Protect or destroy a virtual world in The Sims new eco pack

May 12, 2020 by  
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Just as real-life youth are growing up in a world where pollution will ruin their  health , neighborhoods, oceans and planet if they don’t take drastic action, so go their virtual counterparts in The Sims. Electronic Arts will issue a new eco take on its wildly popular video game series on June 5. The Sims 4 Eco Lifestyle Expansion Pack introduces Evergreen Harbor, a neighborhood threatened by garbage and bad air quality. Players will see the consequences of their actions in real-time. If they add solar panels, build eco-friendly houses and use wind power, the virtual air turns from gray to blue. Make enough positive decisions, and players will be rewarded with a glimpse of the aurora borealis. They can even dumpster dive for upcycling  material. If they ignore questions of sustainability, Evergreen Harbor gets grim indeed. A trailer shows the young Sim activists making speeches, working in a maker space using 3-D printers, raising baby chicks, building eco-housing, inventing a pollution-sucking machine and dancing in a rooftop garden. Originally, The Sims came out in 2000, a spinoff of the SimCity game introduced in 1989. Players create virtual characters called Sims and make all the decisions about where they live, who they associate with and how they spend their time and money. The Eco Lifestyle Expansion Pack introduces new career options for Sims, such as civil designer and freelance crafter. Video game company Maxis developed The Sims franchise, and Electronic Arts publishes the games. The series is one of the top video games worldwide, selling almost 200 million copies. The new Eco Lifestyle Expansion gives players the chance to guide their Sims via personal decisions that have wide-ranging consequences. “We’re thrilled to give players the opportunity to explore an eco-friendly way of living in The Sims and play the change they want to see,” George Pigula, producer of The Sims 4 Eco Lifestyle Expansion Pack, said in a press release. “By discovering and practicing sustainable habits, like using  solar panels  or wind turbines to power their electricity, or upcycling materials to create new furniture, players and their Sims can play with life in all-new ways.” + Electronic Arts Images via EA Games

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Protect or destroy a virtual world in The Sims new eco pack

Illegal logging possibly contributes to majority of mislabeled wood in US markets

October 28, 2019 by  
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In a first-of-its-kind study , the World Wildlife Fund, World Resources Institute and United States Forest Service collaboratively found that a disconcerting 62 percent of the U.S. wood products studied were mislabeled. Mislabeling often signals wrongful supply chain violations — illegal logging and deforestation — that consequently hamper endeavors to promote sustainable wood According to Amy Smith, the World Wildlife Fund’s forests deputy director, “Wood products are intentionally mislabeled, sometimes to pass off lower-value wood for more expensive varieties, and sometimes to cover up the fact it was illegally sourced. We wanted to know how often this fraud occurs, and our study indicates it could be alarmingly common. The wood you think you are buying is not what you get.” Related: More than half of Europe’s native trees face extinction How does mislabeling occur? Loggers, for instance, could harvest trees from a threatened or ecologically vital forest ecosystem , then mix wood species to cover up the illegal logging activity. Following transport to the lumberyard, species origin of the timber logs and boards are further misrepresented to allow illegal wood in the supply chain. Distortion persists as the wood is misidentified as a different species, continuing onward to the mill’s processing, the factory’s product manufacturing, and eventually reaching the import and retail junctures as an illegally sourced wood product made available for purchase. Mislabeling of wood is of high concern because illegal logging harms fragile forests, placing them at risk of biodiversity loss . Whether purposeful or not, mislabeling breaches the U.S. Lacey Act , first enacted in 1900 to ban trafficking of illegal wildlife , then amended in 2008 to include plants and plant products, like timber. The U.S. Lacey Act’s landmark legislation continues as the world’s first ban on the trade of illegally sourced wood products. To solve the crisis, the U.S. Forest Service strives to increase training in identifying wood species. Doing so pinpoints supply chain gaps that need measures to combat illegal logging, mislabeling and the sale of fraudulent wood products. It is hoped this will cultivate best practices in verifying sources of wood species to confirm they arrive from sustainable, responsibly managed forests. Similarly, consumers are encouraged to make a difference by pledging to purchase products approved by the Forest Stewardship Council as FSC-certified . The FSC is “the most rigorous, credible forest certification system” that ensures products reliably comply with environmental protection standards before gaining access to markets. “ Deforestation and illegal logging are critical threats to our world’s forests,” Smith added. “It’s our responsibility as consumers to demand legally and responsibly sourced forest products. We do that by purchasing FSC-certified wood and paper and letting businesses and policy makers know that enforcement of our import laws — plus investment in technologies to detect fraud — must be a priority.” + PLOS ONE Image via James Schnepf / WWF-US

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Illegal logging possibly contributes to majority of mislabeled wood in US markets

Urban Rivers designs a multiplayer Trashbot Game to clean the Chicago River

March 15, 2018 by  
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The non-profit organization Urban Rivers is currently fundraising to deploy a remote-controlled, trash-cleaning robot on the Chicago River. Urban Rivers already has a prototype out in the water and hopes to expand this into a full-fledged, multiplayer internet game. The organization’s “Trashbot Game” would allow players to control the robot from afar using simple keyboard directions to gather trash throughout the river. “We really hope that one day, this game is just so boring, because there’s no more trash left to clean,” said Urban Rivers co-founder Nick Wesley in the project’s Kickstarter video . Prior to its Trashbot initiative, Urban Rivers established a floating garden in Chicago, which was maintained by staff on kayaks . The workers began to notice that trash continuously drifted into the garden and eventually became too burdensome for manual clean-up. “Trash appeared at random times in large quantities. Sometimes we would remove all the trash and two hours there was more,” writes Urban Rivers . The garbage also affected local wildlife that depend upon the river and its floating garden. To solve this problem, Urban Rivers created Trashbot. Once fully developed, users will be able to log on from anywhere in the world to control the robot as it collects trash, which will later be removed by staff. Related: Baltimore’s floating trash-eaters have intercepted 1 million pounds of debris In the envisioned Trashbot game, users will be able to see through the “eyes” of Trashbot and gain points for collecting more trash . If Urban Rivers reaches its $5,000 goal, a second version of Trashbot will be developed while a high-powered WiFi hotspot and a home base trash station will be installed on-site. GPS tracking and a theft-prevention tether on Trashbot will also be funded. Via The Verge Images via Urban Rivers

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Urban Rivers designs a multiplayer Trashbot Game to clean the Chicago River

New Elements of War Video Game Uses Weather As Weaponry

December 23, 2010 by  
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Image via Elements of War What happens when the government’s attempts at controlling weather go horribly awry and cause havoc in global weather systems?

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New Elements of War Video Game Uses Weather As Weaponry

Pretty Crazy Small, Hammock-Shaped Home With Recycled Materials In Paraguay

December 23, 2010 by  
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Photos: Andrea Parisi. If you’ve been to any part of South America you’re probably familiar with the Paraguayan hammock , a sort of knitted textile bed hanging from two poles very typical of areas with hot weather

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Pretty Crazy Small, Hammock-Shaped Home With Recycled Materials In Paraguay

AUTODESK Dispenses Questionable Advice With Video Game

December 14, 2009 by  
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Autodesk has just released a clever little game called RETROFITS “to help educate everyone from industry professionals to teachers, parents and students about green building issues.” It is fun and and full of good information.

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AUTODESK Dispenses Questionable Advice With Video Game

Teslas, TH!NKs, and Folding Bikes: Top 5 Electric Vehicle Videos

December 14, 2009 by  
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Image credit: Ecotricity Jeremy Clarkson may not want you to know it , but the days when electric car meant ‘glorified golf cart’ are looking like they are well and truly over. And there’s no shortage of enthusiasts out there capturing the automotive revolution on their cameras.

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Teslas, TH!NKs, and Folding Bikes: Top 5 Electric Vehicle Videos

Black Friday Found To Be 50 Times More Carbon Intensive Than Cyber Monday

December 14, 2009 by  
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Image via GigaOm In a new report by MindClick SGM and GigaOm , Black Friday is found to be shockingly more carbon intensive than Cyber Monday – 50 times more intensive. When TreeHugger readers began the debate this year about which was greener, the Black Friday footrace or the Cyber Monday click-a-thon, no one… Read the full story on TreeHugger

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Black Friday Found To Be 50 Times More Carbon Intensive Than Cyber Monday

Cherokee Lofts by Pugh + Scarpa Keep Cool The Old Way

December 14, 2009 by  
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All images by Tara Wujcik via Designboom Pugh + Scarpa Architects won the AIA Architecture Firm award this year, based on “35 years of consistent excellent work, including its seamless blending of architecture, art, and craft; community involvement; attention to sustainable design; and nurturing of in-house talent.” One recent project that might have contributed to … Read the full story on TreeHugger

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Cherokee Lofts by Pugh + Scarpa Keep Cool The Old Way

Video Game Developers Want Authentic Electric Sports Car Sound, Record Tesla Roadster in Action

November 19, 2009 by  
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Photo: Tesla Motors Roadster #203 Got Quite a Workout Making a video game used to be all about a few guys writing code. But as the the industry grew into a mammoth, the production of games turned into huge enterprises employing tons of people and requiring more and more realistic sounds and images. O..

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Video Game Developers Want Authentic Electric Sports Car Sound, Record Tesla Roadster in Action

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