Chinese province runs entirely on renewable energy for 7 days

June 27, 2017 by  
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A province in China just showed it is indeed possible to obtain all of our electricity from renewable sources . Qinghai Province recently ran solely on solar , wind , and hydropower for around a week. The province, which is home to over five million people, used up the amount of electricity that 535,000 tons of coal could have generated in those seven days – without all the air-polluting carbon emissions . The State Grid Corporation of China ran the trial in the Qinghai Province to show fossil fuels aren’t a necessary component of our energy future. So between June 17 and midnight on June 23, the province got its power from only clean energy : 72.3 percent from hydropower and the rest from other sources like solar and wind. Related: Renewables will reign supreme by 2040, latest BNEF report shows During the week the people of Qinghai consumed 1.1 billion kilowatt hours (kWh) of electricity. The province is home to the Laxiwa hydropower station, which generates 10.2 billion kWh annually, and the Longyangxia Dam Solar Park, which as of February this year was the largest solar farm in the world . ScienceAlert pointed out the figures have not been independently confirmed, and the information comes from a state-run news agency . But if the numbers are verified it will help show an electrical grid can remain stable without gas or coal for base load energy. The province already obtains a large amount of power from renewables. All told Qinghai’s power grid has an installed capacity of 23.4 million kilowatts (kW) – and 82.8 percent is found in cleaner sources like hydropower, solar, and wind – though some environmentalists will take issue with the claim that hydropower is a ‘green’ energy source. Still, plans for more renewable sources are in the works – the province aims to boost wind and solar capacity to 35 million kW by 2020 and supply 110 billion kWh of clean power yearly to areas of eastern and central China. The government will reportedly invest around $370 billion in renewable energy over the next three years, creating over 13 million jobs . Via ScienceAlert and Xinhua Images via Ken Marshall on Flickr and Pixabay

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Chinese province runs entirely on renewable energy for 7 days

Set up camp anywhere with Latvia’s luxurious Camping Box

May 30, 2017 by  
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Camping just got a lot more glamorous with the Camping Box , a modular eco-friendly box that’s super easy to set up. InBoxLifestyle designed the creative tent or camper alternative, and their 97-square-foot box can house four people comfortably. The Latvia -based company says their Camping Box allows campers to escape into nature while feeling like they’re staying at a fancy hotel . The Camping Box is about what it sounds like: a box you can set up just about anywhere and sleep or cook inside while camping. But these innovative dwellings are designed to be a step up from your standard camper or tent; according to the company, they provide “high class hotel benefits in the middle of nowhere.” Related: Sublime tiny cabins in British Columbia that can be installed within hours The modular boxes are easy to maintain and move. They’re made of fiberglass , and are rain and snow resistant. They can also be popped up without project approval. They don’t take up a lot of space, so could be tucked into a corner of a backyard or forest. InBoxLifestyle says their Camping Boxes will last for years, and are nature friendly. The design of the company’s boxes is energy efficient thanks to what they describe as the latest generation ventilation and heating system. The boxes can be connected to the grid or water and sewage systems. But InBoxLifestyle does say on their website that boxes in remote locations can have an individual solution for water and sewage. InBoxLifestyle offers multiple floor plans for their Camping Box, including ones for two or four people, ones with kitchens, bathrooms, or showers, and even a sauna and Jacuzzi box. Prices for the four-person option start at $13,416.60. The company works with clients to design the interior according to what amenities a person wants inside their Camping Box. The Camping Box isn’t the only modular box setup InBoxLifestyle offers. They offer a Gym Box, Kitchen Box, and Office Box, to name a few. Check out more on their website . + InBoxLifestyle Images via InBoxLifestyle ( 1 , 2 ) and screenshots

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Set up camp anywhere with Latvia’s luxurious Camping Box

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

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