Royal Navy Helicopter transformed into an amazing hotel room in Scotland

July 12, 2017 by  
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Forget fancy tents and swanky treehouses – helicopter glamping is the next big trend in luxury camping . The folks at Helicopter Glamping have converted a decomissioned Royal Navy ZA127 Sea King Helicopter into one very unique hotel room, complete with a bed in the tail and a cozy seating area in the cockpit. Helicopter Glamping preserved many of the copter’s original features while giving the interior a sophisticated, modern touch. Set in the green pastures of Mains Farm in Stirling, Scotland, the helicopter has been insulated properly to ensure that the space stays cool in the summer months and warm in the winter. White wooden paneling covers the walls to enhance the interior space. Extra doors and windows were also added to the body to provide natural light and air circulation. Related: DROP box micro hotel lets you roam the world in nomadic luxury The luxury digs can sleep a family of five, with one lucky “passenger” staying in the single bed located in the copter’s tail. The hotel room has even been equipped with a mini kitchenette with stainless steel countertops and floating wood shelving. However, the highlight of the helicopter hotel is undoubtedly the cockpit, complete with its original flight deck – which has been converted into a cozy seating area with swivel seats and a table made from an old fuel tank cover. The large windshield offers guests beautiful panoramic views of Stirling’s expansive green landscape. + Helicopter Glamping Via Contemporist Images via Helicopter Glamping

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Royal Navy Helicopter transformed into an amazing hotel room in Scotland

Plant-based water filtration system works like a small Amazon rainforest

July 12, 2017 by  
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We take water for granted far too often. Whole civilizations have fallen as a result of over-exploiting water sources, according to Royal College of Art (RCA) graduate student Pratik Ghosh , so it’s imperative that we treat what we have with care. So Ghosh designed Drop by Drop , a plant -based water filtration system that explores more sustainable methods of obtaining water. The system is capable of cleansing home wastewater , and growing herbs at the same time. Drop by Drop filters water much like transpiration processes in the Amazon rainforest . According to Ghosh, his prototype is a mini biosphere that operates by keeping four factors crucial for transpiration – humidity, light, heat and wind – at optimal levels. “The moisture-laden air is strategically pulled out of the system and condensed to form pure distilled water,” Ghosh said on his website. Related: 6 ways to purify water without expensive technology A glass dome covers a plant in Drop by Drop, and greywater can be added to the system via pipes. Then, purification is up to the plant itself: a light in the system sets off photosynthesis , and the plant gives off water vapor that can ultimately be condensed to become distilled water. A pump controls airflow and helps speed up the process. Added salt can turn the distilled water into drinking water. The system doesn’t require much maintenance. If the owner’s away, Drop by Drop becomes a self-sustaining biosphere after pipes are stoppered thanks to microbes in the soil and insects providing carbon dioxide. The system puts oxygen into the surrounding air. Right now, the prototype takes 12 hours to filter one glass of water. But Ghosh said the system could be scaled up to cover a typical home rooftop, and could then filter around 42 gallons in 12 hours. Ghosh told Dezeen, “The idea is to change the way we procure and consume water at a larger level. In order to do that, there needs to be a change in the value system and what better place to start than the home? One can pour dirty water collected from the kitchen or even the bathroom into the system and the plants help you filter it.” Drop by Drop is his final year project and was recently on display at the RCA Show 2017 in London. + Pratik Ghosh Via Dezeen Images via Pratik Ghosh

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Plant-based water filtration system works like a small Amazon rainforest

The Hatchery announces new $30M food incubator for ‘global culinary capital’

July 11, 2017 by  
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A food incubator planned for Chicago’s East Garfield Park could provide much-needed economic growth for a struggling community. Nearly 40 percent of households there live below the poverty level, according to the Chicago Tribune . But the $30 million facility, being built by The Hatchery , could create 150 jobs in its first year, and in five years offer 900 jobs. The organization expects to break ground on the facility later this year. The Hatchery is a non-profit food business incubator started by three Chicago organizations: Accion Chicago , IFF , and Industrial Council of Nearwest Chicago . They offer financing, production space, and other resources for startup food businesses, and the new $30 million facility could help them assist even more people in the community. Related: Rooftop wheat fields elevate Chicago’s urban farming scene to exciting new heights 75 to 100 entrepreneurs will be able to start their businesses in The Hatchery’s planned space, which will be around 65,000 square feet. The City of Chicago is providing around $8 million for the venture, largely through tax increment financing, and large food companies like Kellogg Company and Conagra Foods have also pitched in undisclosed amounts. Shared kitchen spaces will help businesses get on their feet, and as they grow they’ll be able to rent one of the 56 private production spaces. Event spaces, meeting rooms, and food storage will also be found inside The Hatchery, where entrepreneurs will be able to receive coaching and training. Accion Chicago will relocate their headquarters to the new facility. Locals will be able to obtain job training or go to food classes there. The space will also host a neighborhood market. Mayor Rahm Emanuel praised the project in a press release, saying, “Chicago is the global culinary capital and The Hatchery will give our local entrepreneurs access to food and beverage companies that operate across the world.” Construction is slated to begin in October or November of this year, and the space could open in 2018. + The Hatchery Chicago Via the Chicago Tribune Images via The Hatchery Chicago Twitter and The Hatchery Chicago Facebook

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The Hatchery announces new $30M food incubator for ‘global culinary capital’

Germany generated 35% of its electricity with renewables in first half of 2017

July 11, 2017 by  
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Good news! In the first half of 2017, Germany derived 35.1 percent of its electricity needs from renewable sources , according to the German Renewable Energy Federation (BEE). In a press release , the country’s trade body announced that Germany has successfully met its 2020 target for “share of gross electricity consumption.” It helped that from April 30 to May 1, the country generated 85 percent of its energy needs using renewable wind, solar, biomass and hydroelectric power. Germany has steadily increased its production of clean electricity over the past few years. In the first half of 2015, for instance, the country generated 32.7 percent of its energy needs from renewables , and 32.7 percent in the first half of 2016. Though the new record is positive news , progress in other sectors has been slow, specifically in the transportation and heating sectors. Said Haraold Uphoff, the acting director of BEE, “The power generation in Germany is progressing far too slowly.” Fortunately, the country is well on its way to producing 45 percent of its electricity from renewables by 2040, and 60 percent by 2050. The report details a jump in offshore wind energy in the first half of 2017. As Clean Technica reports, onshore wind energy grew “from 34.08 TWh in the first half of 2015, to 34.71 TWh a year later, but jumping to 39.75 TWh in the first half of this year. Offshore wind also jumped, from only 2.15 TWh in the first half of 2015 to 8.48 TWh this year.” Solar PV, as well, has seen incremental increases in growth. In 2015, output has increased from 19.50 Two in 2015 to 21.74 in the first half of 2017. Related: Germany, Denmark, and Belgium to boost offshore wind 5-fold within the next decade Time and again, Germany has proven its commitment to bettering the environment by taking action to meet goals outlined at the Paris Climate Change Conference . Their most recent effort includes signing a joint statement on climate cooperation with California earlier this month. The agreement was a “reaffirmation of joint ties” between the two to continue working on the persistent issue of global warming. Via Clean Technica Images via Pixabay

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Germany generated 35% of its electricity with renewables in first half of 2017

Closing: embracing aloha as we paddle forward

July 7, 2017 by  
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One of Hawaii’s most gifted storytellers and business influencers puts a lei around the “Orchestra.”

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Closing: embracing aloha as we paddle forward

An ‘oli’ from Hawaii, where the Aloha spirit greets clean energy

June 30, 2017 by  
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From tourism to transportation, businesses in the 50th state are rallying behind its commitment to addressing the impacts of climate change. But cultural considerations will dictate the pace of progress.

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An ‘oli’ from Hawaii, where the Aloha spirit greets clean energy

A postcard from Hawaii to the nation’s capital

June 30, 2017 by  
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The mood at the second annual VERGE conference in Honolulu last week was upbeat about the future of clean energy, despite pushback on the U.S. mainland. Apparently, those committed to a clean energy agenda, including the private sector, are more motivated than ever to push forward with aggressive programs to bring renewables resources online.

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A postcard from Hawaii to the nation’s capital

Pruitt met with Dow Chemical CEO before denying pesticide ban

June 28, 2017 by  
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If anyone is still hoping the Donald Trump administration will put the environment before industries, new reports should put that to rest. Back in March the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) decided they wouldn’t ban the pesticide chlorpyrifos , a big cash cow for Dow Chemical that’s also been shown to harm children’s brains in health studies, including an EPA review. But apparently there was no chance the EPA would prioritize children above businesses. The Associated Press (AP) recently learned EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt met privately with Dow CEO Andrew Liveris shortly before the decision to not ban the pesticide . Polluting industries champion Pruitt met with Liveris on March 9 for around half an hour in Houston, according to Pruitt’s schedule. EPA spokesperson Liz Bowman said they were “briefly introduced” and did not talk about chlorpyrifos. But 20 days later the EPA announced they wouldn’t ban that brain development-interfering pesticide after all. Related: Trump saved a toxic pesticide – and then it poisoned a bunch of farmworkers Scientists have repeatedly shown chlorpyrifos can have a negative impact on child brain development, according to Gizmodo. EPA scientists also said even in small doses the chemical can interfere with child brain development – and they also said levels of the chemical found in food were higher than what would be deemed safe. As if that wasn’t enough, federal scientists found chlorpyrifos – along with two other chemicals Dow manufactures, diazinon and malathion – are harmful for nearly 1,800 endangered or critically endangered species. And the AP found out lawyers representing Dow and two other pesticide-manufacturing companies sent letters to the EPA, Fish and Wildlife Service, and Department of Commerce requesting they set aside those study results as they were “fundamentally flawed.” In 2016 Dow Chemical spent over $13.6 million on lobbying. They sell around five million pounds of chlorpyrifos in the United States every year. They also donated $1 million for Trump’s inauguration festivities, although Dow’s director of public affairs Rachelle Schikorra told the AP the idea the donation was meant to influence decisions is “completely off the mark.” Guess they gave that $1 million donation out of the goodness of their hearts then. Via the Associated Press ( 1 , 2 ), Gizmodo , and Vanity Fair Images via Gage Skidmore on Flickr and Wikimedia Commons

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Pruitt met with Dow Chemical CEO before denying pesticide ban

Trump’s EPA moves to kill Obama’s Clean Water Rule

June 28, 2017 by  
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In the battle of Trump vs the environment, the latter is definitely losing. Regulations giving the federal government better ability to protect our precious streams and wetlands were essentially killed yesterday after Trump’s EPA took the first step in repealing the Clean Water Rule set into motion by Obama in 2015. The rule would have protected the navigable waterways and  drinking water of 1 in 3 Americans. Oil ally Scott Pruitt, head of the EPA, said: “We are taking significant action to return power to the states and provide regulatory certainty to our nation’s farmers and businesses.” However, the Rule was passed in 2015 specifically to address regulatory certainty. Before the Rule, the federal government’s ability to regulate pollution in certain waters was unclear. Related: EPA chief says carbon dioxide is not a ‘primary contributor’ to global warming The Clean Water Rule was put in place to help clarify those convoluted regulations that inadequately protected the nation’s waterways. The Obama administration put the regulation in place after 1,200 peer reviewed studies were completed, and recommendations were formed to protect the country’s waterways from pollution. But industry chafed at the regulation, claiming it was onerous, and it was put on hold after 13 states sued the EPA and the Army Corps of Engineers. Trump ordered the EPA to review the rule, calling it, in his typically eloquent style, “horrible, horrible” and a “massive power grab.” Via ThinkProgress images via Unsplash and Gage Skidmore  

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Trump’s EPA moves to kill Obama’s Clean Water Rule

ESA unveils magnetic space tug to corall broken satellites drifting in space

June 28, 2017 by  
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Japan’s experiment to clean up space debris earlier this year may have ended in failure , but the world’s space agencies haven’t given up on the problem yet. The European Space Agency (ESA) recently proposed using a magnetic space tug to sweep up some of the junk that has accumulated in space. The magnetic tug would specifically corall derelict and broken satellites , and hopefully put a dent in the space junk problem. Could magnetic forces be the key to cleaning up space trash? Scientists at the Institut Supérieur de l’Aéronautique et de l’Espace at France’s University of Toulouse hope to find out. They’re exploring magnetic attraction or repulsion as part of their investigation into the most effective way to keep satellites in formation out in space. Related: Japan’s experimental mission to clean up space junk ends in failure Researcher Emilien Fabacher explained it this way: “With a satellite you want to deorbit, it’s much better if you can stay at a safe distance, without needing to come into direct contact and risking damage to both chaser and target satellites. So the idea I’m investigating is to apply magnetic forces either to attract or repel the target satellite, to shift its orbit or deorbit it entirely.” Many satellites are already equipped with what are called magnetorquers, or electromagnets that can use the magnetic field of the Earth to change the satellite’s orientation. So a magnetic space tug could simply target those magnetorquers. The chaser satellite would need a strong magnetic field, but that could be generated with superconducting wires cooled to cryogenic temperatures, according to ESA. The chaser satellite could even catch multiple derelict satellites and position them in formation. Over 100 million pieces of space trash now orbit Earth, and 29,000 of them are large enough to cause damage. Fabacher is working on the project as part of his PhD research, which is supported by ESA’s Networking/Partnering initiative. Via Digital Trends and the European Space Agency Images copyright Philippe Ogaki and copyright Emilien Fabacher/ISAE-Supaero

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ESA unveils magnetic space tug to corall broken satellites drifting in space

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