Surfrider Foundation

With roughly 80 chapters in 10 regions around the globe, the Surfrider Foundation has a blueprint for success that transforms passion into protection, which is mobilized in local communities, all across the U.S..  Their network campaigns for the ocean as issues arise and proactively works on programs to help keep beaches healthy. Whether it is for clean water, the ecology and environment of the beach, erosion, rising sea levels, the impacts of development, to keep the ocean’s clean and safe for the next generation…there are lots of reasons volunteers are showing up to make a difference in their local communities.

Visit their website www.surfrider.org to find your local chapter and get involved!

Smog-eating Tower

Take a look at this twisting, smog-eating tower that is going up in Taipei, Taiwan.

On the outside, 23,000 trees and shrubs – nearly the same amount found in New York’s Central Park – will fill the skyscraper’s facade, roof, and balconies. And inside, it will feature 40 luxury condos.

The plants will absorb 130 tons of carbon dioxide emissions per year – the equivalent of about 27 cars, lead designer Vincent Callebut tells Business Insider.

Called the Tao Zhu Yin Yuan Tower , it’s set to open by September 2017.

CEF FFT: Imagine what cities could look like (not too far) in the future if we set new municipal standards that increased our sustainability and environmental health!

For more information visit the source article here!

First Solar-powered Train

The world’s first solar-powered train is here!

India’s first solar-powered trains has begun service, running a 12.5-mile route from Delhi’s Safdarjung station to Farukh Nagar in the country’s north. The diesel-electric hybrid train has six coach cars with solar panels embedded in their roofs. The panels feed a battery that can power the train for up to 72 hours. Roughly 50 solar-harvesting coaches are set to be launched in the next several days, running primarily along commuter routes.

The new trains are a part of Indian Railways’s plan to establish an energy-generation capacity of 1 gigawatt of solar and 130 megawatts of wind power in the next five years. The state-owned company has been using train-mounted solar panels since 2015 to power interior lights and air conditioning, but their newest train is the first in the world to use solar power.

India isn’t the only country exploring solar-powered trains. A research team at the Imperial College London is embarking on a similar quest to take trains off-grid and power them with solar energy. However, the UK project is looking to track-side solar panels, not ones directly mounted to the trains themselves.

Visit the source article with a video as well on curbed.com

Action Network

Whether you were signing a petition, signing up for email notifications for community events or a fundraiser for a good cause, it very well could have been powered by “Action Network”.

Action Network is an open platform that empowers individuals and groups to organize for progressive causes. They encourage responsible activism, and do not support using the platform to take unlawful or other improper action. They do not control or endorse the conduct of users and make no representations of any kind about them.

If you opt to partner with Action Network you’ll get access to a wide range of tools, including the ability to upload activists and subscribe them to your list, create custom-branded email and page wrappers, and more. The interface allows you to organize with other users to create petitions, events, ticketed events, forms, fundraisers, letter campaigns, emails, reports, queries and more!

This is pretty darn cool.

Visit their website and see how easy it is!

DroneSeed

Let us welcome DroneSeed–a new solution to precision reforestation!

DroneSeed is working with commercial foresters to make reforestation more efficient. Their team offers a one-stop solution of drones capable of planting tree seeds and spraying fertilizer and herbicides to keep trees healthy.

Millions of acres of forestland are currently under-utilized. The availability of dependable workers, and the safety concerns of rough terrain, prevent trees from being planted and cared for. DroneSeed is presented as a scalable solution to addressing this problem. Could this be the future of a faster, safer, and more efficient forestry?

Check out their website for  videos and more info: https://www.droneseed.co/

CEF FFT: Using drones is perhaps more efficient, but this isn’t to disregard the freedom we have to plant seeds and plant trees. If we all planted even a single seed and tree each week, what sort of transformation would we expect to see?

Reintroducing ByFusion

Consider the empowering solutions to pollution, waste management and local community development made possible by the ByFusion machine. Their goal is to put all plastic waste to work cost effectively, maximizing efforts of people cleaning by creating building blocks called RePlast. Here is an overview:

PLASTIC-AGNOSTIC: We do not discriminate against any type of plastic. We take it all.

 STREAMLINED PROCESSING: No sorting or pre-washing required. Just shovel in the plastic and the transformation process begins.

100% MODULAR: Self-contained and fully transportable. Runs on gas or electric to meet varying conditions.

ECO-FRIENDLY DESIGN: Nearly 100% carbon neutral, non-toxic manufacturing process.

CUSTOMIZABLE BYPRODUCT: Able to control density and shape of the product, called RePlast. Currently configured to manufacture common cinder block sized material.

FIT FOR PURPOSE: RePlast was developed to be used in a wide variety of applications from walling to roadway barriers. In most cases, we are able to customize RePlast to meet the needs of the job.
Check out their website http://www.byfusion.com for more info!

100 Percent Green California

California’s Senate leader wants the Golden State to shift to 100 percent renewable electricity by 2045, pushing it to lead the country in grabbing that green power goal.

Environmentalists are cheering California Senate President Pro Tempore Kevin de León’s (D) plan to double, and accelerate, the state’s current renewables mandate of 50 percent by 2050. Oscar-winning actor Leonardo DiCaprio even tweeted his thanks to de León among his 17 million followers.

The nation’s most populous state switching to fully renewable electricity sounds idealistic. But several experts said it can be done — with a lot depending on definitions, technological advancements and acceptable price tags.

“2045 is a long way away,” said Severin Borenstein, economics professor at the University of California, Berkeley’s Haas School of Business. “A lot could happen between now and 2045.”

Energy storage through batteries “could get a lot cheaper. That could make the goal much more attainable and much more cost-effective,” he added. Wind and solar energy already are close in price to natural gas, he said. “If you could actually store the power cost-effectively, then you could make it work much more effectively.”

Others warned major expenses would ensue. Large-scale solar and wind projects often go in deserts or other open areas, requiring added infrastructure to move the power to cities, said Evan Birenbaum, who led the environmental strategies program at Los Angeles-area utility Southern California Edison Co. before leaving in 2014. He now heads Chai Energy, which focuses on reducing household energy consumption.

“You would need to build new transmission lines to support the incoming [renewable] power,” Birenbaum said. “Old power lines might not be able to support it.”

Utility substations also likely would need upgrades, he said, adding, “You’re talking about many billions of dollars that have to be invested in that new renewable energy future. It’s the ratepayer who will have to pay for that.”

Borenstein said that calculating how much it will cost nearly 30 years from now is “nearly impossible to answer. … Imagine going back 30 years,” when the internet-connected cellphones used now didn’t exist.

“It’s very hard to predict technology 30 years in advance,” he added.

FFT: Although goals and estimates for 100% renewable energy may not be accurate to the year, the challenge gives us perspective as we progress towards the goal. Who knows, maybe we’ll even beat it.

( Visit the full article at the Scientific America )

https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/can-california-go-100-percent-green/

 

Mother Earth Project

The Mother Earth Project, MEP, is focused on celebrating the small and large tasks each of us take to recycle, save energy, minimize pollution, and reduce our carbon footprint. Their hope is by creating a greater collective awareness, we will accelerate the activities necessary to save the environment, and preserve the planet for future generations.

MEP has created a monumental 15 foot-tall sculpture with the likeness of the human face. The vision behind this sculpture was to conceive of a way to incentivize countries to participate in stopping and reversing climate change, and thus preserve the environment. Each participating country places a Mother Earth sculpture in their capital city, showing their commitment to helping the environment and as a symbol of sustainability. In order to be eligible for receiving a Mother Earth sculpture, countries must submit their environment-saving actions and timelines to the United Nations.

As countries announce environment-saving achievements, the Mother Earth Project posts these major accomplishments on its MEP Hall of Achievements page.

What a wonderful way to educate, inspire and acknowledge the efforts of people around the world!

(Visit their website for more info: http://motherearthproject.org/ )

First Renewable Energy Island

A tiny Spanish island with just 10,000 residents is about to do something amazing. El Hierro, the smallest of the Canary Islands, plans to completely sever ties with the traditional power grid and move entirely to renewable energy. The island plans to become completely self sufficient next month when its 11.5 megawatt wind farm kicks into gear. El Hierro already has a water turbine that generates electricity, and the added wind power will enable the island to go totally off-grid.

The island actually generates enough power for its residential needs with just the water turbines, but the wind power allows El Hierro to have a little extra power, which will be used to pump fresh water from near the harbor on the island to a reservoir in a volcanic crater 2,300-feet above the sea. When there is not enough wind for electricity needs, that water will be released to feed down into the water turbines to generate more energy, so the island will always have enough power to keep things running.

Imagine if more islands are able to farm such energy. Over time and trials of projects like these, we will learn of ways to make building out wind turbines to be more efficient and effective. In a closed environment such as islands this could be rather optimal.

(Check out the source article on inhabitant for more information!)

JouleBug

JouleBug is the easy way to make your everyday habits more sustainable, at home, work, and play. Discover how you and your friends can use resources, without using them up, with this newly designed app.

JouleBug organizes sustainability tips into Actions that you Buzz in the app when you do them in real-life. Learn more about each tip with easy-to-understand Impact Stats, Bonuses, How-To Videos, and Helpful Links. Encourage your friends by sharing how you’re making a difference and following what they’re up to in the Feed. Join local Communities for the latest sustainable news, limited-edition Actions and Badges, plus get access to local Challenges. Track your impact with your career stats and utility graph as your Trophy Case fills up. Save money, have fun, and be a little kinder to the planet, with JouleBug!

Features:
EARN ACHIEVEMENTS
-Master Actions by Buzzing when you do it in real-life
-You’re awarded Points with each Buzz that correlates to the impact the action has on your wallet and the environment
-Earn extra achievements called Badges when you become an expert in the field
-Learn more about each action with Stats, Videos, and Links
-Localized content helps you find sustainable initiatives near you
-Easily discover new Actions by browsing various categories or searching

BE SOCIAL
-Share what you’re Buzzing to the Feed and Facebook or Twitter
-Add Photos to any Buzz
-Join local Communities to see what’s happening near you
-Like and Comment on others’ stories
-Follow your friends or see what’s Trending for JouleBug Nation
-Compete in local and national Challenges to see who’s the greenest

TRACK YOUR PROGRESS
-Career stats show you how many achievements and points you’ve earned
-Connect your utility account to track your home energy usage
-Fill up your Trophy Case

Look for JouleBug on the iTunes store!