Posts Tagged ‘eco friendly’

Environmental News : : Germany Lead the Way

German scientists double the efficiency of solar cells

Researchers in Germany have found a way to combine a conventional solar panel with black silicon. A conventional panel can only harness 50%-70% of UV light. With the addition of black silicon, 100% of the suns energy can be absorbed, including infrared rays. I will not bore you wit the technical side (I was never good at chemistry) but these new solar panels are already in production. Furthermore the equipment used to produce these new panels is in the process of being mass produced. Do you think solar energy is more worth our time than wind energy?

Germany sets new solar record

solar energy, renewable energy, news, Germany, EU, 2020 energy goals, green design, sustainable design, eco-design, Germany, clean tech, alternative energy, solar panels

Seems like Germany have been investigating solar power for quite some time…. Last weekend, 22 gigawatts was fed into the German national grid, per hour. This culminated in providing almost half of the countries energy demands. After Fukushima, Japan as forced to shut down all nuclear power plants, Germany soon followed suit. This meant there was extra money and space to be spent on new energy resources. Like most European countries, Germany are aiming to cut greenhouse emissions by 40% between 1990 and 2020. Amazingly, it looks like they achieve this goal.

So next time someone tells you renewable energy is pointless, drop this knowledge bomb on them. I guess we can’t hate Germany just because of their football team forever…

 Asteroid dust clouds can act as a sunshade

asteroids, university of strathclyde, geoengineering, geoengineering projects, climate change, global warming, space mirrors, dust cloud, asteroid dust,

A research time from Strathclyde has suggested that blowing up asteroids could help save our planet.  Natural dust would be scattered in the atmosphere, thus reflecting sun rays. Like all geo-engineering projects (giant mirrors in space anyone?), this idea comes with a few risks. The dust particles will eventually disperse you to the gravitational pull of our solar system. Also, the collateral damage to earth would be unpredictable. Who knows where the extra debris would fall. The dust cloud would only be able to absorb 1.7% of the sun rays. Whilst this seems a small amount, it would still manage to cool the earth around 2-3 degrees celsius which would make a huge difference.

Whilst this isn’t the best geo-engineering project, it has shown us that we only need to stop a very small amount of solar radiation hitting the earth in order to make a very big difference.

IKEA will use 100% renewable resources by 2020

IKEA, Energy Neutrality, Sustainable energy, wind power, solar power, LED lighting, induction cooking, plant a tree

No, IKEA isn’t a European country involved in the 40% emission cut by 2020, although you wouldn’t be blamed for thinking so. The most inspirational part? IKEA have promised to plant more trees than they use. Since they are also investing in wind and solar energy, IKEA will be creating more energy than it uses. This isn’t just about self-sustainability, this is about helping to power the planet.

The $2 billion dollar investment shouldn’t discourage other companies from taking a similar environmental approach to business. This project is set to save IKEA and its consumers a lot of money.

 

I leave you with

A watch that saves children. No, it’s not by Toms.

Man attempts to cross the Irish Sea….in a giant hamster wheel. 

An alternative, cheap and eco-friendly chair that will make your friends jealous. 

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Environmental News : : Bloody Ivory and Extinct Polar Bears.

Elephants killed for religious craftsmen

Picture of mature African elephant bulls with long ivory tusks

In January of 2012, hundreds of armed men rode into Cameroon’s Bouba Ndjidah National Park. They murdered hundreds of elephants, entire families with AK-47’s. Tens of thousands of elephants are killed every year in Africa for their ivory. Horrifically so, this ivory is then used as material in which to carve religious objects out of. Ivory smuggling is illegal and yet the Philippines still manage to have a huge ivory trade going on. A reporter from National Geographic found a street merchant selling iconic religious figure in ivory. I somehow doubt that any religion would condone the slaughtering of thousands of elephants for this purpose.
Ivory has turned into a drug. There has been a global ivory trade ban intact since 1989 but that seems not to have had an effect.
Do your part and adopt an elephant now.

Arctic Ice will be gone in 4 yearsArctic ocean warming, Arctic ice, Arctic ice sheet, Peter Wadhams, Global warming feedback, Methane permafrost

According to Professor Peter Wadhams, head of the Polar Ocean Physics Group at Cambridge University, the entire Arctic ice shelf will be gone in just 4 years. Just 5 years ago it was predicted that the ice would survive until 2060. Now it won’t just be the polar bears that are gone by 2016, but it will also initiate a negative feedback loop that would heat up our planet much quicker.
The loss of ice will cause the ocean water to warm up, which then warms the ocean floor. Much of the Arctic continental shelf is composed of offshore permafrost which contains methane, a very powerful greenhouse gas. I don’t need to tell you how bad it would be if this gas was released.
What’s that? You don’t want to adopt an elephant because you like polar bears and penguins more? Just make sure you get your adoption money back in 4 years…

90,000 lbs of trash collected at Sierra Nevada

Over 2,500 volunteers collaborated to clean up thousands of pounds of garbage that clogs up this picturesque Californian landscape. Over two thirds of Californians get their water from the Sierra Nevada. It’s truly amazing how 571 tonnes of trash has been cleaned in the last 4 years. That is, it’s amazing how it becomes so littered in the first place as well as the effort of the volunteers. I helped take part during an ocean clean up in California. Never have I picked up so many cigarette buts or 6 pack holders in my life. The beach is not a trashcan.

Image

 

Gary Neville turns from United-Red to Eco-green

No, he hasn’t signed with Celtic or Panathinaikos, don’t worry. Instead, Neville is building his own house, a house that meets the highest UK environmental standards. He built his first two homes when he was just 22 and 26. Both of these experiences have helped him realise what needs to be done in order to save the planet.

“So I have had a transitional period in my personal life, from car to home, to become as efficient as I could.”

Side view of the proposed development
                                                         Gary Neville’s new home.

Many people won’t just be surprised by his sudden intelligence as a football pundit. They also will be shocked by his plethora of knowledge towards the environment. He is fully aware of how loud his voice is:

“We believe in the power of sport to deliver a message. You have seen over the past 12-18 months, the way that the Olympics and football transcends all social issues. In fact, it brings social issues that are a problem in society to a head through football.”

 

I leave you with,

The deadliest air fight in the world.
The epic migration of hundreds of thousands of hermit crabs.
Dumpsters transformed into beautiful gardens.

Environmental News : : Start skateboarding to save coral reefs

Electric skateboard becomes lightest form of electric transport

With 6 miles of battery life, this electric skateboard will save your pushing leg as well as the planet. It’s no secret that the flaw with skateboards is how you can’t ride up hill. This new skateboard changes all of that. It even brakes! Weighing in at just 12lbs, this 20mph ride could completely change your commute. If we’re being honest, it also looks incredibly cool, much more so than fixed gear bikes.

You can even take the motor off and ride it as a regular longboard. Sound appealing? Of course it does, check out Boosted Boards to become the coolest guy in the office.

 

Wind energy alone can power the planet

wind power, wind energy, wind turbines, carnegie institution for science, lawrence livermore national laboratory, airborne wind turbines, high altitude wind energy, ground based wind energy, ocean based wind energy
A study from Carnegie Institution for Science has revealed that, with the help of air born wind turbines, the planet can be powered exclusively by wind power.

Currently the earth needs 18TW of energy to run. By harnessing near-surface winds, we could generate 20 times the needed amount. It turns out that more wind turbine generators are a bad thing. They create a drag effect on the wind turbines that in turn slows down the overall velocity of wind. Thus- building more wind turbines wouldn’t be too effective. By harnessing air in the atmosphere we can overcome this issue and live sustainably for many years.

The CEO of the Carnegie Institution has said that “economic and political factors still play a large role” when deciding how to use wind power.

 

Caribbean coral reefs could soon become extinct

Live coral coverage has dropped to just 8% this year. During the 1970’s, this figure was a steady 50%. The root of all causes (pollution, overfishing, disease and bleaching) can be tracked to the rise in global temperature.

At an international environmental campaign in Korea the situation was listed as “critical” with “time running out”.  Scientists from the World Resources Institute have predicted that by 2050, virtually all coral reefs will be in danger.

So next time you go snorkelling, remember that everything you see is alive. Don’t remove anything from its natural habitat or stir sediment with your Michael Phelps sized flippers. Oh, and don’t buy dried coral from stores!

 

Sea otters can slow global warming

Two researches have found that an increase in sea otters would increase the amount of carbon dioxide being absorbed by kelp. Sea otters feed off sea urchins which in turn feed off kelp. Therefore, if there were a surge of sea otter reproductivity, kelp forests would prosper as there would be less sea urchins. 12 times the amount of carbon dioxide could be absorbed if this happened.

What’s that? You were thinking of adopting a sea otter for your next loved ones birthday? No? Well now there’s no reason not to!

 

Generate electricity with a rocking chair

Otarky, Rocking Chair, Modern Furniture, Renewable Energy, Electric Generator, Electricity, Igor Gitelstain, Israel
It’s called the Otarky and has been designed by a graduate student. Not only does this chair look incredibly stylish, but it will charge your iPad at the same time. Now just imagine what would happen if every homeowner had this chair?

The chrome rockers hide ball bearings which convert kinetic energy into electricity when the chair is rocked from back to forth. It’s a genius invention, allowing anyone to create sustainable energy whilst reading the newspaper. Be sure to check up on the Otarky in a year or so as it is still just a prototype.

I leave you with
Is the iPhone 5 green?
Man-made cabin in Wisconsin, built for musicians. 
Own an electric Batmobile by 2015

 

 

 

 

 

Environmental News! 6th July 2012 – China leading the way.

Beijing gives Subway credits for recycled bottles

More than 100 ‘recycle-to-ride’ containers will be installed in Beijing to conquer the inefficient waste of plastic bottles. They will be places along every stop of one subway line before being established all over the city. “They will be as easy to use as ATM’s” said a member involved with their production. Currently, the company collects 50,000 bottles a year. With this number sure to sky rocket, the company plan to approach Coca-Cola and other beverage companies to supply them with bottles. Asia associates projects like this with economical benefit – as shown by the money that will be made from Coca-Cola. Projects like this already exist in the west, simply for environmental reasons. If bottle donors are not paid, the project fails in Beijing.
Finally then! It pays to be green! Do you think it is a good idea to reward people financially for being green? Or should we be green by principle?

China’s Three Gorges Dam completed

China's Three Gorges dam

The $38 billion Three Gorges Dam has finally been connected to the power grid. 1.3 millions people were displaced from it’s production.
Is it worth it? 
The total capacity is 22.5 gigawatts. This accounts for 11% of the country’s total hydroelectric capacity. Britain’s largest power station, Drax, produces 4GW.
Yes.
“The complete operation of all the generators makes the Three Gorges dam the world’s largest hydropower project, and the largest base for clean energy” said Zhang Cheng, general manager of the TGM. The dam has already saved 200 billion tonnes of coal from being burnt. Beijing is now committed to bringing another 140GW of hydropower capacity on line between 2011 and 2015 to meet its renewable energy targets.
So do you think it was worth it? How many of the 1.3 million people do you think cared about the environment, 20%? Whilst I understand how horrible it must be to move your life somewhere else, I’d rather that than drown from rising sea levels.

Plastic bag use up for 2nd year running in UK

UK supermarkets handed out 8 billion single-use plastic bags last year, up 5.4% on 2010. Retailers have blamed the recession, claiming that shoppers now to more smaller shops each month. The story is not the same all over the UK. In Wales, the usage rate fell by 22% thanks to the 5p charge for plastic bags. Surely then this problem can be solved by slapping a charge on plastic bags everywhere? Give people an economic reason to use life-long bags. Take a hint from what China are doing.
Not convinced? What if I told you that in the last 5 seconds, America has consumed 60,000 plastic bags…….now 70,000.
Find out more and what you can do to help here.


I leave you with
A modern day Noah’s ark. How to live in a post-apocolytic world.
5 eco-friendly apps that could change city living.
– Think you’re eco friendly? Stop drinking with straws…that are wrapped in plastic….and then thrown away.