‘Trashy’ Sea Sculptures Focus Attention on Ocean Pollution

November 8, 2017 by  
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Some folks stroll along shorelines ignoring wayward flip-flops, scattered bits … The post ‘Trashy’ Sea Sculptures Focus Attention on Ocean Pollution appeared first on Earth911.com.

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‘Trashy’ Sea Sculptures Focus Attention on Ocean Pollution

A spectacular staircase draws you into this breathtaking daylit loft in Vienna

June 7, 2017 by  
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This renovated loft in Vienna has a sculptural staircase at its core that appears to support the entire upper floor. Design studio Smartvoll sought to preserve as much of the original space as possible while cultivating a minimalist feel reminiscent of Adolf Loos’s interiors. The renovation of the 3,767-square-foot Loft Panzerhalle introduced an abundance of natural light into the interior. The architects left the ribbon windows on the upper floor intact instead of creating galleries typical in modern loft design . An impressive central staircase sweeps upwards like a concrete sculpture, rounding off the composition. The staircase also divides the room while creating a roof over the kitchen, recesses and elevations. Related: Architects turn a cramped apartment into a gorgeous loft where the owner’s cats can roam freely While concrete dominates the space, semi-transparent materials were used to delineate the guest area and bedroom. All the furniture looks integrated into the construction, celebrating free space and minimalist aesthetics. “We wanted to revitalize the space’s original charm,” said the architects. “Magnanimity and a spatial experience of both storeys were priorities. In all dimensions.” + Smartvoll Architects Via v2com Photos by Tobias Colz/smartvoll

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A spectacular staircase draws you into this breathtaking daylit loft in Vienna

Norwegian billionaire funds world’s largest yacht to scoop up plastic

May 16, 2017 by  
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Norwegian billionaire Kjell Inge Røkke has profited from offshore drilling . But now the businessman, who started as a fisherman, wants to give back with a colossal yacht for marine research . The vessel will be able to scoop up around five tons of plastic every day, and then melt it down – all in yet another private effort to help clean up the ocean . Røkke, who’s worth around $2.6 billion , owns almost 67 percent of shipping and offshore drilling conglomerate Aker ASA . But now he’s contracted a 595-foot Research Expedition Vessel (REV) to be built by VARD and designed by superyacht designer Espen Oeino . Scientists and marine researchers will be invited aboard to study and innovate around issues like climate change , overfishing, plastic pollution, and extraction, according to owner Rosellinis Four-10 , a subsidiary of the Røkke family company TRG. Related: The Ocean Cleanup raises $21.7 million to begin ridding the Pacific Ocean of plastic Rosellinis Four-10 will collaborate with none other than World Wildlife Fund (WWF) Norway , who will manage the ship. Aboard, scientists will have access to laboratory space, sea and air drones, an auditorium, two helipads, and an autonomous underwater vehicle. 60 scientists and 40 crew could travel aboard the immense ship. According to Yacht Harbour, the REV will be largest yacht in the world – it will narrowly beat out the 592-foot Azzam yacht rumored to be owned by a member of the Abu Dhabi royal family. You may be wondering about the carbon footprint of such a massive ship. According to VARD , environmental performance was important in the vessel’s design. The REV will be equipped with an “energy recovery rudder system, medium speed engines, a direct drive diesel-electric propulsion system with battery package, and an exhaust cleaning system.” An energy management system will also help the crew lessen the REV’s carbon footprint. Røkke told Oslo’s Aftenposen publication, “I want to give back to society the bulk of what I’ve earned. This ship is a part of it…sea covers 70 percent of Earth’s surface and much is not researched.” He’s given WWF Norway total independence over the REV’s mission. WWF Norway Secretary General Nina Jensen told Aftenposten they may disagree over oil, and the organization is willing to challenge Røkke when they disagree, “but in this project we will meet to collectively make a big difference in the environmental struggle.” The REV should be ready to go around 2020. + Rosellinis Four-10 Via Time Money and Yacht Harbour Images via VARD

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Norwegian billionaire funds world’s largest yacht to scoop up plastic

Redesigned Ocean Cleanup arrays to start scooping up Pacific garbage patch within a year

May 11, 2017 by  
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The Ocean Cleanup  just made a huge announcement from Werkspoorkathedraal , an exhibition in the Netherlands. CEO Boyan Slat  revealed exciting new  design changes to The Ocean Cleanup Array , which will enable the system to be more durable and collect more plastic . They once estimated their array could clean up 42 percent of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch in 10 years – now with their groundbreaking new arrays, they will be able to scoop up 50 percent of the patch’s plastic just five years. Even more exciting, deployment will start within the next 12 months – two years earlier than expected. In a presentation titled “The Next Phase,” Slat detailed their progress from the time he began The Ocean Cleanup around four years ago to today, and unveiled their plans for the future. He said one of their main design challenges was how to tether the array to the seabed. But then they realized a tether might not be their best option. Following their core principle of working with nature , they took the idea one step further. Slat put it this way: “To catch the plastic, act like the plastic.” Related: The Ocean Cleanup raises $21.7 million to begin ridding the Pacific Ocean of plastic What does that mean? Well, an anchor attaches to the cleanup array, and effectively tethers the array not to the seabed but to a deep water layer. The system still moves slower than plastic, but can now drift with the ocean currents. The array is then free to rotate and orient itself in the direction from which the plastic is coming to scoop up even more. The vast breakthrough in design also enables the array to be more survivable; drifting with the currents means it doesn’t have to withstand the full force of the ocean. So the array acts like plastic – floating through the oceans – to catch the polluting material. The Ocean Cleanup will now deploy a fleet of smaller arrays instead of one massive system. Slat pointed out this will be easier to fund; it will still cost several hundred million dollars, by his estimate, but they can gradually scale up the cleanup process array by array. Slat said in his talk, “Four years ago when I founded The Ocean Cleanup, everyone told me that there was no way to clean up what’s already out there, and the only thing you could do is avoid making it worse. But to me, that was just such an uninspiring message. Don’t we all want a future that is better than the present? And now, we are able to show, with data, that we can actually make things better again. We can do this. We must do this. We will do this.” Parts of the system are already in production, according to Slat, who unveiled some of the newly-designed anchors at the event. Slat said they’d made a promise to start cleaning up the Great Pacific Garbage Patch by 2020. He said they wouldn’t be able to keep that promise. Instead, they’ll now be deploying the first cleanup system in the Pacific Ocean in the next 12 months. + The Ocean Cleanup Images via screenshot

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Redesigned Ocean Cleanup arrays to start scooping up Pacific garbage patch within a year

Revealing map shows the distribution of all known ocean trash

April 3, 2017 by  
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There’s still a lot the average person doesn’t know about the trash clogging up our oceans . Alfred Wegener Institute (AWI) scientists are tackling this public awareness crisis with LITTERBASE , a tool that makes it easy for the public to visualize the issue. They pulled together results from 1,237 scientific studies on two revealing maps to show exactly where known marine litter is distributed, and how it affects 1,249 marine species. AWI scientists realized there’s a large amount of research being done on the issue of marine litter, but since there are so many studies it’s hard for policymakers, authorities, and the public to reference the information they need to combat the issue. So they gathered the research in LITTERBASE in two maps. One combines 591 publications to show the distribution of garbage around the world. The other draws on 751 publications to show wildlife interactions with litter . According to LITTERBASE information cited by The Maritime Executive, 34 percent of species ingest trash, 31 percent colonize it, and 30 percent get tangled up or trapped in trash. Related: New report says plastic trash to exceed fish in the sea by 2050 AWI scientists also found in 10 years the concentration of garbage at an Arctic Ocean deep-sea station increased 20-fold. Plastic and glass were the worst offenders. It’s difficult to determine where the plastic trash came from, as it can often travel great distances before landing on the ocean floor. The maps could also help bring older studies back into public awareness. AWI scientist Melanie Bergmann said, “While compiling LITTERBASE, I discovered a cache of old data on litter in the Antarctic , which the signatory countries of the Antarctic Treaty gathered on a regular basis. In addition, the ingestion of microplastic at the beginning of the food chain was investigated for various groups of plankton and unicellular organisms as far back as the 1980s. As such, LITTERBASE will also help us rediscover old and in some cases forgotten findings.” You might notice the map has large blank swaths; the researchers note those aren’t necessarily clean areas. Rather, they just don’t yet have information for those spaces. You can check out the map of marine litter here and the map of wildlife interactions with trash here . + LITTERBASE Via The Maritime Executive Images via screenshot and Wikimedia Commons

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Revealing map shows the distribution of all known ocean trash

If you eat seafood, you’re probably eating fleece microfibers

February 7, 2017 by  
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If you enjoy spending time in the great outdoors (or simply like to feel warm and cozy throughout the day), you’re probably a fan of synthetic fleece jackets. But what you might not know is that every time one of these items runs through the wash, it releases thousands of microscopic plastic fibers into the water supply. These microfibers end up being eaten by fish and marine life – where they eventually end up back on our plates. A study last year from the University of California Santa Barbara , in collaboration with the clothing company Patagonia, shows that every time polyester fleece jackets are run through the wash without detergent, up to 2 grams of these fibers could be shed. It’s worse for top-load washing machines, which release seven times more fibers than the front-load variety. Unlike clothes dryers, which can capture loose fibers in lint traps, loose material in washing machines ends up simply being washed down the drain. Unfortunately, these microfibers are so small that wastewater treatment plants can’t filter them out. Instead, they end up being released into the environment, where they’re eaten by wildlife. Related:  Patagonia says synthetic fibers (including their own) are polluting the oceans Are these microscopic bits of plastic harmful when ingested? It’s not entirely clear. Some studies have show certain species can’t cope well with the microfibers: water fleas who inadvertently eat fleece fibers are more likely to die, and common crabs that have ingested the tiny bits of plastic eat less food overall. But further research is needed to show if humans who eat fleece-filled seafood suffer any ill effects. Unfortunately, short of avoiding fish altogether, it’s impossible to know whether you’re ingesting microfibers or not. For now, the only real solution is to either avoid washing your fleece when possible, or rig your washing machine with a filter to catch microfibers before they enter waterways. Sadly, that won’t do much unless everyone who wears synthetic fleece takes this advice to heart. Via NPR Images via Kelly and StockSnap  

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If you eat seafood, you’re probably eating fleece microfibers

The top 7 WTF moments in fashion this year

December 31, 2016 by  
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Has there ever been a year in our lifetime that so many of us have been so eager to kiss good-bye? It seems like there wasn’t a single thing not touched by tragedy: music, art, fashion , (ahem) politics . Check out our roundup of the top 7 WTF moments of 2016 and tell us which was the worst of the worst.

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The top 7 WTF moments in fashion this year

The top 7 WTF moments in fashion this year

December 31, 2016 by  
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Has there ever been a year in our lifetime that so many of us have been so eager to kiss good-bye? It seems like there wasn’t a single thing not touched by tragedy: music, art, fashion , (ahem) politics . Check out our roundup of the top 7 WTF moments of 2016 and tell us which was the worst of the worst.

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The top 7 WTF moments in fashion this year

7 articles that made us laugh this year

December 31, 2016 by  
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2016 took us to a dark, dark place, and we needed humor more than ever this year to get us through the seemingly endless barrage of pain. From an “Election cycle” bike that repeatedly slaps you in the face to the tiny wall that was erected around Donald Trump’s Hollywood star to the Kardashians’ hilariously sad architecture mixup , read on for the comedic stories that kept us from completely breaking down and throwing in the towel this year. And voice your choice in our end-of-year poll to let us know which one made you LOL the most! [poll id=115]

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7 articles that made us laugh this year

Patagonia says synthetic fibers (including their own) are polluting the oceans

July 2, 2016 by  
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Patagonia’s synthetic fleeces (along with fleeces from other manufacturers) are clogging up the oceans, poisoning the food chain and filling up landfills – and Patagonia is leading the charge to change things. Researchers from the University of California Santa Barbara found that polyester and nylon jackets, shed as many as 250,000 synthetic fibers every time you wash. And aywhere between 8 to 35 percent of this shedding ends up in waterways.

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Patagonia says synthetic fibers (including their own) are polluting the oceans

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