From Paris’s Vélib’ to New York’s CitiBike, this infographic compares the size of 29 of the world’s largest bike sharing systems.
To raise awareness about ocean pollution, the Surfrider Foundation is using surfing shots filled with plastic debris.
Did you know that almost 90% of all material floating in the ocean is plastic, and every square mile of ocean contains 46,000 pieces of the stuff?
Assuming there’s little change to our carbon emissions, “heatwave deaths in New York city could rise by as much as 91% on 1980s levels by the 2080s.”
Plastics like styrofoam currently take up between 25%-30% of our landfill space, and a single cubic foot of styrofoam has the same energy content as about one and a half liters of gasoline.
College pals Eben Bayer and Gavin McIntyre established Ecovative, which grows cost-effective alternatives to plastic insulation and packaging. While they were students at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Bayer and McIntyre experimented with mycelium, the network of vegetative filaments in mushrooms, and realized that it could be used to form incredibly strong bonds. Essentially, the substance functions like a glue that you can grow and use to form agricultural byproducts like plant stalks and seed husks into natural alternatives to styrofoam packaging and insulation.
Top: Saudi Arabia in 1988
Bottom: Saudi Arabia in 2012.
Stunning time-lapse satellite photos show humanity’s effect on Earth.
It’s no secret that the world’s ocean trash problem is getting bad; looking at a handful of images from the Texas-sized Pacific garbage patch should be enough to convince anyone. As for all of our litter that doesn’t end up in the middle of the ocean? It often stays close to shore, where volunteers for Ocean Conservancy’s International Coastal Cleanup pick some of it up, cataloging all the items they find.
A house powered by exercise?
The JF-Kit House by the Spanish design firm Elii is an experiment in “domestic fitness,” rendering “the image of a possible future where citizens produce part of their domestic energy requirements with their own physical activities.” Each room features a fancifully named exercise station that would, theoretically, help create energy to power the home, including an “arm workout bureau,” a “spinning kitchen,” and a “triceps greenhouse.” A video shows the home’s imagined inhabitant lifting weights, cycling, and doing calisthenics as part of his house’s everyday upkeep and daily chores like cooking.
"One of the easiest ways to go green is to go small," Hill says. "I want to show people that there’s an amazing modern green future, and make it easy for them to step into it."
Hill transforms his couch into a bed, makes a desk appear from the wall, and then moves that entire wall to reveal a guest bedroom. Just as quickly, he disappears the guest room, pops a Murphy bed back into place, and reveals a dining room table with seating for 10. Even Hill’s bathroom is multifunctional: He soundproofed the toilet stall and added a handsome wooden bench that folds over the seat, which turns it either into a private phone booth or, no joke, a very tiny meditation studio. That’s why he and nine others who are trying to change how we live made our list of The 100 Most Creative People of 2013.
As we noted in a recent post, consumers care about buying items from socially responsible brands more than they ever have before. But caring about something doesn’t always translate into action.
There are a lot of roads just sitting there in the sun, doing nothing with all that energy. Why not use them to collect it? Introducing the Solar Roadway, a road built out of solar panels.
The road is made of three parts: a hard-wearing translucent top-layer with the solar cells, LED lights (for road markings) and a heating element (to keep off snow and ice); an electronics layer to control lighting and communications; and a base plate layer that distributes power to nearby homes and businesses (and perhaps electric vehicle charging stations). Plus, there’s a channel at the edge to collect and filter run-off water (including anti-freeze and other chemicals that normally leeches into the ground).
If you eat processed food and you’re not a vegan, a decent portion of your diet probably comes from factory-farmed eggs. Sure, you may stick to cage-free eggs when you’re cooking omelets, but 95% of eggs in the U.S. come from battery-caged facilities where birds are packed body to body in impossibly small spaces.
A San Francisco startup wants to change that. It makes a plant-based egg substitute so believable that it’s about to sign two deals with Fortune 500 food companies that want to use the stuff in sauces and dressings.
We recently created a daily news website about world changing ideas and innovations. It’s a place focused on ideas that are going to change the way we live and the resources we use. And it’s time to buck convention and find solutions that people haven’t thought of yet.
With this in mind, we’d like YOU to submit your ideas for what we’ll be reading about decades from now. What do you think Co.Exist will write about in 30 years? Create your own vision of tomorrow right here (or click on the picture). We’ll round up the best ones and feature them on our site!
We’ve uploaded a few on Facebook to get the creative juices flowing. We’re excited to see what you come up with. Spread the word!
It’s surprising that more people aren’t talking about this. We’ve reported on the Starbucks Cup Dilemma in the past, and it’s clear that corporate sustainability has serious limits. Even in this showdown between Starbucks and McDonald’s Starbucks barely edged out MickeyD’s when it came to measuring impact on our Earth. Entering the juice-bar market may seem like it makes good business sense, but is it a smart solution for our planet?
Wake Up Call of the Day: According to Starbucks’ sustainability director Jim Hanna, the coffeehouse chain may soon be unable to sell its principal product due to the detrimental impact of climate change on coffee bean production.
“What we are really seeing as a company as we look 10, 20, 30 years down the road – if conditions continue as they are – is a potentially significant risk to our supply chain, which is the Arabica coffee bean,” Hanna told the Guardian in a phone interview.
Hanna is set to speak before members of Congress today on the issue of climate change and how it’s real and how someone should do something about it before we run out of coffee and chocolate and a whole bunch of other foodstuffs “many people can’t live without.”
Starbucks has already put Plan B in motion, announcing yesterday it plans to enter the juice-bar market — news that freaked out Jamba Juice stockholders, causing the price of JMBA to drop 3.5%.
Today’s congressional event is sponsored by the Union of Concerned Scientists, which recently reported that coffee brands have increased the cost of grinds by as much as 25% over the last year.
“The dwindling supply of coffee is but one example of the many impacts to come due to climate change,” the nonprofit writes, ” and should be a wake-up call for us all.”
A new plant in Akron, Ohio plans to divert old bottles from landfills and churn out 80,000 barrels of oil a year. Read more.