Our Thursday green news brings you the latest on green architecture, climate change, energy and communities:
- First American city to fully run on green power: The city of Burlington in Vermont has recently became the first American city to run completely on green power. As the city’s publicly owned utility company the Burlington Electric Department (BED) describes its mission in a statement: “BED will continue to be a leader in sustainability by producing power that is as clean and as locally produced as possible. BED will continue to treat the environment with the utmost respect and will continue to influence decisions and public policy that enhance environmental quality, the use of renewable resources, and the sustainability of Burlington.” The city fulfills this mission by using solely renewable energy coming from various sources including solar, wind, hydroelectric and biomass.
- Restaurant made from salt also cleans air: The Salt Restaurant located in Shiraz in southern Iran represents a new kind of eco-friendly building. Designed by the Iranian Emtiaz Designing Group, the project was built almost entirely from salt materials: walls, tables and even the stairs were covered with a salty coating. While this eco-friendly material gives this place a unique identity, this layer of salt also helps to clean the polluted air of the city. The design team was inspired by the local and naturally occurring salt caves, and aimed to capture the area’s distinctive salt mines and Marharloo salt lake of Shiraz in the design. As the designers explained: “In this particular case, the walls, structural sculptures and ceilings are made from salt sourced from the nearby salt mines and salt lake of Shiraz which was mixed with natural gum to harden it. Salt is a natural disinfectant and the ions it releases also purify and filter the air, making it the perfect material for a restaurant.” In addition to promoting their unique idea of green building, the designers are also trying to revive the ancient principle of using salt for its healing properties. “Salt suffers a bad reputation in gastronomy thanks to its overuse in most diets, meaning that most people are not aware of its astonishing healing powers. But in fact salt has been known as a powerful health remedy since ancient times, especially for respiratory health and detoxification. In many ways, these two functions are the foundation of overall health. Even Hippocrates prescribed salt water inhalation therapy for bronchial and lung disorders.”