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Environment

Designers have completed the largest and most biologically diverse living wall in Surrey, ...

Not content with having the largest non-industrial living roof in Canada and North America, designers in Canada have gone one step further with the completion of the largest and most biologically diverse living wall in North America. Green wall designers Green Over Grey recently completed work on the living wall at the Semiahmoo Public Library and Royal Canadian Mounted Police Facility in Surrey, British Columbia, which consists of a unique design covering nearly 3,000 square feet (279 square meters) and consisting of over 10,000 individual plants.  Read More

The Eco-Cool Remodel Tool allows you to take a virtual tour through a house for green impr...

King County in Washington has launched two new online initiatives to help you make ecologically-informed decisions with regards to your next home remodel: a virtual home tour with lots of tips and ideas for greening up your house, and Eco-Cribz, a video diary of local homeowners as they undertake the green transformation of their homes.  Read More

The bauxite residue container pond spill near Kolontar, Hungary

It might sound like fighting fire with fire, but geologist Chen Zhu proposes the application of another industrial waste to the Hungarian bauxite residue spill, with the aim of reducing toxicity via a technique called carbon sequestration. While he says it wouldn't render the residue completely harmless, it would at least minimize the environmental damage.  Read More

The mushroom-shaped solar evaporators of the winning Project Umbrella entry

Mushroom-shaped solar evaporators have taken out first place in a competition asking architects, landscape architects, designers, engineers, urban planners, students and environmental professionals to create an innovative urban vision for a several-mile-long development zone on the eastern edge of downtown LA. The Project Umbrella submission features a series of umbrella-like structures designed to clarify black water from city sewage which would then be used to encourage the growth of surrounding trees and plants.  Read More

Wind farms can cause change in local temperatures (Photo: Gizmag)

The benefits of wind farms in terms of global climate change are well recognized but according to researchers at the University of Illinois they can also affect local climates as well. The researchers observed that the area immediately surrounding a wind farm is slightly warmer at night and slightly cooler during the day compared to the rest of the region. The discovery could allow for strategies to mitigate those effects in areas where they are undesirable, or take advantage of them in others.  Read More

The insecticidal protein Cry1Ab has been shown to leach from corn debris into adjacent str...

A new study by Indiana’s University of Notre Dame has revealed that streams across the U.S. Midwest contain insecticides from adjacent fields of genetically engineered corn, even well after harvest. The transgenic maize (GE corn) in question has been engineered to produce the insecticidal protein Cry1Ab. Pollen, leaves and cobs from those plants enter streams bordering on the cornfields, where they are said to release Cry1Ab into the water.  Read More

The Park Spark features a gas lamp fueled by dog poop

It’s definitely a good thing that so many dog owners scoop their pooches’ poop, but what happens to that waste after it’s been bagged and discarded isn’t so great... usually it ends up fermenting in a landfill, where it poses a health risk, attracts vermin, and releases harmful methane gas into the atmosphere. Pickling it and turning it into plant fertilizer is one option, but American conceptual artist Matthew Mazzotta would like to see it fed into digesters that use it to produce methane gas, which is then used for fuel. To that end, he has created a sort of demonstration project/art installation called Park Spark, at a dog park in Cambridge, Massachusetts. It features a lamp that lights the park at night, powered by nothing but canine doo-doo.  Read More

Total Ozone Mapping Spectrometer (TOMS) image of the ozone hole over Antarctica in Septemb...

A new report suggests that international efforts to halt the destruction of the ozone layer have been successful. Launched on the UN International Day for Preservation of the Ozone Layer, the report by 300 scientists also provides new information about the net effects on Earth's climate, and also the effects of climate change on the ozone later moving forward.  Read More

Pellets of Solegear's 100 percent natural, non-toxic, biodegradable Polysole plastic

The 2010 North American Frost and Sullivan Award* for New Product Innovation of the Year has been awarded to Canadian company Solegear, for its 100 percent biobased Polysole plastic. According to Solegear, although many of today’s biopolymers come from a natural feedstock, they are compounded using synthetic additives. Polysole, however, utilizes proprietary additives that are entirely natural and organic. The non-toxic plastic is claimed to have high impact and tensile strength, and can be efficiently processed using conventional techniques such as extrusion, blow molding and injection molding. Its biodegradation point can also reportedly be tweaked, so it can maintain its molecular integrity until product-specific compost conditions are met.  Read More

The Heliotrope power house dominates the landscape at the foot of the Black Forest

If someone asks you to describe a solar power plant you'd likely look to convey an image of row upon row of sun-soaking panels pointing skyward. It's doubtful that the first thought to pop into your head would be of someone's home, unless of course you've already witnessed the likes of the Heliotrope. Sited at the foot of the Black Forest in Germany, this magnificent cylindrical power house is the creation of solar architect Rolf Disch and is the world's first home to produce more energy than it consumes. As the architect announces plans to take his PlusEnergy vision to a global audience, we take a closer look at his first creation.  Read More

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