Virtual reality helps scientists plot the ideal urban green space

April 16, 2018 by  
Filed under Green

Green spaces offer urban residents the chance to escape the concrete jungle and experience nature’s restorative benefits — if those spaces are well-designed. North Carolina State University researchers found vegetation density can impact a person’s feeling of safety, depending on where green space is located, and immersive virtual reality helped them test perceptions. Virtual reality doesn’t only offer an escape into fantastical images. NC State University researchers employed VR to explore different types of urban green spaces . Researchers captured 360-degree, high-resolution images of a city park and downtown plaza in Raleigh with a robot , and manipulated vegetation to create multiple environments. Related: How virtual reality can help paraplegic patients learn to walk again They discovered virtual visitors to the downtown plaza wanted vegetation to surround them. Doctoral student and landscape architect Payam Tabrizian said in the university’s statement , “In an urban setting, being enclosed by vegetation feels restorative. It can serve as a shield from the urban environment and create a kind of refuge where people can sit and relax for a while. People preferred urban environments that were very green and being enclosed in vegetation didn’t seem to bother them that much.” But the opposite was true in the park . Tabrizian said, “In the neighborhood park setting, people preferred the opposite in terms of vegetation density and arrangement. It seems that people have enough green surrounding them and want to know what’s happening around them. When you enclose them with vegetation, they don’t like it. They feel unsafe.” Immersive virtual reality could assist landscape designers in testing new designs or exploring how they might improve urban green spaces. “As landscape designers, the instinct is to want to make changes, but sometimes leaving things as they are may be the best,” Tabrizian said. “This technology allows us to design a true experiment in which we control the variables, without ever planting or moving a tree .” The Journal of Environmental Psychology published the research online earlier this year. + North Carolina State University + Journal of Environmental Psychology Images via North Carolina State University

Read more from the original source:
Virtual reality helps scientists plot the ideal urban green space

New 3 in 1 Roof solar tiles power your house for half the price of a Tesla roof

April 13, 2018 by  
Filed under Green

Tesla is getting all the attention when it comes to solar roofs , but some competitors out there are innovating in ways that even Elon Musk hasn’t thought of. 3 in 1 Roof , for instance, offers insulation, extreme wind protection and solar power, all in one. The solar roof system comes in a huge range of finishes, has a lighter load than traditional slate tiles, and is the first to claim zero heat transference into the attic – so it reduces your heating and cooling costs while providing you with clean, green energy. All at about half of the price of a Tesla solar roof. The Ft. Lauderdale-based company calculates that its offering will be about $11 less than Tesla’s solar roof per square foot. It’s also lighter than traditional slate roofing at just 110 pounds per 10 square feet, which means that architects can engineer homes with structures designed to support lighter loads. The roofs are designed to eliminate condensation between the attic deck and insulation, preventing mold and rot. The roofs are also hurricane resistant, standing up to winds at 200 mph. Related: Tesla’s new Solar Roof is actually cheaper than a normal roof Because of the highly UV-resistant surface and durable foam insulation, 3 in 1 Roofs should last 300% longer than traditional products and can save you up to 38% on your HVAC costs. If you want to nab one, the company is accepting $500 deposits and guarantees it will be ready for installation in 2019 – or you get your deposit, plus $500 back. You can also get a free car station charger if you are one of the first 1,000 to place an order. + 3 in 1 Roof

Read more:
New 3 in 1 Roof solar tiles power your house for half the price of a Tesla roof

The largest fire in Greenland’s history warns of an extreme future

April 13, 2018 by  
Filed under Eco, Green

The largest wildfire in Greenland ‘s history burned bright last summer, a potential warning sign for a future rattled by catastrophic climate change . Scientists are concerned that Greenland’s massive ice sheet may absorb the black carbon smog produced by the fires, as well as by any fires that occur in the future. One-third of the ice sheet has been affected by the soot from the wildfire, which accelerates heat absorption and glacial melting. “I think it’s a warning sign that something like this can happen on permafrost that was supposed to be melting at the end of the century,” rather than the present, Andreas Stohl, senior scientist at the Norwegian Institute for Air Research (NILU),  told Live Science . The fire burned about 90 miles northeast of Sisimiut, Greenland’s second largest city, and some suspect it was started by human activity. However, it is possible for  peat in oxygen-rich conditions to spontaneously combust, even when temperatures are low. In total, the wildfire burned about nine square miles of land. Of particular interest to scientists at NILU was the impact that soot might have as it landed on the ice sheets. “If you consider that Greenland has the largest ice sheet, apart from Antarctica , it immediately triggers some thinking,” NILU scientist Nikolaos Evangeliou told Live Science . Related: Scientists puzzle over subterranean heat melting Greenland’s glaciers Computer modeling enabled the NILU team to determine that seven tons of black carbon, approximately 30 percent of the total emissions produced by the fire , landed on the ice sheet . Ultimately, this amount of soot had a relatively small impact, less so even than that of North American wildfires that deposited soot across the sea to Greenland. Nonetheless, the fire may forecast larger ones in Greenland’s future. “If larger fires would burn, they would actually have a substantial impact on melting,” explained Stohl. Fires in Greenland potentially can also continue burning underground even when the surface fires have abated. “We cannot actually be sure that the fires (in Greenland) are out,” said Stohl. Via Live Science Images via NASA Earth Observatory

Go here to read the rest:
The largest fire in Greenland’s history warns of an extreme future

This dream job lets you live on a Cornish island with a Medieval castle

April 13, 2018 by  
Filed under Green

If you’ve ever wanted to live on an island , this job could help get you there. St. Michael’s Mount is home to one of the area’s most famous medieval castles – and the island is looking for a visitor services manager . “Giants, mermaids, miracles, and more have all left their imprint,” according to St. Michael’s Mount’s history web page . “All you have to do is set foot on the island, look and listen. Who knows what you’ll discover?” St. Michael’s Mount is an island connected to the town of Marazion in England . The island, a mere 0.09 square miles, is accessible by causeway at low tide and boat at high tide, and boasts a medieval castle and church. There are sub-tropical gardens and medieval pathways to explore. Buildings on the island date back to the 12th century, according to the National Trust . St. Michael’s Mount’s history page divulges more of the island’s storied past: “From a pilgrim’s path uncovered in the 1950s that is now the main route to the castle, to ancient tree stumps, blackened with age, unearthed in recent storms, and Bronze age artefacts dug up by our gardeners — the Mount never ceases to surprise us. What secrets will it yield to you?” (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’)); ** JOB VACANCY – VISITOR SERVICES MANAGER, ST MICHAEL'S MOUNT **Full Time, £24,000 – £29,000 – service accommodation… Posted by St. Michael's Mount on  Wednesday, April 4, 2018 Related: You can buy this private Scottish island starting at £250,000 Sound like the perfect place to work? The visitor services manager is a full time position that pays £24,000 to £29,000. St. Michael’s Mount said 350,000 visitors ventured to the island last year, and this role oversees their experience and a team of employees. If this sounds like your dream job, you have until April 17 to get your application in; find out more information on the St. Michael’s Mount website . + St. Michael’s Mount + St. Michael’s Mount: Work for Us Via Cornwall Live and The Spaces Images via Depositphotos ( 1 , 2 )

See the rest here: 
This dream job lets you live on a Cornish island with a Medieval castle

Tesla Model Y production will power up in November 2019

April 12, 2018 by  
Filed under Green

With all the news about the Tesla Model 3 and the cargo hauling Tesla Semi , we might have forgotten that Tesla is already hard at work on its next model, the Tesla Model Y . We have yet to see the Tesla Model Y crossover, but according to the latest reports, Tesla has a goal of starting production in November 2019. Sources recently revealed to Reuters this week that Tesla is currently accepting bids for supplier contracts for the compact crossover. Tesla is keeping most of the details under wraps, but it has reportedly told suppliers as part of an RFI (request for information) that it will begin production of the Model Y at its Fremont, California plant by the end of next year. Related: The Tesla Semi just made its first cargo trip transporting battery packs News about Tesla getting ready for the Model Y production may raise comments from critics, since Tesla still hasn’t fully ramped up production of the Model 3 . Tesla is still hoping that it will be able to produce 5,000 Model 3 sedans a week at some point this quarter. It may seem aggressive that Tesla plans to start production so quickly, but the fact that the compact crossover shares its platform with the Model 3 will help. Tesla aims to eventually produce 1 million Model Y crossovers a year, helped by a new production facility in China that is expected to power up by 2021. Now that we have a production start date for the Model Y, we can get ready for the reveal of the car in the near future, though Tesla hasn’t confirmed just when this will happen. For now, we just have this single teaser of the Model Y. + Tesla Via  Reuters Images by Tesla

Go here to see the original:
Tesla Model Y production will power up in November 2019

World’s first electric road that charges moving vehicles debuts in Sweden

April 12, 2018 by  
Filed under Eco, Green

The first electrified road capable of charging EVs as they drive across it is now open outside of Stockholm , Sweden. While the road — which links Stockholm Arlanda airport to a nearby logistics site — is only two kilometers long, it is a significant step forward in Sweden’s strategic plan for energy and climate change . The country aims to become independent of fossil fuels by 2030 – a task that will require a 70 percent reduction in emissions from the transportation sector. Once expanded, the electric roadways and highways in Sweden will make it convenient to charge electric vehicles and ease the country’s transition from traditional combustion engine vehicles. The system works by transferring electricity from the installed underground rail to the vehicle above through a flexible arm that attaches to the charging vehicle . “There is no electricity on the surface,” Hans Säll, chief executive of  eRoadArlanda , explained to the Guardian . “There are two tracks, just like an outlet in the wall. Five or six centimeters down is where the electricity is. But if you flood the road with salt water , then we have found that the electricity level at the surface is just one volt. You could walk on it barefoot.” Related: Siemens debuts first electrified eHighway in the US It currently costs 1 million euros to construct one kilometer of electrified road, but this is still 50 times less than the cost of installing an equivalent distance of an overhead tram line. At the moment, Sweden maintains about half a million kilometers of roadways, of which 20,000 are highways. “If we electrify 20,000 kilometers of highways that will definitely be enough,” Säll said. “The distance between two highways is never more than 45 kilometers, and electric cars can already travel that distance without needing to be recharged. Some believe it would be enough to electrify 5,000 kilometers.” Sweden and Germany are in discussion to eventually construct a network of electrified roads to encourage a Europe-wide adoption of electric vehicles. Via The Guardian Images via  Erik Mårtensson/eRoadArlanda

See original here: 
World’s first electric road that charges moving vehicles debuts in Sweden

The Gulf Stream is the weakest it’s been in 1,600 years – here’s why that’s really bad news

April 12, 2018 by  
Filed under Eco, Green

The Gulf Stream current, which serves as an important regulator of weather and climate along the Atlantic Ocean, is now the weakest it has been in at least 1,600 years. This dramatic slowing of the current, known as the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (Amoc), could usher in extreme shifts in weather patterns, such as more brutal European winters, rapid sea level rise on the American East Coast , and the disruption of essential tropical rainstorms. Suddenly, the 2004 climate-change disaster film The Day After Tomorrow, which depicted the dramatized consequences of a Gulf Stream slowdown, seems less science fiction, more predictive of a future plagued by catastrophic climate change. Although scientists have been aware of Amoc’s slowdown since 2004, two recent studies paint a more complete picture of just how dramatic this weakening has been. “The [current] climate models don’t predict [an Amoc shutdown] is going to happen in the future,” Dr. David Thornalley, leader of one of these recent studies published in the journal Nature , told the Guardian . “The problem is how certain are we it is not going to happen? It is one of these tipping points that is relatively low probability, but high impact.” Thornalley’s team gathered and analyzed sediments from North Carolina ‘s Cape Hatteras, as well as shells of marine animals at various Atlantic sites, to determine the full impact of the current slowdown. The study concludes that climate change has played at least a significant role in the weakened Amoc. Related: The Great Pacific Garbage Patch is growing at an exponential rate Also published in Nature , the second study used thermometer data from the past 120 years to reach a similar conclusion: Amoc is about 15 percent weaker than it was in 400 AD. While the second study places much of the blame on climate change , the first study also cites natural climate variability as a contributing factor to Amoc’s slowdown. Regardless of its causes, the weakening is recognized in both studies as a potentially destabilizing phenomenon. “If we do not rapidly stop global warming, we must expect a further long-term slowdown of the Atlantic overturning,” second study co-author Alexander Robinson told the Guardian . “We are only beginning to understand the consequences of this unprecedented process – but they might be disruptive.” Via The Guardian Images via Depositphotos (1 , 2)

Go here to read the rest: 
The Gulf Stream is the weakest it’s been in 1,600 years – here’s why that’s really bad news

Electricity-free, foot-powered washing machine is slated for release this summer

April 11, 2018 by  
Filed under Eco, Green

The Drumi, from product design company Yirego , is a washing machine powered by your feet — no electricity necessary. The device uses six to 12 liters of water per load, and can wash almost five pounds of clothes in around five minutes. Inhabitat first covered the little washing machine in 2015, and we checked in with Yirego to hear how they’ve improved the product, slated for release this summer. Yirego designed an environmentally friendly washing machine powered by you. And after more than 10,000 hours of product development, the Drumi is in production, and the company is aiming to release it in the summer of 2018. As they progressed past the early stages of design , they made a few key changes to improve the washing machine. Related: The zero-electricity Gentlewasher does the laundry in five minutes flat One change is the carrying handle. Users only need one hand to transport the machine, as opposed to holding both sides with the earlier model. The handle doubles as a lock, keeping the lid in place as a user peddles. The production model is now shorter than the earlier model; Yirego lowered the machine’s center of gravity to boost stability and durability. Also, they addressed peoples’ concerns that a dirty machine would impact their skin and laundry by enabling users to remove the drum out of the new Drumi for easy cleaning. Yirego said they’ve filed patents for these technologies. The washing machine is aimed at people living off the grid , in small urban apartments, or in mobile homes , to name a few. It can be utilized for small loads containing clothing like activewear or delicates. About five minutes is all it takes to clean clothes in the Drumi: around two minutes to wash, two to rinse, and 30 seconds to spin dry. You can pre-order the machine, which costs $299, in silver or green on the Yirego website . + Yirego Images courtesy of Yirego

Continued here: 
Electricity-free, foot-powered washing machine is slated for release this summer

Study suggests the average person consumes 70,000 microplastic bits every year

April 10, 2018 by  
Filed under Green

“ Plastic: it’s what’s for dinner.” Plastics are polluting the world’s waterways – and they’re also found in abundance in the average person’s gut. Researchers in the United Kingdom have determined that the average British resident consumes, on average, 70,000 bits of microplastic every year. In a study published in the journal Environmental Pollution , scientists positioned sticky petri dishes next to dinner plates in several British homes. After only twenty minutes, an average of 14 microplastic bits gathered in each petri dish. The researchers then used this data to estimate that each dinner plate accumulates roughly 100 pieces of microplastic, originating from clothing, tires, carpets, and any number of plastic products encountered in daily life. The dinner plate study that produced these results was initially designed to test the level of plastic contamination in seafood. “These results may be surprising to some people who may expect the plastic fibers in seafood to be higher than those in household dust,” study author Ted Henry said in a statement . “We do not know where these fibers come from, but it is likely to be inside the home and the wider environment.” Free-floating plastic found in households also attracts other toxic pollutants. Meanwhile, global plastic production continues. Unless something is done, global plastic waste is expected to reach 12 billion metric tons by 2050. Related: First plastic-free supermarket aisle opens in Amsterdam Dinner plates are not the only medium through which microplastic bits enter the human body. The average glass of tap water in the United States contains 4.8 fibers of plastic, while the same amount of tap water in Europe contains 1.9 fibers on average. Bottled water actually fares worse in plastic content, with each bottle containing twice as many particles as the equivalent amount of tap water. Via Global Citizen Images via Depositphotos (1)

Here is the original: 
Study suggests the average person consumes 70,000 microplastic bits every year

Major supermarket chain is the first in the UK to remove palm oil from all its food

April 10, 2018 by  
Filed under Eco, Green

Over half of products in supermarkets contain palm oil , according to United Kingdom (UK) grocery store chain Iceland , and demand is contributing to deforestation . Iceland plans to do something about it by becoming the “first major UK supermarket” to eliminate palm oil from its own label products by the close of 2018. BREAKING NEWS: We're the UK's first supermarket to commit to removing #palmoil from our own label products by the end of this year! Watch here to find out why… #PalmOilAlarmCall pic.twitter.com/hfGvH2QRDW — Iceland Foods ?? (@IcelandFoods) April 10, 2018 Palm oil is one of the largest causes of deforestation in the world, according to Iceland , which specializes in frozen foods. So they plan to remove it from their own brand products. “By the end of 2018, Iceland will stop using palm oil as an ingredient in 100 percent of its own brand food production, reducing demand for palm oil by more than 500 tonnes per year,” head chef Neil Nugent said in Iceland’s video above. Iceland said Nugent is working to replace palm oil with fats and oils that aren’t destroying rainforests — The Guardian said this includes oils like vegetable or rapeseed oils. Related: UK researchers are developing an orangutan-safe alternative to palm oil Iceland quoted their managing director Richard Walker on their website as saying, “Until Iceland can guarantee palm oil is not causing rainforest destruction, we are simply saying ‘no to palm oil.’ We don’t believe this is such a thing as sustainable palm oil available to retailers, so we are giving consumers a choice about what they buy.” Deforestation is threatening many species, including the critically endangered orangutan — their population “has more than halved in the last 15 years,” according to Iceland. The World Wildlife Fund describes the animals as gardeners of the forest, “playing a vital role in seed dispersal.” They’re vulnerable in part due to their low reproductive rate — since females only give birth to one infant around every three to five years, it can take a while for the species to recover from declines in population. + Iceland Foods on Twitter + Iceland Environment Via The Guardian Images via Depositphotos ( 1 , 2 )

More here:
Major supermarket chain is the first in the UK to remove palm oil from all its food

« Previous PageNext Page »

Bad Behavior has blocked 4113 access attempts in the last 7 days.