Planting wildflower strips across crop fields could slash pesticide use

February 2, 2018 by  
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Could wildflowers help us cut our use of pesticides ? The Guardian reported that colorful strips of the flowers have been planted through 15 large arable fields in England – instead of just around them – as part of a Center for Ecology and Hydrology (CEH) trial. The wildflowers could boost natural pest predators, potentially helping us reduce our reliance on environmentally damaging pesticides. Concern has mounted over how pesticides are harming our environment , even as we struggle to feed all 7.4 billion humans on the planet. Scientists in the UK are seeking sustainable ways to grow food, and wildflowers could help. The flower strips on 15 farms were planted last fall, where researchers will monitor them over the next five years. Related: How one Bay Area couple plans to save the bees by planting one billion wildflowers Stripes of wildflowers across farm fields could cut pesticide spraying https://t.co/L2l1tQJxdm by me @CEHScienceNews pic.twitter.com/kV4KavIjN5 — Damian Carrington (@dpcarrington) January 31, 2018 The Guardian pointed to research showing that use of wildflower margins to boost bugs like hoverflies, ground beetles, and parasitic wasps has cut pest numbers and even increased yields. But in the past, wildflowers were largely planted around fields instead of through them, making it harder for natural predators to get to the middle of large fields. GPS -guided harvesters now allow for crops to be reaped precisely, avoiding wildflower strips. Initial tests revealed planting stripes around 100 meters, or around 328 feet, apart, allowed predators to attack pests like aphids throughout a field. In the field trials, strips are around 20-feet-wide, and take up two percent of the total field area, The Guardian reports. Oxeye daisy, wild carrot, common knapweed, and red clover are among the flowers planted. Scientists will be watching to see if drawing insects into the middle of fields “does more harm than good.” CEH scientist Richard Pywell told The Guardian the ideal is that natural predators keep pests in check over the years so farmers would never have to spray pesticides. The Guardian said similar tests are happening in Switzerland, with flowers like dill, cornflowers, poppy, coriander, and buckwheat. Via The Guardian Images via Henry Be on Unsplash and Wikimedia Commons

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Planting wildflower strips across crop fields could slash pesticide use

3D-printed Valentine heart in Times Square is the world’s largest lens

February 2, 2018 by  
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If you stop by Times Square this month, you are in for a treat. New York City is celebrating love this year with the world’s largest lens, which allows users to see the city, and their special somebody, through a totally different perspective. The 12-foot lens is made up of 3D-printed resin shaped into a giant heart that focuses and reshapes Times Square’s incredible light and energy. For the 10th anniversary of the New York City Times Square Valentine Heart Design Competition, designers pulled out all the stops. The winning design, by ArandaLasch + Marcelo Coelho is a 12-foot Fresnal lens realized by 3D-printing manufacturer Formlabs . When you view the lense from afar, it beds the light in Times Square, focusing it – and your attention – on a heart-shaped window in the center. Up close, users peer through the center, viewing their Valentine in a new way through the window. Related: Times Square Valentine’s Heart celebrates diversity and immigration in NYC Formlabs 3D-printed the giant lens – actually, multiple pieces – using resin instead of glass. Just as the manufacturing process is completely reimagined, the design encourages people to consider the world through a different lens. “Times Square is a symbol for how we experience our world,” said ArandaLasch + Marcelo Coelho. “It is a physical manifestation of our culture, one dispersed and absorbed through cameras and screens. And in this culture, to fall in love you must first fall through a lens.” Tim Tompkins, President of the Times Square Alliance, added, “On the 10th anniversary of the Times Square Valentine Heart competition, what better place to host the world’s largest lens than the Crossroads of the World – one of the most photographed places in the world and a hub for innovative technology and design” + Times Square Alliance + Marcelo Coelho + ArandaLasch + Formlabs

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3D-printed Valentine heart in Times Square is the world’s largest lens

Hong Kong votes to end its massive ivory trade by 2021

February 2, 2018 by  
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In an historic vote, the Legislative Council of Hong Kong voted 49-4 to ban the trade of ivory by 2021. The conclusion of a campaign waged by organizations such as Avaaz and WildAid Hong Kong , the ban could save tens of thousands of African elephants from poaching each year. The vote comes two years after Hong Kong Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying pledged to end the ivory trade and over a year since the government submitted its plan to end the world’s largest ivory trade. To force action in the Legislative Council, US-based global actvist group Avaaz gathered one million signatures in support of ending the Hong Kong ivory trade. “It was a huge boost to be able to deliver a million voices into the debate before we voted for the ivory ban,” Hong Kong legislator Hon Elizabeth Quat told Avaaz . “The world stood with us, and it made a difference.” After Avaaz activists applied additional pressure, including a social media campaign featuring Hong Kong superstar Li Bing Bing, a traditional media campaign, and in-person protests, the ban was called up for a vote and passed overwhelmingly. Related: Hippos could be threatened with extinction due to demand for their teeth While the vote is a positive step forward, it leaves much to be desired. “Every positive step to us concerning elephants is good news,” Philip Muruthi, vice president of species protection for the Nairobi-based African Wildlife Foundation, told National Geographic. “But the urgency of the issue as it pertains to elephants hasn’t been taken seriously here.” In the past decade, the African elephant population has dropped from 490,000 to 350,000, primarily due to poaching . Mainland China banned its legal ivory trade last year, but there are concerns that a black market may take hold. “With the later implementation of the Hong Kong ban, those with ivory in mainland China might perceive a potential back door for unloading their stock,” Richard Thomas, spokesman for TRAFFIC, the wildlife trade monitoring organization, told National Geographic . “It will be critical to closely monitor and document ivory stockpiles and secure borders to ensure this door remains firmly shut.” Under the new Hong Kong law, smugglers could face up to 10 years in prison and a $1.3 million fine for illegal ivory trading. Via Avaaz and National Geographic Images via Avaaz (email)

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Hong Kong votes to end its massive ivory trade by 2021

5 Methods To Get Rid Of Garden Pests Without Harmful Chemicals

June 15, 2016 by  
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Some garden critters are up to no good and the bad news is that often your innocent plants don’t stand a chance against them on their own. But rather than breaking out the harmful chemicals and pesticides, consider these natural, eco-friendly solutions put together by NY City Pest Control . Their “Guardians of the Garden” are everyday superheroes that come in both insect and plant form, working to repel unwanted invaders or attract beneficial insects to help fight your pest problem. The best part of these solutions: you get to let Mother Nature do the work for you! It doesn’t hurt that these Guardians are kid and pet friendly too. Check out the infographic below to learn more about organic methods of pest control for your best summer garden yet . + NY City Pest Control Infographic via NY City Pest Control The article above was submitted to us by an Inhabitat reader. Want to see your story on Inhabitat ? Send us a tip by following this link . Remember to follow our instructions carefully to boost your chances of being chosen for publishing!

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5 Methods To Get Rid Of Garden Pests Without Harmful Chemicals

Researchers are introducing non-native insects in a desperate attempt to battle Japanese knotweed

June 17, 2015 by  
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If you live in the US or the UK, you are probably familiar with the scourge of Japanese knotweed, even if you don’t know it. Japanese knotweed is one of the world’s most invasive plants and has colonized many disturbed and undisturbed ecosystems in Massachusetts and at least 38 other states. It has no predators in North America or Europe and is notoriously difficult to remove by force. As the armies of knotweed march ever forward, scientists in the UK are experimenting with a dramatic method of weed-killing: the introduction of a non-native, knotweed-loving insect to munch the stalks down to size.   Read the rest of Researchers are introducing non-native insects in a desperate attempt to battle Japanese knotweed Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: Aphalara itadori , beneficial insects , biological control , biological solutions , controlling japanese knotweed , ecosystem restoration , Fallopia japonica , Frederick Law Olmstead , green pest control , green weed control , invasive plants , invasive species , Japanese Knotweed , knotweed , New England invasives , non-native insects , non-native plants , pest control , psyllid , weed control , weeds

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Researchers are introducing non-native insects in a desperate attempt to battle Japanese knotweed

We’re giving away a queen-sized organic cotton mattress worth $679!

June 17, 2015 by  
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We spend one third of our lifetime in bed, so a natural sleep surface is one of the most important investments you can make. Why? Conventional mattresses are chock full of VOCs (volatile organic compounds) that are extremely hazardous to our health including flame retardants linked allergies, asthma, hormone disruption, endocrine problems and cancer. Fortunately, there are now many natural mattress alternatives including organic cotton, wool and natural latex. And now, thanks to the good folks at My Green Mattress , one lucky Inhabitat reader will have the chance to win their very own all-natural, non-toxic mattress. We’re giving away a brand new medium-firm Queen-Sized Pure Echo Mattress valued at $679! Plus, every Inhabitat reader will receive an exclusive $75 off any mattress using PROMO CODE: Inhabitat$75 . Read on to learn how you can enter to win the best sleep of your life. HOW TO ENTER: 1. SIGN UP FOR THE GREEN MATTRESS NEWSLETTER > (Note: Scroll down to the bottom of the page) 2. SIGN UP FOR THE INHABITAT NEWSLETTER > We’ll be announcing the winners in our weekly newsletter , so if you want to find out who won, you’ll need to receive it! 3. LEAVE A COMMENT BELOW telling us what you like most about the Pure Echo Mattress and why you need a healthier, green mattress. The deadline for this giveaway is Wednesday, July 1st at 11:59PM EST . We’ll pick the comments we like best and announce the winners in our newsletter, so make sure you’re signed up ! Read the rest of We’re giving away a queen-sized organic cotton mattress worth $679! Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: all natural mattress , American mattress company , certified organic cotton mattress , Contests , eco-friendly giveaways , eco-friendly mattress , eco-giveaway , giveaway , green giveaways , green mattress , Health , healthy mattress , My Green Mattress , natural mattress , non-toxic mattress , organic mattress , Pure Echo Mattress , Tim Masters , US mattress company , wool mattress

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We’re giving away a queen-sized organic cotton mattress worth $679!

Gorgeous forest home in Sweden makes living deliberately stylish

June 17, 2015 by  
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Read the rest of Gorgeous forest home in Sweden makes living deliberately stylish Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: Architecture , eco home , green architecture , green design , green home , modern home , natural architecture , natural lighting , Scandinavian design , Stockholm , sustainable design , Sweden , Törnskogen , The Common Office , woodland home

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Gorgeous forest home in Sweden makes living deliberately stylish

Electric vehicle sales in the UK soar 366% in the first quarter of 2015

June 17, 2015 by  
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UK research firm Business Green just announced that electric vehicle sales have grown a whopping 366 percent in the first part of 2015. This leap in sustainable transportation is a feat for a country that was at first hesitant to embrace the EV. Although EV sales in the United States remain steady, sales in England and other parts of Europe demonstrate the world has embraced alternatives to cars powered by fossil fuels . Read the rest of Electric vehicle sales in the UK soar 366% in the first quarter of 2015 Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: Business Green , eco design , electric vehicles sales UK , ev , fossil fuels , green design , rechargeable car , sustainable design

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Electric vehicle sales in the UK soar 366% in the first quarter of 2015

INFOGRAPHIC: How to protect your garden with organic pest control methods

May 19, 2015 by  
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What’s the best way to protect your garden from hungry pests without resorting to toxic chemicals? First Choice Environmental has some good ideas. In the infographic ‘DIY Pest Control for the Savvy Gardener,’ the environmental consultant company explores a wide variety of natural pest control approaches, from the use of natural predators to row covers. Click through to learn more about these organic methods, their benefits, and implementation. Read the rest of INFOGRAPHIC: How to protect your garden with organic pest control methods Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: diy pest control , First Choice environmental , infographic , organic gardening , organic pest control , pest control , reader submitted content

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INFOGRAPHIC: How to protect your garden with organic pest control methods

Anchors away! Airbnb floats a house down the Thames to celebrate London’s new rental laws

May 19, 2015 by  
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Up until now, a Londoners haven’t been able to rent their homes on a short-term basis without the fear of being fined. Now, the law will be updated to allow homeowners in the capital to use sites like Airbnb to rent their houses, apartments, or spare rooms for up to three months a year. To celebrate the new law, Airbnb has set sail on the Thames, in a fully functional two-bedroom house. The house, which is bigger than many Londoner’s land-locked residences, also includes a bathroom, living room, and a garden complete with doghouse and an apple tree. For those who’d like to be welcomed aboard, the housing rental company is running a competition for a one-night stay on May 22, 2015 . Entries are due by May 20. + Enter to win a night in the floating house! Via HUH Magazine Image by Mikael Buck for  Airbnb Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: Airbnb , England , letting laws , London , rental laws , thames , Travel , vacation rentals

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Anchors away! Airbnb floats a house down the Thames to celebrate London’s new rental laws

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