New Jersey first state to ban wild animals in circuses

December 20, 2018 by  
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Last week, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy signed a bill banning the use of elephants, tigers and other wild and exotic animals in circus acts that travel through the state, making New Jersey the first state in the country to pass such a law. Known as “Nosey’s Law,” the bill is designed to protect animals in traveling circus acts from being exploited and abused. Nosey, the law’s namesake, is a 36-year-old African elephant that was forced to travel around the country with a circus even though the animal suffered from crippling arthritis. “These animals belong in their natural habitats or in wildlife sanctuaries, not in performances where their safety and the safety of others is at risk,” Gov. Murphy said in a press release . Governor Murphy said that the law finally became a reality because of the years of hard work by Sen. Ray Lesniak, and the bill passed the New Jersey legislature with only three opposing votes. The bill also overwhelmingly passed during the state’s last legislative session, but then-Governor Chris Christie refused to sign it. Christie’s pocket veto of the bill forced the legislature to start from scratch when Murphy became governor. One of the bill’s sponsors, Sen. Nilsa Cruz Perez, is now calling on other state’s to follow New Jersey’s lead. She said that circus animals suffer from routine abuse by their handlers for the sake of entertainment. But this law protects other animals from being abused like Nosey— who is now safe and living in an animal sanctuary . Last year, the public’s growing concern over animal welfare led to the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus shutting down their “Greatest Show On Earth” after a 146-year run. When they removed elephants from their show tours, the circus was not able to recover from declining ticket sales. Illinois and New York have already banned the use of elephants in traveling or entertainment acts. But, New Jersey was the first to ban all wild and exotic animals. + State of New Jersey Via EcoWatch Images via Shutterstock

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New Jersey first state to ban wild animals in circuses

Indonesia unveils first zero-waste restaurant built with sustainably sourced materials

December 20, 2018 by  
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Eliminating food waste is an arduous task for restaurants around the world. But one new eatery in Bali, Ijen , has implemented various strategic methods to become Indonesia’s first zero-waste restaurant. In addition to only serving sustainably sourced food and providing leftover food scraps to local farms, the forward-thinking restaurant was almost entirely built with reclaimed materials . Ijen is part of the Potato Head Beach Club , which has locations in Jakarta, Bali, Hong Kong and Singapore. The zero-waste restaurant is located on the grounds of the Jakarta location. The design and operation of the open-air venue was designed to reflect the company’s ethos of running hospitality zero-waste venues with absolute minimal impact on the earth. Related: Zero Waste Bistro offers four days of sustainable food and design in NYC Ijen’s building materials feature a number of sustainable products mostly made from reclaimed materials. The interior furnishings include items made out of old motorcycle foam remnants and ethically-sourced Mersawa wood. The flooring was made from a cement mix comprised of broken plates and glassware. The candles found throughout the restaurant were with used cooking oil. Deadstock cloth napkins were given new life thanks to a local dye house. Even the menus are printed on sustainably harvested paper bound to boards made from recycled tires provided by local flip-flop brand Indosole. Additionally impressive is the restaurant’s commitment to working with local fisherman and farmers to provide sustainable farm-to-table menu options . Executive Chef Wayan Kresna Yasa works with local fisherman to source fresh fish caught using a hand-reeling process. Vegetables are farm-fresh, and rice served at the restaurant is provided by the UNESCO-protected Jatiluwih terraces. Although the kitchen strives to use all of its stock, there are a variety of methods used to reuse any leftover food scraps. Ijen staff members meticulously separate organic and inorganic waste. Additional food remnants are fed to pigs at local farms or composted on site . Shellfish shells are powdered and used in animal feed or fertilizer. All dry goods are sent to be recycled through a local responsible waste management service. + Ijen Restaurant Via Treehugger Images via Potato Head Beach Club

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Indonesia unveils first zero-waste restaurant built with sustainably sourced materials

September heat waves are causing early dismissals in schools

September 7, 2018 by  
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Snow days are one of the best perks of winter for students, but now, schools are closing for another variation of inclement weather. School districts around the country are releasing students because of excessive heat, an increasing trend in the face of climate change . Will these so-called “heat days” become the new norm? Schools in the eastern U.S. have been giving out more heat days than ever as record temperatures continue to hit New York, Connecticut, New Jersey and even parts of the Midwest. The cancellations are occurring more frequently in places that do not have adequate air conditioning, especially in relation to after-school programs. This past week, for example, schools on the East Coast shut down as temperatures climbed higher than 90 degrees. A few districts in New York also cancelled sporting activities. Related: One in 11 US public schools are plagued by toxic air Meanwhile, schools in New York City have remained open following a city investment in new air conditioning systems worth nearly $30 million to ensure schools were adequately cooled. The city plans on having every classroom air conditioned over the next four years, meaning no heat days for students and a costly impact on the environment. But for schools that don’t have a budget for air conditioning, heat days might become more frequent. In fact, union organizations in New York are advocating for laws that would require districts to close schools if the temperature is hotter than 88 degrees. In a few schools across the East Coast, teachers have reported temperature readings above 100 degrees in their classrooms, which clearly is not a safe environment for anyone. As global warming continues to affect the climate, record high temperatures could become common in months that normally are not associated with such temperatures. There’s no telling how many schools will adopt heat days as policy, but it is possible that these school dismissals become just as common as traditional snow days. Via New York Times Image via Nicola Tolin

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September heat waves are causing early dismissals in schools

Brooklyn Grange announces a new location in a former WWII shipyard

May 15, 2018 by  
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Inhabitat is thrilled to announce that New York City urban farming group Brooklyn Grange is launching its first location outside the city — at Kearny Point in New Jersey. The location holds its own storied past: a former World War I and World War II shipbuilding yard in an industrial area that’s spiraled downhill, Kearny Point is undergoing redevelopment under recycling corporation Hugo Neu . Inhabitat caught up with Brooklyn Grange COO and co-founder Gwen Schantz and Hugo Neu CEO Wendy Neu to learn about the project’s emphasis on not only economic revitalization but also the restoration of local ecology . At Kearny Point in New Jersey, Brooklyn Grange will help with  landscaping , converting just under three acres of sod into a native meadow. In addition, the group will help transform about an acre of former parking lot space into a demonstration garden, complete with a vegetable patch and children’s play area, as well as host plant sales and educational workshops. Although none of these gardens will be on rooftops, Brooklyn Grange does plan to host green roof workshops using a Kearny Point roof. Related: 6 urban farms feeding the world Schantz told Inhabitat, “We know what these industrial spaces can become and how they can be reinvented. We’ve seen the evolution of the Navy Yard. When we talked to the people at Hugo Neu about their vision about Kearny Point, we really got it. It resonated with us.” Neu is one of the people behind that vision. She told Inhabitat that Kearny Point, which is between the Hackensack and Passaic Rivers, was once a main economic driver for the area as “one of the most productive shipbuilding facilities in the world.” During World War II, 35,000 people worked on the 130-acre site. But after the war, the shipbuilding industry died in the United States. Hugo Neu acquired Kearny Point in the 1960s and dismantled ships, but that operation shut down around 1985. Until recently, Kearny Point was an industrial warehouse distribution facility. “ Hurricane Sandy was a defining moment for us because we were approximately four feet underwater. We’d never had any kind of issue with flooding. My late husband and I know climate change is coming and the environment is changing dramatically, and we had to think about what we were going to do with this site,” Neu told Inhabitat. After her husband passed away suddenly, Neu joined forces with Steve Nislick, former Edison Properties CEO, with the goal of doing “something transformative.” The new vision for Kearny Point includes offices for startups, coworking spaces, and a waterfront opened to the public. “The opportunity to take a heavy industrial site like this and integrate all the new technology – wind, solar, stormwater – and be able to show we can have people growing businesses without having to harm the environment but also actually improve it at the same time is, to me, a very compelling opportunity,” Neu said. Brooklyn Grange is “an indication of just what the possibilities are.” The project’s native meadow serves as a prime example. According to Schantz, when people try to convert land into meadows or gardens, they sometimes kill what’s growing there with pesticides . Brooklyn Grange is taking a more natural approach: they’re suffocating grass and enriching the soil with the help of recycled materials , such as leftover cardboard from a nearby shipping company and wood mulch from a local tree service, both of which the urban farming group inoculated with blue oyster mushrooms. Once this process is complete, they’ll plant native flowers and grasses. “Our approach is, let’s take this strip of land which has had a rough history along a railroad track, it has not been loved the way it could be, and give it a new lease on life and make it a place where insects and birds can feed and nest, and restore it the way it might have looked before there was a shipyard here,” said Schantz. How will Kearny Point handle natural disasters in the future? Neu said that not only are they raising the site up two feet, they’re creating at least 25 acres of open space and putting in bioswales to boost the site’s resiliency. “We’ll have underground parking that will serve as reservoirs for water that comes onto the site. We’ll remove as many impervious surfaces as possible, which is huge in terms of the amount that gets discharged into the Hackensack, and we’re going to do everything to improve the quality of what gets discharged,” said Neu. “I want to minimize our impact as much as possible. We have to be able to figure out how to have people prosper without destroying the environment and further degrading it.” Brooklyn Grange’s first plant sale will be Sunday, May 20, from 10 a.m.to 4 p.m. “We’re really excited to be reaching out to our neighbors across the river,” Schantz said. “We know there’s already a culture of gardening here in the Garden State, and so we’re excited to bring some of our urban farming techniques and our general mindset of sustainable, organic gardening to the local community and hopefully get people excited about growing their own food .” + Brooklyn Grange + Hugo Neu + Kearny Point Images courtesy of Valery Rizzo

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Brooklyn Grange announces a new location in a former WWII shipyard

NJ Governor Chris Christie vetoes bill to allow offshore wind demo

January 21, 2016 by  
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New Jersey Governor Chris Christie has vetoed legislation that would have made it easier to apply for small offshore wind projects near Atlantic City. The developer Fishermen’s Energy had been hoping to reapply to begin a small 20 MW pilot project , which it’s been fighting to have approved since 2011. Read the rest of NJ Governor Chris Christie vetoes bill to allow offshore wind demo

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NJ Governor Chris Christie vetoes bill to allow offshore wind demo

UK’s “first amphibious house” floats itself to escape flooding

January 21, 2016 by  
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UK’s “first amphibious house” floats itself to escape flooding

Testicle-eating fish return to New Jersey

July 1, 2015 by  
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“The return of the testicle-eating fish ” sounds more like a b-movie that should never happen, let alone an actual news item. But, alas, another of those slightly freaky looking fish with the human-like teeth—officially known as pacu—has been caught in a man-made lake in Delran , New Jersey. Which is somewhat baffling, as the pacu are native to South America, and are most frequently found in the lakes and streams of the Amazon. Read the rest of Testicle-eating fish return to New Jersey Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: amazon fish , aquarium pets , fish teeth , henrik carl , new jersey , pacu , pet abandon , pihrana , swedes lake , testicle-eating , testile-munching

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Testicle-eating fish return to New Jersey

MAD Architects unveil the green-walled 8600 Wilshire, their first residential project in Beverly Hills

July 1, 2015 by  
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MAD Architects unveiled their first residential project in Beverly Hills and it looks like a luscious green hillside in the center of the city. Topped with clustered glass villas, 8600 Wilshire includes 18 residential units blended with commercial spaces on the main level. The project combines private gardens, townhouse architecture and condominiums, wrapped in a water-efficient “living wall”  containing drought-tolerant succulents and vines. Read the rest of MAD Architects unveil the green-walled 8600 Wilshire, their first residential project in Beverly Hills Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: “green wall” , Beverly Hills , courtyard , glass facade , green architecture , green roof , internal courtyard , MAD architects , perforated facade , residential building , urban village

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MAD Architects unveil the green-walled 8600 Wilshire, their first residential project in Beverly Hills

These pop-up modular pods can add a garden studio or off-grid escape just about anywhere

July 1, 2015 by  
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Read the rest of These pop-up modular pods can add a garden studio or off-grid escape just about anywhere Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: eco design , eco pod , green design , green roof , modular office space , modular structure , Pod Space , pop up pods , Solar Roof , sustainable design

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These pop-up modular pods can add a garden studio or off-grid escape just about anywhere

18-year-old builds one-man DIY submarine out of a drainpipe

March 29, 2015 by  
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Read the rest of 18-year-old builds one-man DIY submarine out of a drainpipe Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: homemade submarine , Justin Beckerman , lake hopatcong , new jersey teen submarine , nj teen creates submarine , teen creates submarine

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