Research shows the UK tosses out 1.4 million edible bananas – a day

May 17, 2017 by  
Filed under Eco, Green

Grocery stores to food banks to big corporations like Walmart and Hasbro have all taken measures to combat food waste . But there’s still a long way to go in the fight: new research from United Kingdom (UK) supermarket chain Sainsbury’s reveals daily Britons still throw away 1.4 million bananas that could have been consumed. The study found one third of the nation’s inhabitants would throw out a banana even if it just had a minor bruise. UK charity organization WRAP assembled the Sainsbury’s study, and the results weren’t good. One in 10 Brits would discard a piece of the fruit solely for having a bit of green on the skin. Millions of bananas are thrown away every day, even though they could still have been eaten. 61 percent of Britons don’t use discarded bananas in baking , according to Sainsbury’s head of sustainability Paul Crewe, and the grocery store is hoping to do something about that. Related: Stop throwing away banana peels – eat them instead Crewe said they’re creating an in-store area aimed at inspiring Brits to bake with bananas. They’ll launch these new pop-up banana rescue stations in over 500 stores across the nation. At the rescue station people can grab a Sainsbury’s recipe for banana bread, and find the tools they need to bake their own loaf like mixing bowls, baking tins, and blenders. Crewe said, “While we’re pleased with the success of the in-store trial, we’re determined to help shoppers reduce the number of bananas going to waste at home too.” In November the store announced a one million pound, or around $1.29 million, fund for the second phase of their Waste Less, Save More project. The first phase saw a pilot program in the town of Swadlincote, testing waste-saving ideas and technology the company said could save families around 350 pounds, or $452, on food bills each year and could slash the town’s waste by 50 percent. They’ve also taken actions like getting rid of multi-buy promotions in favor of a lower price structure. Via edie.net Images via Pixabay and Pexels

Read the original here:
Research shows the UK tosses out 1.4 million edible bananas – a day

Researchers close in on world’s first 100% self-charging lithium-ion battery

April 26, 2017 by  
Filed under Eco, Green

Comments Off on Researchers close in on world’s first 100% self-charging lithium-ion battery

We’ve all experienced the nuisance of a dying phone when there’s no outlet in sight, but that moment could become a relic of the past thanks to new technology being developed by an international team of 19 scientists. The group, led by the Institute de Recherche d-Hydro-Québec and McGill University in Canada , want their battery to harvest and store light energy all on its own – without the help of solar panels . Lithium-ion batteries can only hold so much power, and must be recharged often. So researchers are developing a device that can harvest energy from light and store it. They just published a study showing a lithium-ion battery cathode can be sensitized to light by combining lithium-ion materials with dye molecules including solar cell technology. Here’s how study lead author Andrea Paolella of Hydro-Québec puts it: “In other words, our research team was able to simulate a charging process using light as a source of energy.” Related: 94-year-old inventor of lithium-ion cells develops new battery that can store 3 times more energy The cathode is only half of the process. The researchers must develop an anode that can store the light energy. If they can accomplish that feat, they will have created the first 100 percent self-charging lithium-ion battery in the world. And they’re already at work on phase two. “I’m an optimist and I think we can get a fully working device. Theoretically speaking, our goal is to develop a new hybrid solar-battery system, but depending on the power it can generate when we miniaturize it, we can imagine applications for portable devices such as phones,” said Paolella. Phase two could still take years, but co-author George Demopoulos, a professor at McGill University, thinks this passive form of charging could be significant for devices of the future. Nature Communications published the study online earlier this month. Scientists from institutions in Italy, Spain, and the United Kingdom were also part of the research. Via McGill University Images via Pixabay ( 1 , 2 )

See more here:
Researchers close in on world’s first 100% self-charging lithium-ion battery

Diapers, sanitary products could provide alternative fuel source

March 20, 2017 by  
Filed under Green, Recycle

Comments Off on Diapers, sanitary products could provide alternative fuel source

A waste-management company has developed a new, patented process that turns sanitary products, baby diapers, incontinence pads, and other so-called “absorbent hygiene products” into power. PHS Group , which serves 90,000 households, schools, offices, and retirement homes across the United Kingdom and Ireland, says that it handles about 45,000 tons of the stuff a year. A plant in the Midlands is currently converting 15 percent of that waste into compressed bales that can be burned to provide fuel for power stations. Refuse-derived fuel is neither an untested concept in Europe, where the practice is par for the course, nor in the U.K., where it’s gaining ground. But diapers, tampons, and their ilk have proved trickier because their dampness makes incineration most costly. But neither is dumping them in the landfill, where they’ll take decades to degrade, a sustainable solution. “Hygiene products are an essential part of many of our everyday lives but disposing of them has always been an issue,” Justin Tydeman, CEO of the PHS Group, told Guardian . PHS Group’s system, which is being evaluated by the University of Birmingham for its effectiveness, not to mention its impact on the environment, sounds simple in principle. Related: How Sweden diverts 99 percent of its waste from the landfill The company begins by shredding and squeezing the material, then disposing of any waste liquid as sewage. The remaining dry material is packed into bales, ripe for tossing into the fire. “Whether or not it turns out to be a major source of energy in itself, the key thing is we find a good way to handle what is a complex and growing waste stream,” Tydeman said. “We don’t want this stuff just going into the ground.” An aging population makes PHS Group’s tack even more vital than ever, Tydeman added. “The great thing about life today is people are living longer, but what comes with that is often incontinence issues,” he said. We want this to be a growing issue, because we want people to live longer.” Via the Guardian Photos by Unsplash , Pixabay

View original post here: 
Diapers, sanitary products could provide alternative fuel source

Prince Charles is waging war on Britain’s grey squirrels – with Nutella

February 28, 2017 by  
Filed under Green

Comments Off on Prince Charles is waging war on Britain’s grey squirrels – with Nutella

Prince Charles reportedly backs a plan to sterilize Britain’s grey-squirrel population, and it involves Nutella . The monarch-in-waiting is said to have met with members of the U.K. Squirrel Accord , a coalition he helped establish three years ago, to discuss ways to reduce the animal’s numbers without culling. Originally from North America, the Eastern grey squirrel, Sciurus carolinensis , has been the bane of the region’s native red squirrels since the late 19th century, when the Victorians first imported the animals to add color to their estates. There was one problem, however. Not only do grey squirrels compete for the same resources, but they also carry a pox virus that is harmless to them but fatal to their ruddier rivals. According to a recent census , the number of red squirrels have plummeted from roughly 3.5 million in the 1950s to about 130,000 today. Meanwhile, grey squirrels, which have gone on to thrive, are some 2.5 million strong. So where does the hazelnut spread come in? Per members of the Accord, which include the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs and the Scottish and Welsh governments, oral contraceptives slipped into bait could dramatically yet humanely reduce the number of grey squirrels by up to 90 percent. And like we humans, squirrels have a weakness for Nutella. Related: Squirrels were introduced to U.S. Parks to “maintain people’s health and sanity” Field testing by the Animal and Plant Health Agency has led its scientists to devise the perfect trap, one that allows grey squirrels to squeeze through but leaves red squirrels, mice, and other smaller mammals out in the cold. No risk of accidental dosing here. “It is the most exciting prospect I have seen for controlling greys,” Charles Kinnoull, chairman of the U.K. Squirrel Accord, told the Times . “I don’t harbor a great extermination instinct but I am interested in protecting our broadleaf trees and there being red squirrels around for my children to see.” The Prince of Wales himself roots for the red squirrel, even at one point suggesting installing the critter as a national mascot. “I put nuts in the lobby and leave the door open and the red squirrels come up the steps into the house,” he told the Telegraph in 2011. “Very often you get four or five running around inside the house, chasing each other to get at the nuts. My great ambition is to have one in the house, I hate to tell you. Sitting on the breakfast table and on my shoulder!” Via the Guardian Photos by likeaduck and Brian Cantoni

Here is the original post:
Prince Charles is waging war on Britain’s grey squirrels – with Nutella

6 impressive structures built around living trees

February 28, 2017 by  
Filed under Eco, Green

Comments Off on 6 impressive structures built around living trees

Treehouses hold a special magic. They hint at escape, and an opportunity to transcend the busyness of life; connect with nature. An example of man-made structures that harmonize with the environment , treehouses have inspired architects and designers around the world to build homes and offices that do the same. We’ve rounded up six examples of architecture influenced by treehouse design: four homes , one office, and one tearoom. All are designed around living trees , allowing inhabitants to breathe easy surrounded by greenery. Uncle’s House by 3 Atelier The living area of this light-filled home in Vietnam centers around a flourishing tree that is large enough for children to climb. The architects at 3 Atelier built this home for their uncle and his family, using materials reminiscent of the parents’ childhood homes. Not only does Uncle’s House inspire kids to engage with nature, they can even grow vegetables in the dirt around its base. Related: Snøhetta’s luxury cabin with Aurora Borealis views opens at Treehotel Inside Out House by Takeshi Hosaka One tree wouldn’t suffice for the Inside Out House by Takeshi Hosaka in Tokyo, Japan . From the outside, the cubic home is simple and modern. Inside, multiple trees and plants bring the outdoors inside. Sliding glass doors offer flexibility, and natural light permeates the home through skylights , creating a serene sanctuary in which humans and cats coexist. Symbiosis office by Cong Sinh Architects New developments are increasingly crowding out green spaces in the southern part of Hue, Vietnam. So Cong Sinh Architects designed Symbiosis, a peaceful office rooted in the environment in the midst of the bustling city . Expansive windows on both floors of the office overlook a green oasis full of vines and a tree. The shade from the greenery even helps regulate the office temperature. Tree House by A. Masow Design Studio A. Masow Design Studio unveiled astounding plans for the ultimate treehouse: an entire tree wrapped in a glass facade in Kazakhstan . A spiral staircase would allow the owner to move between four levels, circumnavigating the tree as they moved from floor to floor. The glass allows natural light to stream in and provides an unobstructed view of the surrounding woods. House in the Trees by Anonymous Architects This cantilevered Echo Park home takes the treehouse concept to new heights. House in the Trees by Anonymous Architects rests on a hillside overlooking Los Angeles , and was carefully constructed so as not to harm neighboring mature cypress trees, one of which extends through a bedroom in the home. Fire-treated Western red cedar siding, reclaimed chestnut floors, and walnut cabinetry add to the woodsy , natural feel of the cozy California dwelling. Bird’s Nest Atami by Hiroshi Nakamura & NAP A 300-year-old camphor tree in Japan now includes a tiny teahouse nestled among its branches. Bird’s Nest Atami, designed by Hiroshi Nakamura & NAP with the help of Takashi Kobayashi , is part of the country’s largest treehouse. Inspired by how crows utilize coat hangers in nests , Nakamura designed the freestanding teahouse to rest among the 22-meter-tall tree on light structural elements without harming the tree. The earthy interior also includes wood furnishings, inviting tea drinkers to relax in nature . Images via Quang Dam , © Koji Fujii by Nacasa & Partners Inc., Hiroyuki Oki , A. Masow Design Studio , Anonymous Architects , and Hiroshi Nakamura & NAP , by Koji Fujii/Nacasa and Partners Inc.

View post:
6 impressive structures built around living trees

New material made from fiber-reinforced hydrogels is 5 times tougher than steel

February 28, 2017 by  
Filed under Eco, Green

Comments Off on New material made from fiber-reinforced hydrogels is 5 times tougher than steel

Researchers at Hokkaido University in Japan have created a flexible, eco-friendly material that’s five-times stronger than carbon steel. The “fiber-reinforced soft composite” made by combining polyampholyte hydrogels with woven glass fiber fabric creates a bendable material that’s extremely durable. The material’s uses are manifold, but perhaps most exciting is for bearing the load of artificial ligaments and tendons. Hydrogels have been used for a variety of applications in the past , from wound dressings to soft robots, but up until recently the hydrophilic polymer chains have been too soft for much else due to the fact that they’re largely made up of water. But when woven together with glass fiber fabric, they create a material that’s not only stronger than steel, but according to researcher Dr. Jian Ping Gong, also environmentally friendly. Related: Harvard team creates extremely stretchy gel to replace damaged cartilage in joints “The fiber-reinforced hydrogels, with a 40 percent water level, are environmentally friendly,” says Dr. Jianinnovation. “The material has multiple potential applications because of its reliability, durability and flexibility. For example, in addition to fashion and manufacturing uses, it could be used as artificial ligaments and tendons, which are subject to strong load-bearing tensions.” While the material is made largely from water and glass, it gains its strength from the dynamic ionic bonds between the fiber and hydrogels. The team found that a combination of polyampholyte gels, a type of hydrogel they developed earlier, and glass fiber fabric with a single fiber measuring around 10?m in diameter produced a strong, tensile material. Testing revealed that the material is 25-times tougher than glass fabric, 100-times stronger than hydrogels alone, and five-times stronger than carbon steel. Via Hokkaido University Images via Hokkaido University

Read the rest here: 
New material made from fiber-reinforced hydrogels is 5 times tougher than steel

New map reveals the world’s most toxic countries

February 22, 2017 by  
Filed under Eco, Green

Comments Off on New map reveals the world’s most toxic countries

Just about every country in the world grapples with pollution , no matter how rich or poor they are. But you may not be aware of just how toxic your locale is. The Eco Experts from the United Kingdom recently cross-referenced data to rank the countries of the world by toxicity on a new map , and some of the results may surprise you. To create their map, The Eco Experts scrutinized data for 135 countries on carbon emissions , air pollution levels, and energy consumption, along with how much the countries draw on renewable energy . They also considered how many people have died from poor air quality . Bringing together all the individual rankings, The Eco Experts determined which countries are most damaging the environment and risking public health . Related: New Google Timelapse shows how humans have destroyed Earth over 32 years They ranked Saudi Arabia as the world’s most toxic country, with the highest recorded air pollution levels. Other oil-rich countries like Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain, and the United Arab Emirates topped the list as well. The United States ranked 66, doing better than countries like Canada, China, or Russia but worse than India and the United Kingdom. One surprise was that Nordic countries like Iceland and Norway guzzle more energy than others. Meanwhile, the top five least toxic countries are all located in Africa . The world’s least toxic country is Kenya , followed by Tanzania, Ethiopia, Mozambique, and Cameroon. In a press release, Jon Whiting of The Eco Experts said, “This research is a way of naming and shaming the worst offenders around the world. Their lack of action against emissions not only puts their populations at risk of deadly pollution-related diseases but also threatens the future of our planet. These threats are not distant concerns for future generations; their effects are being felt now and lives are already being lost. This research highlights the need for every country to act fast and put more investment into renewable energy alternatives.” + The Eco Experts Images courtesy of The Eco Experts

Read the rest here:
New map reveals the world’s most toxic countries

California introduces its own 100% renewable energy bill

February 22, 2017 by  
Filed under Eco, Green

Comments Off on California introduces its own 100% renewable energy bill

Massachusetts recently introduced a bill to derive 100 percent of the state’s energy from renewables , and now California is following suit. A new bill introduced by state Senate leader Kevin de León would require the state to obtain 100 percent of its electricity from renewable sources by 2045. Under de León’s bill, SB 584 , California would need to reach 50 percent renewable energy use by 2025, five years earlier than the state’s current target of 2030, and cease using fossil fuels completely by 2045. Related: Massachusetts lawmakers sponsor 100% renewable energy bill In 2016, the state obtained 27 percent of electricity via wind , solar, and other clean sources, and California’s deserts offer potential spaces for more renewable energy plants. The solar industry has created 100,000 jobs in California. Experts say the state could reach the 100 percent goal since costs for solar and wind power are falling – in many areas of the state solar is already the cheapest option, according to The Desert Sun. Some people wondered if de León’s bill as a reaction to Donald Trump’s energy policies. Large-scale Solar Association president Jim Woodruff, who worked with de León on the legislation, told The Desert Sun, “Whether it’s a direct response to what’s happening in Washington, I don’t know, but it’s certainly an indication that California will continue to lead in this area. It’s the sixth-largest economy in the world. I think by putting these goals out, it’s making a pretty powerful statement, not only in the U.S., but globally, that if we set out the goals and put the resources to it, those goals can be achieved.” The Desert Sun said it’s not yet clear if de León will move forward with the bill; as he filed it right before the state’s deadline to file bills on Friday, it could act as a placeholder until legislation more detailed can be written. Massachusetts recently introduced a similar bill , but it’s slightly more ambitious than California’s. Under the 100 Percent Renewable Energy Act , Massachusetts would transition to obtaining all their electricity from renewable energy by 2035, and would grant sectors like heating and transportation a 2050 deadline. The California bill gives its state’s electricity sector an extra ten years to reach that 100 percent target. Via The Desert Sun Images via Pixabay and Wikimedia Commons

See more here: 
California introduces its own 100% renewable energy bill

Secluded Thai home converted into a luxury lodge with an elephant lookout

February 22, 2017 by  
Filed under Green

Comments Off on Secluded Thai home converted into a luxury lodge with an elephant lookout

Tucked into the green hills of Chiang Mai, Thailand, Hill Lodge was originally built as a private home for a nature-loving family. But the new owners wanted something new, so they commissioned Bangkok-based SOOK Architects to convert the wooden bungalows into a guest lodge. The team completed the luxury renovation using locally-sourced materials and craftsmanship, ensuring ample opportunities to spot the local wildlife. The complex, comprised of three bungalows and a hut, was originally designed for family use, but due to its popularity among visitors, the family decided to revamp the complex into a resort. The project began with a reorganization of the layout, converting the main timber hut into a restaurant, lobby, and office space. The remaining buildings have been designated as four bungalow suites, a large three-bedroom bungalow, and 2-3 houses for employees and their families. All of the guests have access to a cantilevered elephant lookout. Related: Take refuge in this off-grid bungalow tucked into the lush Mexican forest Although most of the complex was completely updated, the architects stayed true to the traditional Siamese vernacular architecture found in the original design. The redesign also focused on creating a strategic layout in order to provide views from almost every angle, all while respecting the site’s existing natural landscape. During the construction process, the architects worked with local carpenters to complete the renovation, which, due to the sloping topography, was quite complicated. The materials had to be shaped just precisely to enable easy and quick transportation through the dense forest. To facilitate transportation, steel was chosen to frame the buildings. This also enabled the architects to create the extended timber-clad volumes and cantilevered forms. On the interior, all of the bungalows have wooden walls, flooring, and roof shingles, all made by local craftsman. + SOOK Architects Via Platforma Arquitecture Photographs via Spaceshift Studio

See the rest here:
Secluded Thai home converted into a luxury lodge with an elephant lookout

What Donald Trump’s "Brder Wll" would look like if IKEA made it

February 8, 2017 by  
Filed under Green

Comments Off on What Donald Trump’s "Brder Wll" would look like if IKEA made it

Germany’s version of The Onion knows that President Donald Trump’s plan to wall off America’s southern border isn’t just a contentious proposition, it’s an expensive one, too. An “impenetrable, physical, tall, powerful, beautiful, southern border wall” that runs some 1,000 miles between the United States and Mexico would cost taxpayers anywhere between $12 million to $15 million, minus labor and maintenance costs. Research firm Bernstein estimated a price tag of $15 billion to $25 billion, while the number crunchers at MIT placed that figure closer to $40 billion. What’s a fiscally cinched nation to do? It clears the roof rack of its Toyota Camry and sets a course for the land of plywood, Allen wrenches, and köttbullar. In other words, it heads to IKEA . At $9 billion, the Börder Wåll, in all its presumably flat-pack glory, is a comparative steal. A satirical concept by Germany’s The Postillion , the faux product comprises 471,612 pressboard panels, 313,329 coils of barbed wire, 3,772,896 screws, and a single Allen key to pull everything together. Also included is a 12,000 page instruction manual with “easy-to-understand pictures makes construction child’s play—as long as there is not a single screw missing.” The basic Wåll is 33 feet tall and 1,954 miles long, according to The Postillion, although the “height and length can be extended as desired.” Related: Mexican designers envision Trump’s border wall in “all of its gorgeous perversity” Assembly, the site adds, requires two people: one to hold the panels and the other to screw them together. Since Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell and House Speaker Paul Ryan are pro-wall, we suggest starting with them. This isn’t the first time people have openly mocked Trump’s proposed wall. Mexican design studio Estudio 3.14 rendered the barrier in hot pink to underscore the “gorgeous perversity” of the idea. In July, an L.A.-based street artist by the name of Plastic Jesus erected a very wee wall —complete with barbed wire, warning signs, and a tiny American flag—around Trump’s star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. “In the U.S. you’ll interact with immigrants from all over the world and it’s one of the things that makes the U.S. so great,” the artist, who originally hailed from the United Kingdom, told BBC News last year. “Donald Trump’s policy proposals are a threat to all of the immigrants.” + The Postillion Via Cnet

Read the original:
What Donald Trump’s "Brder Wll" would look like if IKEA made it

Next Page »

Bad Behavior has blocked 1370 access attempts in the last 7 days.