13-year-old Ohio girl taps traffic to generate renewable energy

July 10, 2017 by  
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We may be one step closer to tackling our energy crisis if this 8th grader has anything to say about it. 13-year-old Laalitya Acharya from Ohio came up with TraffEnerate, an invention that uses vehicular traffic to generate clean power . She’s a finalist in the 2017 Young Scientist Challenge , and stands to win $25,000. Acharya started researching cheap, easily renewable resources of energy, and came across a device she calls a piezo. She explains when stress is applied to a piezo, it generates electricity . She wanted to make it easy to utilize piezos, so she designed TraffEnerate to obtain power when cars drive over the devices. Her prototype incorporates 11 piezo sensors and a 3D-printed block so stress will be applied to all 11 piezos even if a car just barely passes over the corner of the prototype. Related: 13-year-old Maanasa Mendu invents groundbreaking clean energy device that costs just $5 Acharya also designed a reciprocating motion machine to test the prototype. Her robot consistently applied stress to the invention, seen in an oscilloscope reading. She hopes to implement TraffEnerate in the busiest intersections of her hometown of Mason, Ohio . Acharya said on the challenge website, “I wanted to change the world, that simple. On my family’s yearly trip to India, I saw children who have no power in their homes, huddling near dangerous fires. I wanted to change their position in life, to make it better by creating clean energy and electricity.” The 2017 Young Scientist Challenge is put on by Discovery Education and 3M . There are 10 finalists for this year’s challenge, with innovative projects such as a way to detect lead in water, treating Alzheimer’s with plant components, and cleaning up oil spills with pomegranate husks and orange peels. A winner will be chosen in October. + Young Scientist Lab Via Young Scientist Challenge and Rajesh Acharya Images via screenshot

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13-year-old Ohio girl taps traffic to generate renewable energy

Episode 83: CSR careers grow up; the energy market evolves

July 7, 2017 by  
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In this week’s episode, we discuss the whether the future of GMOs is ethical and if the Green Power Partnership will go the way of Energy Star.

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Episode 83: CSR careers grow up; the energy market evolves

Episode 83: CSR careers grow up; the energy market evolves

July 7, 2017 by  
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In this week’s episode, we discuss the whether the future of GMOs is ethical and if the Green Power Partnership will go the way of Energy Star.

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Episode 83: CSR careers grow up; the energy market evolves

C.F. Mller Architects designs Danish school that optimizes learning through design

July 6, 2017 by  
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The built environment has a huge impact on shaping on lives, especially when it comes to learning. With that principle in mind, C.F. Møller Architects designed and recently completed the Herningsholm Vocational School, a Danish school that focuses on the creation of optimal learning and study environments. Green space, designed by C.F. Møller Landscape, is woven throughout the school to provide opportunities for outdoor work and learning. Winner of a 2014 architectural competition , the design for the 4,700-square-meter Herningsholm Vocational School is an independent building placed within an existing campus cluster of educational buildings . The school comprises three building volumes of varying scales under one roof arranged in an angular layout. Diverse and flexible learning spaces were created to match opportunities for alternative learning styles and unconventional uses. Mobile furnishings allow teachers and students to mold their learning space to their needs. Related: C.F. Møller unveils eco-conscious highrise in Sweden Outdoor urban and learning spaces tie the buildings together and include the Plaza, a quiet green study garden, and a semi-public front garden. A variety of common study spaces dot the school and range from more open environments for workshop uses to quieter nooks for individual study. Natural light fills the school through carefully oriented glazed facades optimized for energy efficiency. In a nod to environmental sustainability, two depressed pockets of greenery in the Plaza offer seating in the dry weather but double as natural infiltration and retention basins to relieve the sewers during rainfall. + C.F. Møller Architects Images by Martin Schubert

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C.F. Mller Architects designs Danish school that optimizes learning through design

Tesla to power ‘almost all’ Superchargers with solar after disconnecting them from the grid

June 9, 2017 by  
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Tesla wants the world to switch to renewable energy – and the company is leading by example by taking “almost all” of its Superchargers off the grid. The stations have been criticized in the past because they rely on dirty fossil fuels to power up electric vehicles. In response, Tesla founder Elon Musk announced that “almost all” Superchargers will be disconnected from the grid as solar and battery arrays are installed at the company’s 800 stations. Since the Superchargers were unveiled in 2012, Musk has been talking about adding on solar arrays. Now, he’s preparing to launch ‘Version 3’ of the Supercharger while deploying even more battery and solar systems – and he wants to take them off the grid. In response to a negative comment on Twitter, Musk said, “All Superchargers are being converted to solar/battery power. Over time, almost all will disconnect from the electricity grid.” All Superchargers are being converted to solar/battery power. Over time, almost all will disconnect from the electricity grid. — Elon Musk (@elonmusk) June 9, 2017 As Elektrek reports , a recent study concluded that the average electric car in the United States now gets the same efficiency as a (non-existent) 73 mpg gas-powered vehicle . In retrospect, Musk could have made this point and ended the argument. However, he went one step further by unveiling the company’s ambition to take Tesla’s Supercharger network off-grid. Related: Tesla is doubling its Supercharger network by the end of the year to 10,000 chargers The logistics still need to be worked out, as Tesla would need solar arrays as large as football fields at some stations. However, the intention has been set, and if Elon Musk has proven anything, it’s that he’s an innovative leader who consistently takes action. Expect to see improved Supercharger stations that are disconnected from the electric grid in the future. Via Elektrek Images via Tesla , Inside EVs

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Tesla to power ‘almost all’ Superchargers with solar after disconnecting them from the grid

100 seeds for a sustainable future: Part 10

June 9, 2017 by  
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A sustainable campus in Denmark saves $5.3 million, the University of Oxford cuts a third of emissions and a business school teaches brave leadership.

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100 seeds for a sustainable future: Part 10

How CVS is cutting back on chemicals in cosmetics

June 9, 2017 by  
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The drugstore chain has moved to remove chemical additives for nearly 600 house label beauty and personal care products.

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How CVS is cutting back on chemicals in cosmetics

What does Trump’s Paris pull-out mean for green sports?

June 9, 2017 by  
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The time has come for U.S. sports leagues such as the NFL, NBA and NHL to take to the climate advocacy field, argues the founder of Sports and Sustainability International.

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What does Trump’s Paris pull-out mean for green sports?

Airbnb plans to house 100,000 refugees in the next five years heres how

June 7, 2017 by  
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Shortly after U.S. President Donald Trump issued a ban on travel from six predominantly Muslim countries, the founders of Airbnb announced a bold plan to provide short-term housing to 100,000 refugees over the next five years. Until recently, no one knew how exactly how that feat would be accomplished. Today, however, the company announced that it will connect seven nonprofit organizations devoted to assisting those who are fleeing their homelands through a new Open Homes platform. After the ban was issued, the three founders of Airbnb championed the hashtag #WeAccept and said, “To help people around the world facing displacement, we’ll work with our community of hosts to find not just a place to stay, but also a place to feel connected, respected, and a part of a community again.” For months, employees and volunteers have used a highly inefficient system to connect nonprofit organizations with volunteers through emails, phone calls, and spreadsheets. “Dozens of man hours to settle one family in one place,” Airbnb cofounder Joe Gebbia told Fast Company . “Highly inefficient and highly unscalable.” Now that the process is automated, a total of seven nonprofits may easily connect with volunteers to provide short-term housing to refugees who are in need of a secure, safe place to stay. Some of the organizations that have partnered with Airbnb include the International Rescue Committee , Singa Quebec , the Inland Refugee Society of British Columbia, and SolidarityNow. After volunteers sign on to the Open Homes platform, they’ll be able to specify the cause they would like to donate their room or home to. Nonprofits that seek to set up a family or an individual with temporary housing will then be able to view lists of potential volunteers. Related: Sweden lists entire country on Airbnb because ‘roaming should be free’ This isn’t the first time Airbnb has partnered with home owners to help displaced individuals. After Hurricane Sandy left thousands of people stranded, Airbnb launched a platform which now connects people in need with short-term shelter. To date, the company’s efforts have placed 1,900 people worldwide – including around U.S. cities such as Dallas, New York , Oakland, and Sacramento. Additionally, 290 refugees have found short-term housing since the beginning of 2017. Considering 65 million people are still displaced, this number is quite low. However, Airbnb is optimistic many more people can be assisted through the Open Homes platform. + Open Homes Via Fast Company Images via Pixabay

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Airbnb plans to house 100,000 refugees in the next five years heres how

100-million-year-old dinosaur remains discovered in Canada look ‘weeks old’

May 15, 2017 by  
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A group of miners in Canada accidentally stumbled upon what is possibly the most intact dinosaur carcass science has ever seen. They discovered the fully-preserved nodosaur, a herbivore that stretched 18-feet-long and weighed nearly 3,000 pounds, in 2011 while working on a project 17 miles north of Alberta, Canada . Even though the dinosaur died over 110 million years ago, scientists say because they were preserved in just the right conditions, the remains appear to be only a few weeks old. The unexpected discovery was primarily made by heavy equipment operator Shawn Funk, who was carving through the Earth in Millennium Mine when his excavator contacted something hard. What looked like walnut brown rocks turned out to be the fossilized remains of an 110-million-years-old nodosaur. The imposing herbivore was intact enough for the front half (from the snout to the hips) to be recovered. To date, the specimen is the best fossil of a nodosaur ever found. According to Michael Greshko of National Geographic , the petrified dinosaur is a wonder to behold. “Fossilized remnants of skin still cover the bumpy armor plates dotting the animal’s skull. Its right forefoot lies by its side, its five digits splayed upward. I can count the scales on its sole,” writes Greshko. Related: World’s largest dinosaur footprint found in Australia’s “Jurassic Park” The dinosaur appears similarly to how it would have millions of years ago because of a rapid undersea burial. The fact that its tissue did not decompose but was instead fossilized is extremely rare, according to paleontologists. Said Paleobiologist Jakob Vinther, an expert on animal coloration from the U.K.’s University of Bristol, the dinosaur is so well-preserved it “might have been walking around a couple of weeks ago. I’ve never seen anything like this.” When the nodosaur was alive, it didn’t have shin-splitting till clubs like its cousin, the Ankylosauridae. Instead, it wielded thorny armor to deter predators. Alive during the Cretaceous period, the 18-foot-long dinosaur could have been considered the rhinoceros of its day. In other words, it was a grumpy herbivore that kept to itself. Rarely would it be messed with, as it had two 20-inch-long spikes jutting out of its shoulders. Head over to National Geographic for more images! . Via National Geographic Images via Don’tMessWithWildDinosaurs , TwoFeed

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100-million-year-old dinosaur remains discovered in Canada look ‘weeks old’

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