Worlds first negative emissions power plant opens in Iceland

October 13, 2017 by  
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Go, Iceland! On Wednesday, the nation flipped the switch on the world’s first power plant that eliminates more CO2 than it produces. The pilot program, which is operated by Climeworks , can remove an estimated 50 metric tons of CO2 from the air each year. The gases aren’t just contained; rather, they are turned into limestone where they will remain for at least one million years. The process works by capturing the CO2 from ambient air using Climeworks’ patented filter. The geothermal power plant then heats up the filter using low-grade heat; this extracts pure carbon dioxide . The gases are then bound to water and sent 700 meters deep into the ground. When CO2 reacts with basaltic bedrock, it forms a permanent solid mineral. Quartz reports that by burying the harmful greenhouse gases in rock, the odorless gas is prevented from being released for at least one million years. The project is still in its pilot stage, but scientists with Climeworks are optimistic that similar negative emissions plants could be rolled out across the globe. There are some challenges to this vision, however. The process isn’t exactly cheap, for instance. Climeworks estimates that it costs $600 to extract just one ton of CO2 from the air. Related: Midwest greenhouse heated with geothermal energy produces citrus year-round for $1 per day By the end of 2017, the full capacity of the plant is expected to be 900 tonnes per year — but that’s only the equivalent of the annual emissions of 45 American people. Nonetheless, the company remains hopeful that this is the beginning. Said Christoph Gebald, the founder and CEO of Climeworks, “The potential of scaling-up our technology in combination with CO2 storage, is enormous.” By 2025, the company seeks to cut costs to $100 a tonne and capture 1 percent of man-made carbon emissions each year. There are no details on how this will be accomplished, but with investors such as Bill Gates and the European Space Agency throwing money into research for “direct air capture,” it could be accomplished. Of course, it’s still important — now more than ever — that the general populace adopts sustainable habits , as data from the UN shows that humans are far from reaching the 2 degrees Celsius limit set by the Climate Agreement. + Climeworks Via Quartz Images via Climeworks , Arni Saeberg , Sandra O Snaebjornsdottir

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Worlds first negative emissions power plant opens in Iceland

Scaling the Movement Toward Future-Proofed Buildings

October 3, 2017 by  
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Bridging the gap between a deep green architect and futurist seeking to drive “regenerative buildings” and the Chief Sustainability Officer at Skanska USA, one of the biggest construction companies in the country — What will it take to “future proof” our buildings and businesses in the age of pressing climate challenges?

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Scaling the Movement Toward Future-Proofed Buildings

Pence vows America will put boots on the face of Mars in near future

July 7, 2017 by  
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During a speech at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida on Thursday, Vice President Pence made a bold promise that in the near future, the United States of America will send astronauts to both the moon and Mars. Now the chair of the National Space Council — which was revived this last Friday – Pence explained that new, ambitious goals will ensure America becomes a leader in space exploration  once again. “Here from this bridge to space, our nation will return to the moon and we will put American boots on the face of Mars,” said Pence. He then applauded the space organization’s efforts to make “science fiction ‘science fact.” Pence made sure to pay homage to Donald Trump, as well, who he referred to as a “champion” who will “usher in a new era” of American space leadership. According to CNN , Pence then noted the importance of space exploration for American national security interests. He also reaffirmed President Trump’s desire, which was revealed during his inaugural address in January, for the US to “unlock the mysteries of space.” He said, “I can assure you that under President Donald Trump , American security will be as dominant in the heavens as we are here on Earth.” Plans to reconvene the National Space Council before the end of summer were also shared. Reportedly, the Council will be comprised of many experts who are sourced from government agencies, such as the military , private industries, and academic institutions to enhance the present space policy. Related: NASA unveils 6 prototypical deep space human habitats for Mars and beyond Originally established in 1989 by President George H.W. Bush, the National Space Council was discontinued in 1993. One individual pleased with President Trump’s executive order to revive the Council is NASA Administrator Robert Lightfoot. Said Lightfoot, “The establishment of the council is another demonstration of the Trump administration’s deep interest in our work, and a testament to the importance of space exploration to our economy, our nation, and the planet as a whole.” Support from the White House is undoubtedly a positive achievement for the NASA, which already has plans to send humans — specifically teachers, farmers, and engineers — to Mars by 2030. With the revival of the National Space Council and a renewed vigor to investigate the “final frontier,” America may very well become a leader in space exploration. Via CNN Images via  Schriever Air Force Base , Pixabay

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Airbnb’s brand new Paris office is a loft-like space that feels like home

July 5, 2017 by  
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In line with Airbnb ‘s “Belong Anywhere” adage, the firm’s new office space in Paris is an airy loft-like workspace that fosters creativity and communal working. Airbnb’s Environments Team collaborated with design firm STUDIOS Architecture to create a space that boosts collaboration and feels like home. The new office, designed for 60 employees, utilizes the traditional mansard roof and atypical corners of the building to establish a variety of spaces which include a foyer, salon, library, kitchen, sit-stand desks, private phone booths and a hospitality lounge. As if this weren’t enough of a reason to quit your job and join Airbnb, the office offers its guests and staff incredible views of the Eiffel Tower and Opera Garnier. Related: 8 inspiring tiny Airbnb homes for a taste of living small A vegetation-filled solarium acts as a transitional area between the main entrance and the rest of the office. To help elevate the low ceilings and bring more natural light into the space, the architects introduced cover lighting throughout the office. The meeting rooms reference Airbnb’s listings around the world like those in China, Tasmania, Morocco, USA and UK. A moss wall is a replica of a listing in Moganshan, China, while vintage door panels sourced from an old barn in Normandy mirror a listing in West Hobart, Tasmania. All these features are filtered through the distinct nonchalance of Paris, its restaurants, hotels, flea markets and bistros. + STUDIOS Architecture + Airbnb Environments Photos by Donal Murphy

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Airbnb’s brand new Paris office is a loft-like space that feels like home

Volkswagen’s mobile robot automatically plugs in your EV

July 5, 2017 by  
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Over the past year Volkswagen has unveiled several concepts that are a preview of its new line of electric vehicles . But the company isn’t stopping there. Its research group has just unveiled some other groundbreaking EV technologies they are working on, including a new mobile charging robot that will automatically plug your EV into the grid. Related: Volkswagen may offer more electric cars than any other brand We’ve seen prototypes for new induction charging systems, but VW’s new mobile charging robots present another way that will make it easier for EV drivers to charge their vehicles in the future. The mobile robots could one day show up in underground garages or city parks, although the jury is still out on if it is easier than future induction systems. VW unveiled the new charging system alongside its newest EV concept, the Gen.E research vehicle, which also happens to look closer to a production model than the recent VW I.D. concepts . The Gen.E is a fully-electric concept car that can travel up to 249 miles on a single charge. According to VW, the Gen.E also features a lightweight platform that has been designed for maximum crash safety including the battery. The long range battery is based on advanced lithium-ion cells and the efficiency of the electric motor that powers the Gen.E has been optimized. VW’s research team isn’t saying much about the overall design of the Gen.E, but that doesn’t mean that it hasn’t raised a few eyebrows. Its overall shape is so close to the VW Golf, they may be using the concept to preview the next e-Golf. Images @Volkswagen + Volkswagen

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Volkswagen’s mobile robot automatically plugs in your EV

It’s raining tequila from a cloud in Berlin

March 31, 2017 by  
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Berlin winters see a lot of rain, but this is the first time it’s rained tequila. The Mexico Tourist Board wanted to lure Germans to Mexico by combining one of the things they hate most: rain , with one of the things they love best: tequila. The result is a puffy cloud of happiness that rains tequila any time it rains outside. The Mexico Tourist Board teamed up with Lapiz USA to create a cloud that rains tequila. Lapiz took ultrasonic humidifiers to turn tequila into a mist, which they shot into the air to create a tequila-based cloud. Once that mist condensed, it created droplets of tequila that you can actually collect and drink. It’s an ingenious way to turn the winter blahs in Germany into a party. Related: San Diego brewery unveils beer made from 100% recycled wastewater Unfortunately, tequila clouds won’t be filling the skies anytime soon. The exhibit is being featured in an art space in Berlin called Urban Spree, but if you can’t make it there, you can still grab a glass of tequila next time it rains and dream. Via The Daily Mail Images via Lapiz USA

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It’s raining tequila from a cloud in Berlin

Frank Lloyd Wright beach house listed on Airbnb for under $150 per night

October 18, 2016 by  
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The 3,000-square-foot house located on Crystal Lake in Virginia Beach is the only Wright House with direct boating accessibility to the Atlantic Ocean and the Chesapeake Bay. For 23 years it has been home to the Cooke family, Maude, Andrew and their three children. In 1983, Daniel and Jane Duhl purchased the property. Their restoration of i received an award for preservation from the AIA of Hampton Roads. The restoration was informed by passive solar design and included the introduction of floor heating, indirect lighting and a new air conditioning system that protects the house from heat and humidity. Related: Life-sized replica of van Gogh’s The Bedroom to rent on Airbnb for $10 a night In its present state, the home features four bedrooms, three bathrooms, a spa, sauna and an exercise room. Surrounded by camellias, giant azaleas, dogwoods, magnolias and cherry trees, it takes advantage of the natural dune to provid a high degree of privacy. At lakeside are two docks; one floating dock for launching small boats and a larger one that can accommodate two significantly-sized yachts. + Frank Lloyd Wright Beach House Via Archinect

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Frank Lloyd Wright beach house listed on Airbnb for under $150 per night

Warmer weather expected to ruin fall colors

September 1, 2016 by  
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Revelers in the vibrant, colorful leaves that come along with the first few weeks of fall may find themselves disappointed this year. The northeastern region of the U.S. known for its colorful change of seasons is also anticipating drier conditions and warmer weather. These elements are said to create a recipe for a delayed and short-lived foliage display. The first half of autumn is going to be dry and warm in the northeast, according to Accuweather . The trees that depend on certain cues to start their color change and leaf die-off processes will likely receive those cues much later than usual. “The trees will probably be too dry and the vibrant colors won’t come out,” Accuweather forecaster Paul Pastelok said. “If they do come out, they’ll be short-lived and probably knocked down too fast to be enjoyed.” Related: Unchecked global warming could bring the worst hurricanes ever seen by the end of this century The shift should come as no surprise, seeing as July was the hottest month on record and the 10th consecutive hottest month in a row, according to NASA. The agency also warns that the planet is warming up at a rate that is “ unprecedented in the last 1,000 years.” A delayed fall foliage spectacle is both a bummer and indicative of worsening trends to come. Via Accuweather Images via Pixabay ( 1 , 2 )

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Warmer weather expected to ruin fall colors

The North Face’s Backyard Project features clothing proudly grown and sewn in the USA

March 6, 2016 by  
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The North Face has jumped on the bandwagon of going local and domestic with production. The outdoor-apparel company just unveiled the fruits of their Backyard Project , a clothing line that not only features garments made in the USA, but are also 100% made from cotton grown in the States. “The Backyard Project is about connecting with local artisans right here in the U.S.A.,” said Sumi Scott, the director of sportswear. “It’s about knowing which farms grew your cotton, who spun the yarn, or how your product was dyed.” Read the rest of The North Face’s Backyard Project features clothing proudly grown and sewn in the USA

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Walmart forced to remove “Made in the U.S.A.” label from website

November 1, 2015 by  
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Walmart has removed “Made in the U.S.A” logos from online product listings after an Federal Trade Commission (FTC) investigation and accusations of consumer deception. Watchdog group Truth in Advertising issued a report this summer saying it found over 100 examples of e-commerce items labeled with Walmart’s “Made in the U.S.A.” logo that weren’t actually made in America or were misleading. After the mega retailer scrubbed its site of U.S.-origin claims, the FTC has decided not to continue its investigation. READ MORE>

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Walmart forced to remove “Made in the U.S.A.” label from website

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