Trees & The Environment: Why Life Depends On Them

You’ve now heard it here folks! 20 million new trees would provide us with 260 million tons of oxygen and remove 10 million tons of CO2 from the atmosphere. 

Did you know that an average sized tree produces enough oxygen to keep a family of 4 breathing for 1 year? 

Furthermore, trees in the landscape can help us relax, reduce stress and lower heart rates. 

There is a lot more info about trees and the the environment in the infographic.

Thanks to Capital Garden Services out of Dublin for this. A place of other greats like my favorite band U2! 

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Wildlife Works Launches CODE REDD Campaign to Save the World’s Threatened Forests

Emergency campaign calls for immediate action from the private sector to reduce their carbon footprint while supporting innovative forest protection projects.
Wimage

As corporations recognize their responsibility to do all they can to reduce their carbon footprint by lowering emissions and offsetting the rest, the CODE REDD campaign aims to make it easy and compelling for corporations to pledge to buy REDD (Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation) carbon offsets.  Which is why Wildlife Works announced the launch of CODE REDD, an emergency action campaign to save the world’s wild forests using private sector financing within the Voluntary Carbon Market.

The Campaign will also ensure that those offsets are generated by specific high quality forest protection projects that have proven they can protect threatened forests while at the same time providing unprecedented sustainable development opportunities to local forest communities.

“The goal of the CODE REDD Campaign is to dramatically increase the demand for REDD project carbon offsets now.  With increased demand, REDD can scale to overcome the massive threat to the worlds forests and make a significant contribution to mitigating climate change.” said Mike Korchinsky, Founder and CEO of Wildlife Works and the creator of the CODE REDD Campaign.

Wild forests are disappearing at the alarming rate of 13 million hectares per year (FAO 2010) and deforestation accounts for an estimated 17% of total annual global greenhouse gas emissions (UNIPCC 2007). The effects of deforestation are having devastating impacts on people and wildlife throughout the world and are threatening the resources humans need for survival. Climate change experts widely agree that climate stability cannot be achieved without the conservation of the world’s remaining forests.

“Reducing your carbon footprint is not a UN obligation. It’s a global responsibility. It is time for the private sector to show innovation and leadership and do something REDD,” said Korchinsky.

Source: Wildlife Works

Facts about green building

When we talk of green building, many people aren’t really sure what the whole thing is. It is a complex notion with so many factors involved, and if you are a fan of living green then you should definitely read through this article.

If you are struggling with the term ‘green building’, chances are you may have heard of it under another name – sustainable building or green construction.

This kind of building is resource-efficient and absolutely environmentally responsible all throughout a building’s life-cycle.

Obviously, as this is a pretty demanding task (to stay green with such complex constructions), all team needs to collaborate together – the architects, the engineers, the design team and naturally the clint who should be informed of all next steps throughout the project stages.

Green building isn’t only a matter of eco-friendly behavior: it expands to concerns of utility, comfort, durability and economy of building design. Actually, the whole idea behind this green construction is to reduce waste, environmental degradation and pollution. Also, it’s supposed to increase the efficiency of water and energy use.

Similar to green building is natural building. It’s pretty much the same concept, just executed on a smaller scale. It also focuses on natural materials that can be found locally.

Truth is, some green building programs (maybe even most of them) don’t really address the issue of the retrofitting existing homes; others that do, do it through public plans for energy efficient refurbishment.

Good thing is that green construction principles can easily be applied to retrofit work as well as new construction.

Reducing environmental impact of building is the aim of green building. There are some rules (not official ones, though) that most apply to green building. Here they are:

– buildings should be as small as possible
– if there is no need for building, don’t build
– Do not contribute to sprawling

How do buildings affect climate change?
All the energy that’s used on daily basis to power and heat our buildings leads to the consumption of large amounts of energy. This is mainly from burning fossil fuels – natural gas, coal, and oil. These generate significant amounts of carbon dioxide (CO2). Carbon dioxide is known to be the most widespread greenhouse gas. So, what’s fundamental to green building is reducing the energy use and greenhouse gas emissions that are produced with building buildings. Also, an effort is constantly made to slow the pace of global climate change. With green building we can collectively maximize both the economic and environmental performance of buildings.

Some specific economic, environmental and social benefits of green building are:

Economic benefits
Reducing operating costs
Improving occupant productivity
Optimizing life-cycle economic performance
Creating, shaping and expanding markets for green product and services

Environmental benefits
Enhancing and protecting biodiversity and ecosystems
Reducing waste streams
Conserving and restoring natural resources
Improving air and water quality

Social benefits
Enhancing occupant comfort and health
Minimizing strain on local infrastructure
Improving overall quality of life
Heightening aesthetic qualities

If you are wondering whether only certain types of buildings can go green, the answer is – no! All buildings and of any type have the potential to become a sustainable building or a green one. Obviously, every building type has different efficiency needs. These needs depend on their particular function.

If you are thinking of turning the existing buildings green, you can – it’s done through improved operations, remodeling and retrofitting.
Useful information for this article has been kindly provided by New home builders.

Infographic: Vehicle-to-Grid (V2G) Power Storage. Why Electric Vehicles Matter!

BY TXCHNOLOGIST

Renewable energy sources like solar and wind only generate electricity when the wind blows or the sun is out and that isn’t always when customers need power. Batteries large enough to hold megawatts of electricity are prohibitively expensive but another potential source of battery storage is fast emerging: electric vehicles.

Vehicle-to-grid (V2G) storage allows the smart grid to use EVs (and even hybrids) as a distributed network of batteries that can store power at off-peak times and help power the grid when demand peaks. Here’s how it works:

1. Power is generated from a renewable source, like wind, and transferred to the grid.

2. Electricity flows from the grid to EV batteries when there is excess capacity (e.g. when the wind blows in predawn hours). The power flow is reversed when demand on the grid is higher.

3. Customers can control when the smart grid can access battery power from their EVs, which can put out enough power to run 10 houses, and even control how far the battery is discharged.

Top image: Paul Anderson via geograph

Overstock.com and Carbonfund.org Partner to Launch Carbon-Neutral Shipping Program for All Worldstock Products

Overstock.com, Inc announced carbon-neutral shipping for every purchase made from its Worldstock Fair Trade inventory, effective immediately. This sustainability effort establishes Overstock.com as one of the largest online retailers to take responsibility for the environmental impact of its product shipping program. Through a partnership with the Carbonfund.org Foundation, a leading nonprofit climate solutions organization, Overstock.com will mitigate the carbon dioxide emissions produced by the trucks delivering items purchased from Worldstock Fair Trade by funding third-party validated carbon reduction projects like reforestation. This offer is free to the customer. Now, in time for Earth Day’s 41st anniversary, Worldstock Fair Trade purchases are supporting this important environmental initiative, as well as artisans around the globe. To learn more visit www.overstock.com/sustainability

“Overstock.com recognizes that we all have to take responsibility for preventing climate change, and as a major retailer its positive actions will have a huge impact,” said Eric Carlson, President of Carbonfund.org. “Through this commitment, Overstock.com is leading by example by investing in a low-carbon future for everyone. We’re thrilled to partner with Overstock.com on this exciting program.”

Founded in 2001, Worldstock Fair Trade is Overstock.com’s socially responsible department for products handcrafted by artisans from developing nations and rural areas of the USA.  It carries handcrafted products from artisans in over 60 countries and between 60 and 70 percent of the cost is returned to the artisans. To date, Overstock.com has returned more than $60 million to Worldstock’s artisan suppliers.

“This carbon-neutral shipping program is in addition to other measures the company has taken to recognize consumer demand for environmentally sustainable business practices.  Other measures include ride sharing and corporate recycling programs,” said Overstock.com CEO Patrick Byrne. “We recognize CO2 emissions are only one component of our operational impact, and we are working to reduce environmental impacts across our entire supply chain.”