Kevin Hagen, VP of ESG strategy at Iron Mountain, on the nascent digital transformation

November 6, 2018 by  
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The digital transformation is the idea that strategic business (and some political) decisions will be made using technologies, data and automated processes. The implications of this transformation aren’t as easy to describe, but one of the major ones is eliminating the negative impacts of extracted physical materials on the planet.

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Kevin Hagen, VP of ESG strategy at Iron Mountain, on the nascent digital transformation

Scientists See a Negative Outlook Despite a Recent Stabilization in Global Warming

May 21, 2013 by  
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When it comes to global warming, things may not be quite as bad as we thought. According to a recent study in Nature Geoscience , global warming seems to have leveled off over the past decade, meaning that some of the most dire climate change predictions could be a thing of the past. But while the news is good, it doesn’t mean that we are out of the danger zone. Global warming is still changing life on the planet as we know it. Read the rest of Scientists See a Negative Outlook Despite a Recent Stabilization in Global Warming Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: carbon atmospheric levels , carbon dioxide levels , climate change news , climate change study , CO2 levels , global warming , global warming leveling off , global warming levels , global warming stabilizing , global warming tapering off , global warming temperatures , oceans absorbing heat , understanding climate change        

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Scientists See a Negative Outlook Despite a Recent Stabilization in Global Warming

Sinclair Meadows: Residents Move Into the UK’s First Carbon-Negative Street

October 8, 2012 by  
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Read the rest of Sinclair Meadows: Residents Move Into the UK’s First Carbon-Negative Street Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: “sustainable architecture” , affordable housing , Biodegradable , biomass , carbon negative , hemp. sustainable timber , photovoltaics , Sinclair Meadows , South Shields

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Sinclair Meadows: Residents Move Into the UK’s First Carbon-Negative Street

How to make a solar powered battery charger for less than $5

October 18, 2011 by  
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Satyajit Bera: Use solar energy to charge up your batteries An eco-friendly DIY battery charger driven by solar power A battery charger always comes in handy for charging up your exhausted AA or AAA cells (of course the rechargeable ones). Most of the battery chargers available in the market are either AC or DC powered. Though solar powered models are also available, they are quite costly. The DIY model described here is not going to cost you more than $5. It consists of a simple solar panel which converts the solar power into DC output and supplies the same to the battery holder, thus charging up the rechargeable batteries. The benefit of this model is that you can charge up your cells being off the grid, following an eco friendly concept. Difficulty level Moderately challenging (may require expertise in few areas) Time required The maximum time required is about an hour. A skilled person can do it in 30 minutes. Resources required A transparent moisture proof container AA or AAA battery holder A pair of AA or AAA sized rechargeable batteries (Type-NiMh, 1.2 volt, 2000 mAH) A small solar panel (output-4.5 volt, current – 80 mA) A blocking diode Soldering iron Solder wire Connecting wire Electrical insulation tape Transparent adhesive tape Estimated cost The total cost involved in this project is about $4 (price of the tools are excluded). Instructions First of all, mount the two series connected AA or AAA sized batteries onto the battery holder. Solder two wires from the battery holder’s terminals. There after, mount the battery holder arrangement inside the moisture proof container and fix it with the base with the help of an adhesive tape. Next, solder two wires on the two terminals of the solar panel. Be very careful while doing the soldering work as it may damage the panel permanently if the semiconductor layer gets overheated. Cover the soldered terminals using insulation tape Fix the solar panel on the top of the container’s cover with lots of transparent adhesive tape. Make sure that the panel is not loose and well covered from rain or water that may fall on it when kept outdoors. Next, solder the blocking diode in series with the positive terminal of the battery holder arrangement and the corresponding positive terminal from the solar panel. Solar panels trap the solar energy and charges up the battery when exposed to sunlight. In the dark, these solar panels retract the same energy back from the cells which ultimately damages the panels. To prevent this back-flow of current, a blocking diode has been used here to ensure a one-way flow of current. Make sure that the black end of the diode points in the direction of the batteries. This will only charge up the cells and ensure that they don’t get discharged in the dark by the solar panel itself. Next, solder the negative terminal of the solar panel with the negative terminal of the battery holder. That’s it. All the electrical connections are done. Make two small holes in the container cover for the wire entry from the solar panel to the inside components. Close the container and take it in the sun for charging up the cells. Frequently asked questions Can I use a bigger solar panel for faster charging? Yes, of course you can do so. But make sure that you use a maximum of two such solar panels in parallel (well that will increase the cost as well) which will make the charging current double i.e. 80mA x 2 = 160 mA. This will charge up the cells faster. Is there any option to provide over current protection for the batteries? Well some cells come with inbuilt overcharge protection systems. But all you can do to protect any over current condition is to use a low rating fuse in series with the circuit. In that case you need to keep some spare fuses in case of a blown fuse, due to an over current condition. Quick tips Fix the solar panel using clear and transparent tape only. Otherwise a blurry tape may hinder sufficient incidence of sun rays on the panel and produce low power output. Fix the components inside the container properly with the base in order to avoid any vibration while taking the solar charger from one place to another. Use a good quality soldering flux while doing the soldering works. This will ensure a permanent good quality soldering joint and avoid loose connections. Things to watch out for Never depend upon solar systems completely. Cloudy weathers can affect solar powered gadgets largely. So always carry spare batteries and A.C./D.C. powered battery chargers with you outdoors. Rechargeable batteries produce oxygen and hydrogen gases (both are combustible) while charging and discharging. As the arrangement described above is a moisture proof one, there is no space for gas escape. A small short circuit may cause a serious accident. Thus, vents can be provided in the lateral walls of the container to be on the safe side. Never try to charge leaked, damaged or dead batteries by the battery charger. This may cause explosion causing accidents.

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How to make a solar powered battery charger for less than $5

Ten easy tips to reduce heat buildup in your house

October 18, 2011 by  
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Parijat Sen: If you are building the house of your dreams then make sure you consult your designer about how to provide natural air conditioning to your house instead of investing in a mechanical air conditioner. If you design your home the right way then it can completely eliminate the need to use an air conditioner. Green design principles and an architect having a proper insight into green designs can help you with this. 1. Location The site where your house is situated is very important in facilitating natural conditioning. This is a very vital part of green designing. The sun angles and the angles of natural winds should be considered when you are placing your house. 2. Cross ventilation To ensure that there is cross ventilation in all the living spaces, you need to have operable windows set as far as possible. Natural air conditioning depends on cross ventilation at large. 3. Windows Windows play a major role when you are trying to cool your home naturally. High wall windows and clerestory windows really help in achieving this. A ‘chimney effect’ is created when the clerestory windows are made operable. Simple science works in this regard when low and high windows are kept open at the same time. Cool air enters through the low windows and hot air escapes through the clerestory ones. A constant circulation of air is created in the house. 4. Glass Your architect should make sure that he places the majority of glass on the north and south walls limiting the amount of glass on the east and west walls. When the sun is at a low angle in the mornings and evenings, this reduces the solar heat gain from the east and the west. 5. Overhangs Your designer can also consider designing large overhangs. These overhangs will help to shade your walls and glasses from solar heat gain and thus will result in natural conditioning. 6. Insulation Insulation of walls and ceilings plays a vital role in helping natural air conditioning. Super insulate walls and ceilings are thus the best possible options. You can invest in spray-on foams. These soy-based foams seal all the cracks and are also environment friendly. 7. Ventilation Ridge vents, soffit vents and gable vents help to ventilate your attic space and cathedral ceilings. This will help in cooling your attic area. Proper ventilation can actually reduce the heat in your house to large extents. 8. Roofing material Reflective or light colored roofing material helps to reflect back the rays of the sun. Albedo is the term which refers to the amount of reflectivity. You should aim for 29 and this will show the rating of your performance. 9. Other materials Driveways, porch lights and walks should always be of light colors. The paving materials should not use any asphalt paving. Color is very important here as cool air will become hot if they travel over dark materials which has accumulated heat. Make sure the air that travels into your house doesn’t travel over dark materials as that will make your house warm. 10. Landscape Plant landscape borders around the walls of your house as landscape is known to soak up heat. This keeps the heat away from your house. You can also try other methods to achieve natural air conditioning. You can install ceiling fans in all the living spaces where you spend time. Make sure that the ceiling fans are energy star rated. You can also install low E 4 window glass in all the windows. Use more cooler and efficient light sources over incandescent light sources. This will help reduce the amount of heat in your house. CFLs or LEDs can be used. These are more expensive than the rest but will benefit you in the long run. Also make sure that your home is at an angle of 45 degrees to the prevailing wind as this will help in cross ventilation.

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Ten easy tips to reduce heat buildup in your house

You Be The Judge In The Great Prefab Debate

May 26, 2011 by  
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UPDATE: The results are in, at our biggest audience ever for TreeHuggerLive. Our two invited judges, Allison Arieff and Preston Koerner, both went for Michelle Kaufmann and the Affirmative; our Audience went solidly for the Chad Ludeman and the negative

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You Be The Judge In The Great Prefab Debate

Chile’s Sala y Gómez Island Turned Into Huge Marine Preserve

October 7, 2010 by  
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Photo credit Oceana/Matthias Gorny Marine preserves are one of the most significant ways a government can help keep its coasts and marine species safe from the negative impacts of overfishing, pollution and other problems.

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Chile’s Sala y Gómez Island Turned Into Huge Marine Preserve

LifeEdited: What We Can Learn From Camping Equipment

October 7, 2010 by  
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TreeHugger founder Graham Hill is trying to radically reduce his footprint and live happily with less space, less stuff and less waste on less money, but with more design. He calls it “LifeEdited.” The project starts as a crowdsourced design contest on Jovoto; So far, the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), Strida and Voltaic Systems are on board as a sponsors

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LifeEdited: What We Can Learn From Camping Equipment

Does Weekly Trash Collection Discourage Recycling?

October 7, 2010 by  
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Image credit: Net_Efekt , used under Creative Commons license . The new Conservative-lead coalition in Britain may have won considerable green kudos by committing to 10% CO2 cuts across government activity in just one year , but they should by no means be confused with the Green Party.

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Does Weekly Trash Collection Discourage Recycling?

3D Look Inside Whales’ Heads Shows Negative Effects of Marine Noise

August 31, 2010 by  
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Image via UCSD What happens inside a whale’s head when it encounters sound?

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3D Look Inside Whales’ Heads Shows Negative Effects of Marine Noise

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