Will COVID-19’s transport slow down stick?

March 18, 2020 by  
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It takes a global pandemic — and subsequent ordered and self-imposed quarantines — to really expose just how dependent societies are on mobility and transportation. 

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Will COVID-19’s transport slow down stick?

Will COVID-19’s transport slowdown stick?

March 18, 2020 by  
Filed under Business, Green

It takes a global pandemic — and subsequent ordered and self-imposed quarantines — to really expose just how dependent societies are on mobility and transportation.

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Will COVID-19’s transport slowdown stick?

Discarded face masks now threatening wildlife habitats

March 16, 2020 by  
Filed under Green, Recycle

The worldwide outbreak of novel coronavirus (COVID-19) prompted many to purchase face masks for protection. Unfortunately, these protective masks have been harming the environment. Why is that? The masks are made of the plastic polypropylene, which is not easily biodegradable. No surprise then that the accumulation of discarded face masks litters the environment and poses serious risks to the equilibrium of  habitats  and the health of wildlife, especially marine organisms. Environmental groups are now sounding the alarm on how cast-off coronavirus masks are escalating the  litter  and plastic pollution predicaments. Related:  The Ocean Cleanup has first success collecting plastic from Great Pacific Garbage Patch “We only have had masks for the last six to eight weeks, in a massive volume…we are now seeing the effect on the environment,” explained Gary Stokes, founder of Oceans Asia, a marine  conservation  organization. Stokes elaborated with the example of the Soko Islands off Hong Kong. On one 100-meter stretch of beach, Stokes discovered 70 masks, then an additional 30 the following week.  Hong Kong’s dense population means that its citizens have struggled with plastic waste.  Single-use plastic  makes matters more challenging. What’s more, Hong Kong does not effectively  recycle  all its waste. Instead, roughly 70% of its garbage ends up in landfills. That 70% is equivalent to approximately 6 million tons of refuse. Conservationists have been attempting to remove these masks from the environment through beach clean-ups. “Nobody wants to go to the forest and find masks littered everywhere or used masks on the beaches . It is unhygienic and dangerous,” added Laurence McCook, head of Oceans Conservation at the World Wildlife Fund in Hong Kong. Jerome Adams, the United States Surgeon General, has also  advised people to stop purchasing medical face masks , as they are ineffective at preventing COVID-19. Scaling back public purchasing of the masks would not only keep more masks available for medical professionals, but could also reduce the amount being discarded and its impact on the environment. Via Reuters Images via Pixabay

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Discarded face masks now threatening wildlife habitats

COVID-19 and climate change: A healthy dose of reality

March 16, 2020 by  
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Consider the global health crisis currently upon us as a warm-up act for a climate-changing world.

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COVID-19 and climate change: A healthy dose of reality

A long weekend in nature at Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health

February 17, 2020 by  
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Twenty-five people walk through the hemlock forest on snowshoes. We’re close together, but move quietly in a line, going fast enough that we’re sweating on a 32-degree January morning. Eventually, we come to a brook, and Katie Hagel, an outdoor leader for the Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health, tells us to find our own quiet contemplation spot. We disperse, leaning against trees, sitting on logs or sprawling in patches of snow, snowshoes splayed at ungainly angles. We breathe the cold air and listen to water moving beneath the brook’s layer of ice. After a few minutes, Hagel gently hoots like an owl to let us know it’s time to reassemble. Our mindful time in nature is part of a snowshoeing and yoga program at Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health in Stockbridge, Massachusetts. Kripalu sits on ancestral Stockbridge Munsee Mohican land overlooking Lake Mahkeenac, with views stretching across the southern Berkshires. Black bears, eastern coyotes, fishers, deer, porcupines, bobcats and bald eagles all call this land home. Related: Truly get away from it all at this gorgeous eco-resort and yoga retreat In 1893, banker Anson Phelps Stokes built Shadowbrook, his 100-room mansion, on this land. Later, it was home to a Jesuit monastery. But in 1983, the property’s purpose turned to yoga . Devotees of Swami Kripalu, an Indian yoga master who spent the last years of his life in the U.S., bought the property as an ashram. Since then, it’s evolved into one of the country’s largest yoga centers, with more than 40,000 guests per year and nearly 500 workers on staff. People come for professional training in yoga and Ayurveda as well as for short programs, like my snowshoeing and yoga weekend, and personal retreats. A weekend at Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health When I arrived at Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health at 10 p.m. on a Friday, I wasn’t expecting to have to wait in line to check into my room. But such is people’s desire for retreat from big city life. Many of the folks I met were from New York City , although some came as far as Texas or Arizona and others lived within 50 miles of the property. Many were repeat visitors seeking a tranquil getaway. Despite there being so many people onsite, Kripalu does a good job of letting people be sociable or quiet, as needed. The meals are all served buffet-style in the enormous dining room. Breakfast is a silent meal, but lunch and dinner can get raucous. Fortunately, a separate, small, silent dining room provides refuge for those seeking quiet. While Kripalu’s rooms are comfortable, this is not a luxury resort. My top-of-the-line private room included two single beds, good reading lights and a lovely bathtub. It was overwhelmingly plain; only two pillows decorated with hot pink flowers perked up the interior. No art on the wall underlined the contemplation-over-decoration philosophy. My room was in the Annex , an award-winning green building designed by Peter Rose + Partners. The Annex features hydronic radiant heating and cooling, a green roof and an overall smaller footprint due to clever design. Kripalu helps people take a break from technology by banning electronics in most areas. There’s an area for silent use and a Wi-Fi Lounge for those talking on the phone or otherwise making noise. You can also use electronics in your room — but only if you have a private room. Many people of all ages take advantage of the more affordable option of sharing a dorm. Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health connects nature and wellness Kripalu makes the most of its location by offering programs that combine yoga with hiking, kayaking , snowshoeing and wilderness survival. A yoga summer camp for adults includes paddling, hiking, nature observation and art. Kripalu School of Mindful Outdoor Leadership In 2018, Kripalu founded the School of Mindful Outdoor Leadership to train guides to incorporate mindfulness techniques into outdoor activities. People who want to become mindful outdoor leaders can take two nine-day training modules combining yoga, Ayurveda, forest bathing , outdoor skills and the study of nature’s benefits for health. Level one focuses on basics, including leading a storytelling and sharing circle called Council. Level two delves deeper into survival skills, building fires and studying geology, flora, fauna and navigation with Mass Audubon. Participants also forage for wild teas. Related: Doctor’s orders — 2 hours in nature boosts mental health, study says As my snowshoeing leader Hagel explained, “Students in the Kripalu School of Mindful Outdoor Leadership spend the entirety of the training immersed in nature, deepening their connection with land, place and the more-than-human world. My hope is that graduates of this program will return home with a personal practice of deep nature connection and the skills necessary to safely guide others to get outside, receive the many healing benefits of nature and support the health of the planet through mindful engagement with the living earth.” If people feel more connected to nature, she said, they are likelier to act as caretakers of the Earth. Guides learn to share the natural world with guests while inviting group reflection and participation through open-ended questions. “An effective mindful outdoor guide is someone who has a practice of paying close attention to their surroundings and is able to share their own curiosity and passion for life with others,” said Micah Mortali , founder of Kripalu’s outdoor leadership program and author of Rewilding: Meditations, Practices and Skills for Awakening in Nature.  “This means that while remaining present, they are able to manage time, safety and group process while out in the field.” During my visit, we had a snowstorm and below-freezing temperatures. So we bundled up when leaving the building but practiced yoga inside. In warmer months, leaders like to take yoga outside. “Yoga was traditionally an outdoor activity,” Mortali said. “It is only in recent decades that yoga has become an indoor pursuit. Like most aspects of modern society, yoga has migrated indoors as modern people have become divorced from the life forces moving on their local lands.” He pointed out that yoga shapes depict animal forms, trees and mountains, things we see in nature. “The Kripalu School of Mindful Outdoor Leadership seeks to find the source of yoga, the place where the original inspiration came from, and we have found that to be out there.” + Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health Photography by Teresa Bergen / Inhabitat

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A long weekend in nature at Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health

Prime Roots will debut fungi-based bacon on Valentines Day 2020

January 31, 2020 by  
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Prime Roots is upending the food landscape with mushrooms as another protein source. On February 14, the startup will unveil its meatless , non-GMO “bacon” to entice all food-lovers. The one-day-only, limited release will allow customers to order “bacongrams” for loved ones, while supplies last. According to the company website, fungi are considered superproteins. With the use of mushrooms as a protein source, Prime Roots’ products are naturally antibiotic- and hormone-free. Additionally, the startup promises that its products are “delicious tasting, high in digestibility, sustainable, allergen-free, animal-free and non-GMO .” Related: 24-year-old entrepreneur to launch plant-based “superprotein” products by vote Last summer, The Spoon reported that Prime Roots utilizes mushroom mycelium, which has certain qualities that are, by contrast, absent in plant proteins. For instance, “mycelium require minimal resources to grow and are a more efficient source of protein than plants, [the latter of] which often require solvents to fully extract all the protein.” Because fungi — and, by extension, mycelium — are tasteless, Prime Roots discovered it would not need to mask any plant flavors. Instead, mycelium “can be used to make any manner of meat or seafood substitutes.” No surprise then that the company leveraged mycelium’s versatility to develop food products with flavorful offerings that resemble chicken tenders, crackers, crab cakes, ground beef, high-protein savory dip, lobster chunks, protein bars, salmon burger, sausages, shrimp and even tuna chunks. Although Prime Roots has developed several flavors, they have not been rolled out yet. On the company website, visitors have, for many months now, been encouraged to select their top three flavors via the startup’s product voting initiative. According to the company, the “resounding winner” was bacon, which explains its arrival as Prime Roots’ first official product debut. Prime Roots has shared that its “bacon” product’s main ingredient is koji, which is “an umami-rich, all-natural fungi that serves as the cornerstone for all of Prime Roots’ delicious meat substitutes. Brewed in small batches, the koji is formed into strips, and then put into a wood smoker, which elicits the same taste, sizzle and smokiness of pork bacon without the health, animal welfare , and environmental downsides … Prime Roots makes it possible to satisfy your bacon cravings in a way that is good for your heart and the planet.” + Prime Roots Images via Prime Roots

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Prime Roots will debut fungi-based bacon on Valentines Day 2020

Infographic: Illnesses Caused by Dirty Water

January 28, 2020 by  
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Did you know that over 780 million people worldwide lack … The post Infographic: Illnesses Caused by Dirty Water appeared first on Earth911.com.

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Infographic: Illnesses Caused by Dirty Water

We Earthlings: Let’s Recycle More Aluminum

January 28, 2020 by  
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What connects us all? Nature and our shared relationships through … The post We Earthlings: Let’s Recycle More Aluminum appeared first on Earth911.com.

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We Earthlings: Let’s Recycle More Aluminum

Why human health must be at the center of climate action

December 11, 2019 by  
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Companies can exacerbate the challenges, but the private sector also positively contribute to solving these challenges.

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Why human health must be at the center of climate action

As EV adoption grows, charging infrastructure needs to do the same

December 11, 2019 by  
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Electric vehicle manufacturers, governments and every entity in between have roles to play.

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As EV adoption grows, charging infrastructure needs to do the same

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