October 21, 2011

benvironment:

BBC + David Attenborough = Outstanding.

67 seconds of divine inspiration, a trailer for the upcoming BBC series ‘Frozen Planet’…..which appears to be David Attenborough’s final major wildlife series.  A sad fact, but what a swansong it promises to be.

I’m sure it won’t disappoint and I for one can’t wait!

October 18, 2011
mothernaturenetwork:

Infographic: How a landfill works

mothernaturenetwork:

Infographic: How a landfill works

(via environmentandus)

September 23, 2011

Tiny parks are on a roll in San Francisco: Two dumpsters full of greenery, with four more to come, add a bit of nature to the streets of a paved-over downtown neighborhood. Some scoff, but others are willing to give the “parkmobiles” a go.
Photo: Dave Vetrano takes a coffee break at a parkmobile in San Francisco’s South of Market district. Credit: Mark Boster / Los Angeles Times

Tiny parks are on a roll in San Francisco: Two dumpsters full of greenery, with four more to come, add a bit of nature to the streets of a paved-over downtown neighborhood. Some scoff, but others are willing to give the “parkmobiles” a go.

Photo: Dave Vetrano takes a coffee break at a parkmobile in San Francisco’s South of Market district. Credit: Mark Boster / Los Angeles Times

(Source: Los Angeles Times, via landscapearchitecture)

September 22, 2011

(via mauricesmall)

September 20, 2011
The Informed Vegan: Plastic Made From Cheese.

theinformedvegan:

Scientists in Spain are onto a new process that allows them to turn a cheese byproduct called whey into thin plastic wrap.

Whey collected from cheese making can be broken down, filtered, and sprayed to create thin layers. They layers are combined to create a tough plastic film. The plastic film is air-tight, water resistant, and can be degraded with the use of a special enzyme bath. 

The European Union generates 50 million tons of leftover whey and up to 40% of that whey gets trashed. The world already discards 120 billion pounds of plastic a year so biodegradable whey plastic might help reduce the amount of plastic sitting in landfills. 

i was vegan for five years and have been meat-free since age nineteen. you don’t have to support the dairy industry to support their efforts to minimise waste. 

(Source: theinformedvegan)

September 18, 2011

(Source: lloydjfjdkdjjjkkk, via ediblestreets)

September 17, 2011
Benvironment: Why we paid for windfarms to shut down on three windy days

benvironment:

Money turbines

Did anyone notice the winds last week?  I’m sure you did.  It was a tad breezy.  But it was a tad TOO breezy for Britain’s beleaguered electricity transmission network.

The National Grid confirmed this week that on Saturday, Sunday and Monday it stopped a number of wind turbines in Scotland because high winds threatened to cause an overload in power output and block the grid.

The energy produced by windfarms can’t be stored, and the network from Scotland to England can’t cope with the peak generation.  When high power output from Scottish wind farms coincides with low electricity demand periods at night, the local transmission network overloads. In these scenarios the National Grid cuts off a number of wind farms to ease congestion.  This ‘curtailment’, as a National Grid spokesman put it, was between 300 MW and 750 MW per day.  I have no idea how many wind turbines that amounts to but the spokesman said that 650 MW is about 13 windfarms.

What’s disturbing about this, I hear you ask?  The disturbing bit is that the energy companies are PAID when this happens.  PAID by you and me.  These are called ‘Constraint’ payments, which are expected to total nearly £300 million per year by 2020 and which, according to the Telegraph, can be worth up to 20 times the value of the power they would have produced.

Apparently last year this happened on 25 days.  The National Grid estimates it will rise to 38 in the next few years…….but with the Government pushing to increase wind generation seven-fold by 2020, we can only guess at how many days that will rise to year on year and how much this will be costing us. 

Madness.

Wind farms paid £900,000 to switch off for one night.

See previous blog entries about windfarms.

(Source: af.reuters.com)

September 14, 2011
this seems like a smart way to keep orchids, if the drainage from one were to flow into the next.

this seems like a smart way to keep orchids, if the drainage from one were to flow into the next.

(Source: ochremesa, via mothernaturenetwork)

September 9, 2011
Benvironment: Ooo the UK's gone yellow. Time to batten down the hatches

benvironment:

Time to kiss what’s left of my sunflowers goodbye :-(

Much of the UK has been issued a Yellow weather warning from the Met Office for Monday, as the remnants of Hurricane Katia come spinning across the Atlantic.

It’s the most widespread weather warning I’ve seen from the Met Office…

oh shit. we’re flying back to glasgow on thursday…

(via fyeahscotland)

September 1, 2011
mothernaturenetwork:

There are many foods your family consumes on a regular basis that you could make yourself with minimal effort. It may be convenient to pick up a can of spaghetti sauce or a jar of strawberry jam, but ready-made foods are usually worse for both you and the planet because they contain more fat, salt and sugar and use more packaging. What kind of foods can you make yourself? A lot. Our list is just the beginning.
7 things you should make instead of buy

mothernaturenetwork:

There are many foods your family consumes on a regular basis that you could make yourself with minimal effort. It may be convenient to pick up a can of spaghetti sauce or a jar of strawberry jam, but ready-made foods are usually worse for both you and the planet because they contain more fat, salt and sugar and use more packaging.
 
What kind of foods can you make yourself? A lot. Our list is just the beginning.

7 things you should make instead of buy

August 26, 2011
Benvironment: The aristocrats cashing in on Britain's wind farm subsidies

benvironment:

Telegraph subsidy map

This article in the Telegraph this week is worth a look.  It gives you a few examples of the landowners up and down the country (such as Earl Spencer) who are making enooooormous amounts of money from allowing windfarms on their land.  It has a wee interactive map too.

The rich are getting MUCH richer.  That’s the rotten core at the centre of the windfarm industry.

The communities who actually inhabit these areas all year round are the ones who have to live next to windfarms.  They’re the ones who tolerate the work traffic during construction, the ones who are left with the noise and vibrations afterwards, the ones whose house values can drop, and the ones whose landscapes are dramatically changed.  Often, those who permit the turbines on their land live so far away, either by virtue of the enormous estates or because they live in a completely different country, that they suffer none of these side-effects and yet profit enormously.

Sure, bribes are given to the communities affected to persuade them to accept the developments.  Maybe the developer will fund a school or university, or they’ll pay for the upgrade of a minor road.  In the energy world these are known as ‘community benefit packages’, but they’re pitiful when you see how much money the landowners will be raking-in year on year by virtue of government subsidies.  The turbines will be there for over 20 years, and that means a payment from government for EVERY one of those years…….assuming subsidies remain, of course.

Rural communities should be the ones constructing energy generating facilities, not for big business, not for owners of large estates, not even for the wider public……but for themselves, of a size proportionate to their community and, if there are subsidies to be had then they go to the community itself.

It’s quite outrageous.

See which wealthy landowners are getting even more wealthy from windfarm subsidies.

August 20, 2011
mothernaturenetwork:

The idea behind these small houses is to reduce your ecological footprint but we like the other perks: Fewer possessions, bigger skies and open spaces! Here are 10 tiny houses we love.
10 of the smallest homes in the world

mothernaturenetwork:

The idea behind these small houses is to reduce your ecological footprint but we like the other perks: Fewer possessions, bigger skies and open spaces! Here are 10 tiny houses we love.

10 of the smallest homes in the world

http://www.mnn.com/sites/default/files/imagecache/node-gallery-display/gal_tinytexas.jpg

August 20, 2011
Benvironment: Shell says it has plugged the North Sea leak

benvironment:

Shell divers - BBC

After ten days, Shell says that its divers have managed to turn-off the leaking relief valve and that oil is no longer spewing into the North Sea.

The oil company will now be monitoring the pipeline closely, before attempting to remove about 600 tonnes of oil still down there.

Thankfully,…

(Source: BBC)

August 20, 2011
mothernaturenetwork:

8 awesome green roofs from around the world

including chicago’s city hall

mothernaturenetwork:

8 awesome green roofs from around the world

including chicago’s city hall

August 16, 2011
Benvironment: Shell fights to stop oil spill in Scottish waters

benvironment:

Shell oil spill

Another day, another oil spill. Closer to home this time though as Royal Dutch Shell is apparently fighting to stop an oil leak from one of its platforms in Scottish waters.

Somewhat worryingly, the oil giant is refusing to say how much oil has been released, instead saying that the leak…

(Source: BBC)

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