Archive for the ‘environment’ Category
Every country should be doing this! (ed.)
A new law recently passed in France mandates that all new buildings that are built in commercial zones in France must be partially covered in either plants or solar panels.
Green roofs, as they are called, have an isolating effect which helps to reduce the amount of energy needed to heat a building during the winter or cool it in the summer.
They are capable of retaining rainwater and reducing problems with runoff, and also offer birds a place to call home in the urban jungle.
French environmental activists originally wanted to pass a law that would make the green roofs cover the entire surface of all new roofs. However, partially covered roofs make for a great start, and are still a huge step in the right direction.
Some say the law that was passed is actually better, as it gives the business owners a chance to install solar panels to help provide the buildings with renewable energy, thereby leaving even less of a footprint.
Green roofs are already very popular in Germany and Australia, as well as Canada’s city of Toronto! This by-law was adopted in 2009, by the city of Toronto which mandated green roofs on all new industrial and residential buildings.
Benefits of Green Roofs
There are so many benefits to green roofs. Here are just a few:
- Adding natural beauty and major aesthetic improvement to buildings, which in turn increases the investment opportunity.
- Helping contribute to landfill diversion by prolonging the life of waterproofing membranes, using recycled materials, and prolonging the service of heating, ventilation, and HVAC systems through decreased use.
- Green roofs assist with storm water management because water is stored by the substrate, then taken up by plants, and thus returned to the atmosphere through transpiration and evaporation. They also retain rainwater and moderate the temperature of the water and act as natural filters for the water that does run off. They delay the time at which runoff occurs, which results in decreased stress on sewer systems during peak periods.
- The plants on green roofs do a great job of capturing airborne pollutants and other atmospheric deposition. They can also filter noxious gasses.
- They open up new areas for community gardens, commercial and recreational space in busy cities where this space is generally quite limited.
France is definitely on the right track, but it should be a mandate that all new buildings being built in North America, and even worldwide, adopt this amazing idea to reap all of the potential benefits.
- Ideas on raising environmentally-conscious kids
- This Woman’s Documentary Of Air Pollution Goes Viral In China, Gets Banned By The Government
Thanks to MJS
I know these are NOT acceptable in recycling where I live
because they ‘tangle everything (else) up!
These Biodegradable Beer Six-Pack Rings Could Save the World’s Oceans
With scientists warning that the oceans may contain more plastic than fish by 2050, shit’s getting real with the health of our marine life. It’s high time we found an alternative to clogging the seas with plastic.
Saltwater Brewery may have found one. The Florida-based brewery recently unveiled a new biodegradable six-pack ring, which is also safely edible for sea-dwelling creatures.
We’ve all seen the shocking images of fish, turtles, and dolphins trapped in the plastic rings used to hold six-packs of beer together, but fish and animals can also die from ingesting the packaging, and plastic hangs around on ocean beds long after it’s dropped. During the Marine Conservation Society’s report of litter on Britain’s beaches last year, 960.8 pieces of plastic or polystyrene were picked up per kilometre of the beaches surveyed.
Saltwater’s new invention, however, is 100 percent biodegradable. It’s also highly sustainable, made from the wheat and barley remnants leftover from the beer-brewing process.
The invention is being welcomed by both environmentalists and animal welfare campaigners. In a statement, Sara Howlett from the RSPCA told MUNCHIES: “This is a heartening idea as it has the potential to cut down on the large number of animals that are harmed by this kind of litter.Litter of any description inflicts such needless suffering to animals and so far this year, the RSPCA has already received 592 calls to its cruelty line reporting incidents where animals have been hurt, injured, or affected by litter.”
But will edible beer packaging catch on or is this just a passing publicity gimmick? Beavertown Brewery, an independent craft brewery based in London, currently uses a system of reusable clips on their six-packs, which are supplied free of charge to shops who sell their beer. They don’t have plans to change this system but salute what Saltwater are doing.
“Saltwater Brewery’s initiative to have a less negative impact on wildlife is really important, and let’s hope bigger breweries follow their example,” says Kamilla Hannibal, Beavertown’s digital content manager. “It’s important to dare to try new things and take sustainability seriously in any way you can as a company.”
Just don’t forget to stick the can in the recycling, too.
Thanks to MJS
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Yes! Go Scotland!
Just moments ago we got word that Fergus Ewing, Scottish minister for energy, stood before the Scottish Parliament and said “I’m announcing today a moratorium [open-ended ban] on the granting of planning consents for all unconventional oil and gas developments.”
There’s still work to do to turn this temporary ban into an outright ban, but for now this is brilliant news!
Thanks to CLP