British supermarket chain launches trucks powered by food waste

February 13, 2017 by  
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Food waste has always been something of a bugbear with Waitrose , an upscale British grocer that stopped shoveling its leftovers into the landfill as early as 2012. It even packages some of its fusilli pasta in boxes made, in part, from recycled food scraps, which it says reduces the use of virgin tree pulp by 15 percent while lowering greenhouse-gas emissions by a fifth. But Waitrose wants to take the issue further, both literally and figuratively. The supermarket just announced that it’ll be running its delivery trucks entirely on biomethane gas generated from food waste—making it the first company in Europe to do so. Food waste is a looming concern in the United Kingdom. At a time when 8.4 million U.K. families struggle to feed themselves daily, the volume of household food waste continues to soar, amounting to an estimated 7.3 million metric tons in 2015. Waitrose, according to the Times , is partnering with CNG Fuels to juice up 10 of its trucks with 100 percent renewable biomethane. The trucks can run up to 500 miles—almost twice the current average—on what is essentially rotting food. “We will be able to make deliveries to our stores without having to refuel away from base,” Justin Laney of the John Lewis Partnership , which operates Waitrose, said in a statement on Thursday. Related: Toronto Rolls Out Biogas-Capable Garbage Trucks Because its biomethane costs 40 percent less than diesel, any upgrades will pay for themselves in two to three years, CNG Fuels said. “Renewable biomethane is far cheaper and cleaner than diesel, and, with a range of up to 500 miles, it is a game-changer for road transport operators,” CNG Fuels CEO Philip Fjeld said. Another plus? The alternative fuel emits 70 percent less carbon dioxide, which would give a much needed boost to the European Union’s pledge to cut its greenhouse-gas emissions by 40 percent by 2030 under the Paris Climate Agreement . + Waitrose Via Grubstreet

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Carnegie Wave Energy is bringing their clean energy and desalination technology to the UK

November 8, 2016 by  
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Australia-based company Carnegie Wave Energy (CWE) will bring their wave power and desalination technology to Wave Hub in Cornwall, England . The European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) granted 9.6 million pounds, around $11.8 million, to CWE for the first phase of their Wave Hub project. Ultimately CWE aims to install enough of their wave power converter devices to generate 15 megawatts (MW) of clean energy at Wave Hub. Wave Hub is a wave power test site connected to the grid, and in 2014 CWE received a berth at the test site to install their wave energy technology. The money from ERDF will enable CWE to start the first phase of their Wave Hub project and generate one MW of energy with a CETO 6 wave power converter device. CWE aims to commission the converter in 2018, and then the device will operate for one year. They hope to begin the project’s second phase in 2020 or 2021, ultimately implementing a 15 MW commercial array. Related: Perth’s Carnegie Wave Energy project produces power AND fresh water from the motion of the ocean According to CWE, their technology is a superb match for Wave Hub. In a statement they said, “Cornwall’s Wave Hub is the world’s largest and most technologically advanced site for the testing and development of offshore renewable energy technology. CWE is the only company in the world to have operated a grid-connected wave energy project over four seasons.” CWE’s CETO system differs from other wave energy systems because it works underneath ocean waves, and can’t be seen from the shore. The devices don’t impact beachgoers since they’re submerged completely in deep water. Underwater operation also helps keep the devices safe during storms. Further, CWE says their CETO devices are environmentally friendly, even attracting marine creatures. Not only do CETO devices convert wave power into “zero-emission electricity,” according to CWE, they also desalinize water. CWE has worked on their CETO technology for more than a decade. + Carnegie Wave Energy + Wave Hub Images via Carnegie Wave Energy

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Carnegie Wave Energy is bringing their clean energy and desalination technology to the UK

Sustainable home in Cornwall is wrapped in steam-bent wood

October 25, 2016 by  
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Tom and his wife Danielle bought an existing lodge located in the woodland at Trevano near Heslton, and designed a timber-clad extension that blends seamlessly into the surrounding landscape. It is linked to the original cottage and outbuildings which the architects restored and modernized. Raffield translated his passion for sculptural design and sustainable materials  into his newest design-the biggest one to date-which promises to become his masterpiece. The timber-clad extension uses an innovative take on steam-bent furniture and lighting. Related: Students Construct a Dramatic 10-Meter-High Steam-Bent Lookout Tower at Helsinki Zoo “We wanted to build a house with the same consideration and attention to detail we put into our furniture and lighting,” said Raffield. “The experience of building your own space and creating pieces to put inside has been incredibly liberating. Then being able to share that experience is both nerve wrecking and incredibly exciting,” he added. The project recently appeared on the UK Channel 4 TV show “Grand Designs”. + Tom Raffield Via World Architecture News

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Sustainable home in Cornwall is wrapped in steam-bent wood

Beautiful Woodman’s Treehouse in England combines traditional craftsmanship and luxury design

October 20, 2016 by  
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The structure encompasses and meanders around the tree trunks, but doesn’t touch them at all, thus leaving the existing ecosystem undisturbed. A large boardwalk leads to the main entrance of the tree house, high up among the branches. Though it may seem small, the structure includes an entrance lobby where visitors can leave their coats and muddy boots. The interior features a king-sized bed, a double-ended copper bath and a rotating fireplace . Related: This clever treehouse was designed to dodge natural obstacles and local building codes The original plans to build a spiral staircase that would connect the rear deck to the ground level have been scratched and instead, a stainless steel one-meter-wide slide was installed. The rear deck features a wood-fired pizza oven and barbeque , as well as an outdoor shower . A hot tub and sauna located on the roof deck are accessible via a small spiral staircase. + Guy Mallinson Woodland Workshop Via Fubiz

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This clever treehouse was designed to dodge natural obstacles and local building codes

October 12, 2016 by  
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The house is located on a small plot in Dursley, Gloucestershire , surrounded by trees. After the previous owners failed twice at getting planning permission for a conventional residence, Jon Martin and Noreen Jaafar commissioned Millar + Howard Workshop who have a great track record for coming up with smart design solutions for problematic sites throughout the Cotswolds, an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. The design team came up with a design that won the planners over and embody the owners’ desire to live in a certified Passive house . Related: These 12 enchanting treehouses are what dreams are made of “We’re used to incorporating passive house principles however with this build, rather contrarily, the listed trees on the site meant that the steel supports required to reinforce the structure caused a few problems,” said Tomas Millar, co-founder of Millar + Howard Workshop. “We love conundrums so we got out our sketch books and started inventing. Soon we’d resolved the problem on paper and before too long in reality too,” he added. + Millar + Howard Workshop Via World Architecture News

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This clever treehouse was designed to dodge natural obstacles and local building codes

Beautiful green-roofed extension adds light to this Victorian villa in England

September 16, 2016 by  
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The occupants of the Clapton House used the property as their residence for a few years before deciding to upgrade. Their main design requirement was related to the layout of the house, which included an old glass conservatory which blocked the light from reaching the living room. Related: Stunning Victorian Renovation Showcases Decades of SF History The architects came up with a design for a timber extension which that accommodates the kitchen and dining area. The exterior wall of the existing house was left intact, maintaining the privacy of the lounge, while the green roof creates a gentle, eco-sensitive aesthetic with various environmental and energy-saving benefits. + Scenario Architecture Via  Freshome

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Beautiful green-roofed extension adds light to this Victorian villa in England

8-year-old California boy starts a bakery to help his single mother buy a home

September 16, 2016 by  
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8-year-old Jalen Bailey of Fresno , California has big dreams. Inspired by the memories he’s made baking in the kitchen with his single mother Sharhonda Mahan, he decided to start his own bakery to save money for the ” good stuff .” His goal is to set aside enough money to buy his mom a house . Bailey originally hoped to save for a KitchenAid. When someone donated the machine to him, he turned to the rest of his good stuff list. Number one on the list is a house, “so me and my mommy could make more memories in the kitchen, so it could be a bigger kitchen, and I could bake more things,” he told The Fresno Bee. He currently lives with his mother in a small Fresno apartment. Related: 9-Year-Old Boy Raises $3,000 To Save Detroit’s Parks by Selling Lemonade! So Bailey started Jalen’s Bakery this past July, with approval for several recipes from the health department, and now offers delicious desserts like White & Chocolate Chip Cookies or Heart Shaped Chocolate Cupcakes and classics like peanut butter cookies. According to Bailey, “My secret recipe is: Made with love!” Bailey’s mother said she started teaching him about entrepreneurship and owning his own business early on. Although Mahan’s also working towards a house and told Bailey not to worry about it, according to The Fresno Bee, he’s continuing to save for their home. This isn’t the first time Bailey has saved up to help someone else; at age five he started gathering school supplies and backpacks he’s given to about 50 homeless children. Bailey is also saving for college and a dog. If you’d like to help out, you can purchase desserts or a Jalen’s Bakery t-shirt on his website. You can also donate to a GoFundMe campaign started by his mother. The money raised through the campaign will go towards allowing Bailey to grow his business so he can ship desserts nationwide and continue his hands-on education in entrepreneurship. + Jalen’s Bakery + GoFundMe campaign for Jalen’s Bakery Via The Fresno Bee Images via Jalen’s Bakery and Jalen’s Bakery Facebook

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Archaeologists reveal fresh details about 4,500-year-old "New Stonehenge"

August 15, 2016 by  
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Last year archaeologists thrilled the world when they revealed there could be a “New Stonehenge ” just two miles away from the iconic monument in England . Geophysical surveys suggested this 4,500-year-old “Superhenge” could include around 100 concealed stones. Now archaeologists digging at Durrington Walls, where “New Stonehenge” is located, have found the monument was likely built mainly with wooden posts instead, and work was mysteriously stopped before completion. The Durrington Walls monument could have been a ring around 1,640 feet in diameter of between 200 and 300 wooden posts. The archaeologists on the “Durrington Dig” excavated two large holes about five feet deep. Ancient people appear to have removed the posts and then filled the holes with chalk, and archaeologists found an ancient tool made of the shoulder blade of a cow at the bottom of one hole, suggesting there could have been a ritual surrounding the process of filling in the holes. Related: Enormous ritual stone monument discovered near Stonehenge is “archaeology on steroids” Archaeologists think the fact that monument construction was abruptly halted when the structure was almost done could offer clues into the religious and political climate of the era, as the Neolithic era slowly transitioned to the Bronze Age. The people building Durrington Walls may have changed religions, or perhaps another group came through and destroyed evidence of their religion. The abrupt change signals religious or political turmoil may have gripped the region. National Trust archaeologist Nick Snashall said , “The new discoveries at Durrington Walls reveal the previously unuspected complexity of events in the area during the period when Stonehenge’s largest stones were being erected – and show just how politically and ideologically dynamic British society was at that particularly crucial stage in prehistory.” Further evidence for the turmoil can be glimpsed in Stonehenge’s own history, as Snashall said. At around the same time as the Durrington Walls work ceased, Stonehenge was changed from a large circle with stones of medium size to a smaller circle with the humongous stones glimpsed at the site today. Via The Independent Images via Wikimedia Commons and Dr Nick Snashall on Twitter

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This luxury hobbit hole could be yours for just $1 million

July 26, 2016 by  
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Over 40 years ago architect Arthur Quarmby built Underhill for his family. From the United States to Australia to Japan, Underhill was widely cited as an example of the elegance of earth homes. The 4,000 square foot dwelling is described on the property listing as “the most celebrated house in the West Riding Section of the Peak District;” a description that would fit right in with Tolkien’s description of the Shire. (Don’t tell the Sackville-Bagginses or they might stop by to steal some spoons.) Related: Tour the Tolkien-themed Hobbit Boutique Hotel in the author’s South African birthplace While the home is not overtly described as a hobbit hole , its name (Frodo Baggins hid under the surname Underhill for a time) and round features – namely a round door at the entrance – appear to evoke the beloved stories. Quarmby’s family lived in Underhill for over 40 years with “unalloyed delight,” but they’re now selling it through Wm. Sykes & Son for a little over $900,000. The four-bedroom home on close to one acre of property is located amid the green rolling hills of Holme, England. It centers around a “family recreation area” with a swimming pool, and around the pool are suites for the owners and two children. There’s also a dining area, music room, guest bedroom, and kitchen. In a last hobbity touch, there’s a “stone vaulted cave” where residents can enjoy a peat fire. Bilbo might be able to afford this home after battling a few more dragons. + Underhill Via CNET Images via Wm. Sykes & Son Save

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Explosive caterpillar infestation in New England is visible from space

July 18, 2016 by  
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There’s been a gypsy moth caterpillar ” population boom ” in New England and mid-Atlantic states, and the infestation isn’t only evident to locals on the ground – it can be seen from space. NASA Earth Observatory satellite images of Rhode Island show how much the caterpillars have chewed through the region’s forests . These caterpillars go for deciduous trees, and the NASA images reveal the damage they’ve done. In the Rhode Island satellite images, shown above, swaths of brown reveal where the caterpillars have been at work. The few green trees that remain are the coniferous trees the caterpillars shun. There are a few factors that led to the boom. Ecologists think one is a white-footed mice population decline; these mice typically prey on the caterpillars. Even worse is the drought taking hold of the region that weakens a fungus and virus that usually keep the caterpillars from infesting. Related: 107 Million Spiders Found in 4-Acre Nest at Baltimore Wastewater Plant It turns out disease and insects yearly damage ” 45 times more forest area ” than fires, according to one 2001 Oxford Journals’ BioScience study . Gypsy moth caterpillars were introduced to the United States during the 1860’s from Europe, and according to the NASA Earth Observatory, their populations tend to boom in certain years based on what is going on in the environment. Scientists aren’t worried – at least for now. Usually gypsy moth caterpillar infestations just make an area look browner than it should in the summer. But if the infestation goes on for three or more years, trees can die. Birds might be able to help out soon; when the caterpillar populations soar, the bird populations generally increase as well. Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management’s Forest Health Program Coordinator Paul Ricard said , “Though weak or sick trees could succumb, we are not worried about significant tree mortality yet.” Via Gizmodo Images via Wikimedia Commons , NASA Earth Observatory/Jesse Allen , and Paul Ricard

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Explosive caterpillar infestation in New England is visible from space

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