Alternative Energy

Environment News

The latest environmental news from our global warming and climate news sources.

Jul 26, 2016

Environment & Sustainability

Purifying Ethanol for Alcohol

Jul 26, 2016: We all know that ethanol is being used in fuels; however, scientists are now researching the possibilities of using it as alcohol for beverages, pharmaceuticals, and personal care products. Their research will focus on new technologies to purify the element because even though the ethanol used in fuel is yeast-fermented like beverage alcohol is, it […]…

Arctic Ice Woes

Jul 26, 2016: It is not certain if climate change is responsible for an ancient ice shelf that broke loose from Ellesmere Island. This is the largest breakup of Arctic ice in thirty years. The ‘Ayles Shelf’ was one of six existing ice shelves in Canada. The shelf broke way in less than one hour, though it is […]…

B.C. to be Energy Self-Sufficient

Jul 26, 2016: By the year 2025, the Province of British Columbia could create enough energy to be completely energy self-sufficient while also reducing greenhouse gas emissions to before year 2000 levels. This energy would be from renewable resources alone and would not cause any negative social or economic impact. They are calling this economy a ‘bio-electric’ economy […]…

French Satellite to Search for Other “Earths”

Jul 26, 2016: A satellite probe launched today in Kazakhstan will spend the next few years searching the skies for small, rocky planets orbiting stars in the “Goldilocks zone,” where light intensity is just right for supporting life. The search must be conducted from space, scientists say, because distortion from Earth’s atmosphere makes ground-based telescopes unable to see […]…

Back to the Future

Jul 26, 2016: Photo courtesy of the Lego Group Robotics is a relatively new industry. It is where computers were thirty years ago, according to a Scientific American article written by Bill Gates, published December 16, 2006. The robotics industry is now viewed as the computer industry once was. The field of robotics is a slow moving industry, […]…

Emissions Still Rising

Jul 25, 2016: Despite the knowledge of the effects greenhouse gases are having on the environment, the numbers continue to rise. Emissions of CO2, methane and nitrogen oxides must be reduced to create sustainable life on this planet. It is common knowledge that greenhouse gases are being blamed for global warming. The gases which are generated by the […]…

Google Going Solar

Jul 25, 2016: In the largest solar panel system ever constructed in the US, Google Inc. is planning to incorporate 9,212 solar panels to power 30% of their Mountain View, California operations. EI Solutions, part of Energy Innovations Inc., will install these solar panels on four acres worth of roof and these panels will also be used as […]…

990 Pound Colossal Squid caught in New Zealand

Jul 25, 2016: A crew of fishermen has cough a colossal 990 pound, 39 feet long squid in New Zealand. Such squid can grow up to 46 feet long and have been one of the most mysterious creatures of the ocean. If the estimates are correct the squid will be over 330 pounds heavier then any other squid […]…

Just in Time for Christmas, Scientists Discover Real “Virgin Birth”

Jul 25, 2016: Two Komodo dragons have apparently learned to live without a man.  Sungai, one of the two giant lizards, produced eggs that hatched four live young earlier this year.  The other, Flora, is waiting for her clutch of eight eggs to hatch.  Flora also produced three eggs that did not survive, allowing scientists to perform genetic […]…

Beetles Attacking Alaskan Forests

Jul 25, 2016: Due to global climate change, insects in Alaska are increasing in numbers and are causing damage to Alaskan forests. The warmer weather is encouraging insects to live longer and reproduce sooner while the weather damages trees making them less effective in fighting insect attacks. These beetles only attack the weaker trees, so these already weakened […]…

Bright yellow dome home completed for Mama Dolfine's orphanage in Kenya

Jul 25, 2016: Remember the German kid who took his heart and mind to Kenya to build a school for Mama Dolfine's orphanage? Against a variety of odds, he and his team have completed what is probably the first of its kind in the East African country - a bright yellow dome home with sleeping space for eight. As he finds his feet as a social entrepreneur, Torsten Kremser of A Better Me Foundation is discovering just how much money is required to build decent facilities. The dome home, a community hub and temporary...

Storybook Transylvania hotel built with clay and sand opens soon

Jul 25, 2016: Nestled in the foothills of the Carpathian Mountains in the heart of Transylvania, a tiny Romanian town is now home to an incredible fairytale come true in the form of a hotel built from clay and sand. http://www.treehugger.com/travel/transylvanian-hobbit-hotel-built-out-clay-and-sand.html The hotel’s Romanian name is Castelul de Lut Valea Zanelor, which translates to “Clay Castle of the Valley of the Fairies” in English, an absolutely fitting moniker for these ancient architectural accommodations....

Norway to build world's first floating underwater traffic tunnels

Jul 25, 2016: An ambitious new plan in Norway would install a series of "submerged floating bridges" to help travelers easily cross the nation's many fjords. At present, the only way to travel across the bodies of water involves taking a series of ferries, an inconvenient and time-consuming process. Each of the submerged bridges could consist of a large tube suspended under around 100 feet of water, and will be wide enough for two lanes of traffic. Each submerged bridge would be held up by pontoons...

This Russian man just rode a hot air balloon around the world in 11 days

Jul 25, 2016: Russian balloonist Fedor Konyukhov has set a new world record for the fastest hot air balloon trip around the world. https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2016/jul/24/russian-adventurer-fedor-konyukhov-breaks-record-for-flying-solo-around-the-world The 11-day journey, which began on July 12, took the 64-year-old adventurer from Australia, over New Zealand, across the Pacific Ocean, South America, the Cape of Good Hope, and the Southern Ocean. Upon landing near his starting point on Saturday,...

New graphene super batteries charge up in seconds and last virtually forever

Jul 25, 2016: With the aid of one of the strongest materials on Earth, a researcher at Australia’s Swinburne University has created a battery that charges up super fast and can be used over and over and over again, without losing efficiency. Researcher Han Lin developed the battery using a form of carbon called graphene, which is commonly heralded as one of the strongest materials on the planet. The new supercapacitor addresses many of the shortcomings of traditional lithium ion batteries, beating them in charging...

Penda unveils interlocked double-helix bridge for the Beijing Winter Olympics

Jul 25, 2016: Penda's latest bridge design features a series of double-helix arches inspired by the rings of the Olympic Games. The San Shan Bridge would span the Giu River outside Beijing, China just in time for the 2022 Winter Olympics to be hosted there. Penda’s design concept draws from the elliptical, connected rings that represent the Games, as well as the five major regions of the world that participate in the competitions. The architecture studio, based in Beijing and Vienna, proposed this...

First solar-powered, net-zero apartment building in Los Angeles opens its doors

Jul 25, 2016: Hanover Olympic is the first building to include net-zero, solar-powered apartments for the eco-conscious renting community in Los Angeles. Ten rooftop solar panels dedicated to each of the 20 Eco-Apartments provide solar energy directly to tenants, cutting their electricity bills by around $100 per month. Any excess energy produced by a total of 220 solar panels is fed into the grid for nighttime use. The eco-conscious project was developed by Hanover Company, developer and manager of high quality...

New Zealand is exterminating all rats and non-native predators

Jul 25, 2016: Related: Highly invasive New Guinea flatworms spotted in the U.S. for the first time Via The Guardian Images via Andrew on Flickr and Wikimedia Commons…

Life-saving Classon bike helmet has built-in cameras and turn signals

Jul 25, 2016: Related: Jeff Woolf’s Folding Bike Helmet Could Revolutionize Cycling Safety + Classon Helmut Kickstarter…

Uncontained sand fire forces thousands of California residents to flee their homes

Jul 25, 2016: Wildfires in southern California are once again forcing residents to evacuate their homes, with more than 18 homes reportedly destroyed so far in the Santa Clarita Valley in Los Angeles county. The Sand Fire, as it has been dubbed, is currently only 10 percent contained, according to local fire authorities, and still poses a threat to thousands of homes in the area. Government officials had originally planned to allow residents to re-enter their homes over the weekend, but shifting winds caused the...

Romanian architects turn a dirty, dingy garage into their dream office

Jul 25, 2016: Related: Before and After: Brisbane Church Becomes Beautiful Pitched-Roof Home…

Walmart introduces line of ugly fruit to combat food waste

Jul 25, 2016: The largest grocer in America is recognizing that beauty is only skin deep, even when it comes to “ugly” fruits and vegetables. Walmart will be rolling out a line of imperfect apples, aptly named “I’m Perfect,” in 300 select Florida stores. These weather-dented fruits are just as nutritious as their more beautiful counterparts and will receive their well-deserved spot at the table, instead of a landfill. Food waste is a notorious problem in developed countries and the public’s...

World’s only whaling factory ship returns to Japan from North Pacific

Jul 25, 2016: The world’s only whaling factory ship has returned to Japan after two months of commercial whaling in the North Pacific disguised as science, capturing 90 sei whales and 25 Bryde’s whales.A Bryde's whale (Balaenoptera edeni) feeds on small fish in the Pacific Ocean, 4 September 2015.In the bad old days of full scale commercial whaling I used to sit helplessly in the back of IWC meetings, watching as quotas for thousands of whales, including endangered ones, were voted through despite scientific findings. Public opposition was blunted by reducing the quotas. “We are making sacrifices to protect the whales,” said the whalers, and bought themselves a few more years. But it made no difference to the catch.The quotas set…

Stylish Shanghai eatery promotes the goodness of their food with a greenhouse-like design

Jul 25, 2016: Located on the Tongji University campus, the chic 甘其食BAOBAO restaurant places the open kitchen within a greenhouse-like structure, giving patrons a full view of the baozi-making process through glazed windows. The 62-square-meter space is filled with natural light and brings the campus’ leafy surroundings indoors through full-height windows and the addition of indoor plants and green tiles. Hanging bulb lights illuminate the interior and complement the minimalist vibe of the timber house-like...

San Francisco man singlehandedly revives a rare butterfly species in his own backyard

Jul 24, 2016: Related: Monarch butterfly populations are multiplying Via Vox Images via Wikimedia Commons and Tim Wong's Facebook…

7 gorgeous modern homes hidden inside stone ruins

Jul 24, 2016: House of Ruins by NRJA Latvian architects NRJA completed the House of Ruins, an award-winning contemporary home built inside the ruins of a 19th century Latvian stone barn. In addition to the beautiful contrast they provide, the stone and brick walls…

Spectacular green-roofed modular Tangier Bay Housing offers enviable views of the Atlantic

Jul 24, 2016: The buildings, made up of four modular prefab units are equipped with loggias and terraces which have several functions-they provide beautiful views of the ocean, facilitate natural ventilation and allow natural lighting to reach the most remote corners…

Multi Level DIY Saunalautta Raft Boasts its Own Private Sauna - and You Can Rent it!

Jul 24, 2016: Finland has a deeply-embedded sauna culture; so much so, in fact, that there are two million saunas in a country that has a population of just 5.3 million people. That's why it makes perfect sense for this particular vessel to be equipped with a room that…

Greenpeace identifies brands that are still polluting oceans with microbeads

Jul 24, 2016: Microbeads are wrecking havoc on our oceans. Commonly used as an exfoliant in facial scrubs and shower gel, these tiny pieces of plastic get washed down the drain and often end up in the bellies of fish and other marine life. Despite widespread outcry against the use of microbeads, many brands that allegedly pledged to uphold a microbead ban have fallen disappointedly short, Greenpeace reports in a recent study. Click through to learn which brands are still polluting oceans with the tiny pieces of...

Smart space-saving design transforms a tiny apartment in Taipei into an upscale home

Jul 23, 2016: Skyrocketing housing prices in Taipei have forced young homeowners into increasingly smaller houses. Like most small apartments in the city, the property the client purchased already came with a space-saving loft setup, however, the existing design made the apartment feel cramped, limited on storage, and unsuitable for entertaining guests. To maximize space and reinvent the feel of the apartment, the architects gutted the interior and inserted a new materials palette and hidden storage for a clean...

Upcycled Sony headphone wires create fashionable travel accessories

Jul 23, 2016: Usually, broken headphones just end up in the trash -- but a new collaboration between Sony and London fashion label Auria aims to change that. The two brands recently debuted the world's first line of travel accessories created from discarded headphone wires. The new collection features colorful passport covers, sunglasses cases, beach totes, smartphone cases, and even colorful flip-flops. READ MORE >…

Amazing Grove aquaponic ecosystem can grow you a salad every day

Jul 23, 2016: The Ecosystem uses a process called aquaponics, meaning that an aquarium of fish, plants and beneficial microbes work in symbiosis, and reliably provide the nutrients needed to grow herbs, small fruits and vegetables, including lettuces, peppers and tomatoes. Along with Grove’s own efficient LED lighting and leak-proof plumbing, the Ecosystem is paired with Grove OS, a web and mobile app that guides you through the process and allows you to monitor and control your system from your phone, among...

Adorable 'Grand Beedapest Hotel' creates an urban home for bees

Jul 23, 2016: Tea company Taylors of Harrogate teamed up with Kew Gardens + The Story of Bees Images via screenshot…

Taiwan builds gigantic Cinderella-inspired glass slipper to lure women to church

Jul 23, 2016: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ex2wpHS8LEw Located at Ocean View Park in the Budai Township, the “Cinderella High-Heel Church” is actually not a church at all. Despite its name, the glass slipper structure has no religious function. According to officials, the design was inspired by the tragic local story of a 24-year-old girl who suffered from Blackfoot disease and had to have both her legs amputated in the 1960s. She never wed and spent the rest of her life living at a church. Many other...

Lose yourself inside the Abyss Tables mesmerizing ocean depths

Jul 23, 2016: If the Abyss Table seems familiar, it’s probably because you’ve seen Duffy’s previous take on the gorgeous conversation piece. Unlike the first version however, the new Abyss Table is set atop a dark, four-sided base, includes lighting, and features two deep hollows that are even more pronounced and dramatic than those in the predecessor. The Duffy London design team spent a year perfecting the table in their London studio. Related: Balloons appear to suspend this glass table in mid-air “Duffy...

Adorable VW bus-inspired childrens bed looks like a dream come true

Jul 23, 2016: You don’t have to go on a road trip to bring the magic of the iconic VW camper van into your life. Portuguese company Circu unveiled Bun Van, a magical and miniature VW bus-inspired children’s bed that’s stunning in its design and amenities. Lined with wood veneer, the sky-blue limited edition bus bed features a sleeping area, sofa, television, desk, and even a mini bar. READ MORE>…

4 Things That Trump Got Wrong

Jul 22, 2016: This story was originally published by Grist and is reproduced here as part of the Climate Desk collaboration. Donald Trump's big speech at the Republican convention on Thursday didn't contain a single reference to the environment or climate change. It was vague on policy overall, focusing heavily on the primary themes of this year's Republican National Convention: bashing Hillary Clinton's character and fear-mongering over crime and national security, with a heavy dose of Islamophobia and xenophobia. There was, however, one section that dealt hazily with energy policy. Unfortunately, it was filled with falsehoods. Let's go through the four key assertions one at a time: "Excessive regulation is costing our country as much as $2 tril…

How corn sweat is making this weeks heat wave even worse

Jul 22, 2016: How ‘corn sweat’ is making this week’s heat wave even worse http://mashable.com/2016/07/21/corn-sweat-heat-wave-global-warming/ Right now, there is one burning question on your mind, and I know it’s “What the heck is corn sweat?” The week’s extreme heat wave is blistering the middle section of the United States, where excess moisture from corn fields will evaporate and add an unwanted boost of humidity (called ‘corn sweat’) to the already uncomfortable levels. With temperatures...

Australian couple builds a tiny home in three months for $320

Jul 22, 2016: over course of three months Liam Culbertson, Rachel Newby dumpsters by demolition sites, internet, got almost everything to build house for free Wanted to build a home with just hand tools, but ended up needing power drill 6 purchases: cement for foundations, steel bracing tape, screws for the roof, wood glue for the window frames, chains to hold windows open, hinges…

Grow Box home clad in weathering steel harmonizes with a plot full of Japanese maple trees

Jul 22, 2016: The Grow Box residence occupies a perfect place to allow the surrounding Japanese maple trees to remain intact. MERGE architects designed the house for an MIT University professor, his wife, and their young son as a cozy, elegant home that blurs the line between interior and exterior. The 1,975-square-foot house is located in Lexiton, Massachusetts, on a lot populated by over 40 different varieties of Japanese maple trees carefully cultivated by the owners. Considering its surroundings, the house...

Facebook's solar-powered drone took its first flight last month

Jul 22, 2016: The long-awaited first flight of Facebook’s solar-powered, internet-beaming drone http://newsroom.fb.com/news/2016/07/aquilas-first-flight-a-big-milestone-toward-connecting-billions-of-people/ went off without a hitch just a few weeks ago. Yesterday, the social media giant finally shared a video of Aquila’s first flight, which took place on June 28. The flight lasted 96 minutes and came just one month after the plane’s initial test flights, as Facebook scrambles to make up some of the lost...

Earthquake-resistant Torre Reforma skyscraper is built to last 2,500 years

Jul 22, 2016: Arup collaborated with L. Benjamin Romano Arquitects (LBRA) to design Torre Reforma’s eye-catching triangular form that rises as the second tallest building in the city. The striking appearance was achieved with pre-tensioned double-V hangers that support the glazed facade. Concrete poured in 70-centimeter increments show off striations and variations in color. To make the most of Torre Reforma’s stunning panoramic views, the architects created a column-free interior with soaring ceiling...

Flash charging technology to charge Geneva e-buses in 15 seconds

Jul 22, 2016: Related: Sweden opens one of the world's first electric roads…

Handcrafted timber pavilion celebrates British and Japanese craft traditions

Jul 22, 2016: Completed as part of the Kingston University Degree Show 2016, the Seminar House Pavilion combines traditional craftsmanship found in British and Japanese culture. The students drew inspiration from their study abroad trip to Nagano and Tokyo, where they toured a variety of Japanese buildings, from a 16th century timber castle to a self-built concrete house. Fujimori also gave talks on the “Red School,” a term he coined to describe a group of Japanese architects recognized for the handmade aspects...

These LEGO-like recycled plastic bricks create sturdy homes for just $5,200

Jul 22, 2016: Related: Aussie surfer designs prefab recycled cyclone-resistant homes Via Forbes Images via Conceptos Plásticos Facebook…

Net-zero Arc House shows how arches make tiny spaces feel bigger

Jul 22, 2016: The surprisingly spacious, net-zero Arc House demonstrates how arches can make a small space feel much larger. Designed in collaboration between Green Builder Media, Shelter Dynamics, Kitcheneering, and Align3D, the building combines the economy and simplicity of tiny house living with cutting edge building science. The Arc House comes in different sizes-from 400 to 500 square feet-and targets the next generation of home buyers who place great value on flexibility and affordability. It complies...

Hairy house stays cool in So Paulo with an amazing palm fiber facade

Jul 22, 2016: This "hairy" house in Sao Paulo, designed by Brazilian designers Fernando and Humberto Campana, is covered in palm fiber that protect the interior from excessive sunlight. Built for Zunino and Solange Ricoy, the designers' long-term clients, the house references Brazil's indigenous architecture, where piassava palm fiber were used to regulate indoor temperatures and protect people from the tropical heat. The four-story house is located in Sao Paulo's Jardim Paulista neighborhood. According to...

Obama targets 1 gigawatt of solar for lower income homes by 2020

Jul 22, 2016: The Obama Administration just announced…

Science: Eat All the Fat You Want

Jul 22, 2016: Many of us avoid fatty foods at all costs, worried, perhaps, that an extra helping of guacamole or a second peanut butter sandwich might quickly transform into extra padding around our bellies. But a new review paper published in the Annals of Internal Medicine this week shows that diets full of fat can actually be healthy for you—as long as it's the right kind of fat. In late 1970s, catalyzed by a fear of heart attacks, Americans flocked to low-fat diets. Scientists have since nailed down that saturated fat consumption is much more of a concern than a diet high in total fat. In the past decade, some health experts have instead extolled the benefits of the Mediterranean diet, a way of eating that's full of fresh produce, grains, and…

Keynsham Civic Center is a vibrant new public space for Bristol

Jul 22, 2016: The new Keynsham Civic Center and One Stop Shop in Bristol replaces several 1960s buildings and gives the site back to the city through the creation of new public spaces and amenities. The Center, designed by AHR Architects, is punctured by two new pedestrian streets thanks to which the redevelopment becomes an integral part of the pedestrian public realm. The complex occupies a large sloping site located within the town center, and makes it accessible to pedestrians. In addition to office spaces...