Solar outshined all fossil-fuels sources combined in 2017

April 19, 2018 by  
Filed under Eco, Green

Last year, the world invested more in solar power than all fossil-fuel sources combined. Investors and governments installed an all-time record of 157 gigawatts (GW) of renewable energy capacity, according to a new report from the United Nations (UN). In 2017, the world installed 98 W of solar capacity, nearly half of which was in China. The net new capacity from fossil fuels was only 70W in 2017. “We are at a turning point … from fossil fuels to the renewable world,” UN Environment head Erik Solheim told Reuters . “The markets are there and renewables can take on coal, they can take on oil and gas.” Although renewable energy is clearly the way of the future, fossil fuels remain the dominant source of energy on the planet. Only 12.1 percent of the world’s electricity came from renewable energy sources, an improvement on 5.2 percent in 2007. This boom in renewable energy has been backed by strong investment in recent years. In 2017, global investment in renewable energy rose by two percent. China invested $122.6 billion, 45 percent of global investment and the most of any country, into the industry in the same year. Related: World’s largest solar energy project will be 100 times bigger than any other on the planet Governments and investors have noticed a change in the fundamentals behind renewable energy. “Much lower costs … are the driver of solar investment worldwide,” said report lead author Angus McCrone told Reuters . For example, the cost of energy production through large-scale solar photovoltaic (PV) decreased by 15 percent last year to $86 per megawatt hour. Even with an administration hostile to renewable energy in the White House, the drive towards renewable energy continues. “Trump can no more brake this than those who opposed the Industrial Revolution could stop the Industrial Revolution,” said Solheim. President Trump recently signed a government spending bill that retained many of the existing tax credits for renewable energy in the United States . Via Reuters Images via Depositphotos (1)

See more here: 
Solar outshined all fossil-fuels sources combined in 2017

UK plans to ban the sales of plastic straws to tackle ocean plastic pollution

April 19, 2018 by  
Filed under Eco, Green

8.5 billion plastic straws are tossed out in the United Kingdom every year, according to a recent study cited by the government . They plan to take action — by ending sales of plastic-stemmed cotton buds and plastic drink stirrers and straws in a bid to reduce ocean plastic waste. The UK is cracking down on ocean plastic . The government announced the ban at the summit for the Commonwealth heads of government. Prime Minister Theresa May said, “ Plastic waste is one of the greatest environmental challenges facing the world…the British public have shown passion and energy embracing our plastic bag charge and microbead ban .” Related: Queen of England bans plastic bottles and straws at royal estates The ban won’t take effect immediately; the statement said the government would work with industries to ensure time to adapt and create alternatives. Plastic straws utilized for medical reasons could also be excluded from the ban. May challenged other countries in the Commonwealth, which includes 53 member countries across Africa, Asia, the Pacific and the Caribbean, to battle marine plastic as well. The UK government is committing to £61.4 million, around $87.4 million, in funding for research and better waste management for developing countries , according to May, who said, “The Commonwealth is a unique organization, with a huge diversity of wildlife, environments, and coastlines. Together we can effect real change so that future generations can enjoy a natural environment that is healthier than we currently find it.” The UK government’s microbead ban went into effect in January of this year, and their five pence single-use plastic bag law has resulted in nine billion fewer bags distributed, according to the government. Another statistic the government drew on to back the plastic straw scheme is that one million birds and more than 100,000 sea mammals perish due to eating plastic waste and getting tangled in it. They also said there are more than 150 million metric tons of plastic in the oceans on our planet. + United Kingdom Government Images via Depositphotos and Carly Jayne on Unsplash

Here is the original: 
UK plans to ban the sales of plastic straws to tackle ocean plastic pollution

Baboons use a barrel to escape biomedical research institute in Texas

April 18, 2018 by  
Filed under Green

Baboons  escaped a biomedical research facility over the weekend with the help of a 55-gallon barrel. Gizmodo reported  that one clever baboon figured out how to turn a barrel upright and use it to climb fencing. Three others followed and the group hit the road, although one returned on its own — but sadly, their freedom didn’t last long. Baboons hit the road after escaping from a Texas Biomedical Research Institute (TBRI) facility. Inward-leaning walls on their open-air enclosure (seen in the video above) have kept animals from leaving in the past 35 or so years, but that didn’t stop these primates . According to the institute’s statement , the animals rolled the barrel to an upright position to ultimately jump out of the enclosure. An animal capture team, wearing protective masks and suits, captured the three animals who did leave around 20-30 minutes after. Two baboons were held to the tree line, but one made it to a nearby street. ABC News shared a video on Twitter of members of the team chasing one of the baboons on a Texas highway. Four baboons escaped their enclosure at a San Antonio biomedical research facility Saturday. A woman then spotted one leading researchers on a wild foot chase down a Texas highway. All of the baboons were safely returned according to a statement. https://t.co/sA148VbSDd pic.twitter.com/pPBW4V5ZIu — ABC News (@ABC) April 15, 2018 Related: Scientists in China have successfully cloned monkeys There are over 2,500 animals at the institute’s campus; almost 1,100 are baboons. These four escapees were part of a group of 133 males, according to HuffPost , that aren’t currently being used for testing. TBRI assistant vice president for communications Lisa Cruz said in the institute’s statement baboons “have played an important role in the discovery of life-saving drugs, therapies, and vaccines and have led to greater understanding of chronic diseases like heart disease, diabetes, obesity, osteoporosis and so much more that impact the lives of millions of people.” The barrels, introduced in the enclosure just six to eight months ago, were what TBRI calls enrichment tools, and they’ve been removed. TBRI reported the returned baboons are doing well, but not everyone on social media thinks the baboons should have had to go back to the institute. People on Twitter called for the primates to find a new home in an animal sanctuary . This is heartbreaking. 4 baboons worked together to roll a 55 gallon barrel and escape the research facility where they were subject to horrifying medical experiments. They earned their freedom. Let them go to a sanctuary. Some animals are too sentient to be subjected to this. https://t.co/pWiykNdAW8 — Eugene Gu, MD (@eugenegu) April 17, 2018 Four baboons planned their escape from your facility and escaped by positioning a 55 pound barrel so they could climb out. What does that tell you about your facility? You make me sick @txbiomed – have the decency to send them to a sanctuary. https://t.co/jRhD9xjG2L — Yashar Ali ? (@yashar) April 17, 2018 + Texas Biomedical Research Institute Via Gizmodo and HuffPost Image © Clem Spalding Photography (210) 271-7273, courtesy of Texas Biomed

Excerpt from:
Baboons use a barrel to escape biomedical research institute in Texas

Couple restores 1969 camper into chic vacation home on wheels

April 18, 2018 by  
Filed under Eco, Green

When couple Matt and Beau saw a friend’s DIY camper restoration , they got inspired, and they decided to take on the same task themselves. Amazingly, it took the ambitious couple just 3 months and $10,000 to breathe new life into a run-down 1969 Globestar camper, which they lovingly renamed Rosie . The result is a beautifully hand-crafted living space that retains the original charm of the old camper while providing a sophisticated home on wheels . With a little help from some crafty friends, the determined duo worked on the challenging DIY project themselves, posting detailed tutorials on their blog, Probably This, along the way. Restoring the old camper wasn’t an easy feat, but the guys learned a lot: “We learned more than we thought we could ever know about 60’s era automobile construction, concrete mixing, bed-building, light hardwiring, shelving, painting-sealing-and-re-sealing, and appropriate methods of begging friends and family for help.” Related: How this photographer escaped the grid with her tiny Teardrop Trailer The camper renovation began by giving the camper’s old exterior a complete makeover. With help from an artist friend, Faye Kaucher Bell , they converted the old rust- and cream-colored facade into a Southwest-inspired color palette, complete with Rosie’s name on the back end. For the interior, the project began with replacing the old peel-and-stick tiled flooring with tiny wooden triangles made out of reclaimed cypress . Next up were the living space and the sleeping quarters: Matt and Beau gutted all of the old built-in furniture and created their own. A complete twin-size bed frame replaced the former bunk/sofa area, and they also installed a built-in night stand. For the kitchen space, the guys kept it simple by repainting the old cupboards and adding a hex tile backsplash and brass knobs. However, they did embark on a massive DIY project for the countertops, which they refinished with a concrete overlay themselves. In the dining area, they painted the dinette table and bench bases a cream color and  reupholstered the seat cushions with a neutral fabric. They even cut out a custom-made sleeping nook for their sweet dog, Fox. As for the rest of the home, the guys filled it with their own decorations and trinkets, including a rose-print wallpaper that pays homage to Rosie’s new makeover. + Probably This Via Dwell Images via Probably This

View original post here: 
Couple restores 1969 camper into chic vacation home on wheels

95% of the world’s population breathes unsafe air

April 17, 2018 by  
Filed under Green

Are you breathing clean air ? A new air pollution study suggests you might not be. It found that almost 95 percent of people in the world live in areas with higher fine particle levels than the World Health Organization ‘s air quality guidelines. According to The Guardian , poor communities are taking the brunt of the burden. The Health Effects Institute recently published the State of Global Air/2018 report. They drew upon satellite data and improved monitoring to discover that the majority of us could be breathing unhealthy air. According to the report , “An estimated 95 percent of people live in areas where ambient (outdoor) fine particulate matter concentrations (small dust or soot particles in the air) exceed the World Health Organization’s Air Quality Guideline of 10 µg/m3. Almost 60 percent live in areas where fine particulate matter exceeds even the least stringent WHO interim air quality target of 35 µg/m3.” Related: New map reveals world’s most toxic countries The 2018 report also delves into household air pollution. More than one third of the world’s population is exposed to polluted air from the burning of solid fuels for heating or cooking indoors. Reportedly, “For them, fine particulate matter levels in the home can exceed the air quality guidelines by as much as 20 times.” Air pollution has been connected to sickness and early death — just last year, exposure to polluted air played a role in over six million deaths around the world, according to experts. Half of the deaths were in India and China . And the gap between the most and least polluted countries is increasing: it’s now 11-fold compared to six-fold in 1990, Health Effects Institute vice president Bob O’Keefe told The Guardian. But, he said even though countries may have a ways to go on cleaning the air, there are reasons for hope — such as India’s focus on electrification. O’Keefe said China “seems to be now moving aggressively,” as they put stronger controls in place and work to cut coal . You can explore the data from the State of Global Air/2018 on the report’s website . + State of Global Air/2018 Via The Guardian Images via Depositphotos (1 , 2 )

Read the rest here: 
95% of the world’s population breathes unsafe air

6 solar roads shaking up infrastructure around the world

April 16, 2018 by  
Filed under Eco, Green, Recycle

Roads aren’t just for walking or driving anymore. Solar road or pathway projects around the world are showing that streets can both provide firm footing and generate clean energy . Inhabitat rounded up six projects in places as diverse as China and rural Georgia to highlight potentially game-changing technologies in the solar road sphere. Solar Roadways use modular solar panels covered in tempered glass Scott and Julie Brusaw launched Solar Roadways a few years back with the goal of transforming regular asphalt roads into energy -generating thruways. The Brusaws aimed to use  modular solar panels topped with tempered glass as replacement for standard pavement and, in 2016, celebrated the first public installation  of these panels in their hometown of Sandpoint, Idaho. While they’d also announced plans to bring their solar roads to a section of Route 66 in Missouri, it appears the project fell through. Late last year,  St. Louis Public Radio said the project wouldn’t be moving forward; according to Scott Brusaw, it “dissolved due to a variety of complex red tape factors.” But Solar Roadways is still at work to bring their product to roads and recently shared on Facebook  that they’ve met with interested connections from South Korea, Australia, Dubai, Abu Dhabi, and Austria. Related: This bike lane in Korea is topped with 20 miles of solar panels France opens one-kilometer solar road with 2,880 solar panels In late 2016, France opened what was then the first solar road in the world: a one-kilometer stretch in Tourouvre-au-Perche, built with technology from Colas’ Wattway . The 2,880-panel road was said to generate enough energy to power street lights in the 3,400-person village. Rural Georgia gets a test stretch of Wattway’s solar roads Wattway’s solar roads hit the United States a few months after the road in France. The Ray C. Anderson Foundation installed 538 square feet of the solar road near the Alabama and Georgia border — the first Wattway pilot in America. The solar road was part of the foundation’s project The Ray , an 18-mile living laboratory testing renewable technologies that also includes  bioswales and a solar-powered electric car charging station . Solar panel expressway pops up in China Just a few months ago, a one-kilometer solar road, developed by Qilu Transportation Development Group , opened in Jinan, China . Three layers make up the road: insulation on the bottom, solar panels in the middle, and transparent concrete on top. The solar panels cover around 63,238 square feet in two lanes and one emergency lane, and can generate one million kilowatt-hours of renewable energy every year. In a strange twist , thieves actually took a small portion of the road days after it debuted; since the panels wouldn’t have been worth a lot of money, people speculated they might have wanted to learn the workings of the technology. The road was later repaired. Solar-powered bike path has generated more power than anticipated Solar panels aren’t just for highways. Bike lanes can make great use of them too, if one in Krommenie, Netherlands is any indication. After one year, the SolaRoad solar-paneled bike path  generated 70 kilowatt-hours per square meter, enough power for around three houses – and even more than the designers expected. Sten de Wit of TNO , the research organization behind SolaRoad, said most people don’t even notice the difference between the solar bike path and a regular one. Solar sidewalk helps charge electric cars Sidewalks can benefit from solar panels, too. Platio recently installed a 50-square foot solar sidewalk, created with recycled plastic , that pulls double duty: people can walk across it as it generates clean energy used to charge electric vehicles . Platio installed the 720-watt peak capacity system at a Prologis facility in Budapest — and the process only took one day. When the solar sidewalk isn’t busy charging EVs, energy it generates helps power a nearby office building. Images via Solar Roadways Facebook , Vianney Lecointre on Twitter , The Ray , Qilu Transportation Development Group , SolaRoad Netherlands, and courtesy of Platio

Continued here: 
6 solar roads shaking up infrastructure around the world

Get ready for China’s EV offensive

April 12, 2018 by  
Filed under Business, Green

Chinese electric vehicle companies GAC Motor and Future Mobility are pressing the gas for a U.S. debut in the near future.

Read the rest here:
Get ready for China’s EV offensive

This is the most noteworthy part of Apple’s 100% clean power milestone

April 11, 2018 by  
Filed under Business, Green

Other big companies should emulate the tech giant’s focus on helping suppliers get there, too.

Here is the original post:
This is the most noteworthy part of Apple’s 100% clean power milestone

Whimsical park built of recycled materials pops up in Shanghai

April 5, 2018 by  
Filed under Green, Recycle

Comments Off on Whimsical park built of recycled materials pops up in Shanghai

Shanghai’s hip Anfu Road recently found itself home to a whimsical urban intervention showing how one man’s trash could be turned into public space treasure. AIM Architecture and URBAN MATTERS designed the temporary urban park, called Urban Bloom, as an experimental exercise pairing reclaimed pallets with glowing tree-like sculptures. “Transformed into an ideal urban garden, and constructed entirely from artificial means, it is a project for a city that emphasizes people,” wrote the designers. Open to the public, Urban Bloom is nestled in a quiet courtyard with popular eateries and boutiques within striking distance. Recycled timber pallets are used as modular building blocks stacked to form seating and visual interest. The installation undulates on one side to resemble hilly topography. Related: Shanghai’s sponge districts fight flooding with green space Potted plants are placed around part of the park’s perimeter to create a garden aesthetic. Plastic spheres tied to poles are filled with foliage in a sculptural take on trees. Repurposed materials were predominately used as part of the designers’ desire to promote sustainable concepts. “At the same time, cities are huge producers of waste and trash,” wrote the designers. “We wanted this new space to be low-impact, and interact with natural elements in an artificial way – in short, proving it’s possible to make something new from nothing new at all.” + AIM Architecture + URBAN MATTERS Via ArchDaily Images © URBAN MATTERS by MINI, CreatAR Images

View original here:
Whimsical park built of recycled materials pops up in Shanghai

China joins the World Green Building Council community

April 3, 2018 by  
Filed under Business, Green

Comments Off on China joins the World Green Building Council community

The move is hailed as “hugely significant” given China’s position as largest building construction market in the world.

More:
China joins the World Green Building Council community

Next Page »

Bad Behavior has blocked 2449 access attempts in the last 7 days.