Earth911 Podcast, Oct. 7, 2019: Hydrofluorocarbons, Bad Water, and Fall Gardening

October 7, 2019 by  
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Earth911 Podcast, Oct. 7, 2019: Hydrofluorocarbons, Bad Water, and Fall Gardening

What To Do When Your Water Tastes Bad

October 1, 2019 by  
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What To Do When Your Water Tastes Bad

Infographic: How Long Do Different Roofing Materials Last?

October 1, 2019 by  
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Do you need to replace your roof, but you’re not … The post Infographic: How Long Do Different Roofing Materials Last? appeared first on Earth911.com.

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Infographic: How Long Do Different Roofing Materials Last?

We Earthlings: 1.1 Billion Lbs. of Pesticides

October 1, 2019 by  
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American agriculture is heavily dependent on chemical fertilizers. According to … The post We Earthlings: 1.1 Billion Lbs. of Pesticides appeared first on Earth911.com.

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We Earthlings: 1.1 Billion Lbs. of Pesticides

What to Do When You Have Bad Water at Home

September 30, 2019 by  
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Alarm over the United States’ dirty water crisis is growing. … The post What to Do When You Have Bad Water at Home appeared first on Earth911.com.

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What to Do When You Have Bad Water at Home

Central Park to undergo $150M LEED Gold-targeted redesign

September 25, 2019 by  
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To cap the Central Park Conservancy’s 40-year renewal of Central Park, the nonprofit has unveiled designs to update the park’s north end with a LEED Gold -targeted recreational facility, a new pool, skating rink and other amenities. The $150 million project also aims to repair the site’s damaged ecology and hydrology using environmentally responsible practices. The groundbreaking for the transformative project will take place in spring 2021 and construction is expected to reach completion in 2024. Designed with input from more than a year of extensive community engagement, the redesign for Central Park’s north end will replace the Lasker Rink and Pool that were built in 1966. The position of the rink and pool will also be changed; the facilities currently obstruct access between the Harlem Meer and the scenic Ravine to the south. In repositioning the pool and the rink building, the waterway will be reestablished and will once again flow overland through the Ravine into the Meer. To reconnect visitors to the water, a curvilinear boardwalk will be installed across a series of small islands and the new freshwater marsh. Related: Sustainable Central Park with energy-producing trees unveiled for Ho Chi Minh City In addition to improved biodiversity and landscape integration, the project will feature a new facility built into the topography of the site. The LEED Gold-seeking building will be built with locally sourced, natural materials of stone, wood and glass. Demolition debris will be recycled and reused on site wherever possible. Walls of floor-to-ceiling glass punctuated by slender wood columns will let in natural daylight to reduce reliance on artificial lighting and will create a seamless visual connection to the outdoor recreation areas. The roof will be landscaped to offer additional public gathering space and mitigate the urban heat island effect. “The fundamental premise of the design derives from the restoration’s leading objective: repairing the damaged ecology and hydrology of the site, a goal that filters through every aspect of the project’s commitment to sustainability and the highest standards of environmentally responsible construction practices,” reads the Central Park Conservancy press release. “By building into the slope to insulate the interior of the pool house, orienting the structure and its overhangs to shade the interior in summer and admit sunlight in winter and providing ‘ stack ventilation ‘ through the operable glass facade, the design’s passive climate control minimizes the use of energy for heating and cooling.” + Central Park Conservancy Images via Central Park Conservancy

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Central Park to undergo $150M LEED Gold-targeted redesign

A solar-powered catamaran with a built-in plastic clean-up system sets sail off the coast of Ibiza

September 25, 2019 by  
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Tourists from all over the world flock to Spain’s coastal regions throughout the year; however, the rising amount of plastic waste accumulating in the Mediterranean is threatening to do irreversible damage to these once-pristine waters. Thankfully, one forward-thinking cruise company is doing its part to keep the damage at bay. La Bella Verde has recently launched the Mediterranean’s only solar-powered and zero-emissions charter catamaran that comes equipped with a unique ocean filtering system, which removes plastics from the ocean waters. Launched in 2014 by two captains and one marine biologist who call Ibiza home, La Bella Verde is a sustainable charter company that also runs a non-profit foundation dedicated to preserving Ibiza’s beautiful waters. According to the company ethos, the eco-boating service revolves around enjoying life while caring for the environment. “We are here for a good time, and mother nature should not suffer at our expense,” the website reads. Related: Meet Squid — Key West’s solar-powered boat for dolphin tours With seven solar-powered catamarans, the company charters its “eco-cats” to tourists and locals, providing an exciting experience on the crystal-clear waters of the Mediterranean Sea, all while emitting zero emissions. Now, the company has launched a new clean-up boat that actively filters out any debris in the water. The IBI Clean-Up Boat’s innovative, integrated system includes a high-grade inox steel framework with tight nylon netting that is connected between the boat’s two hulls. Operated with a central winch, the netting is lowered into the water to scoop up plastic waste . The system is designed so that marine life and seaweed can easily be released back into the water without any suffering. When it is not lowered for cleaning, the area serves as a comfortable, hammock-style lounge. According to the company’s calculations, the solar-powered boats , which sail seven hours per day, are able to clean approximately the equivalent of 30 Olympic-sized swimming pools per day. + La Bella Verde Photography by Victor Frankowski via La Bella Verde

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A solar-powered catamaran with a built-in plastic clean-up system sets sail off the coast of Ibiza

Student designs a chic wooden stand mixer that requires zero electricity

September 25, 2019 by  
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Look into any typical kitchen, and you’re likely to discover cupboards full of gadgets, utensils and devices aimed at making food prep more convenient. Manuel Immler, a German design student, cringed at the lack of sustainability in owning multiple electronic kitchen tools and instead designed an electricity-free mixer as a prototype that changes the norm. Not only did Immler identify the wasteful practices of mass production but also noted the consumption of energy in manufacturing and using electronic kitchen devices. In what has become a consume-and-dispose society, Immler aimed to create a product that was durable and sustainable from start to finish. Related: Essential old-fashioned tools and practices to make your kitchen more sustainable On his master’s thesis at the Free University of Balzono, the stated theme was, “Development of a sustainable food processor with focus on regional materials and circular economy .” To achieve this goal, he tapped into his passion for eco-social design, evaluating the full product cycle. “For my master’s thesis, I asked myself how products and goods have to be designed so that their harmful effects can be minimized through resource and energy consumption but also through transport, waste and rebound effects,” Immler said. The result of this effort is a kitchen appliance called Pino that is sourced from local materials, minimizing the need for transport and providing local jobs. The device does not require electricity thanks to a manual hand crank. Pino is built to last to avoid the need for frequent replacement. Plus, it can do multiple functions to replace the need for numerous different kitchen gadgets. The design itself is not only aimed at sustainability but visual appeal as well with its natural wood exterior. These pieces are timeless but still interchangeable when you’re ready to update the look. For durability, the base is cast iron, and the inside components are made from steel. Using a series of available gears, Pino can vary from 50-1000 revolutions per minute to provide more power. This allows the machine and its attachments to grind, stir, mix, squeeze, scrape, plane, whisk or grate. + Manuel Immler Images via Maita Petersen and Manuel Immler

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Student designs a chic wooden stand mixer that requires zero electricity

NRPA and Coca-Cola partner to install trash traps to clean Atlanta waterways

September 24, 2019 by  
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The National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA), which is the leading nonprofit dedicated to the advancement of public parks, recently partnered up with beverage giant Coca-Cola to install trash trap systems in southwest Atlanta. The initiative seeks to keep pollution out of estuaries the Proctor Creek feeds into, such as the Chattahoochee River, and ultimately the ocean. As a 9-mile tributary of the Chattahoochee River, Proctor Creek experiences both stormwater runoff and flooding . The water runoff that moves the trash from storm drains empties into Proctor Creek and is then conveyed into connecting waterways. Related: Coca-Cola to offer Dasani water in aluminum cans and bottles to reduce plastic waste With the catchment system in operation, floating litter can be intercepted in the water runoff. Collected rubbish and debris are then guided into a larger collection container. Both the NRPA and Coca-Cola explained that the trash traps are technologically designed to prevent harm to fish and wildlife , for they do not use nets nor fencing. With a trash-free watershed, the surrounding communities’ water quality will be revitalized. Revitalization will also improve the overall quality of life for the region. Current estimates are that the traps reduce litter by 80 percent so that Proctor Creek is relatively cleaner before entering the Chattahoochee River. Coca-Cola is notorious for its massive plastic footprint. But just last month, in August 2019, Coca-Cola and its rival, PepsiCo Inc., both announced their departures from the leading plastics lobbying group, the Plastic Industry Association. Coca-Cola has deployed its global World Without Waste goal to recycle and reuse the equivalent of all the bottles and cans it sells by 2030. Additionally, Coca-Cola plans to recycle and reuse the bottles collected by the trash traps to transform them into graduation gowns for Atlanta Public Schools’ high school seniors. With this trash trap project, Coca-Cola is commercially maneuvering even closer toward a more environmentally friendly stance, perhaps to dispel its long-standing negative image as the world’s largest plastic polluter. Coca-Cola noted in its news release, “The visibility of the trash traps, educational programming and creation of local green jobs associated with the project will facilitate lasting change and foster environmental, economic and social benefits in the area.” Other stakeholders in the waterway improvement plan include the city of Atlanta, the West Atlanta Watershed Alliance, Groundwork Atlanta, Park Pride and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Some of these partners will analyze data on the trash collection to document trends and detail effectiveness of the project design to inform best practices for optimal litter mitigation strategies. + Coca-Cola + NRPA Image via Shawn Taylor

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NRPA and Coca-Cola partner to install trash traps to clean Atlanta waterways

How your salon visit contributes to your carbon footprint

September 24, 2019 by  
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As the services available at salons evolve, waste, pollution and exposure to toxins have increasingly become part of the experience. When one considers that the beauty industry creates 420,000 pounds of waste every day in America alone, it’s not difficult to see why we should be aware of the carbon footprint your hair services actually create. One salon is hoping to change that to help clients feel their best without increasing their carbon footprints. Benjamin Novak Hudgins of Novak Hair Studios in the Dallas-Fort Worth area took a stand against this waste, and now runs a massive, 10,000 square-foot, zero-waste salon that employs more than 70 stylists and provides hair care for over 5,000 clients each month. Novak Hair Studios has successfully taken steps to remedy the many wasteful practices and is setting an example for other salons around the world. Related: Find Bliss in this natural, cruelty-free and affordable skincare Water  Reports have estimated that stylists use anywhere between 16 and 75 gallons of water per hour from rinsing out color, washing hair and cleaning supplies. Most of this is flushed directly down the drain. Multiply that by 6 to 12 clients each day per hairdresser, and you can begin to see the issue. To handle water consumption, the salon installed fixtures designed to cut water usage by 65 percent. All hair color is collected so that it doesn’t head into the sewer system, and even hair trimmings are put to good use. “We even found a way to repurpose human hair for cleaning up oil spills in rivers, lakes and oceans,” Hudgens said. Hair dye Ammonia and other chemicals included in hair dyes are rinsed into the drainage system. Although treated, commercial filters do not remove all of these chemicals, some of which have been linked to cancer, before they are reintroduced into the supply of potable water. In addition, the chemical offsetting during application puts the stylist and client at risk for inhaling the toxins. According to Hudgens, all hair color at Novak Hair Studios is diverted from being filtered back into the community’s drinking water, and the salon uses a plant-based hair product line, Eufora. Waste At most salons, trash cans overflow with plastic, foil, tubes, gloves and other waste that totals about 150,000,000 pounds of trash annually for the beauty industry. The average hair color treatment requires around 25 feet of aluminum foil. While foil can be recycled , it is only accepted if it is clean and dry, a step rarely taken in salons. In the trash heap, foil can take 200 to 400 years to break down. The salon boasts an impressive 95 percent rate of waste being diverted from landfills through its dedication to sustainable actions. In addition to sorting out hair clippings and dyes, all foil is cleaned and recycled; paper products, plastics and hair color gloves are also recycled. “The most effective solution we have found is partnering with Green Circle Salons, who helps manage all of the recycling solutions,” Hudgens said. “When you pair Green Circle’s resources up with creating accessible recycling stations throughout the salon, it makes sustainability a breeze.” To reduce electricity waste, the entire salon uses motion-sensored LED lights in addition to an abundance of windows that provide natural light. Air quality As part of Hudgens’ Clean Air Initiative, the salon revamped its air system and incorporated air-filtering plants into the space, providing consistent fresh air to the dozens of stylists and clients at all times. “My first fight was to confront cancer-causing and allergy-inducing products that are so commonly used in salons,” Hudgens said. “The final step to that initiative was the architectural design of our space. By leaving each individual studio’s ceiling exposed, we were able to create an open path for chemicals to directly enter the air filtration system and allow clean air flow into every space.” A salon changing the industry standard The biggest piece of the puzzle is awareness. There is a need for change that can only come about when the industry and clients realize the impact hair services have on the planet and make a conscious decision to do something about it. Consumers appreciate a conscientious business, meaning that sustainably minded salons will likely see an increase in business, which is a win for the company and the environment. Plus, it makes you and me feel better about that visit to the salon. “I quickly learned Fort Worth cares more than I could have ever imagined,” Hudgens said. “In just a year and a half of being open, we see more than 5,000 people a month. Not a single day goes by without our team being thanked for making a difference in our global impact and giving our clients the opportunity to choose a sustainable future in beauty.” + Novak Hair Studios Images via Novak Hair Studios, Social Butterfly MMG , Maria Geller , Arturs Budkevics and Adam Winger

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How your salon visit contributes to your carbon footprint

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