You can help monitor Amazon deforestation from your couch

October 2, 2020 by  
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While many people around the world worry about deforestation in the Amazon rainforest , to most of us, it’s still remote. Most people have never visited the Amazon, and many have no idea what they can do about deforestation. But a new online tracking system relies on citizen scientists to help monitor the Amazon via satellite. “You don’t have to be a climate scientist, you don’t have to be a data scientist, you just have to be a citizen that is concerned about the issue of deforestation,” said Elliot Inman, a researcher at systems analysis company SAS, as reported in Huffington Post . SAS worked with Austria-based International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis to create an app that depends on humans to look at images and help train artificial intelligence to spot deforestation. Related: These AI-powered cameras can sense poachers and save wildlife World Resources Institute oversees the resulting Global Forest Watch tracking system. First, a computer algorithm scans incoming images. When it identifies a place where trees have recently disappeared, it flags that image. Human eyes are needed to help discern what might have caused those missing trees. Volunteers scan the images for signs of human impact, such as roads, farm plots or tree lines that are suspiciously straight. This human input helps train the artificial intelligence , so that eventually the system will be able to digest images more quickly on its own. The system relies on consensus from multiple users. Sometimes it’s tricky to determine whether a brown patch on an image is due to humans burning trees to clear land for agriculture versus a natural forest fire . With a bit of training, citizen scientists are better able to notice small things that the computer might miss, such as a thin line that indicates a primitive road leading to the burned clearing. Data gathered by the system will help conservation organizations and governments identify when they should intervene to protect ecosystems. In the future, Global Forest Watch may even help predict where deforestation will happen next. All you need to help is an internet connection and a little bit of free time. + Global Forest Watch Via Huffington Post Image via Sentinel Hub

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You can help monitor Amazon deforestation from your couch

A net-zero compact home in Seattle is inspired by Shibui minimalism

October 2, 2020 by  
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Refined, elemental and minimal: these words were the inspiration behind a recently completed net-zero home in West Seattle. Built to endure the test of time and incorporate elegance with an unobtrusive aesthetic and restrained size, the home takes inspiration from the Japanese concept of Shibui. Uncomplicated and honest, the concept of Shibui in design favors simple, subtle beauty. The architectural team followed the client’s suggestion to utilize the technique by creating a minimal -yet-elegant home with few superfluous touches. Though the design is uncomplicated, leading to a sense of peace while inside, it is not lacking in convenience. Despite being on the smaller side when compared to similar luxury homes, the 1,153-square-foot house still has an open-plan kitchen, a living and dining area, a den to be used as an office or guest room, two bathrooms and a garage with electric vehicle charging capability, bike storage and a trash room. Related: Twin timber buildings draw inspiration from traditional Japanese shrines The home also maintains a small carbon footprint with energy-efficient features like Passive House-certified windows for high thermal performance, LED fixtures and WaterSense-certified fixtures. To put more value on privacy, the home is set farther back from the street to create a sense of distance from the public. Setting the house back also gained the additional bonus of preserving an existing cherry tree onsite. There is a non-infiltrating bio-retention tank to collect rain and stormwater, filtering the collected water before applying it to landscaping inside the raised yard. The location of interior spaces, also guided by privacy and control, features diagonal views and sliding doors that block neighbor views. A large roof accommodates a substantial solar panel system and guards the home against the elements. On the upper level, the home opens fully to the west deck through patio sliders while roof overhangs provide protection for occupants. + SHED Architecture and Design Photography by Rafael Soldi via SHED Architecture and Design

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A net-zero compact home in Seattle is inspired by Shibui minimalism

A net-zero compact home in Seattle is inspired by Shibui minimalism

October 2, 2020 by  
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Refined, elemental and minimal: these words were the inspiration behind a recently completed net-zero home in West Seattle. Built to endure the test of time and incorporate elegance with an unobtrusive aesthetic and restrained size, the home takes inspiration from the Japanese concept of Shibui. Uncomplicated and honest, the concept of Shibui in design favors simple, subtle beauty. The architectural team followed the client’s suggestion to utilize the technique by creating a minimal -yet-elegant home with few superfluous touches. Though the design is uncomplicated, leading to a sense of peace while inside, it is not lacking in convenience. Despite being on the smaller side when compared to similar luxury homes, the 1,153-square-foot house still has an open-plan kitchen, a living and dining area, a den to be used as an office or guest room, two bathrooms and a garage with electric vehicle charging capability, bike storage and a trash room. Related: Twin timber buildings draw inspiration from traditional Japanese shrines The home also maintains a small carbon footprint with energy-efficient features like Passive House-certified windows for high thermal performance, LED fixtures and WaterSense-certified fixtures. To put more value on privacy, the home is set farther back from the street to create a sense of distance from the public. Setting the house back also gained the additional bonus of preserving an existing cherry tree onsite. There is a non-infiltrating bio-retention tank to collect rain and stormwater, filtering the collected water before applying it to landscaping inside the raised yard. The location of interior spaces, also guided by privacy and control, features diagonal views and sliding doors that block neighbor views. A large roof accommodates a substantial solar panel system and guards the home against the elements. On the upper level, the home opens fully to the west deck through patio sliders while roof overhangs provide protection for occupants. + SHED Architecture and Design Photography by Rafael Soldi via SHED Architecture and Design

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A net-zero compact home in Seattle is inspired by Shibui minimalism

What To Do When Your Water Tastes Bad

October 1, 2019 by  
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It’s understandable that Americans would be a little bit nervous … The post What To Do When Your Water Tastes Bad appeared first on Earth911.com.

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What To Do When Your Water Tastes Bad

How to Make a Terrarium in 5 Steps

December 19, 2017 by  
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If you’re looking to bring a little bit of the … The post How to Make a Terrarium in 5 Steps appeared first on Earth911.com.

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How to Make a Terrarium in 5 Steps

Florida power company scraps nuclear project, will pursue solar power instead

September 1, 2017 by  
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A controversial nuclear project won’t be moving forward in Florida . Power company Duke Energy Florida filed a proposed settlement agreement with the Florida Public Service Commission (FPSC) that would end the Levy Nuclear Project – which customers were paying for before it was even begun – and prioritize grid modernization and solar energy . Part of the settlement includes a four-year plan to install 700 megawatts (MW) of solar in western Florida. Ratepayers have forked over around $800 million for the Levy Nuclear Project, which was first proposed in 2008. In 2013, Duke Energy Florida cancelled construction and engineering agreements, although they said they hoped to return to the project. The Levy plant would have offered 2.2 gigawatts of power. $150 million remained in costs, which the company said they would have recovered via rates, but under the settlement customers won’t have to pay more money for the nuclear project that never got far off the ground. Related: Abandoned nuclear power plant given new life as a solar farm Under the revised settlement, the company would invest in grid modernization efforts like smart meters and as much as 50 MW of battery storage . They’d install over 500 electric vehicle charging stations. They also plan to put in 700 MW of solar power, including the 74.9 MW Hamilton Solar Plant, which they hope to begin building in early 2018. The solar plant, the company’s sixth, could power over 20,000 homes. Residential customers could see their average monthly bill cut by $2.50, according to Tampa Bay Times, although they won’t be reimbursed for the $800 million. 1.8 million customers receive power from Duke Energy Florida, and the settlement means their bills might go up a little bit less than the company recently forecast, according to Tampa Bay Times. Duke filed for a 8.5 percent increase from the present rate last week, which under the new settlement would be a 4.6 percent increase. Duke Energy Florida said in a statement they anticipated a decision from the FPSC by December. Via Ars Technica , Tampa Bay Times , and Duke Energy Florida Images via NASA and Duke Energy Facebook

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Florida power company scraps nuclear project, will pursue solar power instead

Old converted church hides gorgeous modern interiors in London

September 1, 2017 by  
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An old Victorian-style church in London was transformed into a gorgeous modern home that belies its historic exterior. Purchased by local interior designer Gianna Camilotti in 2013, this late 19th century church was gutted and converted into a contemporary home and office that still retains the building’s historic charms. Gianna Camilotti Interiors designed much of the furniture in-house within the Grade II-listed property. Located in Chingford, North East London, The James Spicer Memorial Church Hall School had served as a school and meeting place. In 2013, Camilotti snapped up the property and gave the tired building a luxurious makeover . The goal was to create a unique space that could accommodate intimate gatherings of friends with “an atmosphere of London piano-bars.” The award-winning church conversion project was recently put up for rent on Portico . Related: Historic Missouri church rises from the ashes with an eco-friendly twist The 237-square-meter building’s original vaulted doors and windows were preserved and the curved oak beams exposed. The interior features an open-plan design with a spacious living room, dining area, and kitchen on the first floor and a master bedroom with ensuite bathroom as well as a second bedroom on the upper floor. The vaulted ceiling reaches 9 meters in height in the middle of the home. Luxury amenities include underfloor heating installed throughout the interior, granite countertops, a self-playing digital piano, and an assortment of furnishings designed by Camilotti. The lavish interiors also open up to an outdoor garden area and patio with seating. + Gianna Camilotti Interiors Via Contemporist Images via Portico

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Old converted church hides gorgeous modern interiors in London

Woman attempts to cross Irish Sea in giant hamster ball

March 18, 2016 by  
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A British TV presenter attempted to cross the Irish Sea between Northern Ireland and Scotland in a zorb — a plastic orb that is essentially a human-sized hamster ball. While it may sound a little bit crazy, the challenge was for a good cause: Lindsey Russell was supporting Sport Relief , a UK fundraising organization that challenges participants to walk, run, swim or cycle to raise money for good causes. Read the rest of Woman attempts to cross Irish Sea in giant hamster ball

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Woman attempts to cross Irish Sea in giant hamster ball

New law in Italy forces supermarkets to donate unsold food to those in need

March 18, 2016 by  
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Italy’s  government is preparing to approve a measure that will require supermarkets to donate unsold food to those in need. Following in the footsteps of France, where a similar law became effective earlier this year, the arguably food-obsessed Mediterranean nation seeks to cut down on the enormous amounts of food that go to waste each year. The proposed legislation will require supermarkets to donate unsold or unused food to organizations that use it to feed hungry people, making it both a win for the environment, society and the economy. Read the rest of New law in Italy forces supermarkets to donate unsold food to those in need

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New law in Italy forces supermarkets to donate unsold food to those in need

The Winery That’s Never Purchased A Wine Bottle

December 16, 2015 by  
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At Bunker Hill Winery, things are just a little bit different. Well, make that a LOT different. This family-owned sustainable winery in Parrish, Florida is serving up unique wines in eco-friendly packaging and sharing their commitment to the…

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The Winery That’s Never Purchased A Wine Bottle

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