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News and Current Events > Good news for a change!

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message 1: by Clare (new)

Clare O'Beara | 5786 comments Mod
Please post positive developments about cleaning up pollution or powering cities sustainably.

Here's a link to sunglasses and skateboards (called the Minnow) made from recycling fishing nets in Chile. The nets are taken from small communities who have no way to recycle them and would otherwise be dumping broken gear. 10% of all ocean plastic is fishing gear.

As we are told that the remaking process has been developed to use little water and produce no wastes, and it makes a durable product or two, this has to be good.

http://ecowatch.com/2016/02/28/sungla...


message 2: by Clare (new)

Clare O'Beara | 5786 comments Mod
http://ecowatch.com/2016/03/01/larges...

Solar farm on London reservoir.


message 3: by Jimmy (new)

Jimmy | 1572 comments Mod
These are great. Thanks, Clare.


message 4: by Clare (new)

Clare O'Beara | 5786 comments Mod
Welcome!
I get tired of only bad news. Hope others can post more good ideas.


message 5: by Robert (new)

Robert John (rjbonney) | 54 comments Mod
I agree completely Clare. We can't just wring our hands. We need to continue sharing strategies to deal with the situation at hand, even when it feels overwhelming. While it can be hard to muster enthusiasm, once I take positive action, as you have Clare by showing us some ways to direct our energy, I get on a roll! Meatless Mondays is one of my favorites. I've gotten my father (with twenty sets of antlers on his basement wall), mother and some friends to go meatless once a week. Other things have taken precedence for me recently but I plan to return to promoting Meatless Mondays hopefully soon. http://www.meatlessmonday.com/about-u...


message 6: by Clare (new)

Clare O'Beara | 5786 comments Mod
Sounds very positive, Rob.
As long as the alternative choice is wise, this could improve the health of your loved ones as well as being lighter on the environment. Even planning meals for the once a week meatless day will lead many people to improve their diets and think about food choices.


message 7: by David (new)

David M. | 13 comments Here's a recent post I found about using agricultural waste to make sodium-ion batteries, a safer and greener alternative to lithium-ion batteries. Anything that uses one problem (in this case waste) to solve another (in this case cheap energy storage) is a positive development. This one is not alone. http://sustainablog.org/2016/02/runni...


message 8: by Robert (new)

Robert John (rjbonney) | 54 comments Mod
Thanks David. I hadn't heard about this. Batteries are going to be so very important as we transfer to more variable energy sources.


message 9: by Robert (new)

Robert John (rjbonney) | 54 comments Mod
Hi David, thanks for joining in the conversation. I looked over your blog and it looks like it has a lot of useful info. I quickly looked to see how I could be notified of new blog posts but didn't find yet. How might I do that?


message 10: by David (new)

David M. | 13 comments Hi, Rob, you can sign up for my list. I send out a newsletter every month that mostly links to environmental information, and I always include links to my latest posts.

Marketing and promotion are not my strong suits. If I should be making some other way available, I'd be glad to hear about it.


message 11: by Robert (new)

Robert John (rjbonney) | 54 comments Mod
Thanks for the reply David.I couldn't see where to sign up for your list - can you provide a link to that?

David wrote: "Hi, Rob, you can sign up for my list. I send out a newsletter every month that mostly links to environmental information, and I always include links to my latest posts.

Marketing and promotion are..."



message 12: by David (last edited Mar 21, 2016 10:59AM) (new)

David M. | 13 comments Rob, I have a "feature box" right under the header that has an opt-in form. It has a blue background. Everything else on the page has a white background.

I don't know where I could put it to make it any more obvious, but I'm not getting droves of sign-ups, either. I hate pop-ups, but I may have to start using one if no one sees the feature box.

Or maybe here's the problem: In my previous post I linked to something I found on another blog. My own blog is http://sustainingourworld.com -- let me know if you don't see the opt-in form, or don't like it. Maybe instead of answering on this thread, you could send me a message. I'm new here, but I suppose there's a way to send messages.


message 13: by Robert (new)

Robert John (rjbonney) | 54 comments Mod
Yes, that's where I got confused. I thought the guest post was actually your blog. For your blog, the sign-up is nice and prominent. However, it's unclear what I would be signing up for. It says join the conversation but that could mean I'll be getting unknown amount of messages or possibly my email shared with others. The challenge is brevity while covering these bases.

If I put in my name and email, what happens next? Pretty sure I will sign up. I liked quite a few of the most recent posts.

Rob

David wrote: "Rob, I have a "feature box" right under the header that has an opt-in form. It has a blue background. Everything else on the page has a white background.

I don't know where I could put it to make..."



message 14: by David (new)

David M. | 13 comments You will receive a free report and be added to the list. There will be a welcome sequence. After that, as I say, I write about once a month and try to provide useful and interesting information. Your email will not be shared with others, but I'm trying to get some engagement, people to reply to the newsletter, comment on posts, etc.

I am very grateful for your feedback. You have pointed out a problem that I have to figure out how to solve.


message 15: by Jimmy (new)

Jimmy | 1572 comments Mod
David, we have a thread called Green Group Authors. I'd like to recommend starting a thread there for discussions about your books and blog. That's the best place for it. We should try to keep discussions without self promotion. For this thread, let's focus on Clare's idea about positive news that may be out there.


message 16: by William (new)

William Burcher | 11 comments This began as a qualitative observation, which turned into a quantitative one. I'm currently driving across the US, helping my dad with a move. Yesterday we drove through the state of Kansas, and made quick note of the growth in wind farms there. 10,844 Giga-watt hours produced in 2014, according to Wikipedia. It's good to see such investment in a very conservative state, with ubiquitous (and currently cheap) petroleum resources. Though the resources of wind and sun are perhaps more ubiquitous :)

The farms are beautiful too, I think: Smoky Hills 250 MW Wind Farm


message 17: by Stefanie (new)

Stefanie | 2 comments Nice to see have stats showing change & to have you verify what you can see on the ground. Thx for posting!


message 18: by Stefanie (new)

Stefanie | 2 comments Nice to see have stats showing change & to have you verify what you can see on the ground. Thx for posting!


message 19: by David (new)

David M. | 13 comments Here's something I found today: http://www.renewableenergyworld.com/a...

Bottling sunlight is Gov. Brown's metaphor for electricity storage. The good news is actually a couple of years old. This article has a video about it. Legislation required investor-owned utilities to acquire a certain minimum of storage. After the predictable pushback, Southern California Edison acquired 260 MW of storage in November 2014, more than five times the legal requirement of 50 MW.


message 20: by Clare (new)

Clare O'Beara | 5786 comments Mod
Thanks, William.
I followed the link and those on its page. We do have an impression of Kansas as flat, so it's good to see the wind being put to use. Those hills are pretty too. And it's barely impacting on the farmland.


message 21: by William (new)

William Burcher | 11 comments Seeing these things was definitely a reinforcement of the idea that renewables are VALID, and that resources are abundant. A state like Kansas could easily power the entire region. And yeah, Clare, the farms seemed to be totally unaffected. I know that the farmers generally like the lease income from the turbines, too.

I wanted to get UP CLOSE, they're so impressive. Has anyone here toured a turbine, or a wind farm, by chance?


message 22: by Clare (new)

Clare O'Beara | 5786 comments Mod
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ra6so...

This is a mainly graphic film of the London Array, a bank of at-sea turbines which adds to the engineering challenges. There are some cutaways etc. And to the side you should find a whole series of clips of film inside, outside, upside, downside the turbines.


message 23: by Clare (new)

Clare O'Beara | 5786 comments Mod
Expansion of the London Array was delayed because of migrating bird patterns; important to realise that turbines may impact wildlife.


message 24: by William (last edited Mar 24, 2016 07:29AM) (new)

William Burcher | 11 comments Great video, with cool CGI. That's a massive wind farm, though it's still sobering to see that at its peak, it will produce 630 MW, or about 1% of the UK's peak electrical demand, which in 2012 looks to be 57.5 GW


message 25: by Robert (last edited Mar 24, 2016 08:25AM) (new)

Robert John (rjbonney) | 54 comments Mod
Soaking up all this good information. Thanks all. I see numbers like 10% of power from wind for some U.S. states so interesting about the UK farm meeting 1% of their demand. I need to do my homework but I'm guessing they have quite a few turbines. Driving through Indiana I was impressed at the mile after mile after mile of turbines.


message 26: by Clare (new)

Clare O'Beara | 5786 comments Mod
95% of Scotland's water is managed for HEP. This is the most managed water system in Europe, possibly the world. When the UK peak demand hits, the gates are opened and turbines turned by the water. This is the advantage of an interconnected national grid. So the wind turbines don't have to do all the heavy lifting for renewables. The London Array, as the name suggests, feeds to London - power is lost through leakages over distances.


message 27: by William (new)

William Burcher | 11 comments Rob wrote: "Soaking up all this good information. Thanks all. I see numbers like 10% of power from wind for some U.S. states so interesting about the UK farm meeting 1% of their demand. I need to do my homewor..."

Hey sorry Rob. I should have been more explicit. The 1% figure is referencing the output of that one wind farm alone. 1% from any one facility I think is pretty impressive.


message 28: by Clare (new)

Clare O'Beara | 5786 comments Mod
Each turbine powers 500 homes last time I looked.


message 29: by Robert (new)

Robert John (rjbonney) | 54 comments Mod
Saw on a climate news website that Scotland had closed its last coal-firing plant this week. Bravo!


message 30: by Anne (new)

Anne Ipsen | 96 comments William wrote: "Seeing these things was definitely a reinforcement of the idea that renewables are VALID, and that resources are abundant. A state like Kansas could easily power the entire region. And yeah, Clare,..."
Beware the expression "renewable energy"--not necessarily free of CO2 emissions: e.g. burning wood, garbage, corn stalks, etc. all emit a lot of CO2--as opposed to solar and wind.


message 31: by Clare (new)

Clare O'Beara | 5786 comments Mod
Agreed, Anne, but at least planting biomass to use as fuel captures the carbon again.


message 32: by Clare (new)

Clare O'Beara | 5786 comments Mod
http://ecowatch.com/2016/04/01/plasti...

Removing plastic waste from Amsterdam's canals - and using it to build boats.


message 33: by Robert (new)

Robert John (rjbonney) | 54 comments Mod
fantastic! now on my list to look into getting involved with something like this in my community (after some other projects wrap up). Thanks for sharing.


message 34: by Clare (new)

Clare O'Beara | 5786 comments Mod
http://www.care2.com/causes/finally-a...#

If your community still allows beer cans to be tied together with plastic rings, consider this new edible version made from brewers' grounds. Well done to Saltwater Brewery whose main market is surfers and fisherfolk.


message 35: by Clare (new)

Clare O'Beara | 5786 comments Mod
I've started a new thread to feature apps that share environmental data. This was spurred by the Clean Swell app to record individuals picking up ocean trash. Find it on the How To Make A Difference section.

http://www.oceanconservancy.org/do-yo...


message 36: by Anne (new)

Anne Ipsen | 96 comments In much more than a symbolic gesture UMass divests from fossil fuels!
https://www.umass.edu/newsoffice/arti...


message 37: by Clare (new)

Clare O'Beara | 5786 comments Mod
Thanks Anne, this is great news! Talk about leading by example.


message 38: by Jimmy (new)

Jimmy | 1572 comments Mod
That is great news, Anne. Thank you for posting.


message 39: by Clare (new)

Clare O'Beara | 5786 comments Mod
An article claiming that solar power can now be gained as cheaply as fossil fuels.
I particularly like this line:
"With current technology, Naam said it would take less than half a percent of the Earth's land area to meet all energy needs."

http://singularityhub.com/2016/06/09/...


message 40: by Clare (new)

Clare O'Beara | 5786 comments Mod
What to do with ocean plastic when you take it out of the ocean? Here are some promising lines including:

"The Adidas x Parley, which hits the market later this year, will be made from recovered ocean plastic, run through a 3-D printer to create a stylish running shoe."

http://ecowatch.com/2016/06/04/using-...


message 41: by Anne (new)

Anne Ipsen | 96 comments Clare wrote: "An article claiming that solar power can now be gained as cheaply as fossil fuels.
I particularly like this line:
"With current technology, Naam said it would take less than half a percent of the ..."

The trouble is that most of that 1% of land area is far removed from urban concentrations of use--there is huge loss in transmission. Same problem with wind farms and NMYB attitudes. I am waiting for the day some developer builds a light-manufacturing town complex in a remote area (like where my daughter lives in eastern Colorado). They have plenty of wind and sun, not much else.


message 42: by Robert (new)

Robert John (rjbonney) | 54 comments Mod
I recently attended a seminar by a solar provider that said our local power plant loses 50% of its energy over a 40 mile transmission distance. I don't know how accurate this is but seems worthy of further investigation. So much going on and to learn - but that in itself is encouraging. I still think much more has to happen, faster, and the main job is to wake people up!!


message 43: by Clare (new)

Clare O'Beara | 5786 comments Mod
Power loss over transmission distance is a decided drawback, but if solar can be built in scattered areas around some of the world's poorest countries, that would give them the leg up they need without importing expensive fossil fuel.


message 44: by Anne (new)

Anne Ipsen | 96 comments Clare wrote: "Power loss over transmission distance is a decided drawback, but if solar can be built in scattered areas around some of the world's poorest countries, that would give them the leg up they need wit..."
And my point is that such places could become centers for local mini-industry using green energy.


message 45: by Robert (new)

Robert John (rjbonney) | 54 comments Mod
Anne wrote: "Clare wrote: "Power loss over transmission distance is a decided drawback, but if solar can be built in scattered areas around some of the world's poorest countries, that would give them the leg up..."well I like that idea! Sorry if I missed your point earlier.


message 46: by Jan (new)

Jan Greene (jankg) | 187 comments Clare wrote: "What to do with ocean plastic when you take it out of the ocean? Here are some promising lines including:

"The Adidas x Parley, which hits the market later this year, will be made from recovered ..."

Hi Clare,
Have you heard of the Social Plastic movement? I think it is a good idea. http://socialplastic.org/


message 47: by Clare (new)

Clare O'Beara | 5786 comments Mod
Looks great, Jan, thanks so much for sharing!
When I was growing up all the glass drinks bottles were brought back to the shop for a deposit. Looks similar.


message 48: by Jan (new)

Jan Greene (jankg) | 187 comments Hi Clare,
Yes, I remember going to construction sites with a wagon. My friends and I would pick up all the bottles left by the workers during the day and bring them to the store to get the deposit. At the time, I was not thinking of the environment, just the 2 cents per bottle. Long time ago!


message 49: by Clare (new)

Clare O'Beara | 5786 comments Mod
I just bought a new LED computer monitor. I managed to get an A rated efficiency one. Most of the monitors in the shop did not have a rating sticker and of those which did, the power use varied from 65 watts to 20 watts for a 20 inch screen. The sale assistant who seemed to have a clue, as opposed to the ones who did not, told me that he had never been asked for an A efficient rating before.

I expect the monitor power efficiency is one of the factors in determining the usage of the whole house, just like LED lightbulbs. This would improve the house BER. Just something to consider.


message 50: by Jan (new)

Jan Greene (jankg) | 187 comments Thanks for posting this, Clare! I am in the market for a new laptop so this is perfect timing!
Jan


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