How a small tribe in Nevada shut down coal and built a solar farm

April 12, 2017 by  
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President Donald Trump brags about bringing back coal jobs, but tends to gloss over the fuel’s negative health effects for workers and those who live nearby. The Moapa Band of Paiutes in Nevada know all about those harmful health effects. After years of campaigning against a coal plant near their land, they finally saw it close as they switched on the first utility-scale solar plant ever erected on tribal land. The Moapa Band of Paiutes resides in Nevada next to the coal-fired Reid Gardner Generating Station. The tribe has seen high rates of heart disease and asthma, and didn’t even benefit from the power plant – it neither powered their homes nor employed their people. But because the 311-person tribe is so small, it was difficult to conclusively establish their health issues were related to the plant. Related: Moapa Paiutes to Install 250 MW Solar Power Plant to Transition Away from Dirty Coal Still, the tribe persisted in their campaign to shutter the plant, which provided power for Las Vegas. They started writing letters, and then took legal action with the help of the Sierra Club. When Las Vegas residents learned their power came from a plant polluting the air for people who lived next door, many of them got involved in the campaign as well. The tribe lost the case in 2013 but that same year Senate Bill 123 became law – requiring certain utilities to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and replace some polluting power with renewable sources. The Reid Gardner Generating Station finally closed this year, last month. Its 40 employees didn’t even lose their jobs, since they were given new positions in the same company. And now the tribe is turning to solar . They’ve leased land for the 250-megawatt Moapa Southern Paiute Solar Project; First Solar started operations and recently sold the plant to Capital Dynamics . The tribe will receive revenue and 115 of their members obtained construction jobs for the plant, which recently began operating under a 25-year Power Purchase Agreement with the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power. Two tribe members will be permanently employed as field technicians. Moapa Band of Paiutes Tribal Council chairman Darren Daboda said in a statement, “If our small tribe can accomplish this, then others can also. There are endless opportunities in renewable energy, and tribes across the nation have the perfect areas in which to build utility-scale projects.” Via Colorlines Images via Ken Lund on Flickr and ENERGY.GOV on Flickr ( 1 , 2 )

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How a small tribe in Nevada shut down coal and built a solar farm

China opens former secret nuclear plant as ‘world’s largest man-made cave’

November 1, 2016 by  
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China is now inviting international tourists into a secret underground nuclear plant for the first time ever. Billed as ‘the world’s largest man-made cave,’ the former 816 Nuclear Military Plant in the suburban Chongqing district has been remade into a tourist attraction, where visitors descend far underground to learn about Cold War nuclear weapons. With neon lights and spooky echoes from its nuclear past, the underground bunker offers a unique and unforgettable experience for travelers in what is most certainly southwest China’s coolest cave. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=24JbDu3TDh8 The nuclear plant was originally designed to manufacture plutonium in the 1960s, part of a military megaproject that lasted 17 years and involved some 60,000 soldiers. The site was a massive secret, encompassing one million square feet of underground structure. The plant halted operations in 1984 and was officially declassified in 2002. The government opened it briefly for local tours in 2010 before shuttering it once more. It had not been open to the public again until early October, when the plant’s winding man-made caves were outfitted with elaborate light displays, a move designed to target foreign tourists for the first time. Related: America’s most polluted nuclear site is now a national park Reportedly, the expansive underground plant includes 18 caves and 130 tunnel roads, but only one-third or so of the total square footage is open to public tours. One part of the former nuclear plant now acts as something of a museum to its former purpose, with a 100-foot-tall hall where images of atomic weapons and plutonium processing are projected onto neon movie screens. Each room of the underground bunker highlights nuclear weapons in some way, with the added creep-factor of eerie blue and red lights that would look more at home in a nightclub than a former military site. Still, the public seems eager to sign up for one of the two-hour tours being led through the once top secret project. Could China’s latest tourist attraction spark a new trend in ‘nuclear spelunking ’? Via CNN Images via China Daily

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China opens former secret nuclear plant as ‘world’s largest man-made cave’

Rombaut makes cruelty-free leather shoes from discarded pineapple leaves

May 22, 2016 by  
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A creative Parisian company is making shoes out of a surprising material: pineapples. Rombaut, an experimental label that eschews animal hide, has created a line of unisex sneakers made from Piñatex, a vegan textile that feels like leather and is woven from discarded pineapple leaves. The cruelty-free shoe also includes other plant-based alternatives like fig tree bark from Uganda, tapa from the South Pacific, wild Amazonian rubber, coconut fiber, and potato starch. READ MORE>

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Rombaut makes cruelty-free leather shoes from discarded pineapple leaves

DIY recycling machines will let anyone turn plastic waste into functional objects

April 8, 2016 by  
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Last year the world produced nearly 311 million tons of plastic, but less than 10% of that was recycled. The truth of the matter is that most plastic ends up in the wrong places; landfills, oceans, and inside animals. Precious Plastic has envisioned a new solution for our plastic problem, and it could make all the difference. The company, started by Dave Hakkens, a 27 year old Dutch designer, is developing resources for DIY machines that recycle plastic waste into functional objects. Released as a shared online open source, the machines can be made with basic tools and universally available materials. The company plans to provide a series of detailed instructional videos and a download-kit, allowing people to become craftsmen of plastic right at home, from anywhere in the world. Check out the video below to see how this revolutionary machine could clean up our planet. + Precious Plastic 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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Outdoor bar made with reclaimed wood doubles as a planter

April 8, 2016 by  
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Outdoor bar made with reclaimed wood doubles as a planter

The Plant Bag backpack gives you fresh, clean filtered air on tap

January 23, 2016 by  
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While we obviously need to address the problem long-term, air pollution isn’t going anywhere in the short-term. So what is a person to do if the don’t want to suffer from the debilitating and life-threatening effects of air pollution ? Check out the Plant Bag, a clever backpack that provides the wearer with fresh, clean air after being filtered through plant roots. READ MORE >

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Earth911TV: What NOT to Put in the Blue Bin

September 24, 2015 by  
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Did you know that when you put the wrong material in the wrong recycling bin, it can literally ruin the entire batch at the recycling center? In some cases, it can shut down the plant until a repairman can fix the issue. That’s because each…

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Earth911TV: What NOT to Put in the Blue Bin

The carnivorous pitcher plant uses sonar to lure bats to come poop in it

July 15, 2015 by  
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Given how difficult it can be to communicate within our own species, it’s not surprising that we are just learning of the amazing conversations that are happening between other species. For example, a local species of bats in Borneo and  Nepenthes hemsleyana, a large, carnivorous pitcher plant, have developed a unique, symbiotic relationship that allows them to communicate with each other. According to a recent study published in the journal Current Biology , ultrasonic signals emitted by the bats are reflected by the pitcher plants, which allows the bats to locate a relaxing spot to rest. In return, the pitcher plants receive a nutritional feast from the bat’s guano (poop). Read the rest of The carnivorous pitcher plant uses sonar to lure bats to come poop in it Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: Animals , bats , borneo , carnivorous plants , echolocation , meat eating plants , pitcher plants , plants , SONAR , symbiosis , symbiotic relationships , ultrasonic

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French Island is Building Perhaps the Most Beautiful Solar Plant

September 26, 2014 by  
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Who says solar power can’t be gorgeous? The people of New Caledonia are out to prove the naysayers wrong with what may be the most beautiful solar farm on the planet. The idea is to build a heart-shaped solar plant that will supply 2mW of solar power to 750 homes on the Pacific island, not only reducing carbon emissions, but enhancing the natural beauty of the plant’s surroundings. Missing Attachment Missing Attachment   Read the rest of French Island is Building Perhaps the Most Beautiful Solar Plant Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: beautiful solar farms , Coeur de Voh , Coeur de Voh solar farm , Conergy heart farm , Conergy heart shaped solar , Conergy solar farm , heart shaped solar farm , New Caledonia energy production , New Caledonia heart shaped solar farm , New Caledonia solar , New Caledonia solar farm , new solar farms , pretty solar farms , solar farm

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French Island is Building Perhaps the Most Beautiful Solar Plant

KPF’s Pre-Certified LEED Gold Riverside 66 Opens Today in Tianjin!

September 26, 2014 by  
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Read the rest of KPF’s Pre-Certified LEED Gold Riverside 66 Opens Today in Tianjin! Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: Audrey choi , china , Chinese architecture , hai he river , he ping lu , Jeffrey kenoff , Kohn Pedersen Fox , kpf architects , LEED gold , pre certified leed gold , riverside 66 , Tianjin

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KPF’s Pre-Certified LEED Gold Riverside 66 Opens Today in Tianjin!

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