8 Ways to Green Your Water

August 16, 2018 by  
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You H2O it to yourself to read this – get it? The post 8 Ways to Green Your Water appeared first on Earth911.com.

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8 Ways to Green Your Water

Trump Tower river violations incur a swift lawsuit by Illinois attorney general

August 15, 2018 by  
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Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan has filed a lawsuit against the Trump International Hotel & Tower for alleged pollution to the Chicago River and threats to local wildlife. The lawsuit was filed in the Cook County Circuit Court in Illinois this Tuesday against the conglomerate, and the suit cites infringements of the EPA’s U.S. Clean Water Act of 1972 . The Clean Water Act protects the waters of the U.S. from being inundated with polluting discharges, and it also sets wastewater standards for industries and residential zones. According to Madigan, this is the issue, put simply, with the Trump Tower building. The structure releases millions of gallons of water from air conditioning and other cooling systems into the river on a daily basis. The residential tower is mandated by the EPA to run studies on the residual impact of its activities to the surrounding river, something it has not done, the attorney general said. Related: Urban Rivers designs a multiplayer Trashbot Game to clean the Chicago River The 92-story tower is posing a threat to aquatic life by destabilizing the ecosystem in the river. “Trump Tower continues to take millions of gallons of water from the Chicago River every day without a permit and without any regard to how it may be impacting the river’s ecosystem,” said Madigan, who has held her position in the Illinois legal system since 2003. Related: Chicago drinking fountains have been running non-stop for months, and the reason why is infuriating The affairs of the building are now under the leadership of President Trump’s two sons since he assumed office in 2016. “We are disappointed that the Illinois Attorney General would choose to file this suit considering such items are generally handled at the administrative level,” representatives of the Trump Organization stated. “One can only conclude that this decision was motivated by politics.” The Illinois Chapter of the Sierra Club and Friends of the Chicago River groups have also recently stated plans to sue the Chicago Trump Tower for allegedly violating the Clean Water Act. Via Reuters Image via Daniel Huizinga

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Trump Tower river violations incur a swift lawsuit by Illinois attorney general

Save local wildlife with a stylish FrogLog in your pool

August 10, 2018 by  
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One of the worst things for pool owners in the sweltering summer months is going out for a swim to cool down and enjoy time with friends and family, only to find a critter has made it into their splash-zone and couldn’t find a way out. In an effort to save local animals , the FrogLog offers a simple escape route for small creatures who might otherwise drown in a pool. So, how does it work exactly? Adhere it to the side of the pool, where animals such as mice, squirrels and frogs have a tendency to swim as they try to escape, and the mesh netting surrounding the FrogLog will allow them to climb up to dry land. No guidance is needed — the animals will circle the edge of the pool and happen upon the FrogLog themselves. The ramp allows them to scurry or hop — whatever their style — out of the pool instead of drowning. Related: This modular outdoor swimming pool from Finland could make a splash near you The FrogLog is effective in saving reptiles and amphibians such as frogs, turtles and lizards; mammals such as rabbits, chipmunks and squirrels; and birds and baby ducklings among many other small creatures. Since wildlife biologist Rich Mason started the project 14 years ago, the FrogLog has saved more than one million animals. Related: Fish-friendly whirlpool turbine makes hydropower green again Efficient and compact, only one FrogLog is needed for a pool measuring 15 feet by 30 feet. If you choose to run your pump and filter at night, keep your chlorine levels high, have multiple skimmers or just happen to have a super luxurious mega-pool sitting in your backyard, you may need an extra FrogLog or two. Not to worry though, at an affordable $22.99, the clever contraption is a no-brainer decision in keeping your pool clean, reducing maintenance and rescuing native animals in style. + FrogLog Image via FrogLog

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Save local wildlife with a stylish FrogLog in your pool

Holds water: Harvesting rain could help Caribbean countries after hurricanes

August 10, 2018 by  
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A new model of this ancient technology could improve communities’ access to fresh water both after storms and day-to-day.

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Holds water: Harvesting rain could help Caribbean countries after hurricanes

Locally salvaged zinc panels clad a seaside getaway in Chile

August 9, 2018 by  
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Designed by Chilean architecture firm Ortuzar Gebauer Arquitectos , the Coo Lodge is a seaside getaway that is tied into the surrounding landscape history with its weathered zinc cladding. The reclaimed metal plates, sourced from old construction sites, have been oxidized to a reddish color similar to the color of the ground. Located on the beach with spectacular views of the sea and distant volcanoes, the building was constructed to feel like an extension of the landscape. The zinc -clad Coo Lodge is located in Queilen, a tiny town in the southern Chilean archipelago of Chiloé known for its beaches and beautiful views. The architects looked to the landscape for much of the inspiration for the house design and even delved into the early history of the original inhabitants, nomadic navigators known as ‘Chonos or Payos’ who made their living from the sea. “To discover their vestiges was to discover their vernacular condition, it was to discover a culture,” the architects wrote. “The above opened our senses to work on the pre-existing.” The architects also divided the site into three main parts: a green field near the main road, a grass-covered rocky “intermediate level” and the white sand beach that was formerly covered by a large growth of weeds before the designers cleared out the space. Because the 1,722-square-foot Coo Lodge was placed on the “intermediate level,” the architects created a series of block-y volumes — six of which house bedrooms and one larger structure for the communal living areas — to complement the large sculptural rocks. The buildings are elevated  and fan out across the landscape, and they are connected by outdoor walkways. Large windows punctuate the sea-facing facades. Related: Chile’s rustic Casa Pollo is made from recycled zinc plates and reclaimed wood “The enclosures being separated are intimate, typical of the visitors who keep them in their status as a nomad in the place,” the architects continued. “A great volume is the space of encounter, public space, exposed, that around the fire and the kitchen , invites to live according to the logic of the rural ensemble in Chilo.” + Ortuzar Gebauer Arquitectos Images by Federico Cairoli

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Locally salvaged zinc panels clad a seaside getaway in Chile

This tiny Victorian cottage on a wildflower meadow belongs in a fairytale

August 9, 2018 by  
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Living in a tiny home doesn’t have to mean sacrificing style. Case in point: this beautiful Victorian tiny cottage located in Monroe, Maine . The home is less than 430 square feet but big on character. Not only is the two-story tiny home gorgeous and elegant, but it also sits on four acres of an open meadow covered in wild flowers and lined with orchards. The best news is that this charming cottage can be yours for just $125,000 . The magical cottage, which was built in 1986, is truly an outstanding example of tiny home design done right. The Victorian-style exterior, complete with a corner turret, is clad in light blue siding with white trim and nicely contrasted by dark shingled roofs. A stone path leads up to the home’s front door, which is shaded by a large tree. Related: Kettal and Patricia Urquiola create Kettal Cottage: a part tiny house, part tent escape The tiny cottage is two floors, with the living space, bathroom and kitchen on the ground floor and the bedroom on the second floor. The interior is flooded with natural light  thanks to an abundance of large windows, which also provide stunning views of the expansive greenery that surrounds the home. Although the home is compact, its beautiful setting adds a lot of value. The Victorian  cottage sits on a natural lot of land that includes flower gardens, stone walls and fruit trees and is just steps away from a waterfall that feeds into a nearby stream. The waterfall is so close that the future residents will be able to listen to the sounds of the water as they drift off to sleep. As an added bonus, there is also another small cottage, complete with a  composting toilet , on the land. It would need a little bit of work, but this additional tiny cottage could be a perfect space for an artist studio or guest quarters. + Berkshire Hathaway Via Tiny House Talk Images via Berkshire Hathaway

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This tiny Victorian cottage on a wildflower meadow belongs in a fairytale

Solar-powered home takes advantage of Silicon Valleys mild climate

August 9, 2018 by  
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San Francisco-based architecture firm Bohlin Cywinski Jackson recently completed the Los Altos Residence, a modernist family home for a couple who strives to be environmentally conscious. Located in Los Altos in northern Silicon Valley , the home and adjacent guesthouse boasts an energy-efficient design that follows passive cooling principles and is equipped with renewable energy systems. The low-slung residence mimics the Northern California ranch-style home with a distinctly modernist slant marked with clean lines and a restrained material palette. The Los Altos Residence comprises two buildings: a main residence of 4,151 square feet and an additional 479-square-foot guesthouse. The existing landscape played a large part in the design of the site-specific home, which is organized around a mature Japanese maple tree. The windows and doors were strategically placed to frame views of the diverse landscaping surrounding the home and to take advantage of cooling cross breezes. “The home is detailed with a natural, crisp palette, reflecting the client’s fondness for simplicity and tranquility,” explains Bohlin Cywinski Jackson in its project statement. “A variety of woods, including Douglas fir , western red cedar, and gray elm, are used throughout and provide a sense of warmth directly contrasted by exposed structural steel, polished concrete floors, and a textured concrete fireplace. A locally sourced Claro walnut table, measuring 10-feet in length, creates a comfortable dining space, its live edge balancing the clean lines of the living room. Additional furnishings reinforce the client’s desire for a minimalist environment.” Related: This modern vacation home embraces indoor-outdoor living in Ontario In addition to passive cooling and use of the stack effect in the double-height living space, the energy-conscious Los Altos Residence is also equipped with photovoltaic and domestic hot-water rooftop panels to offset electricity consumption. Energy is further conserved with a highly insulated building envelope and large overhangs that block unwanted solar gain. Concrete radiant floors also provide added warmth in the winter season. + Bohlin Cywinski Jackson Images by Nic Lehoux

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Solar-powered home takes advantage of Silicon Valleys mild climate

Dramatic fountain and plaza define Foster + Partners newest Apple Store in Milan

July 30, 2018 by  
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Foster + Partners has unveiled images of Milan’s newest Apple Store—and it’s just as strikingly gorgeous as we expected. Building off of Apple’s “Town Square” retail store concept and the city’s legacy of impressive public piazzas, the Apple Piazza Liberty Store features a new public plaza where locals and visitors can gather and enjoy views of a new dramatic fountain. The store is sunken below grade and includes a spacious, light-filled interior with mature live trees set in raised planters. Located off of Corso Vittorio Emanuele, one of the most popular pedestrian streets in the city, Apple Piazza Liberty grabs attention with its stunning fountain made up of two rectilinear pools and vertical water jets. Visitors can observe the fountain from the broad stone steps of the Amphitheater leading down to the sunken Apple Store or enter the fountain through the 26-foot-tall glass-covered entrance enveloped by dramatic views and sounds of cascading water. “[It’s] an immersive recreation of the childhood game of running through fountains, the experience changes throughout the day as sunlight filters through the water, while at night the glass ceiling creates a kaleidoscopic effect, with the water falling down the walls, and its reflections travelling infinitely up the sky,” explain the architects in their press release. Stefan Behling, Head of Studio at Foster + Partners, adds: “The fountain is an expression of child-like excitement that speaks to each one of us. In its simplicity, it echoes the idea of walking into a big fountain without getting wet, and the joy of being alive.” Related: Foster + Partners-designed Apple Store glows like a paper lantern in Macau The fountain’s waterfall effect can be seen below-grade in a second wall of water at the base of the Amphitheater . The Amphitheater steps and surrounding plaza were paved with Beola Grigia, a luminous local stone from Lombardy, and flanked by 21 new Gleditisia Sunburst trees. Inside, the interior is “metaphorically carved from the same stone as the plaza above,” with a stepped ceiling and skylights that let in natural light. + Foster + Partners Images by Nigel Young/ Foster + Partners

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Dramatic fountain and plaza define Foster + Partners newest Apple Store in Milan

Only 13% of Earth’s oceans remain untouched by humans for now

July 27, 2018 by  
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Only 13 percent of the planet’s oceans are unaffected by human activities, such as fishing and pollution, according to a recent study from the Wildlife Conservation Society . The study , published in Current Biology and executed in tandem with the University of Queensland, has completed the first systematic analysis of the Earth’s oceans and revealed that the only intact portions of global waters could be found in protected parts of the remote Pacific Ocean and around the poles. But even those waters have their tides turning toward becoming unsafe territories for marine wildlife . The research comes after studies in January and February revealed dead zones of marine wildlife quadrupled since the 1950s, and industrial fishing areas now cover half of the world’s oceans. “We were astonished by just how little marine wilderness remains,” Kendall Jones, lead researcher on the project, told NPR . “The ocean is immense, covering over 70 percent of our planet, but we’ve managed to significantly impact almost all of this vast ecosystem.” The cause of this human impression is due to enormous fishing fleets, global shipping and pollution run-offs from land. Add all of this to the distress caused by climate change , and it’s no surprise we’ve arrived at this point. Still, only 5 percent of the remaining wilderness found in the ocean resides in marine protection areas. Related: Astounding responsive map shows shark interactions with commercial fishers “Beyond just valuing nature for nature’s sake, having these large intact seascapes that function in a way that they always have done is really important for the Earth,” Jones said. “They maintain the ecological processes that are how the climate and Earth system function — [without them], you can start seeing big knock-on effects with drastic and unforeseen consequences.” In response to mounting pressure by scientists to create a protection status for the high seas, the UN Law of the Sea Convention (UNCLOS) has planned negotiations to create a treaty in September 2018. The debate will center around cutting fishing subsidies valued at more than $4 billion by governments worldwide. According to Jones, fishing “would actually be unprofitable if it weren’t for big subsidies.” He continued by noting that “the vast majority of marine wilderness could be lost at any time, as improvements in technology allow us to fish deeper and ship farther than ever before.” + Wildlife Conservation Society + Current Biology Via  The Guardian Images via Nelly Lendvai and Rey Perezoso

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Only 13% of Earth’s oceans remain untouched by humans for now

All natural? These fracking byproducts could fight water scarcity

July 19, 2018 by  
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Harnessing natural gas to harvest freshwater from the air might solve two big problems at once.

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All natural? These fracking byproducts could fight water scarcity

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