How Earth Day began and how it helps the planet

April 17, 2017 by  
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Earth Day is April 22nd, and to get prepared for the big day, here are a few Earth Day facts that you may not know. Founded by United States Senator Gaylord Nelson as an environmental teach-in, the first ever Earth Day was held on April 22nd, 1970. Earth Day not only marks the beginnings of moving toward a more sustainable world, it’s a time to come together and contemplate our global environmental situation, as well as participate in community and global “green” activities. Read on to find out all about this important eco-holiday . Earth Day is one of the most widely celebrated environmental events across the globe. The first Earth Day was focused on protesting an oil spill off the coast of California, but today, the focus is on increasing awareness of the planet and all the issues around its health, from fracking and water pollution to rainforest depletion and animal extinctions. More than 20 million people and thousands of local schools and communities participated in the first Earth Day of United States that took place on 22 April 1970, and one of the results of that first celebration was the creation of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Clean Air Act. It became an international event in 1971, when UN’s Secretary-General U Thant spoke about it at a Peace Bell Ceremony at the United Nations in New York City. On that first celebration, NYC’s mayor shut down Fifth Avenue for use on Earth Day, and allowed it to be celebrated in Central Park. Today, over 1 billion people celebrate Earth Day around the world. Earth Day is celebrated in 192 countries. This day is a time dedicated to increasing awareness about the Earth, its issues and its problems, and people in different countries take action that will benefit their region the most. For example: On Earth Day 2011, the Earth Day Network planted 28 million trees in Afghanistan. On Earth Day 2012, more than 100 thousand people in China rode their bikes to save fuel and reduce CO2 emissions from motor vehicles. In Panama, in honor of Earth Day, they planted 100 species of endangered orchids to prevent their extinction. In 2014, NASA participated in Earth Day with the agency’s #GlobalSelfie event , asking people to take a photo of themselves outside and post it to social media using the hashtag #GlobalSelfie. We can all use Earth Day as a time to reflect on our personal impact on the environment. Simply implementing something that promotes sustainability, such as a weekly recycling regimen, can truly make a difference. Let’s use today as a starting point for great change, and make every day an Earth Day. + Vangel 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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How Earth Day began and how it helps the planet

For the first time, climate change has caused a river to completely reroute

April 17, 2017 by  
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For the first time on record, climate change has completely changed the route of a river. In a shift that researchers called “geologically instantaneous,” a river in Canada’s Yukon territory shifted from draining into the Bering Sea to draining into the Pacific Ocean below Alaska. What makes this particularly concerning is that while shifting rivers aren’t unheard of in the Earth’s history, never before to our knowledge has a river rerouted so quickly, causing an enormous impact on the surrounding environment. The Kaskawulsh glacier in Canada has been rapidly melting. That influx of meltwater choked out the Slims River, depriving the downstream Kluane Lake of water and causing it to drop rapidly. The water shifted to the Alsek River, which empties into the Pacific Ocean south of Alaska, where the ocean water will now see a rapid influx of freshwater. The shift began in 2016 when the melting water burst through an ice dam, depriving Slims River of its glacial water source. Now, the Kluane Lake level is dropping rapidly, which will put stress on the environment around the lake and could completely alter the geology of the area. Related: Scientists warn rapidly-melting glacier in West Antarctica could cause serious global havoc Scientists determined that this shift was driven by human-caused climate change after they looked at the Kaskawulsh glacier and calculated that there was only a minuscule chance of it retreating in a stable climate. They also believe that it is unlikely that the Slims River will return to its previous water levels. The researchers published their findings in the journal Nature Geoscience . Via The Washington Post images via Nature Geoscience, Murray Foubister and Nat Wilson

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For the first time, climate change has caused a river to completely reroute

INFOGRAPHIC: NASA’s top houseplants for improving your wellbeing and removing air pollution

November 15, 2016 by  
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Next time you’re cruising Amazon for an air purifier, consider heading to your local nursery instead. Thirty years ago, NASA studied houseplants as a way to help clean the air on the space station. Since then, study after study has proven that plants can clean the air in your home, too. Not only that, but plants have been proven to increase positivity, calmness and creativity and to help you sleep better. This infographic  breaks down the best plants for your home to remove those deadly toxins and increase your wellbeing – click on to get all the deets. + Chadwicks

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INFOGRAPHIC: NASA’s top houseplants for improving your wellbeing and removing air pollution

US Army delays Dakota Access Pipeline on Corps lands near Lake Oahe

November 15, 2016 by  
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Standing Rock Sioux members and their supporters protesting the Dakota Access Pipeline just got a piece of good news. Yesterday the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers issued a statement on the pipeline saying before they’re willing to grant an easement to Energy Transfer Partners , they want to hold more discussions with the tribe. They said that during these conversations, pipeline construction near Lake Oahe on Corps land will halt. The Army said it has finished its review begun September 9, 2016, and has determined “additional discussion and analysis are warranted in light of the history of the Great Sioux Nation’s dispossessions of lands” and because of how important Lake Oahe is to the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe . Related: President Obama says Army is exploring rerouting the Dakota Access Pipeline The Army’s statement doesn’t completely stop the Dakota Access Pipeline. Rather, the goal of the discussions they mention is to talk about easement conditions to lower the risk of ruptures or spills along the oil pipeline and expedite response to such disasters “or otherwise enhance the protection of Lake Oahe and the Tribe’s water supplies.” In a statement in response to the Army letter, Standing Rock Sioux Tribal Chair Dave Archambault II said, “We are encouraged and know that the peaceful prayer and demonstration at Standing Rock have powerfully brought to light the unjust narrative suffered by tribal nations and Native Americans across the country…Not all our prayers were answered, but this time, they were heard.” The Army made it clear they have not yet decided whether or not they will grant Energy Transfer Partners an easement, which the company needs to construct the part of the pipeline that goes underneath the Missouri River at Lake Oahe. While discussions are held, “construction on or under Corps land bordering Lake Oahe cannot occur.” Via NBC News Images via Fibonacci Blue on Flickr and Takver on Flickr

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US Army delays Dakota Access Pipeline on Corps lands near Lake Oahe

INFOGRAPHIC: Everything you wanted to know about swing states

November 7, 2016 by  
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Swing states are always important in any election, but this election they are even more important than usual. Tomorrow, just 11 battleground states could decide our next president , with several traditionally “safe” states even entering the fray. This infographic shows you everything you need to know about swing states, both in this election and recent ones. And after you learn all about the importance of these purple states, don’t forget to get out there and vote, even if you don’t live in one of them, because every single vote matters. + University of San Francisco 

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INFOGRAPHIC: Everything you wanted to know about swing states

Nestl plans to pump 210 million gallons of Michigan water every year – and residents are pissed

November 7, 2016 by  
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Flint , Michigan locals still can’t drink their water without using a filter. But only around 120 miles away, in Evart, Michigan , Nestlé plans to begin pumping almost double the volume of groundwater  that they are currently to sell under their branded bottled waters. Michigan residents were upset upon learning the state may approve a permit for Nestlé to pump so much more water while the foreign company pays hardly anything at all for such access. Nestlé aims to up groundwater pumping to 210 million gallons yearly in Evart. They want to pump 400 gallons of water a minute instead of 150 gallons a minute from a Michigan aquifer . But the Swiss company worth $219 billion will likely only have to shell out a mere $200 each year for the increase, and maybe pay a permit fee. They won’t have to pay much for their pumping because under Michigan state law the Nestlé bottling plant is treated as a private well. Related: How Nestle is pillaging California’s water in the 4th year of the state’s worst drought The water pumped would fill Pure Life and Ice Mountain water bottles. According to the company , Ice Mountain is “the number-one selling bottled spring water brand in the Midwest.” Nestlé says increased operations will create 20 jobs. In a message to regulators he provided to The Guardian, a Michigan man said, “Why on earth would the state of Michigan, given our lack of money to address water matters of our own, like Flint, even consider giving MORE water for little or no cost to a foreign corporation with annual profits in the billions?” A Michigan woman said, “The rape of our Michigan inland fresh water sources is a cause for concern, especially when it is done by a private company for profit.” Michigan residents sued Nestlé more than ten years ago because of a very similar permit that would have allowed the company to pump 400 gallons a minute at a Mecosta, Michigan plant. Nestlé received a settlement letting them pump 218 gallons per minute. Via The Guardian Images via Nestle,  Wikipedia and Wilson Hui on Flickr

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Nestl plans to pump 210 million gallons of Michigan water every year – and residents are pissed

Smart architecture app lets you turn almost anything into a digital stencil

September 12, 2016 by  
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Stencil was recently unveiled as the latest pro feature of Trace , Morpholio’s popular smartphone app that makes digital drawing a cinch with tools that allow users to draw on top of imported images, layer comments, and seamlessly collaborate on digital sketches with a global team. Stencil builds upon those features and lets you capture a real-life texture, pattern, or shape with your smartphone camera or tablet and turn it into a stencil for a multilayered drawing. “Creating stencils sits perfectly between the architect’s sketch and the quick photo,” explains Mark Collins, Co-creator. “You’re trying to capture something – a texture, pattern, or detail that you want to use. Sketching is great, but slow. Taking a photo buries it in the photo album. Generating a stencil automatically creates an incredible tool that you can utilize in various ways. The stencil is the quickest path to distill an image into an actionable idea.” Related: See How This Handy New App Lets You Create Design Concepts Right on Your Smartphone Custom digital stencils in the Trace app can be used with a full color palette and different drawing textures and types, including pencil, charcoal, marker, and brush. Final drawings can be exported to scale as PDF or uploaded to the cloud or social media. The Stencil feature and the Trace app are currently only available for iOS and can be downloaded for free with purchasable pro features in the App Store. + Morpholio + Morpholio Trace App Images via Morpholio

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Smart architecture app lets you turn almost anything into a digital stencil

Why sending an email can increase your carbon footprint

July 12, 2016 by  
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Your carbon footprint is greater than just the fossil fuels burned in traveling and construction—it encompasses your digital activities too. As if spam emails weren’t bad enough, Fuel Fighter points out how an action as seemingly innocuous as a Google search could add to your carbon footprint. Data centers , which are the engines of the Internet, require massive amounts of energy to run and, according to Gartner, are said to account for almost a quarter of global carbon dioxide emissions. Fuel Fighter created an infographic to break down the carbon footprint of the digital age, from emails to streaming Netflix, as well as interesting stats on the energy it takes to power the Internet and what some companies are doing to offset their global footprint. + Fuel Fighter

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Why sending an email can increase your carbon footprint

Mysterious Fahouse is a modern version of a fairy tale cottage

July 12, 2016 by  
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The house has an interesting graphic quality, with its black exterior and simple shape, highlighting the difference between dark and light. Despite its imposing appearance, the house actually blends well within its surroundings. The space offers a variety elements that merge the indoors and out, such as large glass walls Related: Stealth Barn is a Striking, Shadowy Guest House in the Cambridgeshire Fens The architects worked closely with the clients to capture the playfulness of the relationship between the parents and the kids. A promenade running along the blind wall of the first volume leads to a terrace sheltered under a large cantilever . The main entrance leads into a vibrant lobby, while the large glass walls extend the main living spaces far beyond the physical boundary of the house. Two bunk beds occupy the kids’ room, which is a playful nest in one peak of the house, with a few stairs leading to the second peak where parents’ bedrooms are located. The rooms feel like they are nestled high in the treetops. In this way, both volumes reference natural environments, from animal lairs in the lower floor of the home, to bird nests in the second level. + Jean Verville architecte Via v2com Photos by Maxime Brouillet

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Mysterious Fahouse is a modern version of a fairy tale cottage

Architect transforms scrap yard materials into a vibrant discotheque

July 4, 2016 by  
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Architect Manoj Patel transformed materials sourced from a scrap yard into a 2,101-square-foot discotheque. Made from mostly reclaimed materials , the project was created with the aim of creating a vibrant space that minimized its impact to the environment. Recycling is celebrated in the design and prominently featured in the discotheque’s entrance area, which is decorated with recycled tin lids. Recycled beer bottles and recycled paper line the foyer, while reclaimed barrels can be found at the mocktail bar. Other salvaged materials can be found throughout the space. + Manoj Patel 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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Architect transforms scrap yard materials into a vibrant discotheque

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