We’ve covered quite a few small-scale wind turbines over the years — some made to resemble trees, others just small, vertical-axis versions — and universally they would provoke some heated comments. You all would respond, rightly so, that these designs will just never be effective sources of energy generation, but we cover them because we’re always wanting to discuss new ideas in clean technology and generally feel like these ideas, even if unfeasible, are worth mentioning because they may inspire the next new technology that is feasible and effective.Luckily, this new artificial tree is not a wind turbine. It is inspired by tree swaying and does harness energy from the wind, but it doesn’t rely on the wind rotating or spinning anything, it instead harnesses the vibrations caused by the wind, or traffic, or seismic activity, or the swaying of a tall building or anything else that may cause it to shake.
Even if we can’t commit to an entire day of unplugging, surely we can all give up 5 minutes. I know that’s a stretch, but if you can manage the discomfort, Giorgio Armani and S’well will provide the funding equivalent of one day of clean water for a child for the UNICEF Tap Project.Two years ago, we told you that if you could go 10 minutes without touching your phone, Giorgio Armani would fund a day of water for a child in need, and it was an unpredictably popular article, but 10 minutes must have been too long, because this year, the bar has been lowered to just 5 minutes. The UNICEF Tap Project has actually been operating for the past ten years as a way to help alleviate water poverty, although perhaps it takes a silly blog post title and a name brand such as Armani to get our attention.Just to put this in context, most of us with smartphones will never have to go thirsty for very long, nor will our lives be threatened by water and sanitation issues, and we can ‘reach out and touch someone’ almost anywhere in the world, anytime we want, through our magical minicomputers that we call phones. And yet, in 2016, about 1000 children younger than 5 years old will die every day from lack of clean water and hygienic sanitation facilities, coupled with lack of adequate healthcare.
About a third of the planet’s food doesn’t get consumed, here’s how you can help stem the tide from farm to landfill.It appears that food waste is having its moment, not only in terms of its rampancy, but in the mainstream media attention that it’s receiving. And from campaigns imploring us to love the ugly vegetables to supermarkets dedicated to selling surplus food, people seem to be understanding that the time to tackle the issue has come.Why is it such a big issue? I’ll tell you in mommy-lecture style (to be read in guilt-inspiring mom voice): 800 million people globally suffer from hunger; meanwhile, we trash enough food (2.9 trillion pounds a year) to feed every one of them twice over. This is why you should stop complaining and eat your vegetables.The statistics above are from National Geographic magazine, the March cover story of which addresses the topic of food waste. In it Elizabeth Royte writes of the moral issue of taming our wasteful practices, as well as pointing out the environmental toll created by producing food that no one eats. Amongst some other truly mind-boggling numbers, she notes that if food waste were a country, it would be the third largest producer of greenhouse gas in the world, after China and the United States. Growing the 133 billion pounds of food in the U.S. that markets and people throw away annually uses the equivalent of more than 70 times the amount of oil that was lost in the Gulf of Mexico’s Deepwater Horizon disaster. Oy.
Founded in 1988 by Laura Andreini, Marco Casamonti, and Giovanni Polazzi, who were joined by Silvia Fabi in 1999, Archea Associati is now a network of about 100 architects who come from different regions and worldwide universities and operate from six different offices in Florence, Milan, Rome, Beijing, Dubai, and São Paulo. The group’s interests and research activities range from landscapes to cities, from buildings to design, and while primarily focused on architecture, their projects cover graphics, publishing, exhibitions, and events. The complementarity and scaling from assessment to building site allows integrated operations which are able to intervene in the different types of components of the projects. In addition to their research in the field of design, each founding partner has a parallel activity at the architecture faculties of Florence and Genoa. The most important projects include the Public Library in Nembro (Bergamo, Italy); the new Cantina Antinori in San Casciano Val di Pesa (Florence); the UBPA B3-2 Pavilion at World Expo 2010; GEL, Green Energy Laboratory (Shanghai); the enlargement and renovation of the Perfetti Van Melle site in Lainate near Milan; the CDD Center for Disabilities in Seregno (Milan); the Yanqing Expo Grape near Beijing; the Li Ling World Ceramic Art City (China); and the Colle Loreto residential complex in Lugano (Switzerland). Under construction are Forevergreen Tower in Tirana (Albania); and Changri-La Winery in Penglai (China).