Google Street View takes you inside the fiery depths of an active volcano

March 20, 2017 by  
Filed under Eco, Green

Have you ever seen an active volcano up close? Most of us haven’t had the opportunity, but now thanks to Google Street View , you can glimpse the fiery depths of one the world’s largest boiling lava lakes. Two explorers repelled down into the Marum crater on the island on Ambrym in Vanuatu , a country of islands around 1000 miles away from Australia, to collect images of the lava lake for Google (and all of us). Forget the relatively tame imagery of city streets. Google went to new extremes to collect dramatic images of Ambrym, from volcanic beaches to a volcano itself. Explorers Geoff Mackley and Chris Horsley helped out by repelling around 1,312 feet down into the Marum crater to gather 360-degree imagery of the massive lava lake, which is about as big as two football fields, according to Google. Mackley said, “You only realize how insignificant humans are when you’re standing next to a giant lake of fiery boiling rock .” Related: Sheep enlisted to bring ‘Google Street View’ to remote Faroe Islands After repelling into the crater, Horsley said, “I hope that by putting this place on the map people will realize what a beautiful world we live in.” Over 7,000 people live on Ambrym. Chief Moses of Endu, a local village, welcomed Google in to share the incredible beauty of the area. Locals have been rebuilding after Cyclone Pam hit a few years past, and are ready to greet travelers again. According to Google, Chief Moses feels welcoming visitors to the region will help the island recover, help set up a sustainable economy, and preserve the island’s culture . Along with the volcano, Google Street View offers images of his village, a primary school, and a craft workshop on the island. Can’t hop on the next plane to trek to Vanuatu? You can also check out a jungle on Ambrym, more images of the Marum crater, and villagers harvesting coconuts on Google Street View. Via Google Images via screenshot ( 1 , 2 )

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Google Street View takes you inside the fiery depths of an active volcano

San Diego brewery unveils beer made from 100% recycled wastewater

March 20, 2017 by  
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San Diego is aiming to to become the most environmentally sustainable city in the United States. As part of its ambitious Climate Action Plan , last year the city council unanimously approved a $3 billion initiative to recycle wastewater for drinking. Now the city is demonstrating that the pure water program can be used for just about anything, even a cold beer, by partnering with Encinitas-based craft beer maker Stone Brewery to unveil Stone Full Circle Pale Ale — a beer made with 100 percent recycled wastewater from the city’s pure water program. “Just a great example of what this is gonna be like in terms of the future and Stone who’s a huge driver of not just the craft beer industry but sustainability, that’s what our pure water program is all about,” San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer said at Stone’s Point Loma location last week, where city leaders gathered to sample the beer and talk up the pure water program. Related: San Diego to become largest U.S. city to run on 100% renewable energy The wastewater recycling plan puts purified water treated at the Point Loma Water Treatment Plant back into the freshwater system rather than the ocean — providing a steady source of potable water to protect the water supply from drought and disruptions to water imports. The pure water program is expected to deliver 30 million gallons of recycled water a day within five years and 83 million gallons of drinking water per day when fully implemented in 2035 — providing one-third of the city’s freshwater supply. Stone, the largest brewery in San Diego and ninth largest in the country, produced five barrels of the beer using water trucked in from the city’s pure water demonstration plant in Miramar. “We like trial and we like testing and if we can help others jump on the same bandwagon, we would love to do that because it’s a great thing for the City of San Diego,” said Stone Chief Operating Officer Pat Tiernan. + Stone Brewery + San Diego Water Sustainability Program Via UPI Images via Wikimedia  and Twitter

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San Diego brewery unveils beer made from 100% recycled wastewater

Artisanal clay pots from Egypt can water your plants for up to a month

March 20, 2017 by  
Filed under Eco, Green

Gardeners who travel will love these absorbent clay pots from Egypt. Modeled after the Olla, an ancient ceramic pot prevalent throughout North Africa, the small vessels are designed to water plants for weeks at a time–using nothing but gravity. Clayola founder Rami Halim says 20 liters (5 gallons) of water can sustain six to eight plants for up to a month. The Clayola pots, connected via a pipe to a water source placed at a slightly higher elevation, are pushed into the soil until the colorful tops are flush with the surface. A small siphoning pump gets the water flow going and then gravity takes over from there. The porous clay vessel acts like a sponge that slowly releases a small amount of water into the soil – just when it starts to become thirsty. “As water evaporates from a plant’s leaves, it draws water from the soil and as the soil dries up water is drawn from the Clayola to the soil,” Rami said. “In effect the plant extracts the water it needs from each clay pot.” “After a while,” he added, “a plant’s root system will find the source of water and literally hug the Clayola, allowing for maximum water use.” Related: Solar terracotta water filter distills 5 liters of water a day Rami says Clayolas are ideal for travelers. Unlike those of us who tend to either starve or drown plants, this system guarantees “each plant gets the exact amount of water it needs at no risk of over or under irrigation.” And it is said to be 80 percent more efficient than conventional irrigation techniques. Just 3 x 5 inches, the Crayola has a tapered shape that serves multiple functions. Not only does it maximize watering surface at the top, but it also makes it easier to penetrate the surface of the soil. The colorful glazed tops prevent evaporation and enhance the design’s playful aesthetic. There are two reasons Clayola favors employing skilled artisans in Cairo to make their products, according to Rami. “The handmade imperfections are absolutely beautiful,” he said, “and this old world craft is efficient, elegant and produces a surprisingly durable product.” A box of six costs less than $30, plus shipping. For more information, check out Clayola’s Facebook page . + Clayola Egypt

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Artisanal clay pots from Egypt can water your plants for up to a month

New images reveal Google’s plans for a futuristic solar-powered California headquarters

March 1, 2017 by  
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New images submitted to the City of Mountain View in January provide our best look at Google’s proposed 18.6-acre Charleston East campus – the first the technology giant is constructing from the ground up. The heart of the new space, according to plans drafted by the design teams of Bjarke Ingels Group and Heatherwick Studio , is a two-story, 595,000-square-foot building. It’s topped by an expansive tent-like canopy that conjures up images of Bonnaroo rather than stuffy business meetings. The roof is studded with photovoltaics, plus other enhancements designed to regulate indoor climate, air quality, and sound. There will be plenty of breathing space, both within and without. The building will enclose “flexible building components” that can be reconfigured on a whim, as well as indoor and outdoor green spaces, populated by native, drought-tolerant flora, to bolster biodiversity. Google , in collaboration with city biologists, has made special considerations for the burrowing owl, once one of California’s most common birds but now a species in decline due to habitat loss. “No plants will be installed that would provide perches for raptors or hiding places for feral cats, both of which prey on the owls,” the plans read. “Grasses, forbs, and small shrubs that provide habitat for insects will be targeted to support owl foraging.” Related: New tent-like HQ plan emerges from the ashes of Google’s original vision Google’s proposal also includes a detailed “landscape narrative” featuring the so-called Green Loop, a “linearly connected canvas of trees” that bridges the Charleston Basin and the main Googleplex headquarters by way of Charleston Park. Could this make up for the planned removal of 160 trees, 100 of which have been designated heritage? We can hope. More than a place of business, Google’s new campus will apparently serve as a “destination for the local community.” Myriad small green hubs scattered throughout the site will house pedestrian walkways, and bike paths will abound in the small green hubs scattered throughout. An open plaza could host al fresco seating, food trucks, small stalls, perhaps a seniors’ tai chi class or two. “Quieter and more intimate” spaces will support collaboration and private conversation. Pulling all this together would hardly be a modest endeavor. If approved by the city, construction on Charleston East will span roughly two-and-a-half years. + City of Mountain View Via 9to5google

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New images reveal Google’s plans for a futuristic solar-powered California headquarters

How Nike and Google are jumping into the Circular Economy

January 16, 2017 by  
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In just a few short years, the circular economy has gone from a movement to a market. Here’s how large and legacy companies are approaching the transition. What is Nike doing to reuse materials? How is Google, whose products are by-in-large digital, getting involved in the circular economy? Kate Brandt, Cyrus Wadia and Ellen MacArthur sat down at VERGE 16 to discuss.

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How Nike and Google are jumping into the Circular Economy

How Nike and Google are jumping into the Circular Economy

January 16, 2017 by  
Filed under Business, Eco, Green

Comments Off on How Nike and Google are jumping into the Circular Economy

In just a few short years, the circular economy has gone from a movement to a market. Here’s how large and legacy companies are approaching the transition. What is Nike doing to reuse materials? How is Google, whose products are by-in-large digital, getting involved in the circular economy? Kate Brandt, Cyrus Wadia and Ellen MacArthur sat down at VERGE 16 to discuss.

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How Nike and Google are jumping into the Circular Economy

Could green-collar jobs go the way of coal miners?

December 12, 2016 by  
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Applications such as Google’s DeepMind are using artificial intelligence to crank up energy efficiency. What does this mean for good, green human-powered jobs?

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Could green-collar jobs go the way of coal miners?

Google says it will run entirely on renewable energy by next year

December 6, 2016 by  
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Google just announced that it will be fully powered by renewables before the end of 2017. The tech giant has been growing its solar and wind investments over the years, and is now making a final push to achieve 100 percent renewable energy through additional purchases. Google initially announced its 100-percent goal in 2012, and this week’s announcement confirms the company will hit the target next year. Under the umbrella of an initiative dubbed “Google Green,” the tech company says its aim for 100 percent renewable energy is “just the beginning.” Starting with its first contract for a 114-megawatt wind farm in Iowa in 2010, the California-based company has grown to become the world’s largest corporate buyer of renewable energy. According to this week’s announcement, Google is purchasing around 2.6 gigawatts of wind and solar energy. “Over the calendar year globally, for every unit of energy we consume, we’re purchasing the equivalent amount or more of renewable energy” in 2017, said Neha Palmer, head of energy strategy at Google’s global infrastructure division. Related: The world’s renewable energy capacity is now higher than coal Many tech giants are targeting 100 percent renewable energy, but Google has taken a strong lead with this announcement. By comparison, Apple reached this milestone for its US operations and data centers in early 2015 and had, at that time, achieved 87 percent renewable energy for its global operations. Google started off following in Apple’s footsteps but quickly surpassed its progress by making their data centers 50 percent more efficient than the industry standard. Additionally, Google cites the falling prices of solar and wind projects as the primary reason for the business decision, although reducing the company’s carbon footprint and contribution to the effects of climate change were also important factors. Via GTM Images via Tony Webster/Flickr and Google

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Google says it will run entirely on renewable energy by next year

New Google Timelapse shows how humans have destroyed Earth over 32 years

December 1, 2016 by  
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Google recently updated their Earth Timelapse , which reveals the devastating impact human beings had on Earth between 1984 and 2016. From retreating glaciers to sprawling cities, Google Earth Timelapse allows a casual observer to see how much humanity has changed the planet over the last 32 years. While Google Timelapse has been around since 2013, the tech giant just updated the feature with new data from more years, as well as new images from NASA . The project allows anyone with an Internet connection to watch the diminishing Columbia Glacier in Alaska , and green plants springing up as snow and ice retreat. They can check out the Palm Islands in Dubai flourishing, or zoom in on Miami, Brisbane, Copenhagen, or any other location on Earth. Google says their updated Timelapse offers a sharper picture of cities and geological features all across the globe. Related: Google and Landsat Create Time-Lapse Videos Showing 40 Years of Environmental Destruction in the Amazon The new Timelapse includes petabytes of data; one petabyte comprises one million gigabytes. According to Google, the team had to sort through three quadrillion pixels from over five million satellite images . Five satellites across three decades collected the millions of images. Two new satellites, Landsat 8 and Sentinel-2, provided crisp imagery for 2015 and 2016. Google said most of the images in Timelapse come from a NASA and United States Geological Survey program, Landsat , that has been inspecting our planet since the 1970’s. Google made the interactive Timelapse map utilizing Carnegie Mellon CREATE Lab ‘s Time Machine Library technology. For better or for worse, humans are transforming Earth, and Google Timelapse allows people to see the effects of our species on this planet. In a blog post on the updated Timelapse, Google Earth Engine Program Manager Chris Herwig said, “There’s much more to see, including glacial movement in Antarctica, urban growth, forest gain and loss, and infrastructure development.” + Google Timelapse Via Google Images via screenshot

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New Google Timelapse shows how humans have destroyed Earth over 32 years

BIG and Heatherwick to design Googles new London HQ

November 17, 2016 by  
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Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) and Thomas Heatherwick will team up for another Google project, this time in the form of a new design for the tech giant’s new London headquarters at King’s Cross . The two firms previously partnered to develop the plan for Google’s controversial new HQ in Mountain View, California which has been plagued with hiccups since its inception. The architects released a single rendering as a teaser, and we can’t wait to see more as the design plan evolves over time.

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BIG and Heatherwick to design Googles new London HQ

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