WWF releases report on avoiding the next zoonotic disease pandemic

June 22, 2020 by  
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Humans must address environmental issues now if they wish to avoid future pandemics, WWF International stated in a report released last week. Top drivers of new zoonotic diseases include wildlife trade and consumption, deforestation and loss of natural ecosystems to agriculture. COVID-19’s devastating costs include the lives of 370,000 people in over 200 countries between December 2019 and May 2020 and an economic impact in the trillions. People are still trying to pinpoint COVID-19’s exact origins, but scientists believe it is a zoonotic disease, meaning one that wildlife transmits to humans. Scientists have linked the novel coronavirus to a disease prevalent in horseshoe bats. Related: Orcas threatened by highly contagious respiratory virus, CeMV  “We must urgently recognize the links between the destruction of nature and human health, or we will soon see the next pandemic,” said Marco Lambertini, director general of WWF International. “We must curb the high risk trade and consumption of wildlife , halt deforestation and land conversion as well as manage food production sustainably.” This goes for the whole world, from pangolins in Asia to brown bears in the EU’s Carpathian Mountains. According to the report, COVID-19: Urgent Call to Protect People and Nature , new zoonotic diseases are emerging at a frightening rate. WWF calls on governments to halt the high-risk wildlife trade, introduce new policies to eliminate deforestation, protect food security in vulnerable communities, recognize Indigenous peoples’ land and water rights and commit enough dollars to implement the Convention on Biological Diversity’s post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework . The organization also urges governments to halve their production and consumption footprints and to adopt a One Health approach that acknowledges the links between the health of humans, animals and the environment we share. “Deforestation and ecosystem conversion are squeezing wildlife — and with it viruses — out of their natural habitats and closer to humans,” said Anke Schulmeister-Oldenhove, senior forest policy officer at WWF EU. “Forests can be our ‘antivirus,’ they protect us from pandemics and we need to protect them. New legislation should also protect human rights, especially those of Indigenous peoples and local communities.” + WWF Image via Volodymyr Hryshchenko

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WWF releases report on avoiding the next zoonotic disease pandemic

Award-winning passive tiny house is insulated to combat New Zealand’s weather

June 22, 2020 by  
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Completed in 2018, the Kirimoko tiny house was inspired by a minimalist cycling trip. After previously living out of his bicycle packs, the owner decided to downsize his living conditions by commissioning a 329-square-foot, one-bedroom tiny home in Wanaka, New Zealand. The design features a gabled form with a black rain screen, passive house measures and structural insulated panels. Thanks to the efficient insulation , the house requires virtually no additional energy to maintain comfortable temperatures, despite the New Zealand alpine climate. Related: Luxurious tiny home in New Zealand is off-grid and 100% self-sustaining Architect Barry Condon of Condon Scott Architects utilized each nook and cranny to get the most out of the minimal square footage without compromising scale, so no amount of space is wasted. A double-height volume and a glazed facade help make it feel more airy and spacious, as well. “At first I thought it was a bit ambitious — a 30-square-metre footprint isn’t very much space to fit a kitchen, bathroom, sleeping and living space,” Condon said. “I actually tried a few times to make it a little bit bigger, but the client would always push back and try to make it smaller, which was interesting for me because normally with clients I am the one trying to reduce size! Ultimately we landed on a happy medium.” The tiny home has a kitchen with a full-sized fridge, a bedroom and a separate living space with room for two large couches and a coffee table. Outside, larch weatherboards help to keep out moisture during heavy rains and asphalt shingles add to the functionality of the exterior. Natural ventilation is achieved through minimal openings on the eastern, southern and western sides of the home, and structural insulated panels were chosen for the roof and walls for their high insulation value. The client has reportedly only needed a ceiling fan and a small portable heater to regulate the temperature on extreme weather days. The home has received the NZIA 2019 Southern Architecture Award and a Bronze 2019 DINZ Award. + Condon Scott Architects Images via Condon Scott Architects

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Award-winning passive tiny house is insulated to combat New Zealand’s weather

Drought, what drought? The Colorado River Basin dance

February 13, 2019 by  
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Considering the painful economic impact of anticipated water shortages, the private sector should be far more involved in the plan forward.

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Drought, what drought? The Colorado River Basin dance

Raising the bar on sustainability strategies

February 13, 2019 by  
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Sponsored: Sustana Group releases its new sustainability strategy highlighting environmental stewardship and setting measurable goals.

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Raising the bar on sustainability strategies

Study: Nearly Half a Million U.S. Jobs in Scrap Metal Recycling

July 31, 2013 by  
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We all know recycling is good for the environment, but what about the economy? This month, the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries (ISRI) released the findings of an economic impact study that shows scrap metal recycling isn’t just good…

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Study: Nearly Half a Million U.S. Jobs in Scrap Metal Recycling

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