pollution

Green tech finds: Recycled guitars and impromptu speakers

Article: Green tech finds: Recycled guitars and impromptu speakers

Cool concept cars and planes, speakers that turn ordinary objects into amplifiers, and the potential environmental cost of washing your jacket: this week’s green tech finds.

Honda’s very cool, very light electric concept vehicle: Unfortunately, “concept” often means we’ll never see one on the road. Still, Honda’s EV-STER (which rolled out last week at the Tokyo Auto Show, and is pictured above) shows the company combining electric power with light weight (through lots of body elements made from carbon) and sweet styling; maybe they’ll keep thinking this way as they work towards new production vehicles. (via Earth Techling)

BAG IT: when plastics get personal

Article: BAG IT: when plastics get personal

Bag It Intro from Suzan Beraza on Vimeo.

After watching the trailer above, you may well have already characterized BAG IT as another activist documentary that does that Micheal Moore thing of setting an “everyman” out on a journey of exploration, learning and that final “ah ha” moment. And to some degree, you’d be right. Jeb Berrier (the face of the film) describes himself as an “average American,” one who doesn’t give a lot of thought to the impact of his consumption choices. You may think “Okay, I know where this is going,” and again, you’d be half right.

While director Suzan Beraza does follow in Berrier’s footsteps much like a Moore or a Morgan Spurlock follow in their own, she allows room for the journey to take whatever twists and turns come up…

Green tech finds (2/3/11)

Article: Green tech finds (2/3/11)

warning signs from Susan Ngo on Vimeo.

T-shirts that detect pollution, wind power from transit tunnels, and solar power in coal’s heartland… your green tech finds for the week.

  • The pollution-detecting t-shirt: NYU grad students Nien Lam and Sue Ngo’s Warning Signs t-shirts display either a heart or a pair of lungs that change color according to the levels of carbon monoxide in the air. Watch it work above… (via Green Energy News and @greeneconpost)

  • All renewables by 2050? A brand new report from WWF claims we can get there, “…with only isolated residual uses of fossil and nuclear fuels.” (via Mail & Guardian Online)

Sundance environmental films: materials, waste, and pollution

Article: Sundance environmental films: materials, waste, and pollution

If you regularly recycle household materials, you’re likely moved by a spirit of doing something good for the environment. For many residents of the developing world, though, “recycling” materials thrown out by others is an act of survival. There’s likely no better place to witness this dynamic than Rio de Janeiro’s Jardim Gramacho, the world’s largest landfill, and photographer Vik Muniz made the landfill, and the catadores that reclaim materials from it, the subject of a series of photographs (shown as a part of his The Beautiful Earth exhibit).

Appeals Court: Power Companies Can Be Sued for Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Article: Appeals Court: Power Companies Can Be Sued for Greenhouse Gas Emissions

In a historic ruling, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals has sided with states and private land trusts that sued large power companies to make them curb their greenhouse gas emissions.

Jeffersonville, Indiana Must Minimize Sewage Overflows to Ohio River

Article: Jeffersonville, Indiana Must Minimize Sewage Overflows to Ohio River

The city of Jeffersonville has agreed to make extensive improvements to its sewer systems to reduce the city’s long-standing sewage overflows into the Ohio River at a cost that is estimated to run between $100 and $150 million.

Arsenic, Lead Found in School Supplies, Cars, Child Car Seats

Article: Arsenic, Lead Found in School Supplies, Cars, Child Car Seats

Tests for toxic chemicals in ordinary school supplies, children’s car seats, vehicles and pet products have detected lead, arsenic and heavy metals, according to the nonprofit Ecology Center that analyzed the products.

Antarctic Glacier Thinning Four Times Faster Than 10 Years Ago

Article: Antarctic Glacier Thinning Four Times Faster Than 10 Years Ago

The thinning of a gigantic glacier in Antarctica is accelerating, scientists warned today, calling the loss of ice “alarming.” The Pine Island Glacier in West Antarctica is losing ice four times as fast as it was a decade ago.

Chemical Safety Board Probes ExxonMobil Refinery Toxic Gas Leak

Article: Chemical Safety Board Probes ExxonMobil Refinery Toxic Gas Leak

A four-member investigative team from the U.S. Chemical Safety Board is traveling to the ExxonMobil refinery in Joliet, Illinois, the site of a release of propane and toxic hydrogen fluoride Thursday.

Thousand Cankers Disease Kills Black Walnut Trees Across the West

Article: Thousand Cankers Disease Kills Black Walnut Trees Across the West

Thousand cankers, a newly recognized and devastating disease that attacks black walnut trees, has killed a large number of trees across the western states and has now moved eastward into several communities along Colorado’s Front Range, including Boulder and Colorado Springs and the Denver area.

Green Customs Operation Seizes 30,000 Tons of Illegal HazWaste

Article: Green Customs Operation Seizes 30,000 Tons of Illegal HazWaste

A joint Customs initiative across Europe, the Asia-Pacific region and Africa has netted more than 30,000 tons and 1,500 pieces of illegal hazardous waste in 57 seizures, ranging from household waste and scrap metal to discarded electronic goods and used vehicle parts.

Locations of High Hazard Coal Ash Waste Impoundments Made Public

Article: Locations of High Hazard Coal Ash Waste Impoundments Made Public

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has posted a list of 44 “high hazard potential” impoundments containing coal combustion residuals, commonly referred to as coal ash, at 26 different coal-burning electric utility facilities in 10 states.

Climate Scientist James Hansen Arrested in Mountaintop Removal Protest

Article: Climate Scientist James Hansen Arrested in Mountaintop Removal Protest

West Virginia State Police today arrested at least 29 demonstrators, including government climate scientist Dr. James Hansen, actress Daryl Hannah, and 94 year-old former West Virginia Congressman Ken Hechler, for tresspassing on the property of a mountaintop removal coal mining company to protest the destructive practice.

Bottled water: can it ever be green?

Article: Bottled water: can it ever be green?

Still have bottled water as a regular item on the grocery list? Or just pick up the occasional bottle when you’re out? It’s so convenient…

As you probably know, that convenience comes at an environmental and social price: documentaries such as FLOW and Thirst, organizations such as the Sierra Club and Environmental Defense Fund, and even a few of us lowly bloggers, have reported on the costs created by water’s transformation from a freely-available resource to a multi-billion dollar commodity. That bottle of water you buy now contributes to the world’s third-largest industry.

Green Furniture

Article: Green Furniture

Green furniture makes you and the planet more comfortable. Buying sustainable furnishings really makes a huge difference in your environment. Think of all the numberless materials that are required to make furniture, now imagine the pollution that would damage the environment if the materials were not harvested and made in a sustainable fashion. There are…