New WWF report says plant-based diets could help conserve and restore nature

October 12, 2020 by  
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On Friday, October 9, the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) released a report detailing how the world can meet the nutritional needs of everybody without destroying our planet. The report, which mainly focuses on plant-based diets , explores the possibility of feeding the entire world while conserving nature and restoring the lost beauty of Earth. Titled The Restorative Power of Planet-Based Diets , the report explores the power of reducing meat and dairy intake in favor of plants. It also takes a specific focus on certain geographical reasons and offers custom solutions based on each country. Although the report has been prepared with a global focus, special attention is given to the U.S. , as it is one of the most-polluting countries due to lifestyle and food choices. The report tries to explore some ways that the U.S. can change its food intake to do its part in preserving the planet. Related: The best sources for plant-based protein “The U.S. food system is one of the most important levers we have for solving climate and biodiversity crises, and what we eat and how much we consume matters. Even simple changes to our diets, like eating in line with National Dietary Guidelines, would take us a long way toward positive outcomes for both human health and the environment,” said Melissa D. Ho, senior vice president of freshwater and food for WWF. “If you can combine these efforts with others — a shift to regenerative and resilient agricultural systems, a less wasteful supply chain, and policies that incentivize producing food with human nutrition and planetary-health at the forefront — we will see positive impacts for people and the planet at a global scale.” WWF has also released an online tool to help users estimate the impact their dietary changes could have globally. According to Brent Loken, global food lead scientist at WWF, the current world population is becoming a burden on our limited resources. But Loken believes it is possible to feed the entire world without jeopardizing our ecosystems. “Taking a look at our food system today and seeing hunger, inequity, and environmental devastation, you might think it’s simply impossible to feed 8-10 billion people without destroying the planet,” Loken explained. “But that’s not the case; in fact, the opposite is true. Not only can we feed the entire population of Earth, we can do it in a way that improves human health globally and allows nature to recover from the damage we’ve caused.” + WWF Image via Rita E.

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New WWF report says plant-based diets could help conserve and restore nature

UK plans to be powered entirely by offshore wind turbines by 2030

October 12, 2020 by  
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U.K. prime minister Boris Johnson has affirmed government plans to ensure that the entire country is powered by offshore wind energy by 2030. Speaking at a virtual conservative party meeting, he reiterated his promise, saying that renewable energy will be used to power all homes in England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales by the end of the decade. “Your kettle, your washing machine, your cooker, your heating, your plug-in electric vehicle , the whole lot of them will get their juice cleanly and without guilt from the breezes that blow around these islands,” Johnson said. Related: One-quarter of UK mammals face threat of extinction To fulfill this ambitious plan, the U.K. government will be required to generate at least 40GW of energy with its offshore wind turbines. In 2019, the government had committed to generating 30GW via wind energy. Johnson promised to increase that to 40GW following a party victory in December 2019 elections. While the plan to generate 100% green energy for the U.K. is positive news, the project faces various challenges. The pandemic has caused financial difficulties, but Johnson assured conference viewers that the government will invest £160 million ($207 million) to develop improved turbines to meet the goal. Johnson said the government will also deploy floating turbines to generate at least 1GW of offshore wind energy . “The government has raised the ambition for offshore wind and renewables , and our industry is ready to meet the challenge,” Hugh McNeal, CEO of trade association RenewableUK, said. According to an analysis done by Aurora Energy Research , almost £50 billion ($64.8 billion) will be required to generate 40GW of wind energy. The U.K. currently has about 10GW of offshore wind power. The analysis also shows that the government will have to install an average of 260 turbines per year over five years to meet the target. Via Engadget Image via Thomas G.

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West 8 and Studio 44 win Tuchkov Buyan Park competition in St. Petersburg

October 12, 2020 by  
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Rotterdam-based West 8 and Saint Petersburg-based Studio 44 have won an international competition with their design for the Tuchkov Buyan Park, a new proposed waterfront park in Saint Petersburg, Russia. Over 200 teams from 50 countries applied for participation in the competition. A shortlist of eight participants were selected, including Studio 44 and West 8; a team led by Agence Ter and Philippe Rahm architectes; Bjarke Ingels Group with BuroHappold NYC; JV Vogt and Herzog & de Meuron with ARUP; Kengo Kuma and Associates with Vladimir Djurovic Landscape Architecture; and a team led by Michel Desvigne Paysagiste and Meganom. The JV Vogt and Herzog & de Meuron team and local firm Khvoya were selected as finalists. Developed on behalf of the Government of the Russian Federation, the international competition for the Tuchkov Buyan Park in Saint Petersburg sought a design for the city’s first park with direct river access in the city’s Petrograd region. The park, which would be within walking distance of key city landmarks such as the Peter and Paul Fortress and the Rostral Columns of Vasilievsky Island, would also link the city’s green spaces with an unbroken pedestrian route . Related: Former railway yard to receive a green transformation in St. Petersburg The winning proposal by West 8 and Studio 44 conceptualizes a contemporary park with strong sculptural landscaping to not only create a buffer from the urban fabric but also provide protection from the wind and direct sightlines. In addition to sculpted topography, the Tuchkov Buyan Park comprises 12 new biotopes including a boreal forest, a mixed forest, the waterside, the park area and the Orangery to create shelter and nesting opportunities for local fauna. Year-round programming would also be provided so that visitors can enjoy the park in all seasons.  To reduce the park’s environmental footprint, energy-efficient LEDs will be used for outdoor lighting. Solar panels mounted on building roofs would also offset energy needs, while a rainwater management system that collects, transports and filters rainwater is proposed for landscape irrigation purposes. + West 8 + Studio 44 Images via Strelka KB

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West 8 and Studio 44 win Tuchkov Buyan Park competition in St. Petersburg

Simple, sustainable DIY Halloween decor

October 12, 2020 by  
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Fall has arrived, and the holiday season is right around the corner, making for the perfect time to get creative with Mission Fall Decor 2020. While you might find inspiration walking through the local home improvement or craft store, dedicating yourself to DIY decor saves you money, adds a personal sense of accomplishment and presents the opportunity to recycle or select materials that are sustainable and environmentally-friendly. Use products of the season  Autumn is the season for apple and pumpkin  everything, which launches a starting point for your seasonal decorating. Select glass bowls to fill with apples or gourds for an easy table centerpiece. Similarly, carve out the tops of apples or pumpkins and place a candle inside. To fill the house with the smell of cinnamon and apples, cube or slice an apple, add a cinnamon stick and some nutmeg and top with water. Allow the mixture to simmer on the stove, and keep an eye on the water level so it doesn’t boil dry. Related: DIY fall decor using upcycled items from thrift stores To add a cozy feel, grab a flannel blanket and drape it over a hay bale near the door to welcome guests. Top with a few pumpkins and give it a backdrop of corn stalks. After the season, everything except the blanket can go into the compost pile. Now with your scene set, put on your crafty hat for some additional decorations easily made from home-sourced supplies. Twig wreath Walk into a craft store this time of year, and you’ll likely see an assortment of wreaths, including a basic design with nothing more than twigs glued together. Instead of doling out the cash, make your own using  natural materials . Bundle up the kids and head out for a stick-collection party. With your selections back home, scrape the sticks free of moss and dirt. Overlap them and adhere with a hot glue gun, creating a circle as you work. After completing the first layer, add additional layers for depth. Once the twigs are securely attached, you can keep the ultra-natural look or spraypaint the wreath black or even orange for a bolder display. Add a burlap bow, or glue berries, mini pumpkins or dried apples on if you desire. You can check out this tutorial from  Ernest Home Co.  for more guidance. Metal Jack-O-Lantern luminaries Of course, a very popular fall holiday inspires specific witchy and graveyard appeal. To get started on your Halloween Decor 2020, hang luminaries with a Halloween theme, or use them to line a walkway up the driveway or through the garden. To make, select clean, dry cans from the waste pile and remove the lids. Watch for sharp edges. Depending on the look you want, you can use anything from a large coffee can down to a tuna can (although the latter might work better with a floating candle). Spray-paint your cans black or orange. Use the opposite color of poster board to cut out a variety of facial features such as eyes, noses and mouths. Cut up those thin marketing magnets that seem to accumulate from mailings and the front of phone books, then glue a piece to the back of each poster board cutout. You can then mix and match the faces to the front of the cans. Using a drill, create holes around the can in a random pattern. This will allow light to glow through. Place a candle or LED light inside the can so you can enjoy spooky or funny Jack-O-Lantern faces during the day and luminaries when the sun goes down. Visit  Fun Cheap or Free  for a peek at what the end product will look like. Fabric pumpkins Small, large, orange, cream or black fabric pumpkins are easy to make by recycling fabric you already have around the house. Dig through your sewing box for a basic needle with a large eye. Use whatever thread, string, yarn, ribbon or jute you already have. If using a piece of fabric, start by creating two panels and connecting them on two sides. A shortcut and wonderful way to upcycle is to use a shirt, sweater or sweatshirt for the fabric. With either source of material, roughly gather and sew closed the bottom of the pumpkin. The gathering technique helps to form the rounded bottom. Next, stuff the pumpkins with other discarded clothing, fabric, cotton, newspaper or any other material you’d like to reuse. Gather the fabric around the top of the pumpkin, cutting off the rest of the shirt parts if needed, and tie off with burlap strips or jute. You can make these pumpkins in a variety of sizes for a display. Reclaimed wood-painted blocks and signs If you enjoy  wood crafts, you likely have an assortment of wood pieces laying around just waiting for the right project to match. Use or create blocks out of 1x1s or 4x4s. Paint them using freehand techniques or stencils. You could also use a wood burner or router to sculpt a design. For longer boards, make some ghoulish signs to greet, or deter, your guests. Guide them towards the warm cookies in the kitchen or the scary graveyard in the front yard. Bat Mobile No, this isn’t a Batmobile, but a mobile, like the decorations that hang above a baby’s crib. To make, simply create bat cutouts from poster board or cardboard. Spray-paint them black and attach them in a series of heights using string or yarn. Attach the top of each strip to a round hoop, then add strings that connect the hoop to a central hook for hanging. Images via Pexels and Shutterstock

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The best DIY baby food recipes approved by experts

September 30, 2020 by  
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Every parent wants to do what’s best for their baby, and making your own baby food is just one of the many considerations toward that goal. If you’ve decided to learn how to make baby food at home, you may feel overwhelmed. Thankfully, with some information and helpful hints, you can begin creating homemade, healthy meals for your little tike. Pros and cons of DIY baby food An important note: commercial baby food must meet high safety and nutritional standards. So, if you choose to go with store-bought baby food, it’s okay! However, the DIY approach offers many advantages. One pro of homemade baby food is that you know exactly what’s in it. This allows you to skip seasonings, sweeteners or other ingredients that may concern you. If your child has food allergies, homemade baby food also allows you to target potential problem foods. Making your own food also limits waste from pre-packaged foods. Additionally, some parents find the DIY technique less expensive. Perhaps one of DIY baby food’s biggest advantages is the variety of options compared to the store’s standardized selections. Plus, serving baby what the rest of the family eats may help decrease the food battles later on. “The stages of going from exclusive breast milk or formula to eating family foods at about one year of age is very important for setting the stage for a positive feeding environment. It isn’t just for fun,” Eve Reed, Family Food Works pediatric dietician, said. Related: Sumo wrestles sustainability into an all-natural, biodegradable diaper On the cons list, making baby food from scratch takes time, often a significant amount of time. Store-bought foods often prove more convenient for transport and storage , too. In contrast, making and storing homemade food comes with increased safety concerns.  Supplies and techniques Hit up your search engine for baby food making supplies, and you’ll find an endless list of commercial options to make the job easier. For a more minimalistic route, you can use a basic food processor or even a potato masher. Regardless of the tool you use, make sure baby’s food is soft with no chunks. When starting out, the baby’s food will need to stay very thin, but over time it can get thicker. A few basic techniques apply to all baby food. Use steaming, microwaving or baking as your cooking method. Avoid frying. Cook all foods until they are very soft for ease of pureeing or mashing. Safety   When preparing to make baby food, start by washing your hands. Wash and peel produce before cooking and remove all bones and skin from meat and fish if your baby is old enough for those foods. Avoid honey in any foods meant for a child younger than 12 months. Although you can use herbs for flavor, go light on seasonings such as salt and spices that may offend a sensitive palate. Storage One of the best ways to store small amounts of baby food is to press it into ice trays. Once frozen, transfer the food into a freezer-safe container. You can also spoon piles of food onto a tray and freeze for the same effect. As far as serving size, use ¼ cup as a guide, but note that although parents often worry about the amount of food a child eats, it’s rarely a medical concern. According to pediatric dietician and registered nutritionist Judy More, “the problem of most mothers is that they get hung up on the quantity of food that their babies eat. What’s more important is that a baby experiences a wide range of tastes and textures.” What to make Dieticians recommend incorporating the rainbow when planning meals for baby. Make sure to include green foods such as peas and beans along with yellow pears, red apples and orange carrots . You can cook these items in batches over the weekend and make extra to build up supplies. Even better, serve your baby food directly from the daily menu while you’re preparing food for the rest of the family. Jennifer Shu, MD, a pediatrician in Atlanta and co-author of “Heading Home with Your Newborn: From Birth to Reality and Food Fights: Winning the Nutritional Challenges of Parenthood Armed with Insight, Humor, and a Bottle of Ketchup” says, “For example, when you make mashed potatoes for the family, set aside some that don’t have whole milk added. You can add a little butter or mild spices. As long as you’re eating healthy, you can give your baby a modified version of what you’re eating.” Similarly, when making sweet potatoes or squash , skip the additions and cook it a few minutes longer until very soft. After pureeing, you can add the food to water, breast milk or formula to thin it as needed. This technique applies to other foods as well. For a simple food, smash a very ripe banana, kiwi or avocado and serve directly. You can easily make applesauce for baby too. Peel and core your apples, cut into small cubes and simmer on the stove with a small amount of water for around 20 minutes. When very soft, puree the apples, put them through a food mill or use a masher until you reach the desired consistency. You can add a dash of cinnamon for flavor. This recipe works well alongside some boxed baby oatmeal, too.  As baby ages Once your child gets a bit older, masters chewing and can handle more variety, you may seek specific toddler and baby food recipes . For that, we turn to Whitney and Alex, two moms who are dietitians and founders of the Plant-Based Juniors community. Affectionately known as PBJ for short, the duo provides a wealth of information on their blog, plus an assortment of ready-to-follow recipes for  plant-based  prenatal and pediatric nutrition. For example, this fiber-rich  walnut blueberry muffin top recipe  might have you happily showing your tot how yummy it is. You can also check out the  Vegan Smash Cake  for a healthier version of a sugary birthday cake, or a vegan take on the ever-popular  mac and cheese . PBJ even shows you ways to sneak budget-friendly, protein-packed tofu into your kiddo’s meal plan. These include sliders, sandwiches, nuggets and a scramble.  Images via Shutterstock

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The best DIY baby food recipes approved by experts

Yves Behar’s Vessyl Smart Cup Detects the Nutritional Content of Everything You Drink

June 17, 2014 by  
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There’s more to hydration than simply drinking eight cup of water a day. The new Vessyl cup, designed by Yves Behar , keeps track of what you drink by displaying the fat, sugar, caffeine and caloric content of any liquid poured into it. It can also track your progress by connecting to your smartphone via the Vessyl mobile app. Read the rest of Yves Behar’s Vessyl Smart Cup Detects the Nutritional Content of Everything You Drink Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: Fuseproject design , green design , green gadgets , Pryme hydration detector , smart cup design , smart cup smartphone , smartphone app hydration , Vessyl cup , Vessyl cup Yves Behar

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Yves Behar’s Vessyl Smart Cup Detects the Nutritional Content of Everything You Drink

Grass Fed Beef Still Has E. Coli Danger

January 28, 2010 by  
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The benefits of organic and grass fed beef have been well documented.  Numerous studies have shown that organic and grass fed beef has significantly higher levels of Omega 3s and lower levels of saturated fats than conventionally produced beef.  But recent studies have cast doubt on the long held wisdom that grass fed beef does not have significant E. Coli contamination issues. Conventional food wisdom has stated that since it isn’t raised on a feedlot, grass fed beef is less susceptible to E.

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Grass Fed Beef Still Has E. Coli Danger

General Mills To Cut Sugar In Kids Cereals

December 9, 2009 by  
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General Mills announced plans today to cut the sugar content in many of its cereals by as much as 25% in popular brands such as Lucky Charms, Trix, and Cocoa Puffs.  The move comes as food manufactures like General Mills face increased scrutiny from food regulators, and pressure from consumer and health groups over the nutritional content of their cereals, especially those marketed directly to children.

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General Mills To Cut Sugar In Kids Cereals

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