New credit card limits spending based on carbon emissions

May 6, 2019 by  
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This Spring, the Swedish financial tech company Doconomy launched the first ever banking service and credit card to manage your personal finances and your daily carbon emissions . The DO Black Card is a collaborative effort with Doconomy, Mastercard and the UN Climate Change Secretariat. The card complements users’ existing banking services, but the accompanying app tracks the carbon emissions associated with each DO card purchase and caps the cardholder and the limits they set for themselves. Not only is the DO Credit Card the first to explicitly track carbon emissions associated with personal finance purchases, the physical card is also made from bio-sourced materials and printed with Air-Ink, a recycled ink made with air pollution particles such as the soot found in chimneys. Related: Lyft vows to help customers find electric vehicles with Green Mode In 2015, 175 countries signed onto the United Nation’s Paris Agreement, pledging to cut their carbon emissions. Big companies are also developing policies to reduce emissions, switch to renewable energy or engage in cap and trade programs. Citizens around the world are increasingly aware of the impacts of climate change and are making greener choices in their every day lives, such as reducing their plastic use. However, as Doctonomy mentions,  money is our most “powerful tool to tackle climate change in our daily action.” Through the launch of this card, the “banking with a conscience” company set out to reduce unsustainable consumption, cut carbon emissions and compensate for unavoidable emissions. “People are also thinking about the environment in their daily lives, including making more informed decisions about what they buy. That’s why we are pleased to welcome this initiative being undertaken by Doconomy,” said UN Climate Change executive secretary, Patricia Espinosa. Cardholders also have the opportunity to donate directly to the United Nation’s certified green projects , such as replacing traditional wood stoves with fuel efficient stoves in Malawi, or building wind farms in India. Card holders also receive credits for making “ environmentally-friendly ” purchases with participating stores. + Doconomy Via Dezeen Image via Mynewsdesk

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New credit card limits spending based on carbon emissions

Renewable energy surpasses coal for the first time in U.S. history

May 6, 2019 by  
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This April, for the first time in U.S. history, the renewable energy sector is expected to have generated more total electricity than coal. According to an initial report by the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis, this achievement is partially because of increased investment and awareness, but might also be due to seasonal changes in electricity consumption. “Five years ago, this never would have been close to happening,” Dennis Wamstead, research analyst at IEEFA, said in the report. “The transition that’s going on in the electric sector in the United States has been phenomenal.” Americans demand more renewable energy According to the IEEFA report, there has been increased investment in the wind and solar field, making the technology less expensive and more widely accessible. Increased awareness about climate change and the role of carbon emissions has also led local governments, businesses and residents to demand renewable energy policies and services. Related: Coal prices continue to rise, becoming more costly than solar and wind alternatives Renewable energy sources include hydro, geothermal , solar, wind and biomass energy, although solar and wind are the two sectors that have seen the most rapid upsurge. In fact, even major power companies are turning to renewable energy. Power giant Xcel Energy shut down 25 percent of its coal plants and plans to deliver zero-carbon electricity by 2050. Coal still reigns in the summertime Although this record-breaking achievement is exciting, energy experts also said that it could be partially explained by seasonal electricity demands. Many companies temporarily shut down coal plants for seasonal maintenance in the springtime, when electricity demands are lowest. There is also an abundance of wind and hydro energy during that time. However, once people start turning on their air conditioners around June, electricity production is expected to be dominated by coal and natural gas again. Despite the current federal government’s attempts to boost the coal industry, coal consumption has been steadily declining. In 2016, natural gas surpassed coal as America’s biggest source of electricity, with coal contributing 27 percent of electricity and natural gas contributing 35 percent. Although it is cleaner than coal, natural gas is still a fossil fuel and therefore contributes to climate change. The report also predicts that renewable energy will outshine coal in May, and going forward will sporadically compete with coal on a monthly basis. However, coal and natural gas are expected to dominate annual consumption patterns for several more years. + IEEFA Via CNN Images via   Zak Zak and Jeff Hitchcock

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Renewable energy surpasses coal for the first time in U.S. history

3D-printed vegan steak could aid world hunger relief efforts

December 18, 2018 by  
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3D-printed food has arrived. With options coming to the marketplace from a variety of companies, those high-capacity printers from a few years ago that took eight hours to produce a small, basic shape have evolved into a viable, mass-produced food option. Giuseppe Scionti, Italian bioengineer with a PhD in biomedicine, has further advanced printed technology with the invention of a plant-based meat substitute. With this innovation in hand, he created Novameat, a company intent on commercialization of the product to make it available in all markets. Related: Elzelinde van Doleweerd transforms food waste into beautiful, 3D-printed snacks With plenty of meat substitutes on the market, Novameat focuses on texture. Where others have made a chicken nugget or hamburger patty alternative, Scionti has taken it a step further with tissue engineering and bioprinting to create the fibrous texture associated with steak and other meats. In addition to offering the chewy characteristic of meat, Novameat contains the same levels of protein, amino acids, vitamins and minerals contained in red meat but stems entirely from natural, plant-based ingredients. These ingredients are formulated into a paste, which is fed through the printer to create the end product. The inspiration of Novameat is two-fold. Firstly, Scionti is concerned about the sustainability of the planet. With the newest research pointing fingers at the cattle industry, it’s relatively undisputed that the water and land consumption to support livestock production is resource-prohibitive. In short, Scionti believes that the earth needs an alternative to traditional beef products. Secondly, Giuseppe believes that 3D-printed meat substitutes can go a long way in the efforts to curb world-hunger and food-supply shortages. Novameat can be sterilized and packaged for long transports and does not require refrigeration, making it a food supply option for the deepest corners of the planet. One particularly sci-fi component of this technology is the potential to inject the food with medicines needed to treat endemic disease in those remote locations. The technology not only provides the opportunity to emulate steak, but other foods as well, such as chicken. In addition, the process is scalable, reaching production of 200 grams of meat an hour at a cost of 4 euros. + Novameat Via Dezeen Images via Novameat

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Affordable low-maintenance home embraces the Brazilian landscape in style

December 18, 2018 by  
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Simple and low-cost materials combine in the Itaipu House, a contemporary family home that doesn’t compromise on looks despite its relatively modest construction budget. Architect Samuel Lamas, of the Brasilia-based architecture firm Equipe Lamas, designed the four-bedroom home within a condominium complex near Lago Sul, Brazil. Completed this year for a construction cost of approximately $189,000, the modern dwelling minimizes its energy bills through solar water heaters and passive solar design. Spanning an area of nearly 3,800 square feet, the spacious single-story home is centered on an open-plan living area, dining room and kitchen that open up to a large, south-facing covered terrace that looks towards the pool. The master bedroom and two secondary bedrooms are located to the east of the living spaces while the flex guest bedroom, service areas, storage and garage are to the west. Existing site conditions as well as the desire to preserve native trees informed the orientation of the house and the interior layout, which are also optimized for natural light and ventilation thanks to full-height operable glazing that promote indoor/outdoor living. The landscape also inspired the neutral color palette for the furnishings, from reddish suede upholstering referencing the local earth to the grass-inspired selection of the green Santa Helena rug. Architect Samuel Lamas designed many pieces, such as the iron-framed sofas and armchairs, to create a sense of continuity throughout the home. Related: This tiny timber cabin was built from construction waste for under $30K The furnishings are set against a neutral material palette of low-cost materials elegantly fitted together for an aesthetically pleasing appearance. The floors throughout are polished concrete while the masonry walls have been painted white to serve as a clean backdrop for the colorful, contemporary artworks that punctuate the home. Plywood paneling was installed for the ceiling and the cabinetry to lend a sense of warmth. + Equipe Lamas Via ArchDaily Images by Haruo Mikami

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Affordable low-maintenance home embraces the Brazilian landscape in style

These stylish, work-appropriate loafers are made with recycled tires

December 18, 2018 by  
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When you think of tires, images of a car maneuvering through standing water or gripping gravel might come to mind. And for good reason — that’s what tires are for. From an environmental vantage point, though, rubber tires are a hazard. Because many of them are mixed with steel reinforcement, they are not recyclable by traditional means. Sending them to the landfill is expensive, therefore many of them end up dumped on the side of the road. They can, however, be repurposed, and that is just what one innovative company has done with its stylish new loafers. Hugs & Co., a London-based company, has recently unveiled a loafer that uses waste tire rubber for the shoe’s sole. As a luxury offering, the Tyre Sole Driving Loafers promote the material as a step up from other loafers, even the shoe’s own previous versions, with a traction and durability that is trademark of tire materials. Founder Hugo Davis said, “All too often the decision to select environmentally conscious components leads to a compromise in quality, here it actually enhances the product.” Related: Outdoor giant Merrell presents its most sustainable shoe to date The company states that the production of the material requires a fraction of the energy usage traditionally required in the manufacturing of shoe soles. Continuing with the sustainability zeitgeist, Hugs & Co. aims to make a product that is versatile and long-lasting. It believes that making products last longer is good for the planet. Although labeled a driving loafer, the Tyre Sole, or TS1 is a comfortable and adaptable option for casual day at the office, an afternoon at the beach or a night out with friends. Reminiscent of a moccasin, the Tyre Sole Driving Loafers come in a few styles and colors in men’s sizes. The materials for the TS1 are all sourced within Europe, including hand-selected Italian suede along with a natural leather interior. The first run of this loafer sourced end-of-life reclaimed tires from Michelin in Spain. Each loafer is hand-stitched for a personal and thorough approach to quality. The upcycled tire material makes for a long-lasting sole. Related: nat-2 creates a completely vegan sneaker made from coffee Hugs & Co. was established in 2012 by brothers Benjie and Hugo Davis, and the company produces a full line of shoes for men and women as well as cell phone accessories. + Hugs & Co. Images via Hugs & Co.

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These stylish, work-appropriate loafers are made with recycled tires

Here’s your opportunity to join the Inhabitat team as a writer!

November 28, 2018 by  
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Inhabitat, a leading website in green design and sustainable living, is seeking remote writers to contribute two or more articles per week with a focus on breaking environmental news, green design/architecture and/or sustainable lifestyle features. An ideal candidate is an avid environmentalist and excellent writer with the ability to meet deadlines and communicate professionally with editors and sources. Learn more below. Requirements: Ability to meet strict deadlines Understanding of design and environmental trends and terms Excellent communication skills Familiarity with AP Style Strong grasp on grammar and writing mechanics Experience interviewing sources Passion for the environment and sustainability Pay: $20 per 300-word news story $30 per 300-word gallery story $50 per 800-word feature story Higher compensation available for stories with original photography and/or interviews Potential traffic bonuses of $150-$300 per story! To Apply: Send us an email (editor@inhabitat.com) with a short explanation as to why you are interested in joining our team as well as which types of stories you’d be interested in contributing (news, design and/or features). Please include at least one relevant writing sample and a resume. We look forward to hearing from you! Image via Rawpixel

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Circular water and the digital transformation

November 7, 2018 by  
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Today, water scarcity is so prevalent that many of our desired economic, social, and environmental goals are out of reach. If we continue to treat water as a disposable, consumable resource, a global crisis is imminent. But if we seize the circular economy opportunity – and leverage technology that already exists to drive better water management and stewardship – we can not only protect our single most important shared resource, we can ensure that businesses can grow to meet the increasing demands of the world for years to come.

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Circular water and the digital transformation

VERGE Accelerate: Circular Showcase: NuLeaf Tech

November 5, 2018 by  
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A pitch competition that provides entrepreneurs in energy, buildings, transportation, supply chains, water, food, and cities the opportunity to present to the diverse VERGE community: executives from the world’s largest companies, public officials from progressive cities, venture capitalists, and others.VERGE Accelerate on Day 3 of our event focuses on the most promising early-stage CIRCULAR ECONOMY startup solutions.

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VERGE Accelerate: Circular Showcase: NuLeaf Tech

VERGE Accelerate: Circular Showcase: Infinited Fiber

November 5, 2018 by  
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A pitch competition that provides entrepreneurs in energy, buildings, transportation, supply chains, water, food, and cities the opportunity to present to the diverse VERGE community: executives from the world’s largest companies, public officials from progressive cities, venture capitalists, and others.VERGE Accelerate on Day 3 of our event focuses on the most promising early-stage CIRCULAR ECONOMY startup solutions.

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VERGE Accelerate: Circular Showcase: Infinited Fiber

VERGE Accelerate: Circular Showcase: CupClub

November 5, 2018 by  
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A pitch competition that provides entrepreneurs in energy, buildings, transportation, supply chains, water, food, and cities the opportunity to present to the diverse VERGE community: executives from the world’s largest companies, public officials from progressive cities, venture capitalists, and others.VERGE Accelerate on Day 3 of our event focuses on the most promising early-stage CIRCULAR ECONOMY startup solutions.

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VERGE Accelerate: Circular Showcase: CupClub

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