TerraCycle: Eliminating the idea of waste by recycling everything

February 16, 2018 by  
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Tom Szaky built a company around one question: ‘Why does waste exist?’ Now it’s entering a new phase of growth.

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TerraCycle: Eliminating the idea of waste by recycling everything

How Is China’s Recycling Ban Affecting U.S. Cities?

February 6, 2018 by  
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Despite the perception among some that relations between the United … The post How Is China’s Recycling Ban Affecting U.S. Cities? appeared first on Earth911.com.

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How Is China’s Recycling Ban Affecting U.S. Cities?

3 Myths About Curbside Recycling

February 5, 2018 by  
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Much has changed in the world of recycling in the … The post 3 Myths About Curbside Recycling appeared first on Earth911.com.

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3 Myths About Curbside Recycling

Zero waste at GreenBiz 18, and how you can help

January 29, 2018 by  
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Sponsored: Four days. More than a thousand attendees. Zero landfill waste.

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Zero waste at GreenBiz 18, and how you can help

Here are 5 ways climate became part of the 2018 Davos dialogue

January 29, 2018 by  
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Despite the U.S. government’s silence, plenty of world leaders and corporate chieftains are speaking up.

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Here are 5 ways climate became part of the 2018 Davos dialogue

Science-based targets gain traction

January 29, 2018 by  
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It’s a budding movement, and questions remain about how some companies can set targets without major changes to their business, but it’s a big step forward.

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Science-based targets gain traction

redhouse studio is making a mobile machine that recycles old buildings

January 25, 2018 by  
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Did you know that buildings are responsible for 39 percent of the United States’ carbon emissions? Architect Chris Maurer of redhouse studio told Inhabitat he loves being an architect, but finds it difficult to reconcile that figure. To help lighten the construction industry’s footprint, Maurer is teaming up with NASA , MIT , and the University of Akron to create the Biocycler: a mobile machine that literally recycles old buildings. The machine will use living organisms, not glue, to bind construction waste into durable bricks that can be used to build brand new structures. Read on for a closer look at this groundbreaking project. Maurer was inspired to create the Biocycler in part through his experience at demolition sites throughout Cleveland. “We do many projects that are adaptive reuse to preserve old buildings, but even then the demolition waste can be quite extensive,” he said. During a design/re-build project at Kent State University, the team was dismayed at how much waste their preservation project produced. “We dropped the material ourselves at the landfill ,” Maurer said. “It was hard to do (it was hard to see it all go to waste) but there was no economically feasible way to use the materials.” Related: New self-healing concrete uses fungus to fix cracks The Biocycler could change all that. redhouse plans to experiment with fungal mycelium and calcite-producing microbes as building and binding materials in the Biocycler. Maurer explains that “A symbiosis of the microbes and fungi can be made to feed each other and [they] are working towards using the microbes as bio-signals to tell us things about the structure and air-quality within it.” The incorporation of fruiting fungus (i.e. mushrooms) could serve the additional purpose of food production. “Where food security is an issue, we are looking to make mushroom production the main activity and the bio-materials the secondary output,” he said. redhouse studio is currently running a Kickstarter campaign to fund the construction of a proof of concept. “Truth be told, we’re already recycling buildings, or at least materials,” said Maurer. “The kickstarter will lead to a mobile unit to put these processes on display and get closer to building entire structures out of the waste.” redhouse has already constructed and tested bricks and panels from recycled materials, as well as some model prototypes, and hopes to complete a full-size structure in 2018. Related: Church built for $35k stays naturally cool in Malawi Prior to starting the Cleveland-based studio in 2014, Maurer served as director for studioMDA in Malawi and MASS Design Group in Rwanda, where he came to more fully understand the value and potential of sustainable design. “[In Africa], we needed to innovate with limited resources,” said Maurer. Related: This company wants to turn food waste into building materials — here’s how redhouse has worked for commercial clients, such as the Hulett Hotel in Cleveland , while also developing humanitarian design projects, such as the Bioshelter , a prefabricated home that mitigates waste while providing food security and economic opportunity through crops grown on-site. As with much of the studio’s work, the Bioshelter was conceived to be as self-sustaining as possible. “We are constantly looking for new resource loops, finding benefits to waste streams,” he said. Change can sometimes be uncomfortable for the mainstream consumer, particularly if it includes the words “fungus” and “microbe.” Nonetheless, Maurer believes the time has come for fresh, green solutions to global problems. “Think about the pro-biotic craze right now,” he said. “People are waking up to the fact that antibiotic medicines and sanitizers can be dangerous, and that you want the right kinds of microbes around.” Similarly, biological building materials can also be pro-biotic. “There are many organisms that can be used in bio-materials that naturally battle pathogens,” he said. “We want them on our team.” Related: These amazing zero-waste buildings were grown from mushrooms To complete a project as ambitious as the Biocycler, collaboration is key. “ Architecture is by nature collaborative,” said Maurer. “Through our network in biomimicry, we’ve learned the advantages of working with biologists in addition to engineers.” redhouse is collaborating with scientists at NASA and MIT to create the Biocycler, which may only be the beginning of a revolution in smart, living building materials. “When you consider all the possibilities of the materials – bio-luminescence, radiation protection, self cleaning, pathogen protection, etc, it sounds sci-fi, but we’re not that far out from some of these features,” he said. With a Biocycler proof of concept in action, redhouse will have taken us another step further into this sustainable, bio-future. + The Biocycler on Kickstarter + redhouse studio Images via Keith Hayes/redhouse studio

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redhouse studio is making a mobile machine that recycles old buildings

Researchers discover a new family of viruses swimming in the ocean

January 25, 2018 by  
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Scientists at MIT and Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York have identified a new family of ocean-dwelling viruses that can’t be detected using standard lab tests. Despite their previously hidden existence, these tail-less viruses are quite common. Scientists suspect they may be abundant everywhere. “We don’t think it’s ocean-specific at all,” MIT environmental microbiologist and study leader Martin Polz told ScienceAlert . The discovery adds a key missing piece to our understanding of viral ecosystems and may lead to developments in human health, medicine, and bio-sciences. The most common variety of viruses on Earth are double-stranded DNA (dsDNA) viruses, the most well-known of which is the Caudovirales order, also known as the “tailed” viruses. The newly discovered tail-less viruses were first identified in a new study published in the journal Nature , in which scientists incubated the viruses from seawater collected along the coast of Massachusetts and sequenced their DNA . The scientists have dubbed the tail-less viruses  Autolykiviridae, in honor of Autolykos (“the wolf itself”), a character in Greek mythology known for its ability to avoid detection and capture. Related: Scientists harness tobacco plants to produce polio vaccine Autolykiviridae viruses have shorter genomes than tailed viruses and are notably more aggressive in their predation of bacteria , playing a major consumer role in microscopic ecosystems. “They caused about 40 percent of the bacterial killing observed, despite comprising just 10 percent of the viruses that we isolated,” study co-author and microbiologist Libusha Kelly told ScienceAlert . Now that a utolykiviridae have been identified, scientists have determined their presence in human digestive systems. “We’ve found related viral sequences in the [human] gut microbiome,” said Kelly , “but we don’t yet know how they influence microbial communities in the gut or how important they are for health.” While more research is necessary and forthcoming, this discovery alone is significant. “In a practical sense, it also shows how we need to alter some commonly used methods in order to capture these kinds of viruses for various studies,” Jed Fuhrman, a marine biologist at University of Southern California unaffiliated with the study, told ScienceAlert . “I’d say it is an important advance in the field.” Via ScienceAlert Images via Kaufmann et al. and Depositphotos

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Researchers discover a new family of viruses swimming in the ocean

Human-size spider web made of tape invites visitors to crawl inside

January 25, 2018 by  
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Tape may seem like an odd art medium to some, but one exhibition is changing minds by turning people into scurrying arthropods. Visitors to the Des Moines Art Center are getting lost inside this giant human-scale spider web made out of thousands of rolls of clear packing tape. The Tape art installation was created by art collective Numen/For Use and invites visitors to explore inside of the unusual suspended labyrinth. Tape is part of the museums’ Drawing in Space exhibit, which features four artists who work with the medium of tape. Art collective, Numan/For Use, is well-known for their creative work with tape , and in this case, used over 1,000 rolls and countless man hours to construct the translucent web. Located in the museum’s upper I.M.Pei gallery, visitors can explore inside the giant maze provided they wear socks and walk in a clockwise direction through the suspended labyrinth. Related: Human-Scale Spider Web Made from 700 Rolls of Clear Packing Tape The art collective has created similar tape structures in the past, but this time, the museum’s brutalist backdrop is certainly part of the allure of the installation. By hanging the massive web in the wide open concrete space, the installation take on a genuine aspect of a real life web created over time by one very industrious arthropod. + Numen/For Use + Des Moines Art Center Via This is Colossal Images via Numen/For Use

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Human-size spider web made of tape invites visitors to crawl inside

Will corporate action on ocean plastic make an impact? 6 ways to tell

January 25, 2018 by  
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The supersize problem requires the biggest businesses to take action.

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Will corporate action on ocean plastic make an impact? 6 ways to tell

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