‘Single-use’ is announced as the Word of the Year 2018

November 8, 2018 by  
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Collins Dictionary has announced its choice for 2018 Word of the Year — single-use. This term describes items, often plastic, that are made to be used just once before they are thrown away. The frequent use of these items has been blamed for damaging the environment and negatively affecting the food chain. Since 2013, use of the word has increased fourfold with a rise in public awareness thanks to news stories, images of plastic items adrift in oceans and the global campaign to reduce the proliferation of single-use items, including the infamous plastic straw. Collins Dictionary selects the word of the year after its lexicographers monitor the 4.5-billion-word Collins Corpus, which is an analytical database that contains written material from websites, newspapers, magazines and books published around the world. The Collins Corpus database also includes words from spoken material on TV and radio, plus everyday conversations. Related: Plastic straws are a thing of the past, but which reusable straw is best for the future? After the lexicographers monitor the Collins Corpus, they create a list of new and notable words that reflect our ever-changing culture. Things that rose to the top this year included environmental issues, political movements, dance trends and technology. Other words on the shortlist included ‘floss,’ a dance where you twist your hips in one direction while swinging your arms with fists closed in the opposite direction, made popular by the game Fortnight; ‘VAR,’ or video assistant referee, which became popular in 2018 after being used in the FIFA World Cup; ‘gammon,’ a red-faced, angry person who is the opposite of a “snowflake”; and ‘plogging,’ or picking up litter while jogging, which has become successful following the increase in awareness of humanity’s impact on the environment. Collins ended up choosing single-use because of the global movement to kick the addiction to disposable products and the increase in awareness of how people’s habits and behaviors impact our world. + Collins Dictionary Image via Jonathan Chng

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‘Single-use’ is announced as the Word of the Year 2018

BMW’s new wireless pad recharges EV batteries like a Sonicare toothbrush

September 28, 2017 by  
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Several automakers have teased the idea of a wireless charging pad that would make it easier to charge electric cars without a pesky cable, but BMW is ahead of the game. The automaker has announced it is ready to offer a wireless charging pad for the 530e iPerformance plug-in hybrid that recharges the battery just like a Sonicare toothbrush. With the new charging pad, 530e owners simply park over the pad , which is connected to a 220-volt outlet, and it will recharge – without having to connect any wires. Special sensors on the car help guide drivers over the charging pad; once parked, the 530e can be completely recharged in around 3.5 hours. Related: BMW unveils dynamic new rival to the Tesla Model S The technology is ready for public consumption, but it’s not known when it will be available in the U.S. since it hasn’t been approved. Outside the U.S., buyers will be able to purchase the wireless charging technology early next year, but it will only be available for the 530e iPerformance vehicle. A wireless charging system for models like the i3 and i8 will reportedly be made available at a later date. We also don’t know how much the wireless charging system will cost, but by the time it does arrive in the U.S. hopefully it will be compatible with the rest of BMW’s lineup. + BMW Images @BMW

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BMW’s new wireless pad recharges EV batteries like a Sonicare toothbrush

Cummins beats Tesla with a fully-electric semi truck

August 30, 2017 by  
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Tesla is expected to unveil its electric semi truck next month, but Cummins just beat them to the game with its own fully-electric heavy duty truck. Cummins is known for its hardworking diesel engines, but now the company is looking to the future with the debut of the electric Concept Class 7 Urban Hauler EV. The Cummins electric truck , known as AEOS, is powered by a new battery pack that is lighter and denser, giving the truck a longer driving range and faster charging times. The truck can carry up to 44,000 pounds and its 140 kWh battery pack only takes an hour to charge on a 140 kWh charging station. The AEOS only has a 100 mile-range, which means that it’s more ideal for shorter trips in urban environments. Tesla’s semi is expected to have a driving range of around 200-300 miles. Related: Tesla’s electric truck will have a 200-300 mile range Cummins hopes to cut the charging time down to 20 minutes by 2020. For drivers that need a longer driving range, the company is working on an extended-range model that will use a diesel engine to act as a generator for the battery pack. The extended-range model will have a much more usable driving range up to 300 miles and will cut emissions by 50 percent compared to diesel-hybrid trucks. “These new technological innovations build on our 100-year legacy of bringing the best solutions to our customers, driving their success and meeting the evolving demands of their industries and markets,” said Jennifer Rumsey, Chief Technical Officer, Cummins Inc. “We will harness our global technical footprint to continue to develop a wide variety of power technologies to bring our customers the choice and solutions that enable their success and contribute to a sustainable future .” + Cummins Images @Cummins

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Cummins beats Tesla with a fully-electric semi truck

1,200 dead, millions homeless due to flooding in India, Nepal, and Bangladesh

August 30, 2017 by  
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Monsoon rains have drenched India , Bangladesh , and Nepal in what some people are saying is the worst flooding disaster to hit the area in years. South Asia often battles flooding during monsoon season, which runs from around June to September, but authorities say the disaster has been worse this year. At least 1,200 people have died, and millions of people have been left homeless after the deluge. Floods have washed away tens of thousands of houses and led to landslides in Nepal, Bangladesh, and India. Electric towers and roads have been damaged, while farmland has filled with water. The International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) said floods have impacted over 7.4 million people in Bangladesh, where over 697,000 homes have been demolished. Related: World is failing to prepare for increasing natural disasters, UN expert says In the state of Bihar in India, 17.1 million people have been impacted, with 514 killed. Disaster management official Anirudh Kumar of Patna, Bihar’s capital, said 2017’s farming has collapsed due to the waters, which will cause more unemployment in the area. In Uttar Pradesh, 2.5 million have been affected and 109 have died. Thousands of people in the country have sought shelter in relief camps. And landslides in Nepal have killed over 100 people, according to IFRC. According to international aid agencies, flooding has cut off thousands of villages, where people are suffering without clean water or food for days. In Mumbai , India, public transportation was halted and people were left stranded because of the floods. In some places, people waded through water up to their waists. Rescue missions were thwarted because of the rains; Mumbai joint police commissioner Amitesh Kumar said, “Even we are stranded.” The city is vulnerable to storms since buildings have been constructed on coastal areas and flood plains, and waterways and storm drains are often blocked by plastic garbage . Via The Independent and The Guardian Images via screenshot and screenshot

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1,200 dead, millions homeless due to flooding in India, Nepal, and Bangladesh

Engineering USGBC’s ‘Amazon’ goals: Mahesh Ramanujam

February 13, 2017 by  
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The new leader of the green building group it’s time to step up the game on data and the developing world.

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Engineering USGBC’s ‘Amazon’ goals: Mahesh Ramanujam

AskNature: How do you manage waste?

May 20, 2016 by  
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Here’s how honey bees and the human kidney inspire innovation in agriculture, air purification and pollution management.

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AskNature: How do you manage waste?

Big efficiency for small and medium buildings

May 20, 2016 by  
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Most commercial real estate consists of small and medium buildings waiting to be engaged on sustainability. Here’s how IMT and COSE did it in Cleveland.

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Big efficiency for small and medium buildings

How the Super Bowl Causes a Drop in Household Energy Use

January 29, 2013 by  
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Photo via Shutterstock With the number of athletes and fans traveling to a gigantic stadium filled with bright lights, epic half-time shows, and enough confetti to carpet a billion hamster cages, the Super Bowl is not what one would first think of as a “green event.” However, one of our nation’s biggest cultural events may have an environmentally-friendly side after all. In addition to efforts made by the promoters to offset carbon emissions through various eco-friendly projects, the behavior of the fans themselves could be working towards reducing the overall amount of energy used during the big game. Research by the consulting firm, Opower comparing the electricity use of 145,000 households during last year’s Super Bowl with other winter Sundays found that power use was reduced by as much as  7.7 percent, depending on location. Read the rest of How the Super Bowl Causes a Drop in Household Energy Use Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: big game , carbon offsets , Consumption , east , Electricity , emissions , game , Green Appliances , households , opower , social , sunday , super bowl , tv pooling , west

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How the Super Bowl Causes a Drop in Household Energy Use

Climate Change Blamed for Australia’s Recent Extreme Heat and Flooding

January 29, 2013 by  
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Australia is experiencing a series of extreme weather events this year; from fires to flooding and some seriously extreme heat , the country has been hit by one event after another. Experts are saying that it all points to one cause: climate change. And as the planet continues to warm, scientists expect events of this nature to increase, both in severity and frequency. Read the rest of Climate Change Blamed for Australia’s Recent Extreme Heat and Flooding Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: Australia bush fires , Australia climate change , Australia Extreme Weather events , Australia heat wave , climate change impact , extreme weather events , global warming weather , Queensland Australia Flooding

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Climate Change Blamed for Australia’s Recent Extreme Heat and Flooding

How can I reuse, recycle or pass on old board games?

November 28, 2011 by  
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We’ve had an email from Harrie: We’ve got lots of board games (Monopoly and such) from when the kids were little but they’re not in good condition so I don’t think charity shops will take them. What else can I do with them? As long as they’ve still got all/enough pieces, games like that don’t need to be in pristine condition to be fun. Perhaps offer them honestly on your local Freecycle/Freegle group – someone might just be grateful to have them whatever the condition, especially if they’re going to be playing with similar destructive kids 😉 Or someone might want them for “spares and repairs”, or to make things out of the game pieces. What could they make? Jewellery from the pieces, notebook covers from the board, decorative decoupage with paper money/cards – quick searches on Etsy shows all sorts of things being made from old Monopoly , Risk and Cluedo game parts — and that some people are selling the raw materials too (especially if they’re vintage games). Of course, you could make those things yourself too if you’re the crafty sort 🙂 Any other suggestions for Harrie? What have you done with old board games?

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How can I reuse, recycle or pass on old board games?

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