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

Meet Cig, the sea turtle made of over 1,000 cigarette butts strewn on a Florida beach

January 10, 2017 by  
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Cig is a sea turtle that looks rather cute until you take a closer look to see what he’s actually made of—1,200 repulsive cigarette butts . The striking trash-inspired sculpture is the work of Shelly Marshall, a self-taught artist and founder of SHELLart , who uses art to spread the message about the threats facing marine life and ecosystems. Together with Ocean Hour volunteers, she spent less than an hour collecting over a thousand cigarette butts strewn across Florida’s Pensacola Beach and rearranged the tiny bits of trash to create Cig the sea turtle and bring awareness to the impact of littering. Although litter control laws and public service announcements on recycling have made big impacts on the way society deals with trash, the same can’t really be said about cigarette butts. Ocean Hour, the Pensacola-based marine debris committee that stages local cleanups at the beach every Saturday, found that cigarette butts were always one of the top three local pollutants year after year. Thus, Shelly was inspired to make an art piece that would communicate the anti-litter message in a more eye-catching way. “I wanted to create something eye-catching that was both interesting and repulsive at the same time,” said Shelly to Inhabitat. “Cig the sea turtle shows the harmful effect cigarette butts have on marine life that most of us don’t get the chance to see. Those little tiny pieces of trash add up and many butts contain microplastics that interrupt the ecosystem. Most people don’t know that it can contain up to ten years for one tiny butt to decompose. We hope that Cig will spread this message and will encourage people to pick up cigarette butts and even more people to not throw them down!” Related: Artist turns urban trash into amazing animal murals Cig the sea turtle was made from a lightweight cardboard base and covered with roughly 1,200 cigarette butts attached using clear glue. The glue, Shelly adds, helped to cover up some of the smell from the trash. The artist is working with Ocean Hour to collect different kinds of trash in hopes of creating a series of marine sculptures made from commonly found debris. Her next artwork will be a bottlenose dolphin constructed of reclaimed plastic bottles . Cig will be on display at the Navarre Beach Sea Turtle Center for the month of February. + SHELLart Images via SHELLart

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Meet Cig, the sea turtle made of over 1,000 cigarette butts strewn on a Florida beach

Microplastics are killing fish faster than they can reproduce

June 8, 2016 by  
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There are 5 trillion pieces of plastic floating around in the Earth’s oceans, many of which are microplastics no larger than 5 mm large. These tiny particles are being gobbled up by fish and killing them faster than they can reproduce . A new study found that consuming the plastic pieces also slows fish down and interferes with their natural abilities to sense oncoming predators. The study , published in Science , observed perch larvae and their eating habits. When in the presence of microplastics, such as microbeads , the little guys actually preferred eating these harmful morsels over their usual meals of plankton. Ingesting the plastics slowed down development and interfered with the chemical signals the fish rely upon to sense when deadly predators are near. When pike were introduced into habitats where perch had been munching on microplastics, the perch were four times more likely to be eaten than those in a more natural environment. Related: Sea turtles face growing danger due to plastic trash in Australian waters Not only does ingesting plastic impede digestive systems with the fish, as well as with seabirds and other creatures, it seems there are longer-lasting effects on how the fish behave. All of these effects combined lead to increased mortality rates. In fact, all of the fish exposed to microplastics in the study were dead within 48 hours. Oona Lönnstedt, one of the study’s authors, told The Guardian , “If early life-history stages of other species are similarly affected by microplastics, and this translates to increased mortality rates, the effects on aquatic ecosystems could be profound.” Via  The Guardian Images via Flickr ( 1 , 2 )

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Microplastics are killing fish faster than they can reproduce

White Arkitekter wins bid to design Swedens tallest timber building

June 8, 2016 by  
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Located just below the Arctic Circle, the city of Skellefteå is surrounded by dense forests and renowned for its wooden buildings and timber construction techniques that range from traditional methods to modern technology. The 76-meter-tall Kulturhus i Skellefteå celebrates that heritage and will be built of locally sourced wood treated to withstand the harsh elements. The building’s lower, publicly accessible levels will be home to “Västerbottensteatern,” the county theater of Västerbotten; the City Library; the Anna Nordlander Museum; and “Konsthall,” Skellefteå’s art gallery. A hotel will occupy the top sixteen floors. Related: Vienna set to build the world’s tallest wooden skyscraper “A cultural centre in Skellefteå just has to be built using wood!” Said Oskar Norelius, lead architect at White. “We’re paying homage to the region’s rich tradition and we’re hoping to collaborate with the local timber industry. Together we will create a beautiful venue, open for everyone, which will both have a contemporary expression and age with grace.” The tower will be built with prefabricated glue-laminated timber modules reinforced with concrete slabs and steel trusses. Glazing will wrap around the building to offer stunning views of the landscape. The building will also be topped with a green roof and integrated with bicycle and pedestrian pathways. The building is slated for completion by 2019. + White Arkitekter Via Dezeen Images via White Arkitekter

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White Arkitekter wins bid to design Swedens tallest timber building

This sneaker was 3D-printed from recycled ocean trash

December 13, 2015 by  
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World governments weren’t the only ones making a statement at the COP21 talks in Paris this week. Adidas and Parley for the Oceans were there too — and they used the opportunity to unveil a new, eco-friendly sneaker design! The new sneaker was 3D printed using recycled polyester and plastic taken from the ocean. READ MORE >

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This sneaker was 3D-printed from recycled ocean trash

Sponge Suit bikini can help you clean the ocean while you swim

October 10, 2015 by  
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In the future, you could help clean up the oceans just by playing in your bikini. Sponge Suit is a smart bathing suit that absorbs pollution while you play in the surf. Though one may not make a huge difference, if many people got in on the technology, it could have a huge impact. READ MORE >

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Sponge Suit bikini can help you clean the ocean while you swim

Adidas unveils new sneaker prototype made from reclaimed ocean trash

July 5, 2015 by  
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Adidas has partnered up with Parley for the Oceans to create the world’s first sneaker made from reclaimed ocean trash . The prototype design was unveiled at United Nations Headquarters on 1 July 2015, and features sneaker uppers made from yarns and fibers fabricated from reclaimed ocean waste and abandoned deep-sea gillnets. Adidas says, “The concept shoe illustrates the direction adidas and Parley for the Oceans are taking, ahead of consumer-ready ocean plastic products being revealed later this year.” READ MORE > Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: Adidas , adidas make sneakers out of ocean trash , drift nets , ecouterre , gillnets , ocean cleanup , ocean trash , Parley for the Oceans , plastics in the ocean , Recycled Materials , Recycled Plastic , sneakers

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Adidas unveils new sneaker prototype made from reclaimed ocean trash

Inhabitat’s Top 6 News Stories of 2013 – VOTE for the Most Important!

December 26, 2013 by  
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With 2014 just around the corner, we are taking a retrospective look at the biggest news stories of 2013, and we’re seeing a healthy combination of both really disturbing, depressing news and positive news that suggests humanity is waking up to the 21st century’s burgeoning environmental problems. Africa’s Western Black Rhino was declared officially distinct, a devastating harbinger of biodiversity loss is taking place across the planet, and researchers found cancer-causing chemicals in nearly 100 popular shampoo brands , which irked a lot of our readers. But then Peru announced its plan to provide solar power to two million of its poorest citizens , and a massive reserve of freshwater was discovered under the ocean . Check out these and other top news stories from 2013 and vote for the one that moved you the most. Note: There is a poll embedded within this post, please visit the site to participate in this post’s poll. Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: 19 year old ocean clean up array , animal news , biodiversity loss , cancer causing chemicals in shampoo , cancer-causing chemicals in 100 shampoo brands , carcinogenic shampoos , clean tech , electric vehicles , elon musk , energy news , ev , EV next generation battery , freshwater reserve discovered under ocean , green transportation , inhabitat news 2013 , IUCN list of extinct species , news 2013 , ocean pollution , ocean trash , peru to provide solar to 2 million residents , poaching , renewable energy , solar power Peru , Tesla Motors , top 6 news stories 2013 , top inhabitat stories 2013 , top news stories 2013 , water issues , water scarcity , western black rhino extinct , Wildlife conservation        

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Inhabitat’s Top 6 News Stories of 2013 – VOTE for the Most Important!

Inhabitat’s Top 6 News Stories of 2013 – VOTE for the Most Important!

December 26, 2013 by  
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With 2014 just around the corner, we are taking a retrospective look at the biggest news stories of 2013, and we’re seeing a healthy combination of both really disturbing, depressing news and positive news that suggests humanity is waking up to the 21st century’s burgeoning environmental problems. Africa’s Western Black Rhino was declared officially distinct, a devastating harbinger of biodiversity loss is taking place across the planet, and researchers found cancer-causing chemicals in nearly 100 popular shampoo brands , which irked a lot of our readers. But then Peru announced its plan to provide solar power to two million of its poorest citizens , and a massive reserve of freshwater was discovered under the ocean . Check out these and other top news stories from 2013 and vote for the one that moved you the most. Note: There is a poll embedded within this post, please visit the site to participate in this post’s poll. Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: 19 year old ocean clean up array , animal news , biodiversity loss , cancer causing chemicals in shampoo , cancer-causing chemicals in 100 shampoo brands , carcinogenic shampoos , clean tech , electric vehicles , elon musk , energy news , ev , EV next generation battery , freshwater reserve discovered under ocean , green transportation , inhabitat news 2013 , IUCN list of extinct species , news 2013 , ocean pollution , ocean trash , peru to provide solar to 2 million residents , poaching , renewable energy , solar power Peru , Tesla Motors , top 6 news stories 2013 , top inhabitat stories 2013 , top news stories 2013 , water issues , water scarcity , western black rhino extinct , Wildlife conservation        

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Inhabitat’s Top 6 News Stories of 2013 – VOTE for the Most Important!

Kids Ocean Day to Create Giant Aerial Art Formation on California Beach

May 11, 2012 by  
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Around 6,000 kids, teachers and volunteers are expected to participate in the creation of a giant aerial art formation for this year’s Kids Ocean Day on Dockweiler Beach in California. As part of a one-day event of environmental education and activity, students will cluster to form a shark holding a giant shield with the words “DEFEND THE SEA.” The inspiring activity has been redesigned and reinterpreted by the group for several years running as part of the Ocean Day activities on the beach, which includes a large-scale trash clean-up operation. Previous creations have included the phrases “Kelp Us,” “Save our Ocean” and “Sustain Life.” The Kids Ocean Day aerial art design is meant to inspire residents and bring attention to litter’s harmful impact on our coastline and marine life. This year’s event is hosted by the Malibu Foundation and sponsored by the City of Los Angeles Stormwater Program and the California Coastal Commission , and will take place on June 7. + Kids Ocean Day Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: Aerial Art Formation , california beach , California Coastal Commission , Kids Ocean Day , Los Angeles Stormwater Program , Malibu Foundation , ocean trash , stormwater pollution , water issues

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