Category Archives: Environmental News

Electricity-Free, Foot-Powered Washing Machine To Go On Sale This Summer

By Amanda Froelich, Truth Theory

When you live off-grid, are on a budget, or just seek to reduce your water usage, washing clothes can be a task. But with the Drumi, an electricity-free, foot-powered washing machine, the chore is bound to become much, much easier.

The innovative washer was initially introduced in 2015. This summer, it will finally hit the market. As Inhabitat reports, the manufacturer, Yirego, devoted more than 10,000 hours to perfect the product.

The compact invention can wash 6 or 7 individual garments (or about 5 lbs of clothing) at a time. According to Yirego, it is ideal for delicate items or baby clothes. Continue reading Electricity-Free, Foot-Powered Washing Machine To Go On Sale This Summer

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Sweden Launches World’s First Electric Road That Charges Cars As They Drive

By Amanda Froelich, Truth Theory

By 2030, Sweden aims to reduce its dependence on fossil fuels by 70 percent. Days ago, the country took a big step toward achieving its goal.

Sweden is now the first country in the world to have an electrified road that recharges the batteries of vehicles driving on it. Electric rail has been embedded into the nearly 2 km (1.2 miles) of public road which is located near Stockholm.

According to The Guardian, this is just the first stretch of road intended to be built. The government’s roads agency has already drafted a national map which outlines future expansion. By embedding electric rail into the road, Sweden seeks to tackle the problem of keeping electric vehicles charged. Continue reading Sweden Launches World’s First Electric Road That Charges Cars As They Drive

Google Hits Impressive 100% Renewable Energy Goal

By Amanda Froelich, Truth Theory

Conscious shoppers who rely on search engines to explore the world can feel good about their browsing habits, particularly when they use Google. This is because the company officially bought enough renewable energy to match all of the electricity that was consumed last year.

In a new blog for Google, Senior Vice President, Technical Infrastructure Urs Hölzle announced that the company reached its goal of matching all of the electricity it consumed in 2017 with clean energy. The company’s purchases even exceeded the total electricity used by their offices and data centers. Continue reading Google Hits Impressive 100% Renewable Energy Goal

Pesticides May Now Be Dropping Hummingbird Populations Too

By Brandon TurbevilleNatural Blaze

Some species of North American hummingbirds are experiencing a sharp decline and many are now wondering whether pesticides are playing a role.

One individual concerned about the decline and the role insecticides may be playing in it is British Columbia research scientist Christine Bishop who works with Environment and Climate Change Canada. She began looking at different factors that could be contributing to the decline of the hummingbirds and began taking urine and feces samples (in a way that did not harm the birds) to determine whether or not pesticides could be found.

“No one has ever measured pesticides in hummingbirds before. So we decided to try it,” she. “It turns out, to our surprise actually, that the birds are obviously picking up pesticides in their food, which can be nectar and also insects.” Continue reading Pesticides May Now Be Dropping Hummingbird Populations Too

Natural Wetland in India Filters 198 Million Gallons of Waste Every Day Without Chemicals

By Amanda Froelich, The Mind Unleashed
What if it was possible to filter human waste in a sanitary and eco-friendly way? We have news for you — it is. In the East Kolkata Wetlands (EKW) in India, 198 million gallons of human waste is treated every day through a process called bioremediation. Not only do the wetlands keep Kolkata sewage-free, they support a fertile aquatic garden and protect the low-lying city from flooding.As The Better India reports, the EKW is the world’s only fully functional organic sewage management system. What was once was a patchwork of low-lying salt marshes and slow-running rivers is now a vast network of man-made wetlands which are bordered by green embankments.

The “kidneys of Kolkata” are maintained by farmers and fisherman. Each day, the wetlands receive nearly 750 million liters of the city’s waste each day. With the help of sunshine, oxygen, and microbial action, the sewage is organically treated.

How it works

Urban waste is routed through a maze of small inlets, each managed by a fishery cooperative. The cooperatives are in charge of the inflow of the wastewater. After the sewage settles, only the clear top layers of water flow into the shallow wetland.

A parabolic fish gate is in place to separate the wetland water from the wastewater. Its purpose is to prevent fish from swimming into the oxygen-deprived urban waste water. There, they would die.

It takes less than 20 days for nature to do its work. Organic waste, located in the inlets, settles down where it partly decomposes in the warm shallow water. Then, through a series of biological steps, the waste is converted into fish food. Soil bacteria, macro-algae, plant bacteria, and plants themselves all contribute the decomposition of the waste. The ecological processes are accelerated when sunlight penetrates the settled water.

After the process of bioremediation, the purified, nutrient-rich water is channeled into ponds, called bheries, where algae and fish thrive. Some of the water is also used to grow paddy and vegetables on the banks of the wetlands.

In addition to keeping Kolkata sewage-free and providing fertilizer to grow crops, the wetlands act as a natural flood control system. When floods threaten Kolkata, gravitational forces take the discharge eastward of the city, into the wetlands. In a way, the EKW serves as a natural spill basin. This function is essential during the monsoon season when the entire Gangetic delta is at-risk of flooding.

Despite their usefulness, the wetlands are at risk. A voracious appetite for real estate is threatening the fish ponds, where buyers seek to build. To raise awareness about this conundrum and the enormous value of the wetland’s environmental services, former city sanitation engineer Dhrubajyoti Ghosh has dedicated himself to campaigning for the unique ecosystem. Over the past couple of decades, he has developed technology options from the traditional practice of wastewater aquaculture. So far, four other towns have adopted the wastewater designs.

To this day, Ghosh works to preserve the EKW. He says,

“I am still learning how this delicate ecosystem works, how to further refine it, and why some places are better suited than others. I am happy to give any advice or help absolutely free, this is the best system of its kind in the world and could be helping millions of people. If I have failed in one thing it is this; not enough people know about it or are benefiting from it.”

What are your thoughts? Please comment below and share this news!


h/t The Better India

 

The Amount of Plastic in Oceans Will Triple within Seven Years, Says Major Report

By Vic Bishop, Waking Times 

A recent viral video of a diver swimming through a sea of plastic is a stark reminder of what we are doing to the world’s oceans. We’ve been reporting on this issue since 2012, watching the development of a massive gyre of plastic forming in the Pacific Ocean, devastating wildlife in the Midway Atolls. Continue reading The Amount of Plastic in Oceans Will Triple within Seven Years, Says Major Report

Reckless Endangerment of Northern Minnesota by Foreign Mining Companies: Part II

By Gary G. Kohls, MD, Natural Blaze

A Photo Gallery of Seven Preventable, Catastrophic Tailings Ponds Disasters Related to Hard Rock Mining (and one pipeline disaster)

(If a Picture is Worth a Thousand Words, the DNR and PCA Will Have no Rational Choice Other Than Denying PolyMet’s Permit to Build an Experimental Tailings Lagoon in Water-Rich Northern Minnesota That Will Have 250 foot High, Soluble Earthen Dam Walls) Continue reading Reckless Endangerment of Northern Minnesota by Foreign Mining Companies: Part II

Study: 75% of AIR and Rain Samples Tested Positive for Monsanto’s Roundup

By Melissa Melton, TruthStreamMedia, Thanks to Body Mind Soul Spirit

A study conducted by the USGS comparing figures for air and rain samples from 1995 and 2007 in Mississippi concluded that 75% of all 2007 samples tested positive for glyphosate — the active ingredient in Monsanto’s best-selling herbicide Roundup.

That’s right…air samples.

Based on these figures, that means an 18-fold glyphosate use increase in Mississippi during that time period alone. Of course, this data is now seven years old, so who knows what the numbers are today, not to mention the fact that this is only looking at the state of Mississippi. Continue reading Study: 75% of AIR and Rain Samples Tested Positive for Monsanto’s Roundup

EPA Wants China to Sell Bee-Killing Pesticide for 165 Mil Acres of US Farmland

By Markab Algedi, Natural Blaze

Thiamethoxam is a pollinator killing pesticide that is known to be a bad decision if people who insist on using pesticides (because the agrichemical industry tries to cultivate a situation where average farmers have little option but to use some kind of pesticide).

It’s not necessary to use thiamethoxam. Why not choose something else? I can’t think of any particularly good pesticide or natural solution to pesticide, but a better option must exist than this. Continue reading EPA Wants China to Sell Bee-Killing Pesticide for 165 Mil Acres of US Farmland

A Cyclone Just Ripped Through Another US Territory — and Nobody Noticed

By , Anti-Media

(ANTIMEDIA)  Over the weekend, a tropical cyclone laid waste to a number of Pacific Island countries, including the unincorporated territory of the United States known as American Samoa.

According to a White House statement, U.S. President Donald Trump declared an emergency in the territory of American Samoa and ordered federal assistance to supplement response efforts in the territory due to the tropical storm known as Cyclone Gita. According to the statement, the president authorized the Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to coordinate disaster relief efforts. Continue reading A Cyclone Just Ripped Through Another US Territory — and Nobody Noticed