Sustainability

Well-managed mangroves 'can survive rising sea levels'
September 4, 2013 08:05 AM - Richa Malhotra, SciDevNet

The prevailing idea that sea-level rise will inevitably wipe out mangrove forests — fragile ecosystems that protect nearby communities from natural hazards such as floods and storms — is challenged by a recent report. Mangroves in some areas will be able to survive climate change-induced sea-level rise as they can slowly increase the level of soil in which they thrive, but only if they are managed and protected, according to 'The response of mangrove soil surface elevation to sea level rise' report. Activities such as building dams on rivers and converting mangrove areas into shrimp farms may have a stronger impact on the health of mangroves than sea-level rise, the report adds. Once weakened by such changes, mangroves will be less able to adapt to changes in sea level.

Children and the Environment: How gardening lessons impact positively on school kids
September 3, 2013 12:03 PM - Camilla Scaramanga, The Ecologist

Pending reforms to the UK's school curriculum mean that from September 2014, pupils aged 7-14 can expect to learn gardening skills. Camilla Scaramanga takes a look at some of the initiatives that are already taking the lead... Growing food in schools looks set to become part of the curriculum starting from September 2014, furthering the positive impacts of those very successful initiatives already working to promote gardening and 'grow your own' schemes in schools nationwide. There are currently 4,500 schools enrolled on the Food for Life Partnership plan (FFLP) and figures show that twice as many schools received an outstanding OFSTED rating after working with the Food for Life partnership. In addition, the uptake of free school meals in FFLP schools has risen by an average of 13%.

Could alkaline batteries be the future of electric vehicle power?
September 3, 2013 09:07 AM - MOVEFORWARD, Electric Forum

While lithium ion batteries are all the rage in the electric vehicle industry the US government has confirmed that researchers at Princeton University have been awarded a near $1 million grant to look at developing commercially viable alkaline batteries for the electric vehicle industry. This is part of the $36 million Department of Energy’s "Robust Affordable Next Generation Energy Storage Systems" program which was announced recently.

Rhode Island school sets an example in waste reduction
September 3, 2013 06:23 AM - KEVIN PROFT/ecoRI News

Sophia Academy is an all-girls middle school on Branch Avenue with less than a hundred students. During the 2011-12 school year, the academy’s 62 girls sent 10,000 Styrofoam lunch trays to the landfill. "We did some simple 'tray math' in class," said Alyssa Wood, science teacher at the school. Wood had her students multiply the 180-day school year by the 62 students enrolled at Sophia Academy, almost all of whom receive a free or reduced lunch. The students were amazed by the result, she said.

EV Tax incentives can't last forever
August 31, 2013 07:31 AM - MOVEFORWARD, Electric Forum

At this moment in time there seems to be no stopping the electric vehicle industry which is going from strength to strength. Sales are increasing, more automobile manufacturers are joining the party and motorists seem more at ease with electric vehicles there than they ever have been. While one of the reasons the industry has been kick started over the last couple of years is tax incentives and financial incentives some governments around the world, would you still buy an electric vehicle with no tax incentives today? The likelihood is that the vast majority of EV enthusiast would not buy an electric vehicle today without the tax incentives and financial attractions offered by governments around the world. This is an industry which is still very much in its infancy, the technology is still developing and perhaps many people are still yet to fully appreciate the impact which petrol/gasoline vehicles have upon the environment.

Hydrogen Fuel May Have a Bright Future, According to BMW
August 29, 2013 08:49 AM - MOVEFORWARD, via, Electric Forum

Electric vehicles are showing strong progress throughout the world. These vehicles have been winning support from governments and consumers alike, with consumers favoring these vehicles because of the fuel savings they represent. Many of the world's most prominent automakers that are interested in clean transpiration have devoted their efforts to developing conventional battery-electric vehicles. Germany automaker BMW is one such company. BMW has become a vocal advocate of clean transpiration and has recently launched its new electric vehicle, called the BMW i3. The automaker's interest is not restricted to battery-electrics, however, as BMW sees a promising future in hydrogen fuel.

Deadly effects of air pollution detailed in MIT study
August 29, 2013 06:02 AM - Roger Greenway, ENN

We know that pollution is bad for us, don't we? And we guess that living in areas with high levels of pollution is probably not good for our health, but we need to live near our job, and populated areas offer more employment opportunity, recreational and cultural opportunities and other advantages. But at what cost? And what can we do to reduce the levels of pollution without significantly changing the life styles we have all become accustomed to? Before we consider draconian changes, we would like to know just how bad it is. Researchers from MIT's Laboratory for Aviation and the Environment have come out with some sobering new data on air pollution's impact on Americans' health. The group tracked ground-level emissions from sources such as industrial smokestacks, vehicle tailpipes, marine and rail operations, and commercial and residential heating throughout the United States, and found that such air pollution causes about 200,000 early deaths each year. Emissions from road transportation are the most significant contributor, causing 53,000 premature deaths, followed closely by power generation, with 52,000.

Nike’s New Shanghai Store is Made From 100 Percent Trash
August 28, 2013 09:30 AM - Gina-Marie Cheeseman, Triple Pundit

Imagine a Nike store built 100 percent from trash. It would be designed to be very flexible. The suspension ceiling system would be designed to adapt to different exhibition and retail programs. Almost everything would be adjustable, which would free the floor plan for future installation and lighting conditions. No glue would be used to ensure that all materials can be 100 percent re-recycled. Now place the store in Shanghai, China where Miniwiz Sustainable Development Ltd., a Taiwanese architectural firm, completed just such a Nike concept store in July.

Turn ON the dark!
August 28, 2013 06:14 AM - Paul Bogard, Yale Environment360

As evidence mounts that excessive use of light is harming wildlife and adversely affecting human health, new initiatives in France and elsewhere are seeking to turn down the lights that flood an ever-growing part of the planet. Last month, France — including the City of Light — grew darker late at night as one of the world's most comprehensive lighting ordinances went into effect. From 1 a.m. to 7 a.m., shop lights are being turned off, and lights inside office buildings must be extinguished within an hour of workers leaving the premises. The lighting on France’s building facades cannot be turned on before sunset. Over the next two years, regulations restricting lighting on billboards will go into effect. These rules are designed to eventually cut carbon dioxide emissions by 250,000 tons per year, save the equivalent of the annual energy consumption of 750,000 households, and slash the country’s overall energy bill by 200 million Euros ($266 million).

Israeli Researcher Creates Drought-Resistant 'Superplants'
August 27, 2013 12:09 PM - Rachel Avraham & Eitan Press, NoCamels

Israeli researchers engineer drought resistant plants that could be a game-changer in the global food crisis, requiring less water, yielding bigger harvests, and staying fresh longer.

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