Marching for climate, justice, jobs and action

May 9, 2017 by  
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On the eve of the People’s Climate March, 100 women working in climate convened to show that gender justice, climate justice and jobs walk together.

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Marching for climate, justice, jobs and action

Utah plans $5 million wildlife bridge over deadly I-80 highway

May 2, 2017 by  
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13 miles along Utah’s Interstate 80 (I-80) is one of the most dangerous road spans for animals in the state. 122 mule deer, 13 moose, four elk, and three mountain lions died in the last two years. So now the Utah Department of Transportation (UDOT) is proposing a $5 million bridge over I-80 that will provide wildlife a safe transit zone. Locals from Park City, Utah grew concerned over the high number of animal deaths on the nearby freeway, and in 2015 started the nonprofit Save People, Save Wildlife . Their first goal? Wildlife fencing. They raised around $50,000, and UDOT decided to match those funds. The department put in one mile of fencing on westbound I-80 in the fall of 2016. Related: Russia built a critical wildlife corridor to help save endangered big cats But the fences have only done so much to prevent wildlife deaths. The number of crashes in the area near the fencing fell but officials discovered many animals simply walked alongside the fence until it ended, and then tried to cross. Utah Division of Wildlife Resources biologist Matt Howard said the result was that collisions happened further down the road. Save People, Save Wildlife also calls for wildlife bridges , and it seems the Utah government is listening. At a recent public meeting officials announced plans to build the $5 million overpass. The design isn’t official yet, but the bridge could be 45 feet wide and 345 feet long, crossing I-80 west of the Parleys Summit interchange. Up for debate is whether vegetation should cover the bridge or whether it should be open so animals can see through to the other side. Construction could begin in 2018. UDOT project manager John Montoya told The Salt Lake Tribune, “The biggest thing that matters to us is to build a bridge that works, that the larger animals will use.” He said it could take a few years, and animals could at first congregate near fences, but then they’ll adapt and start traveling to the bridge. Via The Salt Lake Tribune Images via the Utah Department of Transportation

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Utah plans $5 million wildlife bridge over deadly I-80 highway

Episode 73: Toyota drives employee engagement; women combat climate change

April 28, 2017 by  
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On this week’s podcast: A prelude to the people’s march on climate; Silicon Valley finds a fit in sustainable fashion.

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Episode 73: Toyota drives employee engagement; women combat climate change

How Citigroup has gamified employee engagement

January 30, 2017 by  
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“Sustainability has been so focused on impacts to the environment… and lost in the conversation are the people in the building — the occupants,” said Steve Avadek, Director of Sustainability for Citi Realty Services.Avadek sat down with GreenBiz at VERGE 16 to talk about Citigroup’s ambitious green building record and its employee engagement initiatives.

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How Citigroup has gamified employee engagement

How Does Recycling Cell Phones Affect Chimpanzees?

January 24, 2017 by  
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In the Congo Basin live many of Africa’s most iconic animals — elephants, hippos, mountain gorillas and buffaloes. Additionally, 1,000 types of birds and 700 kinds of fish call this their home, coexisting with the people who’ve…

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How Does Recycling Cell Phones Affect Chimpanzees?

This all-natural native corn is bejeweled with brilliantly colored kernels

January 15, 2017 by  
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Through his quest to reconnect to his roots, Barnes isolated several traditional strains of seeds that fell to the wayside when his ancestors traveled to what’s now Oklahoma in the 1800s . Through years of selective growing , Barnes grew corn that looks bejeweled, creating a colorful celebration of native heirloom varieties of corn. Related: Plant a Wish Restores Native Plant Habitats Around America Barnes didn’t hoard the wealth, however, sharing corn seeds with Native American tribe elders and other growers he encountered. According to SeedBroadcast , “…he was able to reintroduce specific corn types to the elders of those tribes, and this helped their people in reclaiming their cultural and spiritual identities. Their corn was, to them, literally the same as their blood line, their language, and their sense of who they were.” One such grower was Greg Schoen. The two became friends in the early ’90s , and Schoen took the rainbow corn to a new level, creating hybrids by planting the rainbow corn next to typical yellow corn. Schoen eventually passed the seeds to the non-profit organization Native Seeds/SEARCH , who now sell the seeds online . They also protect the seeds in a bank containing around 2,000 rare varieties . Native Seeds/SEARCH began during a project to design sustainable food sources with Native Americans. They continually heard that people wanted to plant the seeds their grandparents did , so the organization started to protect ” endangered traditional seeds ” and the diversity of plants present specifically in the American Southwest. The fabulous corn kernels possess an outer layer tougher than most , which means they aren’t the best for backyard corn-on-the-cob chomping, but they can be either ground for cornmeal or popped like popcorn. You can purchase a packet of the seeds for $4.95 here , and profits go right back to the organization to continue their conservation efforts. Via My Modern Met and Lost At E Minor Images via Glass Gem Corn Facebook

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This all-natural native corn is bejeweled with brilliantly colored kernels

It’s finally illegal to own wild animals in the UAE

January 6, 2017 by  
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In a move sure to please animal rights advocates around the world, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has now completely banned the private ownership of wild animals. This is big news, as owning exotic animals as pets is a sign of status in the Middle East country. Al Jazeera reported on Wednesday that the new law outlaws both dealing in and ownership of all kinds of wild, domesticated and dangerous animals. This includes wild cats such as cheetahs, which have reportedly been domesticated in the UAE and other nearby countries. While not necessarily related, the new law comes on the heels of a video featuring an excursion with five tigers on a beach near Dubai’s Al-Arab hotel that went viral on social media, and other videos of people driving around with lions. According to Gulf News , these kinds of animals can now only be housed at zoos, wildlife parks, and circuses, along with breeding and research centers. Related: China makes it illegal to eat endangered species Gulf news also reports that anyone who breaks the law by taking any kind of exotic animal “out in public” will be slapped with as much as six months in jail and a fine or $136,000 USD. Al-Ittihad , an Arabic daily paper adds that people who use such animals to “terrorize” other people will be faced with a jail term along with the stiffer financial penalty of about $180,000 USD. Needless to say, a law like this is a breath of fresh air for animal rights activists, including El Sayed Mohamed. The regional director of the International Fund for Animal Welfare in Dubai said this new law sets an example for not only other Arab countries, but also the world. “We welcome and congratulate the UAE Government in taking this important initiative, which we wish to be a milestone for the rest of the countries, not just in the region, but also in the world,” he told the The National , an Abu Dhabi newspaper. This adds to more good news in the animal rights world, where China made it illegal to eat endangered species last year. Via Al Jazeera Images via Mukul2u and Cecil , Wikimedia Commons

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It’s finally illegal to own wild animals in the UAE

Living on the brink of resilience

December 24, 2016 by  
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If not for the well-being of all of the people and all of those to come, what is an economy for?

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Living on the brink of resilience

Plugin Tower is a new low-cost modular home with no foundation

December 7, 2016 by  
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Plugin Tower is a modular multi-story home in Shenzhen, China that circumvents strict planning approval for permanent structures by eliminating the need for foundations. Chinese multidisciplinary studio People’s Architecture Office (PAO) , known for their temporary architectural solutions, conceived the design as a low-cost alternative to current housing solutions that can be easily packed up and moved. Requiring no underground foundations, the design circumvents planning approvals and provides utmost flexibility to home-owners. Thanks to its modular nature, the house can also be expanded to include more units, which can be easily inserted into the three-dimensional steel frame . This also allows for endless variations in design and configuration. Related: Tricycle House and Garden Offer Off-Grid Living for China’s Landless The firm used their proprietary Plugin Panel system of modules , which incorporate insulation, wiring, plumbing, interior and exterior finishes. The prefabricated panels are attached with integrated locks and easily installed by a couple of unskilled workers using only a hex wrench. + People’s Architecture Office (PAO) Via Archdaily Photos by Hannah Wu / People’s Architecture Office

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Plugin Tower is a new low-cost modular home with no foundation

Irish town plans to plant world’s largest giant redwood grove

November 11, 2016 by  
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Lookout northern California ; a small town in central Ireland is vying for the title of most-populous giant redwood grove . Birr plans to plant and grow as many as 3,000 of the massive trees, and you can buy one of your very own. According to the Irish Times, the trees are planned for planting on 20 acres of land at Birr Castle Estate, near the town of Birr in County Offaly. The estate’s owner Lord Rosse, also known as Brendan Parsons, wants to plant a grove of the world’s largest living organisms, which grow to be over 300-feet tall. Redwoods thrive in northern California’s year-round temperate client, but Birr is known to be so cold in the winter that jokes are made about its name. Despite the climatic disparity, Parsons feels his plan is a solid one. “We are experimenters by nature,” the 80-year old lord told the Irish Times. “Trying new things in Birr is an old tradition. It’s absolutely cut out for Birr, this. We never do what other people do. The redwood grove will add a fantastic new dimension to Birr Castle Demesne, in line with the project we already have going on here – and also because of the new concept of a different sort of diaspora, an arboreal diaspora.” Related: Poachers are destroying California’s giant redwood trees According to Parsons, the “arboreal diaspora ” concept comes from the fact that giant redwoods once grew in Ireland – roughly two or three ice ages ago. So he wants to give them another shot at taking root in Irish soil en masse once again. And he is already apparently having some success. “At the moment, we have nine redwoods growing in ones and twos across the demesne: four of one species, five of the other,” he notes. “They were probably planted around the time of the third earl’s death, in the 1860s.” He says the coast redwoods seem to be doing the best, particularly those planted in the wettest places. What with redwoods being an endangered species and all, such a project can’t be cheap to undertake. So Parsons is offering folks an opportunity to participate by sponsoring trees at a cost of 500 Euros (about $540 US) per tree as a tribute to family members who are either living or have lived abroad. You can get yours today by visiting www.giantsgrove.ie . Via Irish Times Images via Kirt Edblom and IceNineJon , Flickr Creative Commons

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Irish town plans to plant world’s largest giant redwood grove

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