Major supermarket chain is the first in the UK to remove palm oil from all its food

April 10, 2018 by  
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Over half of products in supermarkets contain palm oil , according to United Kingdom (UK) grocery store chain Iceland , and demand is contributing to deforestation . Iceland plans to do something about it by becoming the “first major UK supermarket” to eliminate palm oil from its own label products by the close of 2018. BREAKING NEWS: We're the UK's first supermarket to commit to removing #palmoil from our own label products by the end of this year! Watch here to find out why… #PalmOilAlarmCall pic.twitter.com/hfGvH2QRDW — Iceland Foods ?? (@IcelandFoods) April 10, 2018 Palm oil is one of the largest causes of deforestation in the world, according to Iceland , which specializes in frozen foods. So they plan to remove it from their own brand products. “By the end of 2018, Iceland will stop using palm oil as an ingredient in 100 percent of its own brand food production, reducing demand for palm oil by more than 500 tonnes per year,” head chef Neil Nugent said in Iceland’s video above. Iceland said Nugent is working to replace palm oil with fats and oils that aren’t destroying rainforests — The Guardian said this includes oils like vegetable or rapeseed oils. Related: UK researchers are developing an orangutan-safe alternative to palm oil Iceland quoted their managing director Richard Walker on their website as saying, “Until Iceland can guarantee palm oil is not causing rainforest destruction, we are simply saying ‘no to palm oil.’ We don’t believe this is such a thing as sustainable palm oil available to retailers, so we are giving consumers a choice about what they buy.” Deforestation is threatening many species, including the critically endangered orangutan — their population “has more than halved in the last 15 years,” according to Iceland. The World Wildlife Fund describes the animals as gardeners of the forest, “playing a vital role in seed dispersal.” They’re vulnerable in part due to their low reproductive rate — since females only give birth to one infant around every three to five years, it can take a while for the species to recover from declines in population. + Iceland Foods on Twitter + Iceland Environment Via The Guardian Images via Depositphotos ( 1 , 2 )

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Major supermarket chain is the first in the UK to remove palm oil from all its food

‘Food in the Nude’ project in New Zealand supermarket reduces plastic use

February 7, 2018 by  
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A New Zealand grocery store, New World Bishopdale , is attempting to slash their plastic use creatively with a new “Food in the Nude” project. And no, it’s not about people getting naked. It’s about serving produce without a pile of packaging. According to SUPERMARKETNEWS , New World Bishopdale has installed a refrigeration shelving system for displaying vegetables and fruit without plastic packaging . New World Bishopdale is having fun with cutting plastic. Owner Nigel Bond told SUPERMARKETNEWS in his 30 years in the grocery store industry, they’ve received the most positive customer feedback ever as a result of the store’s Food in the Nude program. It’s comprises a pretty simple change: display produce sans polluting plastic packaging. Related: 100% biodegradable, edible packaging is so much better than plastic “Customers hailing from the USA tell us that it reminds them of shopping in Whole Foods back home…The new system works by misting the produce with water to keep it fresh. Vegetables are up to 90 percent water and studies have shown that misted produce not only looks better and retains its color and texture, it also has a higher vitamin content,” Bond told SUPERMARKETNEWS. “We’ve also installed a reverse osmosis system that treats the water by removing 99 percent of all bacteria and chlorine, so we are confident that the water we’re misting with remains pure. The misting is electronically controlled and provides great in-store theater; children just love it.” He said because the system helps keep the fruit and vegetables fresh, less are wasted. Other New World stores could follow; New World Wigram has already made the switch. New World Bishopdale is also offering reusable string bags for weighing and carrying produce without plastic. New World hopes to get rid of all single-use plastic bags in their stores by the end of this year. In an October press release , they said they’re taking steps like giving away two million long-life reusable bags to customers, introducing a voluntary donation for plastic bags that will go towards environmental causes, and continuing a rebate for the use of reusable bags in North Island stores which they said “has resulted in a 20 percent reduction in plastic bag use.” Via SUPERMARKETNEWS and New World Images via Depositphotos and New World Bishopdale

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‘Food in the Nude’ project in New Zealand supermarket reduces plastic use

Elon Musk releases historic video of Starman cruising the stars in a Tesla Roadster

February 7, 2018 by  
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In what may be the greatest car commercial of all time, SpaceX has released a video portraying the journey of the mannequin Starman and Elon Musk’s red Tesla Roadster riding the Falcon Heavy rocket through space. SpaceX launched the Falcon Heavy, the most powerful rocket currently in use, on February 6, 2018 from Cape Canaveral as hundreds of thousands of people gathered from across the world to witness a part of history. The Roadster, which is attached to the rocket’s upper stage, will now be subjected to intense radiation in the Van Allen belt zone beyond Earth’s atmosphere before being launched into an elliptical orbit of Mars . As majestic as he is now, Starman was very nearly trapped on Earth as launch day conditions forced hours-long delays. Even after the rocket ignited on the planetary surface, those involved were apprehensive. “If it goes, don’t clap,” Jeff Lucas, a NASA communications staffer, told the launch audience, according to the Guardian . “Don’t clap until you see those orange flames clearing the tower.” When it became clear that the rocket had launched successfully, David Bowie’s Life on Mars began to play at the SpaceX launch center. Related: SpaceX to launch reused rocket in a historic first for NASA While some critics have questioned the value of hitching a car to the world’s most powerful rocket , the now-iconic images speak for themselves. The fact that the Falcon Heavy was strong enough to allow for the extra weight of a car, simply for the fun of it, is further demonstration of the rocket’s power. “If we are successful, it’s game over for other operators of heavy-lift rockets,” said Musk prior to launch, according to the Guardian . Though the game is still far from over, Starman is a hero, not just for one day , but for the foreseeable future. Oh man, I wonder if he’ll ever know… Via The Guardian Images via SpaceX

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Elon Musk releases historic video of Starman cruising the stars in a Tesla Roadster

Why Unilever Has Committed to 100% Recyclable Packaging

April 13, 2017 by  
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Large brands often bear the brunt of the blame for plastic waste and pollution, and rightly so. Look at any news story about plastic pollution and you can see their handiwork — single-use plastic water bottles littering roadsides, grocery store…

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Why Unilever Has Committed to 100% Recyclable Packaging

3 Reasons to Avoid Mass-Manufactured Chocolate

February 24, 2017 by  
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When you find a chocolate brand you like, it’s hard to try something new, especially when it costs more than you’re used to paying. You might browse the candy aisle at your local grocery store and wonder if those fancy $8 bars are worth the price….

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3 Reasons to Avoid Mass-Manufactured Chocolate

Belgian supermarket unveils plan to sell food grown on their own rooftop garden

October 6, 2016 by  
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A Belgian supermarket has unveiled plans to sell produce that will be about as local as it gets. The Boondael branch of the Delhaize supermarket chain in Ixelles, Belgium plans to start selling vegetables grown in a garden and greenhouse on the roof of their building starting in the summer of 2017. 320 square meters of rooftop space, or around 3,444 square feet, will be devoted to growing produce. Half of that space will be set aside for a greenhouse and half will allow the store to cultivate vegetables in open air. When the weather doesn’t permit use of the open air space, the store can continue growing produce in the greenhouse. The produce grow on the supermarket’s rooftop will be sold at a cheaper price than the organic produce they offer. Related: ‘Kinetic’ rooftop garden uses pallets and plants to create the illusion of movement Although ” in theory ” the produce they grow could be described as organic, technically the produce won’t receive the organic label as it is “not cultivated directly in natural soil but on a rooftop,” according to the supermarket. Delhaize hopes schools and the community will get in on the action through visits and participation. Brussels Minister for the Environment Céline Fremault told The Brussels Times, “Developing healthy, quality vegetables, based upon short cycles, is one of the challenges for the Brussels region…If everyone embraces the idea, as Delhaize has done, we will attain our target of 30 percent of fruit and vegetable production through urban agriculture, way before 2035, as is currently planned.” If all goes as planned, Delhaize will be the ” first food store in Belgium ” to grow their own produce on their rooftop. The pilot project will help Delhaize evaluate how the idea works – they don’t yet know how much product they’ll be able to grow – and if a rooftop garden can be implemented at other stores. Via RTBF and The Brussels Times Images via Delhaize and Pixabay

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Belgian supermarket unveils plan to sell food grown on their own rooftop garden

New hunting ban in Romania protects large carnivores

October 6, 2016 by  
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In a surprise move Tuesday, the Romanian government banned all trophy hunting of brown bears, wolves, lynx, and wild cats – a move that will protect the largest population of carnivores in Europe. This is a massive shift for the country, which has seen hunting quotas grow year by year since its acceptance into the European Union in 2007. This year had the largest hunting quotas yet, with licenses for hunters to shoot shoot 550 bears, 600 wolves and 500 big cats over 12 months. This new rule closes a loophole that hunters from around the globe were using to collect trophies from protected species. Under European law, all large carnivores are supposed to be protected from hunters – unless the animals have been proven to pose a danger to humans. Hunting associations in Romania would submit two numbers to the government each year: one, an estimate of the total population of each carnivore species, and two, the number of predators deemed to be a threat. The second number is the one that would be used by the government to determine hunting quotas. Related: Romania races to save some of the last untouched forests in Europe It should come as no surprise that the hunting industry, which rakes in millions of Euros every year, may not have been accurately reporting either number. Animals rights activists questioned how the number of “threatening” animals could be determined in advance, without any actual damage to people or property. The hunting associations likely also inflated the official count of large predators in the region by counting the same animals multiple times. This means the official statistics could be off by hundreds or even thousands. Though conservationists will cheer the news, not everyone is likely to welcome it. In Romania’s remote countryside, large carnivores are a nuisance to livestock farmers and a threat to villagers. Despite research showing that hunting these predators does nothing to reduce the conflict between humans and large carnivores (and sometimes simply causes more predators to move to the area), many in rural areas believe hunting is the only solution. If the government wants to prevent poaching, it will have to convince residents in these regions that there are better alternatives to keep the carnivore population under control. Related: 7 Animals Recently Driven to Extinction by Humans One method the government plans to use is to simply take dangerous carnivores into its own hands. A special unit will be set up within the country’s paramilitary police force specifically to respond to reports of damages by predators. Instead of authorizing the hunting of potentially dozens of unrelated animals, problem carnivores will be dealt with directly. Via The Guardian Images via Henning Leweke and Photogore

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New hunting ban in Romania protects large carnivores

Futuristic Dutch community features 50 out-of-this world spherical homes

October 6, 2016 by  
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Kreijkamp initially designed the bulbous Bolwoningen in the 1970s, in response to a special Dutch subsidy for experimental housing projects that launched in 1968. The decidedly suburban neighborhood in Maaspoort in the city of Den Bosch (formally known as ‘s-Hertogenbosch) is home to this extraterrestrial cluster of apartment homes. Inside each golf-ball shaped home is a compact apartment dwelling with a uniquely otherworldly feel. The curved walls and round porthole windows give the illusion you’re living in a spaceship, which is a little ironic because Kreijkamp actually intended the globe-like structures to bring people closer to nature , with its vantage points from nearly every angle. Related: 3D-printed micro cabin in Amsterdam welcomes anyone to spend the night Each apartment home contains three floors, with bedrooms on the ground level and a bathroom hidden on the middle floor. The upper floor houses the main living room and compact kitchen, and round windows face outward in nearly every direction, offering unique views of the world outside (including the other globe-shaped apartments, which are positioned somewhat close together). At the top floor, each home has a diameter of just 18 feet (5.5 meters), making for a cozy living space . Across the street, another subdivision is filled with traditional-style homes, highlighting the rarity of the globe-shaped apartment community. Kreijkamp passed away in 2014, but the continued fascination with what his perhaps his greatest contribution to architecture lives on. The Bolwoningen apartment community is still in good condition some 30 years after its completion, and has, as far as we can tell, been continuously occupied from the start and will continue to provide funky dwelling space for years to come. Via Ignant Images via Wikipedia, Steven Vance/Flickr and unknown (aerial shot)

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Futuristic Dutch community features 50 out-of-this world spherical homes

The cost of solar power has fallen 25% in just five months

October 6, 2016 by  
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The future is looking sunny for solar as the clean, renewable energy source gets cheaper – and fast. In just five months, the cost of solar plummeted an incredible 25 percent as demonstrated by two recent construction bids for solar projects in China and Abu Dhabi. On August 11 a bid of $0.46/W was put forward to build 500 megawatts of solar power in China and on September 19 a record low bid of $0.023/kWh was submitted for 1.2 gigawatts of solar power in Abu Dhabi. China and Abu Dhabi are not the only places in the world seeing dramatic decreases in the cost of solar. A 100 MW solar project in Nevada recently submitted for approval would deliver electricity at $0.04 per kilowatt-hour (kWh). That is the lowest price ever seen for a US solar farm and much lower than the price of electricity for a new coal, nuclear or natural gas power plant. Related: Average cost of solar and wind energy could fall by 59% in the next decade A new report from the US Department of Energy found that the cost of clean energy technologies has fallen 41 to 94 percent over the past seven years. The report looked at wind, residential solar, utility-scale solar, batteries and LED lighting and found that all of the clean energy technologies experienced dramatic price decreases from 2008 to 2015. Wind and solar accounted for two-thirds of new energy installations in the US in 2015. The report found that utility-scale solar farm costs have fallen by 64 percent since 2008 and distributed solar costs have fallen by 54 percent. “We’re still learning how to further reduce the cost of solar cells and other components, as well as operation and maintenance costs,” said Frank Wouters, former director of Masdar Clean Energy . “There’s no reason why the cost of solar will ever increase again.” Via Futurism Images via Wikimedia

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The cost of solar power has fallen 25% in just five months

14-year-old girl convinces major British grocery to stop selling caged hen eggs

July 26, 2016 by  
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14-year-old Lucy Gavaghan of England is on a mission to stop the sale of eggs from caged hens. She convinced major British company Tesco to agree to end the sales of “caged eggs” by 2025, and isn’t finished yet. She’s now targeting British companies Asda and Morrisons, and if you want to help you can sign her newest petition here . Gavaghan worked for a few years to stop the sales of caged eggs by writing letters to politicians and supermarkets, but felt that no one was listening. She knew there would be others in the world who, like her, also wanted to stop the sales of eggs from caged hens, so in February 2016, she started a Change.org petition . In total, 280,278 people signed the petition. Related: Kid sisters raise $800,000 with origami to dig water wells around the world Gavaghan met with Tesco’s head of agriculture in May. She said after the meeting, she didn’t really think they would change their policies, but this month finally received a call. Tesco said they’d ” stop selling caged eggs by 2025 .” While the European Union banned putting hens inside battery cages in 2012, the industry began to use “enriched cages” instead. But Gavaghan says the hens still don’t have enough space in those cages – only around the dimensions of an A4 paper (that’s around 8 by 12 inches). Gavaghan said in her first petition, “I have five hens myself, two of them are ex-commercial barn hens and one of them once lived in commercial colony cages. They are amazing animals to be around. Keeping my own hens and knowing their past has made me determined to end caged and barn farming…These methods of egg farming are cruel, unnatural, and inhumane.” After her success with Tesco, Gavaghan plans to ensure they keep their word and is now targeting other grocery stores that still sell caged eggs, Asda and Morrisons . About a week ago she started another Change.org petition, and has already racked up 176,697 supporters. You can add your name to the petition here . + End the sale of eggs from caged hens in Morrison’s and Asda Via The Telegraph Images via Lucy Gavaghan ( 1 , 2 )

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14-year-old girl convinces major British grocery to stop selling caged hen eggs

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