Affordable, Eco-Friendly and Energy Efficient: How Re-Purposed Plastic Waste is Helping to Solve Humanity’s Housing Crisis

Affordable, Eco-Friendly and Energy Efficient: How Re-Purposed Plastic Waste is Helping to Solve Humanity’s Housing Crisis

22nd August 2016

By Carolanne Wright

Contributing writer for Wake Up World

“In Latin America, Africa and Asia 40% of people don’t have access to formal housing. In Bogota alone 750 tonnes of plastic is sent to landfill every day. It can take up to 500 years for plastic to biodegrade and 75% of plastic produced globally is either sent to landfill or not formally disposed of and so is left to pollute the environment.” ~ Unilever Sustainable Living

According to EcoWatch: Enough plastic is thrown away each year to circle the earth four times. Ninety-three percent of Americans age six or older test positive for the plastic chemical BPA. Billions of pounds of plastic can be found in our oceans, and all-out bans on plastic bags and bottled water are making little headway. To make matters worse, conventional recycling programs are ineffective at best; only two types of plastic are widely recyclable, and even then, it’s downgraded into other products which cannot be recycled further, eventually ending up in landfill, or worse, in the ocean, where plastic seriously harms wildlife, the ecosystem and our health.

Continue Reading – Affordable, Eco-Friendly and Energy Efficient: How Re-Purposed Plastic Waste is Helping to Solve Humanity’s Housing Crisis

A Saltwater Powered Sports Car? It’s True — and Europe Just Made it Street Legal

A Saltwater Powered Sports Car? It’s True — and Europe Just Made it Street Legal

2nd July 2016

By Carolanne Wright

Contributing writer for Wake Up World

Not so long ago, excitement rose to a fevered pitch with the announcement of a budget Tesla car slated to hit the streets in 2017. The cars are gorgeous, seemingly easy on the environment and in a price range the average Joe can afford. But over the last few years, there have been disgruntled murmurings about how electric vehicles aren’t that environmentally sound. Some feel they can actually be worse for the planet than combustion engines, since they often rely on conventional electricity sources to recharge. So while the idea is appealing in theory, the reality isn’t so rosy when we look at their actual impact. The same can be said for other technologies like hydrogen fuel cell and hybrid cars.

There is one advancement, however, that could be a genuine game changer in the realm of eco-friendly cars: saltwater powered vehicles.

Continue Reading – A Saltwater Powered Sports Car? It’s True — and Europe Just Made it Street Legal

9 Uses For Hemp You Won’t Learn From Mainstream Media

9 Uses For Hemp You Won’t Learn From Mainstream Media

27th July 2016

By Amanda Froelich

These are the most newsworthy benefits of industrial hemp corporate media won’t teach you about.

Although the negative stigma associated with cannabis has lessened in recent years – especially since THC- and CBD-rich oils were found to be a powerful aid in fighting cancer – it still hasn’t garnered full support from the public.

This is unfortunate, as hemp is one of the most versatile (and longest cultivated) crops on the planet and can be used for a variety of practical and economical uses. According to some sources, the crop is humanity’s answer to creating a cleaner energy source that can replace nuclear power, removing radioactive water from the soil, and eliminating smog from skies in industrialized areas. In addition, nationwide hemp production (which creates more oxygen than standard crops) could eliminate deforestation by converting current paper to hemp paper, which can be recycled up to 8 times. Compare this to wood pulp, which is only recyclable up to 3 times. Finally, hemp seeds are incredibly nutritious and can even serve as a suitable feed for animals and livestock.

Continue Reading – 9 Uses For Hemp You Won’t Learn From Mainstream Media

Futuristic Nano Fabric May Eliminate the Need to Do Laundry, But at What Cost to Human and Environmental Health?

Futuristic Nano Fabric May Eliminate the Need to Do Laundry, But at What Cost to Human and Environmental Health?

22nd July 2016

By Carolanne Wright

Contributing writer for Wake Up World

Standard methods of laundering clothing are rife with environmental problems, such as excessive water and electricity usage, as well as significant pollution. So when researchers develop innovative new fabrics that resist stains and soil — or do away with the need to launder altogether — it really does seem as if technology can rescue us from many of the ecological problems we face today. And yet, there’s usually a hidden drawback for every technological leap. In the case of futuristic and self-cleaning fabrics, a range of health and environmental consequences come into play.

The problem with modern laundry practices

Even with notable advancements in clothes washers and dryers, there’s still much to be desired in terms of wastefulness. A new, high-efficiency washer uses about 12 gallons of water per load and 25% less electricity than standard models. Older top-loading machines can require up to 45 gallons of water, whereas newer models use around 27 gallons. About 90% of total energy usage for any kind of washer is due to heating the water. However, the biggest energy drain comes not from a washing machine, but the dryer.

Continue Reading – Futuristic Nano Fabric May Eliminate the Need to Do Laundry, But at What Cost to Human and Environmental Health?

Will Mushroom-Based Materials Replace Plastic With an Eco-Friendly Twist?

Will Mushroom-Based Materials Replace Plastic With an Eco-Friendly Twist?

By Carolanne Wright

Contributing writer for Wake Up World

As we well know, plastic is a serious issue throughout the world today. It takes hundreds — sometimes thousands — of years to biodegrade, releases toxic materials into the environment and harms marine wildlife. The problem is so dire that scientists believe plastic waste in the ocean will outnumber fish by 2050. We are literally unloading a dump truck full of plastic into the sea every minute. Not only does this toxic waste hurt wildlife and the environment, but it also makes its way into the food chain — and ends up on our dinner plates. Chemicals in plastics are linked with a spectrum of human health disorders, spanning from endocrine imbalances to cancer and heart disease.

Recycling the material is sketchy at best and even corn-based biodegradable plastics come with their own set of drawbacks. But it’s naive to think the material will disappear all together. What we need is an eco-friendly solution that will serve the purpose of plastic without consuming an inordinate amount of resources or displace the food supply. The answer might just be found in the most incredible of places: fungus roots.

Continue Reading – Will Mushroom-Based Materials Replace Plastic With an Eco-Friendly Twist?

Tree Bombs: How Old Warplanes Can Plant Up to 900,000 Trees a Day

Tree Bombs: How Old Warplanes Can Plant Up to 900,000 Trees a Day

29th May 2016

By Carolanne Wright

Contributing writer for Wake Up World

Imagine old military planes used to revitalize barren areas of the earth, instead of causing death and destruction to the environment and wildlife. This reality may be closer than you think. Former RAF pilot, Jack Walters of Shropshire, England, believes C-130 transport aircraft — originally used for carpeting landmines across combat zones — could easily be refitted to deliver something exceptionally beneficial and peaceful: tree bombs.

Peter Simmons, of Lockheed Martin aeronautical corporation, thinks the idea is very doable: “The possibilities are amazing. We can fly at 1,000ft at 130 knots planting more than 3,000 cones a minute in a pattern across the landscape – just as we did with landmines, but in this case each cone contains a sapling. That’s 125,000 trees for each sortie and 900,000 trees in a day.”

Continue Reading – Tree Bombs: How Old Warplanes Can Plant Up to 900,000 Trees a Day

The Most Eco-Friendly Nation on the Planet is Now Carbon Negative

The Most Eco-Friendly Nation on the Planet is Now Carbon Negative

By Carolanne Wright

Contributing writer for Wake Up World

“If the Government cannot create happiness for its people, there is no purpose for the Government to exist.” ~Legal code of Bhutan, 1729

Lodged between two of the most populated countries on earth — India and China — Bhutan may be small at 700,000 souls, but it has a mighty role to play in showing the world how to preserve the environment, while also cultivating happiness in its human population. In fact, the Bhutanese believe that nature and happiness go hand in hand, that it’s impossible to have one without the other.

“Preserve our natural rich heritage do not pollute the surroundings. Remember nature is the source of all happiness.” ~ Drukgyel HSS

Continue Reading – The Most Eco-Friendly Nation on the Planet is Now Carbon Negative

The Zero-Waste Revolution: A New Wave of Eco-Conscious Living

The Zero-Waste Revolution: A New Wave of Eco-Conscious Living

By Carolanne Wright

Contributing Writer for Wake Up World

1.3 billion tonnes of food is wasted worldwide each year. It’s time to change our habits.

Zero-waste is the latest trend among eco-friendly and sustainable-living circles — and it’s taking the world by storm. From legislation in France forbidding supermarkets from throwing away unsold food to completely waste-free stores, as well as a restaurant owner who installed a fridge laden with uneaten food on the street to feed the needy, concerned individuals are taking a hard look at our oftentimes excessive and wasteful habits, and finding creative and innovative ways to close the loop.

“Tree of Goodness” in Southern India

Minu Pauline owns Pappadavada restaurant in Kochi, southern India. The 28-year-old proprietor was upset that her establishment was throwing away food each day when many within the community were going hungry. Then inspiration struck after watching a woman digging through the restaurant’s rubbish bags for food late one night…

Continue Reading – The Zero-Waste Revolution: A New Wave of Eco-Conscious Living

Actor Mark Ruffalo Takes On Fossil Fuel Industry and Calls Out California Governor Jerry Brown

Actor Mark Ruffalo Takes On Fossil Fuel Industry and Calls Out California Governor Jerry Brown

30th March 2016

By Carolanne Wright

Contributing Writer for Wake Up World

“The intense means of extraction, known as fracking, is believed to induce earthquakes, compound global warming, pollute the environment, and to have wasted water during California’s most recent drought, the worst in 1,200 years.” ~ Vanity Fair

For years, Mark Ruffalo has been an outspoken opponent to fracking — otherwise known as hydraulic fracturing, an extreme oil and gas extraction method. The Oscar-nominated actor has firsthand experience with the problems posed by the practice — from his rural home in the Catskills that sits upon one of the largest natural gas fields in the world to urban drilling in California, where a single oil field in L.A. puts over a million people at risk.

Continue Reading – Actor Mark Ruffalo Takes On Fossil Fuel Industry and Calls Out California Governor Jerry Brown

Environmental Research Reveals Seattle Salmon are on Drugs — Thanks, Humans!

Environmental Research Reveals Seattle Salmon are on Drugs — Thanks, Humans!

By Carolanne Wright

Contributing Writer for Wake Up World

“From Prozac to caffeine to cholesterol medicine, from ibuprofen to bug spray, researchers found an alphabet soup of drugs and other personal-care products in sewage-treatment wastewater and in the tissue of juvenile chinook in Puget Sound.” ~ Seattle Times

Tainted Wastewater Poisons Salmon

A paper published in the journal Environmental Pollution has given a fresh meaning to the phrase “you are what you eat” — but this time, it’s in reference to the polluted diet of Pacific Northwest chinook salmon. Once hailed as an exceptionally healthy food, salmon has come under scrutiny as the ecosystem has become increasingly toxic from industrial waste, plastics, microbeads, general pollution and now, sewage treatment plants.

Continue Reading – Environmental Research Reveals Seattle Salmon are on Drugs — Thanks, Humans!

Leaving a Legacy of Destruction: Fracking Industry Threatens U.S. National Parks

Leaving a Legacy of Destruction: Fracking Industry Threatens U.S. National Parks

By Carolanne Wright

Contributing Writer for Wake Up World

As if it wasn’t bad enough to have fracking operations in our backyards — destroying local ecosystems, human health and property values — the oil and gas industry has expanded into public lands, with many national parks now under threat. Not only does fracking for petroleum and natural gas promote ecological and climatic changes, but it also destroys the water we drink and the air we breathe. Not to mention the practice has been linked to an increase of earthquakes. Moreover, waste generated by the industry is exceptionally toxic and difficult to dispose of safely — to the point where municipalities are resorting to spraying it on roadways, and other acts of insanity. Keep in mind fracking fluid contains a slew of hazardous chemicals and is oftentimes radioactive.

Continue Reading – Leaving a Legacy of Destruction: Fracking Industry Threatens U.S. National Parks

20 Major Water Contaminants on EPA’s Regulation List … Plus Tips for Cleaning Up Your Drinking Water

20 Major Water Contaminants on EPA’s Regulation List … Plus Tips for Cleaning Up Your Drinking Water

By Mark W. Boutwell

Guest Writer for Wake Up World

The United States is considered one of the countries with the safest tap water in the world. There are approximately 155,000 public water systems in the U.S. that provides drinking water to 90% of Americans. The quality of public drinking water in the US is regulated by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The EPA does this by regulating the maximum levels of pollutants and chemicals that are put in drinking water. Our Water sources are vulnerable tocontamination so treatments are necessary to get rid of disease causing pollutants. Water contamination can happen at the source or in the supply system during distribution after the water has already been treated. Continue Reading – 20 Major Water Contaminants on EPA’s Regulation List … Plus Tips for Cleaning Up Your Drinking Water