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Jennifer Zilin

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It’s happening in one of the poorest areas of the world: Latin America. Torn apart by civil war, it is estimated that forty-six percent of the people who live in Latin America do not have a home. Those that do have a home live in structures that are unsafe and would likely be condemned in most places. Conceptos Plásticos is in the process of changing this by building houses out of plastic rubbish removal!

The mastermind behind this concept is Oscar Mendez, a social entrepreneur and architect who founded Conceptos Plásticos. He and his partners have now won several grants allowing them to expand on the remarkable work they are doing building homes for the poorest people on the planet while at the same time finding a solution for the mountains of plastic rubbish removal building up in these impoverished countries.

Plastic Rubbish Removal Houses

About a year ago, Conceptos Plásticos won a $300,000 grant from The Venture. This large grant has them thinking about expanding their rubbish removal projects to other impoverished areas of the world, namely Asian and Africa. The Venture provides venture capital to start-up businesses that are attempting solve large scale social issues and environmental problems through a highly competitive process. Building homes from plastic rubbish removal solves both large scale social and environmental problems at once.

The first step to building one of these plastic houses is to let people know how important it is for them to save their plastic rubbish removal. In some areas, recycling centres are set up to receive the plastic and the people who bring it in are paid for their efforts. This helps boost people who have no other source of income. In other areas, the plastic collection is an all-volunteer effort.

One small house takes about five tons of plastic rubbish removal to build. To give you a visual of how much plastic this is, the same amount of plastic would take up approximately twelve square meters if it were not compacted into plastic bricks and beams. Thus, one home saves the planet from a lot of plastic! When Oscar Mendez and his team built homes for forty-two families in war torn Guapi Colombia, they used about one-hundred twenty tonnes of plastic! This is a win win for people and the environment! As an added bonus in these war regions, the plastic homes are bullet proof!

Conceptos Plásticos is happy to take people on tours of their factory. The plastic is first sorted by the type of plastic (or brought in this way). It is then ground into tiny pieces, or into a powder, depending on the type of plastic. A “secret recipe” is then used to combine different types of plastic (and rubber tyres). It is then melted together at a very high temperate before it is poured into a mould to make a hard plastic brick or hard plastic beam. It comes out looking like a giant LEGO piece made out of stone or concrete. Care is taken not to overheat the plastic as this would release toxic gases.

There will always be a never ending supply of plastic rubbish removal. In Bogota, the capital city of Columbia, approximately eight million people live there. Every day, they generate about seven hundred tonnes of plastic. Before Conceptos Plásticos came on the scene, it is estimated that only one-seventh of this plastic was recycled into something useful. The rest was just accumulating into massive piles that will take five hundred years to biodegrade. Now, this rubbish removal is being converted into plastic bricks that will out last traditional bricks by about four hundred years!

It is interesting to see up close how these plastic blocks and plastic beans are designed to fit together in interlocking style. A mallet to hammer down the bricks and a wrench to turn the bolts are about all the tools that are needed to build these houses once the building blocks are delivered to the site. It is estimated that a family of four could actually build their own home with these materials in only five days! There are even special plastic bricks prefabricated with holes so that pipes can be easily put through for plumbing, i.e. the people on site do not need to drill holes for pipes!. Smaller holes are prefabricated to allow electrical wires to be easily strung through.

In one impoverished village on the east side of Cali, the Conceptos Plásticos crew and some of the locals built one of these plastic homes on top of an existing traditional building. It was built for a displaced mother on top of her son’s place and it’s even possible that a third story could be added. This eliminated the need to build a foundation. The mother praised the project profusely as she watched it being built before her very eyes. As the project got underway, an increasing number of curious people made their way over to see the project. By the end of the first day, almost the entire village was there applauding. These plastic rubbish removal home projects bring a great deal of joy into the lives of the community.

If you want to understand why Oscar Mendez does this work, all you have to do is see his beaming ear to ear smile as he watches people explore their new home, usually their first home ever. It must be very satisfactory to see these homes erected so quickly from his lego-style plastic bricks and beams and then see the people rejoice. Oscar’s smile is contagious and it will make you smile and want to cheer him on to spread more joy and hope. For the community, an infectious spirit takes over when one of these homes are built as the whole community now realizes they have the skill and the blueprint to build many more plastic houses for the deserving people who live there. It’s empowering and inspirational.

If you are traveling and see one of these “plastic LEGO houses” up close, please send your impressions and any photos to the Clearabee Facebook page. Like Conceptos Plásticos, Clearabee is another company with a social mission. Based in the UK, Clearabee is a rubbish removal company that has figured out a way to recycle or reuse NINETY PERCENT of all the rubbish they collect from their customers. This puts their recycle and reuse success rate at the very highest in all of Europe. We need more businesses like Conceptos Plásticos and Clearabee in the world!

Moving can be expensive. That is why it is important to prepare your stuff before the removalists from Hornsby get to your house. Here are some tips that can help you prepare your goods so that the removalists Hornsby can cut your moving costs even more.

Marking all of your boxes

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                One of the best ways to create a successful move is to make sure that you clearly mark every box with its destination room in your new home. Get a large black marker and clearly mark the top of every box. It should be easy for your mover to understand so that they can put the boxes in the same spot in your new home. For example, you will want to make sure to mark the bedrooms with a number. If you put “Tony’s Room”, you may have to switch all the boxes because your movers won’t know which room is “Tony’s Room”. However, you can mark the bedrooms in the new home by numbers and then put a sheet on the door of your new rooms with a big number on it, so they can get the boxes in the right room. It will definitely save you a lot of time later on. Also, you may have the urge to pack a box and then put it in one room to help the movers. This will likely only shave off a few minutes overall for the movers and it will also give them the idea that you are okay with the boxes going anywhere. When they have to go into the rooms to get the packages, they will assume that you want them to put them back in the individual rooms. Don’t assume that they will know where to put things but if you have the rooms labeled and the boxes labeled, a good mover will put the boxes where they need to go and then you can just direct them with questions about the furniture. That way you can hire cheap interstate removalists and protect your goods.

Packing your dishes

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                Your dishes may not be your prized possessions, but it is so much easier to protect them so that they survive the move, then having to buy them all over again. You will want to make sure that you choose to buy a corrugated box around the same size as a small microwave. It may seem like that will lead to a lot more boxes, but if you over pack a dish box and it slips in a movers hand, you will be sifting through the rubble to find one dish that you can use. The box should be about as wide as one of your large dishes to fit in with enough room for your hands to fit in all sides. That way you can fit your fingers into the box to pull your dishes back out. Get a roll of packing paper and put a piece of paper between all of your dishes. Then crumble some up and put some in the four corners. For quick removal you don’t have to pack all the way around if you put enough crumbled packing paper in all four corners. That way when you go to unpack your dishes, you can simply slide your hands down the sides and pull the dishes out instead of taking all of the packing materials out first. Be sure to use packing tape on both sides of the box to ensure that it doesn’t break in transport where you will be able to save on the cheap interstate removalist’s services and not have to buy new dishes.

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When it comes to packing your glasses, choose a similar size corrugated box or even a box a little smaller. You will need to pack the inside of the glass with packing paper and then wrap them individual. Sit them in the box facing up and down and then pack around them with crumbled packing paper. Also, make sure that you label it “Fragile”, so that your movers know to be extra careful. You can also use bubble wrap. It takes up more space in the box, but will protect your most precious glass items. You can also line the box with bubble wrap and then wrap each piece individually in packing paper.

Elora Hardy left a successful career in the NY fashion scene to build bamboo houses in Indonesia. The Bali resident and her team have spent the last 5 years revolutionizing bamboo construction in the belief that it is an underused but ideal renewable resource. Hardy uses boron, which occurs naturally in nature, to treat the bamboo and make it indigestible to insects.

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New Kitchenaid(R) Collection: A Fresh Take on Brand’s Iconic Design. Kitchen Aid has come up with a fresh take on the brands iconic design and it is perfection. Using consumer thoughts and feedback, as well as feedback from professionals in the culinary world, they have put together something unparalleled in the world of kitchen appliances. Kitchen Aids reputation for quality and longevity in its appliances has been built upon to bring a sleek yet warm look to their new line. The appliances are available in black, white and stainless but Kitchen Aid has gone a step further. In an industry first, Kitchen Aid introduces a black stainless finish. This finish is satiny like traditional stainless but very modern and sleek. The whole idea behind this line is to look a bit warmer, steering away from the industrial feel without losing the high performance. By keeping the appliances at a professional quality standard yet still making it feel like home, the goal is to inspire people cook, create and explore in the kitchen. Since 1919, Kitchen Aid has been all about quality. With this new design, backed by that quality, Kitchen Aid does not disappoint. You can check out the new line with sales beginning April of 2015.

This post was sponsored, but opinions are my own

There are a lot of people that find live plants hard to keep and maintain. Due to lots of work and responsibilities away from house, there are not so much time available for any of us to keep our house neat. I know that plants keep our interior live and warm but sometimes that s not really possible. For this reason, we created article with 15 interesting DIY House plants that does nor require any attention at all and will never die. Home decor has never been easier…

1. Paper Succulent

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These stunning paper succulents are easy to make yourself. Get the tutorial here.

2. Felt Succulents

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Get the DIY for these here.

3. Tissue Paper Branches

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“Grow” your own blooming branches. Learn how here.

4. Staghorn Ferns

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You can make your own Staghorn ferns with this DIY over at Design Sponge.

5. Dried Flower Wall Hangings

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You can’t kill it if it’s already dead! (Well, technically, they’re dried). Get some tips here.

6. Immortal Spiral Paper Rose Plant

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See how here.

7. Faux Dirt Centerpiece

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These Pottery Barn-Inspired planters have fake dirt that you can make yourself.

8. Imitation Bonsai Tree

DIY-House-plants-8This imitation bonsai tree DIY is made with real air plants, but it’s a zillion times easier to care for than a bonsai. Directions here.

9. Topiaries

 

DIY-House-plants-9These topiaries can be made with any kind of fake plant. Instructions here.

10. Tropical Plant

DIY-House-plants-10This tropical project was made by painting cardboard leaves.

11. Cupcake Plants

DIY-House-plants-11This festive foliage is easy to punch out and pop together. Get the book here.

12. Printed Paper Plant

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13. Fabric Scrap Cacti

DIY-House-plants-13Use some fabric scraps to DIY your own sewn plants. Or, check out this etsy shop.

14. Printable Bamboo

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Or get lucky with some printable bamboo. Available here.

15. Paper Orchids

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Pretty paper orchid DIY.

COMO Shambhala Estate offers a private location in Begawan Village, a 15-minute drive from Ubud City Centre. Surrounded by tropical greenery, the resort offers a large outdoor pool, spa and free Wi-Fi throughout.Each room features wooden furniture set against a backdrop of greenery. Guests can relax in the outdoor terrace, which offers a seating area or daybed. The bathroom is semi-outdoors.

Como-Shambhala-2COMO Shambhala Estate is a 45-minute drive from Kintamani, where famous Mount Batur is located. Ngurah Rai Airport is a 1.5-hour drive away. Offering individually designed programmes for guests to benefit mind, body and spirit, COMO Shambhala provides Yoga and Pilates Instructors, an Ayurvedic Doctor, a Dietician and an Acupuncturist. Outdoor activities that can be arranged from the resort include trekking, cycling, and rafting, canyoning and cultural tours. Airport shuttle service is available at a charge. Western and European cuisine can be enjoyed at Glow Restaurant, while Asian dishes are featured at Kudus Restaurant. Room service is available for convenience.

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Recently it came to my attention that something and mundane as stairs can be really interesting and exciting. After browsing internet for a while and exploring interesting interior and staircase designs i decided to make a best of list for today’s article. Seems to me that designers experience a lot of problems when it comes to space. It is like they are unable to find out a good way to work with the space under  the stairs, so they are giving up on it and leaving it empty. Needles to say, some of the today’s entries surely find out a perfect way, yet some did opposite and took another direction… If you like the post be sure to share it and recommend to your friends…

Hanging Stairs

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Timber Stripe Staircase

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Understairs Space

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Staircase In Northampton

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Tree Stairs

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Sensualscaping Stairs

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Tree Banister

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Bookcase Staircase

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Flower Petal Staircase

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Otherworldly Stairs

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Spiral Slide Staircase

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Lace Staircase

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Sloping Stairs

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Flat F.M. Stairs

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La Maison Unique Stairs

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Staircase Slide Combo

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Space-Saving Stairs

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Workplace Stair Unit

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Metal Staircase

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Library Slider Stairs

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Now that fireplaces are often omitted from modern rooms, it is usually down to the windows to create a focal point. So show them off and make the most of them with some truly stunning window dressings and perhaps some new windows altogether with a company like McKinney roofing.

Unusual window dressings

Decorating a window is easy; simply install a curtain rail, throw some drapes at it and hey presto, window dressed. But why not try something a little more original, perhaps even unique?

For those nimble with a needle and thread, a pretty, new or even better, vintage, tablecloth can be turned into a drape quite easily. Simply add some hoops to one end and slide them over a curtain pole. If sewing is not an option, it might be possible to simply hang a light piece of fabric over the pole.

2 Silk scarves also make a truly original curtain. Simply tie suitably colored scarves around the pole for a dramatically different look. Like any drape, they can be tied back against the wall with tiebacks and hooks.

For a tactile, if noisy alternative, try putting up beaded curtains over a door, a ‘70s throwback that has made a popular comeback. They do not even need a curtain rail, but can be affixed with hooks attached to the underside of the door frame.

Another option might be to get all patriotic and find a large sized stars & stripes flag to hang at the window.

Ideas for window dressings

Sometimes, windows are awkwardly shaped or positioned and it can be difficult to find standard curtains that fit properly. Arched windows, for instance, whilst being architecturally arresting and attractive, can pose a dressing problem. Forget the arch and concentrate instead on the lower half of the window by putting up a half curtain or blind. For a very striking effect, cover the whole of the square or rectangular part of the window with a Venetian blind that has been made to measure and use a curved curtain pole to hang a curtain that mimics the curve of the arch.

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Bow or bay windows can be particularly troublesome. Rather than drapes, put up three different sections of Roman blinds that cover the window panes, but still show the frames of the window. This solution can look very sophisticated and gives the window a clean, streamlined appearance.

Alternatively, ignore the curve or bend of a bay window by using ‘flanking’ curtains. These are attached to the ceiling that crosses the window area and afford a high level of privacy.

Eye opening DIY window dressings

Anyone aiming for a truly minimalist look, may want to do away with curtains and blinds altogether. Most people like to make their home private and the glass in windows can be covered with a type of plastic film that makes it appear frosted or even etched with a design. This product lets the natural daylight in, but keeps prying eyes out. Staying with the frosted theme, large Roman shades are now available that, from a distance, look like panels of frosted glass. They create a very clean and impressive window dressing.