From the Web: Germany Breaks Record, Gets 85% Of Electricity From Renewables

 

 

 

 

 

 

On April 30, Germany established a new national record for renewable energy use. Part of that day (during the long May 1 weekend), 85% of all the electricity consumed in Germany was being produced from renewables such as wind, solar, biomass, and hydroelectric power. Patrick Graichen of Agora Energiewende Initiative says a combination of breezy and sunny weather in the north and warm weather in the south saw Germany’s May 1 holiday weekend powered almost exclusively by renewable resources.

Learn more (via Clean Technica) >>

From the Web: Light-powered device purifies air and generates clean energy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5.5 million people died prematurely because of air pollution back in 2013 – and half of those people lived in India or China. Air pollution continues to plague people around the world today, but now researchers from KU Leuven and the University of Antwerp have found a way to transform that dirty air into energy. They designed an air purifying device able to fit in a person’s hand that only needs light to work.

The groundbreaking device houses two small chambers divided by a membrane. In one chamber air is purified; in the other hydrogen gas is generated. Nanomaterials in the device act as catalysts to both break down pollution and produce the gas. Scientist Sammy Verbruggen of both institutions, who’s lead author on a study published recently about the device in ChemSusChem, said the hydrogen gas can be stored and used as fuel in the future.

Learn more (via inhabitant) >>

From the Web: In Search of Sustainable Leadership: An Opportunity Mindset

Our search for sustainable leadership has shown how defining vision, values and purpose helps organizations to adapt seamlessly to change. This brings competitive advantage that grows stronger with each challenge, built on courage, enthusiasm and the passion of the human spirit. But before we can define an inspiring vision, we first need to choose a way forward. We will do that better if we first identify a range of options.

Here’s how sustainable leaders are able to identify more opportunities to move forward during times of change.

Learn more (via Sustainable Brands) >>

From the Web: Higher, cheaper, sleeker: wind turbines of the future

With the UK government ending subsidies for onshore wind and the Trump administration pushing for a return to coal, you might think the wind power revolution had run out of puff.

Far from it.

The cost of energy from offshore wind in Britain has fallen by a third since 2012, and wind accounts for over 40% of new capacity in the US, representing an annual investment of $13 billion. Now next-generation wind technologies promise to make wind energy safer and more affordable – if they can make the difficult jump from research prototypes to commercial products.

Learn more (via The Guardian) >>

From the Web: UK tests cheaper, longer-lasting roads made with recycled plastic

Around 24.8 million miles of roads crisscross the surface of Earth. And hundreds of millions of barrels of oil have been used to build them. Engineer Toby McCartney has come up with a solution to that waste of natural resources and the growing plastic pollution problem. His company, Scotland-based MacRebur, lays roads that are as much as 60 percent stronger than regular asphalt roads and last around 10 times longer – and they’re made with recycled plastic.

Learn more (via inhabitat) >>

From the Web: Timberland transforms recycled plastic bottles into shoes, bags

For its latest collection, Timberland is turning to the bottle—the plastic bottle, that is. The outdoor-wear maker has teamed up with Thread, a Pittsburgh, Penn.-based manufacturer of sustainable fabrics, to transform plastic bottles from the streets and canals of Haiti into a dapper collection of footwear, bags, and T-shirts. Not only does the partnership turn an ecological blight into a resource but it also creates social value in the form of cleaner neighborhoods and job opportunities for one of the planet’s poorest nations.

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From the Web: Is employee activism on sustainability nearing a tipping point?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A new survey shows that nearly two-thirds of those who work for large U.S. corporations want their employers to actively take on environmental and social issues.

The survey — of a random selection of nearly 1,300 U.S. employees of Fortune 1000 companies — found strong support for employer environmental and social action across age, gender, region, employment level, ethnicity, income, company size and other factors. There’s no real difference between red and blue states.

 

Learn more (via GreenBiz) >>

From the Web: Apple announces goal to make products from 100% recycled materials

The electronics industry is notoriously harsh on the planet. Around 60 million metric tons of e-waste end up in landfills each year, and children are sometimes put to work to mine necessary rare earth elements. Technology giant Apple aims to fix these issues in their company. They recently announced plans to use 100 percent recycled materials in all of their devices.

Apple’s aims are ambitious. In addition to using only recycled materials, the company also wants 100 percent of their supply chain to run entirely on renewable energy. They want their packaging to be made of 100 percent responsibly sourced and recycled paper. And they want to stop mining the earth.

Learn more (via inhabitat) >>

From the Web: China Moves To Increase Number Of Electric Vehicles On Its Roads

“China’s been pushing very aggressively to move to a greater mix of electrified vehicles,” says Trevor Worthington, vice president of product development at Ford Motor Co. in Shanghai.

The U.S. automaker, which sold 1.3 million cars in China last year, has announced it will electrify 70 percent of its vehicles in China by 2025. This comes as Beijing is calling on auto manufacturers to sell more electric vehicles to reduce vehicle emissions, as well as China’s dependence on foreign oil.

By early next year, Beijing will require automakers in China to ensure that at least 8 percent of all vehicles they manufacture are electric. The country had more than 1 million electric vehicles in 2016 — an 87 percent increase over the previous year. Vehicles range in price from $6,000 to $200,000 (for the most expensive Tesla model).

Learn more (via npr.org) >>

From the Web: World’s first mobile recycling plant turns trash into tiles

Wherever it goes, TRASHPRESSO takes local waste and recycles it into tiles for use in architecture. The mobile recycling plant is in a 40-foot container platform that a trailer truck can transport.

The plant opens up similar to how a satellite unpacks in orbit. It can recycle plastic and fabric waste, running on solar power. Garbage is “washed, shredded, melted, and molded” into architectural tiles, and the water to clean the trash is reused in the process.

Learn more (via inhabitat) >>