The world’s biggest offshore wind farm is being built in the UK

September 12, 2017 by  
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Very soon, the UK will be home to the world’s largest wind farm . The UK Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) announced that DONG Energy  is building a 1,386 megawatt wind farm called Hornsea Project Two. Once completed, the massive project will provide enough energy to power 1.3 million homes. Thanks to record low prices, offshore wind is now cheaper than gas and nuclear energy. This resulted in a  UK-low strike price of £57.50 per MWh, making wind an attractive investment. The Hornsea Project Two will be located 89 kilometers off the Yorkshire coast and slightly north of Hornsea Project One, a 1,200 MW offshore wind farm in the North Sea off the coast of England. The equivalent of 1.3 million UK homes are expected to receive power from the Hornsea Project Two, and up to 2,000 jobs during construction and 130 jobs during the 25-year operation life of the project will be created. “We’re delighted to be awarded a Contract for Difference for Hornsea Project Two, which is another important step towards fulfilling our vision of making offshore wind the most competitive form of electricity generation,” Said Samuel Leupold, the Executive Vice President and CEO of Wind Power at DONG Energy. “We have always promoted size as a key driver for cost. The ideal size of an offshore wind farm is 800-1,500MW, and therefore it is natural that Hornsea Project Two will deliver record-low costs to society. At the same time, the low strike price demonstrates the cost saving potential of developer-built offshore grid connections, which in the UK is included in the project scope.” Related: Revolutionary floors made from waste wood pulp generate clean energy DONG Energy UK’s Managing Director, Matthew Wright, added, “This is a breakthrough moment for offshore wind in the UK and a massive step forward for the industry . Not only will Hornsea Project Two provide low cost, clean energy to the UK, it will also deliver high-quality jobs and another huge boost to the UK supply chain.” The Hornsea Project One will begin operation in 2020, and Project Two in 2022. According to UK Minister for Energy and Industry, Richard Harrington, the UK’s latest investment is evidence that the country has “placed clean growth at the heart of the Industrial Strategy to unlock opportunities across the country while cutting carbon emissions . He said, “The offshore wind sector alone will invest £17.5bn in the UK up to 2021 and thousands of new jobs in British businesses will be created by the projects announced today. This government will continue to seize these opportunities as the world moves towards a low carbon future, and will set out ambitious proposals in the upcoming Clean Growth Plan.” + Dong Energy  Via Clean Technica Images via Dong Energy , Shutterstock

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The world’s biggest offshore wind farm is being built in the UK

Recycling Solar Glasses After the Eclipse

August 21, 2017 by  
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Plenty of people are rocking eyewear today with funky rectangular paper frames. In peak demand for the Aug. 21 solar eclipse in North America, these specs are all about protecting the peepers. As you probably know, it’s not safe to look at…

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Recycling Solar Glasses After the Eclipse

Staggered volumes help make Portland’s Slate building an energy-efficient marvel

August 15, 2017 by  
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Portland, Oregon’s new mixed-use development , known as Slate, consists of a shifting stack of volumes that reflect the vibrancy and complexity of the neighborhood. The development, designed by Works Progress Architecture for co-developers Urban Development Partners and Beam Development , earned  LEED Gold certification as an energy-efficient complex that takes the curtain-wall system to the next level. The 10-story development has six floors of apartment units, up to four floors of co-working office spaces and around 7,800 square feet of retail space at street level. Its modular, rectangular shapes have a sculptural quality on the east and west elevations, while a flat, clean look dominates the north and south side of the building. Related: Oregon’s Largest Education Building Achieves LEED Platinum Certification The architects worked closely with the glazing contractor to create a unitized curtain-wall system. Dallas Glass installed Wausau Window and Wall Systems, which can be put in place in a fraction of the time needed to install field-glazed systems. Related: Cherokee Mixed-Use Lofts is a LEED Platinum Award Winning Design The facade was thermally improved to respond to the challenges of Portland ‘s climate. This thermal barrier is combined with solar-control, low-e, insulating glass to achieve a high performance for solar heat gain control, condensation resistance and high visible light transmittance. The system also facilitates optimal natural ventilation in order to reduce the reliance of HVAC systems. + Works Progress Architecture Photos by Joshua Jay Elliott , courtesy of Works Progress Architecture

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Staggered volumes help make Portland’s Slate building an energy-efficient marvel

You can own one of six US lighthouses for about $10K heres how

August 4, 2017 by  
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If you’ve ever dreamt of snuggling up in a lighthouse with a cozy book and hot cocoa, now’s your chance. The U.S. federal government is auctioning off six fairy tale-like lighthouses, and the starting prices begin at just $10,000. For potential B&B owners, retired folk or history fans, it offers a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Though the government will retain ownership of the “land” under and surrounding each property, successful bidders will have a chance to restore, renovate and redevelop the property to its former glory. Before seafarers used a GPS and other tech-enabled navigational apparatuses to navigate, lighthouses warned of dangers, such as rocks, shoals, reefs and similar hazards near the shore or port. Now, many of the historic lighthouses are obsolete, which is why the U.S. Coast Guard and the federal agencies are auctioning off the properties. The auctions opened on July 18 and are being hosted by the U.S. General Services Administration . Beginning bids range from $10,000 to $15,000 — a steal, some might say. To bid on a property, would-be buyers need to put down deposits ranging from $5,000 to $10,000. Upon investing in the property , lighthouse owners then need to restore the building by adding modern amenities and getting it up to code so civilians may visit. Related: Denmark’s 116-year-old lighthouse transformed into a giant kaleidoscope One lighthouse being auctioned off, the historic Chesapeake Bay lighthouse , is just two miles from the Baltimore shores. The other five being sold are on Michigan’s Great Lakes. The most expensive, by far, is the Minneapolis Shoal Light which is situated on the Great Lakes Public Trust bottomlands in Lake Michigan. Its bidding will extend until August 15th. The Craighill Lower Range Front Light Station , located off North Point State Park in the Chesapeake Bay, is also for sale and will be auctioned until September 15th. Each lighthouse has a fascinating history which you can read more about on the GSA Auctions government website . + GSA Auctions Images via GSA Auctions

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You can own one of six US lighthouses for about $10K heres how

An improbable ocean voyage to end plastic waste

July 22, 2017 by  
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In 2008, two sailors drifted across the North Pacific to Hawaii on a raft made from 15,000 plastic bottles. Their journey inspired a movement to save the seas.

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An improbable ocean voyage to end plastic waste

The UN just passed a historic treaty banning nuclear weapons worldwide

July 10, 2017 by  
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Could world peace be on the horizon? Last Friday the United Nations passed a total ban on nuclear weapons in an attempt to prevent WWIII from breaking out. The 10-page document, entitled Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons , was inspired after the U.N. reopened discussion of a global nuclear ban in March of 2017, prompting 2,500 scientists from 7 countries to sign a petition urging nuclear disarmament. Now that the first-of-its-kind ban has passed, some are optimistic for a world in which the threat of nuclear war no longer exists. In a press briefing last Thursday, U.N. conference president Elayne Whyte Gomez said, “We are on the verge of adopting the treaty on the prohibition of nuclear weapons . She added, “This will be a historic moment and it will be the first multilateral nuclear disarmament treaty to be concluded in more than 20 years. The world has been waiting for this legal norm for 70 years.” TIME reports that more than 120 countries are prepared to adopt the treaty. The United States, Russia, Britain, France, China, India, Pakistan, and North Korea, on the other hand, are boycotting the initiative – supposedly because they are armed with nuclear weapons. In fact, the handful of countries has suggested strengthening the nearly 50-year-old Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty which gives only the U.S., Russia, Britain, France and China (the five original nuclear powers) the right to keep their destructive arsenal. Related: Climate change threat is as serious as nuclear war, UK minister warns Despite this, 122 member states voted in favor of negotiating “a legally-binding instrument to prohibit nuclear weapons.” North Korea was the only nation that did not participate in the voting. Singapore abstained, the Netherlands voted against the decision and eight other nations voted yes . In a joint statement , the U.S., Britain, and France wrote: “We do not intend to sign, ratify or ever become party to it.” The three countries explained, “a purported ban on nuclear weapons that does not address the security concerns that continue to make nuclear deterrence necessary cannot result in the elimination of a single nuclear weapon and will not enhance any country’s security, nor international peace and security.” Though the nuclear disarmament is controversial, Beatrice Fihn, the executive director of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons, is certain nuclear weapons need to be banned to preserve life and ensure a habitable planet for future generations. She said , “If the world comes together in support of a nuclear ban, then nuclear weapons countries will likely follow suit, even if it doesn’t happen right away.” Via TIME , Futurism Images via Depositphotos and Pixabay

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The UN just passed a historic treaty banning nuclear weapons worldwide

Easy DIY Toy Cleaners You Can Make Today

July 6, 2017 by  
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Editor’s note: This post contains affiliate links, which helps fund our Recycling Directory, the most comprehensive in North America. Cleaning toys is something we periodically do at our house, especially if someone has been sick. Lately, I…

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Easy DIY Toy Cleaners You Can Make Today

China breaks ground on first Forest City that fights air pollution

June 26, 2017 by  
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A pollution-fighting green city unlike any before is springing to life in China. Designed by Stefano Boeri Architetti , the first “Forest City” is now under construction Liuzhou, Guangxi Province. The futuristic city will use renewable energy for self sufficiency and be blanketed in almost 1 million plants and 40,000 trees—a sea of greenery capable of absorbing nearly 10,000 tons of carbon dioxide and 57 tons of pollutants annually. Commissioned by Liuzhou Municipality Urban Planning for the north of Liuzhou along the Liujiang river, the 175-hectare Liuzhou Forest City will be the first of its kind that, if successful, may raise the bar for urban design worldwide. This first Chinese Forest City will host 30,000 people in a community where all buildings are entirely covered in nearly a million plants of over 100 species, as well as 40,000 trees, that produce approximately 900 tons of oxygen . The use of greenery-covered facades builds on Stefano Boeri’s previous works, including the Vertical Forest residential building in Milan. The new green city will be entirely wired and connected to Liuzhou with a fast rail line used by electric cars. Powered by geothermal and solar energy, Liuzhou Forest City will include residential areas, commercial and recreational spaces, two schools, and a hospital. The project is slated for completion in 2020. Related: China’s first vertical forest is rising in Nanjing The architects write: “The diffusion of plants, not only in the parks and gardens or along the streets, but also over building facades, will allow the energy self-sufficient city to contribute to improve the air quality (absorbing both CO2 and fine dust of 57 tons per year), to decrease the average air temperature, to create noise barriers and to improve the biodiversity of living species, generating the habitat for birds, insects and small animals that inhabit the Liuzhou territory.” + Stefano Boeri Architetti Images via Stefano Boeri Architetti

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China breaks ground on first Forest City that fights air pollution

Top U.S. truck fleets pave way to fuel efficiency

June 21, 2017 by  
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Run on Less is a first-of-its-kind cross-country roadshow organized by Carbon War Room and the North American Council for Freight Efficiency to showcase advances in fuel efficiency.

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Top U.S. truck fleets pave way to fuel efficiency

New discovery suggests humans are 100,000 years older than previously thought

June 8, 2017 by  
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The surprising discovery of fossilized remains of five early humans in Jebel Irhoud, Morocco has led archeologists to believe that Homo sapiens originated 100,000 years earlier than previously thought. What’s more, the remains — which are estimated to be 300,000 years old — are resettling all former notions of how and where modern humans evolved. Dissatisfied by previous archeological findings in Morocco in the 1960’s, researchers from the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology and the National Institute for Archeology and Heritage in Morocco renewed the dig site. The excavation resulted in the discovery of partial skeletal remains of five people — three adults, one adolescent, and one child. Stone tools, animal bones and signs of fire use were also found. The researchers then used thermoluminescence to date the objects, which is how they learned that the objects are between 300,000 and 350,000 years old. Until this discovery, the oldest known samples of H. sapiens were discovered in Ethiopia and dated back 150,000 to 200,000 years. Because there was a lack of evidence showing Neanderthals and “archaic” Homo Sapiens (humans that pre-date H. sapiens) diverged from a common ancestor, scientists figured H. sapiens emerged rather suddenly. The remains that were found, however, now point to the possibility of an early version of H. sapiens who originated in northwest Africa approximately 300,000 years ago. This challenges the “rapid emergence” theory, which is why this discovery is so spectacular. Related: Archaeologists uncover 3,400-year-old Egyptian necropolis Archeologists now assume that after diverging from a common ancestor, a group of archaic H. sapiens spread across Africa , gradually acquiring traits that would come to characterize modern-day humans. These conclusions appear in two separate studies which were published today in the science journal Nature . Scientists describe the fossils and artifacts found at the site in the first paper and analyze and date the stone tools in the second paper . As Gizmodo reports , many groups of humans existed around the same time but it was Homo sapiens who eventually prevailed and spread out across northern Africa between 60,000 to 70,000 years ago. They then continued to migrate into Asia, Australia and North and South America . Though there is still much to discover about where humans originate, a big piece of the puzzle has been solved which will undoubtedly help archeologists learn more in the future. + Nature Via Gizmodo Images via Max Planck Gesellschaft

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New discovery suggests humans are 100,000 years older than previously thought

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