One third of the world’s power now comes from renewable energy

April 4, 2019 by  
Filed under Business, Green

Comments Off on One third of the world’s power now comes from renewable energy

After years of hard work and dedication, a third of the power generated around the world is now linked to renewable energy. The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) just released new data that shows impressive growth in both wind and solar energy , which has contributed to the changes in energy sources around the globe. Locations differed in the rate of renewable energy capacity. Asia, for example, witnessed an increase in renewable energy by 11 percent, while Africa’s pace was a little above 8.4 percent. Also contributing the numbers is the fact that two-thirds of the power added last year came from renewable sources, and developing countries are leading the pack. Related: Amazon plans to reach net-zero carbon use by 2030 “Through its compelling business case, renewable energy has established itself as the technology of choice for new power generation capacity,” the director of IRENA, Adnan Z. Amin explained. Renewable energy has been on the rise for past five years, and the numbers released in IRENA’s study show they are not slowing down. While the numbers are a positive sign for the future, Amin believes they need to increase at an even faster pace if we want to reach our global climate goals. New technology, of course, is the driving force behind renewable energy. Not only does technology make these energy sources possible, but it also makes them easier than ever to access. This includes the use of wind and solar energy, which contributed the most to energy capacities in 2018. Wind energy experienced a growth by around 49 GW while solar energy led the pack with an increase of 94 GW. While hydropower is the largest source of renewable energy, its growth has steadily declined over the years. Other notable sources include bioenergy , which saw growth in both China and the UK, and geothermal energy which increased in Turkey, Indonesia and the United States. Considering the fast growth rate of renewable energy, environmentalists hope the trend will continue for decades to come. If more and more countries continue to invest in renewable energy, we should be able to make great strides in curbing global carbon emissions over the next century. + IRENA Image via IRENA

Read the original: 
One third of the world’s power now comes from renewable energy

Are bioenergy facilities the solution to the growing garbage problem?

March 20, 2019 by  
Filed under Eco, Green, Recycle

Comments Off on Are bioenergy facilities the solution to the growing garbage problem?

Have you ever heard of bioenergy? Or, have you ever wondered where your garbage goes once you throw it out? For many people — especially Americans — once their trash leaves the house, there is no more thought about where it goes or what happens to it. As soon as a sanitation worker picks up your garbage , there is no reason to think about the serious problems that massive amounts of waste can cause. Every year, Americans discard about 250 million tons of resources, making them the largest generator of waste on Earth. Approximately 136 million tons are buried, 89 million tons are composted or recycled  and 33 million tons are burned. Yet, have you ever thought about how those methods of trash disposal impact communities and the environment ? In an effort to dispose of trash in a more eco-friendly way, many countries have started increasing the disposal method of waste-to-energy, or bioenergy , because when the garbage is burned, it generates energy. Some countries have even switched to bioenergy completely, like Sweden, who has actually run out of its own trash and imports 700,000 tons annually to meet the capacity of their waste-to-energy plants. In Norway, they are experimenting with fueling their public transportation system with biogas. According to Energy Central, one kilogram of food waste produces a half liter of fuel . The city of Oslo powers 135 buses with their organic waste. It may seem like a good idea to turn trash into energy, but is the process really as environmentally-friendly as it sounds? Related: Scientists invent a solar panel that produces hydrogen The Controversy When waste is burned to produce energy and heat, the process produces an enormous amount of smoke. Nearly all of that smoke is carbon dioxide, a major greenhouse gas, and there is nothing clean about that. Could this really be better than recycling or even burying trash in a landfill ? Waste-to-energy is not a “renewable” process because unlike solar or wind, once the waste is burned, that’s it. There is no more energy production from that specific resource. Gayle Sloan, chief executive of the Waste Management and Resource Recovery Association of Australia, says that the goal is to create energy from burning materials that recycling programs leave behind. This means the waste hierarchy is prevention and recycling before bioenergy and landfills. But, according to Jane Bremmer, coordinator of the campaign group Zero Waste Oz, waste-to-energy incinerators are actually a threat to recycling. “We appear to have this system where waste-to-energy incinerations are being allowed to remove material recovery facilities (recycling centers) from their planned projects,” says Bremmer. “They are doing that because it assures their waste stream.” Not only is waste-to-energy emitting greenhouse gasses and threatening recycling, but it can also be polluting the air. Wheelabrator, an incinerator located in Peekskill, New York, burns 2,250 tons of waste every day and provides “clean, renewable electricity.” But, is that an honest claim? The plant emits toxins into the air that can be deadly — 577 million pounds of carbon dioxide and 131,000 pounds of carbon monoxide every year, according to the Emissions Containment Totals Report . Then there is the sulfur dioxide and nitrogen, which means the citizens around that plant are breathing in a plethora of dirty pollutants . Related: Verizon pledges $1 billion for programs that help the environment In Australia, there is also a problem when it comes to funding. Not only are their waste-to-energy plants polluting the air and damaging their recycling programs, but they are also gobbling up cash from government grant and loan programs. “It’s consuming, in a large degree, a petroleum product into an energy stream which produces CO2 equivalent,” says Robin Chapple, Greens Western Australian MP. “We managed to control the emissions, like dioxins, but we are still turning the plastics into a greenhouse gas . If you have a good recycling program which deals well with waste, the feedstock for incineration disappears.” Smart Solutions Inventors from the Center for Sustainable Materials Research and Technology (SMaRT) program at the University of New South Wales are attempting to take recycling to the next level . Instead of burning materials to create energy, they have developed a microfactory that can be placed at waste sites that can turn discarded items into molecules which can then be transformed into something new. “If you are using something and then, after a single life, saying, ‘I’m done with it, and I’m going to burn away the fundamental molecules and elements and everything else to release a bit of energy’, then that’s not good,” says UNSW engineering professor Veena Sahajwalla, the head of the SMaRT project. She says that if we simply burn our waste, then we aren’t trying hard enough to find ways to repurpose materials and resources. For Sahajwalla, bioenergy is not the solution to our environmental problems. Via The Guardian Images via Shutterstock

Originally posted here: 
Are bioenergy facilities the solution to the growing garbage problem?

Escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life in these bamboo huts built on a remote Vietnamese beach

March 20, 2019 by  
Filed under Eco, Green

Comments Off on Escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life in these bamboo huts built on a remote Vietnamese beach

When it comes to completely disconnecting from the stresses of everyday life, sometimes it’s worth the while to really go off-the-beaten-path. Thanks to Vietnamese architecture firm, VTN Architects , now you can find a little slice of serenity in a very remote area of Vietnam. Located about 2 hours from the nearest port and only accessible by boat, the Castaway Island Resort is comprised of five bamboo guest huts , covered in thatched roofs and engulfed on one side by a verdant mountain range and on the other by a private white sand beach. The Ho Chi Minh City-based firm designed the resort to offer the ultimate in lodging for those who want to reconnect with nature. Located on a tiny island that’s part of the Cat Ba Archipelago, the idyllic area is a well-known tourist destination. Tucked into a soaring mountain range on one side and a private beach on the other, guests at the eco-retreat can enjoy breathtaking views from anywhere inside the bamboo huts and outside the property. Related: Top 6 Must-See Summer Eco Resorts Around the World! Using the natural landscape for inspiration, the architects used environment-friendly bamboo to craft the huts that make up the guests rooms, as well as the restaurant and multi-use pavilion. The huts were built using thin bamboo rods that were treated in a traditional Vietnamese technique that involves soaking the bamboo in mud first and then smoking it afterwards. Once properly treated, the bamboo frames were assembled by bamboo dowel nails and re-enforced by rope. Covered with thatched roofs, the huts not only offer an authentic Vietnamese cultural experience, but also reduce the building’s impact on the existing landscape. Using bamboo as the primary building material meant adding durability to the design, as well as the option to be easily removed without leaving a footprint on the beautiful landscape. Guests will enjoy staying in the spacious guest rooms, but can also enjoy spending time in the restaurant and onsite pavilion. Built in the same style as the bamboo huts , the restaurant is built in a hyperbolic-parabolic shell volume. This shape allows the communal area to be covered, but open on all sides so that guests can take in unobstructed views while they enjoy local fare served by the restaurant. + VTN Architects Via Archdaily Photography by Hiroyuki Oki, via VTN Architects

Continued here:
Escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life in these bamboo huts built on a remote Vietnamese beach

Plastic waste has met its match with the viral #Trashtag challenge

March 14, 2019 by  
Filed under Eco, Green

Comments Off on Plastic waste has met its match with the viral #Trashtag challenge

It is rare when a social media trend actually results in a physical change to the environment, especially when it comes to picking up plastic waste . But a new viral challenge has thousands of people from around the world coming together to clean up places that have become overrun with plastic. The new challenge, #trashtag, encourages people to clean up litter and share photos from before and after the clean-up job is over. So far, tens of thousands of individuals have participated in the social media challenge. These participants have cleaned up roads, parks, beaches and wilderness areas. The challenge has also increased awareness of important environmental issues, like how much plastic waste ends up in the trash. Related: China closes Mount Everest base camp after overwhelming trash problem reports While the challenge only recently went viral, it actually started a few years ago. A company called UCO Gear came up with the idea in 2015 to help with its wilderness protection program. The challenge did not catch on until this year, after a post on Facebook tagged “tired teens” in the photo. Since then, there have been well over 25,000 posts with #trashtag tagged, although it has a few other variations, such as #trashchallenge and #trashtagchallenge. Although it is great to see people cleaning up the environment in their free time, conservationists hope it will eventually lead to bigger changes. According to BBC , the director of Canada’s Ecology Action Centre (EAC), Mark Butler, hopes the hashtag gets people to understand why we need to eliminate single-use plastics altogether. “Getting plastic out of the environment is important,” Butler shared. “We need to do more than go behind the people that are littering and clean it up. We need to turn off the plastic tap.” Butler argued that if we do not start curbing our plastic use, then the clean-up job will never end. Given all of the photos we’ve seen from the trash challenge, Butler has a point. Hopefully, viral challenges like #trashtag will help initiate more lasting changes as we continue to deal with the problem of plastic pollution. Via BBC Image via Pacific Southwest Region 5

Original post: 
Plastic waste has met its match with the viral #Trashtag challenge

Transparent bubble domes in China allow guests to immerse themselves in nature

March 13, 2019 by  
Filed under Green

Comments Off on Transparent bubble domes in China allow guests to immerse themselves in nature

For those who need a little respite from the hustle and bustle of life and who may find themselves in the Guangxi region of China, there is an entire glamping site comprised of transparent bubble domes . Created by designer ChengWei Chiang of PL Interior Design Studio, the Wow Bubbles are made of special transparent PVC material to let visitors truly immerse themselves in the idyllic landscape that surrounds the site. Located in the mountainous area of southern China  bordering Vietnam, Guangxi is right on the coast and known as a nature-lover’s paradise. Full of lush green forests, winding rivers and towering karst formations, the area is a popular tourist spot for both adventurers and those who just want to commune with nature. Related: Sleep beneath the northern lights in this unique Iceland bubble Now, visitors to the picturesque area can go one step further by staying in the Wow Bubbles lodgings. Made out of special PVC material, the transparent bubble huts are inflated with air. Waterproof and resistant to wind, they were also designed to withstand the severe humidity that is common in this coastal area. The bubble domes are strategically orientated to provide stunning, unobstructed views of the mountains and forest that surround the site. A wooden walkway on the edge of a small lake leads to the individual domes, which are lifted off the landscape on wooden platforms. Once inside, the interior design is quite contemporary. With a spacious living area, a large bedroom and bath, the huts provide all of the amenities of home. According to the designer of the bubbles, ChengWei Chiang, the unique glamping concept was inspired to provide mesmerizing, panoramic views for guests looking to get away from the stress of their urban lifestyles. “As more and more people move into the cities, making more money, buying more luxuries, owning bigger houses, the nature serves as a pure land that evokes peace of mind,” he explained. “Zen is a lifestyle we need today. Zen style is the key to attract urban people to nature.” + PL Interior Design Studio + Chiange Cheng Wei Via World Architecture Images via Chiange Cheng Wei and PL Interior Design Studio

More:
Transparent bubble domes in China allow guests to immerse themselves in nature

Finland plans to complete its coal ban one year early

March 12, 2019 by  
Filed under Business, Eco, Green

Comments Off on Finland plans to complete its coal ban one year early

Finland is following through with its coal ban initiative and making it a top priority over the next 10 years. The country promised to eliminate its reliance on coal by 2030, and Finnish Parliament just pushed through a motion to complete the ban a year earlier than the previous goal. One year may not seem like much, but moving the ban up means  Finland  will be completely coal-free in the next decade. The move also means that the country will have to increase its phasing out program by around 10 percent to meet the new goal. This might seem like a lot of pressure, but other companies have successfully switched to renewable energy faster than expected. Related: Renewable energy could overtake fossil fuels in Britain by next year According to TreeHugger , LEGO reached its goal of 100 percent renewable energy three years before its deadline, while Norway reduced its carbon dioxide emissions three years ahead of schedule. Sweden also changed to renewables about 12 years before the original goal, and both India and China have met their eco-friendly goals ahead of time. Coal currently comprises about 8 percent of Finland’s annual consumption. Even still, the country will have to move quickly if it wants to eliminate coal entirely. This includes pursuing long-term programs that will provide clean energy to residents while being cost-effective for businesses. Fortunately, Finland has already invested in these types of programs, and lawmakers are confident that the country will reach the newly proposed deadline. Finland’s coal ban initiative is a clear indication that the world is decreasing its reliance on non-renewable energy sources. Hopefully, other countries will follow Finland’s lead and move forward with their own coal-free programs in the near future. Many countries have voted in coal bans similar to Finland’s, but with climate change already having an impact around the world, the faster we implement coal bans, the better. Via TreeHugger and CleanTechnica Image via Ninara

Read the original here: 
Finland plans to complete its coal ban one year early

These sustainable tiny cabins offer a serene escape in nature just 2 hours from NYC

March 12, 2019 by  
Filed under Eco, Green

Comments Off on These sustainable tiny cabins offer a serene escape in nature just 2 hours from NYC

For anyone looking to find some serenity surrounded by incredible nature, Gather Greene is waiting for you. Located just two hours outside of NYC in beautiful Hudson Valley, Gather Greene is a glamping retreat featuring 17 minimalist cabins. Designed by Lushna , the tiny cabins with gabled roofs and large glazed “picture walls” were designed to let guests immerse themselves in the idyllic surroundings. The distinctive wooden eco-cabins are part of Lushna’s Petite Reflect collection. Located deep in a serene forestscape, the triangular tiny cabins are spaced far apart to provide ultimate privacy. To make the most out of the nature-based escape, the glamping structures feature a gabled roof with a large front wall that is entirely glazed from top to bottom. The glass wall behind the bed was a strategic part of the design, enabling guests to enjoy their natural surroundings from the moment they wake up until they shut their eyes at night. Additionally, a mirror is mounted on the foot end of the bed, so that guests don’t have to strain their necks to enjoy the amazing views. Related: Gorgeous “glamping” eco-cabins help you reconnect with nature in luxury Although quite compact, the glamping cabins are equipped with all of the basic amenities to create a luxurious stay in nature. The cabins feature a space-saving interior design that provides maximum functionality with minimal space. For example, the interior includes a “smart box concept” that features a dinette, kitchenette and closet, all of which can be concealed into the walls. The tiny cabins , which sleep up to two guests, have fully-equipped bathrooms with stand-up showers. To completely immerse yourself into the location, the structures also have open-air decks that offer the perfect spot for dining al fresco or stargazing at night. + Lushna Via DesignMilk Photography by Kelsey Ann Rose via Lushna Glamping

Original post:
These sustainable tiny cabins offer a serene escape in nature just 2 hours from NYC

Earth911 Quiz #51: Recycling’s Very Bad Year

February 28, 2019 by  
Filed under Eco

Comments Off on Earth911 Quiz #51: Recycling’s Very Bad Year

One year after China banned importation of contaminated U.S. recyclables, … The post Earth911 Quiz #51: Recycling’s Very Bad Year appeared first on Earth911.com.

Continued here:
Earth911 Quiz #51: Recycling’s Very Bad Year

Ivory Queen sentenced to 15 years for illegal ivory smuggling

February 20, 2019 by  
Filed under Business, Eco, Green

Comments Off on Ivory Queen sentenced to 15 years for illegal ivory smuggling

The Ivory Queen of China was just hit with a 15-year prison term for smuggling illegal ivory in Asia. A court in Tanzania found Yang Feng Glan, who earned the nickname “Ivory Queen” for her unlawful business activities, guilty of illegally trading close to 2 tons of ivory tusks, which represents more than 350 elephants . This is not the first time Glan has been charged with ivory smuggling. Back in the fall of 2015, she was busted for shipping 860 ivory pieces through Asia from 2000 to 2004. The illegal goods were estimated to be worth around $5.6 million. Glan and her accomplices, two men from Tanzania, denied the allegations. Related: Illegal ivory trade continues to thrive in Europe As a businesswoman with connections in the Tanzanian government, Glan positioned herself to take advantage of the illegal ivory trade. According to Reuters , Glan has resided in Tanzania for the past 40 years and was appointed to the country’s China-Africa Business Council as the secretary general. She is also fluent in Swahili and operates an eatery in Dar es Salaam. The magistrate who presided over the case, Huruma Shaidi, handed down a sentence of 15 years for Glan and her two partners in crime: Manase Philemon and Salivius Matembo. The magistrate also ruled that all three criminals have to pay twice the value of the illegal ivory. If they fail to pay the penalty, two years will be added to their sentence. “[Glan] intentionally did organize, manage and finance a criminal racket by collecting, transporting or exporting and selling government trophies,” court records stated. Authorities in China fully supported the ruling from the Tanzanian court. Conservationists around the world also applauded the conviction, though some groups thought the punishment was too light, especially considering how Glan oversaw the killing of thousands of elephants in Tanzania. The elephant population in Tanzania has shrunk dramatically over the past decade. In 2009, there were as many as 110,000 elephants in the country. That number was reduced to only 43,000 in 2014. Environmentalists and conservation groups believe that the illegal ivory trade is the main reason behind the significant drop in numbers. Via Reuters Image via Shutterstock

Read the rest here:
Ivory Queen sentenced to 15 years for illegal ivory smuggling

Zimbabwe hopes to bring attention to trafficking endangered species with the Pangolin Project

February 20, 2019 by  
Filed under Green

Comments Off on Zimbabwe hopes to bring attention to trafficking endangered species with the Pangolin Project

Zimbabwe is raising awareness about animal trafficking with the annual World Pangolin Day. The pangolin is the most often trafficked mammal in the entire world, with an estimated one million of the scaly mammals being sold in the black market over the past 10 years alone. The pangolin project hopes to curb those numbers and raise awareness about the growing problem of animal trafficking around the globe. Behind drugs, weapons and humans, animal trafficking is the fourth highest illegal trade in the world. “It breaks my heart to know how the greed of mankind is pushing this animal to the brink of extinction,” the head of the Tikki Hywood Foundation, Lisa Hywood, explained. “Time is running out for the pangolin, so we all need to take action.” The Convention on the International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) outlawed the trade of pangolin in Asia and Africa, two regions of the world that contain all eight of the endangered species. The ban has given the pangolin protective status, but officials are still dealing with large scale poaching. Related: 60% of wild coffee species are now threatened with extinction In honor of Pangolin Day, several groups are using the occasion to raise awareness about other trafficked animals throughout the world. This includes the Tikki Hywood Foundation, which produced a documentary in 2016 about saving pangolins from poachers and the black market. While efforts like Pangolin Day are doing a great job at raising awareness, environmentalists and conservationists face an uphill battle ahead of them. In fact, animal trafficking numbers have steadily grown over the past few years, despite bans against trading endangered species like pangolins. Last week, for example, authorities in Hong Kong uncovered nine tons of pangolin scales in a shipyard, along with over 1,000 elephant tusks. The shipment was headed to Vietnam by way of Nigeria, and officials believe the cargo would have sold on the market for as much as $8 million. Sadly, experts believe around 13,000 pangolins were killed to account for the nine tons of scales seized in Hong Kong The incident in Hong Kong is one of many examples of the growing problem of animal trafficking around the world. Fortunately, initiatives like World Pangolin Day is helping raise awareness about animal trafficking and making it harder for illegal traders to operate. Via UN Environment Images via David Brossard 

Original post:
Zimbabwe hopes to bring attention to trafficking endangered species with the Pangolin Project

« Previous PageNext Page »

Bad Behavior has blocked 1597 access attempts in the last 7 days.