LEED Platinum high-rise in Toronto promotes sustainable living

March 9, 2020 by  
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Aqualina at Bayside, a new multistory residence in Toronto, has just earned LEED Platinum certification — a first for a high-rise condo in Toronto and the second designation for a building of its kind in all of Canada. Developed by Hines Canada and Tridel, Aqualina was created as part of an ongoing effort to revitalize the city’s waterfront with sustainable design. As the flagship condominium residence in the masterplanned Bayside Toronto Community, Aqualina is the first of four residential projects onsite and was completed in 2019. Designed as an example for sustainable residential living across Canada , Aqualina incorporates a range of energy-saving systems that result in energy efficiencies of 45% compared to the model national energy code. Energy-saving technologies include high-efficiency lighting throughout as well as a rooftop photovoltaic array that produces up to 30 kW of electricity and doubles as a shade structure for an outdoor barbecue area for residents. Aqualina also includes a NetZED suite specially engineered to produce as much electricity as it consumes. Related: Canada’s first net-zero carbon, mass-timber college building to rise in Toronto Most importantly, the building design encourages sustainable lifestyles. Aqualina is accessible by all forms of transportation and is connected to the Bayside Village community through an interactive laneway. A community garden located on the sixth-floor terrace offers residents the opportunity to grow their own produce while interacting with their neighbors. The surrounding community has also benefited from the construction, which emphasized local job generation and local material sourcing. In contrast to the site’s post-industrial origins, the redeveloped site makes human health a priority. In addition to the remediation of contaminated soils, the building is outfitted with low-VOC materials and finishes while the majority of waste materials were diverted from landfills and recycled wherever possible. Fresh air is continuously brought into the building through a high-efficiency Energy Recovery Ventilator. + Aqualina Images via Aqualina

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LEED Platinum high-rise in Toronto promotes sustainable living

Dutch company collects plastic pollution from rivers to make parks and products

December 3, 2019 by  
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Plastic pollution is a worldwide problem, with piles of debris along coastlines, on roadsides, in landfills and floating in waterways. Environmentally conscious companies are looking for ways to clean up the mess while simultaneously seeking out methods to recycle plastic waste into other products. One Dutch company, The Recycled Island Foundation (RIF), is tackling both problems with one solution — Litter Traps. According to the RIF website, the motivation for the project came from the knowledge that our waterways are part of global ecosystem, where everybody benefits or pays the consequences of waste management . “Plastic pollutes our seas and oceans and has a direct and deadly effect on marine life,” the foundation said. “Thousands of birds, seals, turtles, whales and other marine animals are killed every year after ingesting plastic or getting strangled in it. With the plastics breaking down into smaller particles, it also enters the human food chain.” Related: This floating park in Rotterdam is made from recycled plastic waste Knowing that the majority of ocean pollution comes from rivers that lead out to sea, RIF decided to stop plastic waste before it could travel that far. The foundation’s Litter Traps are aptly named. Sourced from recycled plastic themselves, the traps filter water, collect plastic and stop that plastic from traveling downstream. The collected plastic is then made into durable floating parks, seating elements, building materials and even more Litter Traps. The passive design of the Litter Trap allows it to float in the river, harbor or port, catching plastic once it floats inside the trap. The system does not rely on any energy source. Once full, the trap is emptied, and the usable plastic is sorted. The plastic then heads into manufacturing, where it is turned into a variety of products. This circular system allows the company to collect materials, clean up the rivers and make products without waste and at a minimal cost. The RIF has been busy collecting plastic from local waterways for some time. More than one year ago, it opened a prototype in Rotterdam, the Netherlands called the Recycled Park. This floating park is made entirely from recycled plastic gathered from the nearby Meuse River. You can read more about that project here . The initial park prototype is an example of how recycled plastic can be used to replicate the marine ecosystem, complete with live plants above and below the park that animals such as snails, flatworms, larva, beetles and fish call home. What began as a local movement has gone international. New Litter Traps are being manufactured to tackle river waste around the world. Belgium and Indonesia were the first countries to adopt the RIF approach, and the organization is now preparing similar projects in Vietnam, France, the Philippines, Brazil and more. As an example of how the mechanism performs, a single Litter Trap located in Belgium is emptied twice a week, and the average amount of waste collected is 1.5 cubic meters per month. The goal is to continue to expand the use of Litter Traps to divert plastic from the oceans on a large scale. The future of the Litter Trap is bright, with plans to make portable Litter Traps and Litter Traps that can collect and hold larger quantities of plastic before needing emptied. Now partnering with international companies, RIF hopes to create products that are in high demand in the areas where the plastic is collected. RIF is working with innovators to turn the plastic into a durable and easy-to-assemble housing material. It is also looking into large-scale, 3D-printing options using the marine plastic. For example, the company offers custom couches made entirely from salvaged marine plastic that is 3D-printed into shape. RIF feels knowledge is power in the campaign for plastic reduction, so it has implemented an educational program that includes ways to reduce plastic consumption, information about proper recycling techniques and an opportunity to participate in clean-up efforts. It hopes to continue to inspire action and raise awareness about the problem by visiting schools and organizing community events. When it comes to environmental efforts , the more hands involved in projects, the better. RIF has partnered with dozens of agencies with similar goals, creating a village of like-minded companies hoping to lead the way toward better plastic management and the creation of durable, reusable products. + The Recycled Island Foundation Images via The Recycled Island Foundation

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Dutch company collects plastic pollution from rivers to make parks and products

7 DIY Recycled Bird Feeders

March 15, 2019 by  
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Invite your feathered friends into your garden this spring with … The post 7 DIY Recycled Bird Feeders appeared first on Earth911.com.

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7 DIY Recycled Bird Feeders

Wear It Then Walk on It: the Many Options for Recycled Flooring

October 9, 2018 by  
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Are you walking on an eco-friendly floor, or could you use an upgrade? The post Wear It Then Walk on It: the Many Options for Recycled Flooring appeared first on Earth911.com.

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Wear It Then Walk on It: the Many Options for Recycled Flooring

A Cool Use for Recycled Glass

September 28, 2018 by  
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Some outdoor areas are enjoying a little extra sparkle — … The post A Cool Use for Recycled Glass appeared first on Earth911.com.

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Earth911 Podcast, Sept. 6, 2018: Sustainability in Your Ear — Envision Plastics on Recycled Packaging

September 6, 2018 by  
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Envision Plastics is a recycler of HDPE #2 plastics that … The post Earth911 Podcast, Sept. 6, 2018: Sustainability in Your Ear — Envision Plastics on Recycled Packaging appeared first on Earth911.com.

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Earth911 Podcast, Sept. 6, 2018: Sustainability in Your Ear — Envision Plastics on Recycled Packaging

PittMoss: Recycled Soil Substitute Delivers Better Growth With One-Third the Water

June 7, 2018 by  
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PittMoss was a surprising discovery for me several weeks ago. … The post PittMoss: Recycled Soil Substitute Delivers Better Growth With One-Third the Water appeared first on Earth911.com.

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PittMoss: Recycled Soil Substitute Delivers Better Growth With One-Third the Water

That Old Air Mattress: Recycle or Reuse?

June 7, 2018 by  
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Whether you use them for camping, spending the night with … The post That Old Air Mattress: Recycle or Reuse? appeared first on Earth911.com.

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That Old Air Mattress: Recycle or Reuse?

Recycled plastic paving company Platio installs first 3 solar systems

July 14, 2017 by  
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We’re so excited to announce that the Hungarian startup Platio , which designed a modular energy-harvesting paving system made with recycled plastic , has now installed their first three systems. Within a span of just two months, they developed projects in Hungary, Sweden, and Kazakhstan. And it’s not just sidewalks that now boast the solar pavers, but pontoons providing energy for ships, and benches where passerby can charge their smartphones. Platio is helping to shape the future of cities with their solar paving systems. One creative use of their technology can be found in Budapest , Hungary, at Városháza Park, where their solar system stretches across a wooden bench. The smart bench allows park-goers to power their phones or tablets with clean energy , using either a USB cord or QI wireless charging. Local design studio Hello Wood installed the park’s wavy wooden benches. Related: New recycled plastic sidewalk harvests energy from the sun Platio’s very first permanent installation was indeed constructed on a sidewalk, in Kazakhstan’s capital, Astana, in front of a mall in the new Green Quarter. Near the shopping entrance, around 861 square feet of the sidewalk is covered with Platio paving, offering a total peak output of 11.7 watts. The electricity will help power the mall. Strong, anti-slip glass tiles top the recycled plastic solar paving system. Two specialists were able to put together the mall installation in just a few days thanks to the modular design and a built-in electrical network. And it’s not just urban infrastructure that can benefit from Platio’s technology. The company partnered with engineering firm SF Marina to install the solar pavers on around 86 square feet of pontoons at SF Marina’s Swedish factory. The solar energy generated by the Platio systems will help power port facilities and ships. According to Platio, as recently as last year they only had a prototype of their technology, but they’ve now successfully installed it in the real word. The three Hungarian engineers who started Platio want to help make future cities sustainable and energy-independent . + Platio Images courtesy of Platio

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Recycled plastic paving company Platio installs first 3 solar systems

Researchers successfully made a battery out of trash

June 14, 2017 by  
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If there’s one thing that abounds on planet Earth , it is man-made trash . Fortunately, researchers have developed a method of using discarded goods to create sodium-ion batteries. Made from recycled materials and safer than lithium variants, the battery is the latest step in renewable energy storage. To create batteries out of trash, the scientists accumulated rusty, recycled stainless steel mesh. Then, they used a potassium ferrocyanide solution — the same solution used in fertilizers and in wine production — to dissolve the ions out of the rust layer. Ions such as nickel and iron then bonded with other ions in the solution. This created a salt that clung to the mesh as scaffolded nanotubes that store and release potassium ions. As Engadget reports , “The movement of potassium ions allows for conductivity, which was boosted with an added coating of oxidized graphite.” Related: ‘Instantly rechargeable’ battery spells bad news for gas-guzzling cars More often than not, lithium batteries are used for renewable energy storage. However, the type of battery is expensive and exists in limited amounts. Additionally, lithium batteries have been known to explode. Not only are the new sodium-ion batteries safer, they boast a high capacity, discharge voltage, and cycle stability. Developing the battery was step one of testing the concept. Now that scientists have successfully created renewable energy from trash, the battery can be improved upon to maximize its potential. Via Engadget Images via Pixabay

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