Meet Majuli, India native Jadav Payeng. For almost 45 years now he has been planting trees on the Island of Majuli, in North East India. Through his work, he has reintroduced vegetation to the barren, eroding island. Alone, he has now planted a dense forest larger than Central Park in New York City. His efforts have been recognized by the Former President of India A. P. J. Abdul Kamar, who has dubbed him the “Forest Man of India”! Check out the video below for more information on this amazing accomplishment and the man who saved his island!
Energy waste can take many different forms, such as failing to turn the lights off when leaving a room. Now, with Cactus, this is no longer an issue. Cactus is a power bar which connects to the household WiFi, and allows users to turn devices which are plugged into it on and off using a smartphone. It also has a sensor that turns the lights on when someone enters a room and then turns them off again when they leave. On average, “standby power” accounts for 10% of American energy bills, which can total over $100 a year. With Cactus this can be easily managed. The video posted below was made by the inventors to promote Cactus as a crowd sourcing project, but it also shows the device in action. They have since met their monetary goals and are developing their prototypes. These power strips can currently be ordered for about forty dollars, which is the least expensive of the smart power bars on the current market. Check out the article that creator Giuseppe Crosti wrote for the Huffington post about his journey to make Cactus an energy saving reality, and developer Paul Rolfe’s blog entry about the device!
Meet Ann and Gord Baird! This family strives for a biocentric life, a way of living that utilises gardening and the earth’s many natural energy sources to allow them to live symbiotically with the land around them. Their life philosophy focuses on family, community, the environment, and on teaching others how to live in a sustainable way. Their home has been deemed the “World’s Greenest Modern House” by the Living Building rating system – the greenest rating system used worldwide. Their house features thermal hot water, passive solar power, rainwater harvesting, compostable toilets and a living roof! Their blog has information on workshops they do, good plants to plant in your garden, and a documentation of their life in a living building! Check out the page for inspiration, and witness the great work they are doing!
A Detroit native suggests gross and great do not need to be separate: he plans to bike from Wisconsin to New York City and only eat food that has been thrown out along the way! He acknowledges that although dumpster diving is unsanitary, yet he wants to do it anyway because it is “not about him”, but an important cause that people need to be aware of. He is hoping people will dine with him throughout his journey, and his efforts will help lessen the amount of food wasted daily! Read the full article via the link here!
This is some serious news!!! Bee attractive plants that gardeners use to promote Bee procreation, have been tested and found to contain neonicotinoids! In Canada!
The seeds of these plants are treated the same way as farmers crops – they are soaked in the pesticide so that as it grows, the pesticide is contained within each cell of the plant. It is more effective than spraying and reduces labour hours, however at what price? These neonics are the same that have polluted the water supply throughout the states, and has been banned from use in animal fodder and animal and plant refugee conservation sites.
About 50% of the bee-friendly plants have enough of the pesticide to kill bee’s outright, and 40% have two varieties of the neonics! Samples were taken from London, Ontario, Montreal and Vancouver, all with similarly disturbing results. How are we as consumers able to encourage growth in the bee population if the plants we buy to do just that, are actually detrimental to their numbers?
A new study released by Friends of the Earth Canada shows that over 60 per cent of “bee-friendly” home garden plants sold at garden centers have been pre-treated with neonicotinoids (neonics) pesticides shown to harm and kill bees. Of the samples collected from London, 100 per cent contained neonics, the highest amount in the Canadian tests.
The plants tested were: Calibrachoa, Gerbera Daisy, Shasta Daisy and Zonal Geranium. All but the Zonal Geranium showed two neonic pesticides, increasing its sub-lethal effects.
The Canadian data is part of a larger study, Gardeners Beware 2014, released by Friends of the Earth in Canada and Friends of the Earth U.S. with Pesticide Research Institute (PRI). Garden plant samples were collected from top garden retailers from 18 cities across Canada and the United States. Canadian samples were collected in London (Ontario), Montreal (Quebec) and Vancouver (British Columbia).
Gardeners Beware 2014 reported that 51 per…
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Internationally Unrelated provides hard facts about the ecological footprint of our society. August 19th, Tania reports, was Earth Overshoot Day – the day which marks when we as a global society have used as much resources as the earth can replenish in one year. If this date was December 31st, then we would be a sustainable society. However, we still have four full months left on the calendar, and a part of August! This translates to a shorter life for the earth overall through harsher effects of harvesting resources, and land and habitat degradation. Read the article reblogged below for a fuller picture on Earth Overshoot Day! Thanks Internationally Unrelated!
I could start with the typical “save the earth, it is the only we have”, which is completely true, but I will start to tell you that we, as humans need to stop acting like the planet is infinite and it is never going to run out of resources, if not for the earth we share, for ourselves. It will. It is already… And still, it passes us by like it is nothing. Why? Because we don’t see it truly in front of us. If we see war, we see dead people, we see injured people, we know it is happening, we know we need to do something. We don’t see the impact of our actions in our planet, at least clearly. But it is happening.
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Altaeros Energy’s Buoyant Airborne Turbine, or BAT, is the beginnings of a new step for Wind Energy. This turbine is not on a tower, but a helium blimp housing a turbine which is tethered to the ground from about 300 meters in the air (making it the worlds highest wind turbine!). The air is not only more powerful as you climb higher into the atmosphere, but the technology is less prone to problem. Without the massive steel tower, and yaw mechanism which rotates the turbine to face the wind as it changes, the maintenance is much less significant. The turbine also is quieter, while producing more energy! Although this technology is only in prototype phase, tests have been positive. Now being tested over Alaska, CEO Ben Glass predicts to provide power at about $0.18 per kilowatt-hour, about half the price of off-grid electricity in Alaska.
It seems like this is a win for energy efficiency and standards of living! Kudos to Altaeros! Find a full article, from The Spirit Science here: Wind Turbines Take to the Skies to Generate a Magnificent Quanta of Energy VIDEO! , as well as from IEEE Spectrum here.
A lot of the time, sustainability and pro-eco choices are made at home, like composting or air-drying our laundry. This business takes eco-friendly to new and unusual level! Firstly, the Brooklyn Children’s Museum is only LEED certified. The LEED certification stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design. It is a certification developed by the U.S. Green Building Council which rates the design, construction, operation, and maintenance of green buildings, homes and neighborhoods. It hopes to encourage and help owners and operators to use resources responsibly and efficiently. The building utilizes geothermal heating and cooling, solar power, carbon dioxide detecting ventilation sensors, low flow plumbing and daylight sensing lights which automatically dim and brighten lights in accordance with the amount of natural light currently available; recycled plastics, rubbers, re-purposed woods, even sunflower hulls, are used whenever possible instead of new materials.
Moreover, the museum’s exhibits are specifically tailored to sustainability. Attendee’s could learn about geothermal and solar energy, water conservation or recycling, and why they are important to our future as a planet. The museum holds summer camps, and provides educational material for teachers to utilize in the classroom, as well.
As the first “green” museum, they really due set a tone for what we are capable of within the commercial sector. Steps small and large can be made throughout out lives, home, work, and recreation.
Check out their website for more information on educational tools, green sites in the city, and to plan your visit to the first green museum!!