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

LEGO celebrates Frank Lloyd Wright’s 150th birthday with Guggenheim Museum kit

June 8, 2017 by  
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Visionary architect, Frank Lloyd Wright – who was born on June 8th, 1867 – designed and built over 500 buildings over the course of his lifetime. To celebrate the beloved architect’s 150th birthday, LEGO is releasing 740-piece lego set that lets architecture lovers recreate one of Wright’s most iconic works – NYC’s Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum. The custom lego set is highly detailed, recreating the museum’s beautiful modernist curvaceous facade and even has the building’s eight-story annex tower sitting adjacent to a stretch of NYC’s 5th Avenue Museum Mile, complete with tiny yellow cabs. The kit even includes a scaled replica of the Guggenheim sign, which features Wright’s own architectural lettering. Related: LEGO Announces Model of Frank Lloyd Wright’s Robie House “This accurately detailed Lego model faithfully recreates the curves and distinctive lines that have made this building an architectural icon for the last half-century,” said LEGO. Although the Guggenheim set is a celebration of one of the architect’s most iconic building, it’s not the first time that LEGO has shown the architect some love. Six years ago, the company released a 2,276-piece version of his beautiful Robie House . This isn’t the first time LEGO has released the Guggenheim museum, either, but the previous set was much smaller and less detailed than this newest set. The Guggenheim Museum will also be celebrating the architect with architecture-themed tours and various activities throughout the month of June. + LEGO Via Dezeen Images via LEGO and Wikimedia Commons

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LEGO celebrates Frank Lloyd Wright’s 150th birthday with Guggenheim Museum kit

Green roof with bee hotel tops energy-neutral fair trade building in the Netherlands

May 25, 2017 by  
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Fair trade fruits and vegetables aren’t the only things coming and going at Nature’s Pride—buzzing bees and birds are also flocking to the sustainable distribution hub. Paul de Ruiter Architects designed the giant green-roofed facility in Maasdijk, where it serves as one of the largest Dutch importers of exotic fruits and vegetables. As a recipient of a BREEAM Excellent certificate, Nature’s Pride is also one of the top five most sustainable distribution centers in Western Europe. The design of the 37,000-square-meter Nature’s Pride facility is guided by the company’s philosophy for openness and transparency. The energy-neutral building features a flexible structure that can be modified with minimal interventions. “Recesses in the floor can easily be closed, emergency staircases can be moved and the floor at the packaging department can be loaded more heavily,” write the architects. “All together it enables to building to fulfill a completely different function if required in the future.” Related: Former museum in Rotterdam is transformed into a luxury energy-saving villa Produce enters the distribution center via the north side’s fourteen loading docks and is transported out on the east side. Glazing wraps around the building to let in natural light. The large roof contains room for parking and electric vehicle charging stations. The building also includes a 2,000-square-meter green roof with a bee hotel and a butterfly roof garden. Stormwater runoff is collected and reused for flushing the toilets and cleaning operations. + Paul de Ruiter Architects Images by Jeroen Musch

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Green roof with bee hotel tops energy-neutral fair trade building in the Netherlands

7 Sinful Toothpaste Ingredients to Avoid

May 24, 2017 by  
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Note: This post contains affiliate links, which helps fund our Recycling Directory, the most comprehensive in North America. You do it every day — at least twice if you’re one of the 69 percent who brushes your pearly whites morning and…

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7 Sinful Toothpaste Ingredients to Avoid

5 Captivating Recycling Books for Kids 5 and Under

May 22, 2017 by  
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Note: This post contains affiliate links, which helps fund our Recycling Directory, the most comprehensive in North America. The idea of recycling or repurposing things comes naturally to young children, as most are very crafty and resourceful….

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5 Captivating Recycling Books for Kids 5 and Under

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