Does Being An Environmentalist Require A Certain Look?

September 21, 2016 by  
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I once wrote an article about sustainable living that generated a great deal of controversy. In addition to a rousing debate in the comments section, it also inspired a rather, erm, energetic rebuttal on another site. This post vehemently opposed…

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Does Being An Environmentalist Require A Certain Look?

Archaeologists find 2,150-year-old Petra monument ‘hiding in plain sight’

June 10, 2016 by  
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The ancient city of Petra in Jordan is known for its fascinating ruins built into surrounding rocky cliffs, and now archaeologists have made an exciting new discovery. Using satellite images , they recently discovered a massive subterranean monument that remained hidden for years. The monument is about the length and double the width of an Olympic swimming pool . The archaeologists used satellite imagery to find the platform, which is 184 feet by 161 feet. An interior platform had columns along one end and a huge staircase. Based on pottery studies, the researchers think the platform could be at least 2,150 years old . Related: Family accidentally discovers “extraordinarily well-preserved” Roman villa in England Given the colossal size, it’s surprising no one has yet discovered the monument, but the researchers said it was difficult to get to and “hidden.”Even though the monument is close to the center of Petra – just around half a mile south, prior surveys didn’t find it. The paper the archaeologists published is titled ” Hiding in Plain Sight .” Co-author of the paper Christopher Tuttle told National Geographic, “I’m sure that over the course of two centuries of research [in Petra], someone had to know [this site] was there, but it’s never been systematically studied or written up. I’ve worked in Petra for 20 years, and I knew that something was there, but it’s certainly legitimate to call this a discovery.” Tuttle told The Guardian the platform could have been used for “some kind of massive display function.” Throughout the rest of Petra, there are several shrines and sites used for “various cultic displays or political activities.” However, one reason the new monument stands apart is because the massive staircase doesn’t face Petra’s city center. “We don’t understand what the purpose [of visible shrines], because the Nabateans didn’t leave any written documents to tell us,” Tuttle said. “But I find it interesting that such a monumental feature doesn’t have a visible relationship to the city.” As of now the researchers don’t have a plan for excavation , but they hope to work at the site at some point. Via The Guardian Images via Wikimedia Commons ( 1 , 2 )

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Archaeologists find 2,150-year-old Petra monument ‘hiding in plain sight’

IKEA is launching a whole range of "no waste" products made from recycled materials

June 10, 2016 by  
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IKEA wants to make sustainable living accessible for the masses, and they just announced a new line of “no waste” products that will make your wallet and the planet happy. Their new line includes seating, vases and kitchen cabinets, all made out of recycled materials . These new products close the material loop and help make your home not only earth-friendlier, but oh-so-stylish, too. It can be hard to find affordable, sustainable supplies that look stylish when constructing a kitchen. IKEA is changing that with their new KUNGSBACKA kitchen. The cabinet doors are made using recycled plastic bottles and recycled wood, and the entire thing is “99.9 percent recycled,” according to the designer. IKEA hopes that the design will help people see waste not as garbage, but as just another material that can be used in creating new and beautiful things. The KUNGSBACKA kitchen door launches February, 2017. Related: IKEA announces new Tom Dixon collaboration that could redefine how we use our homes The new ODGER chair, which will also hit the market in 2017, is made out of 70% recycled plastic and 30% renewable wood. The design is the result of a collaboration with Swedish designers Form Us With Love , and the chairs have that sleek Scandinavian look without the environment-harming plastics that other chairs have. The chairs will come in a range of colors and wood finishes to suit any space. These no waste IKEA vases came about while IKEA was visiting one of their suppliers in China. There, they realized that imperfect or damaged products were being thrown out. So the company decided to melt that glass back down and turn it into beautiful vases. Each mouth-blown vase is totally unique, thanks to the materials. According to designer Iina Vuorivirta, “Despite all vases being mouth-blown in the same mould, they get a unique look because the melted glass is made of various shades of leftover material from the glassworks. The result is due to chance, and unique each time. Just like us humans.” The vase is part of the PS 2017 collection and will be on shelves in February. + IKEA Images via Kristine Lofgren for Inhabitat and IKEA

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IKEA is launching a whole range of "no waste" products made from recycled materials

How to Carpool with Strangers

June 28, 2013 by  
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Written by Ben Jervey, Shareable Magazine Since 1999, Steven Schoeffler has run the site eRideShare.com, which helps connect fellow commuters into car pools and rid the roads of single occupancy vehicles. Schoeffler gave us some tips on how to…

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How to Carpool with Strangers

British Airways’ biofuel plant cleared for takeoff in London

December 6, 2012 by  
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When complete, the site should be capable of turning around 500,000 tons of waste a year that would otherwise go to landfill.

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British Airways’ biofuel plant cleared for takeoff in London

Impact of advertising on Recycle This – and my promises to you

December 12, 2011 by  
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Recycle This turns six in April 2012 and from day one, it has included advertising. I started the site when I was in the process of quitting my job for a “career break”, which turned into self-employment. The idea was that I’d have advertising on the site for as long as I needed the money from it. In the first couple of years, it wasn’t much at all but every little helped. Now after other ventures sadly tanked, I still need the (meagre) advertising revenue to supplement my (even more meagre) income. But I don’t think it has impacted the nature of Recycle This that much. Yes, I spend time tweaking text to trying to bring more visitors to the site but not at the cost of readability (the lack of readability is usually to do with my tendency to waffle and/or put extra comments in brackets, you know, like this 😉 ). I try to ensure pages are linked to other relevant pages to keep people interested – but I never split articles over many different pages to force people to click through after every paragraph to drive up ad impressions*. And I publish the full text of the article in the RSS feed (and email feed) so if you subscribe to either of those, you never have to visit the site and see adverts (unless you want to see comments, although you can subscribe to the RSS feed of comments too, if you’re interested). Yes, I need to generate some money but not at the cost of producing a worthwhile site or engaging in habits I find infuriating when I see them elsewhere . When I do link posts (such as Christmas craft round-ups ), I get ideas from a range of sources — reading the people’s blogs directly, via other curating blogs, through requests for suggestions on Twitter, Pinterest and from stuff people have emailed me — but no one ever pays (either directly or indirectly through products or links back) to be included in those, and I would never ask them to. I only feature stuff that I personally like/want to make or think are worthwhile – info that I generally want to pass on to as many people as possible. Ditto anything used for giveaways . As for the actual adverts, I can quite confidently say that I have never changed any editorial content on the site because an advertiser wants me to. My main advertising network for most of the past six years has been Google Adsense. I have tried other networks, affiliate schemes and had some direct advertising but I’ve mostly stuck with Google’s context sensitive ads because in general they are more relevant in terms of both subject and geography. The downside is that I don’t control exactly which adverts appear on the site – the upside of that though is that I’m never under any conscious or unconscious pressure to bend my subject to not offend an advertiser — I don’t know who they are. The only concessions I make under the Adsense program is not swearing every other *&%ing word or displaying hate speech/pornography on the site – which, to be frank, isn’t exactly something I was planning to do anyway 😉 Anyway, long story short, I want to make six promises – six things I’ve stuck to over the last six years and hope to stick to for as long as the site exists in the future: I will not change anything I’ve written or anything anyone has written in a comment because an advertiser wants me to I will not post any “sponsored posts”, any (unpaid) guest posts or product reviews that are simply adverts in disguise I will not post accept any direct advertising in any form that promotes products that generate, rather than reduce, waste I will not post any adverts in our site’s Twitter feed (or any other social media platforms that might crop up in the future!) I will not put money generation above creating a useful site to help people reduce, reuse, recycle more I will remove all advertising from the site as soon as I can do without the money Sorry this has been a bit of a departure from the normal How can I recycle this…? posts , I just wanted to get a few things off my chest! Normal programming will resume tomorrow 🙂 -louisa 🙂 * The only exception to this is adding a “read more” link so really long articles don’t display in their entirety on the front page. Anyone visiting the article directly will see it all on one page, and people would have to click off the main page to read comments anyway.

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Impact of advertising on Recycle This – and my promises to you

The Boat Project is Olympic Art

October 19, 2011 by  
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Photo: theboatproject Every Olympic games have to have a cultural component and London is going at it full speed. A massive red sculpture by Anish Kapoor will tower over the site and posters by 12 modern British artists will be created around the country. The Boat Project is all about making a boat from the old wooden memorabilia that people donate. It’s a collective artwork… Read the full story on TreeHugger

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The Boat Project is Olympic Art

Size Matters: World’s largest solar park in Germany

October 1, 2011 by  
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Radhicka S Saxena: Largest Solar Park Germany Covers Old Pit Mine with World’s Largest Solar Park The photovoltaic solar park near Senftenburg in Germany has bowled over many. This remarkable spectacle now has something more to boast about. A new section has been added to it lately. What makes that news even more sensational is that due to the new addition, the plant will now become one of the biggest solar parks in the world! This annex was constructed within three months, quite an achievement, and has been applauded by many for its unmatched capabilities. The revolutionary site was inaugurated on 27th April 2006 and will surely set an example to other such solar projects. What is it Eastern Germany’s hi-tech solar park was always a marvel, but now the entertainment zone has been upgraded with a new section. Developed by Unlimited Energy, this undertaking has been quite a spectacle. An old and unused mine pit was used for building this new sector. There are many such sections of barren land that are cast off and abandoned. Utilizing them is to construct solar generators is quite innovative and thought provoking. Most of the times, such territory gets discarded because it contains elements that can harm human life. Hence, constructing solar powered equipment here is a good way to undo the damage. Also, this ensures that the land is not put to any hazardous or injurious use in the future. There is another awesome realization achieved at this site, the time frame within which the plant was completed. Kudos to Unlimited Energy, under whose workmanship this marvelous structure was erected in just under three months. The company has proved its farsightness in many other ways. Another yet notable addition to the park is the inclusion of wildlife reserves and plantation. In between the solar installation, the company has provided shelter for wildlife and also cultivated local plants. How big is it The plant is worth 40 million euro or 48 million US$. The power capacity of the plant is also astounding. The new section generates about 78 megawatts of energy, increasing the capacity of the entire plant to a whopping 166 megawatts. It also has about 62 central inverter stations to help transform the energy absorbed from sunrays and put it into use. Also around 330,000 crystalline PV modules have been assembled on the site. In fact, Saferay company has garnered quite a reputation for the solar farms it has built throughout Germany. Each is put up with the same efficiency and built within an astonishing time limit. This is a remarkable feat considering it has been in the business for about a year. How green is it The original plant was built on the former military ground at Pocking and was saved about 10,000 tons of CO2 annually. This number will increase after inclusion of the new annexure. Also, the plant previously powered up 3300 Germans homes. With the new addition, the plant will now supply power to 25,000 homes in Germany. To add another feather to its cap, the plant is also very cost effective. The foundation has been fabricated with concrete or piles. Any type of material from steel racks, aluminum, and wood has been used here based on their prices – this is referred to as the flexible installation technology. It applies the master-slave inverter concept developed by Shell churn out energy. The plant operates pretty well in Germany, naturally, its power will be multiplied in places blessed with ample solar light. All these facts will definitely give many companies incentive to develop the same structure in other parts of the world. The predecessors This move by Saferay has caused quite a stir and has obviously made competitors green with envy. What has caused further amazement is the rapid pace at which work was completed at the site. Many companies will therefore be enticed to follow in Saferay’s footsteps. Talks about more such constructions are already doing the rounds. Lately, shell announced another solar plant near Leipzig that will be the largest in the world. Few others are the 15 megawatt site in South Korea and 100 megawatt structure in Israel. Then of course, there is the venture by GE; the Powerlight plant with a capacity of 11 megawatts in Portugal. Another plant in Portugal will be the 116 megawatt installation put up by a group of German companies.

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Size Matters: World’s largest solar park in Germany

Holy Cow: the World’s Happiest Cows and Best Milk

December 1, 2010 by  
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Photo: Bhaktivedanta Manor It’s cow bliss: the dairy in Hertfordshire, run by the Hare Krishnas. There are only 44 of them but life is sweet: on this farm all the cows have names, they are hand-milked whilst listening to Sanskrit music and they feed on grass all year.

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Holy Cow: the World’s Happiest Cows and Best Milk

Déjà Vu All Over Again: Offshore Oil Platform Explodes in Gulf of Mexico [Update]

September 2, 2010 by  
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Image: Google Maps Thankfully, No Deaths This Time An offshore oil platform exploded and caught fire today in the Gulf of Mexico. It is located about 80 miles off the Louisiana coast, west of the site of BP’s massive oil spill.

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Déjà Vu All Over Again: Offshore Oil Platform Explodes in Gulf of Mexico [Update]

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