Burberry vows to stop burning unsold clothes and using real fur

September 6, 2018 by  
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Burberry has confirmed it will no longer destroy fashion items it cannot sell. The British company has officially vowed to stop its long-standing practice of burning clothes and bags that remain unsold at the end of the year. The company is also moving to end the use of real fur in its products. Burberry’s policy changes follow criticism by environmental agencies and activists for how it disposed of unsold products. In 2017, Burberry burned more than $36 million USD worth of items to keep the products out of the hands of its competitors, fearing that the materials would be sold at discount prices and damage the brand. Since 2012, Burberry has destroyed over $135 million USD worth of products. In the past, the company defended these actions by claiming it reused the energy produced from the massive burns. Related: This Swedish power plant is burning H&M clothes instead of fossil fuels Fortunately, Burberry has changed its attitude on the issue and will no longer burn old products. Instead, the fashion giant will recycle the goods by reusing the materials or donating them to local charities. With the new policy in place, Burberry is the first fashion company to stop burning unsaleable products. The company also hopes that other businesses will follow its example and recycle old products instead of outright destroying them. In addition to not burning old clothes , Burberry has confirmed it will stop using real fur in products. The company is planning on releasing a new collection this month that does not feature any real fur. All existing lines containing real fur will be gradually eliminated in coming years. In order to promote its drastic change in policies, Burberry is also redesigning its logo and wants customers to know that it is serious about protecting the environment. Burberry CEO Marco Gobbetti said of the new policy change, “Modern luxury means being socially and environmentally responsible.” This past May, Burberry became an official partner with the Ellen MacArthur Foundation and is working with its program, Make Fashion Circular. The initiative was established to stop waste in the fashion world. + Burberry Via Reuters , The Guardian Image via Franklin Heijnen  

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Burberry vows to stop burning unsold clothes and using real fur

Blue dye could be the next key to harnessing renewable energy

September 6, 2018 by  
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Scientists at the University of Buffalo have discovered an adept way of storing renewable energy thanks to waste water produced from the textile industry. Polluted water containing blue dye, chemically referred to as methylene blue, has been found to have electrical properties and may soon be repurposed to revolutionize the battery industry in the near future. The revelation could help the textile industry, which is not known for its sustainable practices, reach a milestone in dealing with its water pollution and consumption issues. Similarly, for countries such as Sri Lanka where the textile industry makes up the majority of income, the discovery is paramount in facing the world’s changing environmental standards. Only 5 percent of methylene blue is absorbed by fabric in the dyeing process, meaning that thousands of liters of dye are released by factories daily to produce the azure hues people love to wear. The rest of the dye, now infused into water sources, is simply thrown away. Discovering the electrical properties of methylene blue — which is also used as medicine in some blood diseases, urinary tract infections and cyanide poisoning cases — is a game changer for both the textile industry and countries where textiles are increasingly damaging the environment. Related: Biotech company Nanollose could offer plant-free alternatives for the textile industry “The textile industry is what most of my country’s income is based on, but it’s associated with a lot of waste water, which is causing problems,” collaborating chemist and Sri Lankan national Anjula Kosswattaarachchi explained. “The good thing is we can repurpose the wastewater and create a green energy storage technology.” The research, published last month in the scientific journal ChemElectroChem reveals how methylene blue molecules change form when voltage is applied to the compound. Two protons and two electrons are taken on by the deep blue dye to form leuco-methylene blue, a colorless byproduct. Related: The devastating reason Mumbai dogs are turning blue This composition is then used by chemists in alternating reduction and oxidation processes, making it a successful alternative to current battery compositions. Using a solar cell to generate power, large quantities of the dye can be transformed into leuco-methylene blue. Alternately, the reverse process is employed at night when the electricity is needed back from the dye. Best of all, by varying the size of the cell in which the dye is subject to the voltage, the desired power output may be obtained independent of the size of the chemical storage tanks. This is a quality that other batteries, such as lithium ion models, do not have. The configuration is being referred to as the redox flow battery, which is already available with vanadium solutions, however the near-perfect reversibility exhibited by the methylene blue composition will certainly create some competition. Kosswattaarachchi and PhD supervisor Tim Cook are now working on repeating tests with actual samples of waste water, which contain other chemicals as well as the methylene blue, and creating scalable models in an effort to refashion both textiles and renewable energy into more sustainable models. + ChemElectroChem Via Cosmos Image via Daniel Romero

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Blue dye could be the next key to harnessing renewable energy

Drone operators disturbing wildlife incur fines and jail time in Scotland

September 4, 2018 by  
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The number of cases in Scotland involving drone interference with animals on nature reserves has increased, causing police and wildlife experts to become “increasingly concerned” for the welfare of the protected animals. While nature reserve managers and wildlife specialists are encouraging outsiders to watch and enjoy the environment and animals in the sanctuaries, mounting numbers of injuries caused to the creatures by drones are leading Scottish lawmakers to impose fines on or even arrest individuals caught disturbing the peace. Drones are being flown inconsiderately according to Andy Turner, wildlife crime officer with Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH). “There have been several incidents involving drones disturbing seals at designated haul-out sites,” he said. Seals that have protective considerations during breeding season are having their pups crushed in these haul-out zones, where they tend to flee when scared into the water by drones. Related: Daan Roosegaarde reveals vision for air-purifying Smog Free Drones “Likewise, there have been anecdotal reports of drones being used to film seabird colonies and raptors,” Turner continued. “While the footage from drones in these circumstances can be very spectacular, the operator must be mindful of the effect on wildlife.” The interference with some birds , such as guillemots and razorbills, has “almost catastrophic” implications according to nature reserve coordinators RSPB Scotland . Drones that fly in too quickly cause birds to panic and dive headfirst into the cliffs or plummet into the sea. Ian Thompson, Head of Investigations at RSPB Scotland, had a message for wildlife observers. “Watch the animals. You will get a sign if you are causing them any stress, you’ll see from their behavior,” he warned. “You might see birds take flight or suddenly lift their heads and run off or walk off. If the birds start altering their behavior, that shows that you are disturbing them, and then it is time to move a drone away.” Fines for harassing wildlife in the nature reserves can cost disrespectful droners up to £5,000 (about $6,425 USD). Alternately, severe infractions can earn individuals up to a six-month sentence in a Scottish penitentiary. Officers of the U.K. National Wildlife Crime Unit are taking the disturbances very seriously, regardless of the perpetrator. “Irrespective of whether the offender is an egg collector, boat skipper or drone operator, the possible sentences are the same,” said PC Charlie Everitt of the crime unit. “It is therefore essential that drone operators understand the law, research the legal status and behavior of any wildlife they intend to film and obtain the necessary licences to keep on the right side of the law.” Via BBC Image via Joe Hayhurst

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Drone operators disturbing wildlife incur fines and jail time in Scotland

Freedom for 5 moon bears held captive for 21 years on a bile farm

August 31, 2018 by  
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This Monday, non-profit group Animals Asia saved five moon bears that had been captive for more than two decades on a farm in Vietnam . The animals were held for 21 years, receiving regular bile extractions until their rescue from the southern town of My Tho, according to the group. The NGO transported the “freedom five” 1,050 miles by truck over the course of the week to Vietnam’s Tam Dao National Park. They were eagerly awaited at the Vietnam Bear Rescue Centre , an expansive and lush sanctuary dedicated to the animals’ conservation since 2006. The #FiveAlive bears have been given names for the very first time in their lives. LeBON, Kim, Mai, Star and Mekong were treated for injuries such as abdominal penetrations as well as dental decay from malnutrition and biting the cages in attempts to free themselves. Related: Montana judge to rule on first grizzly bear hunt in 40 years “We know that in more than 20 years of cruel incarceration, LeBON, Star, Mai, Mekong and Kim have never had proper nutrition or medical care,” Animals Asia Vietnam Director Tuan Bendixsen said. “They have known only rusty cages and a life of suffering. They were viewed as commodities and not treated as individuals. At the Vietnam Bear Rescue Centre, they will finally experience freedom, play in grassy enclosures, forage for food and have the chance to behave like real bears.” The moon bear, also referred to as the Asiatic Black Bear, as well as sun bears and brown bears are often captured by bile farms who sell the compounds in the practice of traditional medicine. The bears are listed as vulnerable in the IUCN Red List and endangered by the  CITES list . The global nonprofit Animals Asia was founded by Jill Robinson MBE and is celebrating its 20 year anniversary this month. Since then, Robinson, a medical veterinarian who is recognized as the world’s leading authority on the cruel bear bile industry, has been devoted to ending the longstanding eastern tradition of bile farming. “We eagerly await LeBON, Kim, Mekong, Star and Mai’s arrival at their new home at Animals Asia’s Vietnam Bear Rescue Centre,” Robinson announced shortly before their arrival. “They will never suffer behind bars again. This is an important step in our work to remove all of the bears who remain on farms in Vietnam from their cages and bring them to sanctuary . It is a new day for these innocent bears who will now finally enjoy some of the freedoms they were denied so long ago.” Related: Polar bears could go extinct sooner than scientists previously thought The Vietnamese government has been compliant with the NGO’s efforts, even signing a groundbreaking memorandum in 2017 agreeing to the removal and relocation of approximately 800 bears from bile farms to sanctuaries such as the Vietnam Bear Rescue Centre. Social media support of the #FiveAlive mission has been pouring in with growing encouragement to donate to the bears’ care for the remainder of their — now free — lives. + Animals Asia Images via Animals Asia

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Freedom for 5 moon bears held captive for 21 years on a bile farm

Montana judge to rule on first grizzly bear hunt in 40 years

August 29, 2018 by  
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This week, a U.S. judge will hear the arguments presented by Native American tribes and animal activists for the protection of recently demoted Yellowstone-area grizzly bears from the endangered list. The removal of the grizzlies’ protection status has caused states such as Montana, Idaho and Wyoming to launch trophy hunting expeditions in and around Yellowstone National Park for the first time in over 40 years. All in all, 700 American bears are at risk of staring down the barrel since their elimination from the U.S. List of Endangered and Threatened Species in 2017 under the Trump administration. While some states hailed the decision, along with hunters and ranchers who worried about bears preying on their livestock, Native Americans and conservation groups took matters into their own hands, filing lawsuits with the U.S. courts. “We feel all our beliefs, medicines, ceremonies and ancestral ways of life are being disrespected … because a few people want to kill grizzlies … to mount their heads on walls or make rugs for their floors,” explained Crawford White, part of the Northern Arapaho Elders Society, a Wyoming tribe that is supporting the suit for what it feels is a violation of religious freedom. Related: Movement to save grizzly bears from hunters scores a victory Constituents arguing for the hunt said that they met with tribal leaders before allowing up to 22 grizzly bears to be killed in the scheduled hunt, according to Renny MacKay, spokesperson for the Game and Fish Department . They maintain their stance that grizzly populations have exceeded targets for recovery measures and risk over-pouring into the surrounding area. More than 7,000 people have applied to the lottery system, which is accepting 22 individuals into the hunt, one person for every bear to be killed. Some applicants include individuals in the conservation group “Shoot ‘Em with a Camera, Not a Gun,” which has scored at least one of the 22 licenses. The hunt is set to begin September 1 in Wyoming and Idaho, and groups are impatiently awaiting the trial’s commencement to find out whether or not the state of Montana will join as well. Related: Jane Goodall and conservationists move to obtain bear hunting licences in Wyoming The hearing is set for Thursday, and opponents will meet in the U.S. District Court of Montana. The judge presiding over the case will make the final decision whether to restore protective status to the Yellowstone grizzlies or give them up to the hunt. Via Reuters Image via Yellowstone National Park

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Can businesses practice profitable conservation?

August 18, 2018 by  
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Investing in the environment proves valuable for all organizations. Here’s how.

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Can businesses practice profitable conservation?

8 Ways to Green Your Water

August 16, 2018 by  
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You H2O it to yourself to read this – get it? The post 8 Ways to Green Your Water appeared first on Earth911.com.

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Lemurs are now the most endangered species of primate on the planet

August 3, 2018 by  
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Approximately 94% of the 111 species and subspecies of lemur are under threat of extinction in their native country of Madagascar – the only place they exist outside of captivity. Of the remaining lemur groups, only six do not face high risk of extinction, according to the International Union for the Conservation of Nature’s (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species . This retrogression was revealed by the Primate Specialist Group , a conservation organization that has been analyzing current threats to the survival of lemur populations and their habitats. Chair of the Primate Specialist Group and Chief Conservation Officer of  Global Wildlife Conservation  Russ Mittermeier indicated that the “very high extinction risk to Madagascar’s unique lemurs” would compound, generating “grave threats to Madagascar’s biodiversity as a whole.” Loss of habitat poses the single greatest threat the lemurs now face in the wild. Developments in illegal logging and slash-and-burn agriculture, as well as mining activities and charcoal production, are ultimately determining the fate of these endangered animals. Related: Conservationists sound the alarm to address ‘America’s wildlife crisis’ Lemurs also face threats from pet trading hobbyists or hunters who wish to turn them into food. Once a delicacy, lemur’s presence on menus has become more and more mainstream in Madagascar, according to Professor Christoph Schweitzer of the Bristol Zoological Society . In an interview with BBC News , Schwitzer commented, “More and more, we are seeing unsustainable levels of lemur poaching. We see commercial hunting as well – probably for local restaurants. And this is a new phenomenon for Madagascar – we didn’t see it at this scale 15 years ago” Although many would bow their heads at the unfortunate fate of the lemurs, Schwitzer is an optimist. People “need to shout about these problems and get the message out there” he remarked. “When we published the lemur action plan and the media picked up on it, suddenly we had people call offering to help – to donate money or other resources. That can really make a difference,” he remarked. The “lemur action plan” has already had an effect, protecting habitats that contain the densest numbers of lemur species while helping Madagascar boost its ecotourism in the hopes of tackling poverty. By helping the local people economically, the groups involved in the plan are deterring hunting and other activities destructive to the tropical forests that provide the lemurs with their natural habitat. + Global Wildlife Conservation + IUCN Via BBC News

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Lemurs are now the most endangered species of primate on the planet

University of Queensland wants to drop "bommies" on the Great Barrier Reef

July 25, 2018 by  
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Experts at the University of Queensland are experimenting with a new way of saving Australia’s Great Barrier Reef – one of the most endangered natural environments on the planet – and their strategy might surprise you. Researchers in the university’s Civil Engineering and Biological Sciences department have been salvaging portions of dead coral and recycling them into new structures. They hope that the project will not only protect still-active parts of the reef, but restore it with new life as well. University scientists are collaborating with engineering, science and technology consulting firm BMT to create netted structures that contain unstable rubble made up of dead coral, with the goal of transforming them into bombora. Bombora, or “bommies” as Australians have dubbed them, are large pillars of coral that serve as a habitat for myriad fish species and – when strategically positioned – may help repair the reef in a natural, non-invasive manner. Related: Australia is investing over $377 million to save the Great Barrier Reef The team has received funding from the Australian and Queensland governments that will allow it to commence pilot testing on the project. If the reef is not aided by external forces, it may not be able to survive the coral bleaching events of 2016 and 2017. While other projects have been suggested, including using giant fans in an attempt to cool down reef waters or developing films to shield the coral from increased sunlight exposure, the bommies would represent a more sustainable and natural endeavor. Professor Tom Baldock, who is working on the project, explains, “on a healthy reef, the wave energy is reduced by the coral structure, enabling broken coral to naturally bind to form a stable layer, initially through the growth of crustose coralline algae, or CCA. CCA helps bind coral rubble together to create the framework for reefs and releases chemicals which attract free-swimming coral larvae.” The research team is working hard in their race against the clock to establish this organic foundation and protect one of the Earth’s most beautiful yet endangered habitats. +University of Queensland Via NewAtlas

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University of Queensland wants to drop "bommies" on the Great Barrier Reef

Astounding responsive map shows shark interactions with commercial fishers

July 24, 2018 by  
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Just in time for the 30th Anniversary of Discovery Channel’s popular Shark Week, a new map shows the interaction of 45 sharks  with commercial fishing vessels. The interactive map, featuring over 150,000 miles of chartered shark territory and movement in the Northwest Atlantic Ocean, seeks to shed light on the perilous environment in which the sharks maneuver on a daily basis and the approximate 100 million sharks killed each year. Austin Gallagher, CEO and chief scientist of Beneath the Waves and a project leader on the maps, said , “Many species of large sharks remain highly vulnerable throughout our oceans , and the integration provided here highlights the magnitude of the threats they face.” Shark expert at the University of Miami Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science and project collaborator Neil Hammerschlag explained that sharks are “highly mobile,” as demonstrated in the charted data published on the Global Fishing Watch , a non-profit organization launched by Oceana in collaboration with Google and Skytruth. Related: Endangered shark fins discovered on a Singapore Airlines flight to Hong Kong The sharks must navigate around fishing vessels,  creating a wide variety of potentially dangerous interactions. Hammerschlag said, “Many fishing gear types can put these sharks at risk , as both target and bycatch — especially in the international waters of the high seas where no catch limits exist for many shark species.” Many sharks are caught by accident, but they are also subject to targeted hunting for their fins. While the map currently displays recorded data of sharks tagged between 2012 and 2018, Oceana hopes to create a real-time interactive map that includes various shark species including blue sharks, great hammerheads and tiger sharks. Lacey Malarky, an Oceana analyst focused on illegal fishing and seafood fraud, said, “We’re hoping to expand and collaborate with more researchers to not only get more shark data but then other marine wildlife data as well, so that we can really create this interactive map platform that shows all types of marine wildlife and how they’re interacting with fishing vessels.” + Oceana + Beneath the Waves Via EcoWatch

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Astounding responsive map shows shark interactions with commercial fishers

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