Can businesses practice profitable conservation?

August 18, 2018 by  
Filed under Business, Green

Investing in the environment proves valuable for all organizations. Here’s how.

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Can businesses practice profitable conservation?

Endangered green and loggerhead turtles make Mediterranean comeback

August 17, 2018 by  
Filed under Green

For 10,000 years, green and loggerhead turtles have been nesting on the Mediterranean coast of Cyprus. In the last 100 years, they have been hunted to the brink of extinction. Thankfully, due to pioneering conservation efforts made by Cypriot marine biologists, these endearing reptiles have seen a promising bounce-back in numbers, pulling them away from the brink of extinction. Related: Turtle hatchlings spotted on Mumbai beach for the first time in nearly 20 years For thousands of years, the turtles have hatched on Cyprus’s Lara Beach, fighting the waves as they make their way to the ocean and begin their lives. The reptiles return 20 to 30 years later to lay eggs and bring about the next generation of turtle hatchlings. This phenomenon is a result of the turtles’ own biological programming, which calls them back to the same beaches that their ancestors chose long ago. Conservationists have been working tirelessly to save the endangered green and loggerhead turtle populations for four decades. Their efforts began in 1978, when only 300 turtle nests remained on Cyprus’s shores. The result is “quite spectacular,” according to Andreas Demetropoulos, founder and co-head of a turtle conservation program overseen by Cyprus’s Fisheries and Marine Research Department. His program reported approximately 1,100 nests last year alone, over three times as many as there were at the program’s beginning. Related: Sea turtles appear to be “bouncing back” from the brink of extinction The green and loggerhead turtles only nest in two countries, Turkey and Cyprus. Of the 1,500 egg-laying female green turtles, approximately 200-300 return to Cyprus to lay their eggs. More than twice as many loggerhead turtles do the same. To protect them, Cyprus’s government began its conservation program long before any other EU country, and in 1989 it passed legislation that protected two beaches that the turtles use as hatching grounds. Prior to this, residents would use the beach without regard for the turtles, but in the intervening years a conservationist culture has arisen. According to the program’s other co-head, Myroula Hadjichristophorou, “When people come [to the beaches] with their families, their children, they see the babies coming out of their nests, this is something that they will never forget.” + Sea Turtle Organization Via Phys.org

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Endangered green and loggerhead turtles make Mediterranean comeback

Thailand bans the import of e-waste

August 17, 2018 by  
Filed under Business, Eco, Green, Recycle

Over the next six months, Thailand will ban the import of 432 types of scrap electronics, or e-waste . E-waste includes any device with an electric cord or battery, and recyclers often mine these trash deposits for valuable metals. But the devices can also contain hazardous and polluting chemicals, such as lead, mercury and cadmium. Thailand has been struggling to deal with overflowing waste deposits following China’s imported trash ban last year. Since then, Southeast Asian nations such as Hong Kong, Thailand and Vietnam have become dumping grounds for the world’s garbage. While Hong Kong has been expanding landfills and building recycling plants, Vietnam has stopped issuing new licenses for the import of waste and cracked down on illegal shipments of paper, plastic and metal. Since May, a series of raids on factories that have been illegally importing and processing foreign e-waste has prompted the Thai government to finally take a stand. Related: Hong Kong faces ‘growing mountain of waste’ in wake of China’s trash ban In a comment to Reuters on Thursday, an anonymous senior environment ministry official said, “The meeting yesterday passed a resolution to stop importing 432 kinds of electronic waste and to ensure … that this is enforced within six months.” The meeting was chaired by Thailand’s Environment Minister, Surasak Kanchanarat. The minister spoke with Thai media on Wednesday, stating that some imports would still be allowed into the country as long as the second-hand devices had a chance at repair and reuse. Related: China bans ‘foreign waste,’ causing recycling chaos in America While scrap metals are still allowed, aluminum, copper and steel must be separated and cleaned in their countries of origin before they are shipped to Thailand for industrial use. Plastics, on the other hand, are not so welcomed. The country is planning to ban the import of plastic waste within the next two years, and there could also be a tax on plastic bags and plastic bans in tourist destinations, government agencies and businesses. While no official decisions have been made, Thailand has a target to recycle up to 60 percent of plastics by 2021. Via Reuters

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Thailand bans the import of e-waste

Photovoltaic glass clads a sustainably minded residential tower in Melbourne

August 17, 2018 by  
Filed under Business, Eco, Green, Recycle

Melbourne-based architecture firm C. Kairouz Architects recently completed The General, an eight-story building that’s said to be Australia’s first-ever large-scale residential structure to use photovoltaic glass on its facade. Located in the inner-suburb of Northcote in Melbourne , the building comprises 87 apartments as well as mixed-use commercial space on the first two floors. Thanks to photovoltaic glazing as well as a slew of other energy-efficient systems and resource-saving measures, The General has achieved a 7-star energy rating. Set on a prominent corner lot on Northcote’s bustling High Street, The General takes it name from the nickname of Kairouz’s father, who had formerly owned a butcher business on the project site. The General also references Kairouz’s father in the patterned glass that makes up the curved secondary facade, which features a subtle image of a Victorian general on a horse. This facade is juxtaposed with the continuous bands of Onyx Solar photovoltaic glass that run along the northern facade as well as the horizontal balustrades and glazing on the east facade. All windows are double-glazed and let an abundance of natural light into the apartments. “Technically speaking, it displays a solar factor of 10%, making it an ideal candidate to achieve control over the interior temperature,” says C. Kairouz Architects in its project statement. “The product has been proven to yield low-emissivity properties, provide a UV and IR filter, promote natural light , and generate power. Statistically translated, this allows The General to generate 2,075 kWh per year and prevents the release of 1.95 tons of CO2 into the atmosphere. This energy may be used for light, power and mechanical equipment in common areas.” Related: Steven Holl unveils office clad in colorful photovoltaic glass for Doctors Without Borders In addition to the building’s solar solutions, the architects also emphasized green-centric transit options. The General is located a short walk from a major tram station and from the Northcote shopping complex; 137 bicycle parking spaces were installed in the building’s basement parking garage. The basement also includes a 25,000-liter rainwater tank that collects rainwater runoff , which is then recycled to flush 50 toilets within the building. + C. Kairouz Architects Images by Peter Clarke

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Photovoltaic glass clads a sustainably minded residential tower in Melbourne

MAD reactivates an abandoned Japanese tunnel using surreal immersive art

August 17, 2018 by  
Filed under Eco, Green

How do you bring young people back into Japan’s rural areas? One popular answer seems to be with art and architecture. In one of the country’s latest rural revitalization efforts, Beijing-based design studio MAD Architects was invited to reactivate the long-forgotten Kiyotsu Gorge Tunnel in the Niigata prefecture. Created for the 2018 Echigo-Tsumari Triennale, this series of permanent artistic interventions aims to help bring back “the cultural energy that once empowered the region.” Set in the heart of Japan’s snow country, Echigo-Tsumari is a mountainous, agricultural region where more than a third of the community comprises the elderly (at least 65 years of age). In a bid to attract young people back to the countryside, Fram Kitagawa founded the Echigo-Tsumari Triennale in 2000. The art field hosts approximately 160 site-specific artworks across 200 villages in an area greater than 760 square kilometers. For this year’s program, MAD Architects was invited to re-imagine the historic Kiyotsu Gorge Tunnel, a 750-meter passageway carved through rock that offers stunning panoramic views. In a project dubbed “Tunnel of Light,” MAD created five interventions along the historic tunnel to follow the five elements of nature — wood, earth, metal, fire and water. The first installation (wood) is the “Periscope,” a small timber hut that houses a cafe, shop and hot spring foot spa with a circular aperture surrounded by mirrored lenses. “Expression of Color” (earth) marks the tunnel entrance and is outfitted with atmospheric music and different colored lights at each lookout point. The first of the modified lookout points is “Invisible Bubble” (metal), featuring a reflective and introspective capsule-like structure that only allows one-way views from the inside out. “The Drop” (fire) at the second lookout point comprises mirrored “dew drops” attached to the ceiling and walls and back-lit by red light. The “Tunnel of Light” culminates with the “Light Cave” (water), where semi-polished stainless steel elements bring reflections of gorge into the tunnel to create “an infinite illusion of nature.” Related: Futuristic “spaceship” Lucas Museum breaks ground in Los Angeles “MAD’s ‘Tunnel of Light’ is an artistic transformation that demonstrates how art and nature can come together to reinvigorate a community,” the designers said in a project statement. “Each one of the installations forms a poetic space where visitors can transcend the role of observer and become an active participant — allowing individuals to place themselves in nature in unexpected ways.” + MAD Architects Images by Nacasa Partners Inc and Osamu Nakamura

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MAD reactivates an abandoned Japanese tunnel using surreal immersive art

This gorgeous tiny home is perfect for entertaining guests

August 17, 2018 by  
Filed under Eco, Green

Today’s tiny homes are often built with many incredible features, but creating a spacious living room with ample seating continues to be a huge challenge. However, the innovative designers at Modern Tiny Living have just unveiled the Clover — a beautiful, 24-foot-long compact home that uses an elevated U-shaped sofa to create a spacious “social area” for entertaining guests. The Clover design is actually a hybrid of the Colorado-based company’s two most popular designs, the Kokosing and the Point. Combining the best of these two models, the Clover offers a gorgeous tiny home with a surprisingly spacious and light-filled interior with plenty of room for hosting guests. Related: Tiny Heirloom unveils ‘The Goose’ — a custom tiny home with stunning interiors The exterior of the home is clad in light-hued durable siding. The exterior is enhanced by white trim, giving off a modern, country-home feel. On the inside, the space is flooded with natural light thanks to an abundance of windows. A beautiful vaulted ceiling opens up the interior, which is lined in light wood panels, a feature that provides a fresh, airy aesthetic to the design. To the left of the entrance is the kitchen, which is equipped with concrete countertops, a four-burner stove, large sink, refrigerator and a combination washer and dryer set. A high top table that can be used for eating or working sits under the window. Adjacent to the kitchen is a full bath with a custom barn door. Although the basic package offers a flushing toilet, buyers also have the option of installing a composting toilet . Just off the kitchen space is a narrow set of stairs, complete with built-in storage and a closet, that leads up to a sleeping loft . This space is big enough for a king-sized bed and has plenty of windows to provide light and a natural system of cross-ventilation. However, the true heart of this tiny home is located at the other end of the space — the living room. The elevated seating area features a large U-shaped sofa that wraps around the wall. Outfitted with comfy cushions, the sectional was designed to provide a fun social space with ample seating for guests. The flooring at the center of the couch can also be turned on its end to create a guest bed . The seating space sits on an elevated platform that features built-in shelving and drawers for extra storage. The cost of the Clover Tiny Home starts at $89,000, but comes with many options for additional features. For further inquiries, please contact Modern Tiny Living . + Modern Tiny Living Via Treehugger Images via Modern Tiny Living 

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This gorgeous tiny home is perfect for entertaining guests

Episode 136: The downside of data-driven planning, New York takes a stand on ride-sharing

August 17, 2018 by  
Filed under Business, Green

Also on this episode, we highlight a thoughtful series on the perplexing and multilayer microfiber problem.

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Episode 136: The downside of data-driven planning, New York takes a stand on ride-sharing

For the next big innovation for agriculture, think small

August 17, 2018 by  
Filed under Business, Green

Companies large and small, and even the likes of Nicole Kidman, are increasingly finding insects appetizing and sustainable.

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For the next big innovation for agriculture, think small

Could ride-hailing improve public transportation instead of undercutting it?

August 17, 2018 by  
Filed under Business, Green

There’s no question ridesharing is much-needed innovation for the transportation industry, but its impacts are still being understood.

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Could ride-hailing improve public transportation instead of undercutting it?

Can talking trash actually make sports more sustainable?

August 17, 2018 by  
Filed under Business, Green

Reduction In Motion’s Kelsey Hallowell is efficiently reducing waste with Baltimore athletics and helping fans go green.

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Can talking trash actually make sports more sustainable?

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