Carbon-negative snack company AKUA offers kelp jerky and pasta

January 22, 2020 by  
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Amidst the growing awareness about our planet’s climate crisis , there is now a burgeoning need for more sustainable food resources. In recent years, seaweed has been quite a catch for health-conscious consumers, in turn, making kelp, a brown macroalgae, one of the more in-demand types of seaweed offerings. As such, startup business AKUA is set to enhance the sustainability of the snack industry with its product line of kelp-based jerky and pasta. “I started the company when I was an adviser to GreenWave , a nonprofit that trains ocean farmers. When I asked the farmers what they truly needed, they answered, ‘We need your help creating a consumer market for kelp.’ So, I started sending out 5-pound bags of frozen kelp to all my chef friends across the U.S.,” said Courtney Boyd Myers, co-founder and CEO of AKUA. “We came up with dozens of cool products and hosted tastings in New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco. One chef came up with kelp jerky, burgers and sausages — all vegan and made from kelp and mushrooms. That made me think, ‘Wow, what if we could create a line of meat alternative products from one of the most sustainable sources of food on the planet?’ Together with my co-founder Matt Lebo, we set out to launch AKUA and to bring regeneratively grown, kelp-based products into the world.” Related: Eating seaweed could reduce cows’ methane production Why is kelp a good idea for food sustainability? For one, Harvard University has documented that kelp plays a significant role in reducing global warming . That is attributed to kelp’s rapid growth rate, typically about 2 feet per day. Kelp is also able to naturally remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, mitigating rising temperatures and climate change. Kelp is also appealing because of its nutritional value. According to the University of California – Berkeley’s Wellness page , kelp, as a seaweed, “is a rich source of several vitamins, including vitamin A (in the form of carotenoids), vitamin C, vitamin D, vitamin E and B vitamins.” Because kelp has been called a sea vegetable, alongside other seaweed, it likewise “contains vitamin K, which plays a role in blood clotting.” Kelp’s health benefits extend beyond vitamins, as documented by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) FoodData Central site . Kelp is abundant in several minerals, such as calcium, copper, iron, magnesium and potassium. A University of California – San Francisco Medical Center study even documented that kelp has more calcium content than leading vegetables such as bok choy, collard greens, corn, curly endive and even kale. Kelp is particularly important for its high iodine content, a characteristic it has in common with other brown seaweeds. Iodine is vital for the human body to optimize thyroid hormone production, metabolic functions, immune response and the health of both the central nervous system and skeleton. Pregnant women especially need iodine for the proper bone and brain development of the fetus. Besides that, iodine helps remove free radicals from human blood cells, in essence counteracting the free radicals responsible for accelerating a cell’s aging process. Because of the health value of kelp, AKUA sought to leverage this as it developed its first product. “After studying trends in high protein snacking meets plant-based eating, we decided on creating a high-protein, soy-free vegan jerky made of kelp! In fact, today, Kelp Jerky is the world’s first meat alternative snack made from ocean-farmed seagreens and the only high-protein, soy-free vegan jerky in the market,” explained Myers. With the dawn of this new decade, AKUA has been seeking new and innovative ways of presenting kelp into meals. This is why it also offers kelp pasta as another nutritious product. “We have always wanted to introduce this product because eating kelp in this way is how we fell in love with kelp to begin with, literally just dehydrated kelp cut into noodle form,” continued Myers. “But because it is such a simple product with almost zero barrier to entry, we wanted to wait until after we had introduced Kelp Jerky, which is an incredibly innovative product — Time magazine named it one of 2019’s Best Inventions.” When asked about other food innovations and future plans for AKUA products, Myers eagerly shared, “In March, at Expo West 2020, we will debut our Kelp Balls, a slightly sweet snack focused on gut health that we created in partnership with next-gen microbiome company Biohm Health. If Kelp Jerky is all about protein and energy, our Kelp Balls will be all about improving your digestion.” Besides being a food innovator, AKUA is also committed to leaving a positive impact. One of the ways it does this is by donating part of its annual profits to GreenWave , a nonprofit devoted to training the next generation of ocean farmers. AKUA additionally partners with Parley for the Oceans , an environmental organization that raises awareness about the fragility of our oceans and seeks to prevent ocean pollution . Yet another key value for AKUA is its dedication to collaborating with local ocean farming communities. “Today, 98% of all seaweed is sourced from Asia, while AKUA sources 100% of its kelp from U.S.-based ocean farmers,” Myers said. “In fact, we are one of the first companies to utilize the emerging U.S.-based supply chain of ocean-farmed kelp, supporting the creation of hundreds of new jobs in our coastal communities.” Minimizing its carbon footprint is another crucial mission for AKUA. Last year alone, the company’s Kelp Jerky product utilized “40,000 pounds of regeneratively ocean-farmed kelp … and pull[ed] 2,000 pounds — 1 ton — of carbon from the sea,” according to Myers. “As a comparison, this is the same amount of carbon created by just 300 cheeseburgers. Based on our conservative projections for our Kelp Jerky product alone, by year five, we will be removing 1 million pounds of harmful carbon from our seas each year. With this data in our pocket, we are positioning Kelp Jerky as a ‘ carbon negative snack’ and building a brand that raises awareness for the climate crisis, food sustainability and ocean health.” + AKUA Images via AKUA

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Carbon-negative snack company AKUA offers kelp jerky and pasta

Off-grid home is inspired by the iconic Australian Akubra hat

January 22, 2020 by  
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The Australian Akubra hat is one of the many symbols of the country, and one architectural team has used the hat’s recognizable form as inspiration for a spectacular off-grid home in the small NSW town of Nundle. Designed by architect Alexander Symes, the Upside Down Akubra House, which is located on a bull farm, features a massive flat roof that is about 2.5 times the size of the building’s footprint. But the unique volume isn’t all about whimsy. In fact, the structure is actually a powerhouse of passive and active design features that allow it to operate completely off the grid . Throughout the design process, the architect worked closely with the homeowners, who are bull farmers. Set in a large grove of eucalyptus trees, the owners requested that their new house not only provide unobstructed, 360-degree views of the stunning landscape but also offer them the off-grid lifestyle required by the remote location. Related: Off-grid farmhouse on Australia’s remote French Island runs on solar energy Accordingly, the resulting home features wide windows and sliding glass doors that lead out to a wrap-around deck, allowing the interior to have a strong connection to the outdoors. Additionally, this outdoor space is shaded by the oversized roof. This shading strategy provides a lovely open-air place to hang out with friends and family and keeps the house nice and cool during the searing-hot summers. The interior of the three-bedroom home boasts sleek concrete flooring and walls that contrast nicely with natural wood accents. The main living area has a spacious layout that opens up to the decks, which feature ample room for dining and lounging. A cozy fire pit welcomes the homeowners and their guests to gather together at the end of the day. The beautiful design lets the residents take full advantage of its breathtaking setting and enjoy the perks that come with living off the grid. An adjacent 800-square-foot carport is covered with solar panels , which allow the house to generate and store all of its own energy. Additionally, the rooftop also has a catchment system to reroute rain into water tanks for reuse. + Alexander Symes Architect Via ArchDaily Images via Alexander Symes Architect

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Off-grid home is inspired by the iconic Australian Akubra hat

Trump bewilders scientists, says ice caps are "setting records"

January 29, 2018 by  
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The president of the United States raised eyebrows once again over his thoughts on climate change . In an interview with British journalist Piers Morgan on United Kingdom television channel ITV, Donald Trump said ice caps are setting records – without offering data to back up his statement. Morgan asked Trump, “Do you believe in climate change? Do you think it exists?” Trump said, “There is a cooling and there is a heating and look, it used to not be climate change. It used to be global warming . Right? That wasn’t working too well. Because it was getting too cold all over the place. The ice caps were going to melt, they were going to be gone by now, but now they’re setting records, okay, they’re at a record level.” Related: This map shows how uninformed Trump’s global warming tweet is There are several errors in Trump’s statement, for which he failed to offer scientific evidence. Reuters spoke with a few scientists about Trump’s claims, and World Glacier Monitoring Service director Michael Zemp told them, “ Glaciers and ice caps are globally continuing to melt at an extreme rate…maybe [Trump] is referring to a different planet.” Trump also talked about the Paris Agreement in the interview, saying, “Would I go back in? Yeah, I’d go back in. I like, as you know, I like Emmanuel,” referring to the president of France Emmanuel Macron . “I would love to, but it’s got to be a good deal for the United States.” Bloomberg pointed out Trump made similar remarks following a meeting with Erna Solberg, prime minister of Norway. So what are some of Trump’s beliefs on the environment ? The president told Morgan, “I’ll tell you what I believe in. I believe in clean air, I believe in crystal clear, beautiful water, I believe in just having good cleanliness.” Via The Independent , Bloomberg , and Reuters Images via Gage Skidmore on Flickr and Pixabay

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2017 was the hottest year on record for Earth’s oceans

January 29, 2018 by  
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Last year was the hottest year on record for Earth’s oceans , according to two scientists at the Institute of Atmospheric Physics at the Chinese Academy of Sciences (IAP/CAS). The increase in ocean heat led to a 1.7-millimeter global sea level rise – and other consequences like “declining ocean oxygen, bleaching of coral reefs, and melting sea ice and ice shelves.” The ocean absorbs over 90 percent of the planet’s “residual heat related to global warming ,” according to the researchers, Lijing Cheng and Jiang Zhu, whose work recently came out as an early online release in the journal Advances in Atmospheric Sciences . While they said the increase in ocean heat content for last year happened in most of the world’s regions, the Atlantic and Southern Oceans displayed more warming than the Indian and Pacific Oceans. Related: Rising ocean temperatures are cooking the Great Barrier Reef to death According to National Geographic , the two scrutinized ocean temperature data from multiple institutions, including the United States’ National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Scientists started gathering the data during the 1950’s – and in the late 1990’s, ocean temperatures started to take off, per the publication. The IAP ocean analysis reveals “the last five years have been the five warmest years in the ocean.” National Geographic pointed out people visiting the beach probably wouldn’t notice the temperature rise, but a warming ocean could still have damaging impacts. Sea ice coverage and thickness have both taken a hit. And the window to save Earth’s coral reefs is closing quickly . The researchers said in their paper, “The global ocean heat content record robustly represents the signature of global warming…The human greenhouse gas footprint continues to impact the Earth system.” + Advances in Atmospheric Sciences Via Institute of Atmospheric Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences , The Guardian and National Geographic Images via Deposit Photos ,  Ant Rozetzky on Unsplash and Tim Lautensack on Unsplash

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2017 was the hottest year on record for Earth’s oceans

You can now buy your own Elon Musk ‘Boring Company’ flamethrower

January 29, 2018 by  
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Winter got you down? Tired of snow and ice that just won’t quit? Perhaps some shooting flames will ease your winter woes. Elon Musk ‘s The Boring Company recently announced that aspiring pyromaniacal customers can preorder a company-branded flamethrower for the cool price of $500. Described on the company’s website as “the world’s safest flamethrower,” the latest device presented by Elon Musk is the end result of a pledge that Musk made this past December, in which he promised to start selling flamethrowers if The Boring Company sold 50,000 hats. Now that the hat milestone has been reached, Musk has kept his word – and he’s already sold $4 million worth. Don’t do this. Also, I want to be clear that a flamethrower is a super terrible idea. Definitely don’t buy one. Unless you like fun. A post shared by Elon Musk (@elonmusk) on Jan 27, 2018 at 5:29pm PST Technically, The Boring Company’s flamethrower is not what it claims to be. A real flamethrower, such as the ones infamously used during World War II , is capable of shooting intense flames up to fifty feet. Agricultural flamethrowers, used for controlled burns, are also capable of throwing fire over a distance. In contrast, The Boring Company’s flamethrower is more akin to an oversized lighter or crème brûlée torch in terms of range. Related: Elon Musk wins $50 million bet by installing world’s largest lithium-ion battery in under 100 days When the zombie apocalypse happens, you’ll be glad you bought a flamethrower. Works against hordes of the undead or your money back! — Elon Musk (@elonmusk) January 28, 2018 Musk has humorously advertised the flamethrower as being “sentient.” He has similarly explained that the flamethrower’s safe word is “ cryptocurrency ” and that each flamethrower comes with a free blockchain. For safety’s sake, The Boring Company is also selling an admittedly overpriced fire extinguisher, with company branding of course, for $30. The Company also promises that “aspiring flamethrower aficionados will be sent a terms and conditions rhyme for review and acceptance” before they are granted the gift of fire. Whether The Boring Company intends to incorporate flamethrower technology into its tunnel-building efforts remains to be seen. Via AutoBlog and CNBC Images via The Boring Company and Elon Musk/Instagram

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You can now buy your own Elon Musk ‘Boring Company’ flamethrower

Donald Trump taps fossil fuel-funded climate denier to head EPA

December 8, 2016 by  
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If there were any illusions that President-elect Donald Trump might be persuaded on climate change and clean energy after meeting with Al Gore at Trump Tower and appearing to soften his positions in an interview with New York Times reporters at the newspaper’s offices, those hopes have officially been quashed. Trump has selected Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt to run the Environmental Protection Agency – and he’s an ally of the fossil fuel industry and a climate change denier. He has been a vocal critic of the EPA and President Obama’s climate change policies. As AG, Pruitt led the legal effort against the Clean Power Plan , Obama’s signature climate policy to reign in greenhouse gas emissions from power plants. Since taking office in 2011, Pruitt has used his position to try to undermine the agency he could be in charge of (if confirmed by the Senate), boasting that he “led the charge with repeated notices and subsequent lawsuits against the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for their leadership’s activist agenda.” He has sued the EPA multiple times, fighting against air pollution standards, toxic pollutant regulations and rules to improve air quality in national parks and wilderness areas. Related: What Trump’s victory means for the environment (it’s not good) Writing in the conservative magazine National Review , Pruitt questioned “the degree and extent of global warming and its connection to the actions of mankind,” adding that in the scientific community the “debate is far from settled.” Pruitt did not mention studies showing that the overwhelming majority of climate scientists agree that humans are contributing to global warming. Pruitt has close ties with the fossil fuel industry. Since 2002, he has received more than $300,000 in campaign contributions from oil, gas, mining and utility interests. In 2014, The New York Times uncovered a secretive alliance between attorneys general, including Pruitt, and dirty energy firms to attack EPA regulations on fracking and air pollution. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), who sits on the Environment and Public Works Committee that must confirm Pruitt, slammed Trump’s pick to run the EPA. “At a time when climate change is the greatest environmental threat to the entire planet, it is sad and dangerous that Mr. Trump has nominated Scott Pruitt to lead the EPA,” said Sanders. “The American people must demand leaders who are willing to transform our energy system away from fossil fuels. I will vigorously oppose this nomination.” Via Huffington Post Photos by Gage Skidmore , Wikimedia , Flickr

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Donald Trump taps fossil fuel-funded climate denier to head EPA

Climate denier David Koch steps down from New York science museum board

January 25, 2016 by  
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David Koch has left his seat on the board of directors of the American Museum of Natural History . Climate scientists have been calling for the conservative oil billionaire to get his fingers out of science museums, and people are celebrating Koch’s resignation as a victory. In 23 years on the board, Koch has made over $20 million in donations, and has dinosaur halls named after him, but he and his brother have also reportedly given over $70 million to organizations that attempt to refute climate studies. Read the rest of Climate denier David Koch steps down from New York science museum board

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Climate denier David Koch steps down from New York science museum board

Stealth snowmobiles are in the offing for the Canadian forces

August 23, 2011 by  
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Ayan Sengupta: Stealth Snowmobile Hybrid Electric Snowmobile Defense forces around the world are known to operate in harsh climatic conditions. To operate in such conditions they require specialized equipment and gears. Snowmobile is one such machine which is used by armed forces around the world to ferry goods and personnel over snowy surfaces. Now thanks to the efforts of the Canadian armed forces, the good old snowmobile will now become stealthy. Department of National Defence in Canada is planning to build stealthy snowmobiles. A tender in this regard has already been issued to the potential manufacturers. An amount of $550,000 has already been set aside by the department for development of the machine. These snowmobiles would be used by the Canadian forces in the Arctic region which is under Canadian control. These stealthy snowmobiles would greatly enhance Canadian military’s ability to undertake covert operations in the far reaches areas of the north. These stealthy snowmobiles would also be eco-friendly since they would be powered by hybrid engines instead of the conventional combustion engines that power the snowmobiles of today. These future snowmobiles would be quieter compared to the existing ones. That is where the stealth feature of the machine comes in. The noise level of the existing snowmobiles cannot be reduced and this high noise level acts as a big handicap when it comes to undertaking covert missions. Electric engines are being seen as a potential solution to this problem since it would replace the combustion engine and will be powered by a much quieter electric motor. According to the tender, the snowmobiles would have to have a range of at least 15 km with an average speed of 20 km/h when it operates in the quiet electric mode. In the gas mode, it would have to have a range of at least 100 km with an average speed of 30 km/h. The vehicle should also have a top speed of 75 km/h and a payload capacity of at least 250 kg on a sled. This tender follows a slew of measures taken by the new Conservative Government in order to bolster the fledgling Canadian military. Via: CTV

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Stealth snowmobiles are in the offing for the Canadian forces

Canadian Government Falls; What Role Will Environment Play In Election?

March 25, 2011 by  
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From upper left: Conservative Stephen Harper, Liberal Michael Ignatieff, NDP Jack Layton, Green Party Elizabeth May Canada follows the British parliamentary system, where the government must have the confidence of the majority of House of Commons. Prime Minister Stephen Harper had a minority government, so the big question was, would any of the opposition prop him up? The Opposition Leader, Michael Ignatieff, wasn’t going to; the intellectual Harvard professor sees his best chance now, while recent scandals are fresh in everyone’s mind.

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Canadian Government Falls; What Role Will Environment Play In Election?

How One Kid is Combating Climate Change

March 25, 2011 by  
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Photo credit: Sharon Smith This guest post was written by Sharon Smith, author of The Young Activist’s Guide to Building a Green Movement . Alec Loorz first saw Al Gore’s documentary An Inconvenient Truth when he was twelve years old. Inspired by the message, Alec applied to be a presenter with Gore’s The Climate Project, but was turned down due to his age

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