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Category Archives: eco outdoor
Have you ever cast your eyes upon a landscape full of white wind turbines. Rising like white asparagus spears from the earth, it is truly a captivating vision. Just 100km from Melbourne in Leonard’s Hill, is Australia’s first community run wind farm. Hosting just two wind turbines, they pack a punch producing enough renewable energy to service all the houses in the local community, with a bit left over too. As if this was not enough of a stand out feature, Hepburn Wind recently engaged talented local artist Ghost Patrol to create a unique larger than life mural upon Turbine 1. The mural named Gale was completed just two days ago. fittingly, the final touches were hampered slightly by gale force winds that roared through as her image came to life!
Gale was opened to the public last weekend as part of Melbourne’s Sustainable Living Festival which has just commenced. Gale celebrates just one element of ways we can live a more sustainable lifestyle. Over the next two weeks there are many more fabulous events on around town – To get involved and inspired, check out their Guide!
Graffiti is taking on a whole new art form. We have only just finished talking about yarn bombing, and now we have discovered moss graffiti art! In its most raw form, moss laden walls are being blasted back with high pressure hoses by artists such as Stefaan De Croock, to create eye catching street art.
On the other side of the moss graffiti art fence are artists such as Anna Garforth and Edina Tokodi, who are using all types of wall surfaces as a canvas to grow their art.
I’m all for this kind of street art, particularly if it is also helping some of our great creatives getting their skills noticed. No aerosols, no chemical cleaners required, and what’s not to like!
The Melbourne International Flower & Garden Show 2012 attracts thousands of visitors each year. The array of talent is jaw dropping, inspiring and makes you absolutely LOVE the outdoors in all its wonder and glory. A standout category each year is the Sustainability Award. Not only did local Melbourne firm Phillip Johnson Landscapes take out the Gold award (as they did last year!), but their innovative and eye catching design ALSO won Silver in the Outdoor Exhibit Category. Not a bad achievement for a display that was originally intended for educational purposes only – not an award entrant!
The EQUILIBRIUM contrasts two gardens of equal size ~ One being an everyday standard Australian backyard, and the other, a sustainable and self sufficient oasis. Collaborating with the Victorian Government and State Water, the display goes far beyond an incredibly eye catching and tranquil garden display made from natural and recycled materials. It also provides a working example of how good garden design can contribute to improving our ecology.
In place of concrete slabs, water guzzling plants, and drains leading to storm water pipes is natural stone, native plants, and a billabong reservoir that harvests stormwater runoff and cleanses it prior to flowing into public waterways. The display also encourages community interaction and action ~ it shows how interlinking backyards can create water and habitat corridors that rely on rainfall collection, in addition to urban farming where neighbours backyards each grow different homegrown produce. The very thought of being able to knock on a neighbour’s door for fresh herbs, fruit and vegetables is enticing….moving the traditional fresh farmer gate purchase, to your picket fenced neighbour!
To experience this beautiful sustainable garden display in person, you will need to hot foot it down to the Carlton Gardens in Melbourne THIS WEEKEND. Who knows ~ with a bit of neighbourly collaboration, this time next year your street could well be on its way to harvesting your own water, and sharing fresh homegrown fruit and veg! A beautiful vision.
MIFGS EVENT DETAILS:
March 28 – April 1, 2012
Royal Exhibition Buildings and Carlton Gardens: 9am – 5pm
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Today we bring to you one holiday destination that has knocked my travel socks off and shot straight to my wish list. The TreeHotel in Sweden not only offers a unique experience living in cool architectural rooms propped up high in the tree tops, but they have also been built with a view to preserving the surrounding landscape ~ sustainability is at its very core.
There is that little kid in many of us, who still marvel at treehouse designs – and now as a grown adult, the Treehotel very much appeals to the senses. It evokes a spirit of adventure, a sense of retreat, and being out amongst it all in nature. This is the kind of place where wheelie suitcases and city fashion wear are best left behind. In its place, a mini backpack packed with comfy clothes, a camera, walking shoes, and a good book should be suffice.
Upon arriving in Harads (100km from Lulea) visitors need to first check in at the owners Britta’s Pensionat, then take a 5 minute walk through the Pine Forest to reach one of the five treerooms – Designed around particular themes, you can live out a space adventure in The UFO, the funky Mirrorcube, roost in the giant Bird’s Nest, bunker down in the Blue Cone (but it’s red), or chill in the mod styled Cabin.
The sheer architectural feat of propping the treerooms 4-6metres high in the treetops up high is a feat in itself. But what is more impressive is the ecologically sensitive approach that has gone into the design of each that makes it truly shine. First and foremost, during construction (by local builders) no trees were damaged or chopped down, chemical free timbers were used, hydro electrics power the buildings, and low energy LED lighting are used throughout. Bathrooms are kept simple featuring just a water efficient basin and a combustion toilet (the Mirror cube boasts a freezing toilet!). To shower, you’ll need to hop skip it down to separate shower rooms. But this is what this holiday destination is all about – respecting nature, living in nature, and enjoying nature.
You can be as active or inactive as you please- you can go kayaking, fishing, horse riding and on forest walks in summer. Alternatively, in winter you can go dog sledding, participate in horse pulled skiing (!!!), go ice skiing, build your own igloo (yes truly) or simply sweat it out in the treetop sauna. All meals are taken back at the authentic 1930’s Britta Pensionat.
This is the place to rejuvenate, fill your lungs with fresh air, soak in the natural surrounds, and have a little adventure too. This is the kind of place I would dearly love to take my family to someday. Will let you know if I get to tick it off my wishlist ….. If you do first, please let us know!
Psst – Pop on over to the Treehotel Facebook page to view their AMAZING winter snow images
We love a great eco find here at State of Green, and over the weekend we came across the wonderful glasshaus nursery display at the fab Fed Square Design Market. Let us say first up, this is no ordinary nursery. Beautiful, exotic and unusual flowers were on artful display, but it was what hung from the ceiling that had us in awe. Trees and artistic plant balls hung from the ceiling, with their rootballs expertly crafted into balls secured with string.
Owner Paul Hyland has been a grower for over 20 years, and clearly has a passion and talent for all things botanical. His experience and artistic knack for making an ordinary plant “extraordinary”, was recognised in 2010 at the prestigious Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show where he won silver and bronze medals.
He is very amiable guy too – Admiring the hanging silver birch tree, Paul shared how he had also made a 4 metre hanging version for a local venue – the root ball alone took a half a day to make!. When questioned about their maintenance, Paul explained an upturned bottle placed into the rootball provides a slow drip feed – simply refill when empty! That’s my kind of gardening!
A visit to the glasshaus nursery in Richmond is bound to be a special experience, but if you can’t go in person you can admire all their creations online. Enjoy – we certainly did!
Apartment dwellers – are your pot plants perched precariously on 20th floor ledges, waiting for a gust of wind to topple it over? Or is your balcony full of pot plants on the ground taking up precious lounging space? Greenbo have come up with the perfect solution for apartment dwellers, with their colourful range of pot planters that sit comfortably and securely atop most types of balcony railings – be it round, square, straight or curved!.
Adding a colourful touch to our concrete jungles, the Greenbo offers various applications – grow herbs and flowers on your high rise balcony, sit it atop a pool railing, pretty up your paling fence or simply place on the ground filled to the brim with your favourite flowers.
Greenbo is the creation of industrial designer, Miki Ganor. Made from recyclable polypropylene in Israel, the Greenbo comes in nine different colours, and there is even a trough available too – No more excuses for dull and boring balconies.
How sustainable can bike riding get? No dirty emissions are released into the atmosphere, it’s great for your health and you rarely have parking issues! Melbourne based web designer come bike designer Mik Efford, has just taken the eco friendly credentials of bike riding to a whole new level with his Bamboo Bike designs.
Hand made from Australian grown bamboo, Mik has designed 3 prototypes named Daisy, Maisie and Panda. Not only are these bikes real head turners, but functional too – “Bamboo offers very good vibration dampening, giving a lovely smooth ride; it’s easy to work with; and enables a method of production that doesn’t require any welding” says Mik.
If you want to own one of these cool bamboo bike designs, you can sign up to the waiting list to be informed when they become commercially available. Alternatively, there are plans afoot to run DIY Bamboo Bike making workshops in the future!. Renewable. Beautiful. Functional – to a tee.
Photographs courtesy of Bamboo Bikes.