Mexican entreprenur puts invasive species of brown algae, sargassum, to use as a building material

Mexican entrepreneur Omar Sánchez Vázquez has devised a way to transform an invasive species of brown algae, known as sargassum, into building bricks. The brown algae, which traps turtles and fills the air with the smell of rotten eggs, is a threat to both the marine ecosystem and tourism.

The organic, thermal and functional construction material utilises the same technique used to make adobe bricks, although it costs 50% percent less than adobe bricks. The building bricks are also said to be resistant to hurricanes.

Omar Sánchez Vázquez first saw an opportunity in the brown sargassum seaweed to grow his gardening business in 2015, when he spotted that the sea began to dump vast amounts of the algae on beaches of the southeastern Mexican state of Quintana Roo.

Initially he used sargassum as fertiliser at his BlueGreen Nursery and sold small amounts to his customers. Yet at the same time the BlueGreen founder wanted a little adobe house, one that he would build with his own hands, and so took out all the permits needed to patent the first block of sargassum.

In 2018, Omar Sánchez Vázquez erected his first house in just 15 days using 2,000 bricks produced with 20 metric tons of sargassum. The rustic house, which is named “Angelita” in honour of Omar Sánchez Vázquez’s mother, is an exact replica of the house in which he grew up in Guadalajara in western Mexico.

Omar Sánchez Vázquez’s construction team is currently working on two building projects using sargassum. The first is a build of 10 residential homes which will be donated to poor familes, and the second, is a private project in Tulum, also on the Mexican Caribbean, where they are building 40 residential homes.

It is understood that the sargassum bricks could soon be used to build a new eco-hotel in Tulum.

Since the seaweed crisis began in the Mexican Caribbean, numerous projects have been launched to take advantage of the algae, from disposable dishes and cups and shoe soles to its use as a fine-foods ingredient and in exotic drinks.

It wasn’t long before people interested in replicating the sargassum-house model were getting in touch with Omar Vazquez, people from

Countries including Belize, Jamaica, Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, Barbados, Malaysia and the United States have also been affected by sargassum, which has hit their shores with vast amounts of seaweed daily.

Images Credit: BlueGreen

Rosa Medea is Life & Soul Magazine’s Chief. She writes about lifestyles including sustainable and green living. She also offers content services to businesses and individuals at Rosamedea.com

DELITHERM®- Our textile contribution towards reducing CO2 emissions-Nisha Designs

The range of our functional DELITHERM® fabrics is expanding. With two new articles the selection is widened. Delitherm® fabrics are energy savers both in the summer and in the winter. In the summer the drawn curtains reduce solar radiation by up to 55% and prevent the extreme heating up of rooms. Equally, in the winter Delitherm® prevents the loss of heat through the window and keeps the heating in the room. One can save up to 15% of heating cost.

PHOS DELITHERM®

The two-coloured melange yarn, which produces a horizontal pattern, gives Phos a warm look. Phos DELITHERM® is available in 4 neutral colours.

EOS DELITHERM®

Eos DELITHERM® has a smooth, closed surface and is available in white.

  • DELITHERM® fabrics are usable as:
  • sheers
  • curtains
  • linings
  • roman blinds
  • panels
     
  • DELITHERM® summarised briefly:
  • energy saving thanks to the reflection of light rays and heat
  • reduction of CO2 emissions
  • washable at 30°
  • soft drape
  • hard wearing in daily use; unlike with coated sun protection qualities there are no crease folds

For more information please email nisha@nishadesigns.com or call 702.622.8321

The Pollinators — Graffiti Lux Art & More

Life & Soul Magazine

This sweet mural by Nick Sweetman, is an awareness tribute, … to some of the most important pollinators on our planet. The mural turns 3 corners. I will do my best to show it left to right. The above shot was taken from across the street. Cars, vans, trucks and busses dominated 19 of the […]

via The Pollinators — Graffiti Lux Art & More

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Mjøstårnet: World’s tallest timber building symbolises “green shift” to carbon-absorbing sustainable design — Life & Soul Magazine

Brumunddal in forest-rich Norway is a rural town with a major forestry and wood processing industry, which now boasts the world’s tallest timber building – the 85.4m high Mjøstårnet (The Mjøsa Tower). The 18-storey mixed-use building, which overlooks Lake Mjøsa in Brumunddal, contains apartments, the Wood Hotel, swimming pool, office space, and a restaurant. Opened […]

Mjøstårnet: World’s tallest timber building symbolises “green shift” to carbon-absorbing sustainable design — Life & Soul Magazine

Spiritual Living is Security- Nisha Designs

Photo by @kjp

As an artist, textile designer, women business owner it is my responsibility to create and service that serves the greater good leading by example and shifting my own life. And it is important to be aware how my life choices impacts the environment by my energy, thought, belief system, choices and actions. What I create, how I use the energy and intention behind that creation, service will tell me if my focus is on physical or serving the greater good. If I create art, design, sell the products that I am selling with the intention of money, pride, popularity, then no I am not serving the greater good. Because here my focus is about physical things. But if I create my art, design service products because I love what I do, love what I provide to my customers regardless of the outcome for that design, art piece, fabric then yes I am serving the greater good. That is my security. That pure joy in creating, servicing and not focusing on physical and what it will bring me is the spiritual living taking care of me.

Living spiritually is where our security is. When I shifted my focus from physical things and people to complete spiritual living, I had and have complete security for life now. My purpose becomes my security. My life every moment, energy, thought, belief system, choices and actions are spiritually guided that which serves the greater good. Each of us born here are here as a guest, temporary not permanent. As a guest it is my responsibility to treat Mother Earth and all of her resources with respect and kindness. That means my life belongs to Mother Earth in everything I do. It is my responsibility to respect the land that has given me a life to experience Mother Earth. Your focus on Physical and financial things, body do not give you security. Security is your inner being, soul and higher mind not your conscious, money mind. Approaching life as a physical and material security can and will be taken away from you at any given moment in split second. You think you have but no you have no control on anything physical. If you say your job is a security? Hmm it can come to bankrupt or close down at any given time, money? Hmm that also can be taken away from you at any point, car, health, home, career, business, acquiring physical things, falling in love with a body than the inner being can be taken away from you at any given moment, if you think having a physical body to love, marry, kids is security then really look deeply they all can be taken away from you in split seconds coz you are focus on the physical not who they are inside. Physical things including physical bodies are not security. This so called magickal life you say by doing things, going to places, traveling, clothes, restaurants, brands you buy all have a physical focus. A magickal life is living spiritually that magickally takes care of you. And what gives you magickally will also be sustained magickally. You truly have no control on your physical life. But if you stay spiritually connected then yes it will secure you. Living spiritually is your security. Your focus is the key. Believe and you will see. Shift your focus. Just by shifting your focus you can bring change not only to your life but to Mother Earth. That is what is required to shift and bring change so mother earth can do what she has to do to bring things to balance.

Looking at your life what would you say is your foundation based on? What does security mean to you?

WOM Collective All Female Paint Jam in the Leake Street Tunnel — Inspiring City

The WOM collective, an all female group of street artists, put on their first paint jam of the year in the Leake Street Tunnel. First formed in August 2019 the collective aims to support local women artists. One of the ways of doing so is to host events such as this one. WOM collective, according…

via WOM Collective All Female Paint Jam in the Leake Street Tunnel — Inspiring City

“Mythical Creaturologist” Iman Joy El Shami-Mader creates an illustrated bestiary of magickal and mystical beings known to the world

Magickal and mystical beings are a vast and varied crew, and tribes around the world have preserved their awareness of these beings through stories and graphical representations over centuries.

Artist Iman Joy El Shami-Mader has called on that wisdom asking people from around the world to share their awareness of magickal and mystical beings so she can add them to her illustrated bestiary – drawing one magickal and mythical creature per day, which she then shares on Instagram.

The self-prophesed “mythical creaturologist” has drawn more than 600 mythical creatures since beginning her task in October 2017. To create her inventory of creatures, Iman Joy El Shami-Mader initially sought information from various sources including the book Phantasmagoria and others, researched online, and tried her local library in the small town of Merano in the Italian Alps.

Over the years her bestiary has expanded since requesting people from around the world send her their local beasties. Among the creatures Iman Joy El Shami-Mader has illustrated include the Rashi, a winged horse from Georgian mythology; the Eyefooters from Botswana mythology, who were a race of men that had their eyes on their big toes instead of on their heads so they could see all the things that were dangerous at grass level; elephant dragons from Nepal, otherwise known as Kishi Malaw who protected sacred temples from natural disasters; and the Aziza, a race of fairy race beings that live in forests, which according to legend from the Republic of Benin, were the first to have taught about fire and its uses.

Some of the magickal and mystical beings Iman Joy El Shami-Mader has illustrated are well-known and others not, and includes creatures that are good, bad, evil or neutral.

In an interview with Atlas Obscura, Iman Joy El Shami-Mader explained: “I am generally a history buff and I love fairytales, sagas, myths and legends. In this already pretty epic realm, these beasts feel even more magical. I find them extremely interesting for so many reasons. They can give you an incredible insight to different cultures—what people were afraid of, and what simply was inexplicable at the time and needed to be put into a physical form.”

Iman Joy El Shami-Mader encourages people from around the world to share their knowledge of local creatures with her by sending an email to: mythical.creaturologist@gmail.com. 

Mythical Creaturologist

Rosa Medea is Life & Soul Magazine’s Chief. She writes about lifestyles including sustainable and green living. She also offers content services to businesses and individuals at Rosamedea.com

Design and Architecture vs. Climate Change: What Does the Future Bring — ecogreenlove

Green living doesn’t have to look (or cost) like something out of a sci-fi movie. Today, there is a vast availability of ecological materials that can keep inhabitants safe while contributing to minimized pollution. Combined with modern design solutions, they’re helping create aesthetically pleasing homes in which families can live comfortably and sustainably.

via Design and Architecture vs. Climate Change: What Does the Future Bring — ecogreenlove

Denilson Baniwa: Indigenous artist fusing native references with non-native to communicate the thinking and struggle of his people in Brazil

Visual artist Denilson Baniwa is using art to communicate the thinking and struggle of indigenous people in Brazil and around the world today by mixing traditional and contemporary indigenous references with western, non-indigenous references throughout his artworks.

Denilson Baniwa of the Baniwa indigenous people uses canvas, installations, digital media and performances to highlight the experience of being indigenous in present times.

A native of the Rio Negro in the Brazilian Amazon, the artist, who currently resides in Niterói, incorporates graphics, animals and references to Baniwa life and cosmology with western cultural references such as pop art, Hollywood, and “popular” culture.

Among his artworks are iconic images of Mona Lisa and Queen Elizabeth II with tribal markings. He illustrates the coming together of native with non-native species in a colourful artwork, entitled Diabetes, where a young indigenous man is drinking a can of Coca Cola, highlighting the harm caused through non-native things including products and people.

As a youth, Denilson Baniwa engaged in the struggle for the rights of indigenous peoples and moved through the non-indigenous universe, seizing references that would strengthen their resistance.

His artworks always highlight the plight of indigenous people and animals, including the jaguar, and the artist also uses his art to highlight the damage being caused by the likes of agribusiness and the current Brazilian president Bolsonaro’s position on mining on indigenous lands.

In a digital media performance entitled Azougue 80, the artist eats artificial fishing lures from a plate next to a glass full of mercury (called azougue in Portuguese), the poisonous metal used in gold prospecting that contaminates rivers, including those in the Yanomami indigenous territory. In the background, there’s a soundtrack of Bolsonaro chatting with someone, praising gold prospecting and comparing it to fishing.

In an interview with IHU, Denilson Baniwa said: “We are living in that time where the destruction of human beings is very likely, because we are destroying everything that we find ahead: the oceans full of garbage, the forests that have become lifeless pastures, the polluted cities, the diseases that are derived from the style current life, the violence caused by the maintenance of power.

“It is likely that this world will end soon, if we are not more aware. The good news is that right after the destruction, there will be a renewal where the world itself will heal itself, because the world’s poison is the human being, where all sorts of evil resides.”

Images Credit: Denilson Baniwa

Denilson Baniwa

Rosa Medea is Life & Soul Magazine’s Chief. She writes about lifestyles including sustainable and green living. She also offers content services to businesses and individuals at Rosamedea.com