Amazon deforestation increased by 34% in 2019

June 12, 2020 by  
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Deforestation of the Amazon rainforest has continued to be a thorn in the side of efforts to curb global warming . According to data released by Brazil’s space research agency INPE, 10,129 square kilometers of the rainforest were cleared between August 2018 and July 2019. Initially, INPE had reported that the deforested area in the same period was 9,762 square kilometers. In a recent report by the Brazilian government, adjustments have been made and the actual size of deforested land has now been revealed to be 29% greater than originally reported and 34% more than the same time frame the year prior. These figures pose a serious threat to the rainforest , given that the rate of deforestation has increased by 34% from the previous year. Even though Brazil’s president Jair Bolsonaro claims to be focused on saving the largest rainforest in the world, the figures show otherwise. In just one year, forest area equal to the size of Lebanon has been cleared. Related: Climate change, deforestation lead to younger, shorter trees Although there have been efforts to control deforestation in the Amazon, the Brazilian government keeps failing to meet its targets. The new figures that were reported on Tuesday, June 8, 2020 now present the highest level of deforestation since 2008. The newly revised data by INPE should serve as a wake-up call to the Brazilian government and all parties that are working to control deforestation. The Amazon covers about 60% of Brazil and is the largest rainforest on Earth; protecting the Amazon is important not only to Brazil but to the entire world. Environmental advocates and activists are now blaming the Brazilian president for allowing loggers and ranchers to grab forested land. Although he claims to have implemented measures to control logging, Bolsonaro has encouraged Brazilians to erect developments on protected areas of the Amazon. According to monthly data released by INPE, deforestation has continued to worsen in 2020 even during COVID-19 . INPE data shows that deforestation has increased by 55% between January and April compared to a similar period in 2019. Via Reuters Image via ESA

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Amazon deforestation increased by 34% in 2019

Pela offers biodegradable phone cases and other zero-waste products

June 12, 2020 by  
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Cell phones have become ubiquitous in the world, with the average phone being replaced every 1.5 to 2 years. Along the way, the plastic cases used to protect our expensive investment quickly become outdated and end up in landfills, where they sit for hundreds to thousands of years. This process leaves an unimaginable amount of garbage behind for generations to come. So Jeremy Lang decided to do something about this plastic waste by creating Pela phone cases, which offer protection for every major model of phone and completely biodegrade into the soil at the end of their lifecycle. Pela’s 100% compostable phone cases and other sustainable products are part of a larger goal to remove 1 billion pounds of plastic from the waste stream by using renewable resources and other waste materials in production. In the case of Pela’s phone cases, a byproduct of flax harvest creates the strong yet biodegradable material used in manufacturing.  Related: Tokyo’s Olympic medals will be made from recycled phones With an expansive collection of colorful or clear cell phone cases that offer a variety of etched designs, Pela has moved onto other endeavors with the same goal of eliminating plastic from the production stream. Other products include AirPods cases, a zero-waste liquid screen protector, radiation reduction inserts, sunglasses and a guidebook on how to cultivate a positive outlook in life, called Pela’s Guide to Positivity. Most recently, Pela acquired a fellow Canadian company in a partnership that includes a plastic-free personal care collection. Habitat Botanicals develops soaps, shampoos, toothpastes and even deodorants that are zero-waste and plastic-free. “Pela is proud to welcome Habitat, our new sister company, to our waste-free family,” said Matt Bertulli, CEO of Pela. “Like any family dynamic, there are different practices and products, but one thing that ties us together is our goal to reduce global plastic waste.” Pela is also committed to giving back to causes that support the planet. As a Certified B Corporation, Climate Neutral Certified business and member of 1% For The Planet, Pela supports several nonprofits in their efforts to clean up the oceans and coastlines . By using technology to produce materials without plastic while also working to remove plastic from the waterways, Pela is taking a two-sided approach to the problem. Even with the efforts to create bio-based materials for its products, Pela felt that it could do more to ensure plastic is properly disposed of, so the company implemented a program called Pela 360. This initiative allows customers to mail back their old phone cases from other brands when they purchase a Pela case, so Pela can ensure proper recycling . The program is one more way Pela hopes to help bring plastic waste to an end. + Pela Images via Pela

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Pela offers biodegradable phone cases and other zero-waste products

A puzzle-inspired sliding facade improves this buildings energy efficiency

June 12, 2020 by  
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In the Ballard neighborhood, close to Seattle’s downtown, local architecture firm Graham Baba Architects has completed the Klotski, a mixed-use infill building that emphasizes energy efficiency . Named after the sliding block puzzle that inspired its southern facade, the building uses a mix of high- and low-tech strategies to minimize energy use, including rooftop solar panels, radiant heating, operable windows and sliding metal sunshades. The Klotski is also equipped with rainwater cisterns that collect and recycle rainwater. Graham Baba Architects designed the Klotski to reflect the eclectic and industrial roots of the Ballard neighborhood. Built from concrete masonry units and a steel frame, the 10,041-square-foot building features an open floor-plan, exposed structural beams and tall ceilings for a loft-like, industrial feel. The three-story, mixed-use building houses the Trailbend Taproom beer hall on the ground floor, office space on the second floor, a maker space on a self-contained mezzanine level and a studio as well as a small caretaker’s apartment on the top floor. On-site covered parking is accessed off the alley. Related: Gensler upcycles an old warehouse into creative offices in Austin Designed to engage the street level, the building is set back from the property line by several feet to create space for outdoor dining while extensive glazing promotes transparency and connection to the community. Generous roof decks — such as the outdoor deck for the studio and apartment on the top floor — and an interior courtyard promote an indoor/ outdoor living experience throughout. Optimized for natural ventilation and daylight, the building features operable windows on the north and south sides. The Klotski-inspired sunshades on the south-facing exterior consist of 7-foot-by-10-foot perforated metal screens that slide up and down to respond to privacy and shading needs that change throughout the seasons. + Graham Baba Architects Photography by Kevin Scott via Graham Baba Architects

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A puzzle-inspired sliding facade improves this buildings energy efficiency

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