Alternative Energy

Environment News

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

Jun 29, 2017

Environment & Sustainability

Join BCSEA as the Administrator

Jun 29, 2017: Application Deadline: Wednesday, July 5, 2017 Thursday, June 29, 2017BCSEA is seeking applications for a full-time Administrator to oversee the daily administration and coordination of BCSEA’s virtual office, events, programs and Chapters. Reporting to the Executive Director, the successful candidate will contribute to the success of a BC-wide nonprofit society. Role Description: The successful candidate will have responsibility for: Office Management Administer virtual office using cloud service (file management, access administrator) Represent the organization as the first point of contact via phone and email Administer information and communication technology (social media accounts, w…

Vancouver on track to kill wasteful single-use packaging

Jun 29, 2017: Vancouver, Canada wants to become a zero-waste city - no easy feat for an area with over 600,000 people. But as part of its Greenest City Action Plan, the city is exploring options to limit single-use packaging, like all those coffee cups, paper towels, or foam take-out containers littering our landfills. For example, this summer they're launching a pilot program to allow restaurants to fill take-out orders in reusable containers brought by patrons. Related:…

We have just 3 years to ward off climate change - new report

Jun 29, 2017: The year 2020 could be a huge turning point for our planet. If we don't stop our carbon emissions from continuing to rise by that date, according to an April report from multiple institutions, we likely won't be able to meet the goals of the 2015 Paris Agreement. We only have three years left - but Mission 2020 laid out a six-step plan to show how we could meet perhaps the most pressing deadline in human history - regardless of who's in the White House. Related:…

Dwell Development's net-zero home in Seattle is packed with sustainable goodness

Jun 29, 2017: This 5-Star Built Green luxury home in Mount Baker features several sustainable elements, including a solar-ready roof, that make it net zero ready. The house, designed by JT Architecture for Dwell Development– Seattle's award-winning leader in sustainable home building– is perched on a peaceful hilltop in one of Seattle's oldest neighborhood and offers expansive views of the city. The design of the Mount Baker house is in line with the philosophy of Dwell Development and its net zero strategy...

Pollution cuts solar energy production by up to 35%

Jun 29, 2017: We may be sabotaging our efforts to generate clean energy. New research from a team led by Duke University found polluted air may be reducing our solar energy output - by 25 percent.

9 eco-friendly 'man caves' for dudes and dads to get away from it all

Jun 29, 2017: Giving devoted Dads a little space can go a long way. Some solitude, a place to tinker and build or read, and eco-friendly features make for inspiring and rejuvenating space, especially if he has a hand in building it himself. We’ve found 9 man caves, tiny homes, and cabins for when Dad needs a getaway (even if it’s just in the backyard). 1. Prefab, versatile backyard getaway The Backyard Room is only available in Australia at the moment, but, logistics aside, it’s the perfect solution for...

This green-roofed castle home in England is cooled by the ocean breeze

Jun 29, 2017: With its thick undulating walls and green roof, this villa in England translates the architecture of traditional Celtic fortifications into the language of sustainability. Tonkin Liu Architects designed Ness Point House as a castle-like structure that protects its occupants for the elements while achieving a high level of energy efficiency. The house occupies a cliff top site in Dover, South East England, and functions as an airtight shelter that utilizes passive and active sustainable design...

New map provides clues into 500-million-year mystery in Earth's past

Jun 29, 2017: 1,000 to 520 million years ago, Earth's climate was undergoing dramatic changes. From icy extremes in what some have termed Snowball Earth, to warmer conditions as an increase in oxygen led to the Cambrian explosion of biodiversity in life, it's a period of the planet's climate history we know little about. Scientists recently created the first map ever of plate tectonics during this time - and they say the map could help us learn about how plate tectonics influenced other Earth systems during this...

Kengo Kuma unveils nature-filled Eco-Luxury Hotel for Paris

Jun 29, 2017: Travelers to Paris can soon immerse themselves in a paradise of luxury and greenery at the Kengo Kuma-designed Eco-Luxury Hotel. Located on the banks of the River Seine in the Rive Gauche neighborhood, the plant-covered Eco-Luxury Hotel will deliver a breath of fresh air to Paris’ dense urban fabric. The building will be built of timber—a favorite material of Kuma—and punctuated with greenery that grows along the balconies, rooftops, interior, and ground level. Set along the Avenue...

Amazing Dutch Windwheel is a green energy generator you can live in

Jun 29, 2017: The iconic Dutch windmill is getting a high-tech makeover with a big eco-friendly boost. Windwheel Corporation unveiled today their new designs for the Dutch Windwheel, a circular building set on the water that harnesses clean energy and houses private residences as well as public venues. Created for Rotterdam, the futuristic Dutch Windwheel aims to transform the city skyline and provide an eye-catching landmark that’ll serve as the new benchmark for healthy, sustainable design. First...

LAST CHANCE: Score $1150 of solar outdoor lighting in our summer giveaway

Jun 28, 2017: Now that spring is in full swing, we're spending as much time as possible outdoors - and as longer days give way to warmer nights, the benefits of solar-powered lighting really start to shine. Whether you're decking out your patio for an evening BBQ or setting up camp in the middle of the woods, solar lights keep the festivities going long after dark without relying on the grid. If you'd like to pick up some quality lamps, you're in luck - we've teamed up with Deelat to offer you a shot at winning...

MoMA PS1 unveils futuristic solar canopy that reacts to heat, sunlight, and movement

Jun 28, 2017: MoMA PS1 just completed one of its most experimental and coolest installations to date. The Long Island City-based contemporary art museum wrapped up construction on Lumen, an immersive and interactive installation made with solar-active canopies that glow at night. Designed by Jenny Sabin Studio, Lumen reacts like a living entity to light, heat, and movement, creating different engaging environments from day to night. Set to open to the public Thursday, June 29, Lumen will be on view...

NASA's supersonic X-plane passes preliminary design review

Jun 28, 2017: The return of civilian supersonic passenger travel just became a big step closer to reality with NASA's announcement that the space agency has completed the preliminary design review (PDR) of its Quiet Supersonic Transport or QueSST aircraft design. The milestone clears the way for design and construction of the Low Boom Flight Demonstration (LBFD) experimental airplane, otherwise known as an X-plane.  …

Living green bridge keeps wildlife safe from a busy highway

Jun 28, 2017: This proposal for a bridge recreates the natural connection between two mountain peaks near Seoul in Korea. Blending seamlessly into its surroundings, the bridge provides safe passage for wild animals and references the traditional Korean garden pavilion. The structure, designed by team KILD –architects Ivane Ksnelashvili, Petras Išora and Ona Lozuraitytė– received first prize at the Yang Jagogae Eco-Bridge Design Competition. The bridge acts as an extension of two existing mountain slopes...

Trump's EPA moves to kill Obama's Clean Water Rule

Jun 28, 2017: In the battle of Trump vs the environment, the environment has taken a serious blow after regulations giving the federal government better ability to protect out precious streams and wetlands were essentially killed yesteray. Trump's EPA took the first step in repealing the Clean Water Rule set into motion by Obama in 2015. The rule would have protected the drinking water of 1 in 3 Americans. Oil ally Scott Pruitt, head of the EPA, said: "We are taking significant action to return power...

Ethereal bubble building pops up in the middle of a Dutch forest

Jun 28, 2017: Berlin-based collective Plastique Fantastique placed a monumental inflatable pavilion amidst a dense forest in the Netherlands. Named Loud Shadows, the transparent structure offers a space for a variety of performances taking place on the island of Terschelling during the Oerol Festival in June. Loud Shadows was conceived as a joint project of Plastique Fantastique, Kate Moore, The Soltz, and LeineRoebana. It references the name of the festival, which means "everywhere' in Dutch, and the intent...

ThyssenKrupp unveils world's first cable-free, horizontal-vertical elevator

Jun 28, 2017: The elevator was invented more than 160 years ago, and engineering firm ThyssenKrupp evidently thinks it's time to shake things up a bit. They've designed the MULTI system: a rope-less horizontal-vertical elevator that's drawn comparisons to the crazy sideways-moving elevator in Willy Wonka. And now they've brought their designs from paper into the real world at an 807 feet high test tower in Rottweil, Germany. Related:…

California adds Monsantos glyphosate to list of chemicals known to cause cancer

Jun 28, 2017: Ever since the World Health Organization (WHO) deemed Monsanto’s glyphosate — a key ingredient in its Roundup weed killer — to be "probably carcinogenic” in 2015, the agrochemical giant has fought back with a vengeance. For instance, after California’s Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) attempted to add glyphosate to its list of cancer-causing chemicals last year, the corporation sued the organization. Now, after rounds of legal battle, the branch of California’s...

Pruitt met with Dow Chemical CEO before denying pesticide ban

Jun 28, 2017: If anyone is still hoping the Donald Trump administration will put the environment before industries, new reports kill that hope. Back in March the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) decided they wouldn't ban the pesticide chlorpyrifos, a big money-maker for Dow Chemical Related: Trump saved a toxic pesticide - and then it poisoned a bunch of farmworkers…

ESA unveils magnetic space tug to corral broken satellites drifting in space

Jun 28, 2017: Japan's experiment to clean up space debris earlier this year may have ended in failure, but the world's space agencies haven't given up on the problem yet. The European Space Agency (ESA) recently proposed using a magnetic space tug to sweep space clean. The method could potentially remove entire broken satellites from space. Related: Japan's experimental mission to clean up space junk ends in failure…

This high school in California embodies sustainability at every possible level

Jun 28, 2017: The new Center for Environmental Studies (CES) at Bishop O’Dowd high school in California is a laboratory classroom designed as a flexible indoor/outdoor learning environment. Siegel & Strain Architects designed the LEED Platinum and a Zero Net Energy certified building to support sustainability at every level while providing a flexible space for learning. The new facility is located at Bishop O’Dowd, a college preparatory high school in the Oakland Hills. Its goal is to prepare students...

Brand new island sprouts off the North Carolina coast

Jun 28, 2017: In an age of rising sea levels and shore erosion, the sudden appearance of new coastal land can encourage and inspire. Along North Carolina's Cape Hatteras National Seashore, a brand new island has emerged from the sea like a plant sprouting from a seed.

COBE transforms former grain silo into swanky apartments in Copenhagen

Jun 28, 2017: At first glance, it’s hard to imagine that there’s anything old about this swanky new high-rise in Copenhagen. But behind its modern steel facade is the skeleton of a 17-story former grain silo, the largest industrial building in the city’s Nordhavn (North Harbor), that’s been transformed into a modern apartment block. Designed by COBE, the adaptive reuse project transforms the silo into new residences with an industrial chic interior that pays homage to the building’s roots. The...

China breaks ground on first Forest City that fights air pollution

Jun 27, 2017: A pollution-fighting green city unlike any before is springing to life in China. Designed by Stefano Boeri Architetti, the first “Forest City” is now under construction Liuzhou, Guangxi Province. The futuristic city will use renewable energy for self sufficiency and be blanketed in almost 1 million plants and 40,000 trees—a sea of greenery capable of absorbing nearly 10,000 tons of carbon dioxide and 57 tons of pollutants annually. Commissioned by Liuzhou Municipality Urban Planning...

The world's most efficient 5-seater car is powered entirely by the sun

Jun 27, 2017: Forget electric vehicles, a team of students at Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e) recently developed a solar car for five occupants that is completely powered by the sun. Called Stella Vie, the vehicle stands apart because it is designed to carry five occupants and is more efficient than all solar cars before it. Even with fewer solar panels on its roof, the car is capable of a range of about 1,000 kilometers on a warm, summer day in The Netherlands. Stella Vie was named in...

These amazing zero-waste buildings were grown from mushrooms

Jun 27, 2017: Could the buildings of the future be grown instead of built? Brunel University student Aleksi Vesaluoma has found a way to grow living structures using mushroom mycelium. Vesaluoma worked with architecture firm Astudio on her Grown Structures, which offer a waste-free, organic alternative to conventional construction materials.

Ultralight NAWA sculpture continually changes its appearance throughout the day

Jun 27, 2017: Bionics, art, and public space merge in NAWA, a striking sculpture designed by Oskar Zięta of Zieta Prozessdesign for the European Capital of Culture 2016 celebrations. Created to match the celebrations’ slogan of “metamorphoses of culture,” this ultralight mirrored installation changes it appearance, which differs depending on where viewers stand and the time of day. The unveiling of the avante-garde sculpture on Daliowa Island of Wrocław in western Poland will take place on June 30, 2017. Inspired...

Chinese province runs entirely on renewable energy for 7 days

Jun 27, 2017: A province in China just showed it is indeed possible to source all of our power from renewable energy. Qinghai Province ran solely on solar, wind, and hydropower for a week. The province, which is home to over five million people, used up the amount of electricity that 535,000 tons of coal could have generated in those seven days - without all the air-polluting carbon emissions.

Protecting the Earth knows no borders - not in Hungary, not anywhere

Jun 27, 2017: Three people, dressed in protective clothing, are standing on the bank of the Szamos River that separates Hungary from Romania. A Hungarian, a Romanian and a Slovak. It’s 30ºC. The air isn’t moving, sweat drips down their backs. But the chemical sampling must be carried out. Locals have signaled that there is something wrong with the river, yet the authorities are slow and reluctant to react. Greenpeace has been called in because we have the technology and scientific know-how to conduct water tests in a professional credible way.Pollution of the Szamos River is just one example of the kind of cross-border environmental disasters that an international organisation like Greenpeace is tackling every day. But as a new law comes…

Scientists discover water has not one, but two liquid phases

Jun 27, 2017: You know water exists as a solid, liquid, and gas. But you're wrong about that, according to an international team of 19 scientists. They found out liquid water actually has two phases - low and high density - and can fluctuate between them. While providing new information, the new research reminds us how much we still don't know about the substance covering over 70 percent of the planet. Related:…

Washington's new Tukwila Library is topped with a carbon-negative green roof

Jun 27, 2017: Architecture firm Perkins+Will announced the completion of their Tukwila Library in King County– a 10,000-square-foot building inspired by the city's diverse community where over 80 different world languages are spoken. The new library combines a variety of public spaces and sustainable design strategies, including a green roof with a negative-carbon footprint. The library, built for the King County Library System, is located 20 minutes south of Seattle in Tukwila, Washington. It features a...

Gulf of Mexicos dead zone in 2017 could be the largest on record

Jun 27, 2017: When humans abuse the environment and dump nitrate-and phosphorous-heavy pollutants into rivers, lakes, ponds and the sea, oxygen-deprived “dead zones” form. This is exactly what has occurred in the Gulf of Mexico and is leading to the largest algae bloom in the world forming. Roughly the size of Connecticut, the substantial “dead zone” is the wake-up call consumers need to change their habits — hopefully before it is too late. https://youtu.be/5cj0JK_sipg Algae blooms, such...

This tiny off-grid cabin in the UK is clad with reclaimed slate tiles

Jun 27, 2017: This rustic writer's retreat in UK's Snowdonia National Park has carefully arranged openings that capture small vignettes and views of the gorgeous windswept hills and grazing pastures of Mid Wales. Architecture studio TRIAS covered the Slate Cabin with local stone and slate tiles reclaimed from nearby farms, basing their design around local and historically significant materials. The cabin is set in a lush green valley surrounded by hills and pastures of the Snowdonia National Park. The structure...

Tipping points accelerated climate change in the last Ice Age, new research shows

Jun 27, 2017: Could environmental tipping points really influence the Earth's climate all that much? A new study from an international team of four scientists says yes. Their study is the first to show that in our planet's past, gradual changes in carbon dioxide concentrations hit tipping points that then set off temperature spikes of as much as 10 degrees Celsius in only a few decades. Related:…

South Africas first Green Star museum is an eco-friendly literary treasure

Jun 27, 2017: One of South Africa’s literary treasures has transformed into an eco-friendly gem. Designed by Intsika Architects, the National English Literary Museum is the first five-star Green Star-certified Public & Education building in the country. Located in the university town of Grahamstown in the Eastern Cape, this eco-friendly museum meets impressive energy and water-saving targets, and also met social objectives through local job creation in construction. The 10,812-square-meter National...

5 ways tech companies are making your devices die too soon

Jun 27, 2017: Imagine a world where your electronic gadgets would last, or a place where your devices could be easily repaired. Imagine all the money saved!  ...But we know that world is purely imaginary, because unfortunately, the growing trend among major IT brands is to make our phones and other devices more difficult to repair and maintain.Greenpeace in partnership with US-based company iFixit, has just assessed over 40 of the most popular smartphones, tablets and laptops from the past two years, to see how easily companies are allowing consumers the access to repair or make spare parts and repair manuals available.This is what we found:1. Devices are purposefully made difficult to repair and maintainReplacing memory or upgrading the hard drive…

100% Renewable Energy by 2050

Jun 26, 2017: A Pathway for Saanich and growing global movementThomas Hackney, BCSEA Policy Director & Victoria Chapter Co-chair Monday, June 26, 2017Early in 2016, the District of Saanich asked BCSEA’s Victoria Chapter to outline a pathway for Saanich to move to 100% Renewable Energy by 2050. BCSEA presented its analysis to the public at its Big Town Hall in October 2016 and its Pathway report to Saanich Council in March 2017. 100% RE by 2050 is growing around the world. Vancouver committed to this target in 2015, as did Victoria in August 2016. Will Saanich be the next to commit? The Victoria Chapter is working towards 100% RE by 2050 targets for all the municipalities on southern Vancouver…

100% Renewable Energy by 2050

Jun 26, 2017: A Pathway for Saanich and growing global movementThomas Hackney, BCSEA Policy Director & Victoria Chapter Co-chair Monday, June 26, 2017Early in 2016, the District of Saanich asked BCSEA’s Victoria Chapter to outline a pathway for Saanich to move to 100% Renewable Energy by 2050. BCSEA presented its analysis to the public at its Big Town Hall in October 2016 and its Pathway report to Saanich Council in March 2017. 100% RE by 2050 is growing around the world. Vancouver committed to this target in 2015, as did Victoria in August 2016. Will Saanich be the next to commit? The Victoria Chapter is working towards 100% RE by 2050 targets for all the municipalities on southern Vancouver…

This urban tree cleans as much polluted air as an entire forest

Jun 26, 2017: Air pollution might be invisible, but it results in 7 million premature deaths each year, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). To scrub the air of harmful particulates, “CityTree” installations have been placed in locations such as Oslo, Paris, Brussels and Hong Kong. In addition to being aesthetically pleasing, the invention is said to have the same environmental impact as 275 urban trees. Developed by Berlin-based Green City Solutions, the CityTree is under 4 meters...

This amazing farm in a box can pop up on any city street

Jun 26, 2017: Living in the city can make it difficult to get fresh produce from local farms. Over the past decade, urban farming and community gardening have grown in popularity, with small gardens sprouting on top of skyscrapers. Finnish enterprise Exsilio Oy aims to make it as simple as possible for people to grow their own produce with EkoFARMER farming modules. EkoFarmer is a 13-meter long farming module that can be installed anywhere and requires only access to water and electricity outlets. Containing...

The threatened Great Barrier Reef is estimated to be worth $42 billion

Jun 26, 2017: Due to unsustainable habits which are propelling climate change, the Great Barrier Reef — which is the largest coral reef in the world — is under immense environmental stress. As water temperatures rise, the coral expels algae living within, causing it to turn ghostly white (a phenomenon known as coral bleaching). Though consumers everywhere are changing their habits to reduce greenhouse emissions and prevent global warming from worsening, no one knows for sure how long it will take — or even...

Cities rebel against Trump by posting climate data his EPA took down

Jun 26, 2017: Around two months ago the Environmental Protection Agency under President Donald Trump took down climate change information that had been on their website. American cities decided they didn't have to live with that lack of data. Around 14 cities have reposted the archived information on their own websites - including major urban areas like Boston, Atlanta, and Houston. Related: Trump to purge climate change from federal government…

Volkswagen may offer more electric cars than any other brand

Jun 26, 2017: Now that the "dieselgate" scandal is almost over, VW needs to revamp its image and find a new way to appeal to the "green" crowd. Diesel vehicles are now a dirty word, so VW is doubling down on another technology - electric cars. Over the past year VW has unveiled three new electric concept cars, which are a preview of its new family of electric cars, but a leaked powerpoint slide now reveals that VW is planning even more. VW recently revealed its electric car plans during a presentation, which...

Macron and Schwarzenegger throw shade at Donald Trump in new climate video

Jun 26, 2017: Donald Trump's campaign slogan "Make America Great Again" has become infamous - casually writing off the other 7.2 billion or so people on the planet. But recently elected French president Emmanuel Macron is calling on Earth's inhabitants to Make the Planet Great Again - and he got together with Trump foe Arnold Schwarzenegger to throw a little shade at America's president. Related:…

This green-roofed cultural center in Sweden doubles as a vibrant public square

Jun 26, 2017: This green-roofed cultural center in Gothenburg doubles as a vibrant public square. The new Culture House, designed by Sweco Architects, grows like an outcrop from the existing hill and blends with the square to form a unified welcoming space. It was chosen as the winning proposal at the competition for the design of the new culture house in Bergsjön. The project aims to combine different functions, weaving storytelling, knowledge and recreation together like a "basket of possibilities". Its...

Biodegradable PawPods: a better way to bury your pet

Jun 26, 2017: Burying a beloved pet is never easy. But PawPods offers a thoughtful, biodegradable option with their bamboo and rice husk pet urns.

Brilliant woodland pavilion pushes the envelope of timber in tension

Jun 26, 2017: Architectural Association students of the Design & Make program are pushing the envelope on lightweight timber construction. In the program’s most recent annual project, students completed the Sawmill Shelter, an experimental pavilion that uses tension to hold the structure together and create a sturdy roof resistant to snow loads and wind uplifts. Located in Hooke Park of Dorset, England, the sculptural structure’s roof was built from locally sourced Western Red Cedar. The Sawmill...

Enchanting tiny home combines rustic French charm and modern luxury

Jun 23, 2017: French rustic charms and modern luxuries come together in this beautiful tiny home on wheels. France’s tiny house company Baluchon has outdone themselves again in their latest build called the Ostara, a tiny home built on a six-meter trailer. Currently located near a horse farm in Toulouse, the light-filled timber abode looks surprisingly spacious despite its small size and sleeps two in a loft bedroom. Custom built for clients Nathalie and Sebastien, Ostara was named after the stable...

Eviation Aircraft unveils all-electric plane with 600-mile range

Jun 23, 2017: Though flying via airplane is a fast and fun way to travel, it is one of the least environmentally-friendly methods to do so. That may soon change, however, as Eviation Aircraft (a member of NASA’s on-demand mobility program) recently unveiled the first prototype of an all-electric aircraft that has a range of up to 600 miles (965 km). Presented at the 52nd International Paris Air Show, the prototype will be ready to move into certification and commercialization as soon as next year. CEO...

Doctors warn cities that LED street lights can cause serious health issues

Jun 23, 2017: Many cities have shifted to LED lights in a bid to be more efficient, but LED lights have another cost, and it comes at our health. This week, the American Medical Association issued an official statement, saying that cities need to consider resident's health when installing the bright lighting because it can cause damage to our sight and disrupt our circadian rhythms. Think of it as living with a bunch of giant computer screens blaring around your neighborhood, and you get the idea.