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Sustainable Futures
Things to do, consider and act on to create a sustainable future for people and planet
Curated by Flora Moon
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Synthetic material mimics coral's ocean-cleaning attributes

Synthetic material mimics coral's ocean-cleaning attributes | Sustainable Futures | Scoop.it
Researchers from China's Anhui Jianzhu University have developed a synthetic substance that mimics coral's ability to collect harmful heavy metals from water. Tests on the effectiveness of the aluminum oxide structure have so far shown promising results.
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The Uphill Battle to Get Solar Into D.C.'s Low-Income Households

The Uphill Battle to Get Solar Into D.C.'s Low-Income Households | Sustainable Futures | Scoop.it

Earlier this month, President Obama held up the city as model for bringing solar power to low-income families. He might have spoken a bit too soon.

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Yale Environment 360: European Union Is Increasingly Turning to Wind Power, Analysis Finds

Yale Environment 360: European Union Is Increasingly Turning to Wind Power, Analysis Finds | Sustainable Futures | Scoop.it

The European Union met 8 percent of its electricity demand with wind power last year, up from roughly 7 percent in 2012, according to a report by the Joint Research Center, the European Commission's in-house science service. That's equal to the combined total electricity consumption of Belgium, Ireland, Greece, and the Netherlands, the report notes, and it is a heartening sign for the E.U. wind power sector, which had seen turbine installations decline in 2013. Denmark generated enough wind power to meet 40 percent of its electricity demand, and in Ireland, Portugal, and Spain, wind's share made up between 19 and 25 percent of final consumption. Fifteen other E.U. nations generated 4 percent or more of their electricity from wind. By 2020, wind energy will provide at least 12 percent of Europe's electricity, the analysis says. Globally, wind power has grown dramatically over the last two decades, soaring from 3.5 gigawatts in 1994 to roughly 370 gigawatts by the end of 2014. Global installed wind capacity increased 48 percent over 2013, the report says.

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Investors could lose $4.2tn because of climate change, report warns

Investors could lose $4.2tn because of climate change, report warns | Sustainable Futures | Scoop.it
Investments in fossil fuel companies face serious risk from global warming, research by the Economist Intelligence Unit shows
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The week in wildlife – in pictures

The week in wildlife – in pictures | Sustainable Futures | Scoop.it

Fighting hippos, flamingoes in the Great Rift Valley and a snow leopard in Himalayas feature in this week’s pick of images from the natural world

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Gleaning: an Ancient Custom that May Return in the Future

Gleaning: an Ancient Custom that May Return in the Future | Sustainable Futures | Scoop.it

Gleaning is an ancient tradition, deeply embedded in the agricultural world.

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Solar is bringing a new world to women in Zimbabwe

Solar is bringing a new world to women in Zimbabwe | Sustainable Futures | Scoop.it

A solar power project in a remote community in Zimbabwe is encouraging women to give birth in hospitals, and reducing their workload

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How Much Water to Make a Cup of Tea? The Importance of Product Water Footprinting for Businesses | Sustainable Brands

How Much Water to Make a Cup of Tea? The Importance of Product Water Footprinting for Businesses | Sustainable Brands | Sustainable Futures | Scoop.it
So how much water goes into a cup of tea? Somewhere around 30 litres of water is required for tea itself, 10 litres for a small dash of milk and a further 6 litres for each teaspoon of sugar.
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Yale Environment 360: Synthetic Coral Could Remove Mercury Pollution From Ocean, Study Finds

Yale Environment 360: Synthetic Coral Could Remove Mercury Pollution From Ocean, Study Finds | Sustainable Futures | Scoop.it

Chinese researchers have constructed a type of synthetic coral that could help remove toxic heavy metals like mercury from the ocean, according to a report in the Journal of Colloid and Interface Science. Mercury can be especially toxic to corals because they very efficiently adsorb heavy metals, the scientists note. They took advantage of that ability to create a synthetic coral that can bind and remove mercury pollution in water. The coral-like structure is covered with self-curling nanoplates made of aluminum oxide — a chemical compound that can collect heavy metals. The scientists found that the synthetic coral structure could bind mercury 2.5 times more efficiently than aluminum oxide particles alone. According to the World Health Organization, up to 17 in every thousand children living in areas relying on subsistence fishing showed cognitive declines caused by eating mercury-contaminated fish.

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We Can't Count on El Niño Alone to End California's Drought

We Can't Count on El Niño Alone to End California's Drought | Sustainable Futures | Scoop.it

Drought isn’t just about supply—it’s also about human demand.

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Foodroom Gardening: No Rows, No Woes

Foodroom Gardening: No Rows, No Woes | Sustainable Futures | Scoop.it
I keep trying to imagine a future time when all human beings would be responsible for their basic food necessities just as they are responsible for their own bodily cleanliness and cooking meals.
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The Fifth Estate | What exactly is a precinct?

The Fifth Estate | What exactly is a precinct? | Sustainable Futures | Scoop.it

Sustainability with a local or precinct flavour is of growing interest, but what exactly is a precinct? Murray Hogarth, one of the founders of the Total Environment Centre’s Smart Locale, found this was a critical question in establishing the new group

Flora Moon's insight:

Good insights about the importance of establishing common definitions.

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Mayor Bill de Blasio pledges to cut New York carbon emissions by 40% by 2030

Mayor Bill de Blasio pledges to cut New York carbon emissions by 40% by 2030 | Sustainable Futures | Scoop.it

De Blasio, one of several US mayors at Vatican climate change summit, says papal encyclical ‘is not a call to arms, it is a call to sanity’

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'I Was Almost Another Dead Black Male'

'I Was Almost Another Dead Black Male' | Sustainable Futures | Scoop.it

In a StoryCorps animation, Alex Landau recalls his harrowing experience being pulled over by Denver police.

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Toyota fuel cell bus tested in Tokyo

Toyota fuel cell bus tested in Tokyo | Sustainable Futures | Scoop.it

Toyota and Hino Motors have begun testing a jointly-developed fuel cell bus in Tokyo, Japan. The brief test, which is taking place on public roads in the central and waterfront areas of the city, is designed to will help Toyota improve the technology ahead of a possible market launch.

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How one homeless child inspired this Bangladeshi to help hundreds

How one homeless child inspired this Bangladeshi to help hundreds | Sustainable Futures | Scoop.it

At 21, Korvi Rakshand had to turn away from a little girl who asked for his help, that led him to start his country’s most innovative education NGO

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Honeybees in Massachusetts Are Riddled With Pesticides

Honeybees in Massachusetts Are Riddled With Pesticides | Sustainable Futures | Scoop.it
Their pollen and honey contain substances linked to Colony Collapse Disorder.
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At Vatican, Mayors Pledge Climate Change Fight

At Vatican, Mayors Pledge Climate Change Fight | Sustainable Futures | Scoop.it
The two-day conference was the first time the Vatican specifically invited local officials to address the issue, hoping to keep pressure on world leaders.

Via Andrew Winston
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Andrew Winston's curator insight, July 27, 9:04 AM

Two important elements of the expanding battle against climate change come out of this story. (1) The local. Mayors (and governors) will build pressure from below on national leaders to be bolder, but they also bring the climate issue to citizens who may listen more to local leaders, and they drive action on both mitigation and adaptation at the local level. (2) The moral. The Pope continues to push his 'we're all connected' social/environmental message on climate here. (see my summary of the Pope's encyclical and best quotes...http://bit.ly/1KthCL9). Action on climate is building.

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The Future of Cycling in Munich Could Be 'Bike Autobahns'

The Future of Cycling in Munich Could Be 'Bike Autobahns' | Sustainable Futures | Scoop.it

The new paths would be aimed not at jump-on, jump-off cyclists, but at riders taking longer journeys.

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Rebuilding Place in the Urban Space: 7 Proven Principles for Designing a Safer City

Rebuilding Place in the Urban Space: 7 Proven Principles for Designing a Safer City | Sustainable Futures | Scoop.it

This blog entry by Ben Welle, 7 Proven Principles for Designing a Safer City," is reprinted with permission from the World Resources Institute, which just published a report, Cities Safer by Design, on this topic.

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The Fifth Estate | The debate we nearly had on pricing nature

The Fifth Estate | The debate we nearly had on pricing nature | Sustainable Futures | Scoop.it

We should price nature to protect it. That was the topic up for debate at the IQ2 event that attracted several hundred people in Sydney on July 21. “Price” and “nature” were the moving targets in this debate hosted by The Ethics Centre. It seemed to be successful however in changing people’s minds, but why?

At the outset some 53 per cent of attendees were on the affirmative side of the debate but only 36 per cent retained their view at the conclusion. Some 20 per cent took the negative position initially but this rose to 51 per cent, with many from the “undecided” category joining their ranks.

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Can UK's solar industry survive without subsidies?

Can UK's solar industry survive without subsidies? | Sustainable Futures | Scoop.it

Putting solar on the chopping block may damage the industry badly at a time when it just needs that last push to become independent

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From a Million Miles Away, a New NASA 'Blue Marble' View of Earth

From a Million Miles Away, a New NASA 'Blue Marble' View of Earth | Sustainable Futures | Scoop.it

A fresh view of our “blue marble” from a remarkable instrument in orbit 1 million miles away.

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