view from the top with the acropolis in the background // image © adam alexopoulos
Located in the heart of athens, a small street within the monastiraki area is host to a lighting installation by inviting users to donate their old luminaires, fixtures and lamp shades in order to transform the abandoned street of central Athens into a homely space.
opening night // image © aris kamarotos
An abandoned shop was temporarily transformed into an open workspace for people to gather, observe and participate in the development of the project. A process of repairing, testing and waterproofing the lamps engaged volunteers that, in collaboration with greek creative studio beforelight, prepared more then 150 lamps to create a colorful ceiling over the street.
close-up to hanging lights // image © beforelight
I spotted these two wonderful and well made bamboo pieces through a store window in Manhattan.
Actually, the bicycle was hanging upside down from the ceiling.
Greenpeace climbers hung a banner on Mount Rushmore challenging President Obama to show real leadership on global warming.
A transparent thin film barrier used to protect flat panel TVs from moisture could become the basis for flexible solar panels that would be installed on roofs like shingles.
The flexible rooftop solar panels - called building-integrated photovoltaics, or BIPVs - could replace today's boxy solar panels that are made with rigid glass or silicon and mounted on thick metal frames. The flexible solar shingles would be less expensive to install than current panels and made to last 25 years.
"There's a lot of wasted space on rooftops that could actually be used to generate power," said Mark Gross, a senior scientist at the Department of Energy's Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. "Flexible solar panels could easily become integrated into the architecture of commercial buildings and homes. Solar panels have had limited success because they've been difficult and expensive to install."
They look more like the brightly lit shelves of a chemists shop than the rows of a vegetable garden.
But according to their creators, these perfect looking vegetables could be the future of food.
In a perfectly controlled and totally sterile environment - uncontaminated by dirt, insects or fresh air - Japanese scientists are developing a new way of growing vegetables.
Called plant factories, these anonymous looking warehouses have sprung up across the country and can churn out immaculate looking lettuces and green leaves 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Every part of the plant's environment is controlled - from the lighting and temperature, to the humidity and water. Even the levels of carbon dioxide can be minutely altered.
Rather than the conventional scruffy clothes and dirty fingernails of vegetable growers, the producers wear gloves, surgical masks and sort of dust proof protective suits normally seen in chemical plants.
The wasteful practice of finning — slicing off a shark's valuable fins for soup and tossing the body back to sea — must be stopped.
Please send the message below to your senators urging them to vote "YES" on The Shark Conservation Act of 2009 that will close current loopholes to stop the practice while revitalizing shark conservation efforts on a global scale.
Did you know that Americans could save more than 400,000 trees if each family replaced just one roll of virgin toilet paper in their home with a roll of recycled toilet paper?
Recycled tissue products help protect ancient forests, clean water, and wildlife habitat. Simply put, it’s easier on the Earth to make tissues from paper instead of trees. And now you can find tissues and other paper products that are gentle on the Earth with the Greenpeace Recycled Tissue and Toilet Paper Guide iPhone app!
There are lots of brands of paper products to choose from. The Greenpeace Recycled Tissue and Toilet Paper Guide makes it quick and easy to find out which brands of facial tissues, toilet paper, paper towels, and napkins are truly green and which should be avoided. Greenpeace’s experts have carefully evaluated over 100 brands and recommended those that: contain 100% overall recycled content; contain at least 50% post-consumer recycled content; and are bleached without toxic chlorine compounds.
When you’re doing your grocery shopping or just stopping by the corner store to grab a roll of toilet paper, this app can help you make an informed decision as both a consumer and someone concerned about the world’s ancient forests.
** Don’t flush forests! Buy recycled! **
You've heard of the chain gang, now here's the bike chain; a modular system that let's you link up or ride solo, electric-style.
Featured Project : go with me
L'Oreal brews up slurry-powered hair dye. Cow power to provide energy for beauty giant's Belgium factory
As one of the world's leading manufacturers of sweet-smelling cosmetics, L'Oreal is hardly the first company you would associate with manure, but that could be about to change for one of the company's factories in Belgium.
Later this summer, the Libramont plant, which mainly produces haircare products, will complete work on an anaerobic digestion system that aims to capture methane from waste biomass and burn it to generate electricity and heat for the site.
Speaking to BusinessGreen.com, Pierre Simoncelli, director for sustainable development at the company, said that the factory was situated in a cattle-farming area that would provide the slurry to power the new technology.
"We plan to start by using a mixture of organic waste and corn, but we should then be able to switch fairly quickly to just using organic waste," he explained, adding that the biomass power system should provide enough energy for 85 per cent of the factories' current requirements.
Full Article: http://www.businessgreen.com
Cow dung isn't usually thought of as house-building material, but a team of students from Prasetiya Mulya Business School in Indonesia have managed to build high-quality, low-cost bricks from the stuff. The team's invention, dubbed "EcoFaeBrick", won the $25,000 top prize at the University of California, Berkeley's Global Social Venture Competition.
EcoFaeBrick is meant for developing regions in Indonesia, where cow dung is plentiful but traditional brick-making materials like firewood and clay are not. According to the Prasetiya team, the EcoFaeBrick is 20% lighter than a clay brick and 20% stronger in compressive strength. Unlike firewood, cow dung is completely renewable--as long as there are cows roaming around. By using cow dung instead of firewood 1,692 tons of CO2 are saved. And replacing clay with the poop prevents the massive damage to the land that comes with clay excavation.
Full Article: http://www.fastcompany.com/
This is ChargePoint, an electrical plug-in station that’s powered and monitored through a smart network. It was developed by Coulomb Technologies, who recently teamed up with Carbon Day Automotive to add a new little twist. Coulomb and CDA coupled the ChargePoint with a solar photovoltaic array to create one of the nation’s first Solar Plug-in Stations. These pictures show a Solar Plug-in Station provided for the City of Chicago. You may be interested in knowing that this Solar Plug-in Station was designed by Chicago’s own Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture (you know, the Eco-Bridge and Clean Technology Tower).
Full Article: http://www.jetsongreen.com
Leading scientists are to receive a substantial cash injection to help them investigate the decline of the British honeybee.
Up to £8m will be made available for research into bees by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC), the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC), the Wellcome Trust and the Scottish government. The new funding is in addition to the £2m announced earlier this year by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) to help bee research. The funding increase marks a significant rise in government spending on bee health, which previously amounted to £1.2m annually in the UK, with the vast majority spent on bee inspectors.
Bee numbers in the UK have fallen 15-30% in the last two years, mirroring steep declines and empty hives witnessed in the US, mainland Europe and elsewhere. Honeybees are vital insect pollinators, responsible for the healthy development of many of the world's major food crops.
Full Article : http://www.guardian.co.uk
Japan's Yamaha Motor Co. has developed a golf cart that runs on methane made from cow dung. In preparation for commercial production, in October 2008, the company began testing the cart on a golf course in Katori, Chiba Prefecture. Osaka Gas Co. provided the methane at a low cost for the vehicle tests, as part of its efforts to promote the use of cow-dung biomass as a low-cost fuel.
To make methane usable as a vehicle fuel, both a methane refining system and a high-pressure gas-filling system are required, among other things, which come at high cost. As a fix, Osaka Gas developed activated carbon capable of absorbing methane at low pressure. When methane is put into the gas tank filled with this type of carbon -- under a pressure of around one megapascal (equivalent to the pressure at a depth of 100 meters under water) -- the tank can hold around 30 times the tank's volume of methane, thereby eliminating the need for high-pressure filling.
In Katori, there is a place called "Biomass Town," where citizens promote the use of cow dung for local biofuel, and it was here that the city looked for users of dung-derived methane. After consulting with the city, Yamaha Motor found a golf course in the vicinity willing to participate and began studying the possibility of using methane in golf carts, which travel relatively regular distances and are not driven at high speeds. This testing has led to the development of a golf cart powered by the locally produced biomass.
AU (KDDI) and Sharp will soon propose in Japan a new mobile phone featuring a solar panel embedded in its lid that recharges your phone on the go. Leaving your phone in direct sunlight for up to 10 minutes will give up to 1 minute of communication or 2hrs on standby. It's also waterproof.
Concrete block made with hemp in France
Hemp (from Old English hænep, see cannabis (etymology)) is the common name for plants of the entire genus Cannabis, although the term is often used to refer only to Cannabis strains cultivated for industrial (non-drug) use.
Industrial hemp has many uses, including paper, textiles, biodegradable plastics, construction, health food, and fuel. It is one of the fastest growing biomasses known, and one of the earliest domesticated plants known. It also runs parallel with the "Green Future" objectives that are becoming increasingly popular. Hemp requires little to no pesticides, no herbicides, controls erosion of the topsoil, and produces oxygen. Furthermore, hemp can be used to replace many potentially harmful products, such as tree paper (the processing of which uses chlorine bleach, which results in the waste product polychlorinated dibensodioxins, popularly known as dioxins, which are carcinogenic, and contribute to deforestation), cosmetics, and plastics, most of which are petroleum-based and do not decompose easily. The strongest chemical needed to whiten the already light hemp paper is non-toxic hydrogen peroxide.
Read More from WIKIPEDIA
PS. I CAN NOT BELIEVE THAT THIS PLANT is STILL ILLEGAL.
WHO MAKE MONEY OUT OF THIS?
KEEP HEMP ILLEGAL DOES NOT MAKE SENSE ANYMORE.
University researchers in Japan and India say they have developed a battery that uses nanotechnology to make it thinner than a piece of paper.
The one-micron thick, 5.2-volt batteries are expected to combine high energy density with thin film technology.
The resulting technology could be used to power cell phones, laptops, or other devices.
The work is the result of a joint research project of the Kalasalingam University in Krishnankovil, India; the Indian Institute of Technology in Mumbai; and IMRAM Tohoku University in Japan. India’s Department of Science and Technology assisted.
Kalasalingam University’s G. Hirankumar brought optimized cathode materials to Tohoku University’s laboratories for three months of joint development. Research is ongoing.
The thin-film battery market is expected to reach 10 billion units, or $11 billion, by 2012, according to a report by Wintergreen Research in 2006.
Companies seeking to develop thin-film batteries include Littleton, Colo.-based Infinite Power Solutions and Orlando, Fla.-based Planar Energy Devices (see Infinite Power raises $13M to ramp thin-film batteries and Planar Energy plans battery line for 2009).
Be part of this historic event.
March 28, 2009, 8:30 pm local time
World Wildlife Fund is asking individuals, businesses, governments and organizations around the world to turn off their lights for one hour – Earth Hour – to make a global statement of concern about climate change and to demonstrate commitment to finding solutions.
The phenomenon of light emission by living organisms, bioluminescence, is quite common, especially in marine species. It is known that light is generated by chemical reactions in which oxygen molecules play an important part.
In the animal world, these chemical reactions take place in special luminescent cells called photocytes.
These are aggregated into complex light organs, in which the intensity of light is regulated by nerve impulses, and in which light can be modulated with the help of reflectors, lenses and filters.
By these means, organisms can adjust the wavelength, diffusion and intensity of light according to need. But the exact mechanisms behind these processes remain shrouded in mystery.
Jenny Krönström, a researcher at the Department of Zoology of the University of Gothenburg has put another piece of the jigsaw puzzle in place by investigating the light organs of marine jellyfish, crustaceans and fish. In her thesis she reveals that krill, the luminescent crustacean, is equipped with special muscles that regulate light intensity through contraction and relaxation.
Read Full article:
Which fibers and fabrics are more sustainable than others is always open for debate. Bamboo's eco-friendly positioning in the market has been centered on its properties as 1) a natural (that is, nonsynthetic) fiber, 2) a quick-growth plant (it's in the grass family) that sequesters greenhouse gases, and 3) a renewable plant that can grow back after its three to five year harvesting period. It largely doesn't need chemicals, pesticides, or fertilizers, but studies show that clearing land to grow it in monocultures can adversely affect the soil and habitat of an area.
Read full article: http://planetgreen.discovery.com
Kaia Bamboo Facial Cleansing Cloths are a brilliant, quick cleansing solution that removes all traces of makeup, daily grime & buildup. Three products in one cloth, these are great for eye makeup removal, facial cleansing & toning. Infused with 8 pure citrus essential oils, organic Canadian honey, sunflower seed oil & oat amino acids. Leaves skin feeling velvety soft, non-irritated, no sticky residue & no need to rinse with water. Made from sustainable bamboo, cashmere soft, unbleached, biodegradable and recyclable. Use anywhere & anytime you need them.
A ‘cage’ of bamboo columns wraps around the building. Public circulation and verandahs occupy the interstitial spaces between the external bamboo columns and the internal mass. The large covered verandahs and the relatively narrow width of the building envelope allow for comfortably ventilated and shaded semi-indoor spaces. The bamboo enclosure creates a dialogue between the interior and the dramatically changing landscape. The natural landscape changes from a dense brightly green coloured jungle-like forest during the monsoon months to a pale brown shrubby wasteland during the dry and hot summer months. The building has to respond to these extreme conditions by allowing enough shade and breeze during the summer and providing a waterproof indoor environment during the stormy monsoons. The screen of columns creates an ever-changing pattern of light and shadow throughout the seasons and times of the day, making the building a ‘sensor’ of light.
Organic farming was among the fastest growing segments of U.S. agriculture during the 1990s. The value of retail sales of organic food was estimated to be more than $20 billion in 2005. And, according to the Food Marketing Institute, more than half of Americans now buy organic food at least once a month. Why is organic food becoming so popular?
Jatropha curcas, Barbados nut or Physic nut is a perennial poisonous shrub normally up to 5 m high belonging to the Euphorbiaceae or spurge family. It is an uncultivated non-food wild-species.
The plant, originating in Central America, whereas it has been spread to other tropical and subtropical countries as well and is mainly grown in Asia and in Africa, where it is known as Pourghère. It is used as a living fence to protect gardens and fields from animals.
It is resistant to a high degree of aridity it can be planted even in the desert and as such does not compete with food crops.
The seeds contain 30% oil that can be processed to produce a high-quality biodiesel fuel, usable in a standard diesel engine.
Cultivation is uncomplicated. Jatropha curcas grows in tropical and subtropical regions. The plant can grow in wastelands and grows on almost any terrain, even on gravelly, sandy and saline soils. It can thrive on the poorest stony soil and grow in the crevices of rocks. Complete germination is achieved within 9 days. Adding manure during the germination has negative effects during that phase, but is favorable if applied after germination is achieved. It is usually propagated by cuttings as this yields faster results than multiplication by seeds. The flowers only develop terminally (at the end of a stem), so a good ramification (plants presenting many branches) produces the greatest amount of fruits. Another productivity factor is the ratio between female and male flowers within an inflorescence (usually about 1 female to 10 male flowers - more female flowers mean more fruits . Jatropha curcas thrives on a mere 250 mm (10 in) of rain a year, and only during its first two years does it need to be watered in the closing days of the dry season. Ploughing and planting are not needed regularly, as this shrub has a life expectancy of approximately forty years. The use of pesticides and other polluting substances are not necessary, due to the pesticidal and fungicidal properties of the plant.
Ok, Now why we still using corn field to make ethanol fuel?
The new Times Square New Year’s Eve Ball is a 12 foot geodesic sphere, double the size of previous Balls, and weighs 11,875 pounds. Covered in 2,668 Waterford Crystals and powered by 32,256 Philips Luxeon Rebel LEDS, the new Ball is capable of creating a palette of more than 16 million vibrant colors and billions of patterns producing a spectacular kaleidoscope effect atop One Times Square.
Here is an infrastructure investment America should consider: an Envac waste disposal system. Instead of filling our streets with garbage bags and waiting for trucks to pick them up, many European cities (they invest in infrastructure that isn't for cars there) are trying out these clever underground vacuum systems. Garbage is separated into "fractions"- paper, organics, or other garbage, deposited in chutes where it is held until a computer opens the gate at the bottom of the tube and sucks a particular fraction down the pipe to a processing center. The result? "...A drastic reduction of road transportation of waste, improved hygiene and enhanced occupational health and safety standards." And better looking and smelling cities.
LAGO AGRIO, Ecuador — When the sun beats particularly hot on this land in the middle of the jungle, the roads sweat petroleum. A Rhode Island-sized expanse of what was once pristine Amazon rainforest is crisscrossed with oil wells and pipeline grids built by Texaco Inc. a generation ago.
And for the past 15 years, a class-action lawsuit has been winding its way through the courts on behalf of the more than 125,000 people who drink, bathe, fish and wash their clothes in tainted headwaters of the Amazon River.
Now a single judge is expected to rule in the case in 2009 from a ramshackle courtroom in this northern frontier town. Statements from a court-appointed expert suggest Chevron Corp. – which bought Texaco in 2001 – will be held responsible for the many oil spills and dumping of wastewater. If Chevron loses, it could be ordered to pay up to $27.3 billion in damages, though an appeal would be likely.
A "revolution" in the way we illuminate our world is imminent, according to a paper published this week by two professors at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.
Innovations in photonics and solid state lighting will lead to trillions of dollars in cost savings, along with a massive reduction in the amount of energy required to light homes and businesses around the globe, the researchers forecast.
A new generation of lighting devices based on light-emitting diodes (LEDs) will supplant the common light bulb in coming years, the paper suggests. In addition to the environmental and cost benefits of LEDs, the technology is expected to enable a wide range of advances in areas as diverse as healthcare, transportation systems, digital displays, and computer networking.
BASF and Osram announced that:
A big step towards energy-saving OLED lighting with efficiency of more than 60 lm/W.
International standard for white color requirements met BASF and Osram Opto Semiconductors have developed a highly efficient white organic light-emitting diode (OLED): for the first time an OLED not only is able to achieve a light yield of over 60 lumens per watt (lm/W), but also, at the same time, meets the international Energy Star SSL Standard with regard to color requirements. Lighting efficiency on this scale had been achieved previously. Lighting efficiency describes the ratio of luminous flux given off by a lamp to the amount of power consumed; the greater the yield, the less energy is lost. However, up until now the color values of OLEDs have not been within the acceptable band for color coordinates around the Planck curve, as defined by the Energy Star SSL Standard.
The color values of the new OLED are within this band – its light retains the white color at different levels of intensity.
Homeowners battling rising energy bills can now keep an eye on their electricity consumption with a high-tech flower that wilts when too many appliances are left on.
The blooming gadget connects wirelessly to the home's electricity meter and changes colour and shape depending on the amount of electricity used.
When electricity use is low the flower glows a healthy greenish-blue and stands tall and open.
The European Union is considering a ban on trade in seal products. Ten countries have already ended their trade in seal products or announced their plans to do so. By closing down markets for seal products, we can ensure no more seals are clubbed or shot for their fur.
I hope you'll sign a petition in support of an EU ban on trade in seal products. It will only take a minute. Thank you for joining me in working to end cruel seal hunts.
Single-seat bamboo-made electrical car "BamGoo" is displayed in Kyoto city, western Japan, Sunday, Nov. 2, 2008. The 60-kg ecologically-friendly concept car is developed by the city and the Kyoto University, featuring local bamboo ware technology. The car can run for some 50 kilometers (30 miles) on a charge.
Estimated Curb Weight 1,290 lbs
Estimated GVW 2,200 lbs
Estimated Payload Capacity 910 lbs
Turning Circle 32 ft
Range Up to 30 miles
Top Speed (High Mode) 25 mph
Top Speed (Low Mode) 15 mph
• Six 12-volt flooded electrolyte batteries with the option
of six 12-volt maintenance-free batteries
• 72-volt battery system with onboard charger
• One-year limited warranty
• Dual A-arm front suspension with coil over shock
• Welded aluminum space-frame using custom
• Front-wheel drive with speed reducer
and integral differential
• Solid-state custom motor controller
with under and over voltage detector
• Regenerative braking, motor thermal protection
and top speed regulation
• Rack-and-pinion steering
"For most of Australia’s human history -- around 60,000 years -- kangaroo was the main source of meat. It could again become important," says the final report of the Garnaut Climate Change Review, released on Sep.30.
Professor Ross Garnaut, an economist, was commissioned by Australian governments last year to study the impacts of climate change on the country’s economy. His latest offering argues that with cattle and sheep being large emitters of methane -- a greenhouse gas (GhG) -- a shift in diet to a less polluting source of meat remains an option to help reduce emissions.
Every time I read news about how messy my former country is, well I’m being sad. Sad, because the Italian Government has been destroy one of the most wonderful country in the world, and guess what Italians are NUMB. From any angle, you look at this country there is nothing to be proud of it anymore. This is the last issue that Greenpeace has been fight for.
Coal is the most polluting of all fossil fuels. A third of all CO2 emissions come from coal and, if we don't stop using it, these will increase to 60 percent by 2030. Coal is the single greatest threat facing our climate and Europe needs to end its outdated dependency on it.
The Civitavecchia power plant will increase Italy’s CO2 emissions at a time when they should be reducing them. Plants like this will derail the Italian effort to meet the Kyoto target.
The good news!
The Italian government was attempting to block important climate change agreements being discussed by the EU, but the good news is that they have failed! At the end of two days of heated talks in Brussels, EU leaders confirmed their commitment to finalise the climate and energy package before international climate negotiations take place in December.
From its extraction through sale, use and disposal, all the stuff in our lives affects communities at home and abroad, yet most of this is hidden from view. The Story of Stuff is a 20-minute, fast-paced, fact-filled look at the underside of our production and consumption patterns. The Story of Stuff exposes the connections between a huge number of environmental and social issues, and calls us together to create a more sustainable and just world. It'll teach you something, it'll make you laugh, and it just may change the way you look at all the stuff in your life forever.
This video simply show us how our system is frankly FUCKED UP.
Lighten Up is an illuminating exploration of 64 switched-on domestic lighting solutions from the UK. The quest for sustainability is driving the evolution of new technologies, aesthetics, materials and interactions. Shedding light on the stories behind the products, Lighten Up offers insight and inspiration for the next generation of lighting.
September 23 this year marks an unfortunate milestone: the day humanity will have used all the resources nature will generate this year, according to Global Footprint Network data. Earth Overshoot Day marks the day when humanity beings living beyond its ecological means. Beyond that day, we move into the ecological equivalent of deficit spending, utilizing resources at a rate faster than what the planet can regenerate in a calendar year.
Globally, we now now require the equivalent of 1.4 planets to support our lifestyles. But of course, we only have one Earth. The result is that our supply of natural resources -- like trees and fish -- continues to shrink, while our waste, primarily carbon dioxide, accumulates.
A Giorgio ma che mi combini. Ancora co ste` pellicce. E daje una chiusa no?
Mr. Armani what`s wrong with you. You should stop to use fur for fashion.
Criss-crossing green and red lines color the New York City Cycling Map in Brooklyn, revealing an extended network of bike paths and lanes designed to make traveling on two wheels safer.
But in Queens, the Cycling Map shows few green and red lines - and those that are marked almost never mingle.
By the end of the year, Brooklyn will have 107 miles of bike lanes compared to 76 in Queens, city records show.
The discrepancy has led advocates and hard-core cyclists to complain that the borough is underserved in relation to its to neighbor to the south, particularly when it comes to the interconnectedness of Brooklyn's bike lanes.
VentureBeat reports that PowerGenix has developed a nickel zinc (NiZn) battery that has 35 percent higher power and energy density than a nickel metal hydride (NiMH) battery (used in hybrid vehicles), but is half the cost of a lithium-ion battery.
This is great news for scooter fanatics, who right now are forced to choose between cheap scooters with lead-acid batteries and expensive scooters with powerful lithium-ion batteries.
Make your life paperless. Make Paper History.
The latest town to get them is Anchorage, Alaska. The municipality, along with Cree, Inc, a maker of LED lights, are planning to change 16,000 municipal roadway lights with high-efficiency LED fixtures (about 1/4 of total streetlights).
Bigger Benefits Up North
Because Anchorage has 85 days a year with less than 8 hours of daylight, any benefit over the tradition lighting architecture are compounded. Read on for technical benefits of LED streetlights.
Benefits of LED streetlights
The LED fixtures are expected to use 50% less energy than current streetlights, which could save the city $360,000 per year at the current energy prices. The cost of the project is 2.2 million dollars. "The LED fixtures, based on performance-leading Cree XLamp(r) LEDs, typically last up to seven times longer than high-pressure sodium fixtures, allowing Anchorage to better utilize maintenance resources." And the quality of light should also be better, though people will need to get used to it at first.
Foster + Partners presented designs for a new waterfront development in Rimini. Revealed at a public presentation to the City last week, the proposal is designed to strengthen the relationship between the town centre and the seafront and to create a year-round attraction for an international tourist industry.
The scheme comprises a new seafront promenade with a mix of related activities and public spaces including a hotel tower, which will extend Rimini’s historic beach culture and continue the existing urban grain. The project celebrates Rimini’s tradition of green boulevards, best characterised by the Via Vespuci. The waterfront will be pedestrianised at certain times and will link directly to a linear public park – or green spine – which will provide much needed shade during the hotter months. This currently links the seafront to the historic city and will be enhanced with improved connections to the new promenade area.
A new hotel tower includes space for a Fellini film museum at its base. Its curving form anchors the wider project, while the building extends out to sea along a new 300m long pier, continuing the dialogue between the city and the water and referring to Rimini’s tradition of piers.
The scheme will use new technologies, such as rainwater collection and photovoltaics, to establish a long-term, sustainable commercial and environmental strategy for the town that is balanced with its rejuvenation in the short-term.
TED is a simple, yet extremely accurate, home energy monitor that allows you to see electricity usage in real-time. You no longer have to wait for the 'electricity bill surprise'! TED will accurately tell you what your bill is going to be long before the electric bill arrives. Meanwhile, you will learn more about conserving energy, saving money, and helping save the environment.
With its two-second reaction time, TED provides immediate feedback on energy usage. For you, that means no surprises. You can see what you're spending on electricity each second, as well as what you've spent so far today or so far this month.
BAGHDAD -- In a city with constant electricity shortages but no lack of sunshine, the new buzz is solar energy.
Teams of engineers have appeared along major Baghdad roadways, bolting panels and bulbs to rows of towering steel poles to make solar-powered streetlights.
"We are lighting up the city with solar power," Sajad Hussein declared when queried by curious residents. "People say it is a gift from God."
Surging oil prices have fueled interest in solar power and other renewable energy sources in California and across the United States, where pressure also is building to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to fend off global warming.
Future generations may never have a sweet tooth to feed. John Mason, the executive director and founder of the Ghana based organization Nature Conversation Research Council (NCRC) believes that in 20 years times, chocolate will be much like caviar today.
"[Chocolate] will become so rare and so expensive that the average joe won't be able to afford it."
This fate of chocolate is terrifying news for two parties. The chocoholics of the world, but more importantly the producer countries that depend greatly on the sale of the cocoa beans as a portion of their GDP.
The main cause for the decline in cocoa bean growth is unsustainable farming in Ghana and other nations known for their cocoa plants. Also cocoa is naturally a rainforest plant that grows in shady conditions surrounded by a high biodiversity, until recently. Now, hybrid varieties have been grown on cleared land as mono-cultures and in full sun.
Although this hybrid seeds fills the demand for the short term, the soil quickly becomes degraded and the lifespan of plants can be cut from 75 or 100 years, to 30 or less. When the trees die and the land is exhausted, farmers must move on and clear more rainforest to plant cocoa.
The decline in West African cocoa is not only a problem for farmers and chocolate producers, one of which is Cadbury who uses 100 percent of West African cocoa beans to produce their chocolate, but environmentalists are increasingly concerned about the destruction of the rainforest for short-term gain.
The motion starved environments we live in are the antithesis of our being. Perhaps the most primal of all human function is locomotion. We need to move more!
Our concept encapsulates a new typology for the contemporary urban gym. It is intended to challenge our innate proprioceptive and multi-planer locomotive abilities while synchronously altering the surroundings. The River Gym will fulfill one of the major contemporary fitness goals of “functional training”. This training protocol will exploit the inherent disequilibrium of floatation devices. Often the average urbanite exercising at the gym performs controlled repetitive single plane movements using industrial fitness equipment. All of this energy is summarily dissipated and ultimately exhausted for the sake of a single individual’s wellbeing. Other potentials exist to harness this vast human expenditure of caloric energy. Why not have the simple transfer of this workout vigor supply New York with needed supplemental transport and amenities? How can we extend and capitalize on this untapped group potential? Into what form will this new kind of gym evolve?
From The Economist print edition
Environmental technology: Desalination turns salty water into fresh water. As concern over water’s scarcity grows, can it offer a quick technological fix?
THERE are vast amounts of water on earth.
Unfortunately, over 97% of it is too salty for human consumption and only a fraction of the remainder is easily accessible in rivers, lakes or groundwater. Climate change, droughts, growing population and increasing industrial demand are straining the available supplies of fresh water. More than 1 billion people live in areas where water is scarce, according to the United Nations, and that number could increase to 1.8 billion by 2025.
One time-tested but expensive way to produce drinking water is desalination: removing dissolved salts from sea and brackish water. Its appeal is obvious. The world’s oceans, in particular, present a virtually limitless and drought-proof supply of water. “If we could ever competitively—at a cheap rate—get fresh water from salt water,” observed President John Kennedy nearly 50 years ago, “that would be in the long-range interest of humanity, and would really dwarf any other scientific accomplishment.”
Argentine scientists are taking a novel approach to studying global warming -- strapping plastic tanks to the backs of cows to collect their burps.
Researchers say the slow digestive system of cows makes them a producer of methane, a potent greenhouse gas that gets far less public attention than carbon dioxide in efforts to fight global warming.
Scientists around the world are studying the amount of methane in cow burps and Argentine researchers say they have come up with a unique way.
Attaching a red plastic tank to a cow's back and connecting it through a tube to the animal's stomach, scientists say they can trap bovine burps and analyze them.
Tags: Cow, Argentina
How safe are eggs?
The risk of getting a foodborne illness from eggs is very low. However, the nutrients that make eggs a high-quality food for humans are also a good growth medium for bacteria. In addition to food, bacteria also need moisture, a favorable temperature and time in order to multiply and increase the risk of illness. In the rare event that an egg contains bacteria, you can reduce the risk by proper chilling and eliminate it by proper cooking. When you handle eggs with care, they pose no greater food-safety risk than any other perishable food.
The inside of an egg was once considered almost sterile. But, over recent years, the bacterium Salmonella enteritidis (Se) has been found inside a small number of eggs. Scientists estimate that, on average across the U.S., only 1 of every 20,000 eggs might contain the bacteria. So, the likelihood that an egg might contain Se is extremely small – 0.005% (five one-thousandths of one percent). At this rate, if you’re an average consumer, you might encounter a contaminated egg once every 84 years.
Other types of microorganisms could be deposited along with dirt on the outside of an egg. So, in the U.S., eggshells are washed and sanitized to remove possible hazards. You can further protect yourself and your family by discarding eggs that are unclean, cracked, broken or leaking and making sure you and your family members use good hygiene practices, including properly washing your hands and keeping them clean.
Bamboo timber can be harvested every year after 7 years, compared to 30 to 50 years for trees. With 10-30% annual increase in biomass versus 2-5% for trees, bamboo can yield 20 times more timber than trees on the same area. Bamboo can be selectively harvested annually and regenerates without replanting.
Bamboo generates 30% more oxygen than trees. It helps reduce carbon dioxide gases blamed for global warming. Some bamboo sequesters up to 12 tons of carbon dioxide per hectare, which makes it an efficient replenisher of fresh air.
Bamboo is a natural water control barrier. Because of its wide spread root system and large canopy, bamboo greatly reduces rain run off, prevents massive soil erosion and keeps twice as much water in the watershed. Bamboo helps mitigate water pollution due to its high nitrogen consumption, making it a solution for excess nutrient uptake of waste water from manufacturing, livestock farming and sewage treatment.
With expanded and tougher criteria on toxic chemicals, electronic waste and new criteria on climate change only Sony and Sony Ericsson score more than 5/10 in our latest Guide to Greener Electronics. Nintendo and Microsoft remain rooted to the bottom of the Guide.
The Greener Electronics Guide is our way of getting the electronics industry to face up to the problem of e-waste. We want manufacturers to get rid of harmful chemicals in their products. We want to see an end to the stories of unprotected child laborers scavenging mountains of cast-off gadgets created by society's gizmo-loving ways.
Junichi Sato and Toru Suzuki are charged with stealing a box of whale meat which they presented as evidence of a whale meat smuggling operation. The activists requested a Japanese government investigation into the scandal, and the Tokyo public prosecutor agreed there was sufficient evidence of wrongdoing. His investigation has now concluded. The only persons charged are the Greenpeace activists who presented the evidence.
Our activists are innocent of any crime. They have been arrested for returning whale meat that was stolen from Japanese taxpayers, and exposing a fraud that may reach high into the Japanese government agencies that run the whaling programme.
Please write to the Japanese Prime Minister and Foreign Minister and demand the activists’ immediate release.
Japanese company Genepax presents its eco-friendly car that runs on nothing but water. The car has an energy generator that extracts hydrogen from water that is poured into the car's tank. The generator then releases electrons that produce electric power to run the car. Genepax, the company that invented the technology, aims to collaborate with Japanese manufacturers to mass produce it.
SOUNDBITE: Kiyoshi Hirasawa, CEO, Genepax.
“I have a dream, banning by 2012 fossil fuel cars from the roads all over the world.”
This Light Electric Vehicle offers the fun of a bike with the power of an electric motor, all wrapped up in a quiet riding and decidedly stylish design. It's perfect for those who want an economic transportation solution that is good for the environment and good for the soul.
Designed for urban or suburban commutes, this Light Electric Vehicle offers lightweight aluminum construction with full suspension. Add in its comfortable,oversized seat and you have a powerful ride that's easy to handle.
When you don't feel like pedaling, the A2B offers unassisted power on demand for up to 20 miles at a cruising speed of 20mph. Plus, the A2B can be easily upgraded to double its range to 40 miles with the addition of a secondary battery pack and increase its carrying capacity with the addition of baskets and rear carrier bags.
Bamboo Worms are tasty insect snack that are high in protien, fibre and low in fat. It is one of the most popular edible Thai insects an enjoyed by people nation wide. The taste and texture is similar to corn puff snacks, however bamboo worms are high in protien.
These farm bred bamboo worms have been fried, slow roasted and then tossed in a tasty BBQ powder. Great taste! (Shelf life 2 years)
Campaign for the Government of Catalunya to keep the Mediterranean Sea clean by Klas Ernflo.
By HANNAH FAIRFIELD- New York Times
It's gone before you even knew it was there: As energy is unlocked from fuels at power plants, two-thirds of the energy consumed to create electricity is lost.
The laws of thermodynamics dictate that conversion efficiency will never be 100 percent, because heat is lost at every step of the conversion process. But new technologies may be able to greatly increase conversion efficiency, moving from an overall rate of 36 percent to closer to 50 percent.
At present, coal — in all its carbon-belching inefficiency — is king because it's cheap. Still, the use of natural gas to create electricity has been rising rapidly, in part because of more-efficient gas turbines."High fossil fuel prices will drive technology and innovation, because they respond to price signals," said Frank A. Wolak, an economist at Stanford. "Technology can improve efficiency by working the margin, gaining 10 to 15 percent. That's money."
Adding a carbon tax or regulating carbon trading could also change price incentives, increasing demand for nuclear and renewable energy sources.
"Once the cost of burning fossil fuels doubles, the renewable energy options begin to look really good," said Jon G. McGowan, a mechanical engineer at the University of Massachusetts.
Sapphire Energy has built a revolutionary platform that uses photosynthetic microorganisms to produce a renewable, high-value replacement for fossil fuel petroleum. This domestic crude oil requires only sunlight, CO2 and non-potable water – and can be produced at massive scale on non-arable land.
Sapphire’s technology and team of renowned experts give the company the unique ability to scale biological systems and produce transportation fuels, including high-octane gasoline, to ASTM certification standards.
The company’s final products will have the same chemical composition as gasoline and will be completely compatible with the existing refining, distribution and fleet infrastructure.
Not ethanol, not biodiesel. Renewable gasoline.
DUSSELDORF is not well-endowed with nostalgic charm, and soon may be shorter of it still. The 17,000 or so gas lamps that still bathe the streets of the old centre in their glow are on their way out. The German city's municipal power utility plans to replace about 10,000 of them with a technology that is cheaper to operate but so modern that only a handful of cities have begun to use it: light-emitting diodes (LEDs).
So far, only two dozen experimental LED street lamps have been put up in Dusseldorf. Although LEDs can initially be more expensive, they are a lot more reliable and they can last longer than conventional light bulbs.
Read Full Article: The Economist
A recently published patent application discovered by MacRumors reveals that Apple is investigating the use of solar power in versions of their mobile devices -- both handheld devices and portable computers. Integrating solar power into a mobile device holds the enormous potential of extending battery life significantly. However, successfully integrating solar panels into these small devices is not without its challenges.
The major issues described are the limited area available to solar panels, durability, and the "wasting" of space on a portable device. It is due to these problems that solar power has not found its way into mobile devices, not just from Apple, but from all manufacturers.
Read full article: http://www.macrumors.com
Marine Current Turbines Ltd, the global leader in tidal stream technology, has successfully completed the installation of its 1.2MW SeaGen tidal energy system in Strangford Narrows in Northern Ireland.There will now be a 12-week period of commissioning and testing before it starts regularly feeding power into the Northern Ireland grid.
After being carefully positioned by the heavy-lift crane-barge "Rambiz" in the early hours of 3 April there has been a six-week operation to secure the 1000 tonne structure to the seabed and link up SeaGen's grid connection to the electricity sub-station on the southern shore of Strangford Lough.
Read Full Article: http://www.marineturbines.com
Time lapse of one of the PYCO 1 Megawatt Wind Turbines. The construction of this turbine took place from March 31st 2008 to April 4th 2008 in Lubbock Texas.
NEW YORK (MarketWatch) -- The U.S. wind power industry remains on track to continue its record run in 2008 after the sector installed 1,400 megawatts of new generating capacity in the three months ended March 21, according to figures released Wednesday.
If the pace continues, a total of 5,600 megawatts of generating power will be installed in 2008, eclipsing the record of 5,300 megawatts, according to figures from the American Wind Energy Association.
The new wind power plans installed in the first quarter of this year produce enough electricity to serve the equivalent of 400,000 homes.
AWEA Executive Director Randall Swisher said he expects a big swell of projects to go on line by the fourth quarter as utilities and others hedge against the possibility that the production tax credit expires by the end of the year with no renewal from a divided Congress.
The AWEA maintains that 76,000 jobs and more than $11.5 billion in investment could be at risk if the measure doesn't pass.
Full Article: http://www.marketwatch.com/
SHARE! Take what you've learned, and pass the knowledge on to others. If every person you know could take one small step toward being greener, the collective effort could be phenomenal.
China's tax hikes on plastic bag production is good news for China's blossoming cloth bag industry.
As plastic bags litter China's countryside the government is putting the pressure on the manufacturers, good news for China's cloth bag industry.
These vital forests and their biodiversity are in danger! Act today!
Encourage Fast food Dirty Dozen to fix the Paper Packaging Problem
Packaging symbolizes the disposable society we have become. More than half of all paper produced in the United States is used in paper packaging.
Every year millions of pounds of food packaging waste litter our roadways, clog our landfills, and spoil our quality of life. Over half of landfill waste is paper and wood products.
Fast Food Industry giants are big buyers of paper packaging from the forests of the Southern US. With nearly 100 packaging mills in the South, the packaging decisions of these corporations have a tremendous impact on our forests.
Southern forests are being destroyed to bring you fried chicken, burgers and fries, and super-sized convenience in a glut of wrappers, boxes and cups.
Fast food packaging makes up 20 percent of all litter
Food packaging takes up 15 percent of landfills
3/4 of all food and drink packages come from forests
Over half of landfill waste is paper and wood products
Take Action! Send an email to CEO?s. Ask them to reduce the company's packaging, stop using paper from endangered Southern forests and use more recycled paper!
The 11 Fast Food Junkies are: KFC, Long John Silver, Taco Bell, Pizza Hut, A&W, (all of those owned by Yum! Brands), McDonalds, Jack in the Box, Arbies, Wendy's, Bojangles and Quiznos.
Global Warming Gasoline and diesel powered motor vehicles generate almost 25% of the pollutants responsible for climate change. But driving a Myers Motors' NmG means that you can reduce the amount of CO2 and greenhouse gases you emit by more than 70% per mile that you drive, and that's if you recharge on the power grid. The news gets better when you pair your NmG with a home-based renewable energy system because then you can enjoy driving without any emissions contributing to our environmental problems.
Oil Addiction The U.S. imports more than 60% of its oil and most of that goes to transportation. This adds close to 30% to our national trade deficit and could leave us vulnerable since much of the oil is abundant in areas that are politically unstable. NmG stands for No more Gas because it zips along at 75 mph on electricity.
Congestion The NmG is just the right size for the daily commuting needs of the 91 million Americans who go to work or school alone in vehicles designed to carry four to eight passengers. It nimbly fits into very tight parking spaces and you can drive in the carpool lane without the hassel of picking up the rest of the carpool.
Energy Efficiency Waste is no longer socially acceptable. The NmG offers you a smarter choice to reach your daily destination.
But that might change soon, said Zach Gibler, chief business development officer of Lighting Science Group, which plans to announce distribution deals with major retailers for its LED bulbs that screw into a regular socket.
Lighting Science Group's new LED lightbulbs.
(Credit: Lighting Science Group)
LED bulbs for household use have already been around for some time, but their success has been limited. The main obstacles have been that they cost more than incandescent lightbulbs and emit a sometimes unnerving color of light.
Lighting Science Group this week plans to introduce a portfolio of LED replacement white lightbulbs that it hopes will attract more consumer interest. The product line uses the same sockets as Edison bulbs.According to Gibler, the bulbs perform well on a warmth and color rendering index--blue looks blue, yellow looks yellow, etc.--they have a long life cycle, and consume 80 percent less energy than incandescent bulbs.
Read Full Article: crave.net
Discovery is gearing up to launch Planet Green, a 24-hour original programming eco-friendly television network. Planet Green is hoping to tap into corporate America's new focus on eco friendliness. The channel will launch June 4th and its programming will be seen on Discovery channels around the world.
Mangroves are delicate ecosystems that grow on the coastlines of tropical areas and usually protect the coasts from erosion.
According to a UNEP report, more than a third of the world's mangroves have disappeared.
In the Republic of Congo Reuters Television meets a man who has taken up the challenge of saving his country's mangroves.
Farmers in North Queensland are doing their bit to be environmentally friendly by investing in a tree that produces diesel.
Over 20,000 trees have been sold to farmers in the tropics by the man who introduced the diesel tree from Brazil.
The tree produces an oil that can be extracted, filtered and used to power vehicles and farm machinery.
It is estimated a one-hectare crop could produce enough fuel for an average-sized family farm.
Mike Jubow, a former cane farmer and now a nursery wholesaler, says diesel-producing trees are a long-term investment.
"If I'm lucky enough to live that long enough - I'm 64 now - it is going to take about 15 to 20 years before they are big enough to harvest the oil so that I can use them in a vehicle," he said.
Full Articl: abc.net
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A chemical in some plastic food and drink packaging including baby bottles may be tied to early puberty and prostate and breast cancer, the U.S. government said on Tuesday.
Based on draft findings by the National Toxicology Program, part of the U.S. National Institutes of Health, senior congressional Democrats asked the Food and Drug Administration to reconsider its view that the chemical bisphenol A is safe in products for use by infants and children.
The chemical, also called BPA, is used in many baby bottles and the plastic lining of cans of infant formula.
The world’s first deep-water device to generate electricity from the tides on a commercial scale is due to start operating within weeks.
A seagoing crane barge has lowered the 1,000-tonne double turbine into place and an operation to fix it to the seabed with 12 metre (40 ft) pins begins today.
The SeaGen Tidal System at Strangford Lough in Co Down, Northern Ireland, is designed to produce enough electricity to supply 1,000 homes.
The system, made by Marine Current Turbines (MCT) and assembled at the Harland and Wolff dockyard in Belfast, boasts two 16m blades which will be turned by the water streaming in and out of Strangford Lough at up to 8 knots.
SEED Film Screenings Today in DUMBO with TreeHuggerTV Premiere: Ben Harper & Graham Hill in Conversation
How did New Yorkers become so disconnected from the bodies of water that surround them and how can they reclaim the relationship? Such is the question taken up by City of Water, a 30-minute documentary film about the significance, history, and future of the New York City metropolitan area waterfront. The film screens today as part of DUMBO's neighborhood sustainability initiative, SEED (Smart Environmental Efforts in DUMBO). Also on the docket are Renewal, a 90-minute documentary that attempts to capture the breadth and vitality of America's religious-environmental movement.
On March 29, 2008 at 8 p.m., join millions of people around the world in making a statement about climate change by turning off your lights for Earth Hour, an event created by the World Wildlife Fund.
Google raised energy awareness to the googleth degree today by changing their home page from white to black in support of the earth hour campaign.
This is a really great concept!
The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) offers you the opportunity to buy a tree which will be planted in a rainforest in Sebangau National Forest in Central Kalimantan, Indonesia. In return, they not only plant the tree, but give you a Google Earth KML file in return with the location coordinates of your tree. Theoretically, as Google continues to update with higher resolution satellite and aerial imagery, you should be able to watch the growth of your tree (and the others who donate trees) over the coming years. To get started, you simply go to the web site mybabytree.org.
Via WWF and Google Earth Blog
The Willys jeep introduced by the American GIs in World War II has gone a long way. In Bangued, Abra, it has turned into bamboo camouflaged limousine used by its lady Mayor during official functions. (Art Tibaldo DTI-Info)
Silicon Valley's Luxim has developed a lightbulb the size of a Tic Tac that gives off as much light as a streetlight. News.com's Michael Kanellos talks to the company about its technology and its plans to expand into various markets.
Full Article zdnet.com
The most low-tech of clean technologies, recycling, got a boost today. RecycleBank, a Philadelphia-based startup that runs incentive-based recycling programs, has raised $30 million in Series B funding led by the high-profile VCs at Kleiner Perkins, PEHub reports via VentureWire. RecycleBank’s round also included existing investors RRE Ventures and Sigma Partners, who together invested $13.1 million in a Series A financing last year.
As far as low-tech cleantech goes, this is a big investment. Kleiner Perkins Partner John Doerr was quite excited about RecycleBank’s mission and business when he talked about the company at the Berkeley Energy Symposium, saying applying the right business model to existing technology can be good business for the planet.
Full Article http://earth2tech.com
That Subaru R1e caught driving the streets of Manhattan over the weekend foreshadows the expansion the car's field-test program to the United States. Subaru is expected to make a formal announcement within the next hour or so, but we can preview it for you here now. The New York Power Authority (NYPA) will receive two R1e vehicles to pilot in the same way the cars are being used in Japan.
Full article http://www.autobloggreen.com/2008/03/17/breaking-subaru-expanding-r1e-pilot-program-to-ny/
NISKAYUNA, N.Y.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--GE Global Research, the centralized research organization of General Electric (NYSE: GE), and GE Consumer & Industrial, today announced the successful demonstration of the world’s first roll-to-roll manufactured organic light-emitting diode (OLED) lighting devices. This demonstration is a key step toward making OLEDs and other high performance organic electronics products at dramatically lower costs than what is possible today.
OLEDs are thin, organic materials sandwiched between two electrodes, which illuminate when an electrical charge is applied. They represent the next evolution in lighting products. Their widespread design capabilities will provide an entirely different way for people to light their homes or businesses. Moreover, OLEDs have the potential to deliver dramatically improved levels of efficiency and environmental performance, while achieving the same quality of illumination found in traditional products in the marketplace today with less electrical power.
Read full article BUSINESS WIRE
COPENHAGEN (Reuters) - One billion people can get electricity for the first time for little more than the reported cost of one month's war in Iraq said Rajendra Pachauri, the head of a Nobel peace prize-winning U.N. panel of climate scientists.
Pachauri is supporting a campaign "lighting a billion lives," led by India's Energy and Resources Institute, to furnish people without access to the grid with electric lanterns powered by solar photovoltaic panels.
"Millions and millions of people do not see light after the sun goes down," he told a carbon market conference in Copenhagen on Tuesday.
Read full article Reuters
Topping LEDs with a coating of carefully tuned nanocrystals makes their light warmer and less clinical, a new study shows. The researchers argue this is a must for energy-efficient LED lights to make headway in the commercial market.
Illuminating buildings accounts for about a quarter of the electricity used in the US, according to the Department of Energy. Because most of that electricity comes from coal-fired power plants, lights account for a significant amount of greenhouse gas emissions.
LEDs have the potential to be far more efficient than other lights, but face two major hurdles. Firstly, they trail behind fluorescent lights for efficiency and, secondly, the colour of typical commercial LEDs isn't pure white.
Most emit a "cool" light with a bluish tinge, sometimes called "lunar white", that most people find unattractive in the home. Now researchers have used nanocrystals to create LEDs that give off a warm white light.
Read Full Article: NewScientist.com news service
In December 2006, Brad Pitt convened a group of experts in New Orleans to brainstorm about building green affordable housing on a large scale to help victims of Hurricane Katrina. Having spent time with community leaders and displaced residents determined to return home, Pitt realized that an opportunity existed to build houses that were not only stronger and healthier, but that had less impact on the environment.
Previously, Pitt sponsored an architecture competition organized by Global Green with the goal of generating ideas about how to rebuild sustainably. Several of those designs are currently under construction in the Lower 9th Ward and the project inspired him to expand his efforts.
After discussing the hurdles associated with rebuilding in a devastated area, the group determined that a large-scale redevelopment project focused on green affordable housing and incorporating innovative design was indeed possible.
The group settled on the goal of constructing 150 homes (one of the larger rebuilding projects in the city), with an emphasis on developing an affordable system that could be replicated.
To demonstrate replicability, Pitt determined to locate the project in the Lower 9th Ward, one of the most devastated areas of New Orleans, proving that safe homes could and should be rebuilt. Pitt hopes that this project would be a catalyst for recovery and redevelopment throughout the Lower 9th Ward and across the city of New Orleans.
Having listened to one former resident's plea to help "make this right," Pitt was inspired to name the project "Make It Right" (MIR).
Advantages of this innovative building typology:
- Produces food for tenants and the surrounding community.
- Produces organic and healthy food that is disease and fertilizer free.
- Creates an abundance of crops for self-consumption and sale for the neighbors.
- Requires no special skill set for greenhouse operation.
- Allows for flexibility and independence for the greenhouse working hours.
- Creates extra income and new jobs for the inhabitants in the building.
- Creates a sense of community and softens the crisis of migration to cities.
- Preserves rural traditions and social order.
- Creates sustainable housing conditions and reduces air and soil pollution.
- Improves the building’s microclimate and reduction of its energy usage (cooling and heating)
- Uses water from the existing high water table and recycles grey water for gardening.
Energy Saving Day, a 24-hour initiative aiming to reduce the UK's electricity use, begins on Wednesday evening.
A coalition of environmental groups, religious leaders and energy companies is asking people to curb climate change by turning off devices not in use.
The National Grid will monitor how much difference it makes to consumption, while power companies will identify customers wanting home insulation.
The BBC News website will be displaying results in close to real time.
Energy Saving Day, or E-Day, will be launched on the steps of St Paul's Cathedral in central London at 1800GMT.
Read Full Article BBC
America's prospects for a solar powered future just got much brighter.
The Spanish engineering firm Abengoa has announced that it's sealed a deal with the Arizona Public Service (APS) Company to build the largest concentrating solar plant in the whole world about 70 miles southwest of Phoenix, Arizona. It will be one of the first cases where a utility relies on solar power for its day-to-day operations.
And at a build cost of $1 billion, it will generate 280 MW of electricity and be capable of powering around 80,000 homes -- in just three years.
Read Full Article: solveclimate.com
The good news: this morning Plenty Magazine editor Jessica Tzerman was on CBS's The Early Show promoting eco-fashion, including a number of brands we love. The bad news: she provided misleading information about bamboo, saying that it's harvested and woven similarly to linen, and that it's "completely sustainable and renewable."
Bamboo is becoming more and more popular as a "green" fabric despite the flailing economy as this recent Women's Wear Daily article shows:
An ongoing interest in anything "green," combined with the fact that the higher end of the market seems to be holding firm, is providing accessories vendors with what they need to remain optimistic going into the 2008 season.
While numerous vendors agree that the economy is softer and demand in certain categories has flattened, they believe they can get a jump on the season by offering competitive prices, ensuring quick deliveries and, whenever possible, tapping into the trend for all things organic and eco-friendly.
"We introduced a bamboo scarf last fall that has been one of our premier products for the season," said Wesley Knitter, sales manager of Berkeley, Calif.-based Zazou, a maker of shawls, scarves and gloves.
"We've been one of the first to put bamboo scarves on the market, and we've seen demand get bigger and bigger."
Knitter attributes much of that to the going-green initiative that is taking hold in the arena of accessories. That view is certainly borne out by the fact that a new line of fingerless gloves, also in bamboo, sold out immediately.
Bamboo seems to be everywhere! It's clear that consumers are eating it up. But they aren't getting straight info, and the "green media" doesn't seem to be helping. Here's the skinny:
Textile expert Coral Rose explains that, contrary to what Jessica said on the Early Show, bamboo is not simply harvested and woven like linen. Rose points out that the fabric we see in the U.S. labeled as "bamboo" can't technically even be called that since it goes through a process that transforms it into rayon/viscose.
Read Full Article wearingthefuture.com
Tata is linked to European launch of the air propelled car
Plans by Indian car giant Tata Motors to produce a car this year powered only by compressed air have been delayed until further notice, but unofficial sources say Tata may have come to the rescue of the air car's french inventor MDI by investing $30 million in the project.
Tata originally signed the deal to use technology developed by French inventor Moteur Development International (MDI), in February 2007, with the hope of launching the new ‘air-car’ in India in 2008.
Read Full Article ClimateChangeCorp.com
MONTE DOURADO, Brazil (Reuters) - Buzzing chain saws and heavy machinery hauling logs through the Amazon jungle look at first like reckless destruction. But a forestry project on the Jari River in northern Brazil is being hailed as a model for preserving the world's largest rain forest.
Evidence in January that the pace of Amazon deforestation has increased after falling for nearly three years renewed a fierce public debate over saving the forest. It also opened a rift in President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva's government.
Loggers illegally clear vast swathes of forest for timber and farmland every year, wreaking environmental havoc while creating little long-term income.
But a handful of forest management projects have emerged as conservation models, extracting resources with little impact.
"Selling certified timber harvested in a sustainable way is the only solution for the Amazon," said Augusto Praxedes Neto, a manager at Brazilian pulp and paper company Grupo ORSA.
Full Article Reuters
It started with a question: How can we inspire people to take action on climate change?
The answer: Ask the people of Sydney to turn off their lights for one hour.
On 31 March 2007, 2.2 million people and 2100 Sydney businesses turned off their lights for one hour - Earth Hour. This massive collective effort reduced Sydney's energy consumption by 10.2% for one hour, which is the equivalent effect of taking 48,000 cars off the road for one hour.
With Sydney icons like the Harbour Bridge and Opera House turning their lights off, and unique events such as weddings by candlelight, the world took notice. Inspired by the collective effort of millions of Sydneysiders, many major global cities are joining Earth Hour in 2008, turning a symbolic event into a global movement.
"Power dressing" may soon have a very different and literal meaning.
Scientists in the US have developed novel brush-like fibres that generate electrical energy from movement.
Weaving them into a material could allow designers to create "smart" clothes which harness body movement to power portable electronic gadgets.
Writing in the journal Nature, the team say that the materials could also be used in tents or other structures to harness wind energy.
"Our goal is to make self-powered nanotechnology," Professor Zhong Lin Wang of the Georgia Institute of Technology and one of the authors of the paper told BBC News.
Read Full Article via BBC
"People literally will starve to death in parts of the world, it always happens when food prices go up," Bloomberg told reporters after addressing a U.N. General Assembly debate on climate change.
"I think if America got rid of the importation duty on sugar-based ethanol, that's what would happen and I think the world would benefit from that," Branson told reporters.
Cuban leader Fidel Castro blasted the Bush administration's biofuels policy as "genocidal" in a series of articles last year, saying they threatened to worsen global hunger by pushing up prices for food crops used to make ethanol.
Read Full article via Reuters
EfficienCity is a virtual town, but pioneering, real world communities around the UK are using similar systems. As a result, they're enjoying lower greenhouse gas emissions, a more secure energy supply, cheaper electricity and heating bills and a whole new attitude towards energy.
While our government promotes the fallacy that we need coal and nuclear to keep the lights on, innovative councils, businesses and individuals are taking the leap into a cleaner, greener future with decentralised energy.
Read Full Article GreenPeace.Org.uk
Abu Dhabi has started to build what it says is the world's first zero-carbon, zero-waste car-free city.
Masdar City will cost $22bn (£11.3bn), take eight years to build and be home to 50,000 people and 1,500 businesses.
The city will be mostly powered by solar energy and residents will move in travel pods running on magnetic tracks.
Masdar City will be constructed in the desert on the outskirts of Abu Dhabi. The aims are to use only renewable energy sources, and to eliminate 99% of the waste stream. This artist's impression shows wind turbines on the edge of the city and public transport links running through.
Read Full Article via BBC
US and Canadian scientists have built a novel device that effortlessly harvests energy from human movements.
The adapted knee brace, outlined in the journal Science, can generate enough energy to power a mobile phone for 30 minutes from one minute of walking.
read full article via BBC http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/technology/7226968.stm
The designers at New York City based Fluxxlab studio have come up with an ingenious sustainable energy harvesting idea that makes you wonder why no one else has thought of it before. Their Revolution Doormanages to capture otherwise wasted human energy from the revolving doors we all see at various large buildings. If you think about it, this concept is quite similar to a turbine spinning somewhere deep inside a hydroelectric dam or within wind turbine to generate renewable electricity.
read full http://www.inhabitat.com/2008/02/07/generate-energy-with-fluxxlabs-revolution-revolving-door/
Our thoughts Next challenge: capture wasted human energy from the walk. Could someone make the sidewalks such as pressure sensitive floor to generate power?
The purchase placed Intel at the top of EPA's latest Green Power Partners Top 25 list, and also at the No. 1 spot on EPA's Fortune 500 Green Power Partners list. The EPA's Green Power Partnership program encourages and recognizes voluntary green power purchases as a way to reduce the impact of conventional electricity use.
Read full article http://www.intel.com/pressroom/archive/releases/20080128corp.htm
Welcome to the 2008 EnviroWonk Super (giga), Post-Bowl, Fat Tuesday Primary Scorecard. One of these five candidates will, in a year's time, be the President of the United State, so we've got to start asking them to think environmentally now. This scorecard is our attempt to keep things straight, and, as the field continues to narrow, and candidates do a better job of outlineing their positions, the scorecard will, likewise, change.
read full article envirowonk.com
The world’s largest wind turbine is now the Enercon E-126. This turbine has a rotor blade width of 126 meters (413 feet). The E-126 is a more sophisticated version of the E-112, formerly the world’s largest wind turbine and rated at 6 megawatts. This new turbine is officially rated at 6 megawatts too, but will mostly likely produce 7+ megawatts (or 20 million kilowatt hours per year). That’s enough to power about 5,000 households of four in Europe. A quick US calculation would be 938 kwh per home per month, 12 months, that’s 11,256 kwh per year per house. That’s 1776 American homes on one wind turbine.
The turbine being installed in Emden, Germany by Enercon. They will be testing several types of storage systems in combination with the multi-megawatt wind turbines.
Read full article metaefficient.com
There's a revolution going on in lighting. And some say it's about time.
Two hundred years ago, British scientists forced electrons through a strip of platinum and laid the groundwork for what would become the first incandescent light. In 1870s and '80s, Thomas Edison and several competitors put the bulb on a path to commercialization and changed the world...
...a more likely application is one being tried by Wal-Mart—lighting refrigerated food cases. Thieken says that LEDs work well in that application since they remain efficient in cold environments, can be dimmed easily when lighting is not needed, and require little maintenance.
Although LED household fixtures exist, Thieken predicts that new lighting applications are likely to be very different from the typical light bulb and will provide an opening for LEDs to rewrite the rules of how lighting is used.
Today, for most people who have electric lights in their homes, illumination still comes from electricity run through a wire filament, enclosed and protected in a glass bulb.
read full article www.pubs.acs.org
Electrovaya.com is one of many companies out there trying to develop energy efficient consumer applications via its own spin of eco-friendly technology. This company's latest offering falls into the automobile category - it is called the Maya-300. The Maya-300 is described as your typical zero-emission, low-speed electric vehicle. It's powered by Electrovaya's "Lithium Ion SuperPolymer" technology with integrated battery management. This technology will reportedly allow this little vehicle to get up to 120 miles on a single charge, with its top speed being electronically regulated to 25 or 35 mph. This isn't exactly comparable to a traditional car, but for trips around town it might do the trick. It has an on-board battery charger which works with a standard 110v outlet.
Read full article ecogeek.org
GIRARDOT, Colombia (Jan. 30) - Forget steel and concrete. The building material of choice for the 21st century might just be bamboo.
This hollow-stemmed grass isn't just for flimsy tropical huts any more - it's getting outsized attention in the world of serious architecture. From Hawaii to Vietnam, it's used to build everything from luxury homes and holiday resorts to churches and bridges. full article news.aol