Plastics Advances: CO2 Sponge Could Reduce Fossil Fuel Emissions

This presentation pertaining to a CO2 sponge is one of some 12,000 at the 248th National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society (ACS). If any part of this comes to a greater reality in mitigating climate change, this one particularly piques our interest. Read this press announcement from AAAS EurekAlert. A sponge-like plastic that sops up the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide (CO2) might ease our transition away from polluting fossil fuels and toward new energy sources, such as…

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Hospital corridor

Many Doctors Unaware of Effects of Buildings on Health

The critical connection between a healthy building environment and patient health is often missed by the one group of professionals who may matter most – physicians, according to a new SmartMarket report by McGraw Hill Construction, sponsored by the American Institute of Architects and United Technologies. The survey results were announced last week at the opening session of the American Institute of Architects 2014 National Convention & Design Exposition in Chicago. The report, “The Drive Toward Healthier Buildings: The Market Drivers and…

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CBRE Building is first WELL Certified building in LA

WELL Building Standard Measures Health of Buildings

Humans spend almost 90% of our time indoors. Green building certification programs address the health of our indoor environments by eliminating chemicals in products installed indoors and increasing ventilation and filtration requirements. A new standard looks to take this one step further, directly addressing the impact of building interiors on human health. The WELL Building Standard is an evidence-based system for measuring, certifying, and monitoring the performance of building features that impact health and wellbeing. The system looks at seven…

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Sunlight by Shutterstock

Should You Wear Sunblock Indoors?

According to experts at the International Window Film Association (IWFA), the answer is yes, if your windows aren’t properly tinted. Untinted windows allow dangerous ultraviolet (UV) rays to pass through to occupants in cars and buildings. “If you’re sitting next to a window with sunlight streaming in, you’re at risk for UV damage to your skin and eyes,” said Darrell Smith, executive director of the IWFA. “Window film brings automatic and continuous protection indoors without the need to take action in…

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Alarming CO2 Increase

We don’t write that much about CO2 and its impact on the planet but this news report is absolutely alarming. Sadly this is a global problem — yes, problem — that will not correct itself without some well-considered and far-reaching action steps. Each person, each business, each government must make a commitment to seek balance in the matter of climate change. Read the entire article HERE.   Source: SFGate

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Plant growing in beaker

What Are Health Product Declarations?

Health product declarations (HPDs) provide a full disclosure of the potential chemicals of concern in products by comparing product ingredients to a wide variety of “hazard” lists published by government authorities and scientific associations. The goal of an HPD is to inform consumers about the types of chemicals that are in the products they install in their buildings. Third-Party Testing Similar to environmental product declarations (EPDs), HPDs are developed and audited by certified third-party testers who follow a protocol in testing…

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Ron Finley Proves Food Forest Concept on Vacant Land

This inspiring TED presentation by Ron Finley about planting a food forest in front of his house in South-Central LA — home to many food deserts — has been around for some time. With planting season here, this video is still very much worth seeing and sharing with anybody interested in green building. Ron Finley: A Guerilla Gardener Also provided below is a link to the transcript of this speech. Source: TED

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Pressure-Treated Lumber: Safest Options

Those who have built retaining walls or raised garden beds over the past few years may have used pressure-treated 4 ‘ to 8″ wood immersed with CCA, or copper chromium arsenate. A growing number of people have charged that this product, containing inorganic arsenic, can be toxic to people, pets, and even food grown in the garden. Green PTL is now Red PTL Ever wondered why green pressure treated lumber has been replaced by red PTL? Probably because copper replaced…

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Prototype Transitional Housing in Hong Kong

Hong Kong is a city, like many others, that is facing huge population and industrial growth but does not have housing enough to meet all those needs. There are more than 280,000 individuals living in Hong Kong that are without permanent forms of housing and they resort to building and residing in illegal temporary structures for survival. In 2013, architects AFFECT-T created a micro-dwelling prototype house that could change Hong Kong’s homeless statistic. The built example is a transitional living…

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Can a Bubble Protect Beijing?

There was a silly movie called Bubble Boy that was released in 2001. It was about a boy who did not have an immune system so he lived his life in a bubble. Can places adapt this same bubble-like existence to create a safe, sterile environment? What does this have to do with today’s world? Is this a fantasy future where a city is enclosed? Can this really solve the problems of the environment that our society has created? Well…

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MIT researchers make a water filter from the sapwood in tree branches

Congratulations to Rohit Karnik and his MIT research team for addressing one of the major issues for much of the world’s population: the availability of bacteria-safe drinking water with a low-cost and low-tech solution. Group shows xylem tissue in sapwood can filter bacteria from contaminated water If you’ve run out of drinking water during a lakeside camping trip, there’s a simple solution: Break off a branch from the nearest pine tree, peel away the bark, and slowly pour lake water…

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Recent Study: Suburban Sprawl Cancels Carbon Footprint Savings of Dense Urban Cores

Lessons learned in history relate directly to lessons learned from everyday experiences. People developed and moved to the suburbs because more space was needed to start and expand families and because they wanted fresh air away from the industrial working environments that the cities provided. Today, it seems to take us longer to learn lessons. We need more evidence and more trends before we take full advantage of what is already present plus we want the best of both worlds.…

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Environmental fiscal reform would improve the environment and reduce the informal economy

Researchers at the UPV/EHU-University of the Basque Country and the BC3 (Basque Centre for Climate Change) are proposing measures to improve the environment and the efficiency of the tax system: CO2 emissions should be taxed and taxes on labor should be The effect that the introduction of environmental fiscal reform would have on an economic system has been the focus of study since the 1990s. However, studies of this type have until now failed to take the informal economy into…

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Recycled plastic proves effective in killing drug-resistant fungi

New uses for recycled plastic — PET in this case — are beginning to emerge. See the following press announcement. Researchers at Singapore’s Institute of Bioengineering and Nanotechnology (IBN) and California’s IBM Research – Almaden (IBM) have discovered a new, potentially life-saving application for polyethylene terephthalate (PET), which is widely used to make plastic bottles. They have successfully converted PET into a non-toxic biocompatible material with superior fungal killing properties. As reported in Nature Communications1, their new material proved particularly effective…

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Silica — #8 In “Top 10 Toxic Ingredients Used By The Fossil Fuel Industries” Serie

Last week we provided an informational video showing one perspective — that of a natural gas company — concerning the debate about hydraulic fracturing. Here is another perspective, written by Don Lieber for Planetsave. [repostus]Silica — #8 In “Top 10 Toxic Ingredients Used By The Fossil Fuel Industries” Series (via Planetsave) This is one part of a 10-part series on the ”Top 10 Toxic Ingredients Used By The Fossil Fuel Industries.” Read, share, and check in tomorrow for the next part,…

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Rice Scientists ID New Catalyst for Cleanup of Nitrites

Gold-palladium nanocatalysts set new mark for breakdown and cleanup of nitrites Chemical engineers at Rice University have found a new catalyst that can rapidly break down nitrites, a common and harmful contaminant in drinking water that often results from overuse of agricultural fertilizers. Nitrites and their more abundant cousins, nitrates, are inorganic compounds that are often found in both groundwater and surface water. The compounds are a health hazard, and the Environmental Protection Agency places strict limits on the amount…

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FilterWatch: Your Energy Efficiency Lookout

Paying the unneeded cost of heating a home in winter is never a welcome expense, especially if it’s a matter of clogged air filters affecting your home’s energy efficiency. Fortunately, this is a problem that can be addressed with a cost-effective solution called FilterWatch. Let’s start with this straightforward benefit: “A simple, effective energy efficiency solution that will save you money.” Add cleaner air to the list of benefits, especially the air we breathe in and out most days of…

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