Global warming driving mass migration of marine life

April 14, 2021 by  
Filed under Eco, Green

Marine life is migrating from the equator to the tropics, according to a recent  study  published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The study shows that many species known to reside in the equator’s warm waters are migrating to cooler waters. Scientists behind the study have linked this situation to global warming, saying that water at the equator has become too warm for some species.  Traditionally, the equatorial regions are known to have more species diversity than the poles due to abundant food sources and warm waters. However, with the changing climate , environments for marine life are changing, too. As equatorial waters become less hospitable, many species are migrating for better conditions. Related: Scientists search for cause of mass marine die-off in Russia Researchers warn that if the situation continues, this migration will have serious ecological effects. The authors note that such a situation happened has occurred before. For example, about 252 million years ago, this type of species migration led to the death of about 90% of all marine species. When species migrate to other regions, they can affect the area’s natural food chain and overburden the environment. In turn, this can lead to the death of weaker species.  Though global warming has not affected the equatorial regions as heavily as other parts of the globe, it still significantly impacts the area. Over the past 50 years, the equator has witnessed a temperature rise of about 0.6 degrees Celcius. While modest compared to temperature changes in polar regions, the equator’s rising temperature can be detrimental because “tropical species have to move further to remain in their thermal niche compared with species elsewhere.” A 2015  study  published in Nature Climate Change predicted that species richness would decline at low latitudes. The recent study found that species richness is greatest at around 30 degrees North and 20 degrees South. This could mean that many species are migrating from the equator to the cooler subtropics, and they may move even further if global warming continues. Via EcoWatch Lead image via Pixabay

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Global warming driving mass migration of marine life

Lessons from Schoonschip, Amsterdam’s floating eco-village

April 14, 2021 by  
Filed under Eco, Green

How can people live in harmony with global warming and rising water levels? In Amsterdam , a group of forward-thinking people decided to go with the flow. Schoonschip, a self-sustaining floating community of more than 100 residents, boasts innovative technology like 500 solar panels and a green roof on every house. This brave and fascinating experiment demonstrates how humans can adapt to the changing planet while forging stronger communities. TV director Marjan de Blok got the idea for the floating neighborhood after working on a documentary about a floating home . She and some friends began to brainstorm. “We are a bottom-up initiative built by the people that live here,” she told Inhabitat in an email. “Not owned / started / sold by a company / architect. For us this is important and it’s the biggest strength of the project.” Schoonschip has already received tons of press, not all of it accurate, de Blok said. “We don’t use grey water to water our plants, we don’t grow food on our roofs and we don’t use the jouliette to pay electricity with. These are just a couple of things that are not true but have been spread and copied.” Related: This home floats in a self-sufficient Amsterdam neighborhood Instead, graywater is used for showers, washing machines, drainage and dishwashers. “Black water,” i.e. human waste , will be fermented and transformed into energy at a biorefinery, in partnership with a water supplier called Waternet. For other accurate details of Schoonship design and technology, de Blok recommends this article from GB&D . Inhabitat talked to three residents to get an inside look at what it’s like to call a floating village home. Marjan de Blok, resident since May 2019 Inhabitat: How did you get the idea for Schoonship? It started when I was making a short documentary about a sustainable floating house about 11 years ago. I completely fell in love with the concept of living on the water, as sustainable as possible. It gave me a great feeling of freedom and it seemed like the answer to a lot of challenges we were facing and still are facing. At the same time, I realized that building a house like this, as sustainable as this, would take a lot of money and effort. That’s how the idea was born to start a group, build more houseboats , to make a bigger impact. I started to talk to some friends and every single one of them was so enthusiastic, that we said let’s go for it. At that time our plan was more simple than what it turned out to be today. The project grew and grew and the sustainable possibilities developed, so we just grew along and here we are with 46 households living in this sustainable neighborhood, inspiring people worldwide.  Schoonschip consists of 46 houses and one collective space that we realized with the group and that we use for all kinds of purposes. In total there are 30 water lots. So some of the lots you see are inhabited by two households. They have their own house, on a shared lot. One of the lots is even inhabited by three families. We were a foundation and now a homeowners association.  How has your life changed since moving to Schoonschip? For me personally my life changed completely. I moved from a top floor small apartment in the busy west of Amsterdam to the north. Living on the water means living with the weather. But the biggest change for me is the social part. Sharing a village or neighborhood with people that you know is a big change compared to living in a house in a street where you hardly know any neighbor. Now, in winter, especially now with the lockdown going on, it might seem a bit quiet, but in summertime it’s wild. Everybody is swimming and playing. Kids rule the jetty. What else should we know? The project didn’t finish when we moved here. Our goal is to inspire and inform people worldwide to try and play a role in a more sustainable way of living and to become part of development of the area that they live in. Hanneke Maas Geesteranus, resident  since June 2019 What have been the biggest adjustments to moving to Schoonschip? That we are responsible for our own house and all the technical things about the solar collectors, the warm heat pump, the charger, etc. This was rather new for me so I had to deepen my knowledge about sustainable techniques. What do you like the most about living there? I like our house and the feeling to live so close to the water. But most of all I like to live in a community like this. It is a little village. We know each other rather well. Everyone is friendly, helpful and supportive of each other. What do you miss about traditional on-land housing? The trees . Could you describe the qualities a person needs to thrive at Schoonschip? We have a lot of different people in the community. So the differences are very charming and needed. But in common, 1. Interest in sustainability, feel the importance of understanding, to share innovation and new ideas. 2. To be open to live with other people around you and willing to invest in the social aspects. Pieter Kool, resident since April 2019 What have been the biggest adjustments to moving to Schoonschip? We were living in a small downtown apartment with kids, so ever since we live here it feels like we’ve rented a super fancy holiday home — without having to leave! The comfort of living and the quality of light in the houseboat is incredible. It was quite easy to adjust to this actually… Practically, the biggest adjustment was getting rid of our car. Within Schoonschip, we’ve set up a car-sharing system with electric vehicles and most Schoonschippers joined the group. Prior to the switch, this felt like a big adjustment, but it wasn’t as much of a deal as we expected. It’s quite relaxed to not have the usual car ownership issues. Before we moved we did a CO2 footprint analysis of our household; we were already vegetarians and moving to an energy-neutral house, by far the biggest polluting aspect of our lives would be transportation. Realizing this, the choice to move to electric car-sharing was a no-brainer. What do you like best about living there? The environmental sustainability aspect of living at Schoonschip is great, but to me, the social sustainability is much more special and rewarding on a personal level. The project has run 13 years from initiation to completion and together we’ve worked very hard at achieving our goals. Everybody in the community participated and we’ve gotten to know each other really well. Some people left the project along the way, but many stayed. The people that are still in the project are all very different, but they also seem to share a mentality of resilience, openness and forgiveness toward each other. Nice people to be around with! What do you miss about traditional housing? We don’t have a shed, so DIY work is a bit of a hassle. We added a small floating garden to the boat which produces vegetables and even has a generous pear tree on it! + Schoonschip Images by Isabel Nabuurs, courtesy of Schoonschip

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Lessons from Schoonschip, Amsterdam’s floating eco-village

Eco-friendly, affordable housing emphasizes walkability in Milan

April 14, 2021 by  
Filed under Eco, Green

International design firm Antonio Citterio Patricia Viel (ACPV) has unveiled designs for the Cascina Merlata Lot R7/2, a social housing complex that will function as a “city within the city” where residents can walk or ride their bicycles to everything they need for their daily lives. Created as part of the Cascina Merlata pedestrian-friendly masterplan that ACPV developed back in 2011, the new, 12,600-square-meter residential complex consists of two structures that have already obtained a ‘Class A’ rating from Italy’s Energy Performance Certification in recognition of their energy-efficient, low-impact design. The development is expected to welcome its first residents this month. Located on the outer edge of Milan within walking distance of the Fiera Milano grounds that host the annual Salone del Mobile furniture fair, Cascina Merlata Lot R7/2 is part of a masterplan that aims to improve livability in the city by providing access to essential services and retail destinations within a 15-minute walking radius for residents. Guided by principles of environmental sustainability and community-building, the architects have also integrated multiple parks, public spaces and a series of pedestrian and bicycle paths into the plan.  Related: A LEED Gold-targeted office will enhance worker wellbeing “The goal here is to foster a sense of community and belonging while also innovating the way we design residential buildings,” said architect Antonio Citterio, co-founder of ACPV. “The masterplan and architectural guidelines for Cascina Merlata play a crucial role in ensuring that the new residents feel at home and have access to all the services they need.” The development’s two new residential buildings are located between Via Daimler and Via Pier Paolo Pasolini and feature ground-floor retail to engage the public realm. A rooftop garden that tops the residential complex is also visible from street level. The project was designed with BIM and features a 10-story structure that overlooks Via Pier Paolo Pasolini as well as a second structure that consists of two volumes — a south-facing, 17-story volume and a north-facing, 25-story volume — connected with a single core. + Antonio Citterio Patricia Viel Photography by Giulio Boem via ACPV

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Eco-friendly, affordable housing emphasizes walkability in Milan

Outdoor co-op REI nudges suppliers on climate and equity

April 14, 2021 by  
Filed under Business, Eco, Green

Outdoor co-op REI nudges suppliers on climate and equity Deonna Anderson Wed, 04/14/2021 – 05:01 Outdoor recreation retail co-op REI is asking its suppliers to double down on their climate strategies and social justice policies, and will require all existing partners to share their climate action plans by the end of this year. The expectations were included in the impact report REI released today along with the company’s 2020 financials. In it, the outdoor recreation retail co-op shared that it reached $2.75 billion in revenue in 2020 and highlights other wins from the year that was, including details of the organization’s climate strategy. Included in the report is an overview of how REI has been implementing circular business model practices for years now, offering re-commerce and gear repair as ways to extend the life of products. In 2020, it tested a retail format with a pilot of two standalone used gear pop-up stores in Manhattan Beach, California, and Conshohocken, Pennsylvania, according to the report. “REI, as a company, we believe that this broader kind of shift to a more circular economy is something that the world is really going to have to do over the next 10 years,” said Ken Voeller, director of circular commerce and new business development at REI, during GreenBiz 21 earlier this year. As a retailer that sells over 10,000 products in its 168 stores, REI believes it has an opportunity to push the ball forward more quickly when it comes to the issues it is trying to address like climate and racial equity. That’s where its  Product Impact Standards , a set of expectations for the brands REI sells in its stores, come in. While the standards were updated in December 2020 and first launched in 2018, REI is now working to ensure that all products in REI stores adhere to the standards. To do that, it is working with its more than 1,000 vendors to meet the standards’ respective deadlines. “By providing a comprehensive framework for base-level brand expectations and aspirational preferred attributes, REI’s sustainability standards have encouraged us, and others who are just as dedicated to elevating sustainability, to step up our efforts,” Mark Galbraith, vice president of product at Osprey, told Outside Business Journal back in December.  The list includes both required expectations and voluntary preferred attributes, which are more rigorous than the former.  For example, when it comes to REI’s standard related to fair and safe supply chains, the expectation is for brands to have a manufacturing code of conduct in place “that outlines the social and environmental standards to be upheld within their supply chain.” REI further prefers that suppliers use the Fair Trade USA, Fairtrade International or Fair for Life certification for their products. Standard highlights The standards are part of a holistic approach to ensure that every purchase at REI supports better ways of doing business, according to the company, which has set a 2030 goal for 100 percent of the products it sells to have a preferred attribute. The standards cover a wide swath of operational concerns. There’s the fair and safe supply chains, which was mentioned earlier, along with chemicals management, animal welfare, diversity and inclusion, and climate and environmental stewardship. “What you see across the co-op is this real redoubling of our efforts, particularly around climate and racial equity,” said Matthew Thurston, director of sustainability at REI. “And we just simply feel that those are the two most important pressing existential challenges that the industry is facing.” One recent addition to REI’s Product Impact Standards is the requirement for partner companies to have an action plan for measuring their annual carbon footprint and reducing their carbon emissions in alignment with the recommendations of the United Nations and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Existing partners have until  the end of 2021 to share their action plan; new partners will have 18 months from REI’s first purchase order. “What you’ll continue to see us doing is really finding ways to lock arms with our partners who are really leaders in this space,” Thurston said. “[We] serve almost as the connective tissue to then lock arms with those who want to be part of that work and want to find ways to accelerate or catalyze their own sustainability journey and to move forward.” Related to the issue of diversity and inclusion, REI expects that all products marketed as “nude” be available in a range of tones and that brands establish creative controls that prevent cultural appropriation, which is when a person — or in this case, companies — adopts aspects of a culture that they don’t belong to.  “I think this is really important because I’ve seen a lot of companies take Indigenous art, and put it on their product, and it’s not cited or … the artist isn’t compensated,” said Victoria Rodríguez, outings leader at Latino Outdoors (LO), a Latinx-led organization that has been working since 2013 to create a national community of leaders in conservation and outdoor education. “I think that’s just such a big injustice, so the fact that [REI is] actually looking at that and making that a standard is something else that really excites me.”  In the process of updating its standards, REI consulted with more than a dozen nonprofits, advocates and ambassadors from across the outdoor industry and community, including LO, Venture Out and Minority Veterans of America . “I think [engaging with communities] is going to bring more power to these companies, in terms of reaching a wider demographic of folks,” Rodríguez said. “I do think it’s really important for them to be able to speak to us,” Rodríguez continued, noting that companies should also have people of color on staff. REI merchants use the standards to help them make purchasing decisions. “How those brands are showing up in terms of leadership in these spaces is really one of the factors in determining which brands we’re looking to really cultivate, to grow to partner with long term, which ones we may need to have some conversations with around seeing progression in areas where there are gaps,” Thurston said. He also noted that the standards help REI hold itself accountable to its own goals and commitments, “and that we have the data, the metrics to prove that we’re actually having an impact on the broader industry.”  One of the other standards Rodriguez said she is excited about is one related to inclusive marketing. By the end of this year, REI expects each of its brand partners to have guidelines in place that “ensure diverse and inclusive representation across race, age, gender identity/expression, body size and disability,” according to the standards document. Additionally it expects for the photography that the companies provide to REI meet these standards. “If I had seen that as a kid, I probably would have been involved in snow sports much sooner in my life. And I think it also empowers just everyone at a younger age to be able to see themselves as you know as a hiker, as an outdoors mountaineering person, as a snowboarder, as a skier,” said Rodríguez, who has a marketing background. “I think once we see ourselves in those positions, you’ll have more diversity in that area.” Topics Circular Economy Retail Featured in featured block (1 article with image touted on the front page or elsewhere) Off Duration 0 Sponsored Article Off Courtesy of REI Close Authorship

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Outdoor co-op REI nudges suppliers on climate and equity

Children’s Books for Earth Day

April 14, 2021 by  
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Children face the reality of life-long experience of a planet in crisis. They need to… The post Children’s Books for Earth Day appeared first on Earth911.

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Children’s Books for Earth Day

Earth911 Podcast: Discover Biobased Plastic with UBQ Materials’ Tato Bigio

April 14, 2021 by  
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What would the world look like if we could turn post-consumer waste, including food scraps,… The post Earth911 Podcast: Discover Biobased Plastic with UBQ Materials’ Tato Bigio appeared first on Earth911.

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Earth911 Podcast: Discover Biobased Plastic with UBQ Materials’ Tato Bigio

Inside Nature: Hear What Spiders Might Hear

April 13, 2021 by  
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Take a moment to experience nature the way it sounds to other species. A remarkable… The post Inside Nature: Hear What Spiders Might Hear appeared first on Earth911.

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Inside Nature: Hear What Spiders Might Hear

Virtual Pollinator Park shows a future with or without pollinators

April 13, 2021 by  
Filed under Eco, Green, Recycle

What will the world be like once pollinating insects, like the honeybee , are gone? Alternatively, what would happen if we allowed these important creatures to thrive? The European Commission’s Pollinator Park, designed by Vincent Callebaut Architectures, strives to answer these questions with a stark look at what the future could look like, for better or worse. Pollinator Park is a 30-minute, virtual experience that is interactive and engaging. Pollinator Park is an educational experience that showcases good practices in land use and how pollinators can be preserved. It promotes less monocultures and toxins in agriculture . The flourishing part of this digital universe could one day become reality, if we start building toward improving the planet, rather than taking away from it. Related: Urban Beehive Project creates a buzz around honeybee education Most people are aware of the plight of honeybees, but there are many pollinators worldwide that are facing a dangerous future. Butterflies, hummingbirds, ants, bats, beetles and ladybugs are all pollinators. And without them, the world becomes a very, very different place. Diversity among pollinators greatly influences the biodiversity of plants. Loss of this biodiversity threatens life everywhere on Earth. According to the UN, the rate of extinction among pollinators in 2020 was 100 to 1,000 times higher than normal. More than 90% of the world’s flowering plants depend on pollinators, and about 35% of all food we consume depends on insect pollination. When you do the math, you’ll realize there are some terrifying possibilities in the very near future. This is really the message at the heart of Pollinator Park. The project is designed with biophilic architecture that represents different parts of flowering plants and encourages the natural flow of visitors. Pollinator hotels are integrated into the structures because above all, this is their home. On-site greenhouses are made with light frames of cross-laminated timber and recycled and/or recyclable materials. Timber biodomes are covered with thermal and photovoltaic solar shields; the sun shields filter the sun’s rays to provide both light and shade for the plants and pollinators. Wind chimneys and wind turbines are also woven throughout the landscape. The wind chimneys use geothermal energy to keep the greenhouses cool or hot as needed. The park was created in collaboration with Vincent Callebaut Architectures as part of the EU Pollinators Initiative. It is hoped that this project will aid the ongoing European Green Deal, a series of efforts and innovations aimed at repairing nature. + Pollinator Park + Vincent Callebaut Architectures Images via Vincent Callebaut Architectures

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Virtual Pollinator Park shows a future with or without pollinators

Virtual Pollinator Park shows a future with or without pollinators

April 13, 2021 by  
Filed under Eco, Green, Recycle

What will the world be like once pollinating insects, like the honeybee , are gone? Alternatively, what would happen if we allowed these important creatures to thrive? The European Commission’s Pollinator Park, designed by Vincent Callebaut Architectures, strives to answer these questions with a stark look at what the future could look like, for better or worse. Pollinator Park is a 30-minute, virtual experience that is interactive and engaging. Pollinator Park is an educational experience that showcases good practices in land use and how pollinators can be preserved. It promotes less monocultures and toxins in agriculture . The flourishing part of this digital universe could one day become reality, if we start building toward improving the planet, rather than taking away from it. Related: Urban Beehive Project creates a buzz around honeybee education Most people are aware of the plight of honeybees, but there are many pollinators worldwide that are facing a dangerous future. Butterflies, hummingbirds, ants, bats, beetles and ladybugs are all pollinators. And without them, the world becomes a very, very different place. Diversity among pollinators greatly influences the biodiversity of plants. Loss of this biodiversity threatens life everywhere on Earth. According to the UN, the rate of extinction among pollinators in 2020 was 100 to 1,000 times higher than normal. More than 90% of the world’s flowering plants depend on pollinators, and about 35% of all food we consume depends on insect pollination. When you do the math, you’ll realize there are some terrifying possibilities in the very near future. This is really the message at the heart of Pollinator Park. The project is designed with biophilic architecture that represents different parts of flowering plants and encourages the natural flow of visitors. Pollinator hotels are integrated into the structures because above all, this is their home. On-site greenhouses are made with light frames of cross-laminated timber and recycled and/or recyclable materials. Timber biodomes are covered with thermal and photovoltaic solar shields; the sun shields filter the sun’s rays to provide both light and shade for the plants and pollinators. Wind chimneys and wind turbines are also woven throughout the landscape. The wind chimneys use geothermal energy to keep the greenhouses cool or hot as needed. The park was created in collaboration with Vincent Callebaut Architectures as part of the EU Pollinators Initiative. It is hoped that this project will aid the ongoing European Green Deal, a series of efforts and innovations aimed at repairing nature. + Pollinator Park + Vincent Callebaut Architectures Images via Vincent Callebaut Architectures

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Virtual Pollinator Park shows a future with or without pollinators

Sustainable Choice: Nutrition for Longevity Meal Delivery

April 13, 2021 by  
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We’re always looking for ways to lower our diet’s environmental impact. But there are other… The post Sustainable Choice: Nutrition for Longevity Meal Delivery appeared first on Earth911.

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Sustainable Choice: Nutrition for Longevity Meal Delivery

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