DoD wants to axe pollution with biodegradable seed-planting bullets

January 9, 2017 by  
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President-elect Donald Trump seems determined to fill his cabinet with climate change skeptics and deniers. But there’s one department Trump probably won’t attempt to sabotage: the Department of Defense (DoD). Now it appears that department’s fighting against the environmental wasteland Trump’s laboring to leave in his wake, with a call for scientists to develop biodegradable , seed-planting bullets. The DoD said the U.S. Army goes through hundreds of thousands of ammunition rounds at training ranges around the world. But bullet components don’t biodegrade for hundreds of years, and in the meantime can “corrode and pollute the soil and nearby water.” DoD also worries many civilians won’t be able to tell the training rounds apart from tactical rounds. So they came up with a vision for a rather peaceful solution: bullets that biodegrade and plant seeds as they go. Related: Climate change could cause “humanitarian crisis of epic proportions,” say military leaders The DoD is soliciting applications for contractors to develop “biodegradable training ammunition loaded with specialized seeds to grow environmentally beneficial plants that eliminate ammunition debris and contaminants” under the Small Business Innovation Research program. According to Gizmodo, the Army found materials like bamboo fiber could be utilized in biodegradable bullets. Also, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Cold Regions Research and Engineering Laboratory has already developed bioengineered seeds that could be embedded into the biodegradable bullets. The seeds won’t germinate until many months after they’ve been in the ground. The defense department didn’t say what type of plants should be grown, but did say animals should be able to eat them without harm. They aim to eliminate environmental hazards with the biodegradable bullets, offering six references of different scientific articles that may help potential contractors in the development process. Those scientists interested in responding to DoD’s request have until February 8 to turn in applications. Via Gizmodo Images via Wikimedia Commons ( 1 , 2 )

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DoD wants to axe pollution with biodegradable seed-planting bullets

Wind power now runs all electric passenger trains in the Netherlands

January 9, 2017 by  
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All of the electric passenger trains running in the Netherlands are now powered entirely by wind . One year ahead of schedule, Dutch railway company NS announced its entire electric train fleet is running on 100-percent wind power as of January 1, 2017, ushering in a new era of green transportation . Renewable energy advocates hope the early success will inspire planners to incorporate wind-powered trains in other high-speed rail projects around the world, including some proposed in the United States. In late 2015, the Dutch government announced its goal to power the country’s electric trains entirely with wind power by 2018. However, early successes in rolling out the clean energy program resulted in 75 percent wind power for the trains in 2016, so the initiative made a final push and achieved 100 percent effect January 1, 2017. One of the Netherlands ’ largest railway companies, known as NS , partnered with the Eneco energy company in 2015 to funnel renewable energy into its fleet of electric trains, which carry 600,000 people per day. Related: All Netherlands Railways trains will be 100% wind powered by 2018 Electric trains on the NS use around 1.2 billion kWh of electricity a year, which is roughly the equivalent of all the households in the city of Amsterdam. Switching to a renewable source for the energy-hogging transportation will make a huge dent in the nation’s carbon footprint, which has already been shrinking over the years due to investments in renewable energy projects. The electricity used to power the Dutch trains comes from wind farms in the Netherlands, Belgium, and Finland, many of which were just recently built. Because some of those farms opened ahead of schedule, it became possible to move up the timeline for powering electric trains with clean energy. Via Clean Technica Images via Wikipedia ( 1 , 2 )

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Wind power now runs all electric passenger trains in the Netherlands

World’s largest survival community comprises 575 off-grid doomsday bunkers

January 9, 2017 by  
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Will the end of the world arrive with the next economic collapse, nuclear war, or presidential inauguration? Thinking it best to be prepared, Vivos has taken readiness to new extremes with their 575-bunker Vivos xPoint community in South Dakota . It will cost preppers $25,000 to lease an off-grid bunker in a high-security area, combined with a $1,000 per year ground lease for 99 years. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mn0229zWnos Vivos converted an old army munitions depot, where the Army stored ammunition and bombs from 1942 to 1967, into a refuge where around 5,000 people can survive in case of a devastating catastrophe or zombie apocalypse. The hardened concrete bunkers are located south of Edgemont in South Dakota, and Vivos boasts the community is around 100 miles from “the nearest known military nuclear targets.” Just to be safe, each bunker can reportedly endure a 500,000-pound internal blast. Related: Worried About the End of the World? Buy a Stylish Vivos Bunker Berms cover each bunker. Inside, residents obtain water via two wells, stored in reinforced concrete tanks. Outfitting the bunker is up to the lessee; they can hire contractors or purchase a turnkey shelter from Vivos. The company says residents can choose geothermal heating, solar or wind to provide backup power for a generator, or even a nuclear, biological, and chemical (NBC) air filtration system. Vivos hopes to add a general store, shooting range, hydroponic gardens, medical clinic, horse stables, classroom, and members-only restaurant, among other planned amenities. Why stop at just one bunker? The company suggests preppers could even secure more shelters to store their art or wine collection, car, or horses. With 1,800 to 2,400 square feet of interior floor space, the bunkers can accommodate 10 to 20 people for a whole year. No one lives in Vivos xPoint just yet, according to Business Insider , but the group is taking reservations. For $5,000 and a background check, people can apply to live in what Vivos describes as “the place you will want to be when the SHTF!” And if South Dakota isn’t your kind of place, Vivos offers communities in Indiana or Europe as well. + Vivos Images via Vivos

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World’s largest survival community comprises 575 off-grid doomsday bunkers

Bouldering walls cover this tiny home built for adventure lovers

January 9, 2017 by  
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When Mississippi couple Breck and Kelsey sought to adopt life on the road with a tiny house on wheels, they asked Tiny Heirloom to design a dream home that epitomized their passion for adventure and love of rock climbing. The Portland-based luxury tiny homebuilder responded with the Tiny Adventure Home, a towable custom-build clad in real bouldering walls . Covered in colorful holds, the impressive bouldering walls run the length of the house and offer a rugged contrast to the chic and modern interior. Like its name implies, the Tiny Adventure Home fully embraces nature, from its timber-dominant materials palette to its large side window that opens like a garage door, blurring the line between indoor and outdoor living. The operable window also offers access to the bouldering wall, made up of modular Rockwerx panels. The house, which has the footprint of a double-axle 28-foot-long trailer, can be towed with a pickup truck . Related: Tiny Heirloom’s luxury micro homes let you live large in small spaces The contemporary interior is beautifully detailed with luxury fittings. A galley kitchen with a four-burner stove, range hood, oven, full-sized sink, and full-sized fridge with freezer is located in the center of the home opposite the large window. A dining area made up of a long table and two benches sits six is located on one end of the home, while a cozy office space is located on the loft area above. On the opposite end of the house is a loft bedroom with a double bed stacked above the bathroom. + Tiny Heirloom Via New Atlas Images via Tiny Heirloom

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Bouldering walls cover this tiny home built for adventure lovers

California Bullet Train Project Will No Longer Get Environmental Exception

June 22, 2012 by  
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California  Governor Jerry Brown has courted controversy for protecting the state’s bullet train project from environmental regulations, but it seems he’s now done a U-turn saying he  plans to withdraw his proposal to do so. The 360 seems odd considering that in the past, he even went so far as to propose modifications to the  California Environmental Quality Act  in order to start construction of the high-speed rail project. The entire plan has drawn criticism over mounting costs, which are rumoured to  total nearly $100 billion  and some officials have even said that the rail system, which would run between several major metro areas and through the Central Valley, would struggle to make its costs back. However the project is still going ahead and construction is set to start this December. Read the rest of California Bullet Train Project Will No Longer Get Environmental Exception Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: air pollution , California Environmental Quality Act , californian bullet train , californian high speed rain , emissions , Governor Brown , green transportation , high speed rail , jerry brown , natural defense research council , Sierra Club

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California Bullet Train Project Will No Longer Get Environmental Exception

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