The Mountain tiny home comes with a skylit cedar shower

January 19, 2021 by  
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Designed and built by CoMak Tiny Homes in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, this tiny home on wheels packs a ton of cool features into a pretty small package. Apart from sustainable elements like a composting toilet and lightweight steel siding, The Mountain tiny home also boasts beautiful French doors, shiplap walls, a touchless kitchen sink faucet, and — our favorite feature — a bright, skylit cedar shower. Cody Makarevitz of CoMak Tiny Homes wanted to explore the idea of a tiny house that is cheaper and more mobile than standard tiny homes. “With the way the industry seems to be going, mansion tinys with not so tiny prices, I wanted to get back to the roots of the movement and make something a little more financially digestible for someone who doesn’t want to break the bank,” he told Inhabitat. “I also wanted to make a nice, high-quality product and livable at that size. This was the result.” Related: This tiny home on wheels features a cool laundry chute From the brick overlay under the kitchen island to the distressed barn wood beams on the ceiling, this home has plenty of thoughtful, stylish touches. The kitchen also has live edge walnut countertops, waterproof vinyl flooring and an on-demand hot water heater. Many of the materials used in the project were salvaged from other projects. On the other side of the tiny home, you’ll find a bathroom with Delta shower hardware, a Nature’s Head composting toilet (though it is also plumbed for standard toilet capabilities) and a cedar shower complete with 3-foot-by-3-foot skylight; you might just feel like you’re showering outside. Although The Mountain tiny home is built on a custom 13-foot-by-8-foot trailer frame, the shower bump and the front porch overhang bring the length to 18 feet. The downstairs square footage is just over 100 square feet with another 50 square feet in the loft. A 12-foot telescoping ladder leads to the loft , which has room for a king-sized bed and includes another tempered, double-pane skylight. + Tiny Estates Images via Cody Makarevitz

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The Mountain tiny home comes with a skylit cedar shower

On the fifth anniversary of the TCFD, a call to action

December 14, 2020 by  
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On the fifth anniversary of the TCFD, a call to action Ateli Iyalla Mon, 12/14/2020 – 00:05 December marks the five-year anniversary of the Paris Agreement — a turning point for the movement to limit dangerous climate change and environmental destruction. But that is not the only pivotal milestone we should commemorate this month. In December 2015, as a response to increasingly frequent environmental disasters that disrupted ecosystems and human health — plus caused unforeseen business losses and jeopardized assets and infrastructure — the Financial Stability Board launched the Taskforce on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD). These leaders understood the direct linkage between climate change and financial risk. They knew the world needed a clear picture of these risks, as well as of the opportunities presented by corporate sustainability action, in order to ensure long-term profitability — especially in a world with a precariously changing climate. They recognized that without reliable climate-related financial information, assets could be mispriced and capital could be misallocated, meaning the global economy potentially could face a tumultuous transition to a low-carbon future. So, the TCFD was born. Two years later in 2017, the group introduced its official recommendations for corporate financial disclosures. To support the TCFD and the companies committed to meeting its suggested actions, CDP redesigned its own climate change questionnaire in 2018 to align with the recommendations. This streamlined the reporting process for disclosing companies, providing them with ready-to-go material climate and natural capital disclosures that can be used for their annual reports. It also standardized decision-useful information for the financial community. The TCFD’s recommendations already have made a tremendous impact in catalyzing a groundswell of corporate action on climate change. Out of 727 companies headquartered in the U.S. and Canada that disclosed to CDP in 2020: 47 have validated ambitious science-based targets (up 260 percent from 2018) and 457 have set absolute and/or intensity emissions reduction targets overall; 372 are disclosing Scope 1, Scope 2 and Scope 3 emissions; 655 are implementing board-level oversight of environmental issues; 547 are using climate-related scenario analysis or plan to do so within the next two years; and 657 identify climate-related risks and opportunities that have influenced their organization’s strategy and/or financial planning — and 276 of those have developed a low-carbon transition plan as a result. Investors are responding positively to this streamlining of environmental-financial disclosure. In its latest status report, the TCFD notes that investor support for its recommendations grew by 85 percent from 2018 to 2019. Many investors use this TCFD-aligned data generated by CDP disclosures to assess which companies are best positioned in a climate-constrained future and to mitigate financial risk within their portfolios — exactly what the TCFD’s members first envisioned when they began their work five years ago. But, five years after its birth, the TCFD’s work is not done. More robust disclosure — both in quantity and quality — is needed. Investors cannot make apples-to-apples comparisons on sustainability information if companies do not report their data within a common framework. Companies that choose to solely provide TCFD-related information via standalone reports end up doing themselves a disservice for this reason. Disclosure also prevents greenwashing. Standardized frameworks such as CDP’s make it clear to investors what critical climate actions companies are — and are not — implementing. Disclosure puts companies a step ahead of likely mandatory disclosure regulation. Earlier this year, we saw the Canadian government announce that companies seeking COVID-19 relief must disclose their environmental impacts based on TCFD guidelines. More recently, the U.K. government announced that all companies must be TCFD-compliant by 2025. Most countries, including the bulk of the G20 , already have implemented some form of mandatory corporate climate impact reporting. Luckily, TCFD-aligned disclosure is mainstreaming. Companies understand the clear business advantage of sharing this crucial information with financial decision-makers. We have reached critical mass. We should celebrate this progress, the above stats from the 2020 corporate climate disclosures and the many other signals that environmental transparency and action are a business norm. But we should also mark the five-year anniversary of the TCFD’s initiation with a call to action: Now is the time for all companies to join this growing movement. With pollution poisoning communities from Louisiana to Beijing, forest fires blazing across the West Coast and states along the Gulf of Mexico still reeling after the destruction of Hurricanes Laura and Delta — among countless other environmental disasters wreaking havoc on lives and livelihoods — companies that are not disclosing simply have no excuse at this point. Climate change’s toll is worsening here in the U.S. and in the rest of the world. As we grapple with its impacts and advance known solutions, the TCFD guidelines provide critical guidance on what companies and investors should be focusing on to minimize risk, accelerate progress and reap the benefits of a low-carbon transition. The TCFD has designed the roadmap. Now companies must forge the path. Topics Finance & Investing TCFD Featured in featured block (1 article with image touted on the front page or elsewhere) Off Duration 0 Sponsored Article Off

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You say old coal plant, I say new green hydrogen facility

November 24, 2020 by  
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You say old coal plant, I say new green hydrogen facility Lincoln Bleveans Tue, 11/24/2020 – 01:30 Relics. Environmental hotspots. Or maybe reminders of a simpler time. Good or bad, no one views America’s old coal-fired power plants with indifference.  In their day, they were reliable, cost-effective backbones of America’s economy, driving some of the most spectacular growth the world has seen. Powering industry, commerce and society, they generated not just electricity but economic ecosystems that stretched far beyond the plants themselves and often served as the mainstay for thriving middle-class communities.  But then the environmental realities came into sharper focus: air, soil, and water pollution and greenhouse gases at the smokestack. At the same time, advances in natural gas production such as fracking (controversial in their own right) have made natural gas-fired power a better economic choice than coal-generated power. Recognition of those externalities, especially GHG emssions, further erodes coal’s competitiveness. More broadly, expanding renewable energy further divides the pie, while increasing energy efficiency keeps the pie from growing or even makes it smaller.  As a result, coal-fired power plants are closing and those economic and social ecosystems collapsing around the country. Jobs are lost, communities are imperiled and hard-earned skills are suddenly obsolete, sacrificed to the altars of economics and sustainability. “Sad but inevitable,” goes the collective sigh, “wrong place, wrong time.”  Like natural gas, that hydrogen contains heat that can be released with combustion to drive a generator. Unlike natural gas, that combustion is GHG-free. I disagree. We can and must do better. Much better.  That’s not just idle hope: My utility, Burbank Water and Power (BW&P) in California, is on the frontline of these transformations. Every day, our company manages a long-term commitment to a large coal-fired power plant in rural Delta, Utah, while it races towards a zero-GHG future — and not just by abandoning the old for the new. Together with our neighbors, Los Angeles and Glendale, and our partners in Utah, BW&P is bringing that old coal-fired power plant (and its local and regional ecosystem) along into the sustainable future — even though we will retire the coal plant itself in 2025. But to what? And when and why and how? You see an old coal plant and an obsolescent workforce; I see a superb opportunity for green hydrogen. Green? Hydrogen? Let’s start with hydrogen. Hydrogen is the most abundant element in the universe, but just coming into its own as a versatile fuel for a world moving away from hydrocarbons. Capturing hydrogen is simple in theory: just apply a lot of energy to water to break the two H’s (hydrogen) from the O (oxygen) to create pure hydrogen. Like natural gas, that hydrogen contains heat that can be released with combustion to drive a generator. Unlike natural gas, that combustion is GHG-free. The technology is proven. Until now, though, the cost of that energy has kept hydrogen from widespread adoption. That’s changing fast; it’s also the “green” in “green hydrogen.” In the Age of Renewables, electricity is increasingly abundant and cheap (or free or even negatively priced, as in you get paid to take it) when solar power dominates the midday grid. In turbine-generators, an evolution of the ones currently powered with natural gas, that green hydrogen produces the holy grail of a zero-GHG power system: dispatchable renewable electricity ready to turn intermittent renewables such as solar and wind into a reliable power supply. The physics of solar are transforming both the economic and environmental feasibility of green hydrogen. Back in Delta, Utah, I see an industrial site and a community ready for redevelopment. I see a skilled and experienced industrial workforce ready to build, operate and optimize complex systems. I see transmission lines to bring in the renewable energy needed for green hydrogen production. And I see the water rights, in mind-boggling amounts, that are a prerequisite for both today’s coal-fired power generation and tomorrow’s green hydrogen production.  The physics of solar are transforming both the economic and environmental feasibility of green hydrogen. That transformation is already underway in Delta. We are replacing the coal plant with state-of-the-art natural gas turbines ready for 30 percent green hydrogen co-firing right off the bat. Those turbines and the rest of the plant are being future-proofed, engineered by turbine manufacturer Mitsubishi Power to be ready for each technological advancement, step-by-step, to 100 percent green hydrogen by 2035. (Mitsubishi is no outlier in this regard: General Electric is on a similar innovation path for its machines.) That green hydrogen, in turn, will be produced on-site using renewable energy (especially that midday solar) imported by the same transmission lines that export power to California, Utah and Nevada. Soaking up that excess solar power, in turn, helps the entire Western electric grid keep costs down and reliability up. And the workforce is top-notch: Coal plants are complex and demanding and they are the best in the business.  But the key is water. The coal plant uses up to 26 million gallons every day to generate electricity but has rights to far more. That’s a lot of low-cost, zero-GHG green hydrogen. That’s also lot of skilled jobs and tax revenue: the durable foundation for thriving, hard-working communities. Now pan back from Delta to the other 350-plus coal-fired power plants dotting the map of the U.S. Every one of those dots represents communities, economic ecosystems, workforces, water and transmission surrounded by ever-increasing renewables. Every one of those dots can be an opportunity to flip the script: Rather than left behind, they can be hubs for a thriving and inclusive transition to a zero-GHG future. Pan back even further to the 2,400-odd coal plants in the world. Do you see what I see? Let’s transition to a sustainable future together. Pull Quote Like natural gas, that hydrogen contains heat that can be released with combustion to drive a generator. Unlike natural gas, that combustion is GHG-free. The physics of solar are transforming both the economic and environmental feasibility of green hydrogen. Topics Energy & Climate Utilities Jobs & Careers Hydrogen Coal Solar Featured in featured block (1 article with image touted on the front page or elsewhere) Off Duration 0 Sponsored Article Off Courtesy of Burbank Water & Power Close Authorship

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Children hurt after Delta jet dumps fuel on schools

January 16, 2020 by  
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On January 14, a Delta jet malfunctioned and dumped jet fuel over Los Angeles-area schools. The incident injured more than 50 people, including students from Park Avenue Elementary, San Gabriel Elementary, Graham Elementary, Tweedy Elementary, 93rd Street Elementary and Jordan High School. Currently, injuries such as skin and eye irritation and breathing problems have been reported. As the Los Angeles Unified School District said, “Students and staff were on the playground at the time and may have been sprayed by fuel or inhaled fumes.” Several people affected by the fuel were treated on-site. A “reverse 911” text message was sent out to locals, informing them of the event, noting affected areas and advising residents on how to proceed. The L.A. County Fire Department also updated its Twitter with the number of patients affected at each school site. As of Tuesday evening, the patient count included 31 patients from Park Avenue Elementary, six patients from Tweedy Elementary, one patient from Graham Elementary and six patients from San Gabriel Elementary. The Delta flight in question was Flight 89 to Shanghai , which apparently experienced an engine malfunction after takeoff. According to Delta, safe landing procedures following such a malfunction required fuel release — though the Federal Aviation Administration commented that fuel-dumping procedures “call for fuel to be dumped over designated unpopulated areas, typically at higher altitudes so the fuel atomizes and disperses before it reaches the ground.” This event isn’t the first environmental issue Park Avenue Elementary has faced, either. For an eight-month period between 1989 and 1990, the school was closed due to a mysterious ooze appearing. Investigation then discovered that the school was formerly the site of a city dump . As Elizabeth Alcantar, recently appointed mayor of Cudahy, said, “The very same playground experienced another environmental injustice. For our residents, they’re rightfully upset, and there is concern over when this will truly be over.” Via L.A. Times and CNN Image via Pixabay

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Children hurt after Delta jet dumps fuel on schools

Turtle-inspired bamboo shelter contracts to half its size in case of extreme weather

November 21, 2019 by  
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With extreme weather wreaking havoc around the world, there is a need for resilient shelters more than ever before. EEMY Architecture and Design has created a sustainable and resilient structure that can withstand nearly all severe conditions. Delta is a bamboo shelter that retracts into itself when challenged by stormy weather and expands during non-severe weather. Delta was created in collaboration with the World Bank, Build Academy, Airbnb and GFDRR. Using the Philippines as an example of areas that are prone to natural disasters , the team’s design strategy was to create something that could withstand even the most extreme weather emergencies, from floods and superstorms to typhoons and earthquakes. The structure was inspired by the traditional Filipino Bahay-kubo houses. The main frame is comprised of 12-centimeter-wide bamboo poles with trusses built in between for added stability. The bamboo poles are treated with a boron solution that makes them repellent to insects, a common issue in tropical climates. Related: Ingenious cardboard and bamboo emergency shelters by Shigeru Ban pop up in Sydney Created in a wide, pyramidal shape, the structure is elevated off the ground to withstand high waters. When bad weather hits, the shelter can contract to half its size, much like a turtle does at the first sign of danger. This feature is made possible by a series of folding bamboo tents that contract to half the structure’s size (430 square feet) and expand to its full size (861 square feet) after a storm. Additionally, the structure’s many windows and “wings” can be used for a variety of purposes, such as a shade from the harsh sun, drying racks or even market stalls. In addition to its flexible, sustainable and resilient design features, the Delta shelter comes with an incredibly reasonable price tag and construction time. Each bamboo shelter starts at $8,500 and can be constructed within 28 days. + EEMY Architecture and Design Images via EEMY Architecture and Design

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Turtle-inspired bamboo shelter contracts to half its size in case of extreme weather

Four US airlines join the ban on hunting trophies after Cecil outcry

August 4, 2015 by  
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Four US-based airlines have joined the ban on transporting trophy kills as cargo in the midst of the public outcry against the killing of Cecil the Lion. On Monday, Delta announced that they would support the ban and Tuesday, United Airlines, American Airlines, and Virgin Atlantic followed, all confirming that they would no longer allow trophy kills as cargo. Foreign airlines Qantas, KLM, Air France, Iberia, IAG Cargo, and Singapore Airlines had all previously changed their policies. Read the rest of Four US airlines join the ban on hunting trophies after Cecil outcry

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Deceptively small home in Denmark hides spacious living quarters at the forest edge

August 4, 2015 by  
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California farmers to voluntarily cut water usage by 25 percent

May 22, 2015 by  
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As California’s drought deepens, state regulators just accepted a historic offer by a group of farmers to voluntarily reduce their water usage by 25 percent. Farmers in the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta are giving up some of the water that is historically theirs to use, so long as the state does not impose deeper mandatory cuts in the future. The delta is a major part of California’s water system, and the fertile land around it produces nearly half of the fruits and vegetables grown in the United States. Read the rest of California farmers to voluntarily cut water usage by 25 percent Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: california drought , California farmers , california voluntary water cuts , delta farmers water cuts , gov. jerry brown , sacramento san joaquin delta farmers , voluntary farm water cuts , water cuts , water restrictions

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Huge Shell oil spill in Niger Delta is largest in six years

December 5, 2014 by  
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The Niger Delta has seen oil spills before, with leaky oil pipes being a regular event. However, local fisherman were shocked at the scale of the latest spill from Shell’s facility  at Bonny Island in Nigeria, which has poured into the delta’s swamps and nearby ocean. According to an investigation launched by Shell and the local government, oil equivalent to 3,800 barrels has been released, ranking it as the worst spill  in Nigeria for years. Read the rest of Huge Shell oil spill in Niger Delta is largest in six years Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: Africa , ecological damage , environmental disasters , fossil fuel , fossil fuels , Niger Delta oil , nigeria , oil , oil spills , Shell

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Huge Shell oil spill in Niger Delta is largest in six years

RMJM’s Zhuhai Observation Tower Looks Like a Fish Leaping Out of China’s Pearl River Delta

August 18, 2014 by  
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