Scotland’s latest wind farm will help fund 500 new affordable homes

April 20, 2017 by  
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Scotland’s Berwickshire Housing Association wants to capture the wind to boost their mission. By launching a new wind farm in the Scottish Borders, and selling the power to the National Grid, the charitable organization hopes to generate enough revenue to build 500 affordable homes over the next 25 years. Dubbed Fishermen Three, the 7.5-megawatt project at Hoprigshiels in Cockburnspath is a joint effort between BHA and the equally philanthropic Community Energy Scotland . The latter’s share of the revenue will enable it to help communities across Scotland leverage their own renewable energy initiatives. “The idea for the wind farm came when BHA realized that we had to be innovative in order to solve the dilemma of how to keep building new homes for social rental, which are so badly needed in this area, at a time when funding for new housing through traditional channels was in decline,” Helen Forsyth, chief executive of BHA, said in a statement. “The wind farm will provide BHA with a reliable, predictable, low-maintenance source of income that will allow us to build a steady stream of new affordable homes at a time when services are all too often being cut.” Related: 6 reasons the clean energy revolution doesn’t need Trump’s blessing Nicholas Gubbins, chief executive of CES, said that the United Kingdom’s energy system is shifting, but with changes come fresh opportunities. “We want to make sure that communities are at the forefront of the opportunities that this will create for new low-carbon energy developments,” he added. Scotland’s energy minister, Paul Wheelhouse, agrees that renewables are the way of the future. He said, “Locally owned renewables in areas such as the Borders have the potential to help drive social, economic and environmental change at a local level.” Via the Guardian Photos by Unsplash

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Scotland’s latest wind farm will help fund 500 new affordable homes

Norway wants to give Finland a mountaintop for its birthday

January 26, 2017 by  
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What do you give the country that has everything? The peak of a 4,500-foot mountain, naturally. As U.S. President Donald Trump continues to spew protectionist invective about walls both literal and figurative, the good people of Norway want to ring in Finland’s 100th anniversary of independence from Russia by giving it the top of Mount Halti, a feat of topography that would require the country to nudge its border 130 feet up the mountainside. Bjørn Geirr Harsson, a retired Norwegian geophysicist, arrived at the idea during gravity survey back in 1972. “I saw that the highest point in Finland was on a hillside and for Norway on a mountain, so I wrote a letter to the foreign ministry and proposed that a gift from the Norwegian people to Finland should be a mountaintop,” he said in Battle for Birthday Mountain , a new film about the proposed gift, and the legal and political debates it has generated in its wake. “All over the world you find countries that fight or make war to enlarge their countries, but in this case Norway is willing to give away a small part without anyone asking for anything return,” Geirr Harsson said. “It is a gift from the heart of the Norwegians to Finland so we don’t expect anything back; we just want to give them something really nice when they celebrate 100 years as a free nation.” Despite the idea’s widespread popularity—a Facebook group about the unusual present has rallied more than 17,000 likes—proponents of the idea face an uphill climb, so to speak. Norway’s constitution, as Prime Minister Erna Solberg notes in the film, stipulates that the country should remain “indivisible and inalienable,” meaning it can’t go around parceling out parts of its territory. “This creative proposal has received a very positive response from the public,” she said in October. “I welcome this and I see a clear sign that Norway and Finland have a close relationship,” adding that “the alteration of borders between countries causes too many judicial problems that could affect, for example, the Constitution.” Related: Norwegian Mountaineering Centre mimics a dramatic snow-covered mountain “We will think of another worthy gift to celebrate the occasion of [the] Finland centenary,” Solberg added. Despite the rejection, Geirr Harsson is not giving up, and neither are his supporters. “While we witness the rising tumult along international borders – from Ukraine and Russia, to the South China Sea, to Trump’s proposed border wall with Mexico – the idea behind Birthday Mountain is a rare international gesture worth admiring,” David Freid, the film’s director, told The Local . “On the surface, this is a cute film about a very unique kind of gift between nations. But at its heart is something real and relevant.” Via the Independent

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Norway wants to give Finland a mountaintop for its birthday

Design without Borders Creates a Unisex Ecological Urinal for the Slums of Uganda

June 12, 2013 by  
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One of the biggest culprits of disease and death in slum areas around the world is the lack of sanitary toilets . There are several places in Uganda’s capital Kampala where, on average, 1000 people have to share the same toilet and where urine and excrement are dumped directly onto the streets or into open sewers. Appalled at these conditions, Design without Borders (DwB) decided to intervene and came up with a holistic solution to the problem. Sarah Kell and her DwB team designed a unisex Ecological Urinal that collects urine, stores it in a sanitary way, and turns it into high quality fertilizer. They partnered with local plastics producer Crestanks and Sustainable Sanitation Design (SuSan Design) to produce their design. Read the rest of Design without Borders Creates a Unisex Ecological Urinal for the Slums of Uganda Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: collecting urine , crestanks , Design Without Borders , INDEX Awards 2013 , lack of sanitary toilets , sanitation issues in kampala , sanitation issues in slums , sanitation issues in uganda , sarah kell , selling urine for fertilizer , slums of kampala , storing urine , susan design , sustainable sanitation design , turing urine into fertilizer , unisex urinal        

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Design without Borders Creates a Unisex Ecological Urinal for the Slums of Uganda

Brilliant Mold-Detecting Fruit Bowl Alerts You to Rotting Fruit Before it Goes Bad

June 12, 2013 by  
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Who hasn’t experienced the frustration of picking a piece of fruit out of a bowl only to toss it out because it’s covered in a nasty layer of mold? Student designer Jagjit Chodha hopes to put an end to wasted fruit with a new bowl that can actually alert you that your fruit is going bad before it starts to happen. Read the rest of Brilliant Mold-Detecting Fruit Bowl Alerts You to Rotting Fruit Before it Goes Bad Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: Bowl monitors rotting fruits , Brunel University , Brunel University London , food innovations , food testing , food waste , Jagjit Chodha , Made in Brunel , Made In Brunel Design and Engineering Show , Molding Fruit Alert , produce waste , reducing food waste , reducing produce waste        

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Brilliant Mold-Detecting Fruit Bowl Alerts You to Rotting Fruit Before it Goes Bad

The Looming Immigration Battle. Not That One! The More Important One

February 15, 2010 by  
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Eventually, Congress will get around to “Immigration Reform.”  The process will be all too predictable.  There will be a lot of huffing and puffing from angry old white men trying to conflate the issue with “National Security” and using “invasion” imagery and thinly veiled racism.  There will be lots of posturing about “getting control of our borders.”  Anyone who puts forward reasonable ideas will be subject to attack from the Right and Left

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The Looming Immigration Battle. Not That One! The More Important One

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