ReTree

ReTree (verb): the act of replenishing the earth’s tree supply to help reverse climate change.

The mission of ReTree is to inspire people to help reverse climate change, one tree at a time. ReTree wants to plant 1 million trees in 2017.  And to accomplish this mission, ReTree will double the number of trees their donors plant for the entire year.

Our world is home to more than three trillion (3,000,000,000,000) trees! While that might seem like a large number, each day more than two and a half million (2,500,000) trees are destroyed. This constant and ongoing destruction has contributed (along with fossil fuel emissions) to a major issue for our planet: climate change.

When it happens naturally, as it did for millions of years, tree loss is a normal part of the cycle of life. A tree dies and another one grows. Now, with man’s interference and the loss of trees happening at an alarming rate, our planet can’t breathe. It was never designed to handle all that we’re putting it through. Climate change being at the top of the list.

Reducing factory and auto emissions might be the first thing you think of when tackling this global issue. Guess what? We don’t need fancy gadgets or millions invested in new technologies to fight climate change. There’s a simpler way to remove carbon dioxide from the air: trees!

Trees absorb CO2 from the air as they grow. Using energy from the sun, they turn the carbon captured from the CO2 molecules into building blocks for their trunks, branches, and foliage. This is all part of the carbon cycle and ReTree has created the simplest way to increase the number of trees and help reverse climate change.

Now multiply these results by thousands and millions of trees! We can’t stop climate change, but we can make an incredible impact, together, one tree at a time.

For more information visit ReTree online and start filling our forests!

REON II Water Quality Sensor Device

In the race to find solutions to critical water issues, the launch of a new cost-effective water quality sensor device by Beacon Institute for Rivers and Estuaries|Clarkson University is the first step in overcoming hurdles of historically prohibitive costs for long-term water resource monitoring.

The installation of the Institute’s newest generation of River and Estuary Observatory Network (REON II) sensor arrays signifies the passing of the baton from the science lab to the river as they run ahead, complementing government capacity to invest in “wiring” the river for cleaner water.

The REON II device or “Sonde,” deployed on the banks of the Hudson River in New Hamburg, N.Y., is providing real-time data called for by scientists to better understand the complex relationship between humans, the built environment and our fragile waterways.

It is one of 37 sensor stations currently in place in the Hudson and St. Lawrence river watersheds, making REON one of the world’s most robust resources of real-time data. The goal of the REON research team to develop affordable, scalable, low-profile sensor networks and its potential for making water sensor technology universal, could be transformational to the field of environmental science.

CEF FFT: The more up-to-date and accurate the data we can collect on the water quality of rivers and estuaries, the more we can become aware of the impact our civilization has on these precious sources of life.

To read more and watch a video, visit the source link here.

Recycling Psychology

Although it may seem counter-intuitive–consider for a moment that recycling may have us incidentally wasting more, and not only because be we are using the wrong receptacles to recycle.

People used more cups and paper when recycling was an option versus when they had to put them in the trash. Researchers say people’s guilt for wasting is overridden by the good feelings for recycling.

As Shankar Vedantam, NPR social science correspondent explained when ask if recycling was ‘bad’: “No, recycling isn’t bad. It’s actually very good. But in fact, that’s where the problem lies. Recycling is so good that it makes us feel virtuous, and that can lead to problematic outcomes. Let me back up and explain. I was talking to Remi Trudel. He’s a marketing professor at Boston University. He told me he was having lunch at a restaurant with his colleague, Monic Sun, when they noticed something.

Then Remi Trudel continues: We noticed that people were just grabbing napkins, like, way more than they needed. And we started thinking is it because they feel, you know, that it’s OK because they’re going to be recycling it anyways? So then we decided to run some experiments to try to prove it. (Source: NPR)

Visit the NPR transcription of the interview here to find out what results came from their studies!

CEF FFT: (After reading the NPR transcript…) Do you think people who normally buy single-use cups and utensils would buy glassware or other long-lasting containers for food and drink if they knew about this potential pitfall of the psychology behind how we perceive the impact of our recycling?

(Photo Credit: Hiroshi Watanabe/Getty Images)

Seattle Bans Plastic Straws

Beginning July 1, 2018, restaurants in Seattle will no longer provide plastic straws and utensils to consumers. The reason for the ban is plain and simple: the waste that results from disposable plastic creates a cost that enterprises in the private sector do not subtract from the surplus value/price realization process but instead transfer to what the early 20th century British economist Arthur Cecil Pigou called in Economics of Welfare a “social cost.”

Seattle has decided to reduce these costs. This is the smart thing to do. The more matter and energy that is recycled in the city’s economy, the more it becomes like a ecosystem in its advanced or climax stage. American consumers waste an insane amount of drinking straws everyday (500 million!). The public, which includes natural services and goods (clean water, fresh air), has to pay for any kind of waste that cannot be recycled. Sadly, the ban will not included plastic straws in grocery stores. For the ban to be truly effective, it must be universal.
Think of how much plastic we could reduce every year if the biggest cities all committed to removing plastic straws from their economy!
Visit source article on The Stranger here!

(Photo Credit: Thomas Vimare)

Thanks to @mchllsong for the share!

Oasia Hotel

Singapore’s Oasia Hotel Downtown is alive – and growing fast. Covered in 21 species of verdant climbers and flowers, it was designed by local architects WOHA as the first tropical high-rise. “We wanted as many species as possible to recreate an ecosystem,” says WOHA co-founder Wong Mun Summ, 54. “It has flowers to attract insects and climbers for squirrels and lizards.”

Located in Singapore’s dense business district, the 190-metre-high building was designed to compensate for the area’s lack of greenery. “Sustainability is important to us,” Mun Summ says. It has open-sided gardens, so there is no need for mechanical ventilation in the hotel’s 314 rooms and 100 office units. Most of the water for the irrigation system is harvested from rainfall.

Imagine what cities can look like covered in eco-friendly carbon-sequestering towers!

Here is the source article from wired!

RanMarine WasteShark

Founded by Richard Hardiman, Ranmarine Technology uses WasteShark — 24-hour on-the-water drones. The solar-powered drones collect detritus, marine waste and chemical substances from ports and canals.

Founded in 2015 in South Africa, the company was later re-incorporated in the Netherlands at the start of last year as RanMarine Technology BV.

Hardiman is based in Rotterdam. He moved there after being selected for PortXL Rotterdam’s maritime accelerator (portxl.org) in February last year. The startup was one of 12 companies selected from 1000 startups worldwide.

In July last year the startup began a pilot with the Port of Rotterdam to test both the use of autonomous surface vessels in their waters and how the product actually works in “high trafficked waters”. The pilot was successfully completed last month.

There are currently 3 different types of the Waste Shark products: the WasteShark, the Great WasteShark and the ChemShark.

Check out their website https://www.ranmarine.io/ for more info and videos!

Idénergie River Turbine

Combining Quebec’s expertise in hydroelectricity, aluminum and renewable energy, Idénergie has successfully developed the first solution to easily generate electricity from the natural flow of a river. This innovation will allow people to generate electricity from nearby rivers, 24 hours a day.

Idénergie’s river turbine has an embedded smart converter that allows the conversion of the energy harnessed from the water current into electricity. The built-in smart converter includes many additional features including a self-starting turbine, continuous power optimization, remote monitoring capabilities, an emergency brake and many more to come.

Mostly made of noble metals such as aluminium and other environmentally friendly components, the turbine is the greenest amongst all available renewable energy products. These material do not react to the environment and are easily recyclable ensuring a substantial end of life value. In addition, the river turbine does not require a permanent structure reducing its impact on aquatic fauna.

By taking into account numerous studies estimating the interactions of the turbines with the ecosystems, Idénergie designed its product in order for it to have minimal impact on the aquatic fauna and its housing environment. Studies carried out by the Alden laboratories, an american entity, have proven that the Darrieus Turbines, used by Idenergie, represent no harm to the river’s ecosystem. In fact, extracting energy from a fluid tend to slow it down, resulting in faster velocity on the side of the turbine thus floating objects and debris, as well as fish, tend to naturally avoid the turbine resulting in 98% survival rate.

A society based on a green economy is Idénergie’s dream. Fully aware of the need to adapt to the threat of climate change, they aim to make a positive difference by encouraging every individual, homeowner or community to use renewable energy and become energy-independent.

Check out their website http://idenergie.ca/en/ to see how this renewable-energy hardware is accessible and discover how yes, it can be done.

The Climate Mobilization

Why join the mobilization?

Well, the planet is warming and its okay to be afraid. Climate change threatens the collapse of civilization within this century. Confronting this crisis is the great moral imperative of our time.

The Climate Mobilization is a grassroots movement which demands a government-led mobilization to restore a safe climate;  calls for full employment and fair, shared sacrifice; demands a rapid transformation of our energy and agriculture systems; and calls on politicians to pledge to mobilize.

Visit their site www.theclimatemobilization.org to learn more and get involved!

(Photo is adapted from The Climate Mobilization “Blueprint for a Climate Emergency Movement”)

First Smog-filtering Bicycles

Millions of Chinese cyclists may soon be able to ditch their air-pollution masks. Dutch innovation firm Studio Roosegaarde has partnered with bike-share startup ofo to develop a new model that can collect polluted air, purify it, and release the clean air around the cyclist. Studio founder Daan Roosegaarde confirms to Quartz that the first prototype of the smog-sucking “future bike” is expected to be ready by the end of this year.

How about we filter polluted air while riding bicycles? Sounds like a win-win to me!

Visit the source link for more info: www.qz.com

(Photo credit: Studio Roosegaarde)

Bee’s Wrap

Why use plastic wrap when you can use sustainable Bee’s Wrap?

Bee’s Wrap is washable, reusable and compostable. Their fabric and printing is certified by the Global Organic Textile Standard using beeswax that is sourced from sustainably-managed hives in the US. Bee’s Wrap packaging is recyclable and plastic-free.

Get your own and start cutting down on needless plastic waste! https://www.beeswrap.com/

As they say on their website: “Because good food deserves good care”