environment

GE creates ‘sunrotor’ system to store, generate clean energy

GE creates ‘sunrotor’ system to store, generate clean energy

GE researchers have developed a new technology that uses CO2 to generate a substantial amount of clean energy, and it doubles as an energy storage solution for solar panels. CO2, of course, is one big cause of climate change, and the irony isn’t lost on GE. By using the technology, solar storage and clean energy could be made more efficient while simultaneously reducing the amount of fossil fuels needed to power homes and dealing with harmful CO2 pollution wrecking the environment.

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Choetech 19w dual-port solar charger mini review

Choetech 19w dual-port solar charger mini review

Spring is nearly upon us, and that means shedding one's bulky winter clothes, leaving the claustrophobic confines of one's winter domicile, and heading out into nature. If you're taking your gadgets with you, you'll need a way to charge them, of course, and a portable solar charger is one of the most popular ways to do this. Enter Choetech's dual-port 19W portable solar charger -- it promises to keep your phone juiced up, but how does it fare during real-world use? Read our review to find out!

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IKEA to use biodegradable mushroom-based ‘foam’

IKEA to use biodegradable mushroom-based ‘foam’

IKEA will soon start using more environmentally-friendly packaging in place of the polystyrene that is currently being used. The new packaging is made from mushrooms by Ecovative, a U.S.-based company. This packaging is made using mycelium, the white fibrous ‘roots’ from which mushrooms grow. Dubbed fungi packaging, the new eco-friendly packaging aims to cut down on waste by decomposing quickly once thrown away.

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Salem, Oregon gives up on using goats to ‘mow’ park

Salem, Oregon gives up on using goats to ‘mow’ park

The city of Salem, Oregon had a plan that must have seemed brilliant in someone's mind: renting goats to mow down a city park's brambles, berry bushes, and other troublesome plants one bite at a time. The spirit of the experiment was a noble one -- goats are more environmentally friendly than lawn tractors, and presumably aren't as loud as a gas-powered motor. Unfortunately, they do have one very big downside: a hoard of them together in a park produce a pretty terrible smell.

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German city bans single-use coffee pods

German city bans single-use coffee pods

Coffee pods -- those little plastic single-serve coffee containers you pop into, for example, a Keurig -- have been partially banned in the German city Hamburg. The ban covers single-use coffee pods, which are used once and then thrown away, rather than reusable coffee pods, which can be manually refilled with coffee grounds and essentially function as tiny coffee filters. The move was made out of environmental concern.

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China bans ‘weird’ buildings, seeks green alternatives

China bans ‘weird’ buildings, seeks green alternatives

In addition to working on decreasing its pollution levels, China has announced a ban on ‘weird’ architecture, and is instead seeking buildings that are, among other things, environmentally friendly. The announcement was made by China’s State Council this past weekend, and it likewise bans architecture the government considers “oversized” and “xenocentric.” Buildings that are “suitable” and “economic” as well as green are acceptable, however.

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January 2016 holds new ‘warmest month’ record

January 2016 holds new ‘warmest month’ record

To absolutely no one's surprise, this past January is now the hottest of its kind on record, smashing the last hottest month record in what is a longstanding and unfortunate environmental trend. The record, which has been confirmed by NASA, hints that 2016 may end up smashing 2015’s own record (it is the warmest year ever recorded). For its part, January 2016 was more than 2F degrees hotter than average.

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Porter Ranch gas leak patched, perma-fix underway

Porter Ranch gas leak patched, perma-fix underway

For more than three months, a well near Porter Ranch in California has been leaking massive volumes of gas into the environment, forcing residents to be evacuated to leased houses and hotels. The incident has been called an environmental disaster, but now, finally, a fix has been put in place. According to Southern California Gas Co., the first step in a solution to the problem has been implemented and was successful. It is being described as a temporary fix, but the process of permanently blocking it is now underway.

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NOAA: US droughts are shrinking thanks to crazy weather

NOAA: US droughts are shrinking thanks to crazy weather

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has released its newest State of the Climate report, and in it we see weather that was all over the place in January 2016, at some points being drastically different on one side of the country versus the other. Several anomalies were observed, but there’s good news among it all: this crazy weather, largely due to El Nino, has caused droughts across the country to continue shrinking, particularly good news for states like California.

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NY’s Perch apartment complex sheds 90% of energy burden

NY’s Perch apartment complex sheds 90% of energy burden

In New York, in Harlem’s Hamilton Heights neighborhood, there’s an apartment complex in the works called Perch that is the first of its kind. Built to “Passive House” standards, the complex is being designed to use between 80% and 90% less energy than the same sort of structure built to common standards. It will do this while providing the same sort of urban living structure city dwellers have come to expect, however.

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Researchers: ‘lost’ lions aren’t lost, just hiding

Researchers: ‘lost’ lions aren’t lost, just hiding

African lions are, unfortunately, a ‘vulnerable’ species, with the number of members decreasing over the past few decades due in part to poaching. Since the 1980s, the population has been, at minimum, cut in half; furthermore, it was believed the lions were extinct in Sudan. Researchers have reported good news, though, having successfully found these 'lost' lions near the Ethiopia-Sudan border.

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GE will stop making CFL bulbs, focus on LEDs instead

GE will stop making CFL bulbs, focus on LEDs instead

GE has decided it is time to part ways with compact fluorescent lamp production, the company announced in a statement today. This year, GE plans to cease production of CFL light bulbs and switch its focus over to LED bulb production instead; CFL bulbs have been on the downswing, and says GE, they “were never really beloved.” Now that LED prices are coming down, consumers are increasingly turning their attention to the more efficient bulb technology.

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