Sustainable and Beautiful Furniture of the Future

Most of us are more concerned with finding furniture that we enjoy (and finding the money to buy it!) than we are with finding sustainable furniture. But these efforts shouldn’t be mutually exclusive. One company, Krill Design, a forward-thinking Milan-based company, is proving that it’s possible to have it all. Founded in 2018 by three architects, Krill Design envisions a world where furniture doesn’t meet its end but rather undergoes a perpetual cycle of reuse and recycling and they have a groundbreaking biomaterial, Rekrill, to serve this vision.

The secret behind their eco-friendly furniture lies in the utilization of discarded fruit peel, orange seeds, and coffee ground waste – materials often relegated to landfills. This innovative approach not only minimizes waste but also produces a patented plastic-like biomaterial that Krill calls Rekrill.

The manufacturing process involves drying and crushing the food waste into a fine powder, which is then combined with a biodegradable plastic alternative known as polyhydroxybutyrat (PHB). The result is a versatile filament that, when fed into a 3D printer, offers an amazing range of stylish and functional products such as bookends, stools, clocks, bowls and more.

Krill Design’s commitment to sustainability extends beyond the crafting of furniture. Through collaborations with renowned brands like Sanpellegrino and Four Seasons, and participation in initiatives like Co.ffee Era in Milan, Krill has demonstrated the versatility of Rekrill in creating wine coolers, trays, drink holders, and organizers.

Of course, at the moment, the major downside to Rekrill is its cost as compared to conventional plastics; obviously, the environmental benefits are undeniable, and the model for other companies and for Rekrill’s own designs, outstanding. For every kilogram of Rekrill utilized, one kilogram of carbon dioxide is offset, making it a compelling choice for those who prioritize eco-conscious living.

It will be interesting to see how the world opens up and changes as Rekrill continues to use environmental concerns, 3d printing and other options for furniture design. And to watch others follow suit.

Best Travel Locations for 2024

As international tourism rebounds about the lulls of COVID-19 and travelers seek new, less crowded destinations, CNN Travel has curated a list of 24 places to consider for your 2024 travel plans. These destinations offer a mix of cultural richness, natural beauty, and sustainability. Here is the top 7 that they outline. See the whole list and get ready for a great travel year ahead!

  1. Sumba, Indonesia: Escape the crowds of Bali and explore the Indonesian island of Sumba, known for its remote villages, untouched forests, ancient rituals, and world-class surf breaks. Luxury eco-resorts like Nihi Sumba and The Sanubari make it an enticing destination.
  2. Turkey’s Black Sea Coast: Discover the lesser-known Black Sea region in Turkey, with historic towns, beaches, and adrenaline-pumping activities. In the summer, it provides a refreshing escape, while winter transforms the Kaçkar Mountains into a heli-skiing paradise.
  3. Tartu, Estonia: Named a European Capital of Culture for 2024, Tartu is Estonia’s intellectual hub. Home to the oldest university, Estonian National Museum, and Science Centre AHHAA, it combines high-minded pursuits with charming Old Town architecture.
  4. Tainan, Taiwan: Celebrating its 400th anniversary, Tainan has become a hotspot, surpassing Taipei in hotel occupancy. Known for its street food, natural landscapes, and vibrant temples, Tainan was listed among’s top 10 sustainable tourism destinations in 2023.
  5. Northwest Michigan: Beyond the summer tourist influx, Northwest Michigan offers year-round attractions. Traverse City, on Grand Traverse Bay, serves as a great base for exploring wineries, picking fruits in season, and enjoying the picturesque M-22 highway.
  6. Trans Dinarica Cycle Route, Balkans: Launching in 2024, this 4,000-kilometer cycle route links all eight Western Balkan countries. Cyclists can traverse Albania and Croatia’s coastlines, Kosovo’s national parks, Montenegro’s rugged mountains, and more, experiencing the region’s diverse landscapes.
  7. Culebra, Puerto Rico: The list concludes with Culebra, Puerto Rico, inviting travelers to explore its pristine beaches and vibrant culture. As a relatively undiscovered gem, it offers a serene escape for those seeking tranquility and natural beauty.

Consider these destinations for a unique and fulfilling travel experience in 2024, away from the crowds and amidst the wonders of diverse landscapes and cultures.

Fitterfly: Taking On Corporate Health One Person at a Time

In today’s fast-paced corporate world, employee health has emerged as a critical concern impacting both productivity and healthcare expenses. It’s interesting to think about the impact that health concerns can have on the work environment; obviously those who are healthy come to work more often and work more productively. So what can companies do with this knowledge?

A company called Fitterfly, recognizing these challenges, initiated a groundbreaking approach through digital therapeutic programs. These programs targeted prevalent health concerns among corporate employees, such as diabetes, obesity, and related metabolic health issues. The 400 participants experienced a significant 1.1 point reduction in HbA1c levels and also found changes in their dietary habits, weight management, fitness levels, stress reduction, sleep quality, and overall quality of life.

The findings underscore the potential of personalized digital interventions in reshaping employee health and productivity. For individuals today, these insights offer valuable takeaways. Firstly, they highlight the need for a proactive approach to health management, emphasizing personalized strategies tailored to individual needs. Secondly, the success of these programs underscores the importance of holistic health interventions encompassing diet, fitness, stress management, and sleep patterns. Lastly, it stresses the significance of leveraging technology as a tool for health improvement, allowing for continuous monitoring and support.

Certainly, this is not the only program out there. It is one example of how technology is interacting with health concerns and trying to create new devices and ways to help people to stay healthy. It’s certainly worth keeping on eye on this expanding field and seeing which of these technological tools might help you or your company.

Tools and Tips for the Aspiring Cook

Tools and Tips for the Aspiring Cook

Are you looking to up your cooking game in 2024? According to the New York Times, some kitchen essentials are an important first step. Simply purchasing a larger cutting board will streamline your cooking prep, help you organize your ingredients, and minimize cleanup. A sharp knife pairs nicely with your larger cutting board, and there is no need lay out a sizeable sum for professional knives. Find an affordable options with a sharpener and start slicing and dicing!

If you are to invest in anything, a heavy skillet will guarantee you an impeccable sear and will cook your food evenly. Look for a skillet made from cast iron, stainless steel, or enameled cast iron to ensure incredible high-temperature cooking. Another welcome addition is a versatile sheet tray, preferably one with rolled edges that prevents warping over time. Sheet trays are perfect for everything from baking and roasting to dry-brining proteins.

The cooking process begins with carefully reviewing the recipe. As you work through the recipe, focus on visual, auditory and olfactory cues rather than timing. While swapping ingredients can impede baking results, savory cooking can accommodate substitutions, such as switching root vegetables or hearty greens.

Finally, make sure to taste your food at each stage! This is the optimal way to make sure your food is seasoned well, and will enable you to correct mishaps and save your dish.

Best of luck with your cooking journey! Remember to be patient and kind to yourself, and to share your delectable dishes with loved ones.

Strava Releases 2023 “Year in Sport: The Trend Report,” Revealing Workout Motivation in Different Generations  

Strava, a digital platform with a community of over 120 million athletes, released its, “Year In Sport: The Trend Report.” The report surveyed 6,990 individuals, both in and out of Strava’s community, and provided insights into the exercise habits of people across different generations as well as observations on the evolving workout trends for the year 2024. Gen Z was found to stand out with differing habits, motivators, obstacles and interests when approaching physical activity.

One prominent takeaway from the report is the importance of social connection as a primary motivator for exercise. This appeared as a cross-generational response, but was particularly notable for Gen Z with 77% responding that they a stronger bond to seeing friends and family’s activities on Strava. Gen Z is also 29% more likely than Millennials to exercise with another person.

The report highlights Gen Z’s distinct exercise behaviors; they are 31% less likely than Millenials or Gen X to work out because of health concerns and more likely to pursue athletic performance. While 39% of Gen Z Strava users started a new job and 30% relocated in 2023, they were still 32% more likely than other generations to say they’re in better shape than last year.

Zipporah Allen, Chief Business Officer at Strava, notes the impact of Gen Z’s values of community, activism, and connection in an increasingly digital world: “Over the past year, we’ve seen Gen Z as the primary source of community growth through new clubs on Strava. They’ve also contributed to the increase in sports, like running, despite having the most barriers to staying consistent. This shows exercise will be a central value for this generation, which is why they’re already turning to Strava as the key platform to stay motivated and connected.”

Reading Recommendations for 2024

Book lovers are always looking for more recommendations – and there are certainly many places to get those ideas. If you’re resolved to enjoy more literature in 2024 than you might have in 2023, here are some ideas.

  1. Goodreads: Goodreads is a great resource where people share their favorite book titles and write reviews of books that they have read. They have a yearly contest as well for their collective favorite books, and this list could be a nice place to start for 2024. The contest is broken into many categories including fiction, historical fiction, romance, best new writer, etc.
  2. CNN book list recommendation: This is a fun list that includes a smattering of suggestions from musicians, authors, photographers, film directors and even a Miss Universe. It’s worth a peek.
  3. Social media: There are many accounts across social media platforms that people have exclusively dedicated to their love of reading. TikTok has a section called BookTok where people post short videos about their love of books. Instagram has Bookstagram and other social channels have similar locations for book lovers to talk and share.

Whatever type of reading you enjoy, and however you want to learn more about reading, you’ll find great suggestions for the coming year. Expand your horizons with a book and get reading now!