The greenest public fleet in America

September 11, 2019 by  
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Here are five things to know about some of the cleanest transportation infrastructure around — Sacramento’s city fleet.

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The greenest public fleet in America

Selfie-seekers are destroying California farmers’ sunflower fields

July 8, 2019 by  
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A rush of tourists seeking the perfect selfie is putting California flora at risk. In the spring, masses of visitors flocked to small towns in southern California to snap photos with the super bloom of poppies along the roads and hillsides. Now, visitors are traveling miles to say cheese next to vibrant, sky-high sunflowers in Solano County. One or two photos might be okay, but when so many people trample — and trespass — on farmers’ fields, the entire farm suffers. Residents of the county made multiple calls to the local sheriff’s department after private property and crops were repeatedly trampled by eager amateur photographers. The sheriff’s department dispatched a public service announcement via social media: “As alluring as a picturesque sunflower field may be to a dedicated selfie seeker, farmers in Solano County are asking visitors to PLEASE respect their property when they’re trying to snap that perfect shot.” Related: Surges in unsustainable tourism are destroying islands in the Pacific During the poppy super bloom, Borrego Springs ran out of food, gas, hotel rooms and cash in the ATM just trying to handle the surge of tourists. The line of cars was backed up at least 20 miles down the road as visitors stopped to snap their photos of the blooming flowers . But many of the sunflower fields are part of private land and businesses and are critical to farmers’ livelihoods. Sunflowers are often sold as fresh-cut flowers but also for sunflower seeds and sunflower butter. Many farmers rely on the sunflowers for cross pollination and to feed important pollinators that their crops rely on, like native bees and honey bees . In Solano County, both farmers and residents are distressed that the visitors have little respect for private property signage and boundaries. Some tourists are going so far as to bring picnics and set up on farmers’ land like it’s a national park . “They’re having picnics, wine and cheese right there in the corner and I’m going ‘Really?’” a sunflower farmer, Craig Ginos, told CBS Sacramento . Via The Guardian and CBS Sacramento Image via Peter de Vink

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Selfie-seekers are destroying California farmers’ sunflower fields

Prefab housing pods pop up with speed at Dyson Institutes modular village

July 8, 2019 by  
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The future of student housing may mean greater energy efficiency, faster construction times, and less waste if developers follow in the footsteps of the Dyson Institute of Engineering and Technology’s newly completed undergraduate village in Wiltshire. London-based architectural practice WilkinsonEyre recently completed the student housing development at the Dyson Malmesbury Campus, which was also masterplanned by WilkinsonEyre. Constructed with modular building technologies, the energy-efficient village for engineering students comprises clusters of prefabricated pods that were rapidly manufactured off-site and then craned into place with fittings and furnishings already in place. The Dyson Institute of Engineering and Technology was created to combine higher education with commercial industry, research, and development. To create an immersive live/work experience, the campus tapped WilkinsonEyre to design student housing that houses up to 50 engineering students and visiting Dyson staff. In addition to the housing pods, the crescent-shaped landscaped site includes communal amenities as well as a central social and learning hub. Related: LEED Platinum UCSB student housing harnesses California’s coastal climate Measuring eight meters by four meters each, the housing pods were prefabricated from cross-laminated timber and then stacked into a variety of cluster configurations ranging from two to three stories tall, with some units cantilevered by up to three meters. Each pod is optimized for energy efficiency, which includes harnessing CLT’s thermal massing benefits, tapping into natural ventilation, and maximizing daylight through large, triple-glazed windows. Aluminum rainscreen panels clad the exterior and some units are topped with sedum-covered roofs. The prefabricated units were fully fitted with bespoke furniture and built-in storage before they were transported to the site. Each cluster consists of up to six prefab units with a shared kitchen and laundry area at the mid-entry level as well as an entry area with reception and storage. “The dynamic variety of configurations lends an informal, residential character to the village,” says the project statement. “Green spaces and pathways determine user movement through the village and mediate connections between the residential accommodation and the communal clubhouse, named the Roundhouse, at the centre.” + WilkinsonEyre Images via WilkinsonEyre

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Prefab housing pods pop up with speed at Dyson Institutes modular village

Scientists confirm tree planting is our best solution to climate change

July 8, 2019 by  
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New research suggests that tree planting isn’t just a feel-good volunteer activity — it could actually be the cheapest and most effective tool against global warming that exists. While environmentalists have been encouraging tree planting for decades, there has been contradicting information about how well nations are adhering to their reforestation pledges and how much they are actually making a difference. A new study, however, calculates just how many trees could be planted in a worldwide reforestation effort and how it would impact climate change if implemented correctly. The researchers concluded that if the entire world organized to plant trees in all available land that isn’t existing farms or urban areas, the new trees could capture two-thirds of all human-related carbon emissions . According to their calculations, there are 1.7 billion hectares available that could support 1.2 trillion additional trees. This area equates to 11 percent of the Earth’s total land surface, or according to The Guardian , “equivalent to the size of the U.S. and China combined.” Related: Philippine students must plant 10 trees to graduate, new law says The researchers calculated the land’s capacity for trees by attempting to reach the goal of 100 percent canopy cover in tropical areas and at least 50 percent tree cover in more temperate zones. “This new quantitative evaluation shows [forest] restoration isn’t just one of our climate change solutions, it is overwhelmingly the top one,” said professor and lead researcher Tom Crowther. “What blows my mind is the scale. I thought restoration would be in the top 10, but it is overwhelmingly more powerful than all of the other climate change solutions proposed.” Even if all 1.2 trillion trees were planted tomorrow, it would take between 50 and 100 years to see the full benefit, and who knows what carbon emissions will look like then? With this in mind, Crowther still emphasized the need to bring emissions from fossil fuels and deforestation to zero. “[Reforestation] is available now, it is the cheapest one possible and every one of us can get involved,” Crowther said. He also noted that each person can make an impact by growing their own trees, donating to reforestation efforts and avoiding companies that are contributing to deforestation. Via The Guardian Image via Valiphotos

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Scientists confirm tree planting is our best solution to climate change

California officially becomes the first state to ban plastic bags

November 11, 2016 by  
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California just made history by becoming the first state in the Union to officially ban plastic bags . The California Plastic Bag Veto Referendum (Proposition 67) was approved by voters on Nov. 8 by a narrow margin of 51.97% in favor to 48.03% opposed. The narrow win came despite a $6 million campaign waged by the out-of-state plastic bag industry. “California voters have taken a stand against a deceptive, multi-million dollar campaign by out-of-state plastic bag makers,” said Californians Against Waste (CAW) campaign co-chair, Mark Murray. “This is a significant environmental victory that will mean an immediate elimination of the 25 million plastic bags that are polluted in California every day, threatening wildlife.” Related: California Lawmakers Pass Nation’s First Statewide Plastic Bag Ban The writing was already on the wall for plastic bags in California, as San Francisco banned plastic bags in 2007 – with nearly half the state following suit soon after. The California State Legislature passed Senate Bill 270 in 2014 , which was signed into law by Governor Jerry Brown. But, according to the Sacramento Bee, the American Progressive Bag Alliance led a campaign to repeal the bill, claiming it would kill thousands of jobs in a state and cost residents hundreds of dollars each year in bag fees. Voters soundly defeated Proposition 65, a related measure that proposed an environmental fund created with the proceeds from a 10-cent fee on the sale of cloth and other alternative bags. Via Californians Against Waste and the Sacramento Bee Images via European Parliament and katerha , Flickr Creative Commons

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California officially becomes the first state to ban plastic bags

California dishes out free solar panels to its poorest residents

May 27, 2015 by  
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Roy Rivera is a disabled man who lives on a fixed income in Sacramento, and he’s also the first California resident to receive a free rooftop solar system. But he won’t be the last. Thanks to legislation first introduced by Senator Kevin de León, the Oakland-based non-profit organization GRID Alternatives is funneling funds gathered under the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund (GCRF), the state’s cap-and-trade program designed to discourage carbon dioxide emissions, into a program that is expected to deliver 1,600 free solar panels to California’s poorest residents by 2016 . Read the rest of California dishes out free solar panels to its poorest residents Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: “clean energy” , “solar energy” , CA cap-and-trade , California free solar , California free solar program , clean tech , free rooftop solar panels , free solar , free solar for poor California residents , greenhouse gas emissions , Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund , GRID alternatives , reduced CO2 emissions , rooftop solar , rooftop solar panels , Roy Rivera , Sacramento , Senator Kevin de Leon , solar panels

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California dishes out free solar panels to its poorest residents

Haim Dotan Architects unveil design for extreme Zhangjiajie Grand Canyon glass-bottom bridge

May 27, 2015 by  
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Read the rest of Haim Dotan Architects unveil design for extreme Zhangjiajie Grand Canyon glass-bottom bridge Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: bungee jumping , china , extreme bridges , extreme structures , glass bridge , green infrastructure , Haim Dotan , Hunan Province , record-breaking structure , transparent bridge

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Haim Dotan Architects unveil design for extreme Zhangjiajie Grand Canyon glass-bottom bridge

California has just one year of water left

March 16, 2015 by  
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California is drying up and it’s happening faster than you think. The Los Angeles Times  reports that January of this year was the driest on record since 1895. Groundwater and snowpack levels are also at an all-time low and according to NASA satellites, all of the water in the Sacramento and San Joaquin river basins—all of it—is 34 million acre-feet below normal. Reports indicated that, last year, California had approximately two years of water remaining, and the water depletion is right on schedule, as estimates now suggest that just one year of water is left in the coastal state. Read the rest of California has just one year of water left Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: california drought , california drought conditions , california drying out , california water , drought conditions , LA Times , water issues

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California has just one year of water left

California’s High Speed Rail Gets Federal Approval for First Segment of 800-mile System

September 21, 2012 by  
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On Wednesday the U.S. Federal Railroad Administration approved the initial segment of the $63 billion California High Speed Rail project. Construction will begin in 2013 on the first 65-mile second of the proposed 800-mile line, which will eventually run from San Francisco to Sacramento to Los Angeles. Read the rest of California’s High Speed Rail Gets Federal Approval for First Segment of 800-mile System Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: alternate transportation , billions , California , california high speed rail authority , central valley , high speed rail , Los Angeles , Sacramento , San Francisco , U.S. Federal Railroad Administration

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California’s High Speed Rail Gets Federal Approval for First Segment of 800-mile System

Tire Seating and Innovative Lighting Pop Up at DesignJunction at the London Design Festival

September 21, 2012 by  
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Read the rest of Tire Seating and Innovative Lighting Pop Up at DesignJunction at the London Design Festival Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: ali miller , cardboard lampshades , designjunction , droog , ldf , london design , London Design Festival , rene olivier , tabitha bargh , thierry jeannot , traullit dekor , tyre seating

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Tire Seating and Innovative Lighting Pop Up at DesignJunction at the London Design Festival

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