This urban tree cleans as much polluted air as an entire forest

June 26, 2017 by  
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Air pollution might be invisible, but it results in 7 million premature deaths each year. Fortunately, there’s a solution – the CityTree is a high-tech green wall that scrubs the air of harmful particulates – and it has as much air-purifying power as 275 urban trees. As you might have guessed, the CityTree isn’t really a tree . Instead, it’s a moss culture. Zhengliang Wu, co-founder of Green City Solutions said: “Moss cultures have a much larger leaf surface area than any other plant. That means we can capture more pollutants .” The CityTree is under 4 meters tall, approximately 3 meters wide and 2.19 meters deep. Two versions are available – one with or without a bench – and a display is included for information or advertising. Due to the huge surface area of moss installed, each tree can remove dust, nitrogen dioxide and ozone gases from the air. Additionally, the installations are fully autonomous, as solar panels provide electricity and collected rainwater is filtered into a reservoir where it is pumped into the soil. Related: Air pollution is the leading environmental cause of death worldwide The invention also has WiFi sensors which measure the soil humidity, temperature and water quality. “We also have pollution sensors inside the installation, which help monitor the local air quality and tell us how efficient the tree is.” said Wu. Every day, a CityTree can absorb around 250 grams of particulate matter. Over the length of an entire year, the invention can remove 240 metric tons of C02. Green City Solutions seeks to one day install CityTrees in major cities around the world – but they presently faces bureaucratic challenges. Said Wu, “We were installing them (the CityTrees) in Modena, Italy, and everything was planned and arranged, but now the city is hesitant about the places we can install because of security reasons.” Regardless, the company will persist and already has plans to introduce the invention to India , where air pollution has reached dangerous levels in certain locations. So far, 20 CityTrees have been successfully installed in major cities around the world – including Oslo, Paris, Brussels and Hong Kong. Costing about $25,000 each, they are a big investment – but one deemed to be worthwhile as they clean the air of harmful contaminants. + Green City Solutions Via CNN Images via Green City Solutions

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This urban tree cleans as much polluted air as an entire forest

Cleverly layered compact dirt walls mimic ice cream cakes in this Tokyo patisserie

June 21, 2017 by  
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Dirt may seem an odd material choice for an upscale patisserie in Tokyo , but design studio nendo playfully pulls it off with style. The Japanese designers layered compacted soils of varying colors to mimic the layers of an ice cream cake. The earth walls lend the “à tes souhaits!” shop a sense of warmth and contrast beautifully with the glass-and-steel facade. Located in the trendy Kichijoji neighborhood in Tokyo, à tes souhaits! is a small and elegant shop specializing in ice cream and chocolates . The earth walls comprise stacked soils of varying shades arranged in a staggered pattern to look like cut slices of ice cream cake with different flavors. “The wall guides people into the shop by the soft curvature from the outer wall, and then creates a gentle all-enveloping effect, like melted ice cream, all the way into the back of the shop,” writes nendo. “This created a relaxing ambience, taking advantage of the compactness of the space.” Related: Ancient Japanese tombs inspire nendo’s first public space design Since the new patisserie is the second location of à tes souhaits!, Nendo wanted to differentiate the two shops. The flagship uses bright lighting with mostly white surfaces and hard materials like marble and metal. In contrast, the new location uses a subdued color palette and softer lighting to complement the dominant use of wood and soil . + Nendo Images by Takumi Ota

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Cleverly layered compact dirt walls mimic ice cream cakes in this Tokyo patisserie

It’s time to make soil great again

May 6, 2017 by  
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Restoring soil fertility is one of humanity’s best options for making progress on three daunting challenges: Feeding everyone, weathering climate change and conserving biodiversity.

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How soil sparked a new sustainable ag movement

April 28, 2017 by  
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As word gets around that soil is alive, farmers have adopted a whole new attitude toward their land.

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How soil sparked a new sustainable ag movement

Here’s how cities in developing countries can tap green bonds

April 28, 2017 by  
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Many city leaders already are working to finance resilience projects through green bonds.

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Here’s how cities in developing countries can tap green bonds

Why food production doesn’t need to double by 2050

March 21, 2017 by  
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An agronomist’s straight talk on what it will really take for agriculture to sustain a growing global population.

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Why food production doesn’t need to double by 2050

A week inside Al Gore’s climate reality

March 21, 2017 by  
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It could have been angry and defiant. It could have been despondent and fatalistic. Or worse, it could have been rosy and effervescent.

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The business case for holistic management

February 17, 2017 by  
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Agriculture is the “most destructive industry” in history, but Allan Savory reveals ancient practices that can enrich the future.

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The business case for holistic management

3 circular principles for healthy agriculture

February 11, 2017 by  
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Agriculture contributes to a quarter of the climate crisis. Here is how to replenish the soil, nature’s regenerative capital.

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3 circular principles for healthy agriculture

Keep calm, we’re experiencing a paradigm shift

November 7, 2016 by  
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It’s time to stop demonizing carbon. Imagine 52 nations, more than 2 billion people, coming onboard to “bring carbon home.”

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Keep calm, we’re experiencing a paradigm shift

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