The E-Fan X jet heralds an electric passenger plane revolution

December 28, 2017 by  
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The E-Fan X is a hybrid-electric jet plane that may herald a new era of electric power in transportation . Designed by a consortium that includes Airbus, Rolls-Royce and Siemens, the E-Fan X will offer partially electric powered flights that are cheaper, quieter, and more sustainable. “Aviation has been the last frontier in the electrification of transport, and slow to catch up,” said Rolls-Royce chief technology officer Paul Stein, according to the Guardian.  “This will be a new era of aviation.” This breakthrough in energy-transportation technology, which may encourage the growth of short-distance, small-to-medium passenger capacity aircraft, could change how airports are structured and incorporated into urban design . While the E-Fan X will be a major step forward for electric planes , it will fly on a hybrid engine because purely electric passenger flight is beyond current technological limits. “Aviation has always eluded electrification largely because of the size and weight of components involved,” said Stein, according to the Guardian . “But technology has moved on apace. Electrification is now poised to make a significant impact.” In light of these advances in the field, there is likely to be growth in three kinds of electric planes. Related: Boeing to reveal mysterious space plane of the future The first group includes air taxis, such as Uber Elevate , which are capable of transporting small numbers of people over relatively short distances. These would most likely be used to avoid urban congestion on the ground if one needs to cross a city . The second group includes regional jets, such as the E-Fan X. “Our target end game is a fixed wing, regional hybrid design,” said Stein. The third group includes long-distance commercial jets, which are much less developed under current technology. However, battery technology has made great leaps and bounds in recent years, so perhaps it may not be as faraway as we think. Via the Guardian Images via Airbus

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The E-Fan X jet heralds an electric passenger plane revolution

Gen Alpha: Change the water, not the fish

December 12, 2017 by  
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The ‘digital habitat’ for the generation fated to be ‘screenagers’ is crucial to any hopes for sustainability.

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Gen Alpha: Change the water, not the fish

Why Chicago is pollinating bee populations

December 8, 2017 by  
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In a fresh spin on “concrete jungle,” urban green spaces are home to conservation efforts that bolster declining bee habitats.

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Why Chicago is pollinating bee populations

German city offers ingenious alternative to single-use coffee cups

December 5, 2017 by  
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What do you do when you arrive at a coffee shop and realize you’ve forgotten your reusable mug ? Many of us, in need of caffeine, would guiltily accept the disposable cup that may or may not be recyclable. But the city of Freiburg, Germany came up with an inventive solution. They created the Freiburg Cup , which coffee lovers can snag for one Euro and return to participating stores to be cleaned and used again – up to 400 times. In Germany, over 300,000 disposable coffee cups are consumed every single hour, according to Freiburg representatives . And the 2.8 billion disposable cups consumed a year require 43,000 trees, 320 million kilowatt-hours of electricity, 1.5 billion liters of water, and 3,000 tons of crude oil – not to mention many aren’t even recycled . And these resource-intensive cups are typically used for a mere 13 minutes before being tossed out. The city launched the Freiburg Cup around a year ago, and there are now around 107 bakeries and cafes participating. The cups are manufactured in southern Germany. Related: Vancouver on track to kill wasteful single-use packaging Coffee drinkers can obtain the plasticizer- and BPA-free cup comprised of recyclable polypropylene at participating cafes, identifiable by a green sticker in the window. When they’ve finished the beverage, they can return it to any one of those cafes, which will disinfect the containers. The city doesn’t offer a reusable lid, for financial and hygienic reasons, they said. But they seem to think the disposable lids have a good chance of being recycled – when the cup is returned for cleaning, the lids are placed in a yellow bag for recycling. So far the Freiburg Cup has been incredibly successful, according to TreeHugger , with other cities in the country expressing interest. Coffee drinkers can find the locations of participating cafes on the Freiburg Cup website . + Freiburg Cup Via TreeHugger Images via Freiburg Cup ( 1 , 2 , 3 )

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German city offers ingenious alternative to single-use coffee cups

Cremona, Italy, makes the circular economy real for cities

December 5, 2017 by  
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In the last two years, Cremona has increased the percentage of waste collected separately — necessary for recycling — from 53 percent to 72 percent.

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Cremona, Italy, makes the circular economy real for cities

How to maximize the impact of corporate sustainability goals

December 5, 2017 by  
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Creating value for the business and driving environmental and social progress are key.

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How to maximize the impact of corporate sustainability goals

VW unveils fully electric six-seater specifically for ridesharing

December 4, 2017 by  
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Uber , get ready for more competition. Volkswagen’s mobility startup Moia just introduced a fully electric vehicle optimized for ridesharing . Unveiled at TechCrunch in Berlin, the concept also includes an app so customers can book and pay for rides easily. The startup plans to roll out the six-seaterout on the streets of Hamburg, Germany next year, with an overall goal of removing one million cars from roads. Moia could offer travelers an easy, eco-friendly new way to get around cities. The startup, which began just a year ago at TechCrunch in London, aims to get cars off the streets to ensure cleaner air and reduced traffic . Six people can ride inside the vehicle, which features standalone seats with USB ports and dimmable reading lights so everyone’s comfortable. Passengers can check their emails or surf the Internet with WiFi. There’s also a storage area next to the driver for luggage or bags. Moia’s range is 300 kilometers, or over 186 miles, and can be charged to 80 percent in around 30 minutes. Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles and Volkswagen Osnabrück designed and built it in a record 10 months. Related: Volkswagen confirms when the Microbus is coming back as an EV With the app, users can see available cars and ride costs before booking. The startup said they’ll employ a pooling algorithm to put riders with similar destinations in the same car to avoid detours and have as many people riding in one car as possible. Since October of this year, Moia has been testing their service in Hannover. They’ll debut the concept in Hamburg, with more locations to follow. CEO Ole Harms said in a statement, “In 2018, we’ll be ready to launch our ride pooling concept internationally and take the first steps toward our goal of reducing the number of cars in major cities by one million in Europe and the USA by 2025.” + Moia Via Moia Images via Moia

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VW unveils fully electric six-seater specifically for ridesharing

Cities must repave the ‘last mile’ of public transit

December 4, 2017 by  
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We are all pedestrians. So why aren’t cities more walkable?

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Cities must repave the ‘last mile’ of public transit

Michael Kobori on stretching beyond the sustainability department

December 4, 2017 by  
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The best of live interviews from GreenBiz events. This episode: The Levi Strauss leader offers a glimpse at broadening the reach of sustainability.

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Michael Kobori on stretching beyond the sustainability department

Tesla, Siemens and the race to map the future of fleets

December 1, 2017 by  
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Technology is changing fast. Cities, state and industry groups hope to stay ahead of the curve.

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Tesla, Siemens and the race to map the future of fleets

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