Hurricane Florence could cause dangerous floods of toxic sludge and animal waste

September 12, 2018 by  
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Torrential rains are not the only thing Hurricane Florence will bring once it hits landfall. The massive storm is expected to dump record amounts of rain in the southeastern United States — rain that could overflow toxic chemical waste and animal manure sites along the coast, increasing danger to both public health and the environment. One toxic waste site in North Carolina is particularly vulnerable to the incoming storm. Two years ago, the state tasked Duke Energy Corp. with cleaning up coal-ash ponds in the area following a major spill, because the ponds posed serious hazards to nearby communities. Close to 40,000 tons of toxic waste was dumped near the town of Eden, North Carolina. State officials ordered the company to clean up the ponds by the summer of 2019. Although Duke Energy Corp. has started the cleanup process, it is nowhere near the finish line. The company is currently in the middle of cleaning up the sites and will not be finished by the time Hurricane Florence rolls in. Given the condition of the ponds, excess rain from the hurricane could lead to overflow, dumping the waste into the surrounding environment. Related: Climate change is expected to bring more intense storms like Hurricane Florence North Carolina is also home to lagoons that contain manure from the state’s hog and poultry industries. Hurricane Florence could overwhelm these lagoons with massive amounts of rain, which would dump the animal waste into surrounding waterways. If that happens, the state would be facing a major environmental disaster. That is, of course, if Florence stays on its current path and hits North Carolina. Hurricane Florence is growing in both strength and size as it prepares to make landfall. If the storm continues at its current pace, it could be the strongest hurricane to reach the Carolinas in the last 30 years. With Florence getting closer every day, about 1 million residents have already evacuated. Via Bloomberg Images via NASA and NOAA

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Hurricane Florence could cause dangerous floods of toxic sludge and animal waste

A 6-foot-tall man lives comfortably in this custom tiny home

September 12, 2018 by  
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We’ve seen tiny homes built for a number of distinct uses, such as homes for veterans , students and families. But one “large” group has been left out of the movement — until now. The Light Haus is a tiny home on wheels custom-built for a couple, including a man who is over six feet tall. Designed by Vina Lustado from Sol Haus Design , the light-filled home has an interior height of 6’8″. Going vertical didn’t mean sacrificing on space or style; the house has two separate offices, tons of storage space, a luxurious bathroom with a rainfall shower and even special access for the couple’s cat. Anna and Kevin approached Vina with their hopes of finding a tiny home on wheels that would be comfortable for Kevin’s height, but still provide the amenities of a traditional home. By creating a height clearance of 6’8″, there would be ample room for him to stand up, but that wasn’t sufficient when it came to creating a spacious living area. Therefore, the solution was to extend the structure horizontally to 24 feet long, which added much-needed space. The living space is flooded with natural light thanks to an abundance of windows, especially the multiple clerestory windows that wrap around the home’s upper level. The layout has a central living area with a compact kitchen on one side. On the adjacent wall, stairs with hidden storage lead up to the sleeping loft. Again, space efficiency was essential here, so there is a whopping 4’6″ of space above the loft. Related: This off-grid, prefab tiny cabin in Michigan fits a family of five A light color palette and custom-made, multi-functional furniture give the space a fresh, modern aesthetic. Ample storage in every nook and cranny helps keep the space clutter-free. Adding to the healthy atmosphere is the fact that the tiny home was built with non-toxic materials . + Vina Lustado Via Tiny House Talk Images via Vina’s Tiny House

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A 6-foot-tall man lives comfortably in this custom tiny home

Transforming the Aral Sea’s dead zone into a forest could save lives

June 5, 2018 by  
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Once, the Aral Sea provided fish for the Karakalpak people of Uzbekistan . Today, it has dwindled to a mere 10 percent of its old size . Toxic chemicals in the sea bed, now exposed, have endangered human health . But saxaul trees could prevent wind from carrying contaminated sand into the air. Forestation specialist Orazbay Allanazarov told the BBC, “One fully grown saxaul tree can fix up to 10 tonnes of soil around its roots.” The plan is to cover the whole dried sea bed — millions of hectares — with trees. The Aral Sea began withering away in the 1960s as the Soviets diverted water for cotton fields from two main rivers flowing into the sea. As the volume of water in the sea slumped, the concentration of salt increased and poisoned fish. Almas Tolvashev, a former fisherman, told the BBC, “There were 250 ships here. I used to catch 600 to 700 kilos of fish every day. Now there is no sea.” Related: “It has totally changed how people feel:” new forest transforms former UK coal community And it wasn’t just the loss of fish that caused issues. Pesticides and herbicides from cotton plantations ended up in the sea. When it went dry, sandstorms picked up the toxic chemicals exposed on the sea bed and humans inhaled them — with dire consequences. The BBC pointed to one study that discovered the incidents of liver cancer doubled from 1981 to 1991. Locals experienced reduced fertility, stunted growth, elevated rates of cancer and heart and lung problems. Authorities didn’t acknowledge the Aral Sea’s disappearance until after the Soviet Union’s fall. Saxaul trees, a shrub-like tree native to central Asia’s deserts, are able to survive in salty, dry soil, and they could offer an answer. Workers have covered around half a million hectares of the desert with the trees — but there are more than three million hectares to go. The BBC said it could take 150 years to cultivate a forest at the current pace, but there’s hope the trees could improve quality of life for the Karakalpak people. “We are slow,” Allanazarov said. “We need to speed up the process. But for this we need more money, more foreign investment.” Via the BBC Images via Depositphotos (1, 2)

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Transforming the Aral Sea’s dead zone into a forest could save lives

Scientists discover hazardous chemicals accumulate in household dust

September 15, 2016 by  
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Scientists have found an array of hazardous chemicals inside everyday household dust , putting the health of families at serious risk. The toxic cocktail accumulates over time from a variety of household products, including cleaners, electronics, furniture, and flooring. Families are warned that infants are more at risk, as they tend to crawl on the floor and frequently touch their mouths. An analysis of 26 studies and one unpublished set of data reviewed findings covering a range of indoor settings, including homes, gymnasiums, and schools. They discovered a disturbing trend of at least 45 different chemicals present in dust, 10 of which were found in at least 90 percent of the samples taken. Related: What kind of toxins are lurking in your mattress? Known carcinogen TDCIPP, a flame retardant found in furniture foam, carpet padding, and some baby products, was at the top of the list. Another flame retardant present, TPHP, has been linked to adverse effects on reproductive and nervous systems. Phthalates , an ingredient in vinyl flooring as well as food and personal care packaging that can interfere with hormones and infant development were also found in abundance. “It is really important for companies and regulators to get the message that people care about this and want and need safer products for their families,” expressed study co-author Veena Singla to The Guardian . She noted that consumer demands will help with future risks, but many of the products contaminating homes do not get replaced often, such as flooring. By frequently vacuuming, dusting with a wet cloth, and washing hands before meals, families can reduce their risk of ingesting or inhaling these toxic elements. Via The Guardian Images via Pixabay ( 1 , 2 )

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Scientists discover hazardous chemicals accumulate in household dust

How portable farms can help buck Big Food paranoia

June 17, 2016 by  
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Axing toxic chemicals and other harmful industrial farming techniques is good for individuals and business.

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How portable farms can help buck Big Food paranoia

VIDEO: Young seal pups play with divers near the Scottish coast

December 5, 2014 by  
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Seals are truly beautiful creatures, aren’t they? With their dark, liquid eyes and ready smiles, it’s easy to see how people can develop such a kinship with them, and how stories about seal-people called selkies came to be. A group of divers near the Scottish coast had a once-in-a-lifetime experience when they came across a group of curious youngsters who decided they’d like to find out what these visitors were all about. Like enthusiastic puppies (which they actually resemble quite strongly!), these seals romp and play around the divers, nosing around them curiously and encouraging them to play along. The seals even grinned as they got belly rubs and head-scratches from the divers, who must have had an incredible time with these gorgeous kids. Read the rest of VIDEO: Young seal pups play with divers near the Scottish coast Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: chemicals , endangered seals , endangered species , gray seal , gray seals , grey seal , grey seals , habitat loss , harbor seal , harbour seal , net , Nets , ocean , Ocean Debris , Ocean Plastic , ocean pollution , oceans , oil , oil spills , overfishing , Pollution , receding ice , SEA , sea ice , seal , seal pup , seal pups , seals , SEAS , toxic chemicals , trawling , water pollution

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VIDEO: Young seal pups play with divers near the Scottish coast

Stunning animated Vortex sculpture uses LEDs to show its site’s energy consumption

December 5, 2014 by  
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Read the rest of Stunning animated Vortex sculpture uses LEDs to show its site’s energy consumption Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: 1024 Architecture , bordeaux , Darwin Project , footbridge , france , Green Building , green renovation , interactive art , interactive installation , LED lights , realtime data , Vortex , vortex sculpture , wooden sculpture

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Stunning animated Vortex sculpture uses LEDs to show its site’s energy consumption

5 Homemade, All-Natural Cleaning Substitutes to Keep Your Home Clean and Free of Toxins

April 27, 2014 by  
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Many of the cleaners we use nowadays contain toxic chemicals , which are not only bad for the environment but are bad for your health as well. So the better option is to switch to store-bought green cleaners right? Not so fast–some of these so-called “green” cleaners from the store can’t be trusted either. That’s why we recommend using homemade cleaners instead! Click through the link to see which five kitchen pantry staples can double as safe and effective cleaning supplies. READ MORE> Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: diy cleaners , easy diy cleaners , eco cleaners , Green Cleaners , green cleaning , green kitchen , homemade cleaner , homemade mold cleaners , non toxic cleaners

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5 Homemade, All-Natural Cleaning Substitutes to Keep Your Home Clean and Free of Toxins

HOW TO: Steer Clear of Toxic Chemicals for Greener and Healthier Spring Cleaning

March 16, 2014 by  
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Image via Shutterstock Spring cleaning is supposed to help preserve a healthy and happy home, but disturbing discoveries about toxic household cleaners make us wonder if our annual ritual actually does more harm than good. Even worse, a 2012 study by the Silent Spring Institute revealed that avoiding harmful chemicals can be near impossible because our everyday products are often mislabeled. But fear not–we’ve created a list of ways to help you stay green while keeping your house squeaky clean. Follow the link below for tips on how to stay away from those nasty chemicals for a healthier and more natural spring cleaning season. READ MORE> Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: green cleaning , greener spring cleaning , household cleaners , Inhabitots , Silent Spring Institute , spring cleaning , toxic chemicals , toxic household cleaners        

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HOW TO: Steer Clear of Toxic Chemicals for Greener and Healthier Spring Cleaning

Apple Criticized for Toxic Chemicals in Smartphone Sweatshops

March 15, 2014 by  
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Apple is known for its sleek design and pristine stores. Engaging with Apple products feels like stepping into the future, so why is the company’s treatment of workers stuck in the Stone Age? Apple employs around 1.5 million people within supplier factories in China, and on a daily basis these workers are exposed to a slew of toxic chemicals . Some of the substances are known carcinogens and reproductive toxins, while others are completely untested, and could carry all sorts of health consequences for the people feeding our smartphone addiction. Green America in partnership with The Nation and China Labor Watch have launched a new “Bad Apple” campaign protesting the appalling factory practices at Apple. Follow the link below to add your name to the petition. READ MORE> Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: apple factories , apple workers , Bad Apple , chinese factories , Green America , Inhabitots , smartphone sweatshops , toxic chemicals        

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Apple Criticized for Toxic Chemicals in Smartphone Sweatshops

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