Book Giveaway – Win a copy of TEEMING: How Superorganisms Work to Build Infinite Wealth in a Finite World

July 26, 2017 by  
Filed under Business, Eco, Green

There is so much that we can learn from the natural world.  ‘TEEMING: How Superorganisms Work to Build Infinite Wealth in a Finite World,’   by Dr. Woolley-Barker reveals all the ways in which animals societies can helps us thrive in a modern world where resources are finite. We talked to Dr. Woolley-Barker about her book and you can read the fascinating interview here, but if you want to get your hands on your very own copy, we are giving away 25 of them to a few lucky readers. Enter to win below: a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Book Giveaway – Win a copy of TEEMING: How Superorganisms Work to Build Infinite Wealth in a Finite World

How the U.S. Army approaches net zero energy

July 26, 2017 by  
Filed under Business, Green

The U.S. Army needs to be at net zero, says Kristine Kingery, director of energy security and sustainability policy for the military. “How can we go with the ‘N’ state?” she asked in a conversation during VERGE Hawaii 17. “In the army, everything has to be tied back to readiness.” She discusses how operating on renewable energy is mission critical for the U.S. Army, why energy independence is critical for the nation’s security and how collaborations help get there.

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How the U.S. Army approaches net zero energy

Luscious eco-resort design in China inspired by the Silk Road

July 26, 2017 by  
Filed under Eco, Green

An existing native village in China is being transformed into a modern eco-resort that offers a variety of activities and spaces. Architects Jean Pierre HEIM and Carolyn HEIM of HEIMdesign approached the redesign of Sasseur eco-tourist village using “One Belt, One Road” development strategy that focuses on connectivity and cooperation among China and the rest of the world. The project will be implemented near the city of Chongqing– starting point of the Silk Road economic belt and the hub of a 21st century maritime Silk Road that connects the Chinese interior with the rest of the world. Taking advantage of the existing topography and incorporating an element of feng shui, the team divided the various buildings and facilities into categories like housing, entertainment, art etc. Related: Earthquake-Resistant Eco Village Wins Christchurch’s Breathe Competition The design combines traditional and contemporary elements, with references to the silk industry and raw silk production. The silk thread and the cocoon, the Mulberry tree and silk production in Chongqing are the inspirational elements for this project. The main idea was to keep the existing forms of the villages and existing homes and give a modern contemporary makeover. Included are a multi-media center, wellness and spa facilities , art galleries , green homes, a hotel and childcare facilities. + HEIMdesign

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Luscious eco-resort design in China inspired by the Silk Road

Beached whale appears in Paris, stunning tourists and residents

July 26, 2017 by  
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Imagine strolling along the Seine river in Paris, hand-in-hand with a partner when all of a sudden, you glimpse a beached whale stranded on the shore. Without a doubt, the scene would inspire distress. However, this is exactly the reaction the Captain Boomer Collective was on a mission to evoke. You see, the 17-meter (55-foot) “whale” isn’t actually a marine mammal; rather, it is an art installation which was installed overnight to raise awareness about humanity’s detrimental impact on the environment. The Belgian artist collective installed the whale along the Seine river overnight. It’s unnervingly realistic – and they event went so far as to simulate the smell of a dead sperm whale . In the morning they cordoned the whale off from the public while “forensic scientists” set about studying it. The team wrote on their website , “We place the statue on the beach during the night and prepare bleeding and smell. In the morning the carcass is fenced, to keep people at a distance. We create of circle of about seven meters around the statue. Within this perimeter, the beaching is a true fact. The actors within the fence never drop their cover. They are scientific and official figures of a fictitious organization, the North Sea Whale Association.” Understandably, members of the public believed it to be real upon first viewing it. One Paris resident told the press, “It makes me very sad because for an animal like this to leave the Atlantic to end up here means that there is a problem […] I think it might be our fault.” Related: 337 whales beached in largest stranding event ever – and no one knows why The Mirror reports that the project ultimately aims to raise awareness about humanity’s impact on the environment , including the fact that humans are adversely affecting wildlife with plastic pollution and are overfishing the oceans. Additionally, the team sought to raise awareness about the sperm whale, which is now classified as a vulnerable species due to the impact of commercial whaling. While it is unlikely a sperm whale would ever make it way up the Seine river, the installation isn’t too far off in its depiction – whales are regularly found beached in the North Sea, as IFLScience points out. In fact, Rob Deaville, the UK Cetacean Strandings Investigation Programme project manager, says that during a regular year, it is not uncommon for at least two to five sperm whales to strand themselves in the UK alone. Hopefully, this project gives humanity the abrupt wake-up call it needs. + Captain Boomer Collective Via IFLScience , The Mirror Images via Stéphanie Basquin, Julien Kerduff

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Beached whale appears in Paris, stunning tourists and residents

Doctor warns falling sperm counts could lead to human extinction

July 26, 2017 by  
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Will our lifestyle lead to our extinction ? New findings from an international team of eight researchers indicate sperm counts in men from North America, New Zealand, Australia, and Europe have halved in under 40 years. Lead author epidemiologist Hagai Levine of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem told the BBC, “If we will not change the ways that we are living and the environment and the chemicals that we are exposed to, I am very worried about what will happen in the future.” Sperm count studies have been controversial in the past. This recent one, published this week in the Oxford Academic journal Human Reproduction Update , is one of the biggest assessments ever undertaken, according to the BBC. Researchers pored over 185 studies between 1973 and 2011. Levine detected a 52.4 percent decline in sperm concentration and 59.3 percent drop in total sperm count in the men from those regions of the world listed above. The rate of decline continues and may even be increasing, according to the researchers. They didn’t see the same decline in men from Africa, Asia, or South America, but said there have been fewer studies from these regions. Related: Alarming new study suggests Zika virus could cause infertility in men Levine told the BBC, “Eventually we may have a problem, and with reproduction in general, and it may be the extinction of the human species.” Skeptics say a large proportion of past studies that have pointed to sperm count drops have been flawed, such as only including men who have gone to fertility clinics, and would be likely to possess low sperm counts. But the researchers involved in the new study said they accounted for some of the flaws. Professor Allan Pacey of Sheffield University told the BBC, “I’ve never been particularly convinced by the many studies published so far claiming that human sperm counts have declined in the recent past. However, the study today by Dr. Levine and his colleagues deals head-on with many of the deficiencies of previous studies.” Other scientists praised the quality of the new study but said it may be too soon to come to the conclusion that humans could be on the path to extinction. Researchers at institutions in Denmark, the United States, and Spain were also part of the research. Via the BBC Images via Wikimedia Commons and Pixabay

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Doctor warns falling sperm counts could lead to human extinction

BatBnB unveils line of stylish (scientifically designed) homes for our flying friends

July 26, 2017 by  
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Airbnb disrupted the human housing world, now BatBnB is doing the same for bat housing. We all pretty much know that boxes are a stellar way to attract bats, but let’s be honest, they aren’t exactly good looking. That’s why we’re loving the elegantly designed BatBnB homes, which are attractive enough to display front and center at your home. They’re also designed based on decades of research, so they’re the perfect space for our flying friends. It’s basically like a piece of art for your yard that also boosts conservation efforts. Created by Harrison Broadhurst, architectural designer at Nomi Design and director of customer success at MakeTime   Christoper Rännefors , BatBnB provides a safe place for bats to nest, sleep and stay. Unlike other bat houses, BatBnB is incredibly stylish, so instead of tucking it in some remote corner, you’ll want to display it proudly. There are three style options available in the standard size, plus a mammoth size, so you can find the right one to suit your home. It’s finally the perfect bat house for design lovers. Of course, BatBnB isn’t just snazzy on the outside. It is also thoughtfully designed to be the ultimate space for bats, with grip chambers, proper ventilation and the ideal sizing. It’s so well-designed that it is endorsed by bat experts like executive director of the Organization for Bat Conservation  Rob Mies , who is basically the Beyonce of the bat world. Researchers will also team up with BatBnB owners to collect vital information that will help bats recover from devastating white nose syndrome. Related: 7 Million Bats Killed by White Nose Syndrome: How You Can Help “I’ve studied bats for more than 50 years, led worldwide conservation efforts for bats, and in fact founded the North American Bat House Research Project. With today’s improvements, properly constructed and located bat houses are achieving close to 90% success. I personally helped develop the Bat BnB product line and am delighted to endorse it for its ideal construction and attractive design,” said noted bat expert Merlin Tuttle. Bats are struggling across the US because of habitat loss and  white nose syndrome . It doesn’t help that many people fear bats for being dangerous or diseased, a reputation that is decidedly undeserved. BatBnb is hoping to change that. “We want to help people value bats rather than fear them — those ugly poorly designed models on the market just don’t spark that conversation,” said Rännefors. With climate change making winters shorter, we are seeing more mosquitos all year long, and one of the best ways to naturally control pesky bugs is with predators like bats. Bats are also instrumental in maintaining a healthy environment by helping to fertilize and pollinate plants – in addition to the thousand mosquitoes a single bat can eat every hour . Help BatBnB become a reality, and help change the conversation around bats, by funding the project on Indiegogo . + BatBnB + BatBnB on Indiegogo

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BatBnB unveils line of stylish (scientifically designed) homes for our flying friends

Britain to ban new diesel and petrol cars in 2040

July 26, 2017 by  
Filed under Green

British government ministers think low air quality poses the biggest environmental threat to public health , but that threat is avoidable. They aim to clean up the skies by targeting emissions-spewing vehicles. Following a similar move in France , Britain is to ban the sale of diesel and petrol cars from 2040. Nitrogen oxide is plaguing the air in the United Kingdom. Earlier this year, London smashed annual air pollution limits in a mere five days – and Greenpeace said diesel vehicles were the single biggest source of air pollution in the city. Now the country could commit to ban sales of those polluting cars as part of their clean air plan. The move could even include hybrid vehicles . Related: France to ban all diesel and petrol cars in just over 20 years The government endeavored to move away from taxes on polluting cars, although they’d been encouraged to introduce charges for cars entering clean air zones. They wanted taxes to be a last resort, and a government spokesperson pointed to a £3 billion, around $3.9 billion, program to clean dirty air near roadways that will offer funding to advance local efforts, like retrofitting public transportation , reprogramming traffic lights, and altering road features like speed humps and roundabouts. £1 billion, or $1.3 billion, of the air quality package could go towards promoting low-emissions cars, with £100 million, or $1.3 million, devoted to boosting charging infrastructure for electric vehicles . More money could go to a green bus fund, cycling and walking, and low-emission taxis. The clean air plan has been part of a lengthy legal battle, with the final plan due by the end of July. Environmentalists weren’t impressed with a draft report seen earlier, which some lawyers said was much weaker than they wanted. Environment secretary Michael Grove will hope for a better response, according to The Guardian, when he puts out the final document this week. Via The Guardian Images via Mavis CW on Unsplash and PIVISO on Flickr

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Britain to ban new diesel and petrol cars in 2040

This beautiful but toxic weed could make you go blind

July 26, 2017 by  
Filed under Eco, Green

Be careful before you pick that pretty wildflower . Giant hogweed, which can grow up to twenty-feet-tall and produce attractive white flowers, is a beautiful but dangerous plant. The plant produces a clear sap capable of causing third-degree burns or even blindness in humans who touch it. Native to the Caucasus in Central Asia , giant hogweed has become a wide-ranging invasive species in the Northern United States, Southern Canada, and Western Europe. Those who encounter the toxic flora are advised to admire from a distance. Like Japanese knotweed and other invasive, noxious plant species, giant hogweed was first introduced to the United Kingdom and other countries as an ornamental plant. Its white flowers reveal its familial origins as a member of the carrot family, like its similar though diminutive and less-toxic relative known as Queen Anne’s Lace. Hogweed flowers can be up to two feet across and are popular among pollinators. Related: Could Lasers Be The New Way to Kill Weeds? Hogweed’s curse is its phototoxic sap, which causes skin, eyes or whatever it touches to become highly sensitive to UV light. If the affected skin is exposed to sunlight, it can quickly become red and irritated. Affected areas will rapidly deteriorate if exposure is continued and the sap is not washed off. In North America, giant hogweed usually blooms in July. If possible, it is important to eliminate the plants before they flower and reproduce. “You want to have it eradicated before it does go to seed,” said Barbara Ashey, Town Administrator for Northport, Maine . “There are thousands of these seeds.” On the bright side, pigs and cows seem able to consume giant hogweed without harm and may be used as a biocontrol solution in the fight against the invasive species . Via Bangor Daily News/WGME Images via Nature Photos/Flickr and debs-eye/Flickr

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This beautiful but toxic weed could make you go blind

Delightful treehouse residence weaves through a forest in Thailand

July 26, 2017 by  
Filed under Eco, Green

A family in Thailand planted a small forest in their backyard and built their home to adapt to the trees without disturbing them. Studio Miti designed the Forest House as a cluster of four structures interconnected with wooden terraces and walkways , for the ultimate fantasy treetop dream home. Architect’s measured the space between the trees to determine how large the home could be. In order to provide enough living spaces, the home had to be divided into multiple volumes. The house brings together architecture and nature by creating a balance between the two. The main idea was to build around existing trees and offer different views of the lush surroundings. Related: Thai eco-resort delights guests with woven pods and other sublime dwellings The new structures were placed on a cross-shaped layout and include a terrace , hallway, living area, bedroom and bathroom. All were made using l ocal building techniques to have the least impact possible on the environment. + Studio Miti Via Archdaily Photos by art4d magazine / Ketsiree Wongwan

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Delightful treehouse residence weaves through a forest in Thailand

New subway-style map shows how US rivers connect cities and national parks

July 26, 2017 by  
Filed under Eco, Green

When we think of transportation in the United States, we don’t always think of rivers . But according to designer Theo Rindos , the country’s waterways once were and still worthy of travel. He designed a subway-style map of America’s major rivers inspired by Harry Beck’s 1933 London Underground Tube Map . The new map reveals how rivers connect cities and national parks in the country. Rindos, a Yonkers-based illustrator, grew up in Montana near the Yellowstone River , where he spent his childhood rafting, tubing, and fly fishing. He translated his love for the water into a crisp subway map, Major Rivers of the United States, featuring the country’s major rivers like the Mississippi River , the Rio Grande, and, of course, the Yellowstone River. Related: Sierra Club Draws a Subway Map of America’s National Parks Data from the United States Geological Survey , Wikipedia, and Google Maps helped Rindos draw up the map, with the the iconic 1930’s map influencing his design . Rindos told CityLab, “London is a very old city and the streets are not laid out in a grid, but Harry found a way to transform something chaotic into something clean, readable, and beautiful. I wanted to take something completely natural and structure it as a transit system, because technically these rivers once were and still are a form of transportation.” He prioritized rivers key today in shipping and transportation, although left some, like the Potomac River, off the map for aesthetic purposes. The ends of each line generally indicate river sources. Stops on the map are towns and cities along the waterways. Smaller rivers, like the Pecos River or the Sacramento River, are drawn on as bus routes. Rindos also divided the country up into 18 Watershed Hydraulic Unit Code zones, like New England or the Great Lakes. Rindos’ subway map is available for purchase online here . + Theo Rindos Via CityLab Images © Theo Rindos

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New subway-style map shows how US rivers connect cities and national parks

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