Tag Archives: Green

"Bamboo Nest Towers

Could these futuristic green towers be Paris in 2050?


Paris is aiming to reduce 75% of its greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, so could these futuristic green skyscrapers be the way forward?

“2050 Paris Smart City” is a research and development project for Paris City Hall carried out by Vincent Callebaut Architectures.



It features eight high-rise buildings which recycle their own energies in a short loop through innovative systems.

The buildings include “Mountain Towers” in the city’s first arrondissement or district, that blend solar, hydrodynamic and planted buildings, using bio-air conditioning systems.

Mountain Towers

The “Antismog Towers” in the 14th district are described as an “ecologic corridor” 23 km long, punctuated by depolluting photo-catalytic towers.

Photosynthesis Towers

A striking complex called “Photosynthesis Towers” in the 15th, to be built in a vertical spiral and featuring organic facades of green algae, has been suggested, alongside “Bamboo Nest Towers”, a series of thermodynamic garden structures featuring food gardens and orchards on balconies.

To view the project in full, see vincent.callebaut.org.

Four Seasons Resort Hualalai Swimming pool

TripAdvisor expands green hotel guide to Europe

Four Seasons Resort Hualalai Swimming pool

TripAdvisor has rolled out its green hotels program across Europe for the growing body of guests who want to travel with a conscience.

After launching in the US last year, TripAdvisor has expanded its GreenLeaders scheme to Europe; the guide was designed in consultation with the United Nations Environment Programme.

Eligible properties that qualify as a GreenLeader in the industry are identified by a leaf and awarded a Bronze, Silver, Gold or Platinum award.


The Green Hotel

Properties are assessed against a set of criteria that includes everything from the re-use of linens and towels, recycling, and composting to solar panels and electric car charging stations.

The expansion is in response to growing interest among travelers who’ve expressed a desire to reduce their carbon footprint.


According to the results of a survey that polled more than 14,025 TripAdvisor users in Europe, 26% of travelers said they considered the environment when booking their accommodation in the last 12 months.

Most eco friendly hotels in the world

When asked if environmentally friendly factors would play a role in booking reservations over the next 12 months, that figure spiked 33%.


Since March of this year, TripAdvisor has awarded 2,000 new properties across Europe with a GreenLeaders designation, including properties owned by Accor Hotels, Marriott International, Hilton Worldwide, and Club Med.


Top 10 highest-rated green hotels in the US


TripAdvisor has released its Top 10 Highest-Rated Green Hotels in the US, giving top honors to the Bardessono hotel in Napa Valley, California.

As just one of three US LEED Platinum-certified hotels in the US — the gold standard when it comes to eco-friendly design —  the Bardessono shows that luxury and sustainability are anything but mutually exclusive.

Bardessono Napa Valley

With 62 guest rooms, the property uses smart, efficient and innovative design principles that maximize its sun-soaked environment.

Solar panels harness the power of the California sun while large, smart windows provide a flood of natural lighting and low-e glass reduces temperature transfer into the room. Energy-efficient smart sensors also lower or raise the room temperature when guests are absent.

Bardessono hotel

Furnishings are made from rescued and salvaged trees, water fixtures are low-flow and all finishes, paints, carpeting and fabrics meet low volatile organic compound standards to improve indoor air quality.

Efforts to green the hotel, however, are unobtrusive for hotel guests accustomed to the luxury treatment and with spacious rooms decked out in full amenities like gas fireplaces and bathrooms designed to double as private spa, complete with massage table and soaker tub.

Bardessono hotel bathroom

Foods served at Lucy’s Restaurant and Bar are made with garden-fresh ingredients harvested from the property.

Bardessono lucy restaurant

Here are the Top 10 highest-rated green hotels in the US:

  1. Bardessono, Yountville, California
  2. Allison Inn & Spa, Newberg, Oregon
  3. Hilton Garden Inn Lafayetteville/Fort Bragg, Lafayetteville, North Carolina
  4. Sleep Inn & Suites, Miles City, Montana
  5. Montage Deer Valley, Park City, Utah
  6. Cedar Glen Lodge, Lake Tahoe, California
  7. ARIA Sky Suites, Las Vegas, Nevada
  8. The Lenox Hotel, Boston, Massachusetts
  9. Hampton Inn & Suites Miami/Bricknell-Downtown, Miami, Florida
  10. Holiday Inn Express Inverness, Lecanto, Florida

Bardessono hotel pool

Toyota FCV concept

Young drivers prefer hybrids to hypercars

A new global study shows that the allure of Ferraris and Lamborghinis is diminishing for a new generation of environmentally responsible drivers who value green credentials and high-tech features over performance and styling.

Toyota FCV concept

A Deloitte survey of over 23,000 19-to-36-year-olds shows that the majority of young people (61%) still want to buy a car within the next three years but that the automobile is slowly beginning to lose its status as a symbol of cool and independence.

Although just 8% of all respondents stated that they never intend to buy a car, those who are in the market for a set of wheels don’t care about 0-100km/h times, horsepower or power-to-weight ratios.

Indeed, 59% said that within the next five years, they expected to be driving a vehicle with an alternative powertrain such as a hydrogen fuel cell or an electric hybrid engine.

Technology is also a key consideration for the next generation, especially if it helps them avoid collisions or enables them to stay connected, with more than half of respondents saying they expect to be able to access smartphone apps and other features in a new car.

Aware that car companies, Google and Apple all have designs on the future of in-car technology, 57% said that they would like to customize whatever technologies were on board after they have purchased a car, rather than be tied to a format or operating system.

“Affordability is the mantra for Gen Y consumers who don’t already own or lease a vehicle,” Craig Giffi, vice chairman of Deloitte, said. “When asked what purchasing criteria matter most to them, a majority cited cost-related items such as the vehicle’s price tag, fuel efficiency and payment options.”

Timbatree Christmas tree

Where To Buy An Eco-Friendly Christmas Tree?

A green Christmas can be as beautiful and fun as any. With materials ranging from cardboard to steel, re-usable Christmas trees have never been so innovative or stylish.

Timbatree Christmas tree

British brand Timbatree recently put its own ethical spin on the traditional yuletide centerpiece, with its pure timber version. The sculpture requires no nails or screws and can be self-assembled and easily stored for next year.

Driftwood Christmas Tree

If you like the idea of a wooden replacement but want to reduce your carbon footprint even further, South African-based company Buy the Sea offers bespoke ‘trees’ crafted entirely from reclaimed driftwood collected off beaches along the Indian Ocean coastline.

TinTown's African Tree

Those seeking a cleaner, more modern vibe might be interested in TinTown‘s African Tree. Made of laser-cut 1mm steel, its ‘branches’ features iconic representations of African wildlife and the product comes in a variety of colors.

Laser Cut Christmas Tree

Recycled cardboard trees are big business. Cardboard Safari‘s Alpine Tree is laser-cut for precision and can be decorated with paint or glitter for a truly bespoke decoration. It can be configured as a full 360 degree tree or in a 180 degree version.

Superstar Holiday Tree by Modernica

The Superstar Tree by Modernica is handcrafted in Los Angeles and can be purchased in a natural wood tone or in a festive green strain. Clean and light, this birch plywood structure can be personalized with paint or ornaments.

Christmas tree Memory Tree

Offering a completely modern take on the Christmas tree, Memory Tree is a 7-foot (2.1 meter) transparent Plexiglas structure which hangs from a hook in the ceiling and includes 100 chandelier crystals and a battery powered disco ball.

Ocean Paradise

Ocean Paradise named “greenest” yacht

Ocean Paradise

The annual gathering of yacht connoisseurs came to a close in Monaco over the weekend, with the prestigious Rina Green Plus prize going to a new mega-yacht from Italian manufacturer Benetti.

The 55-meter boat, presented in a world premiere at the Monaco Yacht Show, was recognized as the year’s leading example of yacht constructors’ efforts to reduce the carbon footprints of their vessels.

Ocean Paradise yacht dining

The prize is awarded based on the criteria set out by Rina, a marine services company, in its Green Plus certification label, which encourages all manufacturers to produce more eco-friendly boats.

Ocean Paradise yacht living room

Among the innovative and green technologies aboard the Ocean Paradise is a system that reabsorbs greenhouse gas emissions in order to limit their dispersion in the marine environment. Benetti used a brand new coating on the hull of the yacht, reducing resistance in the water and thus enhancing fuel efficiency. The boat is lit with next-generation LED lights, also an optimal choice for energy efficiency.

Benetti Ocean Paradise yacht


The greenest airlines in the world

United Airlines Eco Skies

Want to fly with a green conscience? Fly United Airlines, airberlin, Qantas or Air Canada.

Because according to the 2013 Eco-Aviation Awards hosted by Air Transport World, these are the greenest airlines in the world, whether it be for building a fuel-efficient fleet, making concerted efforts to reduce fuel burn or exploring sustainable fuels.

At the top of the heap is US carrier United Airlines, which took the top prize as the Gold Eco-Airline of the Year for its “realistic and practical approach to environmental action,” said magazine editors.

Last year, the airline saved 83 million gallons of fuel by replacing its fleet with more fuel-efficient aircraft, thereby reducing its carbon emissions by 811,000 metric tons.

It’s also on track to meets its 2013 goal of reducing fuel usage by 85 million gallons and associated carbon emissions by nearly 828,800 metric tons.

Editors likewise lauded the carrier for spearheading talks on sustainable biofuel initiatives: United undertook the first US commercial flight powered by advanced biofuel in 2011.

And since 2008, the airline has recycled more than 23.5 million pounds of aluminum cans, paper and plastic items from flights and other facilities.

Airberlin, meanwhile, took the silver award for being the first European network carrier to decrease fuel burn per 100 revenue passenger kilometer (RPK) to 3.4 liters, resulting in the reduction of total CO2 emissions by more than 100,000 tons.

Australian carrier Qantas took home the Eco-Pioneer of the Year award, for being an industry leader in exploring sustainable fuels long before the term “eco-aviation” became known, editors said.

And a partnership between Air Canada and Airbus was also recognized for an initiative made last year in which strategies like best practices, optimized operations, air traffic management, and alternative fuels helped slash CO2 emissions by more than 40 percent on a flight between Toronto and Mexico.

Meanwhile, want to feel less guilty about your flight? Several airlines such as Qantas, United, easyJet and Cathay Pacific, as well as airports in Manchester, Stockholm and SF offer carbon offset programs that allow you to make a donation towards an environmental program to render your trip “carbon neutral.”

Hoshinoya Karuizawa winter

Top eco-friendly luxury hotels

Laguna Lodge Hotel Guatemala

A resort in Australia that helped bring a species of tree back from the brink of extinction, a lodge in Guatemala that’s completely off the grid, and a Japanese oasis that offers guests luxury eco-tours are being called some of the top, green yet lavish hotel stays in the world.

It sounds like a contradiction in terms: opulent hotels that provide five-star service and amenities while respecting the environment.

Hoshinoya Karuizawa summer pond

But according to Ecoluxhotels.com, helmed by a travel journalist and an environmental consultant, the two concepts don’t have to be mutually exclusive.

Hoshinoya Karuizawa bedroom

As the world fetes the 43rd edition of Earth Day, globetrotters with deep pockets are encouraged to consider spending their money at eco-responsible properties that offer luxury experiences, guilt-free.

Hoshinoya Karuizawa guestroom

Just an hour outside Tokyo, for example, guests can find a secluded, mountainside spa resort that harnesses the power of the area’s geothermal energy to provide a luxury hot spring experience which is said to have skin-healing properties.

Hoshinoya Karuizawa autumn day

Hoshinoya Karuizawa, styled after traditional Japanese inns or ryokans, also offers guests award-winning eco-tours on foot and on bike that explore bird wildlife sanctuaries in the day, flying squirrels at night, and operates a black bear conservation program.

Hoshinoya Karuizawa dining hall

Similarly, the resort is powered by hydroelectricity generated by the area’s fast-moving streams and rivers in the mountainous surroundings, while foods are sourced from local farmer.

Hoshinoya Karuizawa winter

Here are a few other picks for the greenest luxury hotels in the world, as chosen by Ecoluxhotels.com:

Laguna Lodge, Guatemala

Set in the lush, tropical jungles of Guatemala, the five-star boutique hotel offers sweeping views of Lake Atitlan and a trio of volcanic peaks in the distance.

Laguna Lodge Hotel jaguar suite

Suites are carved out of the area’s volcanic stone, adobe and palm and decorated in indigenous Mayan antiques.

Laguna Lodge Hotel

The lodge is also powered entirely from renewable solar energy and is off-grid, reuses grey water, collects rainwater and grows organic vegetables. Meals are meat-free.


Laguna Lodge Hotel Guatemala pool

The Scarlet, Cornwall

Set along the Cornish coast, the airy, seaside British resort is pitched as an Ayurvedic-inspired spa that tries to echo the rugged surroundings into its design.

Scarlet Hotel England

In addition to offering classes like ‘laughter yoga’, transformational dance, surfing and horse riding, the wellness retreat also offers day-long sustainability courses.

Scarlet Hotel England outdoor

Eco measures include the harvesting of water, the collection of rain water and the use of solar energy.


Scarlet Hotel England room

Emirates Wolgan Valley Resort & Spa, Australia

Emirates Wolgan Valley Resort bar

Deep within the Greater Blue Mountains, three hours from Sydney, guests staying at the Wolgan Valley Resort choose from 40 luxury suites styled after traditional, rural Australian homesteads, each with its own private terrace and swimming pool.

Emirates Wolgan Valley Resort australia

Billed as Australia’s first luxury conservation-based resort, the property is also the first to achieve internationally accredited carbon neutral certification through cabonNZero which it’s maintained for three years in a row thanks to its rehabilitation programs and use of renewable energy.

Emirates Wolgan Valley Resort suite

By the end of last year, more than 200,000 trees were planted in wildlife corridors, for example, including the reintroduction of the Wollemi Pine, one of the world’s rarest trees, which was thought to be extinct.


Emirates Wolgan Valley Resort

Garonga Safari Camp, South Africa

A luxury safari sanctuary that promises intimate wildlife encounters with four of the five iconic African land animals, Garonga is glamping at its finest.

Garonga Safari Camp South Africa

Guests stay in spacious, airy tents outfitted with wooden decks, hammocks, large, draped beds and indoor and outdoor showers.

Garonga Safari Camp

Activities include safaris, spa services, wilderness walks, outdoor bush-baths and sleep-outs. Ssustainability measures include the conversion of food and natural waste into natural gas, which is used to power the kitchen stove.

Garonga Safari Camp room

The site also harnesses solar power, harvests grey water and grows its own vegetables while its fleet of vehicles is powered by biodiesel.


Garonga Safari Camp photo

Carmina Campus MINI

Handbags made of recycled MINIs

Carmina Campus MINI

Carmina Campus, the label founded by Ilaria Venturini Fendi, has realised a truly unique collection realized in collaboration with Mini.

The bags use the materials left over from the prototypes of the Mini Roadster, which includes discarded color samples, seat leather, soft-top caves and body plates.

The capsule collection, very chic and inspired by the principles of recycling, includes weekend and city bags, both for men and women.
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green airlines monarch

World’s greenest airlines unveiled

green airlines monarch

The world’s greenest airlines have been named at the ITB Berlin travel show, with European carrier Monarch topping the list.

The study of airline efficiency was conducted by Atmosfair, a carbon offsetting company, and looked into factors such as how efficient an airline’s fleet was and how full its planes normally fly.

Monarch, a charter and scheduled airline operating predominantly from the UK, was judged the world’s most efficient airline, with Atmosfair praising its efficient aircraft and high seating density.
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Rolls Royce ‘consider electric car’


Luxury automaker Rolls-Royce is planning an electric limousine, which would be rechargeable…with zero emissions, the dailymail reports.

There has been speculation for two years that Rolls-Royce was planning a top secret electric model.

Then, before Christmas, Rolls-Royce’s chief executive said an electric or alternatively-fuelled ‘experimental’ Rolls-Royce model would be a ‘good idea’.
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Meet the high-speed bus of the future


Today’s buses have a reputation for being large, slow and — even when powered by electricity — rather inefficient.

However, this could all be about to change thanks to a pioneering design from a Dutch scientist which was shown last week in Amsterdam.

The “Superbus” is the work of the Delft University of Technology and Prof. Dr. Wubbo J Ockels, a Dutch physicist and astronaut, to provide a realistic alternative to cars.
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Murcielago Replacement to Go Green?

Lamborghini is to introduce a greener supercar that will replace the iconic Murciélago, which has been Lamborghini’s flagship for over a decade.

Automotive News reports that the supercar’s replacement will slash carbon dioxide output by 20 percent, without sacrificing performance.

It will feature a 6.5 liter, 700-hp engine and will emit 398 g/km of carbon dioxide, down from 495 g/km in the old version.
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Perini Navi Exuma

Luxury yachts fly the green flag

Luxury yachts that whisk their millionaire owners or charter guests to the world’s top beauty spots, guzzling gallons of fuel on the way, have long scraped the bottom of the green league tables.

But as superyachts converged on the Riviera for this year’s 20th Monaco Yacht Show, a small but determined minority were flying the green flag as the ever expanding fleet of mega yachts seeks to reduce its carbon footprint.

Paolo Moretti, who heads the yachting division of Italy’s ship certification body RINA, told AFP interest in environmental topics has spiked in the yachting sector over the last five years.

Luxury yachts have big budgets but owners now not only want to excel in terms of comfort and luxury but also in environmental sustainability,” he said.
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Most eco friendly hotels in the world

How to find a green hotel

Many hotels promise to be green nowadays, but where can travelers find more information to help them choose the most eco-friendly hotel?

Online booking site Travelocity believes that travelers actually prefer green hotels. According to its statistics, eco-friendly properties get higher reviews than their non-green counterparts.

For many consumers, search sites such as Travelocity, Expedia and Orbitz will be the first stop in booking a hotel and all three have tried to make it easier.
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InterContinental Times Square opens in New York

InterContinental opened its much-anticipated New York property in the heart of Manhattan July 12, the latest in a string of high-profile openings for the city.

The firm says that along with being the largest new-build hotel to open in the city since 2002, the 607-room InterContinental is also one of the most environmentally responsible hotels in the city.

It will be the largest new hotel in the city to receive the LEED green building certification from the US Green Building Council.
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Mercedes SLS AMG E-Cell

The first details and images of the electric Mercedes SLS AMG E-Cell have leaked over the web last night.

The Mercedes SLS AMG E-Cell, showing a bright yellow exterior paint job in these official images, is ready for its debut.

Power for the E-Cell will be provided by four electric motors – one at each corner – that are capable of revving to 12,000rpm.
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Green for Gucci

Italian fashion house Gucci has revealed a series of eco-friendly initiatives with the aim of reducing the company’s impact on the environment.

The main focus of the proposals is to cut paper consumption and reduce Carbon dioxide omissions.

The Italian luxury brand has redesigned their packaging using only FSC Certified 100 per cent recyclable paper.

The new shopping bags will featured a de-bossed logo with both ribbon and garment bags have been changed from polyester to ribbon.
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