Category: Green

Key Environmental Issues in Automotive Sector

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The environmental forecasts have recently been so gloomy that it might be tempting for some people to stop caring about the planet. Many assume that their contribution wouldn’t be enough to make a real change for the global environment and therefore they give up. The truth is, however, that the tiniest steps, if taken by all, or even the majority, could reverse climate change. What really matters is the awareness. That’s the reason why highlighting successful initiatives is important, as building positive associations with our actions will improve motivation in people across the globe.

Hopefully, with the changes we see today, most people will be aware of ecological and sustainable alternatives to most products and practices in the near future. Here are four infographics that show key environmental problems in the automotive sector, especially transport, energy production, recycling, and palm oil use, alongwith interesting facts and figures, promising news and predictions and actionable tips for everyone:

Insights into Sustainable Cleveland

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A sustainable city is a thriving city.  The city of Cleveland, Ohio is participating in a series of ten-year plans to create a thriving city for its citizens and visitors. Promoters of these projects hope to unite Cleveland citizens to build a collective vision for a viable future. During the autumn of 2009, the city began formulating a plan of action to create eco-friendly environments in the city, a plan known as Sustainable Cleveland.  Since the start of Sustainable Cleveland, the citizens of the city have worked to develop and achieve goals.  

The vision has been to make Cleveland a green, bright city with a blue lake, shaping the communities into something better, and to enhance the city’s natural environment.  The achievements may create health benefits, financial stability, uniqueness, and more opportunities for all people.

Green City Blue Lake: What Does This Mean?

Green city blue lake is one of the driving ideas behind Sustainable Cleveland.  GreenCityBlueLake is actually an institute of the Cleveland Museum of Natural History.  The museum works with the Sustainable Cleveland action plan to promote ecology and create healthy living environments where people can flourish.

One goal of the initiative is to make Cleveland, Ohio a metropolitan area that exists harmoniously with the natural environment.  The goal is to make Cleveland a green, ecologically friendly city that respects the blue lake that borders it, Lake Erie.

By researching solutions, bring citizens together, communicating ideas, demonstrating ideas, and working for change, the GreenCityBlueLake Institute plans to create a sustainable Cleveland.  Since 1992, this institution has led multiple eco-projects in the Ohio city.  Some of its achievements include:

  • Bike lanes
  • Lorain-Carnegie Bridge
  • City of Cleveland Office of Sustainability
  • Cleveland Carbon Fund
  • Cleveland EcoVillage
  • Cleveland Environmental Center
  • Cleveland Water Alliance
  • Climate Change Planning (Northeast Ohio and Cleveland)
  • Ohio Smart Growth Agenda
  • Balanced Growth Program (Lake Erie)
  • PNC SmartHome

Ten-Year Celebration

In 2019, Sustainable Cleveland celebrated its tenth birthday.  Not only was it ten years since the birth of Sustainable Cleveland, but the year also marked exactly fifty years since the devastating fire on the city’s Cuyahoga River, a fire caused by pollution.

Although Sustainable Cleveland’s 2009 plan originally mentioned ten years, it did not technically have an end date.  Cleveland’s sustainability thus continued in 2019 as Sustainable Cleveland 2019 and was poised to continue beyond that.  Since the beginning of its sustainability efforts, the city has focused on key areas that could benefit people and the environment.

Since 2009, Cleveland’s sustainability efforts have accomplished many different achievements, including energy efficiency, healthy local food, clean water, less waste, and much more.  They have engaged thousands of people through different professional and social environments to make Cleveland an eco-friendly city.  Some achievements of Sustainable Cleveland and Sustainable Cleveland 2019 include:

  • Improving air quality and water quality
  • Enhancing the lives of animals in the area
  • Developing bicycle infrastructure (more than seventy miles)
  • Initiating the Cleveland Tree Plan and the Cleveland Tree Coalition
  • Reaching a tree canopy goal (50,000 new trees by 2020)
  • Distributing 4,000 free rain barrels to Cleveland residents
  • Promoting solar energy
  • Decreasing Cleveland’s carbon footprint
  • Encouraging people to live in Cleveland

While this is a list of recent accomplishments, there is also a long list of other goals and accomplishments of the city’s sustainable efforts. 

What Is the Future of Sustainable Cleveland?

While Cleveland has achieved so much from 2009 to 2019, people can do even more to make it a more livable place.  The sustainability team developed an updated Climate Action Plan (CAP) that included nearly four hundred stakeholders, raising the stakes even more.  While developers built this plan on previous work, the plan included priorities such as:

  • Social and racial equality
  • More green jobs
  • Climate action
  • Business leadership

This new plan for sustainable Cleveland seems much greater, but it is still realistic and achievable.  It will require help from workers, businesses, Cleveland citizens, and organizations to make this great city even greater.  It is more than just creating a better-looking city.  It is about creating a healthy, nature-filled environment where everyone can thrive.

Ideas for a Sustainable Future

We often hear about how fast our world is aging and how air pollution, waste, and other factors are ruining the good things we have.  To keep the environment as healthy and life-filled as possible, it is up to us to make sure it is healthy and clean.  People in the past would often view fossil fuels and as limitless resources and treat nature as a giant dumping ground.

Trash, debris, air pollution, and other things dirty the once-clean and healthy earth.  These conditions made Sustainable Cleveland not only a want, but a need.  The driving forces behind Sustainable Cleveland are more than just climate action and cleaning up a city.  It is also about transforming an economy.

Multiple projects related to Sustainable Cleveland have created more opportunities for businesses of all kinds.  They have also aimed to make Cleveland a more attractive home.  Although many people may benefit from the city’s sustainability efforts, the number of Cleveland residents continues to decrease.  The Sustainable Cleveland team has developed different ideas to bring people to the city:

  • Open space and recreation district

A new zoning plan that will create more public parks, gardens, open spaces, and areas for recreational activities.

  • Midtown mix-used district

Another new zoning plan but instead of parks or gardens, this plan encourages compact land development that is pedestrian-oriented.

  • Live-work overlay district

This plan permits the use of older, unutilized buildings for a combination of uses, such as living and working.  Recycling these older but usable buildings saves time, money, and energy.

  • Urban lot sizes

Instead of using large amount of land for houses, smaller, urban-style lots recreate the look of older cities and reduce sprawl.

  • Transit-oriented development

Public transportation systems may reduce asthma rates, pollution, and household transportation expenses.  Rail stations and transit stops may make transportation more accessible.

  • Housing trust fund

The city is exploring financial incentives for green or high-performance building.  The Cleveland Community Development Department dedicates funds to support affordable housing.

  • Pedestrian-oriented development

Pedestrian-oriented development (POD) strives to increase pedestrian convenience.  It focuses on building and parking lot placement to make it easier and less dangerous for people.

Conclusion

After a successful decade, Sustainable Cleveland has no intention of disappearing in future decades.  Its plans have improved the life of Cleveland residents and may continue to so in the future.

Benefits of Having Plants at Your Work Station

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It is no great secret that human has always wanted to be constantly connected with nature. This is why more and more people are placing natural elements like plants near them – whether it may be in the living room or in an item of office furniture in the Philippines. If you are looking for reasons as to why you should start surrounding yourself with plants, here are some of the benefits of having it – most especially in your work station.

Reduced stress

One of the key benefits of having a plant in your work station is that it greatly reduces one’s stress levels. In fact, it does not only aid in minimizing stress, hence, it also lowers a person’s anxiety, tension, depression, dejection, anger, hostility, and fatigue.

The reason behind this is that the color green makes a person be more relaxed and calm, which in turn, will help decrease negative emotion levels. This only goes to show that surrounding yourself with plants while you are working will definitely lift your spirits, and at the same time, promote and enhance one’s well-being and performance at work.

A boost to creativity

Aside from the fact that having plants near you while working reduces stress and decreases negative emotions, it also helps in boosting your creativity. This is because having s glance or a view of nature or natural elements such as plants can certainly shift one’s brain into a different processing mode. As a result of this shift, it makes you be more relaxed which helps you to concentrate more at work.

Increasing productivity

Given that plants can boost your creativity, another benefit that it can give you is to help in increasing your work productivity. Whether you have your own plant in your work station or you are surrounded by home plants in the office, your work productivity will definitely increase as this greatly helps in improving your memory retention skill and score higher in various basic tests that you will encounter while you are at work.

Minimizing sickness and absences

Other than the work performance benefits that plants give you, being exposed to plants helps in improving your overall well-being. As a result, you are not prone to sickness – which in turn, will help you in being present at work consistently. This will not only assist you to be more proactive at work, hence, will also aid you to be on time or ahead of your workloads.

More attractive office

Having plants in your work station or in the office makes the place more attractive and inviting, not just with the employees, but with job applicants as well. Though this may be a minor factor as this falls under the aesthetic of a place, more and more job applicants tend to base their decision on this aspect.

One report said that most job applicants make the workplace design a basis as to whether they will join that company or not. For this reason, opting to have natural elements in your office is indeed the way to go if you want your current and future employees to help stay motivated and productive in the workplace.

Key Takeaway

Opting to let nature get into your work station or office entails a number of benefits – from the employees’ productivity to their overall well-being. For this reason, it is a must that you start to go green in order for you to see and experience the results yourself!

Ways You Can Give Your Home Natural Ventilation

It is no great secret that using natural ventilation for your home instead of air conditioners and electric fans is one of the most practical and effective ways to sustain that a green living – whether you are in your family’s ancestral house in Laguna or in your condo in Tagaytay.  In addition, this also helps you reduce your monthly electrical costs, which in turn, also aids you to save more money for other important things. If you are looking for ways as to how you can give your home natural ventilation, here are some of the things that you may want to consider in doing to achieve that.

Opt to go for the old-fashioned way

One of the most underrated ways in which you can give your home natural ventilation is by going for the traditional way – opening the windows and doors and letting the fresh air come into every corner of your home. By doing this, you are allowing the air to freely flow in and out of your house. In addition, this will also help to get rid of the stale air outside of your home.

This technique is best done during the morning as the air outside is not that hot yet since the sun is still not in its peak. However, one thing you should remember is that this method immensely depends as to how your house is designed and how strong the breeze of the air is in your area.

Pay attention to your windows’ design and height

Another vital factor that most people don’t consider is the design and height of their windows. Keep in mind that wind does not naturally blow on the ground. With this in mind, placing your windows in a higher position will definitely have better chances of ensuring the wind will flow into your house. This is why you should make sure that your windows are designed in a way that the wind will easily go into your house.

Never underestimate the power of transitional spaces

Using your house’s transitional spaces such as atriums, balconies, courtyards, and other open places that are available in your home. Taking advantage of these transitional spaces will truly ensure that the flow of air from outside will go inside your house.

If the flow and breeze of air directly blow in the direction of your home’s transitional spaces, then you don’t have to worry about your home not having natural ventilation. This will definitely make your home more inviting, cozy, and comfortable.

Choose lighter furniture

Opting for lighter furniture for your home is another way to ensure that you give your home natural ventilation. This is why before you go shopping for your house’s furniture, make sure that you do your research first as to what pieces of furniture are best for giving you more chances of natural ventilation in your house.

Furniture that is made from wicker and bamboo materials are some of the best ones that you can choose since they don’t retain heat. In addition, opting for these furniture pieces are also practical and advantageous as they can be used either inside or outside of your home.

Key Takeaway

Taking advantage of fresh air as your home’s ventilation entails a lot of benefits. With these tips, you are one step closer to having a more cozier, inviting, and more comfortable home for your family.

Across America in an Electric Vehicle: 4 Routes Mapped for a Sustainable Drive

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The American love affair with the open road is unlike anything else — dating back to the beginnings of the horseless carriage. Simply put, we love our vehicles. They’re an extension of who we are an individual’s and a testament to the ingenuity of mankind. But over the years we’ve had to rethink the way road trips, commuting and leisure driving impact the environment. More now than ever there’s a focus on zero emissions and the looming concern of global warming.

Currently, transportation and power generation each account for about 30% of US greenhouse gas emissions, so those sectors represent a prime target for cutting American carbon pollution. Specifically, light-duty (passenger) vehicles, which account for 60% of those emissions and medium-heavy-duty trucks accounting for a further 23%. These emissions can be significantly reduced by transitioning from the internal combustion engine to electric vehicles (EVs).

Over the past couple years we’ve seen a significant uptick in the amount of EVs on the road. Electric cars have become a growing phenomenon throughout the United States, because they allow the opportunity to explore the country in comfort, in safety and without the guilt of creating a large carbon footprint. Of course, Teslas are a widely popular choice for those that can afford the high sticker price, but companies have realized that in order to move the needle on transportation emissions, it’s necessary to produce more cost affordable EVs. This is exactly why Elon Musk released Tesla patents for “good faith” use — stating “It is impossible for Tesla to build electric cars fast enough to address the carbon crisis.”

So what does that mean for the drivers interested in purchasing or renting an electric vehicle? While we’re seeing more and more EVs on the road each day, there are still about seven times more gas stations than electric charging stations nationwide. But, the electric car revolution is prompting a change in the transportation infrastructure. Charging stations number existed in the hundred during the early 2000s. Fast forward 10-20 years and those number have skyrocketed to over 50,000 stations in 2018. Not to mention, California’s Governor, Jerry Brown signed legislation in 2018 that would allow for 250,000 EV chargers in the ground by 2025.

While California is leading the way in EV technology, other states are beginning to follow suit. More now than ever, it’s becoming incredibly accessible to make an extensive road trip in an electric vehicle, especially with resources like like Plugshare and the U.S. Department of Energy, which can be helpful in locating charging stations of all types and levels in your area. To top that off CarRentals put together this guide that highlights some of the most iconic road trips in the U.S. and how you can actually make them in an EV. These maps the include anchor stops, points of interest along the way, charging stations and tips for road tripping in an EV, so you’ll never be left with low battery.

Herbs and Supplements For Treating Diabetes Naturally

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Diabetes is one of the most prominent medical problem in the 21st century. According to the International Diabetes Federation, the number of patients who have diabetes in 2007 was 146 million, and by 2025, it will increase to 380 million, of which 90% are patients with type 2 diabetes. There are a wide array of herbs and organic supplements available to treat and control diabetes naturally. Let us have a close look at them:

Herbs for Treating Diabetes

Turnip-rooted cabbage is very useful for patients with sugar disease. This sort is not as widely spread as the standard white cabbage, but extremely useful and, importantly, stored well until the next harvest and very tasty!

Such plant as artichoke or earth apple deserves special attention, which is valuable because it contains insulin-like substances that contribute to the normalization of body metabolism.

A contagious disease can be the cause of pancreatic diabetes. In this case, we can recommend the collection of medicinal herbs to strengthen the immune system, as well as vitamin containing and conditioning. If to speak about medicinal herbs, first of all, it is worth paying attention to such ones as bottlebrush, Echinacea, willow herb, knotgrass, stinging nettle.

Medicinal plants cannot wholly replace diabetic drugs. You can combine medicinal plants with a diet used as monotherapy (adult diabetes, compensated only by food), physical exercise, as well as hypoglycemic drugs with constant medical supervision.

Supplements for Treating Diabetes Naturally

Individual studies suggest that zinc makes levels of glucose (glycemic control) of patients who have diabetes better. During diabetes, late complications can develop, such as nerve disorder, kidney damage, and eye-lesion. Besides, the risk of cardiovascular accidents, such as angina attacks and blood-strokes, increases.

Type 1 diabetes is a form of diabetes when the body can no longer produce insulin. The risk of developing Type 2 diabetes increases with age, obesity, and, of course, lack of physical activity. It is characterized by the spreading inability of a body to use insulin well. Zinc plays a crucial part in insulin acting and, in theory; zinc supplemental of patients with insulin resistance can prevent the conditions of diabetes.

Chrome is famous as a cure for improving the control of diabetes. Although specific studies have shown a sound effect of chrome during diabetes, there are no recommendations for use in the treatment at the moment.

There were studies of magnesium for quite some time as a therapy to make blood glucose control for people who are sick better. Magnesium deficiency is redolent of pathologic insulin release and complications of diabetes.

Vanadium, arose from plants, has shown increased insulin resistance in several studies. However, there are still no recommendations for adding it to the treatment of sick people. Most of the products of plant origin are high-fiber, which helps to control levels of blood glucose.

There have been no clinical trials of great promise on other plants that may be good during diseases, such as redberry, nettle, ginger, hawthorn or garlic. If you are sick and you want to take some of the vegetable matters mentioned above, consult a physician first.

Preventive treatment

It is recommended to drink tea from 4 g of blueberry leaf and bean leaves, 3 g of rosehip and strawberry leaf, 1 g of yarrow herb each. Other collection: 4 g nettle leaf, hips, blueberries and the top of a flowering plant of oats, 3 g burdock root, 2 g dandelion root. Pour 1 cup of boiling water over any of the listed fees, heat for 20 minutes over low heat, let tea draw for 30 minutes and drink as tea when you have diabetes. You need to take a break for 5-10 days every 3-4 weeks of treatment.

People who went through emotional upset should immediately carry out a comprehensive sedative therapy; in particular, it is advisable to use soothing medicinal herbs. Some of them are:

1) Spirea —————————— 3 parts

Hops ———————————- 2 pieces

Creeping thyme ———————-3 parts

2) Yellow melilot——————– 3 parts

Sagebrush—————————- 3 parts

Greek valerian————————3 pieces

3) Common motherwort———— 3 parts

Valeriana officinalis—————– 2 parts

Rosebay willowherb—————– 2 pieces

You should make herbal tea according to the same scheme: pour boiling water on it, incubate in a water bath for 30 minutes, remove, wrap and let tea draw for another 1.5-2 hours: filter and chill. Have one glass a day for 3–4 doses per day.

If your work requires constant concentration of attention (drivers, surgeons, traffic controllers, and others), then it is better to take the restorative drink late in the afternoon, twice for 0.5 cups at 5-6 PM and the rest of the healthy drink 1.5 hours before bedtime.

The course of treatment is 1.5 months; if necessary, repeat the course with a break of no more than two weeks.

Replace sugar

Instead of sugar and its synthetic substitutes, it is better to use natural sweeteners of vegetable origin, for example, stevia (“honey grass”). Regular use of stevia reduces the level of glucose and cholesterol in the body, improves the functioning of the liver and pancreas glands.

What you need to think about before you begin to use herbal preparations in case of diabetes mellitus.

Many herbal practitioners believe that juice of some vegetables, fruits, and berries can reduce the level of glucose in blood: fresh leaves of white cabbage, roots of new potatoes, fresh wild strawberry, cornelian cherries, pears, European mountain ash, and black chokeberry.

Use of fresh juice of vegetables and fruits is useful for sick people; however, no reliable information extracts of any plants, nuts, and berries reduce the level of glucose in blood what is more regardless of carbohydrates amount.

About the Author

There is always a smile on Melisa Marzett`s face. She believes that a smile is better than a precious stone. She walks hand in hands with optimism and curiosity. Melissa works as a freelance writer at http://www.findwritingservice.com at this point and enjoys every moment of life. She knows how to use her time profitably and live in harmony.

Get Green Columbus Project – An Overview

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The Get Green Columbus initiative began on January 28, 2005.  Columbus mayor Michael B. Coleman issued a Green Memo that urged the city’s residents to live environmentally-friendly lives.  The memo discussed several policy frameworks that aimed to create healthier environments.

Since the Green Memo, the city of Columbus had made significant progress in becoming a more sustainable and environmentally friendly city in every area, from rehab to businesses.  For these efforts, the city has received awards and recognition.  These include a designation as the most improved city from SustainLane in 2008, the Environmental Public Servant Award from the Ohio Environmental Council in 2009, and recognition as the greenest fleet in the nation at the 2009 Green Fleet Conference’s 2009 Environmental Leadership Awards.

Collaborating with City Agencies & Community Leaders

One driving factor for the success of Get Green Columbus was Mayor Coleman’s Green Team.  This team was responsible for administering environmental policies, educating the community about the risks of not taking care of the environment, and identifying the necessary resources to implement Get Green Columbus initiatives.

Joining Mayor Coleman’s Green Team were the Environmental Steward Office (ESO), who collaborated with the Solid Waste Authority of Central Ohio (SWACO).  The ESO functioned as an internal team of experts and green coordinators who represented each department and division within the city. On October 4, 2007, Mayor Coleman joined other elected officials in signing the Central Ohio Green Pact.  This pact aimed to

  • Produce greener public fleets
  • Create a stronger green economy
  • Collaborate with others to purchase more green products
  • Adopt sustainable land use policies
  • Build more green facilities to reduce energy consumption and waste
  • Educate and involve the community
  • Decrease emissions
  • Protect environments from climate change
  • Preserve green space and develop greenways
  • Expand and encourage mass transportation

 Implementing Recycling Strategies and Reducing Solid Waste

SWACO and the city of Columbus also initiated a recycling program that is now known as RecyColumbus.  The goal of this project was to make it easy for people to recycle their household goods. It allowed Columbus residents to place recyclable items on their curbs or drop off such items at recycling centers.  In 2009, the municipality recycled 15,126 tons of materials.

Different agencies also collaborated with the city of Columbus to recycle items and reduce waste.  Such partnerships are working together to recycle 66 percent of the waste that would otherwise go to local landfills.

Improving Indoor and Outdoor Air Quality

Another achievement of Mayor Coleman’s Get Green Columbus was the creation, adoption, and implementation of the City of Columbus Green Fleet Action Plan, a plan first issued on January 1, 2008.

The goals and targets of the Green Fleet Action Plan included:

  • Reducing fuel
  • Purchasing and using biodiesel and compressed natural gas
  • Obtaining green grants and Green Fleet Awards
  • Implementing green purchasing language

Protecting Water

Protecting water quality was another focus of Get Green Columbus.  The initiative focused on flood reduction, waterway quality, stream restoration, and several multi jurisdictional watershed planning efforts.

In 2005, the Columbus Division of Sewerage and Drainage launched Project Clean Rivers.  Several programs and services were part of this project.  All had the same goal: achieving clean water.  This project also included the Wet Weather Management Plan, a $2.5 billion strategy to eradicate sewer overflows.

Such water protections were attempts to ensure the safety of Columbus’s groundwater and its surface resources.  Also contributing to such water protection efforts were the city’s public health authorities, who annually permit and inspect sewage treatment systems on private properties.  The authorities inspected more than 300 systems in 2009 alone.

Promoting Green Businesses

Another green effort of Mayor Coleman was a program to recognize and award businesses that made efforts to become more environmentally responsible.  This program, called the GreenSpot Program, has been successful in serving as a public engagement model for the city of Columbus and other communities throughout Ohio and North America.

Fostering the Greening of Columbus

On February 22, 2007, Mayor Coleman agreed to the U.S. Council of Mayors’ Climate Protection Agreement as part of his contribution to the Get Green Columbus initiative.  Since then, the city of Columbus has conducted greenhouse gas emission inventories of its operations.

In 2005, the Columbus operation baseline emissions reported 317,926 metric tons of carbon dioxide.  The city of Columbus has aimed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 2 percent every year until the year 2030.

According to reports, the sources of greenhouse gas emissions in Columbus in 2005 are:

  • 31 percent from buildings
  • 37 percent from wastewater treatment
  • 18 percent from drinking water treatment
  • 12 percent from transportation

The 10-Year Action Plan

In another environmental development, on May 4, 2009, Mayor Coleman announced a 10-year action plan.  The plan contains a list of improvements as well as efficiencies to correct imbalances.  The summary report of the Get Green Columbus program discusses the

  • Continuation of green initiatives
  • Expansion of energy-saving measures
  • Creation of weatherization systems
  • Establishment of efficient lighting
  • Upgrades of HVAC systems

Other Green Memo suggestions called for the city of Columbus to plant more trees and to construct capital improvements to protect the environment.  The city succeeded in its goals to plant a total of 20,000 trees.  Reports stated that the city of Columbus planted a yearly average of 5,500 trees and lost 1,500 trees yearly, which meant that the city planted 4,000 trees every year.

Local partners worked with the city of Columbus to achieve most of the project’s goals.  One improvement was improving access to fresh and nutritious foods for residents who were in need.  Columbus Public Health organized community farmers markets throughout the city, an effort that provided fresh food to city residents.

Speaking of Columbus and plants, the city is the home of the American Community Garden Association.  It is also the location of the Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens, which opened the unique Community Garden Campus.  These efforts educate people about the beauty and usefulness of plants and protecting them, issues important to Get Green Columbus as well.

Final Words

Get Green Columbus illustrate that teamwork and collaboration can make good things happen for a city and its residents.

Sustainable Motorways: Driving Our Future

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Smart motorways are enhanced stretches of motorways which include dynamic hard shoulders, fluctuating speed limits, monitoring sensors, and cameras. Britain, for example is one of the leading innovators when it comes to road management, with their system known as active traffic management. Even though the UK and a few other countries are implementing advancements to their roads, there is still room for  improvement with technologies such as drones, smart LED road studs, eco-friendly lighting and built-in sensors.

But in today’s world is smart is enough. We need our motorways to be sustainable and support our ever more sustainable cars, to help restore our planet.

Sustainable Motorways

Solar roadways seem to be a match made in heaven for electric vehicles. Substituting standard tarmac roads with extra durable solar panels is the main idea behind this technology. The panels, that would act like screens, displaying road signs, warning about lane closures, would also harvest solar energy. This captured energy would then be used to power both road signs and in-car items.

Another way to make roads sustainable is to build more “electric”roads. These  motorways, for example, would be equipped with an inductive charging system, such as in a phone charger. Thanks to the wireless charging technology that would be installed below the surface, they would create an electromagnetic field, which would be then transferred to receivers, directly powering running vehicles.

Some charging panels placed at bus depots in Milton Keynes are an example of this technology as they power electric buses overnight. Similar projects are considered for parking lots – if used on a larger scale, this would significantly reduce carbon emissions in our environment.

Making motorway maintenance more sustainable is key to lowering the need for manual labor, financing and being more eco-friendly in general. Researchers at Cambridge, Bath and Cardiff Universities may have found a solution in the form of  ‘self-healing concrete’. It is a concrete blend with added bacteria which produces limestone. When moisture enters a slit in the concrete it seals the crack before it gets the chance to widen.

Unfortunately, most of these ideas are being criticised and only a few are being currently implemented. Hopefully more and more of these, and other technologies them will actually happen in the future. As for now, we can only try to reduce our carbon footprint by changing our means of transport to a more sustainable one, be it an EV, public transport or a bike.

Image source: https://www.oponeo.co.uk/tyre-article/motorways-in-europe-and-the-uk

5 Innovative Ways to Make Urban Farming More Sustainable

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Urban farms are becoming increasingly popular in cities around the world. Creative farming models are now being cultivated in a diverse range of urban spaces, from rooftops to within tall, enclosed buildings. These innovative growing methods prioritize sustainability, which plays a key role in making sure that our urban creations have the least negative impact on the environment. Here are 5 ways to maximize sustainability in your urban farm.

Rooftop Farming

One literally ‘top’ trend in urban agriculture is rooftop farming. This method makes clever use of an urban space that is typically unused and has been praised for its positive environmental impact. Rooftop farms provide extra insulation for buildings, lower temperatures in summer and maintain heat in the winter. These factors translate to less use of heating and cooling systems, which saves significant amounts of energy and money.

Plants grown on rooftops capture moisture in the air, which means that rooftop farms also help reduce the storm water flow that can pollute waterways and overwhelm sewage treatment facilities.

Vertical farming

Vertical farms produce crops in vertical layers in a controlled environment. Most vertical farms are created with tall enclosed structures, using height to maximize growth. This innovative approach to urban farming can help to maintain crop production all year round, without relying on favorable weather conditions, soil fertility, or excessive water use.

Establishing vertical farms in urban areas can ultimately help to create a more sustainable environment by contributing to less abandoned buildings, a cleaner atmosphere, better water conservation, and a positive impact on the health of the surrounding communities.

Shipping Container Farming

Recently, using shipping containers as urban farms has become increasingly popular. There is an abundance of shipping containers that are left unused every year, free to be used as indoor farms. These steel structures are durable, versatile, portable and stackable: ready to be placed as a container farm on any site with a strong, level surface.

The versatility of shipping containers provides a range of opportunities to create an enclosed ‘farm’ in any location, from your backyard to corporate campuses. Compared to traditional fixed structures, container farms can be set up in a relatively short period of time.

Using Hydroponic Systems

Innovative new growing techniques have played a key role in the sustainability of urban farming. Hydroponics is the practice of growing plants without soil, a technique commonly used in vertical farming. This method has been shown to have some environmental benefits.

The controlled and closed environment of hydroponic systems usually eliminates the need for pesticides, meaning less poisonous chemicals on the food and plants grown. Hydroponic systems can also recycle water and nutrients, putting less strain on water systems. This sustainable style of growing has become a top choice for many large-scale greenhouses.

Using Aquaponic Systems

Aquaponics is one of the most sustainable methods of urban agriculture. Simply put, this method combines traditional aquaculture with hydroponics. Many farmers have embraced this method to become more environmentally responsible and promote good health within their local communities.

Aquaponic systems can grow many types of food without consuming too many resources. Only a few pieces of equipment in this method actually require power – and in most systems, the water is circulated rather than disposed of after use. Using this style of indoor urban farming, you can ultimately grow more food while using less water, labor and land.

18 New Sustainable Building Materials Worth Watching

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Throughout the years, we’ve seen a growing trend with green building. The reason? Building projects consume nearly 50 percent of our resources extracted from nature, as well as generating 23 percent of air pollution and contributing to half of our landfill waste. There’s no doubt that the industry needs to combat climate change and create sustainable buildings to ensure that our communities can thrive in the future.

To address the challenge, many innovative companies are developing new futuristic green materials. From materials that can generate their own renewable energy to those that can self-heal and lower CO2 levels, a new generation of buildings is on the horizon. While many of these innovations are still in the early stages of development and haven’t reach mass-scale, they may very well be making their way into our buildings in the next few decades.

A great example of a building constructed with one of these futuristic materials is the BIQ House in Hamburg, Germany. Built with walls and panels containing living algae, the green building to able to generate its own electricity and power.  

These new building materials are being engineered to be more self-sustaining, stronger, sleeker and easier on the environment. Check out the infographic below from BigRentz for 18 futuristic materials that are buzzing in the industry.

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Salman Zafar