Category 5 Hurricane Irma is one of the most powerful Atlantic hurricanes ever

September 5, 2017 by  
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Hurricane Irma has been upgraded to a Category 5 storm , and could be one of the most powerful Atlantic hurricanes ever. The National Hurricane Center (NHC) is warning that Irma could potentially be catastrophic, with winds whirling at 180 miles per hour – so strong that they are showing up on earthquake monitoring equipment. Even worse, the NHC said there’s an increasing chance the storm will slam into  Florida . With sustained winds of 180mph, #Irma is now stronger than Katrina was at its peak. A monstrous, horrific storm. pic.twitter.com/jCwe4XTPxS — Eric Holthaus (@EricHolthaus) September 5, 2017 With the United States still reeling after Tropical Storm Harvey , communities are bracing for another catastrophe as Irma is looking like it will impact Florida later this week or during the weekend. But there are also many other islands it could hit on its way to the United States. Irma could affect the Leeward Islands as an “extremely dangerous Category 5 hurricane” soon, according to NHC . It could also impact the US and British Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, Hispaniola, the Turks and Caicos, the Bahamas, and Cuba. Related: 1,200 dead, millions homeless due to flooding in India, Nepal, and Bangladesh NHC said it’s too early to determine Irma’s direct impacts on the continental United States, other than an increasing chance it could affect the Florida Peninsula and the Florida Keys. Florida governor Rick Scott doesn’t seem to be taking any chances. He declared a state of emergency in Florida after a Monday advisory update. He’s activated 100 National Guard members and 6,000 stand ready. He’s spoken with President Donald Trump , and the Orlando Sentinel said Trump activated pre-landfall emergency declaration so federal funds and resources will be available. Scott said, “Hurricane Irma is a major and life-threatening storm and Florida must be prepared…while the exact path of Irma is not absolutely known at this time, we cannot afford to not be prepared.” According to the Orlando Sentinel, most forecast models indicate the whole state of Florida could feel the hurricane’s impact. NHC urged everyone in hurricane-prone areas to “ensure that they have their hurricane plan in place.” Via the Orlando Sentinel and the National Hurricane Center Images via Wikimedia Commons and the National Hurricane Center

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Category 5 Hurricane Irma is one of the most powerful Atlantic hurricanes ever

Hurricane Harvey may have totaled up to 500,000 cars

August 30, 2017 by  
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Hurricane Harvey didn’t just devastate homes and businesses – it may also have totaled up to half a million cars. An estimated 500,000 Texan vehicles will likely be scrapped, leading to a massive sales wave of new and used cars in the near future. Compared to the fallout of other major storms, such as Hurricane Sandy , the density of totaled vehicles in Houston is staggering. Cox Automotive — the company behind Kelly Blue Book and Autotrader — told CNBC that nearly 500,000 vehicles are likely to be totaled. Reportedly, “scores” of trucks and cars had water up to their windows and, in some cases, over the hood and roof. Said Jonathon Smoke, chief economist for Cox Automotive, “This is worse than Hurricane Sandy . Sandy was bad, but the flooding with Hurricane Harvey could impact far more vehicles.” 250,000 vehicles were scrapped in 2012 when Hurricane Sandy battered New York and New Jersey. Related: 1,200 dead, millions homeless due to flooding in India, Nepal, and Bangladesh Whenever a hurricane hits, it leaves a legacy of damaged property, industrial waste, raw sewage, and oil spills – and the repercussions of Hurricane Harvey will be felt for many months. According to Ryan Maue with Weatherbell, 11 trillion gallons of rain dumped on the state during the actual storm ; by the time the weather dissipates completely, that number is expected to increase to 25 trillion gallons of rain. In total, 30,000 people sought temporary shelter and 450,000 are expected to seek assistance from FEMA . Via Jalopnik , CNN , CNBC Images via Defense.gov

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Hurricane Harvey may have totaled up to 500,000 cars

1,200 dead, millions homeless due to flooding in India, Nepal, and Bangladesh

August 30, 2017 by  
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Monsoon rains have drenched India , Bangladesh , and Nepal in what some people are saying is the worst flooding disaster to hit the area in years. South Asia often battles flooding during monsoon season, which runs from around June to September, but authorities say the disaster has been worse this year. At least 1,200 people have died, and millions of people have been left homeless after the deluge. Floods have washed away tens of thousands of houses and led to landslides in Nepal, Bangladesh, and India. Electric towers and roads have been damaged, while farmland has filled with water. The International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) said floods have impacted over 7.4 million people in Bangladesh, where over 697,000 homes have been demolished. Related: World is failing to prepare for increasing natural disasters, UN expert says In the state of Bihar in India, 17.1 million people have been impacted, with 514 killed. Disaster management official Anirudh Kumar of Patna, Bihar’s capital, said 2017’s farming has collapsed due to the waters, which will cause more unemployment in the area. In Uttar Pradesh, 2.5 million have been affected and 109 have died. Thousands of people in the country have sought shelter in relief camps. And landslides in Nepal have killed over 100 people, according to IFRC. According to international aid agencies, flooding has cut off thousands of villages, where people are suffering without clean water or food for days. In Mumbai , India, public transportation was halted and people were left stranded because of the floods. In some places, people waded through water up to their waists. Rescue missions were thwarted because of the rains; Mumbai joint police commissioner Amitesh Kumar said, “Even we are stranded.” The city is vulnerable to storms since buildings have been constructed on coastal areas and flood plains, and waterways and storm drains are often blocked by plastic garbage . Via The Independent and The Guardian Images via screenshot and screenshot

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1,200 dead, millions homeless due to flooding in India, Nepal, and Bangladesh

The top 7 WTF moments in fashion this year

December 31, 2016 by  
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Has there ever been a year in our lifetime that so many of us have been so eager to kiss good-bye? It seems like there wasn’t a single thing not touched by tragedy: music, art, fashion , (ahem) politics . Check out our roundup of the top 7 WTF moments of 2016 and tell us which was the worst of the worst.

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The top 7 WTF moments in fashion this year

Dozens of violations found at the factory that makes Trump shirts in Bangladesh

November 5, 2016 by  
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The sweatshop that produces Donald Trump -branded clothing has been cited for a “yuge” list of safety violations. The factory is an unsafe work environment for workers at the Elite Garment Industries factory in Bangladesh. Violations ranging from insufficient fire alarm systems, faulty wiring, lack of fire escapes and “highly stressed” support columns in the building’s infrastructure threaten the lives of employees every day. READ MORE > 

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Dozens of violations found at the factory that makes Trump shirts in Bangladesh

Thinking outside the ‘western box’ for employee engagement

October 6, 2016 by  
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A case study of garment factories in Bangladesh on how to improve worker health, happiness and productivity.

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Thinking outside the ‘western box’ for employee engagement

Business action on the SDGs: Insights from GSK

October 6, 2016 by  
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The British pharmaceutical giant opens up about its sustainability agenda.

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Business action on the SDGs: Insights from GSK

Another Bangladesh factory fire leaves 34 dead, 40 injured, and 10 still missing

September 20, 2016 by  
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On September 11, a raging fire tore through a packaging factory in Bangladesh , causing the building to c ollapse and kill 34 people . Numerous criminal complaints have been filed in the wake of the disaster and the question has been raised: how many more people must die or become injured in these unsafe factories before there is significant change? Embed from Getty Images Just over three years after the Rana Plaza building collapse in 2013, which left 1,129 people dead and over 2,500 injured, the three-story Tampaco Foils Ltd factory was met with tragedy. At least 70 percent of the structure collapsed, due to and explosion and consequent fire. The factory worked with international clients, including Nestle and British American Tobacco. Family members of the deceased and injured have filed complaints against several people involved, including the factory owner. Related: Bad buildings kill – Rana Plaza and the case for stringent building practices Bangladesh is, unfortunately, not new to catastrophes in its industrial fields. Just last year, a cement factory caved in , killing 7, and in 2012 – before the Rana Plaza disaster – a garment factory fire claimed the lives of 112 people. Initiatives to correct future problems were set into motion, according to Human Rights Watch, including the Bangladesh Fire and Safety Building Accord and Alliance for Bangladesh Worker Safety . Sadly, many international companies have not signed up with either initiative, leaving workers in the hands of Bangladeshi inspectors and other third parties to monitor fire hazards and workplace safety standards. For this disaster, time will tell how far the destruction and loss reach. Via Human Rights Watch Lead image via Wikimedia

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Another Bangladesh factory fire leaves 34 dead, 40 injured, and 10 still missing

This amazing Bangladeshi air cooler is made from plastic bottles and uses no electricity

June 8, 2016 by  
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Summer is upon us, and complaints about the heat will soon be common in many places. But few places will reach the scorching temperatures residents of Bangladesh will experience, and air conditioning is simply not an option for most people living in rural areas. Ashis Paul developed a clever DIY cooling system that doesn’t need any electricity and is built from a common waste item: empty plastic soda bottles. In just three months, Paul’s company has helped install its smart powerless air conditioners, called Eco Coolers , in 25,000 households, with many more still ahead. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jPuh8IFbIzQ The Eco Cooler is reportedly the world’s first-ever ‘zero electricity’ air conditioner, and its inventor wanted to get the concept out there to help as many people as possible. The Grey Group stepped in to help, using its position as a multinational advertising firm to put the plans online, at no cost, so that anyone can build their own Eco Cooler system. Volunteers from Grameen Intel Social Business helped build and install the units, as well as teach locals how to make them, so the wisdom can be passed on. The Eco Cooler method is fairly simple, from a construction standpoint. A board is cut to fit the desired window, and bottleneck-sized holes are cut out in a grid pattern. The bottoms of empty plastic bottles are cut off and discarded, leaving funnel-shaped bottlenecks that are placed on the grid. That’s all there is to the Eco Cooler, except for the task of installing it in place of the regular window. When mounted, the wider part of the bottles faces outward and catches the passing wind, literally funneling cool air into the building’s interior. The efficacy of the Eco Cooler varies widely based on conditions, but Grey Group reports it has the ability to reduce indoor temperatures as much as 5 degrees Celsius, which is on par with what an electric centrally installed air conditioning system can do. In some instances the Eco Cooler can reduce indoor temperatures from a sweltering 86F (30C) to a comfortable 77F (25C). For the 70 percent of residents who live in tin-roofed huts that amplify the sun’s heat, the Eco Cooler could be a breath of fresh air just in time for summer. + Eco Cooler Images via Shutterstock and Grey Bangladesh

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This amazing Bangladeshi air cooler is made from plastic bottles and uses no electricity

The Tripty Project transforms pineapple leaves into stylish no-waste bags and clothes

March 20, 2016 by  
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Fashion startup the Tripty Project is on a mission to prove that an ethical supply chain is both environmentally and economically sustainable. The company has teamed up with local artisans and farmers in Bangladesh to create accessories and clothing from reclaimed materials, from organic small-batch cotton to agricultural waste. The most interesting reclaimed material, however, are the pineapple leaves that the Triply Project shreds, spins, naturally dyes, and weaves into canvas-like textiles. READ MORE>

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The Tripty Project transforms pineapple leaves into stylish no-waste bags and clothes

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