NAWA reveals hybrid electric motorcycle at CES 2020

January 20, 2020 by  
Filed under Eco, Green

It’s not the first electric motorcycle on the market, but the NAWA Racer is currently the most talked about after a big reveal at CES 2020 in Las Vegas. The new tech kid on the block, a French firm called NAWA, has developed a prototype with a body style based on London’s speedy cafe motorcycles from the 1960s. While the sleek design is eye-catching, the innovation hidden within the outer appearance is what makes this motorcycle so unique. Where most electric vehicles rely on lithium-ion for power, NAWA has developed an ultracapacitor that improves performance on nearly every level. For starters, the ultracapacitor can charge and discharge quickly, endless times over. This propels the bike from 0 mph to 60 mph in less than 3 seconds. While the ultracapacitor provides stellar power, it works in conjunction with conventional lithium-ion batteries and allows a 93-mile ride per charge. Related: Harley-Davidson LiveWire electric motorcycle debuts at CES The hybrid ultracapacitor system can reduce the size of the lithium-ion battery by up to half or extend the range by up to double. This is exciting for city riding, which is where the NAWA Racer really excels in efficiency. With the ability to recharge in seconds by recycling energy from the stop-and-go braking of driving in traffic, the energy can last up to 186 miles without recharging. Regenerative braking produces a lot of energy, up to 80% of which is reused for power. The ultracapacitor also provides a fast recharge, allowing the bike to reach 80% of full charge within an hour from a home supply outlet. NAWA fully intends to scale the hybrid technology to other vehicles in the near future. “The NAWA Racer is our vision for the electric motorbike of tomorrow — a retro-inspired machine but one that is thoroughly modern,” said Ulrik Grape, CEO of NAWA Technologies. “It is lightweight, fast and fun, perfect for an emission-free city commute that will put a smile on your face. But it also lays down a blueprint for the future. NAWA Technologies’ next-gen ultracapacitors have unleashed the potential of the hybrid battery system — and this design of powertrain is fully scaleable. There is no reason why this cannot be applied to a larger motorbike or car or other electric vehicle. What is more, this technology could go into production in the very near future.” + NAWA Images via NAWA

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NAWA reveals hybrid electric motorcycle at CES 2020

Modern farmhouse in Italy pays homage to its agricultural surroundings

January 20, 2020 by  
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Tucked into the rolling wheat fields of the Italian region of Le Marche, the Border Crossing House is a private residence that pays homage to the area’s rich agricultural history. Designed by Italian firm Simone Subissati Architects, the project manages to skillfully blend a traditional barn volume with several contemporary features, creating a light-filled family home that fits respectfully into its idyllic setting. Located in Polverigi, just outside of Ancona, the Border Crossing House is set on a ridge looking out over expansive fields of wheat. According to the architects, this bucolic location set the tone for the design, which deftly manages to “border” the vernacular aesthetics of both urban and rural architecture. Related: Old Belgian barn is transformed into a gorgeous contemporary home The home’s rectangular volume with an asymmetrical, double-pitched roof, runs from east to west, creating a strong silhouette up on the hill. The exterior cladding, which is made primarily of steel , separates the white upper floor from the ground floor, which was painted in a deep red coating. The home’s classic barn-like volume is broken up, however, by various slatted openings on the roof. These eye-catching slats of different shapes and functions were installed throughout the design as a way of creating a seamless connection between the home and its stunning landscape, which includes fields of wheat, barley, beans and sunflowers. Lead architect, Simone Subissati explained, “The idea was to overflow, to break the boundaries, without following conventions whereby the private living space is separated from the agricultural workspace.” Throughout the two-story home, the layout was designed to be what the architect refers to as a “straightforward simplicity, a true essentially that is very different from today’s trendy poetic of minimalism .” According, the home is functional, efficient and comfortable while maintaining a vibrant, contemporary feel. The ground floor comprises an open-plan living area with a spacious living room, kitchen and spa . A wooden staircase leads to the upper floor, which houses the bedrooms. Protected by a simple chicken coop net, an indoor balcony leads to a central area, where a winter garden and a second living room are located. The second floor is covered with a micro-perforated membrane that allows natural light to brighten the house during the day. At night, the upper part of the home appears to glow from within. The home was also built to passive and bioclimatic standards that created a tight thermal mass for the winter months and a natural cooling system in the warm, summer months. The various openings provide ample cross ventilation, so much so that the home needs no air conditioning to stay cool. A rainwater collection system was also installed and includes several underground storage tanks. + Simone Subissati Architects Via ArchDaily Photography by Alessandro Magi Galluzzi via Simone Subissati Architects

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Modern farmhouse in Italy pays homage to its agricultural surroundings

Microsoft’s quest to go ‘carbon negative’ inspires $1B fund

January 17, 2020 by  
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Bold new commitment will see the tech giant charge an internal carbon fee not just on emissions from its direct operations, but on those of its supply chain.

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Microsoft’s quest to go ‘carbon negative’ inspires $1B fund

Wearable garden vest is nourished by wearer’s own urine

January 14, 2020 by  
Filed under Eco, Green, Recycle

Are you looking to spruce up your wardrobe this spring? Well, we’ve got the season’s eco-fashion garment for you — a wearable garden vest that thrives on your urine. Created by designer Aroussiak Gabrielian , the lush “garden cloak” concept was inspired as a potential solution to crop scarcity around the globe. With the potential to grow up to 40 crops, the green vest is irrigated by urine filtered through reverse osmosis. According to Gabrielian, the living garments are supposed to reconnect the food producer and consumer in order to foster a more self-reliant and resilient food production system .”The habitats are essentially cloaks of plant life that are intended to provide sustenance to the wearer, as well as flourish as expanding ecosystems that attract and integrate other animal and insect life,” Gabrielian said. Related: New biofabricated clothing made from algae goes through photosynthesis just like plants Recently unveiled at the Rome Sustainable Food Project, each cloak is an individual microhabitat made up of several layers. The multi-layered system is made up of moisture-retention felt and a drip and capillary irrigation layer, followed by the sprouting plant system . The living ecosystem layer is made up of plants, including herbs, greens, fruits, vegetables, legumes and fungi, that require sun and water as inputs. Another layer is made up of pollinators , which are essential to creating a fully sustainable crop output. The garden vests are outfitted with an integral system that recycles human waste, primarily urine. Collected via a built-in catheter, urine is stored, filtered and used to irrigate the plants. An innovative osmosis system, originally developed by NASA, converts urine into water by draining it through a semi-permeable membrane that filters out salt and ammonia. Working with a team made up of microgreens researcher Grant Calderwood, fashion designer Irene Tortora, Chris Behr from the Rome Sustainable Food Project and collaborator Alison Hirsh, Gabrielian’s  innovative project was made possible thanks to funding from the American Academy in Rome. Additionally, the grow lights were donated by PHILIPS. + Aroussiak Gabrielian Images via Aroussiak Gabrielian

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Wearable garden vest is nourished by wearer’s own urine

Impossible Foods debuts plant-based pork at CES

January 9, 2020 by  
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Impossible Foods has unveiled its newest meatless product, Impossible Pork. The Silicon Valley-based company continues to break ground since launching the Impossible Burger in 2016 to help minimize the use of animals as a food source. The Impossible Pork debuted at the recent Las Vegas CES 2020 event, renowned as the largest digital technology show worldwide. The Impossible Pork is gluten-free with reduced fat and no cholesterol. Even better for eco-minded consumers is the Impossible Pork’s smaller carbon footprint . According to the Impossible Foods website, “Animal agriculture uses a tremendous amount of the world’s natural resources,” particularly land, water and energy. By comparison, creating a plant-based pork substitute is a more sustainable process. It reduces not only the deforestation associated with animal agriculture but also minimizes carbon emissions and water usage. Related: Impossible Burger is now available in grocery stores Venturing into pork was a natural decision for the company. As CEO Pat Brown explained on an Impossible Pork promotional video, “Beef is popular around the world. But in many cultures, the most popular and familiar and common dishes use pork as the main source of meat. So, for us to have an impact in those markets, pork was a necessity.” Brown elaborated further, “Our mission is to completely replace animals in the food system by 2035, and expanding our impact globally is a critical part of that. Impossible Pork is also an amazingly delicious product that consumers around the world, who love dishes that are traditionally made with pork, will finally be able to serve to their families without the catastrophic environmental impact.” The Impossible Pork aims to reach new consumers, particularly in China, according to the New York Times and Grist . The meatless product is also halal and kosher, meaning it can be enjoyed by many people worldwide. “Pork is delicious and ubiquitous — but problematic for billions of people and the planet at large,” said Laura Kliman , senior flavor scientist at Impossible Foods. “By contrast, everyone will be able to enjoy Impossible Pork, without compromise to deliciousness, ethics or Earth.” On the Impossible Pork’s heels will be the Impossible Sausage’s launch at Burger King in late January. The Impossible Sausage will be featured in the BK Croissan’wich. + Impossible Foods Image via Impossible Foods

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Impossible Foods debuts plant-based pork at CES

How 16 initiatives are changing urban agriculture through tech and innovation

January 2, 2020 by  
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From high-tech indoor farms in France and Singapore to mobile apps connecting urban growers and eaters in India and the United States, here are more than a dozen initiatives using tech, entrepreneurship, and social innovation to change urban agriculture.

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How 16 initiatives are changing urban agriculture through tech and innovation

Thrift-store shoppers, hand-me-down wearers and 8 scrappy startups making reuse possible

December 23, 2019 by  
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Today’s burgeoning recommerce and online rental markets offer high-end gadgets and swanky fashion.

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Thrift-store shoppers, hand-me-down wearers and 8 scrappy startups making reuse possible

The fruit of the future is 3D-printed and packed with vitamins and minerals

December 20, 2019 by  
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With global bee populations dwindling at an astonishing rate, there is a risk that produce supplies will be diminished at some point in the near future. A new generation of innovators, such as Bezalel Academy of Art and Design graduate Meydan Levy , are coming up with food alternatives to prepare for the worst-case scenario. Levy designed Neo Fruits, a collection of artificial fruits made out of 3D-printed cellulose skins and filled with a healthy mix of vitamins and minerals. According to Levy, the inspiration to design the artificial fruit stemmed from the need to explore new and feasible ways to feed the world’s burgeoning population. The idea was to create an appealing alternative that would serve two purposes: to create an ecological food producing sector and to improve nutrition. Related: Innovative orange juicer 3D prints bioplastic cups out of leftover orange peels To kick off the experimental culinary project , Levy first worked with several nutritionists to develop blends of vitamins and minerals for each fruit concept. The resulting combinations are intended to fully meet the human body’s wide range of nutritional needs. Once the nutritional impact of the fruit was conceived, the next step was creating the fruit itself. Using innovative, 3D printing techniques, Levy created the outer shell of the fruit from translucent cellulose, an organic compound that gives all plants their structures. The cellulose skins are printed in a flat, compressed form, but once the nutrient-rich liquids are added via built-in arteries, they take on a plump, fruit-like appearance. In an interview with Dezeen , Levy explained that the process is actually quite sensible and sustainable , because when the dry fruit is flat, it is lightweight, meaning that it has a long shelf life and can be easily transported. “Adding the liquids and activating the fourth dimension gives the fruit life, because from that moment, it can be eaten,” Levy explained. “The liquid becomes the biological clock of the fruit and gives it a certain life, meaning it will remain at its best for a limited but pre-planned time.” Currently, Neo Fruit is comprised of five distinct fruits. One is made up of a series of small pods strung together like molecules. Much like an artichoke leaf, the eater has to open it up and scrape the contents out with their teeth. There is also a passion fruit-inspired option. Divided into three segments, this fruit’s interior pulp is held together by a colorful outer skeleton. Each fruit has a distinct taste depending on its contents. To create the unique flavors, Levy worked with several chefs that specialize in molecular cooking to create the fruits’ colors, textures and tastes. + Meydan Levy Via Dezeen Images via Meydan Levy

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The fruit of the future is 3D-printed and packed with vitamins and minerals

2019, the year analog water solutions died

December 17, 2019 by  
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Analog is not quite gone, but digital solutions are nearly mainstream

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2019, the year analog water solutions died

Climate Neutral Certification labels products with minimized carbon footprints

December 13, 2019 by  
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The idea of the Climate Neutral Certification is a simple one — give businesses the opportunity to identify their carbon emissions and then reduce them and pay for programs that offset them. Climate Neutral, an independent, nonprofit organization, monitors the entire process and provides a unique certification for companies that meet all four criteria. The certification can then be displayed on products and/or their packages, making it simple for consumers to support brands that practice corporate responsibility for the planet. The proposed Climate Neutral Certification consists of four elements that businesses need to meet in order to earn the esteemed Climate Neutral label. Measure Measuring a total carbon footprint involves evaluating every step in the manufacturing process, including material production, power and water requirements, packaging, shipping and more. Climate Neutral helps businesses measure their carbon footprint to meet a uniform standard. Related: PaperTale app shows the ethics and sustainability of clothing with a simple scan Reduce With a carbon footprint number in hand, businesses are then challenged to reduce it. That process might include reducing packaging, using more earth-friendly materials, finding less impactful shipping methods or powering manufacturing processes with solar energy . Offset At this stage, the emissions that cannot be reduced or eliminated must be offset. That means these companies pay other companies to remove carbon from the air or keep it from getting there in the first place (like by planting trees or investing in wind turbines .) Carbon Neutral monitors the payment of these offsets and ensures they are invested in verifiable carbon offset projects. Label Once a company completes the first three steps, it earns the Climate Neutral Certification and can display the label proudly on its products. Benefits of the certification This entire process has advantages for everyone involved. First of all, it empowers businesses to be transparent about their manufacturing processes, material sourcing and consumption. Plus, a company’s investment to reduce carbon emissions is also an investment in a loyal customer base. The certification also a powerful tool for consumers who want to be more conscientious about their purchases but don’t always have the information they need to make good purchasing decisions. Simply look for the label. Thirdly, and perhaps the most obvious, is that the Climate Neutral Certification is good for the environment, because it supports organizations working directly toward carbon reductions and makes it more accessible for consumers to choose eco-friendly products. At least 50 brands have already signed up and earned the certification, and Climate Neutral would like to expand that number into the thousands as soon as possible. To support the effort, it has launched a now fully funded Kickstarter campaign (ends December 12, 2019). + Climate Neutral Images via Climate Neutral

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Climate Neutral Certification labels products with minimized carbon footprints

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