Rammed earth Kopila Valley School is the greenest school in Nepal

April 10, 2019 by  
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In Nepal , access to education doesn’t just improve job prospects — schools can save lives, whether it’s rescuing children from malnourishment or delaying the age of marriage to reduce rates of HIV, maternal death and suicide. That’s why American nonprofit BlinkNow has dedicated itself to building community infrastructure in Surkhet, Nepal, including the Kopila Valley School. Powered entirely by solar energy and built of rammed earth walls, the campus is billed by the founders as the “greenest school in Nepal.” Located on three acres of land, the recently opened Kopila Valley School serves more than 400 students from nursery through 12th grade. The campus was built to expand on the nonprofit’s existing primary school and create a safe and nurturing environment that is not only a place of learning (with school uniforms and books provided), but also offers children nutritious meals, basic medical and dental care and after-school activities, such as sports and cooking classes. The school employs more than 100 Nepalese teachers and administrators. The campus also includes a Mental Health and Counseling Center, the Kopila Valley Health Clinic, a tutoring room, a computer lab, a stage and a small library. Sustainability is at the forefront of the campus design. Locally sourced rammed earth , chosen for superior thermal mass and temperature control, was used to construct the 18-inch-thick walls reinforced with steel bars for stability and earthquake resilience and a small amount of PPC cement to protect against dampness during monsoon season. Natural ventilation and lighting were also optimized in the positioning of the buildings and windows, while covered terraces at southern-facing walls provide shade. The campus is 100 percent solar-powered with a 25.2 kWp solar PV system and a 20 kVA off-grid battery system. Related: UK architect helps locals rebuild Nepal temple destroyed by earthquake A 300,000-liter underground cistern stores rainwater harvested from the rooftops that is filtered for potable use. The landscaping and permeable paving ensure rainwater is also used to replenish the groundwater system. All wastewater is treated on site with constructed wetlands and then recycled. Gray water from sinks is used to flush the toilets; black water is filtered for plant irrigation; solids are converted in a pressurized tank into biogas fuel for cooking. Solar cookers are also used for cooking. + BlinkNow Images via BlinkNow

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Rammed earth Kopila Valley School is the greenest school in Nepal

Nominate the 2018 GreenBiz 30 Under 30

February 26, 2018 by  
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Do you know a rising star in the field of sustainability? We are looking for nominations to recognize the next generation of sustainable business leaders as part of GreenBiz’s third annual 30 Under 30 feature. This list recognizes young professionals tackling some of the toughest sustainability challenges in business — from inside big companies, at the helm of startups or in the nonprofit sector.

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Nominate the 2018 GreenBiz 30 Under 30

Elon Musk’s brother Kimbal is giving away his personal Tesla Model 3

February 21, 2018 by  
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Kimbal Musk , Tesla CEO Elon Musk’s brother , is giving away his Tesla Model 3 — the sixth one ever made. Why would he do that? According to Electrek , it’s for a good cause: to benefit his nonprofit, Big Green , which provides Learning Gardens for underserved schools . Hit the jump to find out how you could win. Musk is giving away his own Tesla Model 3: a blue one that Omaze , the online platform hosting the campaign, described as fully loaded : “We’re talking everything from voice-activated controls and Wi-Fi/LTE connectivity to a premium audio system and LED fog lamps. Plus, the Long Range battery, which will keep you going for over 300 miles. This Tesla hasn’t been to space, but it’s still out of this world.” Oh, and taxes are covered as well, according to Omaze. Related: Kimbal Musk launches a revolutionary shipping container farm initiative in Brooklyn I’m so excited to give YOU the chance to win my fully customized #teslamodel3 —the sixth Model 3 ever made—to support my nonprofit @biggreen Watch the brilliant minds who helped me design my next car, then enter to win through my bio link or omaze.com/tesla ???? A post shared by Kimbal Musk (@kimbalmusk) on Feb 20, 2018 at 8:29am PST The legal information on Omaze’s website also lists other premium upgrade details, like heated seating, open pore wood decor, a tinted glass roof with infrared and ultraviolet protection, and a center console with docking for two smartphones. Omaze said the average retail value of the Tesla is $60,500. I sure do love my #Tesla #Model3 ?? ? ?? A post shared by Kimbal Musk (@kimbalmusk) on Feb 19, 2018 at 9:08am PST Musk isn’t giving his car away totally for free, of course. People who want to win the car can make a donation to Big Green through Omaze for entries into the contest. The money will go towards helping the nonprofit “establish a culture in schools that promotes youth wellness and reduce preventable diet-related health disparities. Just $50 can provide seeds, plants, and supplies for a single school’s garden for a whole year.” Big Green’s ultimate goal is to construct Learning Gardens at every single low-income school in America. The minimum amount you can donate, $10, gets you 100 entries. A higher donation means more entries. The deadline to enter is April 24; the winner will be announced around May 8. Find out more here . + Win Kimbal Musk’s Tesla Model 3 + Big Green Via Electrek Image via Omaze

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Elon Musk’s brother Kimbal is giving away his personal Tesla Model 3

The world’s longest hiking trail is officially open

September 8, 2017 by  
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The Great Trail in Canada is aptly named – it’s now the longest hiking trail in the world at 14,864 miles. It was built over the last 25 years, snaking through 13 provinces and territories. The trail, which is comprised of over 400 individual paths, just officially opened at the end of August. Canada’s Great Trail winds from Saint John’s in Newfoundland to Victoria in British Columbia, with a loop up through the Northwest Territories and Yukon to the Arctic Ocean. It’s not limited to hiking – explorers traversing the trail can snowmobile, bike, ride horses, or cross-country ski through some parts of the route. 26 percent actually crosses water, so a canoe or kayak is necessary to cross some portions. No cars are allowed. An estimated four out of five Canadians reside within 30 minutes of part of the trail. Related: World’s longest car-free trail stretching 15,000 miles to open next year in Canada Local areas maintain the smaller trails that come together to form The Great Trail, described as “truly a gift from Canadians to Canadians” by the nonprofit Trans Canada Trail, the organization that has overseen its development. The Great Trail has also been termed the largest volunteer project in the country’s history. According to Trans Canada Trail, The Great Trail promotes conservation and healthy living, and it is expected to stimulate tourism and create jobs. The group calls it a national legacy for future generations. Users will be treated to sweeping views of mountains, plains, frozen tundra, coastal islands, urban areas, and lakes throughout the country. The longest section of the trail, which passes right through major cities like Toronto, Montreal, Halifax, Edmonton, Ottawa, and Winnipeg, is in Ontario, where it rambles around the Great Lakes. If this sounds as good to you as it does to us, you can locate a portion of the trail near you on this interactive map or via The Great Trail app (available for iOS and Android ). + The Great Trail Via Mother Nature Network Images via The Great Trail ( 1 , 2 )

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The world’s longest hiking trail is officially open

The 2017 GreenBiz 30 Under 30

June 5, 2017 by  
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This year’s crop of young professionals from around the world are tackling the biggest sustainability challenges — inside companies, academe, media and the nonprofit sector.

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The 2017 GreenBiz 30 Under 30

30 Under 30, one year later: Acclaim, aspirations and advice for Trump

June 5, 2017 by  
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Despite a radical shift in the U.S. worldview, last year’s honorees are more determined than ever to uphold the cause of sustainable business.

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30 Under 30, one year later: Acclaim, aspirations and advice for Trump

Beyond beanbags: How to truly engage young sustainability professionals

June 5, 2017 by  
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Advice on nurturing next-gen leadership from a 2016 “30 Under 30” honoree.

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Beyond beanbags: How to truly engage young sustainability professionals

Millennials to the world: Ignore Trump

June 4, 2017 by  
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How the Paris decision is seen by America’s largest living generation, the group poised to inherit climate change’s fast-approaching challenges.

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Millennials to the world: Ignore Trump

Detroit nonprofit seeks crowdfunding for new East Side community garden

August 11, 2016 by  
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Community gardens have been popping up all over Detroit in recent years, as local residents work cooperatively to reinvigorate their struggling city. A new project planned for the city’s east side will take the trend a step further. In a partnership between a local nonprofit, two state government agencies, and the community at large, a nearly abandoned plot will be transformed into a community herb and vegetable garden with an adjacent building for community events and classes. True to form, the project can’t take off without healthy community support, and a crowdfunding campaign is underway to raise half of the money needed to build the much-needed resource. Wolverine Human Services is the nonprofit organizing the project for the Jefferson-Mack neighborhood of east Detroit, near its addiction recovery facility Wolverine Center and the John S. Vitale Community Center. The East Side Community Garden and Farmers Market’s crowdfunding campaign , launched on Patronicity on July 25, aims to raise $50,000. If that goal is met, two state agencies (Michigan Economic Development Corporation and Michigan State Housing Development Authority) will double the funds through their Public Spaces, Community Places grant match program for a total project budget of $100,000. In a neighborhood on the brink of blight, the project seeks to add a community garden and training facility where residents can tend crops, learn about sustainability and farming, and build strong relationships with their neighbors. Related: Detroit’s largest urban farm to grow 60 acres of fresh produce The garden will include a series of 4-foot by 8-foot raised beds, with paved pathways that meet ADA Accessibility regulations so that all Detroit residents will be welcome and able to participate in growing their own herbs and vegetables. The site will also be home to a mixed-use building, which will host farmers’ markets, retail events, a classroom, and act as storage for agricultural equipment. Wolverine promises the center will be a safe place for residents to work and learn, with abundant lighting and security. Crowdfunding will continue until September 22, 2016. At the time of this report, the campaign has raised more than half of its $50,000 goal. + Support Detroit’s East Side Community Garden and Farmers Market Via Crain’s Images via Wolverine Human Services

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Detroit nonprofit seeks crowdfunding for new East Side community garden

Good news for animals: historic dairy farm goes vegan

February 5, 2016 by  
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Animal sanctuaries are popping up all across America, and one of the newest comes with a pretty amazing back story. The historic Lewis Oliver Farm located in Long Island, New York started as a dairy farm around 1890. After decades as a petting zoo, local residents rallied to rescue the remaining animals, who now share their home with a motley collection of animals rescued from other meat and dairy factories as well as from circumstances of neglect and abuse. As if a dairy farm turned animal sanctuary weren’t reason enough to celebrate, hold onto your hats. This nonprofit also comes with vegan ice cream. Read the rest of Good news for animals: historic dairy farm goes vegan

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Good news for animals: historic dairy farm goes vegan

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