A new study reveals that urban green spaces may be an antidote to depression

July 23, 2018 by  
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A recent study shows that symptoms of depression can be reduced for people who have access to green spaces. Researchers in Philadelphia transformed vacant lots in the city into green spaces and found that adults living near these newly planted areas reported decreased feelings of depression, with the biggest impact occurring in low-income neighborhoods. Researchers at University of Pennsylvania’s Perelman School of Medicine teamed up with members of the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society to transform and observe 541 randomly selected vacant lots in Philadelphia. Eugenia South, assistant professor and co-author of the study , said Philadelphia’s littered lots were an ideal environment to set-up their groundwork. “There’s probably 40,000 of them in the city” she told NPR , “but they’re concentrated in certain sections of the city, and those areas tend to be in poorer neighborhoods.” According to the study, lower socioeconomic conditions have already been proven to distress mental health states. Related: Virtual reality helps scientists plot the ideal urban green space The researchers separated the lots into three groups: a control group of lots where nothing was altered, a set of lots that was cleaned up of litter, and a group of lots where everything, including existing vegetation, was removed and replanted with new trees and grass. “We found a significant reduction in the amount of people who were feeling depressed ” South said. Her team used a psychological distress scale to ask people how they felt, including senses of hopelessness, restlessness and worthlessness, as well as measuring heart rates, a leading indicator of stress, of residents walking past the lots. Low-income neighborhoods showed as high as a 27.5 percent reduction in depression rates. South said, “In the areas that had been greened, I found that people had reduced heart rates when they walked past those spaces.” While previous research has cross-studied the beneficial effects of green spaces on mental health, experts, such as Professor Rachel Morello-Frosch from the University of California, Berkeley, are regarding this experiment as “innovative.” Morello-Frosch said that previous studies were observational in nature and failed to provide concrete statistical results as this study has offered. Morello-Frosch, who was not involved with the analysis, said, “To my knowledge, this is the first intervention to test — like you would in a drug trial — by randomly alleviating a treatment to see what you see.” Parallel research has identified indicators of crime-reduction and increased community interaction, showing that green spaces are a low-cost answer to improving many facets of a community’s well-being, now including mental health. +  JAMA Network Open Via NPR Before and After images via Eugenia South and Bernadette Hohl/JAMA Network Open

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A new study reveals that urban green spaces may be an antidote to depression

How PwC is using VR to help ‘see’ the sustainable future

May 3, 2018 by  
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Megadrones, self-driving cars and 3D-printed buildings are in this virtual reality system’s plan for a future that has beat climate change.

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How PwC is using VR to help ‘see’ the sustainable future

Waving Wall: Massive Recycled Bottle Installation Shows the Virtual Water Footprint of Two Pairs of Jeans

January 2, 2012 by  
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Read the rest of Waving Wall: Massive Recycled Bottle Installation Shows the Virtual Water Footprint of Two Pairs of Jeans Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: Art , Chalkwell britain , embbeded water , public art , public art installation , Recycled Water bottles , Urban design , water consciousness , water issues , water use

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Waving Wall: Massive Recycled Bottle Installation Shows the Virtual Water Footprint of Two Pairs of Jeans

EU Environment Commissioner Says Resource Waste Will Lead To A New Recession

January 2, 2012 by  
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At first the recession saw a reduction in global emissions as industries around the world made cutbacks – however now, in a bid to survive, many companies are making cheaper, more environmentally damaging choices in order to reduce costs. This includes not seeking out alternative energy due to the cost of implementation, and simply cutting corners where possible. In a damming assessment of the global situation, EU Environmental Commissioner Janez Poto?nik recently said that the current overuse and waste of valuable natural resources is threatening to produce a fresh economic crisis. Read the rest of EU Environment Commissioner Says Resource Waste Will Lead To A New Recession Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: climate change evidence , climate change richest nations , copenhagen climate change , developing nations climate change , energy global , g20 climate change , global climate change , global waste , guardian climate change , IEA climate change , Janez Poto?nik , Janez Poto?nik resources , kyoto agreement , waste resources

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EU Environment Commissioner Says Resource Waste Will Lead To A New Recession

National 9/11 Museum Will Not Open in 2012 Due to Financial Dispute

January 2, 2012 by  
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Last year thousands of people visited the National 9/11 Memorial as it opened in New York City, however it turns out that the accompanying 9/11 Museum will not be opening anytime soon due to a financial dispute between the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. Both organizations refuse to pay for the site’s infrastructure costs – which amount to hundreds of millions of dollars – and as a result the museum designed by Snohetta is expected to miss its projected opening date of September 11, 2012. READ MORE > Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: 911 memorial , mayor bloomberg , Memorial Museum Foundation debate , National September 11 Memorial & Museum , Port Authority of New York and New Jersey , snohetta , subterranean museum

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National 9/11 Museum Will Not Open in 2012 Due to Financial Dispute

Biodegradable Rattan Iglu by Berta Riera Pomés and Yunwei Zhu

January 2, 2012 by  
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Berta Riera Pomés and Yunwei Zhu have used sustainable materials to create a cute ‘Iglu’ shelter that serves as a quiet place to hide or a fun object to roll around the house. Measuring 2.6 feet in diameter and made from biodegradable rattan (a durable plant fiber often used for making furniture or weaving baskets), this eco-friendly cocoon will rock your world. + Berta Riera Pomés Photo © Berta Riera Pomés Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: “green furniture” , biodegradable igloo , biodegradable materials , green design , green interiors , green materials , iglu , rattan , rattan igloo , sustainable design , sustainable furnishings , Sustainable Interiors

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Biodegradable Rattan Iglu by Berta Riera Pomés and Yunwei Zhu

Virtually Attend Fortune’s Brainstorm Green Conference Today at 4pm PST

April 4, 2011 by  
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Attend Brainstorm Green online today at 4pm PST! Fortune Magazine has teamed up with the Nature Conservancy , NRDC , and the Environmental Defense Fund to bring together some of the brightest green thinkers from the fields of business, government, and NGOs at today’s Brainstorm Green conference — and they’re giving anyone with internet access a front row seat! This annual conference brings together business leaders and sustainability experts from around the world to exchange innovative ideas, make deals, and build valuable relationships. Invited participants are as diverse as they are knowledgeable – count on great talks by CEOs and senior executives of Fortune 500 companies, government policymakers, leading thinkers, investors, and environmental activists

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Virtually Attend Fortune’s Brainstorm Green Conference Today at 4pm PST

Natalie Portman Sings the Virtues of Recycling + Chu & Schwarzenegger Tell Grads US Must Go First (Video)

March 2, 2011 by  
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It’s not too often I (or anyone) gets to write about Natalie Portman , Arnold Schwarzenegger and Steven Chu in the same post, so I’ve got to seize the opportunity. Two videos coming across my virtual desk this morning that are both worth watching for their serious message and unintentional humor. Above is a much younger Natalie Portman–which comes to us now via

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Natalie Portman Sings the Virtues of Recycling + Chu & Schwarzenegger Tell Grads US Must Go First (Video)

the Green Blue book

October 9, 2010 by  
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In The Green Blue Book : The Simple Water Savings Guide to Everything in Your Life (Rodale), author Thomas M. Kostigen explains the breakthrough concept of Virtual Water and how redirecting our daily actions can shore up the world’s water supply.  This ultra-readable book has hundreds of tips for saving water in your every day life and will teach you a lot about how much water it takes to create every day items, such as jeans and beer.  For example, it takes 2,247 gallons (a worldwide average) to grow enough cotton to make a pair of jeans.  How?  Well, it takes 165 gallons to dilute the chemicals used in the growing process, 97 gallons to treat the raw cotton at the manufacturing level, 95 gallons to print and dye the fabric and finally an additional 36 gallons to finish them off.  That’s right:  an average 2,600 gallons of water to produce one pair of jeans!  A long-time journalist, Kostigen is on the board of Jacques Cousteau’s Blue Legacy organization, and is a member of numerous others, including Water for People, the Rainforest Action Network, the Natural Resources Defense Council, and Liberty Hill.  We’re thrilled to recommend The Green Blue Book to you.  We know you’ll get as much out of it as we have!  Check out the book’s web page for more information, including how to buy the book and be sure to watch the cool video too!

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Can Your iPhone Save a Rainforest? Nurturing Virtual Trees to Save Real Ones

August 19, 2010 by  
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Image credit: SyncStudios I’ve never been much of a gamer, but I did always enjoy the constructive challenges posed by games like SimCity and its later spin offs. That’s why I kind of liked the idea of a Facebook game that lets you nurture virtual chickens, and rescue real ones too .

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Can Your iPhone Save a Rainforest? Nurturing Virtual Trees to Save Real Ones

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