background preloader

Vertical farming with the promise of 95% less water

Vertical farming with the promise of 95% less water
This facility will grow 22 crops per year with the help of LED lighting and a controlled environment. As documentaries like Food Inc. have conveyed, large-scale agricultural farming is not a sustainable method of producing food for the world’s growing population. But vertical farming might be… A start-up AeroFarms is presently building what will be the largest vertical farm in the world. Vertical farms are “a form of indoor controlled agriculture, utilizing as many levels possible of rowing beds stacked vertically in a single-story building,” explains Marc Oshima, co-founder of AeroFarms. Harvested at Peak FlavorLocally GrownNo PesticidesHighly NutritiousUses over 95% Less WaterGrown from non-GMO SeedReady to EatSoil and Land ConservationCommitted to the Community No doubt about it, vertical farms are likely to become a very popular method of growing food in the near future, especially in urban environments. Credit: Inhabitat Said David Rosenberg, Co-Founder and CEO of AeroFarms:

Here's how new buildings can actually help salmon June 25, 2015 By JILL JAGOGLY Construction More often than not discussions about the health of Puget Sound and regional water quality are framed as environmental issues. The problem is not exclusively the environment. A question of competitiveness? When you think about the importance of clean water to our regional economy, our recreational pursuits and above all, our health, it becomes clear that we have a choice: act now to preserve the resources we rely on, or risk ending up the victims of our own success. Using electrocoagulation processes, GLY was able to discharge 113 million gallons of water into Lake Union that were cleaner than the existing lake water. The construction industry is energy and waste intensive and can have a tremendous impact on the region’s ecosystems and natural processes. As GLY Construction vice president Mark Kane points out, “Everything we do leaves a footprint — either positive or negative. By the numbers Cause for alarm; not despair But there is good news.

What We’ve Learned from New Orleans 08.27.15 | By Judith Rodin Facebook Twitter This blog was first published by The Rockefeller Foundation on August 24. We are happily rerunning it to emphasize the long relationship between The Rockefeller Foundation and the City of New Orleans, which resulted in the release of New Orleans' Resilience Strategy on August 25. Ten years ago, Hurricane Katrina was unprecedented in its destruction—awakening cities around the globe to a new reality. By building resilience, cities can prepare for the next disruption so that when disruption does happen, cities can choose, as New Orleans did, to grow and transform. But, 10 years ago, this progress wasn’t guaranteed. This was a question that would profoundly change the way The Rockefeller Foundation thought about our work with cities. Click on the image to share via Twitter Our work with New Orleans was a springboard to more than a half-billion dollars we have invested in the resilience building efforts around the world. 1. 2. 3.

Improving Our Water Efficiency: The Coca-Cola Company Goal: By 2020, improve water efficiency in manufacturing operations by 25% compared with a 2010 baseline. Progress: In 2014, we improved our water efficiency 2%, for a total improvement of 10% since 2010. This progress builds on the 21.4% efficiency improvements achieved from our initial water efficiency goal from 2004 to 2012. Our systemwide water efficiency has improved for 12 straight years. In 2014, we used about 305 billion liters of water to produce approximately 162.6 billion liters of product (Coke, Diet Coke, Coke Zero, Sprite, Fanta, orange and other juices, tea drinks, Dasani, Kinley, Burn, Fuze, etc.) that we sold to consumers in 207 countries and territories around the world. Our 2020 goal is aggressive and builds on the 21.4% water efficiency improvement we’ve made since 2004 (the 2.7 improving to 2.03). Understanding Our Water Footprint The key driver in improving our water efficiency is reducing or removing water use in our manufacturing processes.

Recycling -- fashion world's antidote to environmental concerns Will California redouble its push for clean energy? It all rides on this upcoming vote. It's difficult to overstate how important California is to the US clean energy effort. For decades it has been serving as a kind of existence proof, growing its economy even as per-capita energy use and carbon intensity have fallen. (CA Senate) Every year, the market researchers at CleanEdge put out a Cleantech Leadership Index, ranking US cities and states on a range of more than 70 indicators, from renewable energy deployment to VC investment to clean energy patents to green buildings and more. Here are the overall top 10 states from 2010 on: (CleanEdge) California is leading the nation on climate change and clean energy. At issue is a set of bills that would substantially expand the state's existing clean energy programs. Oil companies have always hated California's climate leadership California's clean energy effort encompasses a wide variety of local and state initiatives, affecting almost every sector of the economy, but it has always been oil companies that hate it the most.

The Key to Saving Billions of Gallons of Water is Sitting in Your Shower California’s crackdown on water wasting has targeted the most intimate of settings: your shower. New rules approved by the state’s Energy Commission last week will change the current showerhead flow rates of 2.5 gallons per minute to 2 gallons per minute by July 2016. By July 2018, showerheads must meet a rate of 1.8 gallons per minute, the nation’s strictest standard for one of the biggest residential indoor water uses. When the new faucets fully replace the current models—the commission estimates that could be realistically accomplished by 2028—as many as 38 billion gallons of water, 20.2 billion cubic feet of natural gas, and 1,322 gigawatt hours of electricity could be saved each year. RELATED: The Billions of Gallons of Water Wasted by Accident Every Year “We are hoping for the best, but planning for the worst in the face of the state’s historic drought,” said energy commissioner Andrew McAllister in a statement. Kohler Simply Smart Showerhead 2.5 GPM (won’t meet July 2016 standard)

Making a Living on the Bayou After a Decade of Disasters SHELL BEACH, La.—On a warm Wednesday morning in early June, Frank Campo sits behind his desk, “shooting the bull,” as he puts it, with a fisher who has pulled up a chair after returning with the day’s catch. It’s not yet noon, but both Campo and his friend have already worked an eight-hour shift. Shielded from the hot Louisiana sun, they’re in the office at Campo’s Marina, the business where Campo, 73, has worked his entire life and that he’s owned and operated for the last 10 years. It’s a 40-foot, air-conditioned trailer parked on a sliver of land, with a dock on the bayou out back. Campo’s services an area of St. Campo says his is the oldest family-owned-and-operated marina in Louisiana. RELATED: Four Years After Deepwater Horizon,A Southern Town Struggles to Survive The dependence is mutual. The 24-7 work schedule isn’t the only challenge of running a bait shop in Shell Beach. Hurricane Katrina damaged 100 percent of the roughly 25,000 homes in St. He did get back up.

Farmers market vouchers may boost produce consumption in low-income families Vouchers to buy fresh fruits and vegetables at farmers markets increase the amount of produce in the diets of some families on food assistance, according to research led by NYU's Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development. The study, which appears online in Food Policy, suggests that farmers market vouchers can be useful tools in improving access to healthy food. This finding validates a new program created by the Agricultural Act of 2014, or farm bill, that incentivizes low-income families to buy produce at farmers markets. "In terms of healthy food options, farmers market incentives may be able to bring a low-income person onto the same playing field as those with greater means," said Carolyn Dimitri, an associate professor of food studies at NYU Steinhardt and the study's lead author. Economically disadvantaged families tend to consume diets low in fruits and vegetables, partially due to poor access to healthy food and their inability to pay for it.

In times of drought, should I use hand sanitizer instead of washing my hands? Q. Several years ago, in consideration of our ongoing water woes here in California, I started using hand sanitizer almost exclusively. However, I have always wondered if this actually saves water. Kathleen K. A. You’re not the only one whose dedication to water conservation has reached the bathroom sink — recently, organizations ranging from Duke University to California State Parks to Hearst Castle have replaced soap-and-water handwashing stations with handy squirts of sanitizer. One hand sanitizer company, GOJO (maker of the popular Purell), has hard data on this question. Soap-and-water washing, on the other hand, requires water use every time. But still, Kathleen, I’m going to point you back to the bathroom tap for your future hand-cleaning sessions. Even though we’ve just declared handwashing a worthy use of water, there’s no need to be wasteful about it. All this is not to say that hand sanitizers don’t have their place. Hygienically, Umbra

It Takes a Shipping Container to Feed a Campus Students advocating for local, sustainably grown food to be served on campus may soon have a surprising new tool to leverage—one more commonly found at industrial sites than on verdant farms. That is, they will if a pilot project at the State University of New York at Stony Brook to grow hydroponic lettuce in a upcycled shipping container proves successful. The “Leafy Green Machine,” as the farm is called, was installed on the campus in late August. The container is the creation of Freight Farms, a business started in 2010 to make products and services that make urban farming easier. “We started in an abandoned parking lot at my school [Clark University] while I was a student there just a couple years ago,” Brad McNamara, a cofounder of Freight Farms, told The Statesman. The demand from students for locally grown produce is real. Administrators seem thrilled that students will be able to eat locally grown crops while also gaining some agricultural knowledge.

California Farms Raking In Cash Despite Drought California is an agricultural powerhouse, supplying the majority of the nation’s fruits, vegetables, and nuts. California also happens to be in the midst of the fourth year of a historic drought — the most severe in recorded history — which is a problem for all that agricultural production, because growing crops — or raising livestock, or tending to nurseries — requires water, and large-scale agriculture, like the kind in California, requires a lot of water. Numerous models predicted that California’s agricultural sector would be hit hard by the drought. But emerging data shows that California’s farmers have been more resilient than expected — according to the first comprehensive analysis of the actual impacts of the drought published Wednesday by the Pacific Institute, California’s agricultural sector experienced record sales in 2013 and 2014. “This is really the first assessment to look at the actual data on the impacts,” she said. CREDIT: Pacific Institute

Google's making it easy for you to get solar panels onto your roof Adding solar panels to your roof can be frustrating, since it's often difficult to know if your home receives enough light to justify the investment. Google Maps, however, has satellite, navigation and sunlight data for every property in the world, so it's ideally placed to tell you how many rays hit your crib on a daily basis. That's why the firm is launching Sunroof, a database of how much solar energy hits each building in a city, helping people work out if it's worth the effort. Sunroof is intended as a "treasure map" for future green energy projects, telling you how much of a saving you'd make and how long it'd take to make back your initial outlay. To begin with, Project Sunroof will only be available in three locations: Boston, San Francisco and Fresno. We tested the service out on Aol's building in San Francisco, and it told us that we received 1,840 hours of usable sunlight per year.

A Sushi Master’s Lament—and the One Fish You Should Always Avoid When a famous chef speaks out to warn the dining public about the dire straits of the world’s fisheries, that’s hardly news. “Sustainable seafood” probably ranks just behind “wild-caught” as the descriptor of choice on the menu of your average haute eatery these days. But when that chef is the most renowned sushi master on the planet, people listen. “I can’t imagine at all that sushi in the future will be made of the same materials we use today,” Jiro Ono said in an appearance this week. The 89-year-old chef isn’t just a guy speed-wrapping raw salmon in seaweed at some corner joint and slapping down a dollop of Kermit-green faux wasabi on the side. There’s a poignant sadness to Ono’s declaration, the quiet melancholy of an old man who has spent his life perfecting his craft only to realize that the world as he knew it may be gone forever. Of all the species that the world’s love affair with sushi have pushed to the brink, it’s bluefin tuna, or toro, that appears most at risk.

Can capitalism evolve to address the climate crisis? There are two extremes in the debate over capitalism’s role in our present climate change problem. On the one hand, some people see climate change as the outcome of a consumerist market system run rampant. In the end, the result will be a call to replace capitalism with a new system that will correct our present ills with regulations to curb market excesses. On the other hand, some people have faith in a free market to yield the needed solutions to our social problems. In the more extreme case, some see climate policy as a covert way for bigger government to interfere in the market and diminish citizens’ personal freedom. Between these two extremes, the public debate takes on its usual binary, black-and-white, conflict-oriented, unproductive and basically incorrect form. This polar framing also feeds into culture wars that are taking place in our country. This binary framing masks the real questions we face, both what we need to do and how we are going to get there. Homo economicus?