Teen replants hundreds of mangroves that were destroyed by Hurricane Irma

April 11, 2018 by  
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18-year-old Theo Quenee saw Hurricane Irma’s impact in Florida firsthand and realized that the devastated  mangroves might not be able to make a comeback. So the local teen started growing the plants — 524 of them — from seeds he collected around his home for replanting, Mother Nature Network (MNN) reported . After around seven months, he began transplanting the mangroves to a sandbar and mud flat in Miami . My amazing little brother has been growing over 400 red mangrove shoots he collected after Hurricane Irma. Today, 7 months later, he planted over half of the seedlings in a coastal area that had been badly affected by the storm, and I really couldn’t be prouder. from r/pics Mangrove forests “stabilize the coastline, reducing erosion from storm surges, currents, waves, and tides,” according to the National Ocean Service . But the 2017 hurricane wasn’t kind to Florida’s mangroves. Quenee told MNN, “After the hurricane there was a massive amount of [mangrove] seedlings mixed within the seaweed/debris mixture. Everything was then going to be gathered and thrown in a truck to dump at a landfill. I realized that all of South Florida would ultimately kill thousands of mangroves in the clean-up process.” Related: Meet the teen planting 150 trees for every person on Earth Quenee had grown mangroves in the past, and had learned about the plants in marine science classes in high school. He began to rescue mangroves, collecting ones in parking lots and streets the hurricane had damaged. He placed the plants in recycled yogurt bins. He told MNN, “I live in an area with a lot of trees , so the roof of my house was the only place that got the sunlight. I started with all 524 of them all at once…I knew that they grew best with humidity, so I designed a simple greenhouse with a big platter and a five-gallon bucket.” I've taken a little Instagram break in the last two weeks. Time to hop back on the creating game! New content on the way! Comment what you would like to want to see more of in 2018! ?- @mindmeetscamera / @michaelrodiles A post shared by T H E O Q U E N E E (@theo_quenee) on Jan 5, 2018 at 12:42pm PST After seven months of cultivation, the plants were ready to return to the wild. Some friends helped him move the mangroves to the Miami sandbar. He told MNN he’s working to obtain any additional permits required, although he said some officials passed by as he was planting the mangroves and they were happy to see his work. A Florida International University freshman, Quenee aims to pursue videography and photography as a career (check out his work on his Instagram ). But conservation will still be one of his priorities; he told MNN, “…in the future I also want to change the way we consume single-use plastics and teach younger generations and communities how to properly conserve our environments .” Via Mother Nature Network Image via Depositphotos

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Teen replants hundreds of mangroves that were destroyed by Hurricane Irma

ESA launches world’s first mission to explore the "atmospheres of hundreds of planets"

March 23, 2018 by  
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Behold a brand new era of space exploration. The European Space Agency (ESA) just selected the Atmospheric Remote-sensing Infrared Exoplanet Large-survey (ARIEL) mission from three candidates to launch what Nature describes as the “world’s first space telescope dedicated to studying the atmospheres of exoplanets.” The four-year, $552 million will launch on the Ariane 6 rocket in 2028. The agency said we’ve found thousands of exoplanets with a massive range of sizes, masses, and orbits, but we haven’t uncovered a pattern connecting such characteristics to the parent star’s nature. “In particular, there is a gap in our knowledge of how the planet’s chemistry is linked to the environment where it formed, or whether the type of host star drives the physics and chemistry of the planet’s evolution,” according to ESA. Related: Kepler data reveals 20 potential habitable worlds ESA plans to zero in on hot and warm planets, “ranging from super-Earths to gas giants orbiting close to their parent stars.” Nature said a spectograph will scrutinize light filtering through an exoplanet’s atmosphere while it passes by its host star, “revealing chemical fingerprints of gases that shroud the body.” ARIEL could detect signs of water vapor, methane, and carbon dioxide, and also measure exotic metallic compounds. ESA says such findings could help place an exoplanet in context of a host star’s chemical environment. ESA Director of Science Günther Hasinger said in the statement, “ARIEL is a logical next step in exoplanet science, allowing us to progress on key science questions regarding their formation and evolution, while also helping us to understand Earth’s place in the universe .” + ESA’s Next Space Mission to Focus on Nature of Exoplanets Via Nature Images via ESA/ATG medialab, CC BY-SA 3.0 IGO and NASA Ames/JPL-Caltech

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ESA launches world’s first mission to explore the "atmospheres of hundreds of planets"

This plant-based spray makes fruits and veggies last up to four times longer

March 23, 2018 by  
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How do you preserve fruits and vegetables after harvest? Generally, you need cold temperatures. But what if there were an alternative to refrigeration ? That question inspired Santa Barbara-based Apeel Sciences  to create  Edipeel , a post-harvest protection product made with edible extracts from plants . Inhabitat spoke with CEO and founder James Rogers about the product, which forms a micro-climate around each piece of food so it lasts around double the amount of time it would untreated — at least. Hunger continues to be a pressing problem, and as the population grows, humanity must figure out how to feed 10 billion people. This issue formed the basis of a podcast Rogers was listening to while driving through the Salinas Valley. He looked out the window at the greenery of the valley, dubbed the “Salad Bowl of the World,” and wondered how people could go hungry if we were growing so much food. Digging into the issue, he discovered it’s not so much about growing enough calories to feed the planet as it is about keeping what we do grow from perishing. Related: This company wants to turn food waste into building materials — here’s how Rogers found out fruits and vegetables rot through water loss and oxidation. “As a materials scientist, immediately this rang a bell with how people solve this problem for steel ,” he told Inhabitat. “Most people don’t think about it, but steel is highly perishable. It rusts. Metallurgists solved this problem in creating stainless steel, and the way that they did that was by adding additional elements, like chromium or nickel.” Edipeel creates an invisible, edible barrier to keep oxygen out and water in. Apeel recombines edible oils from plants in blends tailored for different kinds of food; think citrus or avocados. The result is a powder that Apeel mixes with water and sprays on the surface of food. It dries into a thin added peel, creating a micro-climate for each piece of produce. “The result is that it can last two, three, four times longer, even without refrigeration,” said Rogers. Worried about harmful chemicals on your food? So were Rogers’ friends. “They said, ‘Hey, sounds like a cool idea, bro, but we don’t want any chemicals,’” Rogers said. Although food is technically comprised of chemicals, some people don’t always think about it that way, so he wondered, “What if we could relegate ourselves only to using those materials that are found in high concentrations in the fruits and vegetables we eat every day to make formulations to use food to preserve food?” Apeel has been developing Edipeel for around six years now with that goal in mind. “We’re not a large chemical manufacturing company saying ‘let’s manufacture a new chemical to solve this problem.’ We’re looking at it from this perspective of: how do we work with nature to solve this problem the right way — not the fast way, not the cheap way, not the way that sacrifices the long-term health of the planet, but how do we solve this with the tool set nature has provided us?” Rogers told Inhabitat. The extracts for Edipeel can come from any vegetable or fruit. “We’re not looking for any weird botanical extract from some crazy flower in the Amazon,” Rogers said. “The materials we need are ubiquitous. If it grows above the surface of the earth, basically we can use it to create our formulations. The materials we’re using are all inert materials. They don’t have any action in and of themselves; they’re just structural. We recompose that structure on the outside of produce. “ Since spoilage is so significant, the way Apeel prices Edipeel means it’s more expensive for retailers not to have it. According to Rogers, “If you’re a retailer and you’re throwing away eight percent of your avocados, we’re able to price our product such that by paying us, you’re still going to save enough money to pay us for the product.” Edipeel is designated “Generally Recognized As Safe” by the Food and Drug Administration and can be used on organic produce. “As soon as you see how it works, you know that this is going to be a thing in the world,” Rogers told Inhabitat. “Seeing it work, even at a small scale, it was like, ‘This is the future.’ It just feels like an eventuality.” This year, Apeel is gearing up to offer Edipeel to commercial partners. Rogers couldn’t say who those partners might be quite yet, but he did say they are premier retailers. + Apeel Sciences Images courtesy of Apeel

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This plant-based spray makes fruits and veggies last up to four times longer

Stunning temporary beach pavilion rises in Lebanon’s Tyre Coast Nature Reserve

March 20, 2018 by  
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Wood, metal ties and rope come together in this temporary space in Lebanon, forming a lightweight structure designed to raise awareness of the area’s rich marine biodiversity. The Tyre Nature Reserve Hub, named MARAH, was designed by Architecture students from the American University of Beirut , who used the project as an experiment in building lightweight and temporary systems, as well as creating spaces that have a large social and programmatic impact. Some of Lebanon ’s longest sandy beaches are located in the Tyre region–also a popular nesting site for the endangered Loggerhead and Green Sea Turtles, as well as the home of several species of local wildlife, such as the Arabian spiny mouse and the Red fox. Phoenician springs and freshwater estuaries dominate the Ras el Ain area which facilities a diversity of marine life and a large part of this region has been turned into a protected area. Despite this, the Tyre region has seen severe destruction and devastation, which acted as impetus for creating a temporary pavilion that would help spread awareness of the importance of conserving marine biodiversity . Related: Floating timber pavilion transforms a Swiss lake into an exciting new public square Architecture AUB students from the DI-LAB (Design Impact Laboratory) teamed up with environmental consultants and the Tyre Coast Nature Reserve to introduce a structure that acts as a hub for the Tyre Coast Nature Reserve. The center is located directly on the beach, where it acts as a meeting point, an information point, a presentation pavilion, an exhibition space, and a training center, among other things. The pavilion was built using wood, metal ties and ropes and addresses the idea of creating a space that simultaneously generates a large social impact and minimal site impact. + Di-Lab – American University of Beirut Via Archdaily Photos by Lorenzo Tugnoli

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Stunning temporary beach pavilion rises in Lebanon’s Tyre Coast Nature Reserve

The Buitenhuis is a tiny house you can rent in the woods of the Netherlands

March 20, 2018 by  
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Chris Collaris Architects and the designers from Dutch Invertuals just unveiled a series of beautiful tiny house rentals designed to bring people closer to nature. Slated for construction in Droomparken—a series of holiday parks located across the Netherlands—the minimalist Buitenhuis cabins let guests enjoy a peaceful living space surrounded by scenic parkland. While these tiny cabins are just over 400 square feet, their strategic design makes that space feel much larger. A floor-to-ceiling glass door serves as the entrance and opens up to an almost entirely glazed wall, which creates a bright, airy interior and it provides stunning views of the surroundings. Related: Timber cabin on wheels lets you hit the open road in luxurious comfort Each home is two stories, with the living space on the ground floor and a sleeping loft on the second. The Buitenhuis cabins will be placed in Droomparken locations all across the Netherlands, but every tiny home will have a customized interior designed by Dutch Invertuals artists and based on the wishes and needs of the guests. The team at Dutch Invertuals designed the Buitenhuis to bring guests closer to the nature. By providing a window onto the parkland and an interior environment that mirrors the natural world, they hope to create a space where anyone can “retreat peacefully into nature, immersing [themselves] in personal rituals and feeling the Earth’s warmth – either in solitude or the company of loved ones.” The Buitenhuis design was unveiled at Dutch Design Week last year, and construction on the various Buitenhuis locations has already begun. Guests can choose from a variety of lodging options at the parks, such as campsites, luxury chalets, and bungalows—and now they can also enjoy the view from the comfort of a brilliant tiny home . + Dutch Invertuals + Chris Collaris Architects Via Archdaily Photography by Ronald Smits and Tim van de Velde via Dutch Invertuals  

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The Buitenhuis is a tiny house you can rent in the woods of the Netherlands

New nanowood insulation is more environmentally friendly than Styrofoam

March 14, 2018 by  
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Scientists have created a new insulating material from wood that bests Styrofoam : it’s “stronger and much more environmentally friendly,” according to the University of Maryland (UMD). Their material , called nanowood, can come in thin, flexible pieces or in blocks — take a closer look after the jump. The UMD -led team created nanowood by removing lignin, a substance in wood that keeps it rigid and brown. They also took out some short fibers “that tangle themselves in with the cellulose fibers that make up the scaffolding-like base structure of the wood,” according to the university. “The aligned cellulose fibers then bond with each other and results in a high mechanical strength.” Related: Incredible new “super wood” is as strong as steel When the team attempted to crush the nanowood, they discovered in one direction the material was 30 times stronger than thermal insulation materials like Styrofoam or aerogel. When testing how well nanowood insulates, they found it blocked a minimum of 10 degrees more heat than a Guinness World Record honoree for best insulator, silica aerogel, as well as Styrofoam. And while wool or glass insulators can irritate lung tissues or incite allergic reactions, according to UMD, nanowood’s fibers don’t cause those issues. UMD postdoctoral student Tian Li said of nanowood in the statement, “This can insulate better than most other current thermal insulators, including Styrofoam. It is extremely promising to be used as energy efficient building materials.” The journal Science Advances published the research earlier this month. Scientists from the University of Colorado Boulder and KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm, Sweden contributed. UMD said Inventwood , a spinoff company from the research group of Liangbing Hu, UMD associate professor involved in this research, is commercializing wood-based nanotechnologies. Hu said in the statement his research program “experiments with nature’s nanotechnology that we see in wood.” Inventwood’s website lists transparent wood and clear paper among their technologies. + University of Maryland + Science Advances Images via the University of Maryland

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New nanowood insulation is more environmentally friendly than Styrofoam

New evidence shows humans survived massive volcanic eruption 74,000 years ago

March 13, 2018 by  
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In a newly published study , scientists reveal evidence that groups of humans survived a massive volcanic eruption at the Toba caldera, a supervolcano in Sumatra. “It is possible that people moved out of terrestrial locations and into this more productive coastal zone,” study co-author Curtis Marean told Inverse . “Think of it as a refuge.” Inland wildlife, plants and fungus faced a greater disruptive impact than those located closer to the coast, a key fact that enabled savvy human communities to survive the decade-long volcanic winter and endure the centuries-long consequences of the massive volcanic eruption 74,000 years ago. The Toba eruption was so powerful that shards of tephra, the rock debris projected from a volcanic event, managed to reach as far as South Africa , nearly 5,600 miles from the Toba caldera. “Glass shards are a form of tephra that preserve a record of the chemical composition of the lava erupted during the eruption. The shapes and sizes of the shards also provide information about the nature of the eruption,” study author  Gene Smith told Inverse . “We can tell quite a bit about a volcanic eruption by studying products ejected from the volcano.” Related: Wave of earthquakes shake Yellowstone’s super-volcano The researchers observed that the global impact of the Toba eruption encouraged communities to move to coastal areas, which were less affected by the eruption. The flexibility and attentiveness of these early human communities is worth noting, as modern society may not be quite as dynamic in the face of such an event. “Hunter-gatherer economies are very resilient, but I don’t think the complex modern economies are,” said Smith. “A Toba-like event is a civilization killer for us. Perhaps our study will waken people up to the potential of volcanic catastrophe.” Via Inverse Images via Depositphotos ,  Smith et al. and  Dr. Jayne Wilkins

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New evidence shows humans survived massive volcanic eruption 74,000 years ago

Breast cancer spread connected to amino acid in asparagus

February 16, 2018 by  
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Scientists have linked the spread of the disease breast cancer in mice to a compound that’s in asparagus and several other foods, The Guardian reported . Studies with mice revealed asparagine drives the advance of the cancer , and when researchers reduced asparagine, the amount of “secondary tumors in other tissues” dropped. Cancer Research UK Cambridge Institute director Greg Hannon told The Guardian, “This is a very promising lead and one of the very few instances where there is a scientific rationale for a dietary modification influencing cancer.” Research with mice showed the amino acid asparagine is important for breast cancer to spread, and scientists think the process could be similar in humans. Researchers found that blocking the amino acid hampered the spread of the cancer. Hannon said in a statement , “It could be that manipulating levels of asparagine in the body might be used as a way to boost a patients’ cancer treatment.” Related: Many anti-aging products contain ingredients that can cause breast cancer The researchers blocked asparagine in mice tested, which had an aggressive type of breast cancer, to reduce the cancer’s ability to spread with the drug L-asparaginase. Giving the mice a low-asparagine diet worked to a lesser extent, according to The Guardian. There’s still a lot work to be done. The Cancer Research UK Cambridge Institute cautioned research is in the early stages and “doesn’t form the basis for DIY diets at home.” This work also doesn’t seem to offer a cure for cancer; per the press release, “So far the story suggests that lowering asparagine levels blunts the ability of cancer cells to spread in mice, but doesn’t affect the original tumor.” Lowering asparagine didn’t prevent breast tumors from forming, the researchers found. Hannon said, “The difficulty is finding ways to study this in the lab that are relevant to patients. It’s a challenge, but I think it’s worth pursuing.” The journal Nature published the research online this week . 21 scientists at institutions in the United Kingdom, Canada, and the United States contributed. + Cancer Research UK Cambridge Institute + Nature Via The Guardian Images via Stephanie Studer on Unsplash and Tambako The Jaguar on Flickr

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Breast cancer spread connected to amino acid in asparagus

Three border collies tear through a charred Chilean forest with backpacks full of seeds

February 15, 2018 by  
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Over 1.4 million acres were burned in Chile in 2017, in the country’s worst wildfire season in history. According to Mother Nature Network , the fire left in its wake a ravaged landscape, but a furry team led by Francisca Torres, a dog trainer who also runs the dog -oriented community, Pewos , came to the rescue. She outfitted three border collies with backpacks filled with seeds , and sent then dashing through the forest. Das, Olivia, and Summer will melt your heart. As they careen through the forest sporting seed-filled backpacks, seeds trickle out; the humans behind the mission hope the spilled seeds will sprout and grow, reviving the forest. For the animals , it’s just a chance to frolic and have fun, according to Torres, their owner. Related: Frida the rescue dog helps search for survivors after Mexico’s deadly earthquake (function(d, s, id) { var js, fjs = d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0]; if (d.getElementById(id)) return; js = d.createElement(s); js.id = id; js.src = ‘https://connect.facebook.net/en_US/sdk.js#xfbml=1&version=v2.12’; fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, fjs);}(document, ‘script’, ‘facebook-jssdk’)); Feliz dia madre tierra ?? Posted by Pewos on Sunday, May 14, 2017 Das is the oldest at six, and she leads the way with her pups, Summer and Olivia, both two-years-old. The dogs earn treats as they wait for their backpacks to be filled with more seeds, when they come back to their handlers, and at the end of the day’s work. They can cover up to 18 miles, spreading over 20 pounds of future plants, according to Mother Nature Network. (function(d, s, id) { var js, fjs = d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0]; if (d.getElementById(id)) return; js = d.createElement(s); js.id = id; js.src = ‘https://connect.facebook.net/en_US/sdk.js#xfbml=1&version=v2.12’; fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, fjs);}(document, ‘script’, ‘facebook-jssdk’)); Posted by Pewos on Thursday, April 20, 2017 Torres launched the effort in March 2017, and went back to the forest regularly over six months. Her sister, Constanza Torres, also helped; the two women pay for the native seeds , backpacks, and trips to the forest and plan to start the project up again soon. Torres told Mother Nature Network, “We have seen many results in flora and fauna coming back to the burned forest!” (function(d, s, id) { var js, fjs = d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0]; if (d.getElementById(id)) return; js = d.createElement(s); js.id = id; js.src = ‘https://connect.facebook.net/en_US/sdk.js#xfbml=1&version=v2.12’; fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, fjs);}(document, ‘script’, ‘facebook-jssdk’)); Posted by Pewos on  Friday, March 31, 2017 (function(d, s, id) { var js, fjs = d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0]; if (d.getElementById(id)) return; js = d.createElement(s); js.id = id; js.src = ‘https://connect.facebook.net/en_US/sdk.js#xfbml=1&version=v2.12’; fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, fjs);}(document, ‘script’, ‘facebook-jssdk’)); Posted by Pewos on  Friday, March 31, 2017 Francisca Torres told Mother Nature Network they specifically use border collies because they are super smart. When they’re not reviving forests, the dogs work with sheep and in disc and obedience training. Via Mother Nature Network Images via Depositphotos

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Three border collies tear through a charred Chilean forest with backpacks full of seeds

Nature-based preschool trend flourishes across the United States

February 14, 2018 by  
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Over 250 nature -based preschools have popped up across the United States, according to a recent survey cited by Public Radio International (PRI) – and that’s two-thirds more than in 2017. The schools , which offer lots of outdoor play , have been trendy in Europe for a long time, but the idea is picking up speed across the Atlantic. Advocate Richard Louv told PRI, “There is a new body of evidence out there that really shows a connection, at least, between spending more time in nature and being healthier, happier, and maybe even smarter.” Nature-based preschools give kids the chance to spend a large portion of their day outside. PRI said studies show children who learn outside experience better academic results, like higher standardized test scores. Living on Earth (PRI’s environmental news publication) visited Chesterbrook School of Natural Learning in New Hampshire to get a view of a nature-based preschool up close. Eight acres of fields and forest comprise Chesterbrook School, which has around 36 students in three classes. The kids get to spend time in nature every day, whether it’s snowing, raining, or sunny. There is an indoor classroom for some activities like letter flash cards, but many group times and play times are spent outside. Related: 9 forest kindergartens around the world where the sky’s the limit in teachings among the trees Louv says it’s important to build that connection between children and nature while they’re young. He’s concerned climate change and its impacts will prompt children to see nature as threatening. He told PRI, “It’s very hard to protect something if you don’t learn to love it. It’s impossible to learn to love it if you’ve never experienced it.” If a nature-based preschool isn’t an option for your family, Louv said there’s still plenty parents can do to help foster a child’s love of the outdoors, like reading books outside or going for a belly hike , moving around in the grass to get up close with all that lives there. Via Public Radio International and Living on Earth Images via Seattle Parks on Flickr ( 1 , 2 , 3 )

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Nature-based preschool trend flourishes across the United States

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