Alabama Sawyer’s Not So Secret Diary

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Movies for Nature Lovers

January 21, 2019

Movies for Nature Lovers

Consider yourself an outdoorsy nature lover? You’re in luck, because I have some movies that will make you feel right at home. Here are some of the best movies to entertain nature lovers:

Wild



Have you ever felt the urge to check out and go camping for a while? Then Wild will probably speak to you in a really personal way. Reese Witherspoon stars in this drama about a woman who hikes the Pacific Crest Trail following a string of personal tragedies.

Erin Brockovich



Hate the way certain companies harm the environment in the name of making money? Then you’ll like Erin Brockovich. Julia Robert stars in this drama about a woman who stands up to a gas company whose unhealthy practices lead to increased rates of lymphoma among the locals.

Into the Wild



The 2007 drama Into the Wild speaks to the desire to leave our cozy lives in favor of roughing it out in nature. We follow the story of Christopher McCandless as he hitchhikes through the Alaskan wilderness.

Wall-E



Wall-E urges us to consider the ramifications of human harm on the environment. What type of world might we find ourselves in if we continue to destroy its delicate ecology? Will it even be inhabitable?

Microcosmos



Microcosmos is a  documentary that captures the tiny world of several different species of insects and how they interact. It allows us a glimpse at something we don’t normally get to see up close and personal.

 

Planet Earth



BBC’s nature documentary Planet Earth is an impressive feat of cinematography with an extremely wide scope. Each of the seven episodes explores a different biome.

Princess Mononoke




Studio Ghibil’s Princess Mononoke is a nuanced environmentalist tale that explores the ways in which corporate greed can contribute to ecological destruction. 

 

One good way to enjoy these movies is surrounded by expertly crafted wood furniture, especially since our timber comes directly from the urban forests of Alabama. 

 

Image Sources:

https://doorofperception.com/2013/12/microcosmos-le-peuple-de-lherbe/ 

https://www.aceshowbiz.com/movie/wild/photo.html 

http://environmentalissues123.yolasite.com/erin-brockovich-movie-review.php 

https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0758758/mediaindex

http://pixar.wikia.com/wiki/File:WALL-E-City-at-Sunset-web.jpg

https://www.gateshousings.com/filmology-view/planet-earth/

https://nwfilm.org/films/princess-mononoke/

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Biophilic Design

January 14, 2019

Biophilic Design

The biophilia hypothesis ... suggests that humans possess an innate tendency to seek connections with nature"

That’s all well and good, but how does biophilia relate to interior design? After all, the title of this blog suggests there’s a type of design related to biophilia. There is, and it’s called biophilic design. The idea is to reconnect people with nature through various design elements:

"Biophilic design is a concept used within the building industry to increase occupant connectivity to the natural environment through the use of direct nature, indirect nature, and space and place conditions. Used at both the building and city-scale, it is argued that this idea has health, environmental, and economic benefits for building occupants and urban environments, with little drawbacks."

Let's break that definition down a little, and discuss what is meant by direct and indirect nature.

Direct nature- Simply put, direct nature refers to potential physical contact with some sort of natural feature. This can mean taking advantage of natural lighting with skylights, or having a small fountain where people can sit and listen to the calming sounds of moving water.

Moving water as a biophilic design element

The stream, plant life, and natural lighting are all examples of direct nature here

Although it may sound odd at first, finding a way to use animals to evoke nature can be achieved through aquariums and gardens. Obviously there are a ton of other ways in which nature can be directly evoked in biophilic design, read about those ways here.

Indirect nature- The use of indirect nature is much less involved than direct nature. To have an indirect experience of nature, there need only by contact with images/ depictions of nature. A beach painting over the fireplace, wood furniture, use of earth tones are all examples of indirect nature. Read more about indirect nature here.

Both the plant & the wooden table base would be considered use of indirect nature

To elaborate, indirect nature can involve the use of wooden furniture. Another reason to use wood furniture is the health benefits. That's right, different materials can actually be more harmful than others, especially in furniture where the user is constantly making contact with its surface.

Wood, however, tends to have less toxins than other materials, so you really don't have to worry about that. A piece of wood furniture that would really tie a biophilia inspired room together would be one of our Alabama Sawyer Lanett Credenza's (see image below.)

Lanett Credenza in Elm Veneer

Basically, if you're interested in biophilic design, wood furniture is one of the easiest ways to incorporate it into the room. So go ahead, take a look at some of our other pieces as well - and consider this: all our wood comes from the urban forests of Alabama. 

 
Sources & Further Reading
Feature image, tree buildings: https://pxhere.com/en/photo/964194

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Cities with Great Composting Programs

January 10, 2019

Cities with Great Composting Programs

Composting is a simple and easy way to be more eco- conscious, but did you know there are different ways to get involved? One is to participate in a city composting program. Read on to learn about just a few of the cities that offer various compost services and programs. Please note that the information below comes from this Modern Farmer article titled "7 Cities with Awesome Independent Composting Programs". 

Milwaukee (Wisconsin), The company Compost Crusader will help you plan an event that produces little to no waste. What makes the company truly great is that, "the company provides supplies and removes food scraps, which it incorporates into the compost it makes from residential and commercial pickups." What I'm trying to get at is that Compost Crusader will pick up compost from your home or place of work.

Boston (Massachusetts), Bootstrap Compost will haul your food waste (if you are subscribed to their services) to several local farms where they are used to grow crops. However, its subscribers do get an allotment of compost for their own personal use, which I think is an excellent way to encourage participation in the program itself.

Aberdeen (Maryland), The wonderful Veteran Compost company "employs former military servicemen to bring food waste from residences, businesses, and schools in the D.C.-metro area to the firm’s wind-powered farm, where the refuse gets turned into organic compost available for purchase online." We love their practice of hiring veterans, especially when they are hired to do such important work. 

Montpelier (Vermont), Vermont Compost will take your leftover food waste materials but you must drop them off in a bin at the end of the company's driveway. Basically, it's a little easier if you're always forgetting to put out your compost bin since you get to decide when to dispose of your food waste. 

South Jordan (Utah), EcoScraps is a company that "recycles organic matter from stores and restaurants, converting it into compost, fertilizer, and potting soil, all sold nationally." If you run a store or restaurant in the South Jordan area of Utah, then I would encourage you to consider using the services provided by EcoScraps. 

And if you're looking for an elegantly designed kitchen compost bin, feel free to check out our Noaway Counter Top Compost Bin or our Petite Noaway Counter Top Compost Bin.

Noaway Counter Top Compost Bin

Sources & Further Reading

"7 Cities with Awesome Independent Composting Programs" article (please note that all of the information presented in this blog post came from the above article)

Compost Crusader home page

Bootstrap Compost home page

Veteran Compost home page

Vermont Compost home page

EcoScraps home page

Image taken from the Library of Congress

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4 Apps for Nature Lovers

December 10, 2018

4 Apps for Nature Lovers

Consider yourself a nature lover? So do we - that's why we love learning about nature through different mediums of technology, specifically our smartphones. To be clear, there are a ton of different nature apps out there, but I want to look at just a few:


  • iNaturalist- This app helps identify plant and animal life in your area, and connects you to communities of fellow nature lovers and scientists. Use the app to record your observations and document your findings. Available for free on iOS devices. Click here to learn more about iNaturalist.     

  • AllTrails- This app simply displays nearby hiking trails & routes. Use it to plan your next excursion into the wilderness. Available for free on iOS and Android devices. Click here to learn more.

  • SkyView- This stargazing app allows you to point your phone at the sky and displays a wide variety of constellations, planets, stars, and more. The full version costs $1.99, while SkyView Lite is free. For iOS users only. Click here to learn more.

  • NatureMelody- This app was made to emulate the sounds of nature. Designed to relax and soothe, this app offers its users plenty of different HQ sounds to aid your sleep or relaxation. Available for free on iOS devices. Click here to learn more.

photo pulled from the internet archive, learn more about it here

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