole lot colder than the locations of his other upmarket courses which include Los Angeles, Florida and The Grenadines.
But even a super-wealthy tycoon with scarily coiffured locks and a bona fide Scottish connection doesn’t automatically get his own way. Thank goodness.
Because it turns out that the proposed setting for Trump’s Caledonian scheme is slap bang in the middle of a Site of Special Scientific Interest, namely the wildly dramatic Balmedie Dunes.
And, naturally, it’s not just a low level golf course that would be being constructed on top of them.
Oh no, in true American ‘the bigger the better’ fashion, the billionaire intends to create a luxury hotel, over a thousand holiday homes and apartments, and – just because – a second golf course.
Admittedly, the project is likely to boost the area’s tourism which is not to be sniffed at; but at what cost to the surrounding environment? I suspect if Mother Trump were still here today, she’d be talking a bit of Scottish sense into her son.