For islands, Hurricane Irma is the climate change wakeup call

September 20, 2017 by  
Filed under Business, Eco, Green

Aruba’s prime minister hopes that other small islands will become living labs for rejecting fossil fuels for good.

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For islands, Hurricane Irma is the climate change wakeup call

Extraordinary living chandelier with algae-filled leaves purifies the air

September 20, 2017 by  
Filed under Eco, Green

Lighting design has come a long way. Julian Melchiorri , a London-based designer and engineer, created this extraordinary living chandelier that not only lights up the room, but also actively purifies the air around it. Currently on display at the V&A Museum for London Design Week, the Exhale Chandelier features glass leaves filled with green algae that absorb CO2 and release oxygen. The living chandelier is not only an amazing eco-product that’s beneficial for the environment, but its sophisticated design makes for a beautiful lighting source for any atmosphere. Its modular format allows the chandelier’s green-hued leaves to be configured in a wide range of shapes, adding versatility. The lamp can be used indoors or outdoors – wherever air purification is needed. Related: 13 groundbreaking lighting innovations from NY Design Week Melchiorri is not only a design-engineer, but also a leading biochemical technology researcher. The innovative chandelier design is the result of his many years developing and crafting his unique “artifical leaf’” technology. Working with microbiological life forms, the designer’s bionic-leaf is based on the basic principles of photosynthesis , harnessing the power of converting CO2 into oxygen and integrating it into one very beautiful product. Although the chandelier is a prototype at the moment, the designer envisions integrating his photo-reactive cell technology into future buildings , freeing them of harmful emissions. + Julian Melchiorri + London Design Festival Photography by Mike Chino

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Extraordinary living chandelier with algae-filled leaves purifies the air

5 challenges to scaling the circular economy

September 20, 2017 by  
Filed under Business, Green, Recycle

International import barriers and trust issues can create barriers — or opportunities — for increasing the use of recycled materials.

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5 challenges to scaling the circular economy

New forest resilience bond blazes a trail

September 20, 2017 by  
Filed under Business, Green

A public-private partnership can address this burning problem.

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New forest resilience bond blazes a trail

Why it’s time to reroute urban deliveries and logistics

September 20, 2017 by  
Filed under Business, Green

Plus, four ways cities can collaborate with the corporate sector to set the destination.

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Why it’s time to reroute urban deliveries and logistics

Here’s concrete evidence that 10 MPG is possible for North American fleets

September 20, 2017 by  
Filed under Business, Green

With technology retrofits, it’s possible to squeeze even more fuel efficiency out of trucks already on the road.

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Here’s concrete evidence that 10 MPG is possible for North American fleets

3 ways nanomaterials can combat pollution

September 20, 2017 by  
Filed under Business, Green

Researchers are looking to tiny materials to clean up huge problems in air, water and land.

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3 ways nanomaterials can combat pollution

Supervolcano in Italy is "becoming more dangerous" as magma builds beneath the surface

September 19, 2017 by  
Filed under Eco, Green

Like the super volcano in Yellowstone National Park , experts have been preparing for the eruption of the Campi Flegrei volcano near the Bay of Naples, in Italy for some time. Now, a new study published in Scientific Reports has renewed fear that it could erupt very soon. Reportedly, the area has been “restless” since minor eruptions began in the 1950s, and now experts have pinpointed magma building up beneath the surface. The eight-mile-wide circular formation, known as a caldera, last erupted in 1538. Researchers with the University of Aberdeen, the INGV Osservatorio Vesuviano, the RISSC lab of the University of Naples and the University of Texas at Austin used seismological techniques to determine when the volcano may erupt again. After scores of tests, they learned that there is a hot zone under the Italian city of Pozzuoli that extends into the sea . While the implications of this finding are not completely understood, it is suspected that the low amount of seismic activity in the area since the 1980s may mean pressure is building within the caldera, making it more dangerous. Related: World’s most active volcano harbors a tiny off-grid home—and you can stay overnight Said Researcher  Luca De Siena  of the University of Aberdeen, “During the last 30 years the behavior of the volcano has changed, with everything becoming hotter due to fluids permeating the entire caldera.” De Siena’s main concern is that the entire region around Naples would be impacted by its eruption. This is because the underground network of chambers that feed magma into the volcano extend more than 100 square kilometers outside of suburban areas in Naples . “Whatever produced the activity under Pozzuoli in the 1980s has migrated somewhere else, so the danger doesn’t just lie in the same spot, it could now be much nearer to Naples which is more densely populated,” De Siena said. “This means that the risk from the caldera is no longer just in the center, but has migrated. Indeed, you can now characterize Campi Flegrei as being like a boiling pot of soup beneath the surface,” De Siena added. “What this means in terms of the scale of any future eruption we cannot say, but there is no doubt that the volcano is becoming more dangerous.” Volcanic area #CampiFlegrei around Naples Italy. Not just Mount Vesuvius. https://t.co/5H00AD6Jz6 pic.twitter.com/6B2xuQpDPa — Blynne Olivieri (@BlynneO) September 13, 2017 Co-author Dr. Christopher Kilburn , director of the University College London Hazard Center , is certain an eruption is imminent. He said, “By studying how the ground is cracking and moving at Campi Flegrei, we think it may be approaching a critical stage where further unrest will increase the possibility of an eruption, and it’s imperative that the authorities are prepared for this.” Researchers say citizens should make emergency preparations in case the Campi Flegrei volcano erupts again. + Scientific Reports Via Phys  Images via Pixabay  and Deposit Photos

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Supervolcano in Italy is "becoming more dangerous" as magma builds beneath the surface

Could France-sized ocean garbage patch become 196th nation?

September 19, 2017 by  
Filed under Eco, Green, Recycle

Plastic trash is polluting our oceans , and now there’s a garbage patch near Hawaii that is about as large as the entire country of France. The charity Plastic Oceans Foundation and publication LADbible want to have the patch acknowledged as a country called Trash Isles . Why? Two main reasons: to raise awareness of the pollution problem, and to get the area cleaned up. LADbible and Plastic Oceans want to set up the world’s 196th nation: Trash Isles, currently a giant garbage patch in the Pacific Ocean . They’re working to raise awareness, but they also submitted a Declaration of Independence to the United Nations (UN) on World Oceans Day back in June. They’re now collecting signatures of ‘citizens’ on Change.org to submit a petition to UN Secretary General António Guterres. Related: A garbage patch bigger than Texas was just discovered in the Pacific Ocean Trash Isles actually could meet country criteria. LADbible says under Article 1 of the 1993 Montevido Convention on the rights and duties of States, a country must define a territory, form a government, have a permanent population – they say that one’s open for interpretation – and be able to interact with other states. Quartz said they can roughly draw borders around the garbage patch and it wouldn’t be hard to create a government and organizations for interacting. Trash Isles can already count former United States vice president Al Gore as their first citizen, and over 107,750 people have signed the Change.org petition. What’s the point of all this effort, besides awareness of an environmental issue? If accepted as a country and UN member, Trash Isles will be protected under the UN’s Environmental Charters. LADbible pointed to a specific line which reads, “All members shall cooperate in a spirit of global partnership to conserve, protect, and restore the health and integrity of the Earth’s ecosystem .” They interpret that to mean the world’s countries will have to work to clean up Trash Isles. LADbible said people can help out by signing the Change.org petition to become a Trash Isles citizen, or by donating to Plastic Oceans . Trash Isles already has an official flag, currency, and passports created with recycled materials . LADbible Group Head of Marketing Stephen Mai said, “We are just getting started. There may well be a national anthem, general elections, and even a national football team.” + Trash Isles + Plastic Oceans Foundation Via LADbible ( 1 , 2 ) and Quartz Images via LADbible and Mario Kerkstra ( 1 , 2 , 3 , 4 )

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Could France-sized ocean garbage patch become 196th nation?

Visionary eco-resort design for the Philippines features rotating seashell towers

September 19, 2017 by  
Filed under Eco, Green, Recycle

Visionary eco-architect Vincent Callebaut has just unveiled images of his latest ecological masterpiece and it’s jaw-droppingly stunning. Nautilus is a futuristic 27,000-square-meter eco-resort designed for Palawan, Philippines. The beautiful self-sustaining complex, which would include various research centers, shell-shaped hotels and rotating apartment towers, is designed to be a shining example of how resilient tourism can allow travelers to discover the world without destroying it. Callebaut designed Nautilus to be a resilient, self-sustaining community that includes a series of rotating apartments and luxury hotels, along with a elementary school and sports center. Also on site would be a scientific research and learning center for travelers who’d like to collaborate with engineers, scientists, and ecologists in actively taking part in improving the local environment. It’s a pioneering collaborative concept focused on using real-world education to foster and spread the idea of responsible ecotourism –  or as the architect describes it – “a voluntary approach to reimburse ecological debt”. Related: Vincent Callebaut’s Twisting Citytree Towers Generate More Energy Than They Consume Using the principles of biomimicry , the design is inspired by the “shapes, structures, intelligence of materials and feedback loops that exist in living beings and endemic ecosystems.” The construction and operation of the complex would work under a “zero-emission, zero-waste, zero-poverty” ethos, using 100 percent reused and/or recycled materials from the surrounding area. All of the materials used in the construction would be bio-sourced products derived from vegetable biomass. Microalgae and linseed oil would be used to manufacture organic tiles, while any wood used would be locally-sourced from eco-responsible forests. Even the luxury lodgings would be self-sustaining, playing a strong role in the design’s net-zero energy profile. The main tourist village would be built on telescopic piles that produce ocean thermal energy as well as tidal energy. This energy, along with photovoltaic cells , would produce sufficient energy for the the village, which will also be installed with vertical walls and green roofs to increase the buildings’ thermal inertia and optimize natural temperature control. To the west, twelve small spiral towers with a total of 164 units are designed to be built on rotating bases that turn on their axis according to the course of the sun, fully rotating 360 degrees in one day, providing optimal views of the surrounding environment and taking advantage of a full day of natural light. On the east side, the complex would have 12 small snail-shaped “museum-hotels” constructed with recycled concrete . The hotels will feature various exhibition spaces on the bottom floors and guests rooms on the upper floors. At the heart of the resort will be Origami Mountain, slated to house a scientific research center and nautical recreation area. The building would be constructed using a Cross Laminated Timber framework that would be layered to create a number of undulating ramps that fold out like a massive origami structure. + Vincent Callebaut + Nautilus Eco-Resort Images via Vincent Callebaut

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Visionary eco-resort design for the Philippines features rotating seashell towers

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