The Ocean Cleanup raises $21.7 million to begin ridding the Pacific Ocean of plastic

May 3, 2017 by  
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Last fall The Ocean Cleanup found 1,000 large pieces of plastic in two hours in the Pacific Ocean during their first aerial reconnaissance mission. Today the Dutch foundation announced they’ve raised $21.7 million, and can now begin large-scale trials of their passive plastic capturing technology – in the Pacific – as soon as this year. The Pacific Ocean, plagued by the Texas-sized Great Pacific Garbage Patch , desperately needs to be cleaned up. The Ocean Cleanup is ready to tackle the problem with their plastic gathering technology tested in the North Sea thanks to new funding amounting to $21.7 million. Investors include Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff and his wife Lynne Benioff and entrepreneur Peter Thiel . Related: World’s first ocean trash recon mission is complete – and the results are way worse than we thought Founder and CEO Boyan Slat said in a statement, “Our mission is to rid the world’s oceans of plastic, and this support is a major leap forward towards achieving this goal. Thanks to the generous support of these funders, the day we’ll be returning that first batch of plastic to shore is now in sight.” The Ocean Cleanup’s technology draws on ocean currents to collect trash and could reduce the theoretical cleanup time of plastic in the Pacific Ocean from millennia down to years – their Ocean Cleanup Array could scoop up almost half of the patch’s garbage in 10 years . When they launch their technology in the Pacific later this year, it will be the first experimental cleanup system in that ocean, according to the foundation. The Ocean Cleanup will share more details at the Werkspoorkathedraal , an exhibition in the Netherlands, on May 11 at 2:00 PM EST. According to their website the talk will unveil The Next Phase and share “what we’ve been working on for the past two years, and what will be happening next.” They’ll be live streaming the event on their website . + The Ocean Cleanup Images courtesy of The Ocean Cleanup

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The Ocean Cleanup raises $21.7 million to begin ridding the Pacific Ocean of plastic

Environmentalists question ‘worrisome’ NYC plan to pour chlorine in sewers

May 3, 2017 by  
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Every year around 20 billion gallons of untreated sewage streams into the waterways of New York City during overwhelming rainfalls. Attempting to stave off health risks, the city has a plan: pour chlorine into sewer pipes. But environmental advocates say the technique is shortsighted and worrisome. The city has attempted a few fixes to the issue, such as new retention tanks and greenery planted to reduce runoff. Now they want to disinfect wastewater inside pipes with chlorine; those pipes lead to three bodies of water in the Bronx and Queens . Riverkeeper staff lawyer Sean Dixon told The New York Times, “They’re using the most worrisome and unproven technique that we have in our toolbox. It’s like they’re grabbing the last straw and using the cheapest and least effective method.” Related: Danish city becomes world’s first to power water treatment plant with sewage Dixon said chlorine sometimes doesn’t even disinfect sewage completely, and doesn’t treat certain toxins. Further, residual chlorine can harm marine life . Chlorination is commonly utilized in wastewater treatment plans, not pipes that run into waterways. New York City Department of Environmental Protection spokesperson Ted Timbers said chlorine is “the most widely used disinfectant for water and wastewater treatment in the U.S.” He said the plan had been talked about in meetings with the public, and that chlorination would occur from May to October. Queens College hydrologist Timothy Eaton said chlorine can be effective in controlled settings, but with unpredictable changes in sewage flow, residual chlorine could be left behind and the exact dosage would be tricky to get right. He told The New York Times, “It’s very difficult to predict the amount of water you’re going to get at any period of time. If you overdose it, you’re basically treating Flushing Creek and Flushing Bay like swimming pools .” Via The New York Times Images via Pixabay and Wikimedia Commons

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Environmentalists question ‘worrisome’ NYC plan to pour chlorine in sewers

Tesla executives start mysterious new recycling company

May 3, 2017 by  
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You’d think with battery production commencing at the new Gigafactory and Tesla being the most valuable car company in America, the company’s executives would have their hands full. But it appears Tesla’s Chief Technology Officer Jeffrey Straubel and head of special products Andrew Stevenson have quietly filed documents for a new company aiming to “unlock the value of your materials.” CB Insights found a Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filing , with Straubel and Stevenson listed as executives on a new company called Redwood Materials . They already have a $2 million investment from an undisclosed investor. Their office is in Redwood City, California, fairly close to Tesla headquarters in Palo Alto. Related: Tesla just announced plans to build up to five Gigafactories Could Tesla be behind the company? According to its scant website, Redwood Materials offers “advanced technology and process development for materials recycling , remanufacturing, and reuse” – and that’s about all we know. A Tesla spokesperson didn’t answer The Verge’s request for clarification. But the publication said it’s quite possible Tesla isn’t involved with Redwood Materials at all. In the past Straubel has invested in companies that aren’t connected to Tesla, like a 2016 investment in energy storage company Axiom Energy. He’s also mentioned an interest in mineral recycling. Last year he said Tesla would recycle electric vehicle batteries and reuse those materials. In a recent March 2017 keynote address, Stevenson mentioned “re-thinking the materials supply chain ” as an area of innovation for the car company. Battery production requires materials like nickel, manganese, cobalt, graphite, copper, and lithium, and it makes sense Tesla would want to obtain reused materials for their batteries as much as possible as they ramp up production from 80,000 cars in 2016 to one million in 2020. The Redwood Materials website offers no other details, although you can enter an email address for updates. Via CB Insights , The Verge and Electrek Images via cchana on Flickr and Lwp Kommunikáció on Flickr

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Tesla executives start mysterious new recycling company

Swiss resident begins peddling jars of Alps mountain air starting at $97

March 5, 2017 by  
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Got an extra $97 lying around? With that money you can now purchase a jar of fresh mountain air from Switzerland . Resident John Green has started collecting air from the Alps and peddling it online, saying “the air in the mountains is like champagne [so] I decided I had better start selling it.” Born in London, Green says he’s resided in Switzerland for 20 years. He’s now decided to sell that fresh Swiss air from his website MountainAirFromSwitzerland.com , in three sizes. A pint costs $97, a quart $167, and a 3/4 gallon jar will run you $247. He includes a certificate of authenticity with each purchase, and captures the air in what he describes as a secret location. “Let’s just say it’s collected by a babbling mountain stream, fed by melt water from a famous glacier , near a very famous mountain,” says the website. Related: Australian entrepreneurs are selling canned fresh air to polluted China But anyone brave enough to shell out that money will also get GPS coordinates, according to the website, so they can pinpoint the location of their air on a map. Green suggests owners put the jar in the freezer first for the full effect should the owner decide to open the jar. On the website he says, “I seriously feel almost reborn every time I go to the Alps and breath the fresh air; there’s definitely something magic in that air. So get your little bit of magic right here, right now!” Green even says he’s donating 25 percent of profits to World Vision . He told The Local, a Swedish publication, “I know it’s a bit crazy but it’s a fun idea and it helps give some money to a charity that I think is deserving.” As for the price, he said he wants to make the business sustainable and must consider the costs of shipping the air worldwide. “And also don’t forget, it’s Swiss air! Everything in Switzerland is expensive.” When asked if anyone had been willing to purchase the air, he said, “It’s starting slowly, let’s put it like that!” + Mountain Air from Switzerland Via The Local Images via Wikimedia Commons and Mountain Air from Switzerland

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Swiss resident begins peddling jars of Alps mountain air starting at $97

Copenhagen Wheel Hits the Streets

December 5, 2013 by  
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A few years back, the ‘ Copenhagen Wheel ‘ was one of a few innovations in cycling that were being proposed to try to make bicycle commuting easier. While it was just a concept in 2010, it is now a real product, with pre-orders being offered by manufacturer Superpedestrian . The Copenhagen Wheel is a combination battery and motor that is installed on a Single Speed or 9/10 Speed Free Hub bicycle, converting it into an electric bike with a range of up to 50 km (31 mi) and a top speed of 25 mph (in the US; 25 km/h in the EU). It also provides regenerative braking and Bluetooth connectivity and iOS and Android integration. For now, Superpedestrian is only selling the Copenhagen Wheel alone , so you’ll need to provide your own bike to mount it on. However, the company says that they will soon be selling bikes already equipped with the Copenhagen Wheel. The early-bird pricing for the Copenhagen Wheel is $699 (regular price will be $799 according to the website). Also previously on EcoGeek: Rubbee Turns Regular Bicycles into Electric Vehicles

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Copenhagen Wheel Hits the Streets

Turn Dried-Out Markers into Watercolor Paints

June 3, 2013 by  
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Julie Finn of the website Crafting a Green World came up with a simple way to upcycle old, dried-out markers that will also give the kids a new art supply: watercolor paints.

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Turn Dried-Out Markers into Watercolor Paints

German Website Reduces Food Waste by Allowing People to Share Excess Food

April 25, 2013 by  
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Food photo from Shutterstock Each day people around the world throw away a staggering amount of food – by some accounts, almost half of all food produced winds up in the trash. The German website foodsharing.de aims to fight this statistic by allowing people to trade or give away food that would otherwise go to waste. Not only does the site keep food out of the landfill ; it also helps out those in need. Brilliant! Read the rest of German Website Reduces Food Waste by Allowing People to Share Excess Food Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: eliminating waste , Excess food sharing , Food sharing , Food sharing website , food solutions , food waste , foodsharing , German food sharing , preventing food waste        

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German Website Reduces Food Waste by Allowing People to Share Excess Food

Meet with Dow Ventures

May 31, 2012 by  
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Dow Venture Capital is working with the Environmental Business Cluster to engage with the latest cleantech startups. We invite startups involved in the energy storage, solar, wind, water, agricultural, carbon capture, and energy efficiency fields to apply to Meet with Dow by completing the application form on our website.

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Meet with Dow Ventures

Bottom-Up Innovations that Change How IT Does Sustainability

January 4, 2012 by  
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Kickstarter — and some of the cutting-edge inventions that are breaking records on the crowdfunding site — are helping to change how green IT comes to market, and speeding the arrival of the Internet of Things.

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Bottom-Up Innovations that Change How IT Does Sustainability

Tendril Unveils Developer Website for Smart Grid Apps

January 4, 2012 by  
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Providing open source developer tools to build applications that connect smart meters, home appliances, and smart phones with back-office utility systems, the program hopes to accelerate time-to-market opportunities for new products and services.

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Tendril Unveils Developer Website for Smart Grid Apps

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