Plastic waste has met its match with the viral #Trashtag challenge

March 14, 2019 by  
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It is rare when a social media trend actually results in a physical change to the environment, especially when it comes to picking up plastic waste . But a new viral challenge has thousands of people from around the world coming together to clean up places that have become overrun with plastic. The new challenge, #trashtag, encourages people to clean up litter and share photos from before and after the clean-up job is over. So far, tens of thousands of individuals have participated in the social media challenge. These participants have cleaned up roads, parks, beaches and wilderness areas. The challenge has also increased awareness of important environmental issues, like how much plastic waste ends up in the trash. Related: China closes Mount Everest base camp after overwhelming trash problem reports While the challenge only recently went viral, it actually started a few years ago. A company called UCO Gear came up with the idea in 2015 to help with its wilderness protection program. The challenge did not catch on until this year, after a post on Facebook tagged “tired teens” in the photo. Since then, there have been well over 25,000 posts with #trashtag tagged, although it has a few other variations, such as #trashchallenge and #trashtagchallenge. Although it is great to see people cleaning up the environment in their free time, conservationists hope it will eventually lead to bigger changes. According to BBC , the director of Canada’s Ecology Action Centre (EAC), Mark Butler, hopes the hashtag gets people to understand why we need to eliminate single-use plastics altogether. “Getting plastic out of the environment is important,” Butler shared. “We need to do more than go behind the people that are littering and clean it up. We need to turn off the plastic tap.” Butler argued that if we do not start curbing our plastic use, then the clean-up job will never end. Given all of the photos we’ve seen from the trash challenge, Butler has a point. Hopefully, viral challenges like #trashtag will help initiate more lasting changes as we continue to deal with the problem of plastic pollution. Via BBC Image via Pacific Southwest Region 5

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Plastic waste has met its match with the viral #Trashtag challenge

Uber transforms 19th-century industrial buildings into hub for futuristic tech

March 6, 2019 by  
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A row of historic industrial buildings long considered at-risk of collapse has been saved thanks to Uber . The Uber Advanced Technologies Group R&D Center, a group that develops experimental and futuristic transit projects including self-driving technologies, is now housed within part of San Francisco’s Pier 70 — the best-preserved 19th century industrial complex west of the Mississippi. A sensitive undertaking, the adaptive reuse project breathed new life into the decrepit structures yet stayed true to the complex’s architectural integrity. With masterplanning efforts spearheaded by San Francisco-based urban studio SITELAB, Pier 70 in the city’s Dogpatch neighborhood has been undergoing a renaissance of change from a former industrial site to a mixed-use development consisting of offices, retail, residences and public space. Drawn by the site’s history with transportation — Bethlehem Shipbuilding was once a Pier 70 tenant — and the spacious interiors, Uber leased out 130,000 square feet within the complex across four continuous buildings (Building 113, 114, 115 and 116), an area approximately equivalent to two city blocks. Damaged from years of neglect and vandalism, the four buildings needed a gut renovation before Uber could move in. In a process the firm described as a “labor of love,” Uber restabilized the structures with steel braces and columns carefully chosen to complement the historic architecture. To retain existing elements and abide by the regulations put forth by the National Register of Historic Places, the project used a “building-within-a-building concept” that allowed for the insertion of mezzanines, stairs, rooms and other free-standing programmed elements without damaging the historic perimeter brick walls. Nods to the building’s history can be seen in the industrial-inspired architectural lighting and minimalist material palette. Related: Uber just gave the world a first look at its air taxi prototype “The project’s contribution to the community and industry is immense in that it revitalizes a crumbling shipyard facility into a vibrant place for work and public gatherings,” Uber shared in a statement. “Precision craftsmanship is required to both refurbish deteriorated existing construction and accommodate new building components into the highly complex and diverse existing structures. The approach retains and repairs salvageable elements . If un-salvageable, the replacement element or material is specified to be historically compatible and environmentally benign.” + Uber Advanced Technologies Group Via Architectural Digest Photography by Billy Hustace Photography via Uber

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Uber transforms 19th-century industrial buildings into hub for futuristic tech

Johnson & Johnson offers Acuvue contact recycling program

March 6, 2019 by  
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Figuring out what is or is not recyclable is an ongoing struggle with program availability differing from one location to another. On the other hand, we aren’t even aware of many recycling programs available for products we dispose of frequently. Contact lens wearers, for example, have had some return returnability in past years by finding specific drop locations or mail-back options for used contact lenses. Now, Johnson & Johnson has made the process easier for 3.7 million contact wearers in the U.K. The newly-launched ACUVUE Contact Lens Recycle Programme is the U.K.’s first free nationwide program that includes recycling options for both contact lenses and the blister and foil packaging they come in. Although offered by Johnson & Johnson Vision, the program accepts all soft contact lenses from any manufacturer. “Seventy-seven percent of British contact lens wearers said they would recycle their contact lenses if they could, and we share their interest in reducing the amount of plastics in the environment,” said Sandra Rasche, Area Vice President, Europe, Middle East and Africa, Vision Care, Johnson & Johnson Medical GmbH. “As a business, we are committed to doing our part to combat climate change , protect our planet’s natural resources and reduce waste, and this new U.K. recycling program represents the next step in our company’s sustainability commitment.” Related: This new initiative aims to sustainably recycle your old bras The company reported that currently, about 20 percent of customers say they flush used contacts down the toilet or sink. In conjunction with TerraCycle, a world leader in reusing post-consumer waste, Johnson & Johnson launched the program with the hope of reducing garbage in landfills and water sources. In addition, the collected lenses and packaging materials gain new life in the form of products like plastic lumber and outdoor furniture. Working with high street retailer Boots Opticians Ltd and independent retail optical providers across the country, Johnson & Johnson provides more than 1,000 locations for drop-off of used materials to be recycled. + Johnson & Johnson Images via Johnson & Johnson

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Johnson & Johnson offers Acuvue contact recycling program

Vessel Works is changing the to-go beverage game with its reusable mug

November 28, 2018 by  
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A new company called Vessel Works is attempting to change the game in the beverage industry. The idea is to get rid of the waste from single-use cups for hot and cold beverages by providing a reusable to-go cup in participating cafes. Here’s how it works. The Vessel Works to-go cup is an insulated stainless-steel mug that will keep your beverage hot or cold. When you visit a participating location, you can check out one of the free, reusable mugs via an app and then later drop it off at a kiosk. It is very similar to a bike-share program, and Vessel Works is hoping that it will be a popular alternative to the billions of paper cups that end up in landfills every year. It is also a solution that the company believes consumers will adopt more quickly than asking them to bring their own mugs from home. “Getting behavior change to happen is not an easy thing,” says Dagny Tucker, founder of Vessel . “If we look at a community that’s considered very sustainably-minded, i.e., Boulder, Colorado, you’ll find that in a survey of local cafes, less than 10 people are bringing their own cup every day.” According to Fast Company , Vessel Works chose Boulder, Colorado, to beta launch the idea with four cafes and they will later scale and add more. Consumers use an app to participate in the free program, but if they don’t return the mug within five days, there is a charge. After running the pilot for several months at a few cafes in Brooklyn and Manhattan, Tucker discovered that consumers liked the idea and it also led to people evaluating their choices for other single-use items. As consumers use the mug, they will get reports on how much they are reducing their carbon footprint and how much waste they are preventing. Tucker ran a pilot program for this idea in New York City back in 2016 while teaching at Parsons School of Design. She noticed that the paper cup was the most highly visible sign of disposability, with every fifth person walking down the street carrying a paper cup for a few minutes and then throwing it away. There are no upfront costs for a consumer to use the program, and the cost to participating cafes for each mug is less, on average, than what they pay for paper cups. The mugs are also easy to stack and store, and Vessel cleans all of the mugs at their commercial facility and then tracks them back to each cafe to maintain inventory. Tucker says that essentially, her company is trying to “disrupt the status quo of an entire industry.” Via Fast Company and Vessel Works Image via Vessel Works

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Vessel Works is changing the to-go beverage game with its reusable mug

Get Your Spouse On Board with Eco-Friendly Living

October 19, 2017 by  
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If you’re passionate about living an eco-friendly lifestyle that’s free … The post Get Your Spouse On Board with Eco-Friendly Living appeared first on Earth911.com.

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Adorable owl cabins let you camp inside for free and off the grid in France

July 7, 2017 by  
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A giant trio of adorable timber owls has popped up in rural France—and you can sleep inside them for free! Perfect for summer camping in Bourdeaux, these beautiful cabins are the work of Bruit du Frigo partner Zebra3/Buy-Sellf and built as part of the Refuges Périurbains (Peri-urban shelters) in the Bordeaux region. Named “Les Guetteurs” (The Watchers), this sixth unique cabin of the series is located off the grid along the edge of the city and is designed to encourage urban hiking and exploration of lesser-known sites. Zebra3/Buy-Sellf designed and built “Les Guetteurs” in the likeness of Bourdeaux’s ground-dwelling owls that live in open landscapes. The three enchanting owls are huddled together as a single mass, creating a large cabin with three floors. The building features a circular plywood frame clad in strips of curved wood. Shingles cut to look like feathers top the roof, while giant circular windows are installed for the owl’s “eyes.” The shelter is built atop a boardwalk elevated over a wetlands area. Related: MVRDV to upgrade historic French city with modern, ecological design A forest-inspired glazed door opens up to a light-filled interior with faceted timber walls. Operating off-grid without running water or electricity, the cabin is fairly bare bones yet its timber palette creates a cozy environment. Circular white beds built to look like nests are located on the different levels connected via ladders. Like all of the shelters in the Refuges Périurbains project, “Les Guetteurs” can host up to nine people and helps encourage locals and visitors to reconnect with Bourdeaux’s landscape and environment. Bookings for the free lodging can be made on the Refuges Périurbains website. + Zebra3/Buy-Sellf Via Tiny House Blog

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Adorable owl cabins let you camp inside for free and off the grid in France

Minimalist wine-tasting pavilions sustainably embrace Napa Valley

July 7, 2017 by  
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There are few places better to enjoy fantastic wines and views than Napa Valley , and Walker Warner Architects has elevated that experience with a series of elegant wine tasting pavilions. Crafted with environmental sustainability in mind, the pavilions were built for Quintessa Estate Winery, a Napa Valley estate also designed by Walker Warner Architects in 2003. The minimalist structures harmonize with nature with locally sourced and reclaimed materials, as well as prefabricated construction to minimize site impact. Winner of a recent American Institute of Architects San Francisco (AIA SF) Citation Award , the Quintessa Pavilions is commended for exemplifying “the ideal fusion of architecture and nature” on the ridgeline of a beautiful 280-acre winery estate. Carefully placed amongst existing oak trees and surrounded by drought-resistant native grasses , each 250-square-foot pavilion was crafted to provide an immersive, privately hosted wine-tasting experience. The pavilions’ industrial materials palette references the winery’s architecture and will age elegantly over time. Related: The Bardessono is Napa Valley’s Newest Eco Resort and Spa The architects carefully sited each pavilion to shade visitors beneath tree canopies, optimize views, and protect existing mature oaks. Visitors access the pavilion through a doorway carved into a concrete wall, built of fly ash, that runs along the ridgeline. Once inside the prefabricated steel structure, the visitors enjoy plenty of natural light, cross winds, and panoramic views through full-height glazed operable doors. Custom furnishings are built of FSC-certified Afromosia. Reclaimed Sinker cypress was used for casework and ceilings, while locally prefabricated concrete pavers cover the terrace surface and Napa syar stone retaining walls hold back earth. + Walker Warner Architects Photo credit: © Matthew Millman

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Minimalist wine-tasting pavilions sustainably embrace Napa Valley

Elon Musk says first segment of LA tunnel complete

June 30, 2017 by  
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If you ever want to take on a crazy project and see results in under a year, call Elon Musk . He’s already making progress on his stuck-in-traffic daydream of tunnels beneath Los Angeles . This week he tweeted The Boring Company’s tunnel boring machine, cheekily named Godot, completed the first tunnel portion. According to Musk, we’re “no longer waiting for Godot.” Musk seems to be having a lot of fun with his side project he somehow fits into his free time. And he’s making strides towards the dream of clearing out Los Angeles’ notorious congestion by moving vehicles underground. The Boring Company’s new machine has started operating and already finished the first segment of a tunnel. Related: Elon Musk says LA mayor is open to The Boring Company’s traffic tunnels No longer waiting for Godot. It has begun boring and just completed the first segment of tunnel in LA. — Elon Musk (@elonmusk) June 28, 2017 Godot is around 400 feet long, with a diameter of 26 feet, and weighs 1,200 tons. Musk hinted on Twitter they still hope the machine will bore faster in the future. He said they have a long way to go before they beat Gary, a snail from SpongeBob SquarePants whom Musk referenced in April in a TED talk , saying “Victory is beating the snail.” The project started near the SpaceX parking lot in Hawthorne. And according to Electrek, it appears this first segment simply connects the parking lot to the company’s buildings. But Los Angeles mayor Eric Garcetti has indicated his interest in Musk’s venture – he name-dropped the tech entrepreneur in an ABC7 interview and Musk said they’d had promising conversations. Electrek also quoted Musk as saying the full length of the first tunnel “will run from LAX to Culver City, Santa Monica, Westwood, and Sherman Oaks. Future tunnels will cover all of greater LA.” It seems this pipe dream might become reality after all. + The Boring Company Via The Verge and Electrek Images via The Boring Company

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Elon Musk says first segment of LA tunnel complete

Green-roofed desalination plant is world’s first to treat both fresh and saltwater

June 30, 2017 by  
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Desalination is an important component of Singapore’s water supply, and the island country has a new desalination plant in the works decked out with green features. The large-scale facility can treat both freshwater and saltwater, and according to Today Online and other local news outlets , it’s thought to be the first one of its kind in the world. The Keppel Marina East Desalination Plant will be the first of its kind in Singapore, and some publications say in the world. It will be the country’s fourth desalination plant, but the first large-scale dual-mode one. It will treat water from the sea or the Marina Reservoir, depending on whether the weather is dry or wet. Keppel Infrastructure is constructing the plant under a 25-year Water Purchase Agreement with Singapore’s national water agency, PUB . Related: Self-sustaining island eco-lodge in Florida has its own desalination system And this plant doesn’t look like your typical industrial facility. It will be topped with a 215,278 square foot green roof and equipped to harvest rainwater for irrigating plants . According to Keppel Infrastructure CEO Ong Tiong Guan, “…the plant’s design also blends seamlessly into the environment , allowing the public to enjoy the green space above the plant along with the surrounding greenery.” Treatment facilities will be underground in the plant PUB described as sleek and modern. According to PUB Chief Executive Ng Joo Hee, desalination plants boost Singapore’s water security. He said in a statement, “As a source independent of weather , desalinated water is capable of strengthening our water supply resilience, especially against prolonged dry spells and droughts . We aim to triple its capacity to meet up to 30 percent of our water needs by 2060.” The Keppel Marina East Desalination Plant is slated to be finished in 2020. The plant will produce around 30 million gallons of drinking water every single day. Via PUB Images via PUB

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Green-roofed desalination plant is world’s first to treat both fresh and saltwater

Indian man creates a free school under a bridge to educate New Delhis poorest children

August 21, 2016 by  
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Indian grocery store-owner Rajesh Kumar Sharma has an unusual but inspiring side gig—providing free lessons for hundreds of New Delhi’s poorest children in an open-air school beneath a Metro bridge. Sharma, whose philanthropic story went viral on the Internet in 2012 , founded the “Free School: Under the Bridge” where he teaches basic Hindi and English. Volunteer teachers Laxmi Chandra and Shyam Mehto who teach mathematics assist him. As many as 200 students attend the free school on a regular basis.

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Indian man creates a free school under a bridge to educate New Delhis poorest children

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