German cities get green light from court to ban diesel vehicles

February 28, 2018 by  
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The Federal Administrative Court ruled this week that German cities can legally ban diesel vehicles. German states sought to appeal local bans by Stuttgart and Duesseldorf, but the federal ruling paves the way for cities to impose bans as they see fit to help improve air quality. Germany is known for its passion for cars, and while Stuttgart is home to Porsche , Mercedes-Benz, it is also home to some of the worst air pollution in Germany. To help tackle the problem, the city banned older diesel vehicles on days when pollution is heavy. But the country’s powerful auto industry lobby worked to push against the ban. Related: German government votes to ban new combustion engine cars by 2030 The court ruling doesn’t impose any bans itself. Instead, it opens the doors for localities to decide how to manage their own air quality. A ban potentially leaves some car owners and the auto industry lobby in a difficult position, but it is also being hailed as a huge win for the environment. Via CNET Images via Deposit Photos ( 1 , 2 )

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German cities get green light from court to ban diesel vehicles

First plastic-free supermarket aisle opens in Amsterdam

February 28, 2018 by  
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The world’s first plastic-free supermarket aisle opened on February 28 at the Amsterdam location of the Netherlands -based supermarket chain Ekoplaza. Within this aisle, customers will be able to choose from more than 700 plastic-free products. Eventually, the company hopes to roll out plastic-free aisles at all of its 74 locations. The aisle arrives at a time when global concern over plastic pollution is on the rise and campaigns are being waged to urge companies and governments to change their plastic policies. “For decades shoppers have been sold the lie that we can’t live without plastic in food and drink,” Sian Sutherland, co-founder of A Plastic Planet, told the Guardian . “A plastic-free aisle dispels all that. Finally we can see a future where the public have a choice about whether to buy plastic or plastic-free. Right now we have no choice.” Ekoplaza is proud to offer an environmentally friendly alternative to its customers. “We know that our customers are sick to death of products laden in layer after layer of thick plastic packaging,” Ekoplaza chief executive Erik Does told the Guardian . “Plastic-free aisles are a really innovative way of testing the compostable biomaterials that offer a more environmentally friendly alternative to plastic packaging.” The plastic-free items, which incorporate biodegradable materials whenever possible, will not be any more expensive than those wrapped with plastic. According to anti-plastic campaigners, the aisle will serve as a “testbed for innovative new compostable bio-materials as well as traditional materials such as glass, metal and cardboard.” Related: Iceland supermarket commits to eliminating plastic within five years According to activists, the grocery store sector accounts for 40 percent of all plastic packaging. “There is absolutely no logic in wrapping something as fleeting as food in something as indestructible as plastic,” Sutherland said. “Plastic food and drink packaging remains useful for a matter of days yet remains a destructive presence on the Earth for centuries afterwards.” Ekoplaza’s first step into a plastic-free world should be emulated by others. “Europe’s biggest supermarkets must follow Ekoplaza’s lead and introduce a plastic-free aisle at the earliest opportunity to help turn off the plastic tap,” added Sutherland. Via The Guardian Images via Ekoplaza

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First plastic-free supermarket aisle opens in Amsterdam

This whimsical houseboat in Seattle is straight out of a fairy tale

February 28, 2018 by  
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Floating on Seattle’s East Lake, this fairy-tale houseboat – which is on the market for $850,000 – has more storybook features than you can shake a magic wand at. The shingled roof is topped with a turret, and the interior features playful geometric archways, secret nooks, and stained-glass windows. And even the pickiest of princesses will love bathing in the wooden bathtub carved from a 200-year-old cedar log. The design of the 830-square-foot home is quite unique, but the living space in the floating home is surprisingly comfy and inviting. With multiple skylights, floor-to-ceiling windows and stained glass accents, natural light streams throughout the interior. The wooden paneling that covers the flooring and the walls gives the space a cabin-like feel, enhanced by a beautifully hand-carved banister. Vaulted ceilings and geometric archways open up the space. Related: Two photographers are sailing through Europe in amazing handbuilt houseboats The sweet home is filled with lots of character, including hand-carved wooden railings and doors. The living space on the ground floor opens up through two french doors to a large wooden deck that wraps around the home. Two bedrooms and a bath are on the second floor, which is filled with little nooks and reading spaces. For a little bit of solitude, a cozy sitting area has been nestled into the structure’s fairytale turret. Via Apartment Therapy Images via Windermere

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This whimsical houseboat in Seattle is straight out of a fairy tale

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