Quiz #87: Food Carbon Footprint Challenge

September 24, 2020 by  
Filed under Eco

Comments Off on Quiz #87: Food Carbon Footprint Challenge

A few simple mental habits such as knowing how to … The post Quiz #87: Food Carbon Footprint Challenge appeared first on Earth 911.

Read the original:
Quiz #87: Food Carbon Footprint Challenge

Parent shares process of making life-size board game from cardboard

June 25, 2020 by  
Filed under Green

Comments Off on Parent shares process of making life-size board game from cardboard

Every parent can attest that kids often enjoy playing with the box a gift comes in more than the gift itself, and who’s to blame them? Plain old cardboard offers endless opportunities to create costumes, doll houses and massive, interactive board games. With this in mind, Luanga Lue Nuwame went straight to the recycling pile when looking for boredom busters for his household during the pandemic. The result turned their entire living room into a real life game. The best part is, since the family has already hammered out a basic design, you can replicate this upcycled project at home. The inventor commented that this is a “transforming modular game that can be configured into an infinite number of ways.” The Big Sunny Board Game Challenge is more than a game; it’s an adventure. First came the actual building of game pieces, requiring precise cutting of the octagonal floor spaces, each colored and given its own activity icon. Even rolling the dice is a game in itself with giant dice that bounce across the room. At this point, strategy kicks in while the player moves the homemade, life-size cardboard cutout the distance of one die and moves their body the distance of the other die. Related: Get serious about climate change with this board game Once on a new game space, players must participate in the listed activity. Of course, creators of the game can make these spaces represent their own interests, but The Big Sunny Board Game Challenge features a chore challenge, dance-off, safe space, roll again, trivia space and more. Perhaps your board could include other recycling projects and other environmentally friendly activities. During the process of building the game board, the creator produced a series of explanatory videos on YouTube’s Homemade Game Guru — a channel dedicated to showing viewers how to make creations out of cardboard. With the game complete, he’s also included the first father/daughter game challenge to explain how the game works. To create your own The Big Sunny Board Game Challenge, start saving your cardboard, brainstorm some game “tasks” and get cutting. + Luanga Lue Nuwame Images via Luanga Lue Nuwame

Read the original:
Parent shares process of making life-size board game from cardboard

This timber home weaves around pine trees for reduced site impact

June 25, 2020 by  
Filed under Eco, Green

Comments Off on This timber home weaves around pine trees for reduced site impact

A cluster of timber boxes make up Haus Koeris, a new eco-friendly home by architecture firm Zeller & Moye . Located near a lake close to Berlin, the sustainable home comprises five staggered boxes that not only step around the mature tree trunks to reduce site impact but are also elevated off the ground to avoid harming the trees’ horizontal root systems. Full-height glazing, a minimalist timber palette and energy-saving systems help reinforce the home’s connection with the outdoors. Nestled among the tall pine trees in the lakeside village of Klein Köris, Haus Koeris responds to the forested surroundings with its timber construction . Regional spruce wood clads the exterior while solid timber floors and ceilings line the interior, which also features a modular wall system of wooden building blocks and wood fiber-based insulation. To protect the timber home from the seasonally damp soil as well as damage to the root systems of the existing trees, the architects elevated the lightweight building atop individual concrete foundations laid out in a grid. The shifts in floor plan create opportunities for alcoves used for small patios and gardens. Related: Minimalist villa in Japan boasts dark timber exterior and bright white interior Spread out across 1,400 square feet on a single level, the irregularly shaped home is centered on a large, open-plan kitchen, dining room and living space that opens up to the outdoors on all four sides. The master bedroom, bathroom and laundry facilities branch off of the great room on the northern end, while a secondary bedroom, storage and flex room are located on the southwest side. Windows have been strategically placed to frame views of the nearby trees and the expansive garden . To reduce energy usage, the home is equipped with a wood-fire stove and a biogas boiler for heating in winter. In summertime, operable windows bring in cooling cross breezes. Moreover, a small bio-waste treatment plant was installed onsite to treat all wastewater before releasing it back into the ground. In the future, a series of green roofs will be installed atop the home. + Zeller & Moye Photography by Cesar Bejar via Zeller & Moye

Read more from the original source: 
This timber home weaves around pine trees for reduced site impact

It takes a village to succeed in climate tech

June 3, 2020 by  
Filed under Business, Eco, Green

Comments Off on It takes a village to succeed in climate tech

It takes a village to succeed in climate tech Ben Soltoff Wed, 06/03/2020 – 02:00 Solving climate change depends, to some extent, on technological innovation. The world’s leading climate authority, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), published a landmark 2018 report highlighting the urgency of limiting warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius. The report outlines four potential pathways for reaching that goal. The pathways are vastly different, but one thing they have in common is a central role for new technologies, all of which fall under the growing category known as climate tech . Relying on emissions-reducing technology isn’t the same as blind techno-optimism . New technology needs to complement existing solutions, deployed immediately. But the IPCC pathways make clear that the route to mitigation goes through innovation. So, what does it take to turn a societal need into a functional reality? Scientific breakthroughs are only part of the challenge. After that, there’s a long road before solutions can be implemented at scale. They require funding through multiple stages of development, facing many financial and operational risks along the way. There’s a parallel here with the response to COVID-19. Even if a working vaccine is developed, it must go through trials to determine efficacy and the logistical challenge of distribution to billions of people. But a key difference is that effective climate solutions are more varied than a single vaccine and usually more complex. At a webinar last week hosted by Yale, Stanford and other groups, Jigar Shah, co-founder of clean energy financier Generate Capital , noted that climate technologies, unlike medical breakthroughs, must compete with systems already in place.   “In the biotech industry, which I think folks herald as a well-functioning market, once companies reach a certain validation of their technology and approach, there’s a payoff there,” he said. “And in [climate tech], there really isn’t one [in the same way], largely because there are a lot of incumbent technologies that provide electricity, energy, water, food, land and materials.”   The period when a new technology is costly to develop but too early-stage to produce commercial revenue is often called the “Valley of Death” because even promising technologies often fail during this period. Success requires the collaboration of a wide set of partners and investors. As an Environmental Innovation Fellow at Yale, I’ve helped compile insights for investors on overcoming the unique barriers faced by nascent climate technology. Fortunately, many investors are already tackling this challenge.   The new wave of climate tech investors In the early 2000s, there was a well-publicized boom then bust in clean energy investing. According to Nancy Pfund, founder and managing director of impact venture capital firm DBL Partners , much of this interest was from “tourists” looking for an alternative to the dot-com failures earlier in the decade. On a GreenBiz webcast last week, she observed that the current interest in climate tech is markedly different. “Today there’s such a high level of focus, commitment and knowledge on the part of both the entrepreneurs and investors,” she said. Pfund said the interest in climate tech is partially due to the compelling economics of renewable energy compared to alternatives. “There’s been a stunning cost reduction over the past decade,” she said. “This brings in mainstream investors who are just making dollars and cents. They’re not even necessarily waving the climate banner. They want to rebalance their portfolio for the future.” During the same webcast, Andrew Beebe, managing director of Obvious Ventures , noted that an additional factor in the rise of climate tech has been the overwhelming public demand for climate action. “There’s been a societal shift as well,” he said. “In entrepreneurs today and investors, I see an urgency like we’ve never seen before. People are not that interested in doing yet another social media company, unless it has a real impact.” In entrepreneurs today and investors, I see an urgency like we’ve never seen before. It’s important to note here that climate tech takes many forms. There are software solutions that can help reduce emissions and that don’t face the Valley of Death I mentioned earlier. But some of the most critical solutions are physical technologies that require a lot of time and capital to succeed. “You can’t spell hardware without the word ‘hard,’ and everyone knows that,” said Priscilla Tyler, senior associate at True Ventures , at the Yale-Stanford webinar. “Hardware is hard, which isn’t to say it’s impossible. And if anything, in my opinion, it begets more impact and more opportunity.” There are promising signals that climate tech is here to stay. Tyler is part of a group of venture capital investors called Series Green , which meets regularly to discuss climate tech opportunities. Additionally, multiple weekly newsletters share the latest deals in climate tech, and in a recent open letter , a long list of investors confirmed that, despite the COVID-19 economic downturn, they remain committed to climate solutions. Going beyond traditional venture capital A notable climate tech deal that happened last week was the $250 million investment in Apeel Sciences . The California-based company has developed an edible coating for fruits and vegetables that can help to preserve some of the 40 percent of food that normally gets thrown away. Investors in this round included Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund and celebrities such as Oprah Winfrey and Katy Perry. A company such as Apeel doesn’t start out raising hundreds of millions of dollars from large institutional investors and celebrities. At the early stages, many new technologies depend on government grants and philanthropy. Apeel got started with a $100,000 grant from the Gates Foundation in 2012. Apeel coats fruits and vegetables with an edible layer that can is designed to extend shelf life by two to three times. Media Source Courtesy of Media Authorship Apeel Sciences Close Authorship Prime Coalition is an organization that helps foundations deploy philanthropic capital to climate solutions through flexible funding structures that allow for long periods of technology development and multi-faceted risk. It calls these funding sources “catalytic capital,” because they can help unlock other forms of finance further down the line.  In addition to helping others deploy catalytic capital, Prime also makes its own catalytic deals directly through an investment arm called Prime Impact Fund. “We’re looking to support companies that have specific things to be de-risked before they will be attractive to follow on funders, and then we can be the source of that de-risking capital,” said Johanna Wolfson, principal at Prime Impact Fund, at last week’s Yale-Stanford webinar. By collaborating with one another, investors such as Prime can help technologies move through the stages of innovation, until they’re ready for more traditional investment structures. Catalytic capital invested today could help create the next Apeel Sciences several years from now. At each stage, investors serve not only as sources of money but also strategic partners for the startups themselves. This is particularly true for corporate investors, who may have substantial industry knowledge to share and more flexible expectations than traditional investors. There’s a lot more sophistication on part of corporate investors now than there was 10 years ago. “There’s a lot more sophistication on part of corporate investors now than there was 10 years ago,” said Pfund. “Then, you saw the agenda of the corporation being pushed around the board table more than you do today, and that’s never a good idea.” If their interests are aligned, corporations and startups can create mutually beneficial relationships, where each offers the other something that it couldn’t have obtained on its own. “These corporate investors see so many different technologies, and they believe their own products are better than the startup products, so how do you actually get their support?” said Andrew Chung, founder and managing partner of 1955 Capital , on last week’s GreenBiz webcast. “Well, you need to have a widget or product they haven’t seen before or can’t build themselves.” Non-financial support also can be catalytic Investors such as DBL Partners often connect the startups in their portfolio to corporates and other partners. These connections can be hugely valuable for startups, especially in emerging industries where networks are largely informal. While investors’ main role is to provide capital, they also provide many forms of non-financial support, which can be essential to advancing innovation. In addition to connections, they also can help startups to navigate dynamic policy environments at the state and federal level. “Policy plays a pivotal role,” said Pfund. “We don’t invest in policy, we invest in people, but we know that our companies are going to have to address the changing policy landscape.” We don’t invest in policy, we invest in people, but we know that our companies are going to have to address the changing policy landscape. DBL Partners helps to shape the policy landscape by convening roundtable meetings, advocating for legislation and reaching out to regulators in order to help create a more favorable environment for innovation. This sort of engagement is relatively low-cost in the short term, but it can have massive benefits in the long term, especially as new technologies begin to scale up. Shah pointed out that the challenges facing climate tech don’t end once solutions reach commercialization. Nascent technologies still need to be deployed at a large scale to have impact. “A lot of us focus on going from zero to millions,” he said, “but then, in fact, millions to billions is still nascent.” Reaching the necessary scale requires a careful alignment of technological development, market creation, political support and investment across a wide spectrum of capital. “All of these things work together in tandem to really unlock nascent technologies,” Shah said. This story was updated June 4 to correct Apeel’s funding information. Pull Quote In entrepreneurs today and investors, I see an urgency like we’ve never seen before. There’s a lot more sophistication on part of corporate investors now than there was 10 years ago. We don’t invest in policy, we invest in people, but we know that our companies are going to have to address the changing policy landscape. Topics Innovation Climate Tech Featured in featured block (1 article with image touted on the front page or elsewhere) On Duration 0 Sponsored Article Off

Continued here:
It takes a village to succeed in climate tech

Kendeda, a net-positive Living Building, opens at Georgia Tech

February 10, 2020 by  
Filed under Green

Comments Off on Kendeda, a net-positive Living Building, opens at Georgia Tech

After a visit to the Bullitt Center in Seattle, Diana Blank was inspired to fund a similar project in Georgia. Taking action, she founded the Kendeda Fund and funded it with $30 million to donate toward the cause. Georgia Tech is the recipient of Blank’s vision with a project by Lord Aeck Sargent and The Miller Hull Partnership that resulted in a Living Building . The net-positive Kendeda Building opened for classes in January 2020 and provides a place for learning and a template for innovative, sustainable design. The construction and design were influenced by the Living Building Challenge, “a green building certification program and sustainable design framework that visualizes the ideal for the built environment.” Receiving this certification means meeting a host of requirements on everything from material selection to accessibility, and the Kendeda building checks all of the boxes. Related: Net-zero Del Mar Civic Center celebrates community and the great outdoors One example is The Red List, which is a compilation of chemicals common in mainstream construction. In order to avoid these chemicals, every building material was scrutinized to ensure it didn’t contain Red List items. John DuConge, the senior project manager, admitted, “Getting through the Red List compliance, that was truly a challenge, and that probably took a lot more time than anyone expected. But we’ve moved the needle in the market, I think, and that’s one of the things that will make it easier for the next Living Building Challenge project.” This added effort creates an atmosphere without off-gassing or other toxins, resulting in clean indoor air for the hundreds of students and staff using the building daily. Every system in the building stands as an example of the focus on function, internal health, aesthetic beauty and energy savings. This is quickly apparent in the fact that the project is net-positive for energy and water, meaning that it gives back more than it takes. The Kendeda Building incorporated the use of solar panels as a basic step in providing energy to the 47,000-square-foot building. They do the job, plus some, with extra energy to return to the grid. Additionally, these solar panels function as water collection devices. The primary heating and cooling systems then push that water through the floors to maintain a comfortable surface temperature. For additional temperature control, 62 ceiling fans throughout the building help balance the humid Georgia environment. Now complete, the structure consists of two 64-person classrooms , four class labs, a conference room, makerspace, auditorium, rooftop apiary and pollinator garden, an office space for co-located programs and a coffee cart. The Kendeda Building will be audited for certification for the first Living Building Challenge facility of its size and function in the Southeast, following one complete year of functional occupancy. + Georgia Tech Photography by Johnathan Hillyer, Justin Chan Photography, Miller Hull Partnership and Vertical River via Georgia Tech

See original here:
Kendeda, a net-positive Living Building, opens at Georgia Tech

Climate crisis drives bumblebees closer to extinction

February 10, 2020 by  
Filed under Eco, Green

Comments Off on Climate crisis drives bumblebees closer to extinction

The climate crisis, rampant misuse of pesticides , lack of plant diversity, habitat loss, parasites and pathogens have collectively created the perfect storm for a decline in the bumblebee populations in both Europe and North America, according to the research team of Peter Soroye, Tim Newbold and Jeremy Kerr, who have recently published their findings in Science . The research shows that “Within just one human generation, the odds for bumblebee survival have dropped by an average of more than 30%.” The imminent mass extinction of bumblebees could mean a dreary future devoid of wild plants and many farmed crops, given that bumblebees are among the most crucial pollinators out there. Global warming has led to both temperature extremes and unpredictable precipitation. The combination of these atmospheric conditions has exacerbated local bumblebee extinction rates by reducing colonization, shrinking site occupancy and diminishing a habitat’s fertility to support the bumblebee population. Bumblebees tend to overheat, which is why they prefer more temperature regions. Related: Native bees are going extinct without much buzz But weather isn’t the only culprit. The dynamic use of land has contributed to habitat loss, and pesticide use has likewise resulted in a significant decline in these pollinators. Bumblebees are larger and fuzzier than honeybees. While they are not honey producers, they are still key pollinators. Many important fruits, nuts, vegetables and staple crops rely on bumblebees thriving. “When they land on flowers, they physically shake these flowers and shake the pollen off,” explained Peter Soroye, the study’s lead author. “A lot of crops like squash, berries, tomatoes need bumblebees to pollinate them, and honeybees or other pollinators just can’t do that.” In Europe, bumblebee populations decreased by an average of 17% between 1975 and 2000. For North American bumblebees, numbers plummeted by about 46% over the same period. These numbers indicate that the loss of bumblebees could adversely affect food diversity in the future.  “If things continue along the path without any change, then we can really quickly start to see a lot of these species being lost forever,” Soroye said. To mitigate against extinction, he recommended, “If you have a garden , fill it full of native plants that the bees can go visit.” + Science Via National Geographic and Reuters Image via Valerian Guillot

Read more from the original source:
Climate crisis drives bumblebees closer to extinction

Earth911 Quiz #74: Recycling Progress News Challenge

October 10, 2019 by  
Filed under Eco

Comments Off on Earth911 Quiz #74: Recycling Progress News Challenge

The U.S. recycling industry continues to grow according to the … The post Earth911 Quiz #74: Recycling Progress News Challenge appeared first on Earth911.com.

Read more from the original source:
Earth911 Quiz #74: Recycling Progress News Challenge

Wash Your Car With Earth-Friendly Results

October 10, 2019 by  
Filed under Eco, Eco Tech

Comments Off on Wash Your Car With Earth-Friendly Results

Many people don’t realize that washing our cars in the … The post Wash Your Car With Earth-Friendly Results appeared first on Earth911.com.

Go here to read the rest:
Wash Your Car With Earth-Friendly Results

The Building Decarbonization Coalition’s quest to build an all-electric future

August 29, 2019 by  
Filed under Business, Green

Comments Off on The Building Decarbonization Coalition’s quest to build an all-electric future

The organization’s founder and director, Panama Bartholomy, chats about the magnitude of the challenge and what it means for companies.

The rest is here:
The Building Decarbonization Coalition’s quest to build an all-electric future

Earth911 Quiz #64: Wildfire Preparation Challenge

June 27, 2019 by  
Filed under Eco

Comments Off on Earth911 Quiz #64: Wildfire Preparation Challenge

Wildfire season is arriving earlier every year. Are you prepared … The post Earth911 Quiz #64: Wildfire Preparation Challenge appeared first on Earth911.com.

Original post:
Earth911 Quiz #64: Wildfire Preparation Challenge

Next Page »

Bad Behavior has blocked 9239 access attempts in the last 7 days.