The Science Behind Cow Burps

April 2, 2018 by  
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You’ve probably heard that cows contribute to the greenhouse gas … The post The Science Behind Cow Burps appeared first on Earth911.com.

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The Science Behind Cow Burps

Tidy Japanese home mimics the greenhouse effect to keep warm

December 23, 2015 by  
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Tidy Japanese home mimics the greenhouse effect to keep warm

What can I reuse or recycle to repair the mesh on bicycle panniers?

November 4, 2011 by  
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Good friend of Recycle This and The Really Good Life , Su, has got a question for us: Bicycle panniers – mine have a really useful stretchy mesh pocket on the outside, unfortunately now more hole than mesh. Any ideas on repairing them? The actual pannier part is absolutely fine. The summer before last, I bought some mens’ shorts for myself and since I don’t have things down there in need of containment, I removed the “netting” layer – that wouldn’t have been pretty but would have fit the bill perfectly – stretchy white mesh. (I ended up using it in the greenhouse to store bulbs.) Can anyone think of anything else in the same vein to reuse instead? Heavy (so they won’t run) nylon tights maybe? Another idea which is less reusing/recycling but still repairing: could you crochet a flat mesh from a plastic twine using a variant on a string bag patten? I used to make a version of this bag from all sorts of different yarns when we were short of shopping bags – makes up very quickly because it’s so much hole 🙂 Any other ideas? (Photo by arifm )

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What can I reuse or recycle to repair the mesh on bicycle panniers?

5 Spectacular greenhouses in the world

October 20, 2011 by  
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Sapna Bist: Spectacular greenhouses Spectacular greenhouses in the world Migration of people from country side to the cities is a phenomenon associated with rapid urbanization. It has been predicted by researchers that more than 80% of the population, by 2050, will migrate to cities and will start dwelling there. The farms and country sides will be abandoned. For agriculture and farm needs there will be very less land available in the cities. So the people will have to depend on greenhouses and kitchen garden to grow their vegetables etc. Green houses are thought to be good for growth of plants. This is because in the greenhouse the plants obtain sunlight and are also not exposed to the ruthless climatic conditions. 1. Solar powered greenhouse Solar powered greenhouse Greenhouse that produces both food as well as electricity Solar ReFeel, a company working in the renewable energy sector is starting its greenhouse project. For this project they have collaborated with Solyndra (leader in solar industry). Solar Refeel is planning to use photovoltaic system in the greenhouse and enhance crop productivity. The photovoltaic system of Solyndra are cylindrical in design and not flat like other photovoltaic systems. The cylinders allow more light to enter the greenhouse. This makes the crops to grow more capably. The company is aiming to combine the greenhouse with solar enabled sensor systems. This will lead the greenhouse to electricity also along with food. 2. Camarillo’s greenhouses Camarillo’s greenhouses Energy-neutral greenhouses produce 20 times more fruit per acre than conventional farms The aim of Camarillo’s greenhouses, developed by a farming company from Canada (Houweling Nurseries) is to provide sustainable farming. It is a complex made of $50 million. The whole complex had an ecosystem which is totally self dependent. Nothing is wasted in this ecosystem. There are photovoltaic solar cells (spread to five acres). These photovoltaic cells supply 2.1 MW electricity to the complex. This electricity is used to run systems which control the climate and water pumps. Rain water is harvested by collecting it in a 4 acre. This water is then filtered and then used for irrigation purposes. This green house, apart from harvesting water and generating electricity boasts of producing more fruit (20 times more) than other conventional farms. No pesticides and herbicides are used in this greenhouse for growing plants. Bare minimum fertilizers are used as there are no germs and dust in the greenhouse. The exhaust from warehouse refrigeration and solar heat is collected by the thermal system. The heat is then used to warm the greenhouse. 3. Hiroshi Iguchi’s greenhouse Hiroshi Iguchi’s greenhouse Designed by Hiroshi Iguchi The unique and most important aspect of Hiroshi Iguchi’s greenhouse is that it has been made from sustainable materials. Designer Hiroshi Iguchi proposes something beyond a greenhouse. He proposes for a greenhouse house. Hiroshi Iguchi’s Camouflage House is a house situated inside a greenhouse. The greenhouse house is a component of 5th World project. The Camouflage House aspires to encourage a sustainable architecture which is ecofriendly. Camouflage House uses natural materials for its construction. Apart from protecting trees and plants from harsh weather it also protects people. The design also incorporates some tress in the house. These trees are allowed to come out of the house roofs from the open spaces left in the ceiling. 4. Plantagon urban greenhouse Plantagon urban greenhouse Plantagon designs urban greenhouse within a geodesic dome Around the world villages are the producers of food. Studies show that by the year 2050 cities will become over crowded as more than 80% of the population will migrate to the cities. Location and definition of farms will also change as more and more people will come to cities. Plantagon, a Swedish-American company, is using innovative technology and is trying to create new farms for today’s urbanities. They are solving the problem of less space for cultivation today in our cities, as our cities are already overcrowded and people leaving in vertical columns have no space to spread horizontally. Plantagon have created Plantagon urban greenhouse. This green house is made of large geodesic domes which have spiral ramps inside. Plants are grown on the spiral ramp built inside the vertical farm. This new technique of food production will change the production style. The goods will be directly supplied to the consumers, helping in reducing the cost of transportation and also helping in sustaining the environment. The company is optimistic that the first vertical farm will be operational in the next 3 years. 5. Recycled windshield greenhouse Recycled Windshield Greenhouse The glass is nailed to firewood beams. This is a sustainable greenhouse made by architect Sebastian Ramirez. Being an eco conscious designer he has windshield glass to build a fully functional greenhouse. The green house has been erected on the 8 eight logs of wood and they are connected to the glass by nails. The greenhouse is triangular in shape.

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Your world of tomorrow: High-tech smart homes to help conserve energy

October 20, 2011 by  
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Babita Sajnani: High-tech smart homes High-tech smart homes to help conserve energy Today There are many companies from Japan that are coming out with commercialized options for the general public for the Net Kaden systems that facilitate the electronic monitoring and control of homes by linking the systems with high-speed broadband networks and mobile phones. In the Net Kaden system, you can easily keep a tab on the kids while they are at home and can monitor whether there are trespassers or strangers outside the home as the system sends images to the user’s cell phone. The ‘Kaden’ means electrical device and Matsushita Electric Industrial Co. and Toshiba Corp. have joined hands to market the Net Kaden. Hitachi Ltd. is also planning to launch a similar system for the domestic market soon and Sony Corp is also developing a home server system that makes use of advance semiconductors. Not far being is a Nippon Telegraph & Telephone Corp, that is making a cutting edge communication device for homes that would have 100 times faster high-precision broadcasting and multichannel facilities that would be incorporated in the Net Kaden. The process for making homes intelligent is becoming more and more advanced by the day. Toshiba has come out with refrigerators whose contents can be monitored from a distance with a mobile phone and the same with air conditioners. Sony has also introduced Aibo, a robotic dog that has the ability to take pictures of trespassers and then send them across to the users on their mobile phones. Now a lot of the home can be monitored with the help of a button on your mobile phone! Tomorrow A lot many people visualize living in smart and futuristic homes wherein there is a technical solution to opening and operating everything from a burglar alarm to opening a door. The toaster, the AC and even the room temperature can be controlled! However according to a few investigations carried out in the UK, it has been observed that the major worry of the consumers would be the advent of any malfunctioning of the equipment that would be a little difficult to correct. The people falling in the age group of 15-34 are the most interested in having a Smart Home whereas the disabled, aged and infirm would be least inclined. Around 70% of the interviewed people found Smart Homes very advantageous whereas others were a little apprehensive about the sophisticated device and working. Another major concern would be affordability. However, there does seem to be a lack of promoting Smart homes in the construction segment as they lack the skilled workforce needed to implement the high-tech system. However, it does seem probably in the long run with the recent technological advancements to actually go back to a Smart Home after a hard day at work with the AC switched on a few minutes before you reach and the kettle heating your evening tea – what bliss it would be and you would also save on the energy wastage that normally occurs with these gadgets as they would turn off after doing the needful. The Inspiration Green awareness and consciousness is fast spreading and people are realizing the fact that they would have to come out with sustainable and clean options to sustain their houses. A lot of architects and builders are coming up with energy-efficient designs that not only produce their own clean energy but also supply the surplus to the electricity grid. There will come a day when all households will be responsible for managing the energy needs of their home in a clean, green and sustainable fashion! Eco credentials 1. InVision Zero by Dow Chemical InVision Zero by Dow Chemical Net-zero energy home developed by Dow Chemical Company The building blocks The InvVision Zero is a net-zero sustainable home that has been built by the Dow Chemical Company in collaboration with Cobblestone Homes in Michigan. This house would be able to save $3,507 towards electricity bills and would also prevent its annual CO2 emissions amounting to 44,855 lbs! Sustainability The Vision Zero house would be constructed with a view to sustain the various comforts of a modern household by achieving a net zero utility bill. The home would be equipped with the latest in air-sealing and insulation products as well as the latest Solar Shingles by Dow that would produce enough electricity to power the entire house with surplus as well. 2. Green Tomorrow House by Samsung C&T Green Tomorrow House by Samsung C&T Sustainable house powered by renewable energy The building blocks The Green Tomorrow is the new zero-energy house that is being developed by Samsung C&T that is constructed in Yongin, Gyeonggi. This house would be equipped with 68 energy generating and saving mechanisms that would not require electricity generated from fossil fuels at all. Sustainability This house would also leads to a reduction of energy usage by approximately 56% as the remaining power would be derived from solar energy via the 176 solar panels that are installed on the rooftop capable of generating 24MWh of electricity in a single year. The house also features a variety of energy saving mechanisms such as heat insulating boards, triple layer windows and lighting systems that save on energy consumption. The cost of building this house is however around twice the amount spent in building a regular house, but Samsung believes that the costs would eventually come down. 3. Villa Akarp Villa Akarp Energy positive house incorporates energy saving and generating technologies The building blocks Villa Akarp looks like any modern home but that would be incorrect to say as this home has a roof that is lined with 32 meters of photovoltaic panels making it an energy saving/generating home. Furthermore, the residents of this amazing home can earn a bit as well by selling the extra electricity to the grid! Sustainability The Villa Akarp has been designed by Karin Adalberth in collaboration with E.ON and is built in Malmo, Sweden. The house has a lot of energy saving mechanisms in place including foam insulation, a 5.5 decimeter thick wall line and three-time glazed windows. The hurdles The growing cities and the burden on providing and catering to the energy needs of its citizens makes it imperative for the structures to become sustainable and green. However, such ambitious projects are often met with many barriers. Firstly, it is important to make the consumers aware of the benefits of having a sustainable home. Secondly, the technology must be made more affordable. Thirdly, the Government should intervene to promote the efficiency of these homes and ensure the people by subsidizing certain energy saving equipment. Is it feasible? A lot of companies are treading the green path and have come up with various smart solutions to building a net-zero home. However, the development and progress of this smart technology is a little slow, but it is slowly getting there. Google has come out with a software package called the Powermeter that would educate the households on the amount of energy expended by them in a month. Another company called PassivSystems is also working towards developing a smart home control mechanism with multiple sensors that would be quite expensive. A home can be made intelligent by incorporating a few energy saving solutions in the right places rather than making your life sophisticated with complicated gadgets. However, it is expected that households will gradually develop into energy-efficient, sustainable homes in the years to come

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Your world of tomorrow: High-tech smart homes to help conserve energy

Future perfect: Self-powered public transport

October 20, 2011 by  
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Nandini Kumar: Self-powered public transport Self-powered public transport for future Public transports have been some of the most advantageous things that have come out of the industrial revolution. With the mass production of buses, airplanes, trains and ships, the world has suddenly become easily accessible. The cost of traveling has come down too. But with increasing population, the need for more and more public vehicle is putting pressure on the environment and with each new vehicle on the road, spitting out unwanted smoke, we are realizing the need for a solution. There are many ongoing researches that are working to solve this problem and things like solar-powered buses, bus trains and hybrid public transport vehicles have been conceived. The idea of self-powered transport is along these lines and has the power to have a positive effect on the environment. Here are some vehicles and the ideas behind them that seriously need are attention. 1. Self-powered rail car Self powered rail car Self powered rail car for public to travel The Transportation Research Board’s committee for self-powered rail car technologies has come up with the idea of self-propelled rail cars that have sources for power on board. These sources of power can either be some alternative fuels or diesel internal combustion engines. Research is ongoing and soon we would have rail cars that use much less fuel than before. 2. Bombardier Eco-4 Bombardier eco 4 The train aims to better public transportation and make it even greener with the use of renewable energy technology. The Bombadier Eco-4 is a futuristic train designed by Francisco Lupin. The train is Eco-friendly and would run on solar energy. This energy is harnessed through the solar panels fitted on the train, changing direction along with the sun’s rotation. The train would have an automatic pilot computer that would be responsible for its running. The computer would be retested at every station. 3. AirFLoW AirFLoW Solar-powered Hovercraft for Public Transportation The AirFLoW hovercraft is designed by Lukas Medeisis, especially for the city of Helsinki. The hovercraft is an alternative public transport option and has capacity to carry 40 people, along with the driver. There is also space for two wheel chairs or baby trolleys as well as space to keep bicycles. The AirFLoW is surely a responsible step towards a better tomorrow. The concept The new researches in the field of battery technologies has given a concrete form to the ideas and now every one is excited. The research has been able to make batteries that charge by themselves and can use all kinds of energy for it. The material can come handy in making cars, phones or gadgets that require a source of energy. The electronic vehicle industry is especially looking forward for this development because once there is material available that would charge the car by itself, the need for heavy and expensive batteries would end. This could also be used to make vehicles for public transport which would be a huge step for a better environment. The advantages Thinking towards such things as self-powered batteries would eliminate the use of batteries and the need to plug them into a source of electricity. Thus, the usage of electricity would greatly decrease. This would also make the batteries lighter and easier to carry around, be it in the vehicles or any other devices. Researchers are also finding ways to make these batteries more efficient and durable so that not only the usage of these batteries helps the environment friendly, but also easy on the pocket. The impact While the need of a vehicle cannot be eliminated from our world, there are plenty of ways by which we can reduce the tension our pollution emitting motors are causing on the planet. People and societies have come up with new strategies which including car pooling, in which people of different households use a common vehicle and share the expenses, use of public transports, which costs much less money and lesser pollution and using alternative ways of transport like bicycles or walking. The concept of self-powered public transport is also gaining momentum and it is not too long that we would be seeing these vehicles on the roads nearby. After years of researching, these technologies are ready to be used and are being incorporated in buses and trains. Solar- powered train or hybrid buses that use both gas and an alternative fuels are examples of this research. While we are aiming at the mass production of these vehicles, the entry of them is nothing less than a celebration. We can finally take pride in our technologies and drive vehicles without feeling the guilt of producing pollution. The future awaits many more examples as these and a brighter tomorrow for all of us.

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5 Ingenious DIY greenhouse designs

August 27, 2011 by  
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A Dutta: Greenhouse DIY Greenhouse Constructing a traditional greenhouse and maintaining one is definitely not a past time. The cost and energy needed to set it up often comes in the way of people who are kicked about it and might even have enough know how and interest to make one, but lack the resources to build one. Well, DIY is here, and as always with some mind-bending and affordable concepts which you can implement yourself for your own little ‘green’ greenhouse. 1. DIY portable automated greenhouse Brian Merritt offers this completely portable greenhouse with a seed starter, which includes some high-tech wizardry. Normal greenhouse risk becoming too hot if kept closed and too cold if open, but Meritt has come up with a plan to regulate the interior temperature of the greenhouse with built-in sensors. Selecting a temperature between 60 and 95 degrees Fahrenheit, by 5 degree increments, automatically helps the microcontroller adjust the vent opening to help maintain that temperature. Just four AA batteries are all you need to run these sensors and microcontroller all day for a month. The gadgets also come with a daylight sensor, high-intensity LEDs which help in night inspections and a low-battery warning indicator. 2. Homemade Greenhouse Built with a frame of pressure treated 4 x 4s, this movable greenhouse has a 12/12 roof for the snow to easily slide off and the walls are about five foot to make enough headroom in the center. Thirty six plywood gussets, studs and rafters, were nailed together and then wrapped over with 6 mil of greenhouse film. Then the house was sealed with pieces of foam. 3. Hoop house greenhouse The main structure of this hoop greenhouse is made of 20 ft pvc pipes. With a width of 11 feet and 15 feet long and around seven and a half feet tall in the center, this ambitious hoop house started off with a budget of $50. You could make one of these as long or as short as you want, but using this design the width needs to be around 12 feet. This seems perfect for a backyard garden space. This greenhouse built with a budget of $50 was built by starting with the end walls first. Instead of getting greedy and making it wider to be more amenable in snowfall or rain, the house wasn’t built completely flat. The wood was recycled from concrete lumber and the plastic roof (non-UV 6 mil clear plastic, which saves money) and sides were folded over the ends and stapled to the wooden parts. However, the greenhouse eventually took around $140 to set up. 4. Plastic bottle greenhouse Built by a sustainable development charity named REAP, this greenhouse was built using 1,500 discarded plastic bottles and other scrap. This greenhouse is well equipped for organic farming. The frame uses four vertical posts on which the bottles are stacked up with garden cane as frame. 5. DIY haunted greenhouse Built with the background of various legends regarding greenhouse, using unwanted glass plate negatives, which gave the interior filled with plants an abundant array of haunting shadows, this is as much an exercise in art as it is a utility. Michael Oatman, a collage artist with a class of architecture students at Rensselaer Polytechnic, was inspired enough with these stories to go ahead and build something similar. The 2,500 glass negatives are mug shots of over 15,000 criminals from the 20th century. While the work has been titled conservatory, it’s still not sure whether it’ll be ready yet for public viewing.

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5 flying wind generator design concepts to outshine conventional wind turbines

August 27, 2011 by  
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A Dutta: magenn air rotor grabbing the high-wind and churning out energy Imagine the sky all across filled with strange, rotating machines. Well, alternative energy developers are planning exactly that. The wind turbines you see out in the fields or in the backyard might just be rendered useless if these things take to the skies. Planned to be positioned in the skies, sometimes as high as 15,000 feet in the air, these ‘Flying Wind Generators’ are aiming high, and if they manage to harness even one percent of the jet-stream winds, it could be enough energy to light up the whole planet. Here are a few concepts for flying wind generators which might literally blow you away. 1. Flying Wind Turbines Sky Wind Power and Magenn Power are the two prominent agencies rooting to cough up the first of these machines. Sky Wind has in mind a 1,100 pound Flying Electric Generator which claims to be capable of producing power for as cheap as 2 cents per kilowatt hour, while soaring above 15,000 feet in the air. This kite-like structure will be kept afloat with four rotors at the points of an H-shaped frame. The spinning rotors will transmit the electricity through aluminum cables tethered to the frame. 2. Magenn Air Rotors Another company, Magenn Power has something called the Magenn Power Air Rotor in the works. This wind generator is helium filled and rotates around a horizontal axis. The transmitted electricity can be used immediately. While the FEG aims at working at extremely high levels, the M.A.R.S.intends to keep itself based around 600 feet, and turn at speeds ranging from 4 mph to greater than 60 mph. 3. MARS – A wind turbine that is up in air The MARS is not like other wind generators. Instead of being a bladed, two-dimensional structure, it is a closed cylinder. The advantages of being a closed cylinder are its ability to start at low speeds, and have rotors which vary in sizes at a considerably cheaper rate than other wind generators. The MARS can also float above tree lines for getting across great wind and doesn’t need vast amounts of open space to be deployed. 4. Joby Energy tests high-altitude, wind turbine prototype Joby Energy is testing its wind turbines which can produce around 800 terawatts and is powered by a 30KW system which resembles an airplane. The structure is suspended vertically in air with the aid of a channel of turbines. Once set to work, the system moves circularly to come in the path of cross-winds. The tether later transmits the electricity back to the frame. The company intends to unleash trials of a 100KW very soon in the future. 5. Kite farm offers parasailing while producing energy Keeping the high-tech rotors and daunting flying turbines at bay, this is something which promises to engage adventure seekers and, well, in turn, also generate energy. Colombian landscape architect studio Paisajes Emergentes has devised a way which involves kites, a grid, and occasionally, even people. What they plan to do is set up an energy producing kite farm on a beach in Abu Dhabi. Sounds weird? The idea is to set out around 200 kites and tether them across a 60 meter grid. These kites will convert wind into electricity with the help of wind-belt generators, which might light up 600 homes! They’ve estimated an average of 6,200 kw-hours a year of electricity from each kite! The park will be open to visitors who can merrily strap themselves to the kites and go para-sailing above the beach! Do it for the energy!

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5 flying wind generator design concepts to outshine conventional wind turbines

Natural Gas From Fracking Emissions Can Double Those From Coal

April 11, 2011 by  
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Anti-fracking protest in Pittsburg, photo: Marcellus Protest / Creative Commons . Here’s the second study of the year showing that the greenhouse gas emissions caused by burning natural gas obtained by hydraulic fracturing are much higher than acknowledged.

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Natural Gas From Fracking Emissions Can Double Those From Coal

Carbon War Room Rates Efficiency of 60K+ Ships at New Data Hub

December 6, 2010 by  
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The nonprofit Carbon War Room has rated the greenhouse gas efficiency of nearly every big oceangoing vessel in the world, which will be searchable in a new data hub designed to help ship owners, operators, ports and stakeholders make better, more efficient shipping decisions.

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Carbon War Room Rates Efficiency of 60K+ Ships at New Data Hub

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