What Makes ECO-Friendly Friendly? Ally Reznicek with Bel Floratine Custom Designs

Hello, my fellow Streamers!

As you have probably heard by now, Project VENTURA is in now in full swing!  Though we have a lot to research and learn between now and our upcoming deadline, Bel Floratine Custom Designs will be on top of everything.

Even though we are a custom design company for the teachers of the Ann Richards School, we also design our creations with the environment in mind.  We try to make our inventions as ECO-friendly as possible, but what exactly does that mean?

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle! -facilities.rice.edu

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle! -facilities.rice.edu

By definition ECO-friendly means, “Goods, services, processes or people deemed to do minimal harm to the environment.” Short for environmentally-friendly, ECO-friendly can mean many different things depending on where you are.  For example, in North America ECO-friendly has very little meaning because it is not a professional term, unlike “green” or “Energy Star” which are considered to be internationally recognized.  But in places like Europe, ECO-friendly is a label only used in professional scenarios.

EnergyStar! -www.homeenergyefficiencyaudit.com

EnergyStar! -www.homeenergyefficiencyaudit.com

In class recently, our group has been doing some early brainstorming about the appliances we will use in the Whale.  Our goal is to find appliances that are considered “green” in North America and “environmentally-friendly” in Europe.  We want appliances that will be durable enough to last many years with little maintenance.  Although we have a budget, we will not be buying cheaply-made trinkets. We are particularly interested in a company called Energy Star which manufactures household appliances, such as microwaves and refrigerators that do very minimal harm to the environment.  Energy Star was founded in hopes to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, which definitely will help the Earth in the long run.  You can help by recycling products or by buying recycled products.  However, this does not necessarily mean old or used things.

“I think we would all like to belive that every new event demands a new word.  But we’re environmentally conscious with our words.  We recycle the ones we’ve got.” -Erin McKean

On another note, I have been researching the interior design of modern and popular travel trailers made by Keystone, Coachman, and Jayco, which are some of the top manufacturers in the world.  I found out that we have some advantages and disadvantages with our Airstream.

Almost every modern trailer has slides, which are basically portions of the wall that expand or “slide out” when the trailer is docked to maximize the space within.  We do not have this luxury, but we do have a good advantage.  In addition to being durable and basically eternal, the Whale will not have a bathroom which means we will have more space to use for our teacher’s needs.

I also noticed that the trailers utilize a stacking method with their appliances.  The Microwave was almost always on a shelf above the stovetop, which opened up counter-top space.  Also in many trailers, the refrigerator was installed about a foot above the floor so there was space to hide the breakers behind a decorated panel underneath said refrigerator.  Something peculiar about the refrigerators is that they are not full sized, but not mini-fridges either.  Every appliance in the trailer was designed specifically for that individual trailer to make it as efficient as possible.  I believe we will have to do something similar when we design and build furniture for the Whale.

This is an example of the layout of a trailer with a slide -www.travelizmo.com

This is an example of the layout of a trailer with a slide -www.travelizmo.com

On that note, I can’t wait until we start physically constructing the Whale!  It will be so cool to see our ideas come to life on such a big scale!

Until next time,

Bel Floratine Custom Designs

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