Nature and Conservation
Photos: Erdem Designs Is it premature to predict the death of the paper book? With sales of e-readers recently outpacing that of real books, it may seem like the end is near. But even so, according to that logic, that's a lot of "useless" books that are left out there. Not so for Turkish designer Ragip Erdem of New York-based Erdem Designs , who handcrafts these lovely lamps from recycled books and which are fit for the die-hard book lover. According to Erdem, his design is an homage to the institution of the book and what it stands for, even as reading habits become increasingly digitized:
By Jason Best Alamy If you read the title of this article and groaned, don't worry: We're not going to tell you to embark on a five-figure eco-friendly kitchen renovation or encourage you to try baking your potatoes in the sun. No doubt you've already heard some statistic like this: If every home in the U.S. replaced just one incandescent light bulb with a compact fluorescent, we would keep as much global warming pollution out of the air each year as if 800,000 cars suddenly disappeared. "There are many steps we can each personally take to make a healthier and safer environment for ourselves and our families," says Bob Schildgen, a resident green-living expert at the Sierra Club and author of Sierra magazine's "Hey, Mr. Green" column.
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In some cities, parks are replacing asphalt, and city dwellers are suddenly discovering new green space just steps away. To make cities more livable for an often growing population , government officials, activists and citizens are reclaiming unused or abandoned structures and lots and turning them into new, vibrant green spots that fill the surrounding areas with life. These 10 examples --- spanning four continents -- are perhaps just the beginning of the concrete-to-green revolution. A water reservoir until shut down in 1899, the Paddington Reservoir went on to become a garage, workshop and a commercial garage once more. After sections of the roof collapsed in 1991, the garage was shut down for the last time. Then architecture firm Tonkin Zulaikha Greer was commissioned for the restoration: They were supposed to cap-off the underground site and build a new arrangement on top.
Image via YouTube video The Sierra Club is pointing attention to the once-through cooling systems used by many power plants. Power plants suck up over 200 billion gallons of water a day, and with that water comes millions of fish that don't exactly make it out alive. The conservation group has put together an animation showing how the systems work, and why they need to be upgraded. As the Sierra Club points out, there are already closed-cycle cooling systems that can replace the once-through systems and not only conserve a huge amount of water, but also save countless fish and other aquatic species, not to mention the animals that depend on the fish as a food source. The Sierra Club notes, "The EPA recently proposed long-overdue guidelines for cooling water use at power plants.