Stemming the Tide: Investment, Infrastructure and Innovation in Ocean Plastics

September 16, 2020 by  
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Stemming the Tide: Investment, Infrastructure and Innovation in Ocean Plastics How can investment, infrastructure and innovation help solve ocean plastics? Speakers Dave Ford, Ocean Plastics Leadership Network Ellen Jackowski, HP Dune Ives, Lonely Whale Holly Secon Wed, 09/16/2020 – 01:06 Featured Off

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Stemming the Tide: Investment, Infrastructure and Innovation in Ocean Plastics

How tree-planting startup Propagate Ventures monetizes land conservation

July 9, 2020 by  
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How tree-planting startup Propagate Ventures monetizes land conservation Heather Clancy Thu, 07/09/2020 – 01:30 Earlier this year, when I was chatting with venture capitalist Nancy Pfund of DBL Partners about which new areas of climate solutions were intriguing to her, she pointed to business models that had the potential to monetize land conservation. The example we discussed that day wasn’t one I would think of immediately: Better Place Forests, which is creating what it calls “conservation memorial forests.” It’s a different model for saving trees that takes a cue from the end-of-life industry.  Instead of buying a cemetery or mausoleum plot for cremated ashes, you or your family can pay toward the preservation of a tree —  the fee starts at $2,900. The ashes are mixed with soil at the base, along with a memorial marker. Currently, the company is protecting forests in Northern California and Arizona. But that’s not all: For every person and tree it memorializes, it plants at least 25 impact trees in collaboration with the nonprofit One Tree Planted . And as of July 2019, the company had raised $12 million in early-stage venture funding (led by True Ventures ) to help with its mission. When I started poking around to identify other for-profit ventures in the business of land conservation, two other organizations that have been working with Microsoft jumped to mind, both of which provide technology for mapping and measuring forests : Pachama and Silvia Terra .  In May, I spoke with another intriguing agroforestry startup, Propagate Ventures , part of the fall 2018 cohort at Elemental Excelerator. The company, which recently raised $1.5 million in seed funding from the Grantham Environmental Trust, is focused on helping agricultural operations figure out how to profit from planting trees.  How do we improve the pasture but make sure it isn’t a sink on the wallet? Like Pachama and Silvia Terra, Propagate’s competitive edge is analytics and information. It analyzes the costs of the investment, the potential revenue, the labor implications and the anticipated yield. Co-founder and CEO Ethan Steinberg said the concept is similar to the analysis tool a developer might use to assess the viability of a solar energy project.  “It’s focused on both the economics and the ecological value that is driven,” he told me. That includes formulating plans specific to keeping ownership of the investable assets (trees) separate from the real estate; that’s an important consideration for farmers who lease the land they are working. The idea is to help agricultural operations use land that is otherwise fallow or unused to plant trees, usually intended for fruit, nut or timber cultivation.  When I spoke with Steinberg, the company had more than 20 projects on the books — ranging from livestock producers looking for a source of shade for animals to those growing specialty grain crops who are looking to diversify their income. Most of these organizations so far are in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic regions of the United States, where Propagate is proposing the most ecologically approach options for their particular region. “Farmers shouldn’t transition to something that isn’t viable for their land,” Steinberg said. What’s more, these arrangements generally are structured with a buyer or cultivation partners in place. “We are not having to recreate those relationships from scratch,” he noted. One organization testing out this model is Handsome Brook Farms , a network of pasture-raised egg farms in states including Arkansas, Indiana, Kentucky, New York, Oklahoma and Tennessee. Chickens raised in this manner are free to roam in pastures — generally there are 400 birds to an acre. The farmers sell their eggs to Handsome Brook, which handles the processing and distribution. They have the autonomy to run their own operations, provided they meet the requirements for the pasture-raised model — the network farms are both certified and humane organic. Kristen Wharton, director of strategic planning and development for Handsome Brook, said the idea of incorporating nut trees on certain properties is appealing and it’s testing the idea over the next year with a limited number of farms, starting in Kentucky. The main concern is cost, but many farmers are also leery of managing a secondary project. “How do we improve the pasture but make sure it isn’t a sink on the wallet?” she mused. One possible option is a cost-sharing model, in which Handsome Brook would share some investment or investigate participation in grant programs that support soil health and water quality improvement projects, Wharton said. The top goal is to get the chickens to roam across a larger portion of the property, a habit that would counteract compacted soil and erosion around the barns where the hens take shelter. One question Handsome Brook hopes to answer: “How might this model set us apart?” What other for-profit agroforestry ventures have caught your attention? Share ideas with me at heather@greenbiz.com . This article first appeared in GreenBiz’s weekly newsletter, VERGE Weekly, running Wednesdays. Subscribe  here . Follow me on Twitter: @greentechlady. Pull Quote How do we improve the pasture but make sure it isn’t a sink on the wallet? Topics Food & Agriculture Conservation Featured Column Practical Magic Featured in featured block (1 article with image touted on the front page or elsewhere) Off Duration 0 Sponsored Article Off Fruit nut alley cropping in New York. Courtesy of Propagate Ventures Close Authorship

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How tree-planting startup Propagate Ventures monetizes land conservation

Bush Brothers counts on water reuse to reduce local impact of bean production

May 20, 2020 by  
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Bush Brothers counts on water reuse to reduce local impact of bean production Jesse Klein Wed, 05/20/2020 – 03:20 “There was nothing except a pipe going out the back of the plant.” This was how Rodney Aulick, president of integrated solutions and services at Evoqua Water Technologies, described the wastewater system at Bush Brothers and Company’s Tennessee plant, when it first engaged with the food company. Bush Brothers is the largest manufacturer of prepared beans in the United States, and its work with water treatment titan Evoqua resulted in massive improvements, Aulick said. The plant is now able to reuse much of its water, lowering the strain on the community system and environment as a whole. The company is also better equipped to tightly control its water usage, according to Evoqua.   Bush Brothers, a family-owned business, has been operating in the small community of Chestnut Hill, Tennessee, for over 110 years. The company keeps the community in mind when pushing for new production goals and system upgrades. In 2016, Bush Brothers began working with Evoqua to upgrade its wastewater system to reduce its reliance on public water sources and provide its facility with more capacity, flexibility and reliability. The project was completed in the fall of 2019. For companies such as Bush Brothers, investing in technology to improve the sustainability of its business processes is more than just a good PR move — it’s also a measure necessary to ensure plants can keep operating even through increasing periods of climate extremes. Water, specifically, stopped being an afterthought for Bush Brothers after the 2007 drought in Chestnut Hill. This was the wake-up call the executives needed to replace that pipe with something better.  “They wanted to use that precious water that was going out the back end of their plant, back into the front end,” Aulick said.  To do this, Evoqua and Bush Brothers built a wastewater treatment plant near one of its bean canneries at the Chestnut Hill property. According to Will Sarni, CEO of the Water Foundry, a hyperlocal water recycling plant such as this is still a rare project for U.S. businesses. Bush Brothers’ other facility in August, Wisconsin, has a biogas reuse program in place (as does Chestnut Hill) but the Tennessee facility represents the only water reuse system for the company. They wanted to use that precious water that was going out the back end of their plant, back into the front end. “I think in the U.S, it’s really just a few percentage points in terms of the volume of water,” Sarni said. “This is the exception, not the rule.” The Chestnut Hill facility uses a bioreactor to clean the water, which creates biogas for supplemental energy for the factory. Dissolved flotation and reverse osmosis are used to remove particulate matter from the water.  While the water is clean enough to be used in food processing, most of the recycled water is pumped into the heating and cooling systems, as these represent the largest uses of water in the plant, according to Evoqua. Up to 20 percent of the water Bush Brothers uses is from its reuse system. Terry Farris, director of engineering for Bush Brothers, wrote in an email that his company’s goals were to create redundancy while also making sure the new system would have the capability to accommodate additional flows and alternative waste systems in the future. Evoqua’s strategy when it comes to designing the recycle/reuse facility of an operating plant is to be extremely flexible and quickly adjustable, according to Aulick. That’s because what the plant is making on a morning shift can be vastly different from in 12 hours on a second shift, he said. The product being produced, the step in the process or even the season can drastically affect water usage. The waste plant needs to be ready for those changes, Aulick said. Evoqua noted that during harvest season for Bush Brothers, bean loads are large, which leads to an increase in water volume processing. During the canning season, water volume can be lower but the concentration of contaminants is higher, as the manufacturing is focused on adding spices and preservatives.  “You really have to plan a robust technology that can be adjusted for those unique events,” Aulick said. “You need to have a technology that you can adjust on the fly.” Aulick has seen companies such as Bush Brothers start to look 20 or 30 years into the future. Its leaders and engineers are beginning to address the big questions: Can my facility persevere through a drought? If the company can’t rely on the local government, does the plant have an alternative waste management system?  Farris told GreenBiz that the company knew there would be a high capital investment and operating costs to upgrade the wastewater treatment facility. But the ability to create value from a waste stream would offset the expense and the move toward more sustainable practices was worth the investment, he said. Bush Brothers declined to provide the exact cost of the investment. “It used to be that we drove a lot more of these projects through sales,” Aulick said. “We would help to identify the potential and convince [businesses] that it had a return. Today we see more and more customers on their own saying, ‘I have a sustainability goal.’ What we used to have to push for, we are now getting pulled into.” Pull Quote They wanted to use that precious water that was going out the back end of their plant, back into the front end. Topics Food & Agriculture Water Efficiency & Conservation Food & Agriculture Featured in featured block (1 article with image touted on the front page or elsewhere) Off Duration 0 Sponsored Article Off Bush Brothers installed Evoqua’s wastewater treatment system after experiencing the effects of a local drought in Tennessee.

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Bush Brothers counts on water reuse to reduce local impact of bean production

How to properly and safely dispose of these 10 items in your home

February 10, 2020 by  
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Toxic chemicals, e-waste, light bulbs and batteries are just a few common household items that exit our homes and can end up in the landfill , where they may or may not break down or leach into the soil and water. Equally concerning is the potential for broken glass and chemicals to cause problems to sanitation workers, the water system and wildlife. Even when you make the best purchasing decisions upfront, you will eventually find yourself with toxic household waste. Before tossing items in the trash, check out these disposal options for items like batteries and paint that are safer for the planet. Tires Because most automotive, tractor and machine tires are a mixture of rubber and steel, they can’t be recycled without separating those components. As a result, you will likely have to pay to drop them somewhere. The landfill is one option, but you can commonly return them to a local tire center. Regardless of where you take it, the fee typically ranges from $2-10 per tire, so consider upcycling those old radials into a property border or flower bed divider. Related: EWG warns ‘forever chemicals’ are contaminating US drinking water at levels far worse than expected Light bulbs Your local recycling center probably accepts spent CFL light bulbs. Because CFL bulbs contain a small amount of mercury, it’s important that they are properly disposed of. Most large home improvement stores also provide a return option for CFLs and basic fluorescent bulbs. Depending on your local recycling center, LED or incandescent bulbs may be recyclable with your glass items. You can also visit Pinterest for ideas on ways to repurpose bulbs. Batteries The best option when it comes to batteries is to make the investment in rechargeable batteries. When they wear out, look for drop boxes at your local home improvement and office supply stores. For single-use household batteries, you can return them during city household waste collection events, or your recycling center may have a drop spot. Some home improvement stores also provide a drop location. Car, tractor and motorcycle batteries are easily recyclable at any retailer that sells them. You will likely even get a core refund for returning them. Check with automotive repair locations, car part stores or your local Battery Exchange. Electronics When the stereo, computer, TV or cell phone bites the dust, skip the landfill and head to the recycling center. You may need to separate the cords and/or batteries from the laptop or TV remote, but most components are accepted at these locations. Also check with the manufacturing company or service provider. For example, Apple and many cell phone companies will accept old devices for recycling, and some even offer a credit for it. Medications Expired and unneeded medications are absorbed into the soil and waterways if flushed down the toilet. They are also a danger to children and pets, so proper disposal is important. Most local police stations accept medications, and they can be returned at city waste collection events. The U.S. DEA also provides an annual National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day in conjunction with local law enforcement agencies. Stains and paints The good news is that modern paints and stains are formulated to last, so you can finish up the can while doing touch ups or other projects, even years down the road. If you’re moving and have to come up with a quick yet responsible disposal method, visit your local Habitat for Humanity reStore, where it will reformulate the paint for resale. Another option is to allow the paint to dry in the can, either naturally or with the aid of a commercial paint-dry product. Once dry, it can be thrown out with the rest of your garbage without a risk of contamination, although we do recommend using it entirely or donating it for resell before turning to the landfill. Related: 6 of the best places to donate your things Cleaning products Between glass cleaner and furniture polish, household cleaners have a way of accumulating. So when you pull out the last of the carpet and no longer need carpet spot cleaner or you make the switch to natural cleaners and need to do away with your old bottles, keep an eye out for that city waste collection event. For cleaners you can still use, try to use them up and recycle the container when you can. Also consider giving away any cleaners you no longer want, but note that most donation centers will not accept them, so offer them to friends, family and co-workers. Lawn and garden products Insecticides and pesticides should not be added to the garbage, where they can leak into water systems and soil. The same goes for the old oil and gasoline from your lawn mower and other equipment. This type of pollution will impact plants, animals and humans. Hold onto any lawn and garden chemicals for the next household waste round-up to return them responsibly. Personal care products If you find your bathroom cabinets and shelves full of old skincare , fragrances or nail polish you don’t want anymore, it is important to dispose of them properly, especially if they are from your pre-green beauty days. Unused, unexpired products may be suitable for donation. Otherwise, do not dump products in the sink or toilet. Check with your local hazardous household waste facility to see if it can accept your items. If you must, put all of the contents of the containers into one jar and place it in the garbage. Eyeglasses Whether you’ve undergone laser eye surgery or upgraded your style, eyewear is another common household item that may no longer be serving its purpose. Fortunately, there are many ways to donate old eyeglasses where they can provide the gift of sight and keep them out of the landfills. Lyons Clubs International, New Eyes (a division of United Way), OnSight and Eyes of Hope are all options. You can also drop eyeglass lenses and frames at most optical centers or local drop boxes, or donate them to a thrift store. Via Earth 911 and EPA.gov Images via Shutterstock

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Sustainable holiday gift ideas for your friends

December 4, 2019 by  
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Help your friends start 2020 on the right foot with new ideas for ways to live a more eco-friendly lifestyle. Check out our guide below to give every friend on your list the gift of sustainability this holiday season. Cookbooks The modern cooking world is full of imaginative ways to lower your environmental footprint while producing delicious, unique dishes. Depending on what your gift recipient is into, you can choose from books about everything from zero-waste cooking and vegetarianism to vegan recipes and ethical cooking. Cooking with Scraps: Turn Your Peels, Cores, Rinds, and Stems into Delicious Meals takes those everyday items that are notorious for waste (coffee grinds, watermelon rinds and banana peels, just to name a few) and turns them into complete recipes. Headphones The stylish headphones from House of Marley are made from sustainable materials such as FSC-certified wood , stainless steel, recyclable aluminum and soft natural leather. The company offers both comfortable, over-the-ear options as well as smaller earbud sets. Not into the headphone idea? House of Marley also offers a line of eco-friendly turntables and Bluetooth speakers built from natural bamboo and organic cork. Best of all, the company’s biodegradable products don’t sacrifice sound quality. Learn more about House of Marley with our review for the 2019 Exodus headphones . Reusable bags It’s no secret that making the switch to reusable bags for shopping and groceries is one of the easiest ways to work toward living a zero-waste life. Plus, there are so many colors and designs to choose from, making it easier than ever to make this gift more personal. Go a step further and choose a multipurpose reusable bag, like this one from ROV that goes from wallet to tote bag in seconds. Related: How to easily make your own reusable produce bags Plant-based or reusable coffee pods Convenient coffee pods have become wildly popular among coffee-lovers. Unfortunately, most of these single-use pods end up in landfills or the ocean after being tossed in the trash. If you have a friend or family member who has already made the investment in a pricey machine designed to use pods, get them hooked on a brew that comes in eco-friendly packaging. You can find reusable metal pods and even compostable coffee capsules, like those from Volcano Coffee Works . Reusable straws set For those friends who just have to have a straw in their beverages, the gift of a reusable, pocket-sized straw could be life-changing. Reusable straws come in all shapes, sizes and materials, from stainless steel to silicone to bamboo. Just make sure to purchase one that comes with a handy carrying case and an accompanying brush to keep the straw clean. Heading to or hosting a holiday party? Blow everyone’s minds by bringing a box of biodegradable straws made out of hay . Skincare Many conscious consumers are making the switch to skincare and beauty products made from all-natural, organic and cruelty ingredients and packaged in reusable or recyclable materials. To get some inspiration, check out our reviews of the best beauty retailers from the 2019 Indie Beauty Expo in Los Angeles. Choose from natural sunscreens, reusable sheet masks, vegan hair products, items from charitable companies and more. Kombucha starter kit Introduce someone to the wonderful world of gut-benefiting probiotics with an at-home kombucha starter kit. For someone who is just starting out, a kit can be a good way of saving some money instead of buying the fancy, packaged bottles from the store. There are plenty of options for kombucha starter kits available online or in health food stores around the country, but some of the more popular kits include ones from GetKombucha and the Kombucha Shop . Wellness subscriptions For health nuts or wellness-focused friends, a health or wellness subscription might be just what the doctor ordered. You can easily get a gift certificate or class passes if they are already fans of a particular gym or studio, or choose a brand new subscription based on their particular interests. Pro tip: head to Groupon to see if there are any holiday deals on wellness subscriptions in the gift recipient’s area. For other wellness subscription ideas, CauseBox curates and delivers a selection of sustainable, eco-friendly and socially conscious products four times per year, and DailyBurn is an online workout video database with thousands of virtual exercise classes to choose from. Related: 14 apps to help you live a more sustainable lifestyle Plastic-free diffuser Using essential oil diffusers for aromatherapy is widely considered to be beneficial to physical and emotional health. Increased demand for these little machines means that there are quite a few cheaply made ones on the market, which might not achieve the desired results from your high-quality oils. Organic Aromas makes beautiful diffusers that use cool-mist technology with no heat, no water and no plastic. As an added bonus, these diffusers will look like pieces of art on the coffee table. Images via Heather Ford , Katherine Gallagher / Inhabitat, Sincerely Media , Volcano Coffee Works , Louise Burton , Ongchinonn , Megumi Nachev , Anupam Mahapatra , Anke Sundermeier and Mel Poole

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Hannah Franco and Nancy Taylor celebrate sustainable fashion with poque volution

June 25, 2019 by  
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Friends Nancy Taylor and Hannah Franco were traveling together in Morocco when they got the idea. Nancy couldn’t help but notice that Hannah could fit everything she needed into one backpack, whether they were traveling, trekking or going out to dinner. The result was époque evolution , a sustainable fashion company focused on creating eco-friendly, versatile clothes made from organic, upcycled, deadstock and post-consumer waste recycled fibers. They work with mills and factories that are committed to ethical practices and a smaller collective carbon footprint. To top it all off, the clothes are beautifully low-maintenance (goodbye, dry cleaning and toxic chemicals ). A review of the époque évolution clothing I got a chance to try the best-selling Orion Leggings and the Go To Tank for myself, and let me say I have found my new wardrobe staples. These pants have the power to turn the humble legging from what was previously a simple, lazy solution to a dependable companion for really any activity ( yoga class , traveling, grabbing some dinner and so on). The slit on the bottom gives it an added fashion appeal as well as the ability to show off your footwear in a trendy way. The Go To Tank has a slight opening in the back, which isn’t totally noticeable but provides some much-needed breathability if you’re wearing it to hike or work out. You could easily dress it up, as the merino wool fabric is antimicrobial and thermo-regulating (meaning going straight from the gym to anywhere else is completely doable). Even better, it’s made from deadstock material, meaning the fabric would have otherwise ended up in the landfill . Related: The sustainable wardrobe — it’s more accessible than you think The leggings are crafted from econyl®, a 100 percent recycled nylon fiber made from old fishnets and carpets, and the tank is made from a deadstock wool blend of 80 percent wool merino and 20 percent polyester. Both are machine washable and quick-drying. What’s more, my Orion Leggings and Go To Tank came packaged in a biodegradable mailer from The Better Packaging Co . At $98 and $68 respectively, the leggings and tank may take a chunk out of your paycheck, but once you consider the quality, eco-consciousness and ethical ramifications, you’ll be happy you’ve made the investment. They go with practically everything, so you’ll spend less time choosing what to wear and more time living your life, enjoying the outdoors or exploring. An interview with the founders Check out our interview with the founding members, Nancy Taylor and Hannah Franco, below. Inhabitat: What was the inspiration behind creating a line of clothes using sustainable fabrics? Nancy Taylor: I am incredibly passionate about changing the fashion industry and disrupting its outdated practices. After spending years of my career working in the corporate fashion world and traveling overseas to visit factories, I was hopeful that there was a different model for doing business. Since then, I’ve been focused on trying to be part of the solution, rather than contributing to an already toxic industry. Hannah Franco: It’s time. The industry needs a change, and we wanted to offer a unique take on sustainability. We believe eco can be chic, easy-care and impressively functional. Incorporating these elements, we set out to create products that make shopping sustainably an obvious choice for customers. Inhabitat: What are some of your favorite fabrics that the company works with? Taylor: I’m a huge fan of merino wool in general and am particularly obsessed with our perennial wool fabrication. It’s blended with a recycled poly and it’s also machine washable, which means no dry cleaning! Franco: Nancy took the words out of my mouth — I’m addicted to merino wool. It’s quick-drying and antimicrobial — in other words, it doesn’t stink — and anything that makes my life easier is considered a win in my book. Our new organic cotton is creeping up as a favorite now, as well. Our Oeko-Tex certified Standard 1000-certified finish keeps the cotton looking perfectly crisp all day, and I do love a breezy white shirt. Inhabitat: Fashion is one of the most environmentally damaging industries. Can you talk about the sustainable practices, factories and ethical treatment of workers you implement in your production process? Taylor: It was a big topic of discussion when we first launched — identifying and implementing our parameters for what we have called “responsible” production. This encompasses our raw materials, the factories and the people that produce our clothes, all the way down to our packaging . The hard part was that these choices weren’t always black and white. For example, our evolve soft fabric is not a recycled raw material, but the production mill’s best practices are really amazing and include using state-of-the-art, eco-compatible technologies in a fully solar-powered facility. In the end, it was a better choice than working with a large mill using only recycled raw materials without carefully taking into account their entire environmental footprint. We aim to look at the complete picture and tell that story, educating the customer on why her choices matter. Inhabitat: With fast fashion , another practice negatively impacting the environment, what is the importance of investing in high-quality clothes like your products and moving away from the cheap stuff? Taylor: Investment pieces that last and key staples that women will wear again and again are the focus of our brand. You don’t need more clothes, just the right clothing that functions well. We share this narrative with our customers and show them how to style a piece season after season. Franco: There are already enough clothes out there. We wanted to contribute in an area where we felt the industry could be moved forward — clothing produced more sustainably and offering greater function. When you invest in quality pieces that you wear season after season, you have more time to live your life and focus on better things (e.g., spending time with family and friends, pursuing boss lady career goals) than stressing over a wardrobe. Plus, packing for travel is a breeze when you rock minimalist style. Inhabitat: What is the significance of your clothes being low-maintenance as well? Taylor: We all live incredibly busy lives, and a woman’s clothing should never slow her down. The easier a wardrobe is to care for, the more time this gives her back in her day. Franco: The low-maintenance and versatility of our products go hand in hand. For example, our jet set trouser is a perfect work pant, but it’s also ideal for any travel destination, and you can even hop on the yoga mat in them. Just because a piece of clothing is low-maintenance doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice style. You can have both! + époque évolution Images via époque évolution

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Hannah Franco and Nancy Taylor celebrate sustainable fashion with poque volution

Episode 176: Investors dive into water risks, IKEA’s low-carbon shipping manifest

June 14, 2019 by  
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In this episode, Ceres director of investor engagement Monika Frayman chats about why the investment community is scrutinizing corporate water strategy. Plus, IKEA’s Angela Hultberg ponders the company’s early experiences with electric vehicles and last-mile delivery.

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Episode 176: Investors dive into water risks, IKEA’s low-carbon shipping manifest

‘Banking’ water surges in communities facing water stress

June 14, 2019 by  
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Groundwater recharge is the latest wave in water security.

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‘Banking’ water surges in communities facing water stress

Improving food cold chains for farmers and citizens in India

June 14, 2019 by  
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New research shows that temperature-controlling supply chains can cut food waste and boost public health in the country.

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Improving food cold chains for farmers and citizens in India

Keep your tiny home safe with these 9 security tips

April 8, 2019 by  
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Tiny home security is becoming a major concern amid a recent slew of thefts. Given the mobile nature of tiny homes, people have been hooking them up to their trucks and driving away with them. The majority of these stolen tiny homes have been recovered, but it is still unnerving to think that people can steal your entire home in a matter of minutes. Luckily, there are plenty of things you can do to keep your tiny home from being stolen. From locking hitches to installing motion detectors and cameras , here are a few tiny home security tips that will give you peace of mind. Related: Is a tiny home right for you? Lock The Hitch According to Tiny House Blog , the easiest way to prevent your tiny home from being carted away is to buy a hitch lock. These handy devices will stop people from unhitching your tiny home trailer. It also prevents someone from hooking up to the trailer and driving away, which would obviously be just as bad. Hitch Block Speaking of hitches, you can always block access to it entirely. After all, if the trailer hitch is completely blocked off, nobody will be able tow it away. You either buy a hitch block or make one yourself, depending on your budget . Lock The Wheels Wheel locks are another great way to keep your tiny home from unintentionally rolling away. Traffic police use these same devices for cars that are parked illegally, and removing them without the proper tools is a lot of work. Apart from the key, someone would need some heavy duty equipment to remove the lock, which will deter most criminals. The downside to wheel locks is that they can be expensive to purchase outright. But considering how much you could lose if your entire home is stolen, the investment is well worth it. GPS Technology In the event that criminals bypass your security measures, having a GPS device hidden in the home will lead you right to it. Several companies make tracking devices specifically for tiny homes, so there are plenty of options on the market to fit your needs. The majority of these devices feature a monitoring service that keeps tabs on everything for you. They usually run under $25 a month, which is not bad considering it might be one of the best ways to locate your home if it is stolen. If you do have a tracker on your home, you should always work with local law enforcement when recovering the home. Dog Power Many criminals are deterred by dogs , primarily because they are either intimidating looking or they create a lot of noise. Either way, having a dog or two on the premises could be what ultimately scares off a potential thief. While dogs, both large and small, can help discourage intruders, they should not be the primary line of defense for your tiny home. Motion Lights There are few things that would-be thieves love more than cover, especially when they are scoping out a potential target. Motion lights are great at scaring away thieves or, at the very least, making them think twice about stealing from you. Not only can these lights illuminate potential hiding places around your home, but they can also stop creepers in their tracks. There are plenty of options on the market when it comes to motion lights. For most tiny home owners, battery operated products are the best because they can be installed just about anywhere and do not require any electrical wiring. Related: This tiny home allows a family of 3 to go off the grid in Maui Securing Your Tiny Home When it comes to securing your home, Tiny Home Builders recommends installing locks on all exterior doors and windows. You can start by buying for your front door. Just about any window lock will do as tiny home windows are usually built better than ones found in RVs and most mobile homes. Smart Technology Smart home technology has made it easier than ever to keep track of your home security. You can even purchase DIY systems that include both motion detectors and sound sensors. These input devices will send you messages on your phone whenever they detect suspicious activity. The one negative to using smart technology is that they require constant power and an internet connection to function. If WiFi is not available near your tiny home, this might not be a viable option for you. Security Cameras Having visible security cameras around your home is the best way to prevent theft. You can choose a system that either stores video on a local hard drive or on a cloud-based server. You usually get better quality with a local storage system, though being able to upload to the cloud means you can access it whenever you want. If you opt for installing a security camera to bolster your tiny home security, make sure you put up a sign so that thieves are well aware that they are being monitored at all times. Images via Shutterstock

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