Tuesday, 30 March 2010

Solar Energy Changes People's Lives In Dezhou, China

In the past, people in Dezhou, a medium-sized city located in east China’s Shandong Province, did not bathe for weeks, as affording water heaters was not possible and visiting public bathrooms was not as convenient.

But, in the past decade, this has changed thanks to solar energy. New water heaters and solar-powered street lamps are a common view now, thanks to the technology based on clean energy. Now people no longer have to wait for weeks to take a shower; they have installed solar water heaters at their own homes. By paying just 1,000 Yuan, people living in both urban and rural areas can enjoy a relaxing, hot bath in the comfort of their homes. During the night, the bright solar powered light makes the city look even more appealing.

Dezhou has gradually gained a reputation as a solar city and its citizens hope that the renewable energy source will help boost the local economy as well. As many as 100 private solar-power enterprises are located here, accounting for 16 percent of China’s solar-powered water heating and have an annual revenue of 5 billion Yuan.

Via: CRIEnglish

Wednesday, 24 March 2010

Smart Roof Insulation Made From Cooking Oil

A team of scientists led by scientist Ben Wen, Ph.D. of United Environment & Energy LLC in Horsehead, New York has come up with a “bio-coating” for the roofs that is capable of regulating temperature in hot as well as cold weather. The remarkable thing is that this coating is made from waste cooking oil from greasy foods.

The bio-coating has unique chemical properties that allow it to reflect light in the summer and retain heat in winter. It is non-toxic, unscented and non-flammable and can also be developed in any colour from clear to black. Produced by processing waste cooking oil into a liquid polymer, it could reduce both heating and cooling costs and in addition to using waste oil, it will also help save fuel and electricity and reduce emissions from petroleum-based roofing products.

They hope to have the product available within three years.

Via: TG Daily

Sunday, 21 March 2010

Upcycled Rain Boots Made From Plastic Bags

These rain boots were conceived at Waste for Life by Louie Rigano, a senior at the Rhode Island School of Design, and are fabricated from plastic bags collected by cartoneros , or impoverished Argentineans who make their living collecting trash in Buenos Aires.

The process, which involves hot-pressing layers of plastic bags with a stiff interfacing such as cheesecloth, was designed to be easily replicable so the cartoneros could make and sell the boots to generate income. Because plastic is inherently water-resistant, they are not only extremely economical but also practical.

They were designed to be easily replicable for Argentinean trash collectors to make and sell and you can even make your own using the template that Rigano has provided. Etsy also has a tutorial demonstrating how to create flat sheets using an iron and some freezer paper.

Via: Louie Rigano

Monday, 15 March 2010

Bubble Shaped Skyscraper That Produces Freshwater

The skyscraper in the photo above, which looks like dozens of soapy bubbles stacked one on top of another, got a special mention in the 2010 eVolo Skyscraper competition for designers Design Crew for Architecture.

According to the design brief, “There is only about 1% left of liquid freshwater and the UNO and the World Water Council estimates there might be a crisis affecting half the worldwide population by 2030.” The bubble skyscraper is capable of making freshwater efficiently and sustainably using a series of bubbles filled with water-filtering mangroves.

The freshwater factory is proposed not for the city but for the Almeria province of Spain for its sunny weather and favourable growing conditions; the building would house a freshwater factory filled with mangroves that would convert saltwater into drinking water which could then be used to grow food crops.

In order to facilitate water purification, the tower will be made up of several circular tanks filled with brackish water which will be enclosed in spherical greenhouses. The brackish water will be brought up into the tower using tidal powered pumps and circulate through the mangrove plants, which have the unique ability to thrive on brackish water and perspire freshwater.

The freshwater sweat then evaporates and condensates into dew on wall of the greenhouse and is collected in a freshwater tank. The resulting freshwater can then be distributed to the fields using gravitational flow. One hectare of mangroves should be able to produce 30,000 litres of freshwater a day according to the designers.

Design Crew for Architecture

Friday, 12 March 2010

Eco-friendly Buses In Seoul To Use 'Road Recharging'

The Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) has developed an environmentally friendly public transport system that uses a “recharging road” to power up vehicles. Vehicles suck power magnetically from buried electric strips.

The system towing three buses, went into service at an amusement park in southern Seoul, where the mayor of Seoul and the president of KAIST joined other guests on a 2.2-kilometer (1.4-mile) ride around the zoo at Seoul Grand Park.

Named the Online Electric Vehicle (OLEV), the system requires a battery that is only one-fifth the size of conventional electric vehicles and so major recharging is not required. It also eliminates the use of overhead wires used to power conventional trams or trolley buses. After the success of the prototype, it is now going to be tried out on a bus route in the capital.

The vehicle uses pick-up equipment underneath it to collect power through non-contact magnetic charging from strips buried under the road surface. The power is then distributed either to drive the vehicle or for battery storage.

KAIST plans to use OLEVs to shuttle delegates at the G20 summit that Seoul will host in November.

Thursday, 11 March 2010

Live Stream Of Prem Rawat Speaking In Santa Monica

Following my previous post about Prem Rawat speaking in Santa Monica, you can now watch the talk on live stream today and tomorrow (March 11th & 12th).

Prem Rawat spoke in Santa Monica, California last Saturday and with less than a week's notice, the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium was filled with attendees from the local area, TV audiences and people interested in learning more about his message of peace.

To find out more about the Words of Peace Global LiveStream broadcast, please follow this link.

Tuesday, 9 March 2010

Haitians Say Thank You

Since the earthquake in Haiti, the United Nations World Food Program (WFP) has provided food assistance to close to 4 million people in Port-au-Prince and beyond. Here are four women in the capital who each wanted to say thank you to WFP and its donors for the food they have received.

Monday, 8 March 2010

International Women's Day

International Women's Day 2010

"People often ask: What can be done to defeat hunger? My answer is simple: empower women, because women are the secret weapon to fight hunger." - World Food Programme Executive Director Josette Sheeran

Some 60 percent of the world’s chronically hungry people are women and girls. This is because women often have unequal access to resources, education and income, and because they participate less in decision-making.

And when hunger and under-nutrition affect women, they also affect their children. More than 19 million children are born annually with low birth weight, often the result of their mothers receiving inadequate nutrition before and during pregnancy.

Today, on the International Women's Day, you can send your message of solidarity through the World Food Programme by clicking on the banner at the top of this post.

Sunday, 7 March 2010

Winners Of WFP Hunger Bytes Video Competition

Video competition

I previously posted about the World Food Programme hunger bytes video competition, which is part of the ''A Billion for a Billion'' campaign.

The winners have been announced and in the Under 18 category John Beck, a student at Ambrit International School in Rome, Italy won a full web video production kit; in the Over 18 category Carlos Antonio Michel Sandoval and Miguel Angel Mier Delgado of Zacatecas, Mexico will travel to Guatemala with WFP, and try out their film-making skills on the frontline against hunger.

You can watch the 2 winning videos below -

Saturday, 6 March 2010

Electric Train Ruins In Lima Converted Into Green Amusement Park

Abandoned electric train ruins in Lima, Peru have been converted into a green amusement park by the Spanish group Basurama. The train ruins had been there since 1986, with the concrete columns left standing without purpose (see photo below) until the Ghost Train Park opened last month, free of charge.

Equipment is made from recycled materials and now local park goers enjoy horse shaped car tire swings, climbing structures, canopy lines, and swings that hang from forgotten pass ways.

“Basurama has been working with the subject of trash for more than ten years, generating spaces and installations that make us reflect about what we throw away.”

In the video below (Spanish language) you can see clearly the park’s location in the centre of a bustling, traffic laden location.

Ruben Lorenzo of Basurama says, “Public spaces in Lima sometimes generate insecurity and are besieged by car horns, we want to show that there’s also room for people, and that we have to claim that.”

Via: Treehugger
Photos: Basurama

Friday, 5 March 2010

Power A Home With Just One Bottle Of Water Using Artificial Photosynthesis

Image: shrff14 via Flickr

Dan Nocera, a chemist from M.I.T. and founder of the company Sun Catalytix claims that one bottle of drinking water is capable of providing enough energy to power an entire household using his new photosynthetic process. With the help of a special catalyst, the process splits water into oxygen and hydrogen fuel efficiently enough to power a home using only sunlight and a bottle of water!

Thursday, 4 March 2010

World Water Day 2010

World Water Day 2010

The UN World Water Day is later this month on March 22. This year World Water Day is dedicated to the theme of water quality, reflecting its importance alongside quantity of the resource in water management.

The campaign aims to -

* Raise awareness about sustaining healthy ecosystems and human well-being through addressing the increasing water quality challenges in water management and

* Raise the profile of water quality by encouraging governments, organizations, communities, and individuals around the world to actively engage in proactively addressing water quality e.g. in pollution prevention, clean up and restoration.

If you want more information or would like to participate in the campaign, just click on the buttons above or below to go to the information site.

World Water Day 2010

Wednesday, 3 March 2010

Prem Rawat To Speak In Santa Monica - Saturday 6 March

Prem Rawat has accepted an invitation to speak in Santa Monica, California at the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium on Saturday, 6 March, 5 pm. Anyone interested in attending is welcome and entrance is free of charge. For more information and to reserve a seat, please go here.

You can watch a short extract below - Promise Of Life - with Prem Rawat talking.

For more information, please visit Words of Peace Global.

Tuesday, 2 March 2010

Freeway Transformed Into Park In Seoul

Running through the centre of Seoul there is a stream diving the city into north and south. Originally the Cheonggyecheon stream was formed during the Joseon Dynasty in order to provide drainage for the city, but after hundreds of years, in the 1940s, the city became so populated that a shanty town started growing around the stream and began polluting the area. It was covered over with concrete, and by 1976 a 5.6 km elevated highway had been built on top of it.

In 2003, however, as part of an urban renewal project, the highway was removed and the stream was recovered and turned into a beautiful 5.8 km urban park.

The Cheonggyecheon Restoration Project took two years and cost around $281 million and has created a beautiful stretch of green public space in the middle of the city.

Monday, 1 March 2010

Our Need For Peace

Image: YPI

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