This British caf is serving to-go coffee in ceramic mugs to combat waste

July 5, 2018 by  
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A coffee shop northeast of London wants to serve its customers coffee in a mug from your home.  La Tour Cycle Café has a novel idea to stop its reliance on disposable coffee cups: pour everything into reusable ceramic mugs, even if the order is to-go. A 2017 report from Britain’s House of Commons discovered as many as 2.5 billion coffee cups are disposed across the United Kingdom every year. This equates to more than 6.8 million cups per day. To cut down the amount of waste from hot beverages, the La Tour Cycle Café has started serving everything — including to-go beverages — in  reusable mugs . Although customers sometimes choose to take their beverages with them, supplying more mugs for the next customer isn’t a problem for the café. Every day, the business puts out a collection basket for coffee drinkers to return their cups . While many choose to come back with their glassware, even more use the opportunity to clean out their cabinets and donate their unused mugs to the café. “We’ve all got mugs languishing in our cupboards that we no longer need,” Anna Matthews, the owner of La Tour Cycle Café, told the BBC . “Why not donate them to your local coffee shop and allow people to actually have a hot drink in a china cup while they walk around?” Related: German city offers ingenious alternative to single-use coffee cups The unique program allows people to reduce the amount of waste destined for landfills  while still enjoying their favorite beverages. But reusing and recycling isn’t a new concept for Matthews and La Tour Cycle. Earlier in 2018, Matthews worked with a contractor team to transform a vacated building. Matthews was able to move her business into the bigger space, which features better wheelchair accessibility and public art displays. The café — and its eclectic collection of coffee mugs — only plans to be in the new space for two years;  Matthews has aspirations to move and give new life to another abandoned building by then. + La Tour Cycle Café Via BBC , The East Anglican Daily Times  and  Treehugger

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This British caf is serving to-go coffee in ceramic mugs to combat waste

Dykstra Proposes Putting Modern Automatic Sails On Large Container Vessels

December 20, 2012 by  
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For several years now, many naval firms have proposed bringing back sails on modern ships in order to reduce fuel consumption and lower  greenhouse gas emissions . Ideas have ranged from utilizing solar sails to employing old-fashioned sheet sails. But now Dutch company Dykstra Naval Architects has put forward plans for a new concept sail-powered ship. Dubbed ‘ The Ecoliner Fair Winds ‘, the vessel has four massive “automatic” sails that use satellite-based weather data to harness the wind and calculate the most optimal route for the ship. The system could enable shipping fleets the world over to reduce the CO2 footprint of their fleet . Read the rest of Dykstra Proposes Putting Modern Automatic Sails On Large Container Vessels Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: “wind power” , container vessels , Dykstra Naval Architects , Ecoliner , fair transport , global shipping , satellite-based weather data , solar sails , The Ecoliner Fair Winds , wind power vessel

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Dykstra Proposes Putting Modern Automatic Sails On Large Container Vessels

Report Shows That Protected Wilderness Areas Are Excellent Drivers for the Economy

December 20, 2012 by  
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It is true that money does not grow on trees, but it could come from people traveling to see them. A report titled “ West Is Best: How Public Lands in the West Create a Competitive Economic Advantage ,” written by Headwaters Economics this month, details how the West’s 355 million acres of parks and wilderness areas are drivers for high-wage jobs and local economies. Incredibly, in rural counties where land was under some sort of federal protection, employment increased by 345% over the past four decades. By contrast, in areas that had no protection, jobs increased by only 83%. It seems that preservation is a lucrative business. Read the rest of Report Shows That Protected Wilderness Areas Are Excellent Drivers for the Economy Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: economy , headwaters economics , high wages , high-tech jobs , monuments , parks , preservation , protected land , protection , public lands , report , west is best , wilderness

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Report Shows That Protected Wilderness Areas Are Excellent Drivers for the Economy

Nissan LEAF to Power Homes in Japan

August 3, 2011 by  
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In Japan this week, Nissan unveiled a system for using their LEAF EV to power a house during a power outage or shortage. The two-way charging device isn’t a new concept, it’s been part of the idea for EVs all along, but finally companies are producing the technology and nations are getting behind the idea of using EVs for extra power.  Denmark recently became the first country to create a program that pays EV owners for the power they feed back to the grid . The two-way system is beneficial in two ways:  it lightens the load on the grid during peak hours and helps cover power shortages and it also allows EV owners to buy their power during cheaper night hours and then use it during more expensive peak hours. The Nissan LEAF batteries can store up to 24kWh of electricity, which could power an average Japanese home for about two days.  If the system is just used during peak hours during the day though, the car would still have plenty of juice left for everyday trips. In Japan where nuclear reactors have been taken offline since the tsunami, power shortages and blackouts have become more common.  Lithium ion storage batteries are available for homeowners to use as back-up power, but if you can use your car for the same purpose, it becomes more simplified. via IT World

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Nissan LEAF to Power Homes in Japan

ZTE’s ‘Double’ cellphone concept never runs out of juice on a sunny day

December 21, 2010 by  
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Eco Factor: Concept cellphone harnesses renewable solar energy. Designers at ZTE Corporation have unveiled a new concept cellphone, dubbed the Double, which will never run out of juice on a sunny day. The concept phone features photovoltaic panels across its entire façade, which harness sunlight to recharge the onboard battery

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ZTE’s ‘Double’ cellphone concept never runs out of juice on a sunny day

Honda to start Electric Vehicle Testing Program in Japan

December 21, 2010 by  
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Eco Factor: EV testing program to include solar-powered public charging stations. The lack of proper infrastructure to accommodate electric vehicles has been a major hurdle in the global adoption of clean electric cars

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Honda to start Electric Vehicle Testing Program in Japan

Toronto working on garbage trucks that are powered by garbage

November 11, 2010 by  
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Eco Factor: Biogas-capable garbage trucks will be powered by waste. Using landfills to generate electricity is not a new concept for the City of Toronto. The city is now taking the energy generating capability of waste to a new level, by working on a garbage truck that can run on biogas generated from garbage

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Toronto working on garbage trucks that are powered by garbage

Plug-In Solar Appliance Brings Cheap Solar Power to Homes

August 18, 2010 by  
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Solar power company Clarian Technologies has developed a new concept in residential solar power:  the solar appliance.  Just like a refrigerator or microwave, a homeowner can buy the Sunfish solar power system, plug it into any outdoor outlet and start feeding solar power into their home. Whereas most solar power systems require a contractor to install the module and an electrician to connect it to the electric panel through an inverter (to convert the DC power generated to AC power), Clarian says a handy homeowner can install the Sunfish themselves in about an hour. The other major bonus of such a plug-and-play-type system, is the cost.  Let’s face it, that’s the main draw.  The base model Sunfish will cost $799 with the largest running about $4,000, where a typical roof-mounted system costs a minimum of $10,000 and goes steeply up from there.

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Plug-In Solar Appliance Brings Cheap Solar Power to Homes

Concentrated Solar Power Isn’t Just for Deserts, It Could be for Walls Too

March 11, 2010 by  
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Usually when you read about concentrated solar power, it’s referring to some large project destined for the Mojave Desert, but Syracuse’s Center of Excellence in Environmental and Energy Systems (SyracuseCoE) has set out to prove that this technology can be used in smaller, colder settings. SyracuseCoE in Syracuse, NY is itself a LEED-platinum-certified, 55,000 square-foot building that serves as a testing ground for renewable energy and efficiency technologies.  The south wall of the building is home to a concentrated solar facade that, at first glance, resembles the frosted cube walls found in doctors’ office waiting rooms. This 8-foot by 8-foot facade houses several clear pyramid lenses that track the sun and concentrate the rays onto high-efficiency PV cells.  Extra energy not converted to electricity is used for heating water and radiant heat in the building.  And because it’s made up of clear panels, it also adds natural lighting indoors.  You can watch a video of the system at work here .

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Concentrated Solar Power Isn’t Just for Deserts, It Could be for Walls Too

Transonic Combustion Improves Gas Engine Efficiency Over 50%

March 10, 2010 by  
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Conventional gasoline engines are terribly inefficient things. Only 13% of the energy of the fuel actually moves the car. 62% is lost in the engine as waste heat, and driveline losses, accessories, and idling also reduce the efficiency

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Transonic Combustion Improves Gas Engine Efficiency Over 50%

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