Can Smog Free Bicycles Clean China’s Pollution?

Can Smog Free Bicycles Clean China’s Pollution?

Smog free bicycles may sound too good to be true, but they’re now going to be a thing in China. The smog free project by Dutch artist Daan Roosegaarde started with a smog free ring and the tower. The ring showed black smog trapped in a clear square to emphasize the air quality. Why stop there? Thinking bigger, a tower was created to do the same thing and it also worked well. This inventor was on a roll thinking of how a nation can get involved in cleaning the air themselves. China being a capital for bicycles it made sense to design a bike to reduce the pollution in the air. It’s an incredible invention that was recently unveiled at the World Economic Forum’s Annual Meeting last month.

Smog Free Bicycles

It sounds impossible to invent a bicycle that cleans the air doesn’t it? After all this could be the answer to reducing our CO2 admissions on a much larger scale. Inventions are by definition unbelievable at first. Think of how Alexander Graham Bell was regarded when he first introduced a prototype for the telephone. Today we’re walking around with our telephones. Could smog free cars be next?

The bicycle takes in polluted air, cleans it, and releases clean air around the cyclist. It combines transportation and clean air promotion at the same time.  As cycling is one of the main sources of transportation. It made sense to launch this in China where pollution is one of the highest in the world. The invention acquired confirmation by the Eindhoven University of Technology’s findings on the results of the smog free tower. The largest bike sharing initiative will launch in China in the near future.

smog-free bicycles

The results from this will encourage urban cities to embrace this new clean air project. It will promote a healthier city in a two pronged attack.  Eco warrior Daan Roosegaarde’s passion for clean air led him to one of the most important inventions of this century. I’m excited to see this grow across the world. Cycling cities such as Copenhagen and Amsterdam are two of the largest cycling cities in Europe. Could they benefit from bikes that clean the air? Certainly any city with a cycling paths and bike sharing can adapt this project. Leave your comments below.

Repurpose Architecture: Historic Spanish Building For Threatrical Space

Repurpose Architecture: Historic Spanish Building For Threatrical Space

Repurpose architecture into something new was a challenge design firm Flores & Prats was thrilled to take on. As part of the adaptive-reuse project in Barcelona Spain. The former headquarters the Pau i Justicia cooperative has been turned into a theatrical space for public use. Originally built in the 1920’s the building fell into disrepair. It became a sleeping beauty. Flores & Prats saw many features they wanted to leave in tact. The original building would be remembered into the future. Adapting what was already there was a rehabilitation not a demolition.

repurpose architecture

Repurpose Architecture

The art deco features remain to tell a story. The large sash windows updated with paint.  Mosaic tiles got cleaned to show a variety of design patterns and textures.  The existing plaster left raw to give that industrial feel in areas where lighter colours work in harmony with natural light.  There is a bar-restaurant open to the public to have a meal and take in a show. Attend a workshop on writing or drama. This space is for creative minds to explore and expand. The former ballroom is used for workshops and a second space for performances.  All of the architectural history is left to tell a story from the past.

repurpose architecture

What Was Old Is New Again

Paying respect to what it was and celebrating what it has become. The Sala Beckett opened in 2016 to a well-received reception of people who loved the refurbishment. This well-loved building was the perfect project to repurpose architecture for a drama and creative space. This is happening in other cities. History is preserved by through adaptive projects like this one. Let’s turn abandoned buildings into places for people to gather. Or better yet rezone for residential use to house our aging population and people with a fixed income. What do you think about adaptive projects? Please leave a comment below.

Photos: Adria Goula

This One Trick Will Freshen Your Towels #naturallyfreshtowels

This One Trick Will Freshen Your Towels #naturallyfreshtowels

Your towels are clean and they have that weird mildew smell, right? Why? You’ve washed them stored them in your linen cupboard or armoire, but when you stepped out of the shower and wrapped yourself in one of those towels, the smell was horrible. Well, as it happens the reason why your towels smell is you may have used too much laundry detergent and fabric softener.

Washing machines do not require as much detergent. High-efficiency machines require even less. You should be using one tablespoon of concentrated detergent for every load or a quarter cup of non-concentrated detergent.

Well, as it happens the reason why your towels smell is you may have used too much laundry detergent and fabric softener. Washing machines do not require as much detergent. High-efficiency machines require even less. You should be using one tablespoon of concentrated detergent for every load or a quarter cup of non-concentrated detergent.


You’ll Always Have Fresh Towels If You Do This

We’re so conditioned to wanting that detergent smell, that we’re prone to overdo it on the fabric softener and detergent. Towels should be washed after 4 uses. They’re super absorbent and odours can easily be trapped. Changing your towels frequently will help to decrease that smell too. Skipping fabric softener altogether can help. I know what you’re thinking, that smell! I love it too! But you don’t need fabric softener to get your linens soft. Vinegar works exactly the same way as

Skipping fabric softener altogether can help. I know what you’re thinking, that smell! I love it too! But you don’t need fabric softener to get your linens soft. Vinegar works exactly the same way as fabric softener.  A quarter cup of vinegar is all you need. (PS: vinegar also keeps black clothes black). I saved a ton of money by using dryer balls instead of fabric softener and putting a little bit of lavender water in my wash.

This one thing in your home will freshen up your towels again. Do you know what it is? Baking soda! If the smell is trapped in the fabric and it won’t come out even after a couple of washes. This is the best solution and it costs you pennies. Add 1/2 cup of baking soda to your front loading or high-efficiency machine.Or a full cup to a standard washing machine.

Do not add any detergent or fabric softener. You have to repeat this process a few times if the odour doesn’t go away. But it will eventually leave. Hang towels outside to dry, the sunshine will help to kill any remnants of odour.

How Can Art Transform Your Home Into A Place Of Happiness?

How Can Art Transform Your Home Into A Place Of Happiness?

Do you ever wish that you could feel inspired in your own home? Do you long for you home to feel like you? What if I told you there was a simple way to accomplish this? You can invest in artwork for your home. Art truly has the power to transform lives. Art continues to inspire, educate, and lift our spirits. It gives meaning to our lives and helps us understand our world. It has the ability to connect with our thoughts, feelings, our outer realities, and perceptions.

Investing and interacting with artwork, allows you to gain perspective. You are reminded what’s truly important in life. The beautiful part is each piece that you purchase becomes a lovely investment that will be worth more over time. Some paintings may cost $1,000 and others are worth hundreds of thousands of dollars. As an artist who’s been creating and purchasing art these past six years, I have learned how art can be an investment that transforms lives every day. I believe you should surround yourself with art on a daily basis.

Art Enhances Our Daily Lives

Did you know that people who surround themselves with art tend to be more fulfilled in their lives? According to News in Health, scientists are discovering the arts can improve both our mental and physical health. They say the arts can help reduce stress, anxiety, and improve our well-being. When we surround ourselves with art, we are more likely to be inspired and motivated in our homes or work spaces. Art adds more creativity, satisfaction, and happiness in our lives.

It allows us to appreciate what we have experienced. It has the ability to awaken the creativity in each of us. According to Dr. Shelley Carson, Ph.D., art has the ability to improve our mood. It broadens our attention and allows us to see further possible solutions to creative problems. I personally love to surround myself with some form of art, it constantly inspires me to be productive and create new work.

Art causes us to have an appreciation and gratification for everything that we have in our lives. Art gives us the ability to appreciate certain spaces and allows us to value and understand our world and the different circumstances involved in the human experience. When we live from a standpoint of appreciation and gratitude, we tend to be happier. We are able to view all the wonderful aspects that are going well in our lives versus what we don’t have at this moment. This allows us to have a positive outlook on life, which therefore makes us happier and healthier as people. It is an important reason why we should invest in artwork for your home because don’t we all want to feel inspired and satisfied in our living spaces.

art samantha kaplan

Art Emphasizes Your Home’s Individuality

Decorating with art shows off your personality and emphasizes your individuality. According to graphic designer Lesli Walsh, our homes reveal our personalities based on the artwork we choose to display. Paintings can define your taste, your sense of style, and how you want to make people feel once they enter your home. We as people connect with specific pieces based on our life experiences. Art allows us to look within, listen to ourselves, and realize who we are and what we stand for. We as humans need to express ourselves through art and surround ourselves with the expression of others.

When you invest in a work of art, you are investing in a visual story that you’re putting on your walls. Each work of art has a life and a presence of its own. Art has a story behind it or within it since nothing is ever created in a vacuum. Ideas, stories, and experiences will decorate your home and have a presence in your living and working spaces. Your interpretation of these stories reflects who you are as a person, what you care about, and what you believe in. Decorate your walls with art you care about, it will not take long for that space to feel like your beautiful new home.

art abstract samantha kaplan

What If I Can’t Afford An Original Painting?

Today, it is easier to incorporate art into your life. The beautiful thing is you don’t need a huge budget to buy artwork. A larger budget allows for more possibilities but anyone can invest in artwork. It is possible to purchase high-quality giclee prints of original paintings on paper, canvas, and metal at a fraction of the cost of the original work. Discover a selection of prints that would suit your budget and your lifestyle in my free Ultimate Guide to Choosing the Perfect Print. Check out my selection of available paintings and prints so you can start creating an inspiring, stress-free space within your home.  Do you need help choosing the perfect print?

TEXT: Samantha Kaplan is a New York based abstract landscape painter who creates paintings and drawings that celebrate life and forces that exist on this planet. 

Her collectors have said her work has added a sense of serenity to their living space and have taken their minds to a fantasy place they only thought existed in their dreams. 

She loves to inspire people to follow their purpose in life so they make a positive difference in this world. She is an environmental supporter, a wellness advocate, and a dark chocolate lover. 🙂  You can view and purchase her art at and download her free Ultimate Guide to Choosing the Perfect Print. 

The Last 3 Organic Skincare Products To Be Given Away

The Last 3 Organic Skincare Products To Be Given Away

This is it the last three organic skincare products are listed below. It’s taken far too long to wrap up this contest due to a number of deaths in my family. But I am happy to give this away because Neal’s Yard Remedies is one of the premium organic skincare lines on the market. If this is your first time hearing about Neal’s Yard Remedies you’ll be pleased to know they have the largest choice of organic skincare products I’ve ever seen.Choosing what was going into this box wasn’t easy. But I thought what I might want and I found myself choosing relaxing products that wrap you in warmth and moisture. So without further hesitation here are the last three products to be included in the giveaway.

Melissa Hand Cream

With the constant hand washing and hand sanitizing, we all seem to do these days, it made sense to include a hand cream in the giveaway right? This hand cream can be used on all skin types. It’s nourishing and soothing with just a touch of lemon balm to refresh the senses. It is cruelty-free and 100% certified organic made from 100% natural ingredients. There are no synthetic silicones, parabens or mineral oils.Use it to protect your hands and nails from dryness throughout your day.

English Lavender Bath & Shower Gel

If you’ve ever taken a bath in lavender you’ll know exactly how it smells. And if you haven’t well here’s your chance. This shower gel will be one of your go-to organic skincare products of all time. It’s gentle on the skin and relaxes the mind at the same time. Use it has a shower gel, or as mentioned put in the bath for a relaxing soak that will soften the skin. This is also a cruelty-free and 100% organic ingredients.

Calendula & Oat Lotion

Everyone can benefit from a good moisturizer but this is an exceptional for dry problem skin. Essential fatty acid rich oils of borage and evening of primrose oil plus oats create a wonderful moisture barrier on the skin. It’s anti-inflammatory,  soothing and calming. Again this organic skincare product is cruelty-free, and 100% organic. This is a super hydrating body lotion with an intoxicating scent.

Organic Skincare Products Ending Soon

If you’re wondering why all Neal’s Yard Remedies products are in dark blue containers the colour keeps all the active ingredients from expiring. A tradition used in apothecary spanning back to the 15th Century. All the packaging is recycled cardboard printed with vegetable dye. The blue containers can be recycled also too. Pop them into your blue bin. I like to sterilize the containers and reuse, because they are quite beautiful.

All the products are boxed up and ready to ship to one lucky winner. Remember this contest is open to Canadian Residents Only (apologies to all my American readers). I’ve extended this contest a few times. You can find out what else is in this box here. The winner will be announced next week so enter below. When you enter to win you will also automatically be entered to win for the next giveaway which remains a mystery.

3D Printing Designer Inside Information To Know

3D Printing Designer Inside Information To Know

Can you count yourself amongst the 3D printing designer trend? Or are you in the dark about 3D printing? Either way, 3D printing is something you should know about. It’s one of the easiest and sustainable ways to design anything including houses. Imagine designing anything with a zero-waste result. Decreased waste on our landfills from larger cooperations would be a welcomed relief. 3D printing is gaining popularity but it’s slightly behind wearables in health and fitness. Whether it trickles down to the masses remains to be seen.

3D printing is quite easy to understand. The printer prints what you tell it to print. Create a precise pattern, then feed it into the printer. Choose your ink if you wish to have colour and away you go. The isn’t new technology. What’s new is it entered the home market a few years ago and it’s growing.

To the general public making your own gifts, or products is a reality you can do at a high quality. Even if you’re not a designer you can still make something extraordinary for yourself or as a gift. Check with your local libraries to see whether they offer a certified 3D printing designer course. The largest library in my city offers a course to anyone who wants to learn and print their own design. Learning is free but there is a small fee to print your design.

3d printing designer

3D Printing Designer Downloads

Stuck for ideas on what to print? Pinshape offers free open source 3D printing downloads. I was on the site for 20 minutes making a mental note of all the things I’m going to print to decorate my new home. I’m also going to start printing Christmas gifts.

I saw a few things I know my family would love and I like to get my Christmas shopping completed early. Make a note to self for all the occasions coming up in your life where you’ll want to give a gift. This could be the answer you’ve been waiting for.  You can print anything from planters, desk organisers, accessories, masks for Halloween. I need to get a pair of new prescription glasses and found eyeglasses designs to print in a colour of my choice. The list is endless with thousands of downloads available for free.

3d printing designer

Own Your Own

Interested in buying your own 3D printing machine? 3D Systems has 3D printers for the designer enthusiast. Expect to pay a handsome sum. The better the quality the more money they cost. The printers come with free print software. You have to buy your materials, and colour cartridges. The good news is the newest up to date models can print in plastic, nylon or metal. It’s fun to consider making a dining table with chairs if I had the capability.  I wonder how much it would cost to 3D print a chair? Patio season is coming, it’s something I’d like to find out. For now, I’ll get an open source download, head off to my local reference library and learn and print my very own 3D printed design.

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