IKEA’s new air purifying curtain will decrease indoor pollutants

February 21, 2019 by  
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IKEA has discovered a unique way to decrease indoor pollutants with a new air purifying curtain. The Sweden-based company has developed a material that absorbs and breaks down hazardous substances in a process similar to photosynthesis in order to improve indoor air quality. Atmospheric pollution is a major issue across the planet, especially in dense, urban environments. Scientists estimate that close to 90 percent of the world’s population lives in areas that suffer from poor air quality . IKEA hopes that its new curtain, called the GUNRID, will help reduce those numbers and cut down on air pollutants in homes. Related: IKEA and Little Sun team up to design sustainable, off-grid tools “Besides enabling people to breathe better air at home, we hope that GUNRID will increase people’s awareness of indoor air pollution , inspiring behavioral changes that contribute to a world of clean air,” Lena Pripp-Kovac, IKEA’s head of sustainability, shared. According to IKEA , the curtain was developed using state-of-the-art technology that is akin to how plants naturally filter air. The chemicals that filter pollutants are activated via light, both artificial and natural sunlight. IKEA worked with scientists in Asia and Europe to develop the curtain and hopes to use the same technology in other products down the road. IKEA has a long history of developing eco-friendly practices. For the past several years, the company has been reducing the use of hazardous materials in its factories, which has greatly decreased its carbon footprint. The company plans to further cut its impact on the environment by 70 percent over the next decade. The furniture outlet has also put in place several initiatives to combat air pollution . This includes the Better Air Now! Program, which recycles rice straw and turns it into materials that are used in IKEA products. Farmers usually burn rice straw, producing fumes that decrease air quality in regions across the globe. Customers will be able to purchase the GUNRID curtain at some point in 2020. It is unclear how many future products will feature the same technology, but it will be interesting to see what IKEA comes up with. Hopefully, other companies will follow IKEA’s lead and develop air purifying products of their own. + IKEA Images via IKEA

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IKEA’s new air purifying curtain will decrease indoor pollutants

Scientists believe lab-grown meat may be more harmful to the environment than farms

February 21, 2019 by  
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Scientists and environmentalists are always looking for ways to make meat consumption more environmentally friendly, but lab-grown meat may not be the solution. Scientists now say that synthetic meat might be more damaging to the environment than traditional cattle farms. Research has shown that cattle farms have played a role in global warming. In fact, scientists estimate that 25 percent of all greenhouse gases can be attributed to agriculture, with beef production leading the way in methane and nitrous oxide production. These alarming statistics have prompted scientists to look for viable alternatives in the meat market. Lab-grown meat has been a promising solution to the problem, though scientists warn that growing meat in a laboratory setting may be more harmful to the environment under certain circumstances. Related: Aleph Farms has created the first lab-grown steak The biggest difference between cattle beef and lab-grown beef is the type of emission that is produced. Cattle farms tend to produce a lot of methane, which contributes greatly to global warming. Manufacturing meat in a lab, meanwhile, releases carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, which is also bad for the environment. The catch is that methane breaks up in around 12 years while carbon dioxide can remain in the atmosphere for thousands of years. “Per tonne emitted, methane has a much larger warming impact than carbon dioxide. However, it only remains in the atmosphere for about 12 years, whereas carbon dioxide persists and accumulates for millennia,” Raymond Pierrehumbert, a professor at Oxford Martin School, explained. That said, growing meat in a lab can be better for the environment if the manufacturing process uses sustainable energy. This would help curb the overall carbon use without releasing the amount of methane of traditional cattle farms. While this would lessen greenhouse gas emissions, there are other factors to consider with lab-grown meat, including water pollution. Until more research is done on the long-term effects of lab-grown meat, scientists are ultimately unable to determine which method is better for the environment. Via BBC Image via Shutterstock

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Scientists believe lab-grown meat may be more harmful to the environment than farms

Podcast, June 18, 2018: Sustainability in Your Ear

June 18, 2018 by  
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This week, the Earth911 team talks about IKEA’s new commitment to … The post Podcast, June 18, 2018: Sustainability in Your Ear appeared first on Earth911.com.

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Podcast, June 18, 2018: Sustainability in Your Ear

IKEA Takes Reusable Pledge: Phasing Out Single-Use Products by 2020

June 8, 2018 by  
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IKEA this week announced it will discontinue selling single-use products, … The post IKEA Takes Reusable Pledge: Phasing Out Single-Use Products by 2020 appeared first on Earth911.com.

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IKEA Takes Reusable Pledge: Phasing Out Single-Use Products by 2020

Space10 is taking on fast food with bug-based burgers and meatballs

March 15, 2018 by  
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Space10 is re-inventing our favorite fast food dishes in a delicious and sustainable way. We’ve all heard that meat is awful for the environment, but that doesn’t make the cravings for a juicy burger easier to ignore. And what’s a backyard barbecue without the hot dogs? Thanks to Space10’s Bug Burger, not-Dog, Microgreen Ice Cream and Neatball, you won’t have to give up your fast food favorites while still staying virtuous. Space10 is all about figuring out ways to make the future a better place to be. They’ve tackled everything from furniture to urban gardening , and now they’re perfecting sustainable, healthy eating. To illustrate their innovations, the IKEA-based group has created a menu that will get your mouth watering. The Dogless Hotdog is a twist on the classic made out of a spirulina bun topped with dried and glazed baby carrots, beet ketchup, cucumber and herb salad. Thanks to the micro-algae bun, it packs more protein than a real hotdog. The Bug Burger is made out of beetroot, parsnip, potatoes and mealworm with a locally, hydroponically-grown salad mix topping. We tasted a version of the burger, and trust us, you’ll never miss a beef burger again. Related: IKEA’s SPACE10 lab is bringing a pop-up vertical farm to London Space10 has also taken on the iconic IKEA meatball with the Neatball. One version is made out of mealworms, and another out of root veggies. If all this talk about bugs has you (ahem) bugging out, it’s worth noting that bugs are a sustainable source of protein, but they don’t have to taste like insects. In Space10’s in-house chef’s capable hands, you would never even know that you are munching on mealworm, and that’s their goal. Space10 wants us to move away from carbon-heavy meals without giving up the flavor or convenience of a fast food meal. To round it all out, Spac10 created the LOKAL salad, which is made out of microgreens grown hydroponically in the Space10 basement. And these aren’t your basic microgreens – the salad options include red frill mustard, lemon balm and borage; pea sprouts, pink stem radish and thyme; and red-veined sorrel, broccoli and tarragon. Don’t worry, they didn’t forget dessert. Their microgreen ice cream is made out of fennel, coriander, basil or mint with a low-sugar base sweetened with apple juice, apples and lemon juice. Sadly, you can’t get these treats anywhere but Space10 right now, but next time you wish you had a burger, imagine the possibilities. + Space10

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Space10 is taking on fast food with bug-based burgers and meatballs

The melting Arctic is already changing the ocean’s circulation

March 15, 2018 by  
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In the far North Atlantic , scientists have uncovered new evidence that an unusual infusion of freshwater into the ocean may already be affecting the ocean’s circulation. Mostly likely sourced from melting glaciers in Greenland or Arctic sea ice, the freshwater remains on the surface of the ocean for longer than denser saltwater. This could affect the ocean’s natural process known as convection, in which northbound surface water becomes denser and colder, thus sinking then traveling south at great depths. “Until now, models have predicted something for the future … but it was something that seemed very distant,” study lead author Marilena Oltmanns told the Washington Post . “But now we saw with these observations that there is actually freshwater and that it is already affecting convection, and it delays convection quite a lot in some years.” The research team gathered data on Irminger Sea to the southeast of Greenland , where they used ocean moorings to take measurements regarding the circulation of ocean water at key convection sites. While the study does not make any specific predictions regarding how convection may be affected, or how quickly it may change, the conclusion that freshwater from melting glaciers or sea ice may be already affecting convection is noteworthy. In 2010, 40 percent of melted freshwater remained on the surface through winter and into the next year. The staying power of the melted freshwater may suggest a positive feedback loop that could drive further mixing. Related: Pre-industrial carbon found in Canadian Arctic waters “It is possible that there is a threshold, that if there is a lot of freshwater that stays at the surface, and mixes with the new freshwater from the new summer, it suddenly doubles, or increases a lot, and the next winter , it’s a lot more difficult to break through,” said Oltmanns. It is already established that Atlantic circulation has been weaker than average since 2008, with scientists crediting climate change , cyclical patterns, or both. While the changes to convection may occur over time, the latest study indicates that change may occur more rapidly than expected. “There might be a threshold that is crossed, and it’s harder to get back to where we were before,” said Oltmanns. “It’s possible.” Via The Washington Post Images via Depositphotos (1)

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The melting Arctic is already changing the ocean’s circulation

Meet the Monocabin, a tiny home rental mere steps from the Aegean Sea

March 15, 2018 by  
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Milan-based Mandalaki Design Studio has created the gorgeous all-white Monocabin – a prototype for micro-living rentals located on the Greek island of Rhodes. At just over 270 square feet, this micro-home is made out of modular concrete panels and inspired by the island’s traditional architecture – which is simple, clean and cozy. This miniature piece of Greek holiday heaven, which is just steps away from the Aegean Sea, can currently be rented on Airbnb . The Monocabin’s modular concrete panels give the structure a traditional yet modern feel. The interior space, with a “hidden” bedroom and compact kitchen and living area, is simple but elegant. The walls, as well as most of the furnishings, are completely white, exuding an ethereal character. Related: Cool micro studio in Budapest makes the most out of 344 square feet Large and small windows located in every room provide plenty of natural light, reducing the need for artificial lighting. Additionally, Mandalaki’s own solar-powered lights are featured within the project. Outside, the cabin offers a beautiful open-air terrace that pulls double duty as a lounge area where guests can dine al fresco, under trees that provide plenty of shade. The courtyard is open and uncluttered, again paying homage to the simplicity that defines the island’s architecture. According to the architects, the cabins were inspired by idea that the island’s laid-back, minimalist lifestyle could be transported to other parts of the world via architecture. “The dream was to build a livable and modular design object we could place anywhere in the world sharing our design philosophy,” says George Kolliopoulos, co-founder and designer at Mandalaki. “And the story had to begin in Rhodes, my home island.” + Mandalaki Design Studio Via The Spaces Photographs via Mandalaki Design Studio

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Meet the Monocabin, a tiny home rental mere steps from the Aegean Sea

Ryan Zinke claims wind energy contributes to global warming

March 15, 2018 by  
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Wind turbines kill up to 750,000 birds every year, according to Donald Trump’s Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke. There’s one problem with that figure: it’s grossly overstated. Zinke also condemned wind power for its carbon footprint — which he said is significant. Zinke said he is “pro- energy across the board” at the CERAWeek energy industry event recently — but slammed wind power, according to EcoWatch . He said production and transportation of turbines contributes to global warming , but TIME said he overstated the case — especially when compared against other energy sources. They said scientists estimate that during the life cycle of a wind turbine, the typical plant produces “between .02 and .04 pounds of carbon dioxide equivalent per kilowatt-hour of electricity produced. Even at the high end, that’s less than three percent of the emissions from coal -generated electricity and less than seven percent of the emissions from natural gas -generated electricity.” Related: New evidence shows oil and coal were central in the decision to reduce Bears Ears And it is true that wind turbines kill birds, but not as many as Zinke claimed. Take it from the National Audubon Society : director of renewable energy Garry George said wind turbines kill between 140,000 to 328,000 birds per year. The United States Fish and Wildlife Service , which is part of Zinke’s department, has a chart on “Top Common Human-caused Threats to Birds” in the United States with the median/average estimated figure for collisions with wind turbines at 328,000. Meanwhile, cats kill an estimated 1.85 billion birds, building glass 676.5 million birds, and oil pits 750,000 birds. (Those are the median/average estimated figures; see the minimum to maximum ranges on the chart here .) Zinke told his audience of people from oil-producing countries and energy companies, “Interior should not be in the business of being an adversary. We should be in the business of being a partner.” Vox sees it differently. In their view, Trump’s interior secretary spent his first year in the position selling off the rights to America’s public lands . Via TIME and EcoWatch Images via American Public Power Association on Unsplash and Wikimedia Commons

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Ryan Zinke claims wind energy contributes to global warming

IKEA renewable electricity plan could save customers 300 per year

February 23, 2018 by  
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IKEA has set a goal of running on 100 percent renewable energy by 2020 — and they want their customers to live more sustainably too. That’s why they’ve partnered with Big Clean Switch to help people transition to clean power. Using a collective switch model, they’ve secured “an exclusive tariff on 100 percent renewable electricity” — which could save households more than £300 each year . IKEA aims to help people make the change to a renewable electricity provider. According to Big Clean Switch , renewable electricity tariffs work like this: “When you’re on a renewable electricity tariff, your supplier promises to match the amount of electricity you take out of the National Grid by ensuring the same amount of renewable electricity is put in. The more this happens, the greener the Grid should get.” Related: IKEA plans to cut food waste in half by 2020 — here’s how The deal is just for the United Kingdom — but if you live there, you could save hundreds of pounds on your electricity bill each year. Big Clean Switch said making the change is easy; they estimate it will take under five minutes, with no engineer visits necessary, and supply won’t be disrupted. IKEA UK sustainability manager Hege Sæbjørnsen said in a statement, “At IKEA, our commitment to sustainability goes beyond minimizing the impact of our own operations to having a positive impact on the world around us. We want to provide our customers with innovative solutions that will help them live a more sustainable life at home and save money in the short and long term.” IKEA UK started offering solar panels and battery storage for homes last year — we’d love to see the products in the United States! If you live in the UK and want to sign up for the IKEA renewable electricity offer, you can express your interest here . Suppliers will compete to offer their best value tariff, and when the campaign goes live on March 6, IKEA and Big Clean Switch will get in touch with people who expressed interest to let them know the cost. The tariff will only be available from March 6 through March 26. + IKEA + Big Clean Switch Images via Depositphotos and Karsten Würth on Unsplash

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Nissan to debut its self-driving taxis in Japan

February 23, 2018 by  
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Nissan will begin testing its Easy Ride self-driving taxi service in Yokohama , Japan on March 5, 2018, with plans to launch the full service by the start of the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo. In collaboration with Tokyo-based mobile app developer DeNA, Nissan will run the trial service on a 2.8 mile-route running from their headquarters to the Yokohama World Porters shopping center. While limited to start, the opening of Nissan’s Easy Ride service marks an significant step forward into the future of autonomous vehicles and urban transportation. The Easy Ride system is designed to incorporate user interests into its presentation, offering helpful information on points of interest, events, and shops. To build further ties between the self-driving taxi and local business, Easy Ride will offer coupons for recommended restaurants and businesses for users to exchange after they’ve departed their self-driving taxi. Easy Ride will also record feedback from users regarding their ride experience and their opinion on what a fair fare should be. Related: Dubai tests the world’s first autonomous mobility pods Nissan’s initial trial is planned to run for only a few weeks. However, the company plans to conduct further, more extensive tests. Recognizing the need to serve an Olympic -sized constituency as well as Japan’s aging population, the automaker plans to add more routes, implement a multi-lingual interface, and refine arrival and departure procedures over the next two years. To assuage any concerns regarding the safety of the self-driving taxis, Nissan will link each taxi to a remote monitoring center, where workers observe each ride and could take the wheel from afar if necessary. Via Engadget Images via Nissan and aotaro/Flickr

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