Wednesday, 22 December 2010

TPRF Assists Thai Farmers In Wake Of Massive Flooding

Photo: Betterment of Life Foundation

The Prem Rawat Foundation (TPRF) is providing nutritious food and clean drinking water to an estimated 1,500 people in 300 households impacted by flooding in 16 villages around Amphoe Pho Thong in the Ang Thong Province of central Thailand.

A grant of US$15,000 to Thailand’s Betterment of Life Foundation (BoLF) is assisting families dependent on produce from small farms in Bang Chao Cha and Ongkharak districts, where rice fields and orchards could not be harvested after they were inundated by heavy rains in the worst flooding in the region’s recent history.

TPRF is particularly interested in helping people in need who are not receiving aid from other organizations,” said Linda Pascotto, TPRF president. "The Foundation is pleased to be able to partner with BoLF in assisting these flood victims who have lost their crops.

Sang Arum Limwongtaworn, coordinator in Amphoe Pho Thong for BoLF, said the floods ruined village farmlands but not their places of residence. “As a result,” she said,” these 300 households did not receive any government help in the way of food or drinking water. At present, their farmlands are still mostly flooded, as water levels have been dropping slowly.

TPRF responded to BoLF’s plea for help shortly after the torrents began. In addition to drinking water, a two-week supply of rice, noodles and cans of fish, peas and other vegetables is being distributed to about 150 residences through the program within each district.

Photos: Betterment of Life Foundation

 

Monday, 13 December 2010

Converting Plastic Into Sustainable Bricks



Inventor Peter Lewis has developed a machine called Byfusion, which can turn anything from drink bottles to meat packaging into blocks. Waste plastic is transformed into bricks that can potentially be used for building garden retaining walls, landscaping walls and shelters for hurricane and tsunami struck areas in the Pacific Islands. 

His 8-year-old prototype at the Green Island landfill requires 10kg of plastic to form a one brick. The production version of the Byfusion machine will be capable of producing 250 blocks daily and has already generated interest from prospective national and international buyers.




Via: Otago Daily Time

Thursday, 2 December 2010

Eco-Friendly Advent Lights For Christmas



Wilma and Friends have created beautiful eco-friendly advent lights using recycled candle cups. The creative candlestick is called “Fine” and each piece features stylishly designed heads and lights up to give eye-catching shadows of a Christmas tree, reindeer etc.

In addition, Fine advent light comes flat packed, thus saving space during transportation making it a perfect gift for Christmas and any other occasion to friends and family members.



Via: igreenspot

Saturday, 27 November 2010

LiveStream: An Ambassador of Peace - Prem Rawat Honored in Potenza, Italy

In the Basilicata region of Italy, President Emilio Colombo, President Vito de Filippo of Basilicata, and several other dignitaries declared Prem Rawat to be the region's Ambassador of Peace during a special event to promote peace, held on July 3, 2009.

Greeting Prem Rawat to the stage, Governor de Filippo spoke of the need for political institutions to actively address the individuals' quest for peace. “It is known that treaties alone are insufficient in establishing lasting peace, and I believe deeply that embedded in our souls is the most solid foundation for bringing peace. Tonight an important seed will be planted that we will nurture and grow. For this is a land of peace,” he stated.

You can watch the LiveStream webcast of this event at any time over the next 5 days by following this link.

“Our differences of opinion should be our strength, not our weakness. We have to learn to come together, and that can only happen when we see the necessity.”
 Prem Rawat


Monday, 22 November 2010

WaterAid - Elizabeth's Story

Elizabeth is a 67-year-old grandmother from Zambia. Four years ago, through supporters' donations, WaterAid came to help her village. Watch the video below where she tells her story - it may inspire you to give another family the greatest Christmas gifts of all - clean water and a toilet. 

Thursday, 11 November 2010

Micro Movie House Powered By Sun


The Sol Cinema is the world's first “smallest solar-powered movie house.” It is powered by four large lithium-ion batteries that are charged by two 120W solar panels. A non-profit project from the award-winning charity, Undercurrents , this unique entertainment house is made using a two-berth caravan from the 1960s.

Comfortably accommodationg 8 adults or 12 young people, it features a full library of comedy, quirky, music videos and short films with inspiring environment themes to offer a unique cinematic experience.









Via: CleanTechnica

Friday, 5 November 2010

Lift House - Sustainable Housing For Flood-Prone Areas


Prithula Prosun has designed and constructed a house in Dhaka, Bangladesh called the "Lift House", which is short for low income flood-proof technology. This eco-friendly house has been designed to provide sustainable housing for low-income communities in flood-prone areas. It floats upwards with rising water levels due to floods and water logging, and returns to ground level as the water recedes. It has been successfully tested and already houses two families.
The project is designed to be completely self sustaining.  The rainwater is collected and filtered using a service spine, after which it  is recycled through bio-sand filtration, so that it can be used throughout the year. There is also an underground pipe system for urine to go into the garden as a source of nutrients, while the shared composting toilet allows the residents to create compost from human waste that can be sold or applied to the vegetable garden after 10 years of use.

Via: OpenArchitectureNetwork

Monday, 1 November 2010

Life Is A Beautiful Journey

Image: YPI

Saturday, 30 October 2010

World Food Programme To Launch WeFeedback Site

The UN World Food Programme is ready to launch a new social networking site called WeFeedback "that empowers people to raise awareness of world hunger through food, fun and community."

You can sign up here to be notified when the site goes live and to receive other important updates.

Tuesday, 26 October 2010

Red Cross Water Unit For Safe Drinking Water


Swiss designer Damien Ummel of Atelier Peekaboo has designed the Drinkbak Red Cross water unit, which promises safe and clean drinking water for the needy, especially in place struck by natural disaster.

A graduate of Ecal University of Art and Design in Lausanne, Switzerland, Ummel designed the Drinkbak with a funnel and filter. The easy to install unit purifies the water using a filter that pours the water into the funnel.

The design has won a prize at the “YoungDesignersFair” interieur 2010 in Kortrijk, Belgium.



Via: Designboom

Thursday, 21 October 2010

Jessica Jackley: Poverty, Money - And Love

Jessica Jackley is the co-founder of Kiva.org, an online community that helps individuals loan small amounts of money, called microloans, to entrepreneurs throughout the world. I came across this talk which she gave earlier this year for TED.

She asks us what we think of people in poverty - probably what she once did: "they" need "our" help, in the form of a few coins in a jar. In this talk she explains how her attitude changed - and how her work with microloans has brought new power to people who live on a few dollars a day.

Well worth listening to!



Tuesday, 19 October 2010

TPRF To Open 3rd Food For People Facility In Ghana

Image: TPRF
Thanks to generous contributions from Friends of TPRF across the globe it has become possible for TPRF to initiate a third Food for People (FFP) facility. The first two are located in India and Nepal. After much research, it was decided to locate the new facility in Ghana, in the village of Otinibi on the outskirts of the capital city, Accra.

After many consultations with village leaders, including Chief Nii Kweidza Mansa III, Headmistress Grace Ninsaw, and village elders, a plan is underway to build a Food for People facility on land adjacent to the school. The project was introduced at a village-wide Durbar, or ceremonial meeting, where Chief Mansa, the headmistress, and representatives of TPRF and the local sponsoring charity formally presented the project and responded to questions. The facility will open in 2011.

First established in 1840, Otinibi is a village of about 1500 people. Most residents farm to raise food for their families, but because of poor soil and undependable weather patterns, they are barely able to grow enough food to eat. Those who are strong enough, leave early in the morning and walk 5 kilometers to break up rocks for road building.

Children who are enrolled in school often arrive without breakfast. Others are kept out of school to work.

With the announcement of the upcoming Food for People facility, school enrollment is already on the increase, to the surprise and delight of school officials.

Via: TPRF

Monday, 11 October 2010

Solar And Wind Powered Design Could Allow Plants To Survive In Desert


Korean designers Sang-Wook Park, Lee Sin-Jeong, Lee Ho-Young and Jo Hyeon-Ju have designed the “Water Vapor”, a solar and wind-powered design which converts air in to vapour by causing temperature differences through a vortex tube. In the designers' own words, 'the purpose is to create an environment where plants can live with soil moisture and water provided.'

The vapours produced by Water Vapor provide sufficient water for the plants to survive, along with moisture from the soil. Out of more than 4000 participants in the ‘iida awards 2010′ competition (Incheon International Design Awards), the Water Vapor is one of the shortlisted entries.

Via: Designboom

Saturday, 9 October 2010

French Student Accommodation Made From Shipping Containers

Image © Cattini Architects via Freshome

100 dorm rooms have been built from old shipping containers for some students in Le Havre, France. It is called Cité a Docks and was designed by Cattani Architects.

Each unit is about 24 square meters and has a large glass wall which lets in a lot of natural light and has a bathroom and a kitchen. The first floor is raised off the ground, allowing students to store their bikes, and the inside of each room is a welcoming white with warm wooden furniture.

Instead of just stacking the boxes right on top of one another, they have been staggered and alternating areas between containers have been left  empty to act as walkways and balconies. Container walls that face the exterior of the building or sit between other units are insulated using concrete fire walls and rubber.
Image © Cattini Architects via Freshome


Via: Freshome

Wednesday, 6 October 2010

Derelict Petrol Station Turned In to Pop-up Cinema


There are around 4,000 derelict petrol stations in and around London, and a collective of young artists, designers and architects called Cineroleum transformed one of them - on Clerkenwell Road - into a traditionally designed, temporary pop-up cinema.  It is constructed from donated and found materials, and will show films from sundown onwards four nights a week.

As part of the green makeover there are paper tickets - 5 Euros each - and signage, flip-down seats and an ornate curtain strung from the forecourt roof has been supplied. You can see more images of the street-side cinema here.




Via: The Pop-up City

Monday, 27 September 2010

TPRF Videos For International Peace Day

Following my previous post, below you can see the two new videos from TPRF, which were streamed to a global audience on International Peace Day, earlier this week.

The first, Flame of Hope, chronicles the results of the first four years of the Food for People program, with facilities in India and Nepal.

The second, A Message of Peace, features Prem Rawat introducing his message that the way to lasting Peace in the world begins when we first find peace within ourselves.



Saturday, 25 September 2010

Spray-On Solar Panels


A new spray-on solar film has been developed by EnSol AS, a Norwegian Company. The spray allows windows to generate solar power without clouding the view. Consisting of metal nanoparticles embedded in a transparent composite matrix, it can be easily sprayed on - and not just on glass - they can also be used on the rest of the house.

The coating would be built into the windows or other materials as part of the manufacturing process."`Lead researcher Christopher Binns of the University of Leicester said, "It could even be used on the roofs of cars to charge up batteries — although powering the vehicles themselves would probably be pushing it.

The cells achieve efficiencies of 20 percent (which is average) and the company claims they will be commercially available at a reasonable price by 2016.



Via:Daily Mail

Tuesday, 21 September 2010

WaterAid's Giant Poo Delivers Message In New York

On the eve of a critical UN Summit to review efforts to tackle world poverty, WaterAid let loose a giant poo on the streets of New York to highlight a global sanitation crisis responsible for 4,000 child deaths every day.

Diarrhoeal diseases caused by poor sanitation and unsafe water kill more children than AIDS, malaria and measles combined. In Africa, diarrhoea is now the biggest killer of children under five. Some 2.6 billion people across the globe live with no access to a safe clean toilet.

WaterAid's Kate Norgrove said: "A giant poo at large on the streets of New York may seem like an odd way to get a serious message across, but sanitation is still such a taboo subject that getting world leaders to address the issue calls for drastic measures!"



Saturday, 18 September 2010

A Message Of Peace


For the International Day Of Peace on September 21 the new video from TPRF, A Message of Peace, has been included in the United Nations’ International Day of Peace Global Broadcast.

1st showing of A Message of Peace:
Saturday, September 18
http://www.peaceday.tv
8:00 AM PDT; 4 PM GMT
(A Message of Peace will follow a short video about the Food for People program.)

2nd showing of A Message of Peace:
Monday, September 20
3:30 AM PDT; 11:30 AM GMT

A Message of Peace will be broadcast on the United Nations’ website at the same times:
http://www.un.org/en/events/peaceday/2010/broadcast.shtml

TPRF is participating alongside organizations such as UNICEF, Action Against Hunger, World Economic Forum, CARE, UN World Food Programme, The Peace Alliance, Amnesty International, and many others.

A Message of Peace will also be available on www.tprf.org soon.

Thursday, 16 September 2010

Eco Friendly Hemp House


In order to test its properties as a building material, researchers at the University of Bath have used hemp to build a first-of-its-kind hemp house. Called the ‘HemPod’, the one storey highly insulating structure has been built from the chopped woody core of the industrial hemp plant mixed with a specially developed lime-based binder.

The hemp traps air in the walls, creating excellent insulation, and the lime based binder holds the hemp together to make the building fire resistant. As it grows, the hemp absorbs carbon dioxide and the lime takes in even more of climate change gas, thereby effectively reducing the building’s carbon footprint.





Via: Bath

Friday, 10 September 2010

AirDrop House For Flood-Hit Areas


The AirDrop House is a sustainable housing solution for flood-hit areas which has been conceived by architect Andrew Maynard and his team. The tiny houses which are made from dried sponge-like material could be dropped onto affected areas by standard military aircraft.

As soon as they contact water these instant floating abodes expand up to a seven meters diameter from their original one-meter diameter. Slowly soaking up water, they swell into self-sustaining temporary houses. They come with embedded seeds that sprout over time to create a green roof, which becomes a food-producing covering.

To further waterproof and increase durability, the house can be rendered in available local materials, and each pod can be customized to allow different functions. These can then be assembled together to form complex local centres.

 If left unrendered, the house will very slowly decay until it completely breaks down to become a fertile crop bed. By this time, locals have had time to re-establish their home following disaster.






Via: Inhabitat

Saturday, 4 September 2010

Pakistan Floods Update

The area of Punjab is known as the land of 5 rivers, but the floods have turned it into one lake. Millions of acres of farmland have been laid waste. Watch the World Food Programme video below where Marco Frattini visits the area and meets a family living on the side of the road waiting for the waters to recede.

To help please visit the WFP site here.

Wednesday, 1 September 2010

Be Fulfilled

Image: YPI

Sunday, 29 August 2010

USB Solar Charger Compatible With iPhone And iPod

Euro-Line Solar GmbH, a Germany-based company, have announced the launch of the Aurora product line, a new line of portable solar products compatible with iPhones and iPods as well as other USB powered products.

The Aurora features a universal USB output for charging devices and flexible CIGS solar cells which are encased in rip stop nylon, the same material used in parachutes, making it small, durable and lightweight.

Each Aurora comes with 8 different device adapters including the Apple 30 pin connector and has a suggested retail price of €99. The company will be displaying its products at the IFA trade show in Berlin September 3-8, 2010.



Via: OpenPR

Wednesday, 25 August 2010

Dig Toilets Not Graves

This is the campaign from WaterAid. The shocking statistic is that 4,000 children die every day from diarrhoea - more than AIDS, malaria and measles put together! That’s 3 children every minute of every day.

These children die because they don’t have proper toilets, so many have to defecate wherever they can and faeces contaminates everything they touch, eat and drink, causing deadly diarrhoeal diseases.

The simple solution is to dig safe pit toilets which last for years, saving lives day after day. Please visit here to get more information and find out how you can help. WaterAid have stated that over one year £3 a month could pay for a pit toilet to help keep children safe; £5 a month could train a mason to build toilets and £10 a month could train a community group to manage the new toilet and water facilities.


Tuesday, 17 August 2010

Prem Rawat To Speak In Baltimore And Toronto

For those of you living in the Baltimore, Maryland and Toronto regions you have a chance to hear Prem Rawat speaking this coming week. He will speak in Baltimore on Sunday, 22 August at 3.30pm - details and seat reservations here. On Saturday, 28 August he will speak in Toronto at 3.30pm - details and seat reservations here.

He is also speaking in Boston on August 21, but the event is now fully booked.

Sunday, 15 August 2010

Bali Eco Village


The “Bloo Lagoon” eco village, which was designed and constructed by architect Tony Gwilliam, is an attempt to provide sustainable lifestyle to the people of Bali, Indonesia. The idea is to allow people to share resources rather than owning individually, includes green buildings, gardens and swimming pool and aims to be as sustainable and environmentally friendly as possible.
The buildings are planned in a way to encourage passive climate control, saving on energy and there are high-efficiency LED lights, simple refrigerators and natural gas cooking stoves. Energy is produced by solar cells and the rainwater is collected and filtered for use, while black water is treated biologically by waste water gardens which are integrated throughout the village.

Villagers also share the organic food produced in the village gardens.




Via: Designboom

Tuesday, 10 August 2010

Help Pakistan Flood Relief

Photo: Wikimedia

For those of you on Facebook there is a chance to help the relief work for the Pakistan flood - either by donating or promoting it on Facebook. TPRF is working with its partners to identify the best way to provide assistance. If you would like to help the Pakistan Flood Relief, your support of this Facebook Cause will enable TPRF to make a bigger impact.


Saturday, 7 August 2010

Six-Story Vertical Garden In Spain


The six-story vertical garden in the photo above is located in the town square of San Vicente del Raspeig  in the southeast of Spain. Designed by architect Jose Maria Chofre, it has been installed on the facade of a new children's library.

Consisting of a metal frame structure built on a dividing wall between the library and an existing apartment building, the plants have been inserted into the frame between two metal grids using synthetic felted material. Various types of plants have been used - one type per square. A suspended scaffold hanging from the front allows plants to be pruned or replaced.


Thursday, 5 August 2010

Aard Concept Generator Uses Solar And Wind Power


Arttu-Matti Immonen has designed this spherical renewable energy generator which uses both solar and wind energy. Called the Aard Concept, it has flexible photovoltaic modules that collect solar energy and store it in onboard batteries. The generator revolves around its axis – without any need of turning it manually – and produces electricity through dynamos. Because it is made of lightweight aluminum, it is able to harness usable energy at low wind speeds.




Via: Tuvie

Monday, 2 August 2010

What You Are Looking For Is Inside Of You

Image: YPI

Saturday, 31 July 2010

Soccer Ball That Generates Energy While Being Kicked

Image: sOccket

A team of four engineering students at Harvard University have designed a unique soccer ball that generates electricity when being kicked around and could help provide much-needed electricity to areas of rural Africa.

Called the sOccket, the ball captures the energy from impact that is usually lost to the environment. It makes use of inductive-coil technology to generate, and store energy, in the ball whilst it is being played with. When the game of soccer has been concluded, the child can return home with a fully charged ball, and using the built-in fixture, connect a LED lamp to illuminate the home.

Although the product is still in a prototype format with trials being conducted throughout the African continent, it is destined to help families who are currently living off-grid. In most African countries, 95% of the population is living off-grid with no access to electricity





Find out more here - sOccket

Wednesday, 28 July 2010

Prem Rawat Addresses Peace Conference at European Union


Prem Rawat was invited by Gianni Pittella, First Vice President of the European Union, to share his vision of peace at a special event called “Words of Peace for Europe,” held at the EU Parliament House in Brussels on June 29, 2010.

Mr. Rawat’s remarks offered a clear and challenging perspective. “If we have the power to make such a mess out of this earth, then certainly we have enough power to bring peace to this earth, too,” he said. “The question remains whether or not it is something that we want to do, because peace begins with every one of you. It is individual human beings who need peace; it is individual human beings in whom the desire resides; and it is on the individual human being’s stage that peace needs to dance.”

Read more here

Monday, 26 July 2010

Solar-Powered, Driverless Cars To Travel From Rome To Shanghai


The Artificial Vision and Intelligent Systems Laboratory (VisLab) of Italy’s Parma University have developed two solar-powered cars that will make an eco-trip from Rome to Shanghai. What makes this trip particularly different, however, is the fact that the cars will run without a driver. The two vans are autonomous, controlled by an on-board computer called GOLD, short for Generic Obstacle and Lane Detector.

"The aim is to demonstrate, through an extensive and impressive test, that the current technology is mature enough for the deployment of non-polluting and no-oil based autonomous vehicles in real conditions. Moreover the Municipality of Rome, an active player in this project, is planning to exploit these vehicles downtown to deliver goods to shops, collect trash, and arrange sustainable mobility in the last mile." VisLab states.

It is expected that after the cars are perfected, they could be used in agriculture, mining and commercial transportation.

Live video streaming from the vehicles will be available during the whole expedition - visit their website here.

Tuesday, 20 July 2010

New Homes Arrive By Air In Haiti

Lest we forget the dreadful conditions that people have been living in in Haiti, take a look at the video below, which shows how the World Food Programme helped Chilean NGO Un Techo Para Mi Pais to airlift prefabricated houses to earthquake victims in remote parts of Haiti. Finding solid shelter for people who lost their homes is becoming urgent as the hurricane season approaches.


Saturday, 17 July 2010

Low-Cost Portable Ventilator For Emergency Relief


For a class project at MIT called Precision Machine Design, which involved creation of devices that could help ease modern hospital problems, a team of students developed a low-cost, portable ventilator for keeping patients breathing in places with no access to mechanical ventilators. This simple and inexpensive device could especially be of help in emergencies.

The $100 ventilator features a pump, which is encased in a plastic box with a battery, motor and controls. Three control knobs are there to adjust the total volume of air delivered in each breath, to calculate the number of breaths per second, and assessing the frequency of inhaling and exhaling. The device relies on a curved plastic cam for compression and release of air.




Via: MIT News

Monday, 12 July 2010

Soccer Field To Provide Clean Drinking Water For Africans


Recently unveiled at the Port of Los Angeles was PITCH:AFRICA - a concept soccer field and community centre which will provide potable water to Africans. Conceived by Jane Harrison and David Turnbull of Atopia Research, the permeable soccer field, created from re-purposed shipping containers or locally found materials, captures rainwater in cisterns much below the ground or at ground level.

To be located at the centre of the community where it will be set up, residents won't need to travel miles for water. There is enough space to seat 1000 people and the sheltered eaves below the stands will also be used for classrooms or stores.

Jane Harrison and David Turnbull call it a "man-made eco-system." The kit is designed to use whatever materials are on hand, built with materials as ubiquitous as shipping containers or fabricated locally to support the local economy.

The project is funded by the Annenberg Foundation.

"PITCH:AFRICA will provide clean water on a regular basis in tropical and temperate regions where water is scarce or unavailable, potentially making a profound difference in the lives of the people of Africa."




Via: FastCoDesign

Thursday, 8 July 2010

A Call To Peace World Music Concert


Those of you in the Southern California area may like to know that the first in a series of concerts organized by supporters of TPRF to benefit Food for People has been announced for Southern California on Saturday, July 10.

These concerts will be happening globally, sponsored by the local initiatives of people who are inspired by the work of TPRF and want to help it continue and grow.

To find out more about the Food For People programme click here. To find out more about A Call To Peace multimedia events and upcoming tour dates click here and watch the short video below.

Wednesday, 7 July 2010

WaterAid 'Won't Let It Drop' At Glastonbury



Musicians at this year's Glastonbury Festival in the UK joined WaterAid's 'Don't Let it Drop' campaign.

The campaign is supported by Michael and Emily Eavis, Faithless, Corinne Bailey Rae, Kate Nash, The Cribs, Foals, Joshua Radin, Ricky Wilson and Nick Hodgson from the Kaiser Chiefs, Salif Keita, Emmanuel Jal, The Duke Spirit, Goldie, Amadou and Mariam and Biffy Clyro.

The campaign sends a message to world leaders ahead of an important UN summit on global poverty this September. It calls on leaders not to let their promises on safe water and sanitation drop, and asks people everywhere to visit www.wateraid.org/droplet to sign the petition.

Sunday, 4 July 2010

Football Kits From Recycled Plastic


Brazil, Portugal and the Netherlands wore shirts made of recycled plastic bottles during this year's World Cup. The Nike shirts were 100 per cent recycled and cost £50 - the same price as non-recycled shirts.

But the trend is continuing beyond the World Cup and Arsenal is the latest team to don the recycled kit. Nike produced the kit under its ‘Considered Design’ program. The shirts and shorts are made from recycled polyester made from plastic bottles discarded in Japan and Taiwan.


Via: Telegraph

Friday, 2 July 2010

Flame Of Hope

Do please take some time to view this new 12-minute video entitled Flame of Hope, which chronicles the results of the first 4 years of TPRF's Food for People program, with facilities in India and Nepal.

Thursday, 1 July 2010

Words Of Peace


Image: YPI

Friday, 25 June 2010

Europe To Import Solar Power From Sahara Within 5 Years


Enough energy could be created to power the entire world if just one percent of the Sahara Desert were covered in concentrating solar panels. The European Union has decided to make use of this and earlier this week European Energy Commissioner Guenther Oettinger announced that Europe will start importing solar energy from the Sahara within the next five years. The Desertec Initiative announced last year set a long-term plan of about 40 years.
The EU announced last year that they would lay a series of cables across the Mediterranean, build a series of solar power plants in the Sahara, and import renewable energy from across the sea. Financed by a group of European companies and supported by the EU government, the plan is to cover 6,500 square miles of the desert in photovoltaic systems and wind parks.

Previously it was thought that the system would take 10-15 years to start to show results. However, the EU has announced that they will complete the first part of the system within the next five years and will start importing a small amount of power as a test run before the entire initiative is finished. “I think some models starting in the next 5 years will bring some hundreds of megawatts to the European market,” Oettinger told Reuters.



Via: Reuters Africa

Wednesday, 23 June 2010

Solar-powered TV For African Slum To Watch World Cup!


A Swiss not-for-profit organisation, Solafrica, has provided a portable solar power station that runs a large donated TV for residents of the Kibera slum of Nairobi - home to a million people - to gather and watch the World Cup.

Kibera residents use dangerous and heavily-polluting kerosene lamps to see at night. The solar power station is relatively compact — it consists of solar panels and accumulators, and doesn’t require complex wiring. After the World Cup, it will be installed at a nearby school.

Working with Greenpeace and the Kibera Community Youth Programme — who also participated in the World Cup project — Solafrica has also trained local youth to make simple solar-powered LED lamps that can replace kerosene lamps indoors or work as a flashlight. They’re easy to assemble and operate, increasing their chances of long-term use. The project provides jobs to Kibera Youth, and gives them a chance to do schoolwork after dark.



Via: Solafrica

Wednesday, 16 June 2010

Home Built From Recycled Parts Of Boeing 747

Architect David Hertz made full use of a discarded Boeing 747 by building a home out of its various parts for his client Francie Rehwald. The green house is built atop a hill in Malibu.

The plane’s wings make the home’s roof, the fuselage serves as the guest house, and the cockpit windows form skylights in the house. Permission had to be secured from 17 different government agencies before the project could go ahead. A new plane would cost US$200 million, but the plane scrap came relatively cheap at USD$35,000, with 4.5 million recycled parts being used!



Via: MyFoxDC

Wednesday, 9 June 2010

Prem Rawat To Speak In Miami On June 13

Those of you living in the Miami area may be interested in attending an event on Sunday June 13 at which Prem Rawat will be speaking. This is a fantastic opportunity to listen — in a live setting — to his message of peace.

Anyone interested is welcome to attend.

The event will begin at 5:00 PM, and doors will open at 4:00 PM. Ticket pickup time will be announced. The event will be in English with translation provided in Spanish.

Location:

James L. Knight Center
400 SE Second Ave.
Miami, FL 33131

To reserve a seat, please visit this link.

Friday, 4 June 2010

Community Toilets To Save Water For Indian Desert


The National Foundation of India commissioned Vir.Mueller Architects to design a prototype of public toilets to offer better public sanitation services to the people living in the Rajasthan area in India. The architects came up with the idea of dry-composting community toilets - a proposal that could be locally built, emit no waste and prevent groundwater contamination.

The design intended for Delwara village is a result of the problems noticed at a series of community meetings held with the villagers. Vir.Mueller Architects’ proposal is a greener answer to the present septic-tank-based toilet serving the village. The dry-composting toilet would divert the urine to on-site planter beds, while the solid waste would be collected in sealed drums, after which it would be burned in the scorching sun and sprinkled as fertilizer.

The design is seen as a way of creating a community space for the villagers. There is provision for rainwater collection from the metal roofs to a stone-wash basin, which will be used for cleansing and washing laundry. An orchard is also planned, to serve as a gathering place for village meetings and will give some relief from the sweltering heat.


Via: Archdaily

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