Vulnerable nuclear waste stockpiles are becoming a"global crisis"

February 4, 2019 by  
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Nuclear waste is quickly becoming one of the world’s biggest problems. Earth’s growing stockpile of radioactive waste is troublesome, because these chemicals remain in their radioactive state for several millennia — and we have yet to come up with a foolproof storage solution. A new study explored facilities that store nuclear waste in seven locations around the world, including the United States, France, Japan, Belgium, Britain, Finland and Sweden. Officials discovered that the majority of nuclear waste lacked proper defense mechanisms, like secondary protocols, and are vulnerable to failing in the wake of natural and man-made disasters. Related: Blue dye could be the next key to harnessing renewable energy Storage of nuclear waste is one of the biggest obstacles facing nuclear power plants . It was once thought that deep underground was a good storage option, but that is not the case. According to Greenpeace , all of the storage facilities in the study showed some percentage of radiation leaks, which is incredibly detrimental to the environment. “More than 65 years after the start of the civil use of nuclear power, not a single country can claim that it has the solution to manage the most dangerous radioactive wastes ,” Shaun Burnie, who works with Greenpeace Germany and led the new study, explained. Even worse, some storage facilities are located in areas prone to natural disasters. For example, the U.S. is in the process of building a major nuclear waste site in Nevada’s Yucca Mountain range, which features seismic and volcanic activity, hardly suitable for keeping radioactive waste safe. The building of the Yucca Mountain facility was placed on hold by former President Barack Obama in 2010. Donald Trump, however, has expressed interest in reviving the construction and finishing the site before his term is up. As if that is not bad enough, governments are seemingly turning a blind eye to public concerns. The nuclear waste report comes after it was revealed that the U.S. government secretly moved weapons-grade plutonium across several states, despite passionate opposition from politicians in South Carolina. If scientists do not come up with a better method of disposing of nuclear waste, then it really could become the next global crisis. Fortunately, countries are exploring alternative renewable sources for energy that do not result in radioactive waste and are healthier for the environment. + Greenpeace Via EcoWatch Image via Pixabay

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Vulnerable nuclear waste stockpiles are becoming a"global crisis"

Housing pods made of recycled plastic offer an alternative to festival tent waste

December 27, 2018 by  
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Outdoor festivals and events have been popular across the world since the days of Roman gladiators and for good reason. They are a great way to enjoy music, art and other entertainment while being surrounded by nature. Unfortunately, festivals are also associated with a lot of waste. One company, Above All C6(n) , is leading efforts to find a solution for the temporary tent accommodations that often get left behind at these events. With the knowledge that thousands of tents get tossed after major festivals, the company created the Pod(o), a reusable sleeping pod made from recycled, single-use plastic rather than virgin materials. Charlie Hall, founder and managing director of Above All C6(n), said, “People were really interested in the technology behind it as well as the design, but what makes it especially appealing is the fact that it, like all our building components, provides a use for single-use plastic , which is a truly global problem.” Related: 100% recyclable cardboard tents could solve the waste problem at music festivals In addition to repurposing plastic originally headed to the landfill, Above All designed the Pod(o) to be multi-purpose and durable. The modular design makes the pods adaptable for a variety of uses. They are stackable, can be linked together and can even connect to  solar power , a water supply and a bio toilet. For portability, the pods can be taken apart, transported and set up in another location by just a few people. The goal is for the Pod(o) to be used again and again for years as a replacement for single-use tents at many events. Currently, the design of the Pod(o) accommodates two people, but the company is working to scale the design for larger options. Based out of Christchurch, Dorset, U.K., Above All has also designed other modular and portable structures intended for community use. The company focus is aimed at fixing problems within the construction and housing markets, such as waste during and after construction, longevity of products and shortage of availability. Beginning with the initial idea of sturdy and reusable festival lodging, it didn’t take long for the company to envision other uses for the pods. Now, it plans to promote them as a solution for all types of temporary housing needs: people in between accommodations, those affected by natural disaster, military persons or firefighters stationed remotely, workers designated to a construction site, people at sporting tournaments and workers and visitors to other pop-up events. “We aim to create a local sustainable legacy,” Bex Ricketts, the business development manager of Above All, told Inhabitat. “Collect locally, employ locally, make locally, re-use locally and benefit local charities. Sustainable as engineered for zero-waste , 100 percent reusable and lasts indefinitely. Creating a legacy is most important, as something that has been created to last for generations has to be useful and designed to be future proof.” + Above All Via Archinect Images via Above All

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Housing pods made of recycled plastic offer an alternative to festival tent waste

How Do You Recycle an Entire Building?

July 3, 2018 by  
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It’s a silly question, isn’t it? How could something so … The post How Do You Recycle an Entire Building? appeared first on Earth911.com.

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How Do You Recycle an Entire Building?

Eco-Friendly Fencing: Which Option Is Best for the Earth?

June 28, 2018 by  
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Installing or replacing a fence is a major undertaking. Fortunately, … The post Eco-Friendly Fencing: Which Option Is Best for the Earth? appeared first on Earth911.com.

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Eco-Friendly Fencing: Which Option Is Best for the Earth?

Green and healthy buildings are an integral part of green cities

May 21, 2018 by  
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Here’s how city planners, architects and building operators can make a difference.

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Green and healthy buildings are an integral part of green cities

Report Report: Carbon accounting, SDG roadmaps, 4th wave environmentalism

May 17, 2018 by  
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The latest crop of research and insights for sustainable business professionals.

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Report Report: Carbon accounting, SDG roadmaps, 4th wave environmentalism

‘Game changing’ graphene-reinforced concrete is stronger and better for the planet

May 3, 2018 by  
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Add concrete to the list of things graphene can improve. Scientists at the University of Exeter ‘s Center for Graphene Science developed a new technique to incorporate graphene in concrete production with the help of nanoengineering technology — and the resulting material was not only over twice as strong as concretes we have today, but “drastically reduced the carbon footprint of conventional concrete production methods.” Is there anything graphene can’t do? It can boost both the strength and durability of concrete. The resulting University of Exeter composite material is four times as water resistant as existing concretes, and, according to professor Monica Craciun , “by including graphene we can reduce the amount of materials required to make concrete by around 50 percent — leading to a significant reduction of 446 kilograms per tonne of the carbon emissions .” Related: MIT just discovered a way to mass produce graphene in long rolls The research, published in late April in the journal Advanced Functional Materials , pioneers a novel, low cost technique that is, according to the university, compatible with requirements for modern, large-scale manufacturing. The composite material can be utilized right on building sites. Craciun described the new green concrete as an absolute game-changer. She said its strength, durability, and water resistance make it “uniquely suitable for construction in areas which require maintenance work and are difficult to be accessed.” Lead author Dimitar Dimov, a PhD student at the university, described the research as a first but crucial step “in the right direction to make a more sustainable construction industry for the future.” He said in the statement, “Finding greener ways to build is a crucial step forward in reducing carbon emissions around the world and so help protect our environment as much as possible.” + University of Exeter + Advanced Functional Materials Images via Depositphotos and Derek Torsani on Unsplash

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‘Game changing’ graphene-reinforced concrete is stronger and better for the planet

New 3D-printed house can be built in less than a day for just $4,000

March 13, 2018 by  
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One billion people on Earth lack access to adequate housing — but that could change if ICON and New Story are successful. They’ve found a way to 3D-print 600 to 800-square-foot houses for $4,000 in under one day — and they recently unveiled “the first permitted, 3D-printed home in America.” Austin , Texas can now claim the United States’ first permitted 3D-printed house. To build the house, ICON developed a mobile 3D printer called the Vulcan, which is designed to operate in conditions where power isn’t reliable and potable water isn’t readily available – like rural El Salvador or Haiti. Related: The world’s largest Delta 3D printer creates nearly zero-cost homes out of mud 3D-printing offers several advantages over traditional building methods, ICON co-founder Jason Ballard said in a statement: “With 3D-printing, you not only have a continuous thermal envelope, high thermal mass, and near zero-waste , but you also have speed, a much broader design palette, next-level resiliency, and the possibility of a quantum leap in affordability . This isn’t 10 percent better, it’s 10 times better.” New Story utilizes locally sourced materials for dwellings today, and they plan to do the same with 3D-printed houses, which will be comprised of a mortar. The charity works with local workers, and they say that traditional building methods provide around four jobs for each house. They did say the printer will probably lower that number “but local labor will still be required for aspects of communities.” How long will the homes last? New Story said “as long or longer than standard Concrete Masonry Unit built homes.” They plan to keep homes simple to minimize maintenance costs. New Story said that they’ll print the first community in El Salvador , with other locations to follow after. They’re currently raising money to fund 100 homes and the next phase of research and development – you can donate to the initiative on their website . The first family could move into their 3D-printed house in the second or third quarter of 2019. + New Story + ICON Images via New Story

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New 3D-printed house can be built in less than a day for just $4,000

"The only way to see Iceland" with adorable mini Mink Campers

March 13, 2018 by  
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Photographs of Icelanic landscapes tend to incite serious wanderlust — add a tiny camper to the scene and you’ve got the makings of a swoon-worthy outdoors adventure. Local company Mink Campers is offering their little trailers for rent, saying they’re “the only way to see Iceland,” and from the pictures, we just might agree. Ever wanted to explore Iceland? Mink Campers allows you to get out there in nature without completely waving goodbye to the 21st century. Their two-person campers, rented with a 4×4 vehicle, allow you to sleep under the stars while also enjoying electricity, WiFi, USB charging, and a Bose sound system. Related: Off-grid camping just got so much better with these solar-powered teardrop trailers The Mink Camper, which is around nine-feet by five-feet by six-feet, has a queen mattress inside. A Webasto heating system provides warmth while campers gaze at the sky through a roof skylight. Round side windows also let in light, while LED lighting brightens up the camper when it’s dark. Scandinavian linen, a blanket, pillows, and a duvet will keep explorers cozy. Two adults can snuggle in — or around four kids, as seen in the Instagram picture below. Kids are brutally honest critics and by the look on these faces we need not say more..#kids #campingwithkids #summer #campinglife #minkcampers #hastens #bose #roadtripiceland #campinginstyle #campinginiceland #wanderlust #adventurecamping #travel #travelblog #travelphoto #iceland #roadtrip #exploring #lovecamping #outdoorlife #outside #enjoylife #hästens A post shared by Mink Campers (@minkcampers) on Feb 2, 2018 at 5:02pm PST What about breakfast the next morning? There’s an open air kitchen around the back of the trailer, equipped with a gas stove, illuminated ice chest, kitchen tools, and a table and chairs. During summer 2017, people could rent the camper with a 4×4 Dacia Duster supplied by Avis . The camper cost 119 Euros, around $146, per day, with the Duster costing 150 Euros, around $185, a day, bringing the total, which Mink Campers said included cleaning and value-added tax, to 269 Euros, or around $331. Mink Campers recommended people rest at dedicated camping sites, which they said cost around $10 to $15 per person and often offer showers and toilets. They included warnings for adventurers who might not be familiar with driving in the country as weather can change rapidly. Beyond watching out for gravel roads, single-lane bridges, and blind hills, drivers also need to keep an eye out for another potential hazard: “numerous sheep roaming freely.” You can find out more information on the Mink Campers website or check out additional images on the company’s Instagram page . + Mink Campers Images courtesy of Mink Campers

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"The only way to see Iceland" with adorable mini Mink Campers

Recycling Mysteries: Brick

November 6, 2017 by  
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The Three Little Pigs will be the first to tell … The post Recycling Mysteries: Brick appeared first on Earth911.com.

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Recycling Mysteries: Brick

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