California’s "Butt Lady picks up 1,000,000 littered cigarette butts in 3.5 years

February 26, 2018 by  
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Cigarette butts account for an estimated 1.69 billion pounds of trash produced worldwide annually, a good number of which never even find their way into proper trash receptacles. Instead, most of them are ingested by aquatic creatures, wildlife, and pets, or simply left to languish in streets everywhere as litter. Sick and tired of seeing her town of Auburn, California marred by the toxic trash , resident Sally Dawly decided that she would make it her aim to pick up every stray butt she encountered—and keep count while at it. Incredibly, after 3.5 years, Dawly has collected over one million thoughtlessly discarded cigarette butts. “I got tired of going on my walks and seeing cigarette butts everywhere,” Dawly told her local news station. “I’m just overwhelmed and shocked that I had to pick up this many. I keep track on a daily basis of how many I pick up and I just keep going.” Related: This startup is training crows to throw away cigarette butt litter To keep count, Dawly uses a clicker. In her tackle, she also carries a broom, a pair of tongs, and a dustpan, all of which are put to good use daily. “I’ve had days where I’ve picked up 3,000 butts, in one day,” she says, “and it’s like, come on people. Don’t throw your butts, better yet, stop smoking.” The anti-littering activist picked up her first butt in October, 2014, and on  Valentine’s Day , she hit her historic milestone of 1 million cigarette butts. But she has no plans on stopping there and has already set a new goal to collect 2 million cigarette butts. Her story has also inspired countless others to join the effort to keep streets butt-free. In Auburn, cigarette receptacles have been installed outside bars and around the city, and locals consider her a bit of a local hero. As she approached 1 million butts, a number came out to cheer her on. They are also the ones who lovingly bestowed the name “Butt Lady” upon her. Via Oddity Central Lead image via Deposit Photos , others screencaps via CBS news

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California’s "Butt Lady picks up 1,000,000 littered cigarette butts in 3.5 years

Beautiful eco-friendly living room pops up in downtown Kenmore

February 26, 2018 by  
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A “symbolic living room” with a sustainable approach has sprung up in the heart of downtown Kenmore, Washington. Opened last year, the Kenmore Town Square shows how investment in public spaces can transform a town’s reputation and improve livability. Graham Baba Architects designed the Town Square’s focal point, the $4.5 million Hangar building, which also meets the 2030 Challenge that advocates for carbon-neutral buildings. Located a few miles north of Seattle , Kenmore is shedding its image of suburban sprawl for one that embraces greater livability and pedestrian access in its downtown core. Created as part of an ambitious downtown redevelopment plan, the 24,000-square-foot Town Square and the Hangar inject vibrancy to the city core, attracting residents and visitors with diverse programming as well as active and passive spaces. Hewitt Landscape Architects served as the prime consultant and project landscape architect. The addition of the pavilion -like Hangar promotes year-round and all-weather enjoyment of the Town Square and opens up to the surroundings via a 24-foot-wide by 16-foot-tall bi-fold window wall. Wrapped in structural insulated panels , the building is built of durable and low-maintenance materials from its steel structural beams and columns to a standing seam metal roof. A deep roof overhang shields visitors from the sun and rain. Related: Chophouse Row mixes modern and vintage in a trendy Seattle pedestrian haven The Hangar interior features a series of flexible assembly spaces that can be rearranged with partitions. The polished concrete floor is installed with radiant floor heating and, in addition to operable window walls and large fans, provide a comfortable indoor temperature year-round. The Hangar also meets the 2030 Challenge based on the Total Project Energy Use Index (EUI) for when the project was designed (2015) and achieves a 79% reduction in CO2 emissions as compared to the typical U.S. building of the same type and size. + Graham Baba Architects Images by Andrew Pogue

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Beautiful eco-friendly living room pops up in downtown Kenmore

What’s next: Highly efficient thin film solar panels

October 21, 2011 by  
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Jaspreet Kaur Walia: Highly efficient thin film solar panels Highly efficient thin film solar panels the futuristic renewable energy resource As we know it Thin Film Solar Cells or TFSC are solar cells in actuality. Also known as thin film photovoltaic cells or TFPC, they consist of a substrate that is used to place thin layers of photovoltaic material one above the other. They come in a wide variety and give people the flexibility to pick and choose in terms of fabrication and design. A lot of substrates can be used to deposit the different layers along with a variety of techniques. The performance of a device can be enhanced by tailoring and engineering the layers. The thickness of these layers can vary and range from as less as a few nanometers to tens of micrometers. TFSC are split into various categories depending on the kind of photovoltaic material that has been used to make them. They are commercially available and can be installed on roofs to convert solar energy into electricity. Need for change Traditional silicon based cells are thick and hence have a problem absorbing light as compared to thin film solar cells. TFSCs use less material as compared to silicon ones and are also light in weight. These can be effortlessly deposited on supple substrates as well. No doubt silicon is cheap and readily available, but the amount of energy and processing required getting the crystalline structure and purity is very high in comparison with thin film solar cells. What’s Next? 1. IBM thin-film PV solar cell IBM thin-film PV solar cell IBM’s New Thin-film Solar Cell is 40% More Efficient What’s new IBM has developed an all new thin-film PV solar cell that is 9.6 percent efficient. It has been made from earth abundant materials and is thought to be the one of the most efficient thin film solar cell. The wide production will be achieved because of the presence of tin, zinc, copper, selenium and/or sulfur. The device will perform without getting obstructed by impurities like carbon, chlorine or oxygen because of the presence of hydrazine. What difference will it make Thin-film PV solar cell by IBM is able to achieve 40 percent more efficiency than its previous products in the same league. It is 9.6 percent efficient which is quite commendable keeping in mind it has been made using earth abundant materials. There are more commercial versions available that boast of an 11 percent efficiency but not to forget they have been created from expensive compounds such as cadmium, gallium, copper, indium and tellurium that pumps up their price as well. Usage of earth abundant materials makes it possible to produce it at a large scale. Problems The concept is at its initial stages so no one knows what the final product will be like. Moreover, chances are people may opt for something that gives higher efficiency irrespective of the price tag it comes stashed with. IBM is on no mood to manufacture Thin-film PV solar cells but is thinking to license the technology, which may again take time. 2. SoloPower thin-film rooftops solar cells SoloPower thin-film rooftops solar cells SoloPower’s thin-film flexible solar cells for commercial rooftops What’s new SoloPower has unveiled a line of thin-film rooftop solar cells in a hope to lower the cost of solar energy. These flexible panels are light in weight and easy to install. They are apt for commercial use and have been made by coupling gallium, indium, selenium and copper. These materials have been positioned on a supple foil and company has made good use of roll to roll electroplating process. Usage of this process makes the solar panels very cost competitive in comparison to other technologies and manufacturers available in the market. What difference will it make SoloPower thin-film rooftop solar cells weigh much lighter than the glass encased panels. It can easily achieve an efficiency of 11 percent, which is worth applauding. These are easy to install rooftop solar cells that can be used at a commercial level. They have been specially designed for commercial buildings with a flat roof where they can be laminated onto the rooftop. Problems The use of expensive materials will definitely make the line expensive. It won’t be picked by people who want a cost-effective solution for their homes. 3. CIGS thin film solar cell CIGS thin film solar cell CIGS thin film solar cell by Researchers at the Chinese University of Hong Kong What’s new CIGS thin film solar cell does not need buckets of cash in terms of making it and is being developed by researchers at the Chinese University of Hong Kong. The best part being it can be used for a variety of purposes which includes installation on outer walls, rooftops plus handbags and even backpacks. This is quite impressive and makes sure that people can use solar energy efficiently and effectively. What difference will it make The thin film solar cell by CIGS can effortlessly touch 17 percent conversion efficiency. This will allow people to charge electronic gadgets right away without having to hunt for an electric socket. If this becomes a reality and the solar cells are installed on all roofs of the city, it is expected that almost 40 percent of electricity needs can be fulfilled by using just solar cells. Problems Since they are being produced using Cu(InGa)Se2 it may take a good number of years for these thin film solar cell to overpower crystalline silicon solar cell that dominate the present day markets and are very popular.

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What’s next: Highly efficient thin film solar panels

How can I reuse or recycle a LOT of pinback buttons/badges?

July 13, 2011 by  
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(Ooops, sorry for the absence – I was busy then ill because I’d been busy and also ill because I ate some tasted-fine-but-actually-bad out of date sausages. Yes.) Right then, Nicole has been in touch asking about “pinback buttons”: I have thousands of pinback buttons from a failed work campaign. Would love to make them over into something pretty and/or useful. Any suggestions? I think “pinback buttons” are what we in Britain usually just call “badges” – which we have covered before . There are some great reuses on there (I love fabric covered badges ) but I’m not sure if that’s an appropriate suggestion for Nicole – unless she wants to make thousands of them. The decorative pinboard pins idea might be better – since you’d use a good number on a pinboard at a time – unless the campaign failed so badly that you don’t want to be reminded of it 😉 Any more ideas for using up a lot of pinback buttons/badges? (Photo by Ellen Munro )

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How can I reuse or recycle a LOT of pinback buttons/badges?

How can I make a solar oven reusing and recycling things?

March 23, 2010 by  
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Aside from the rain we had pretty much all day yesterday, it’s been a lovely start to spring – I’ve had the washing out on the line on a good number of occasions now, we’ve had a few breakfasts on the sunny balcony with the animals and the cats have been enjoying the novelty of sitting both in sunshine and in the house – something that’s never happened to them before – and they’ve been getting toasty warm … which made me think “what else can I make toasty warm in the sunshine?” (Plus, we got our gas bill through yesterday for the cold winter – even relying on just the woodburning stove in the evenings and wearing lots of layers, it’s still kerching!kerching! Trying out a solar oven has been on my to-do list for a while – but they’re expensive and hard to get in the UK so it makes sense to make my own instead. There are how-tos for making them out of cardboard boxes and aluminium foil and better how-tos to make them more efficient – but I wondered if anyone had any suggestions of things to reuse or recycle for the materials involved in such a venture. And does anyone have any ideas of ways to make things a little more permanent/weatherproof

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How can I make a solar oven reusing and recycling things?

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