Eating more fruits and vegetables as part of a plant-based diet is catching on. In 2019, more than one third of Americans said they plan to incorporate more plant-based foods into their diets to achieve their wellness resolutions, according to data company YouGov. For those new to “green eating”—and even for veggie-minded veterans—lots of helpful information (read more…)
In a virtual reality experiment, people recovered faster from a small electric shock when they smelled a mix of natural scents in a forest scene or grass in a park scene than when they smelled diesel or tar in an urban setting. Researchers at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences hypothesized that natural environments would reduce stress faster than a non-natural one.
ICON, an Austin-based startup, built the first permitted 3D-printed house in the U.S. in its hometown in 2018. Since then, the company has built a small neighborhood in Mexico and launched its Vulcan II printer, which can produce houses measuring up to 2,000 square feet. San Francisco-based Apis Cor is another company in the 3D-printing space: It has just completed a two-story, 6,900-square-foot building in Dubai and it plans to build a demonstration house in Santa Barbara, California, this year.
Palau is the first country in the world to ban ecologically harmful sunscreens containing oxybenzone and octinoxate. Studies have found the ingredients cause coral DNA to mutate in the larval stage, which prevents coral from growing properly and makes it more susceptible to bleaching. (read more…)
Jose Cuervo, the bestselling tequila maker globally, has initiated an eco-friendly process of salvaging the leftover agave fibers from its distilling process and upcycling them into a more sustainable alternative to regular plastic straws. The biodegradable drinking straw will decompose (read more…)
Copenhagen has dramatically refashioned the look and function of a power station with a new state-of-the-art, waste-to-power plant that powers 200,000 homes and doubles—actually, sextuples—as a ski slope, a climbing wall, a viewing tower, a hiking and running trail network, and a bar and restaurant. Named Copenhill, “It is the cleanest waste-to-energy power plant in the world,” says architect Bjarke Ingels. (read more…)
By laundering clothes using simple ingredients and wise eco-practices, consumers can both save money and lower their carbon footprint.
Natural cleaning ingredients cited by The Eco Guide include white vinegar, baking soda, lemons, borax and castile soap, all of which “can be bought in bulk with minimal packaging and have known cleaning properties (read more…)
A drought-plagued Kenyan region is using a new, solar-powered, desalination plant from the international nonprofit GivePower to obtain clean water. Before the plant’s arrival in the town of Kiunga, villagers had completely run out of clean drinking water and had to use dirty well water and saltwater from the Indian Ocean. The new solar water farm produces enough drinking water that’s cleaner than typical desalination plants for more than 35,000 people every day.
A new Climate Neutral product label is joining others like Fair Trade, 100% Organic and Made in America, and has reached its funding goal on a Kickstarter to raise $100,000. The idea for the label was hatched by the founders of San Francisco-based backpack and camera equipment maker Peak Design and Brooklyn-based Biolite, which sells sustainable energy products. Participating companies (read more…)
Marrying forestry to technology, the startup Flash Forest, in Toronto, is using aerial drones to plant trees 10 times faster than human planters with a goal of 1 billion trees by 2028. Since testing prototype devices last year, it has already planted several thousand trees across Ontario using pre-germinated seed pods containing a mixture of species. The drones are capable of planting trees at just 50 cents per pod, or a quarter of the cost of typical planting methods. Funded partly by a Kickstarter campaign,
Alaska, which has some of the most pristine environments in the U.S., also has some of the worst air quality in its cities. According to the American Lung Association 2019 State of the Air report, Fairbanks ranked third and a section of Anchorage ranked 21st in cities with high levels of short-term particle pollution between 2015-2017, the latest years that figures are available.
Scientists have discovered that some trees raise and lower their branches several times in the course of the night, indicating a cycle of water and sugar transportation, but they didn’t know why. Plants need water to photosynthesize glucose, the basic building block from which their more complex molecules are formed. For trees, this entails drawing water from the roots to the leaves.
In 1969, there were only 100 South American fur seals and sea lions along the coastline of Lima, the capitol of Peru, but that has increased to more than 8,000 today, thanks to local fishermen that have realized over the intervening years that a balanced ecosystem benefits all. Once hunted almost to the point of no return for their pelts and because they ate so many fish, the sea mammals have slowly rebounded since Peru established its first marine protection area there in 1979, the Paracas Marine Reserve.
Taking care of newborn babies in an eco-friendly way can have a significant impact on both our environment and the little ones’ health. TreeHugger reports that disposable diapers, made from a blend of plastic and wood pulp and often encased in additional plastic, remain for an estimated 200 to 500 years. A baby uses between 5,000 and 8,000 diapers before being potty-trained, generating 18 billion diapers annually in the U.S. alone. (read more…)
The International Energy Agency predicts that renewable energy will surpass coal as the world’s leading source of electricity by 2030. Its 810-page annual World Energy Outlook also notes that even though offshore wind farms, solar installations and battery-powered (read more…)
The startup’s innovative cultivation system can facilitate the growth of microalgae, phytoplankton and diatoms on large, solar panel-like structures that can be installed on buildings and other infrastructure to improve the quality of the atmosphere. Arborea’s cultivation system also creates a sustainable source of organic biomass from which nutritious food additives can be extracted for plant-based food.
In Vermont, Killington Resort uses four offsite solar farms, as well as the AllEarth Solar tracking system that rotates panels using GPS technology to produce enough energy to run all the lifts for the resort and nearby Pico Mountain for the entire season. (read more…)
a centuries-old livelihood that was intertwined with the rise of the Western frontier. The Wildlife Protection Act of 2019 prohibits commercial and recreational trapping on both public and private lands. Legislators are considering proposals to ban the sale of all fur products, including fur coats, and to outlaw the use of animals in any circus in the state, with the exception of domesticated horses, dogs and cats.