New York City was first with it’s No-Idling laws, but the UK, it seems, won’t settle for #2.
Unless of course it’s the #2 (Human waste) that just happens to be fueling the first-of-its-kind city bus. The 40-seater Bio-Bus runs on fuel generated from treated sewage and food waste and helps improve urban air quality as it produces fewer emissions than traditional diesel engines. The bus can travel up to 200 miles on a full tank of gas generated at Bristol sewage treatment works – a plant run by GENeco, a subsidiary of Wessex Water. Up to 10,000 passengers are expected to travel on the Bio-Bus each month.
It’s not petrol, bio-diesel or natural gas. It’s Biomethane, and can even be used to power up to 8,500 homes, and although the bus’s graphics seem to imply it’s a moving shitter, the fuel is actually a product of Bristol sewage treatment, which treats around 75 million cubic meters of sewage waste and 35,000 tons of food waste through a process known as anaerobic digestion. The waste is collected from households, supermarkets and food manufacturers every year.
“GENeco Bio-Bus is an excellent demonstration of biomethane’s unique benefits; decarbonizing areas other renewables can’t reach,” says Charlotte Morton, chief executive of the Anaerobic Digestion & Bioresources Association (@adbioresources). “A home-generated green gas, biomethane is capable of replacing around 10% of the UKs domestic gas needs and is currently the only renewable fuel available for HGVs.
Although the Bio-Bus is new, in 2010, GENeco powered a car on biomethane produced during the sewage treatment process. The Bio-Bug was used in various trials to see how viable it was to power a vehicle on sewage gas.
By Amanda Crater for GreenBusinesses.com (watch video below)
This can’t be good. News broke this week about a mysterious virus affecting millions of starfish along the West Coast from Mexico to Alaska. “Sea Star Wasting Syndrome” has been decimating more than 20 species of starfish for about a year, and scientists this week discovered the culprit which has been widely reported on.
Marine biology researchers investigating the virus linked to the “wasting” deaths of countless starfish are looking at what role environmental causes might play in the massive die-off. Scientists have identified the specific virus responsible for the ongoing devastation of starfish along the Pacific Coast of Canada, the United States, and Mexico, as reported by BoingBoing.net. The Seattle Times did an in-depth report that said, “[I]t remains unclear if the pathogen’s current deadly spread is part of a complex natural cycle — or whether blame for this massive die-off is linked in some way to climate change, souring seas or other harm humans have inflicted on the ocean. Either way, the gruesome deaths are still spreading, confounding scientists and threatening to fundamentally transform marine systems along thousands of miles of Pacific Ocean coastline. This is the sea-star-removal experiment of the century. It’s pretty staggering,” said C. Drew Harvell, a marine epidemiologist from Cornell University based at Friday Harbor Labs on San Juan Island. “The ecological impact is going to be huge.And researchers still have no clue when the dying might end.”
From Mexico to Alaska, starfish have been mysteriously melting for more than a year. When a starfish first gets sick, its arms pretzel up and white lesions form on its skin. Next, the starfish, normally plush with water absorbed to keep its shape, starts to deflate. Then suddenly, its limbs begin falling off. Once symptoms start, it can take only a fewdays for the starfish to disintegrate and die.
The illness has been dubbed “sea star wasting disease,” and it emerged and spread rapidly along the Pacific coast last year. But marine biologists only had a few hunches — global warming, perhaps? — as to what was causing the deaths of millions of these animals.
Now, a massive new study has narrowed down the cause of what’s liquefying this lynchpin species. The findings, from a diverse group of invertebrate biologists, geneticists, statisticians, veterinarians and virologists, were published this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
It’s a virus that’s sweeping the starfish, researchers say. In fact, it’s the first starfish virus ever discovered.
Sometimes the best ideas sound the silliest at first, but companies who embrace creative solutions to complex problems often have the greatest success. In this interview with Paul Dillinger, VP of Product Design and Innovation for Levi Strauss & Co. (@LeviStraussCo), Nick Aster of Triple Pundit (@TriplePundit) discusses the innovative approach that Levi’s has been known to take when incorporating sustainability into their business practices. Filmed at the SXSW Eco-Conference (SXSWeco.com) in Austin, Texas last month, Aster poses the question, “how can creativity be a part of sustainability?”
Citing his experience working with complex problems involving numerous committees, Dillinger reveals that often the solution can be found in the “creative unknown.” An example he refers to involves the issue of the wash of the company’s jeans. The “water-less” rinse program involved a “counterintuitive inversion of the meaning of wash,” which resulted in taking the fundamental resource (water) out of the rinse process and thereby saving 800 million liters of fresh water.
Dillinger goes on to give other examples of this “disruptive, silly, sort of backward thinking that yields great results.” It’s a fascinating glimpse into how a major corporation is using creativity on behalf of sustainability.
By Amanda Crater – Just as George Washington once swung an ax into his own father’s beloved cherry tree, the United States federal government just drove a drill into the heart of its national park system by approving a federal management plan that will allow fracking to occur in parts of the George Washington National Forest – the nation’s largest national forest on the East Coast. The controversial practice is vehemently opposed by both environmentalists and Virginia’s governor Terry McAuliffe, but fracking will be allowed thanks to the new plan passed Tuesday November 14, 2014 over their objections.
It seems fitting that this symbolic move applies to a national park named after a president whose legacy includes taking an ax to his own garden in a masochist act of self sabotage – good fracking job America on this one too. Just as elementary school text books commend dear George for fessing up to his father, politicians and lobbyists are applauding themselves for coming up with a compromise that allows the country to continue a destructive practice for which future generations will be forced to pay the price.
The federal management plan reverses an outright ban on hydraulic fracturing that the U.S. Forest Service had proposed in 2011 for the 1.1 million-acre forest, reported the Washington Post (see “Fracking to be Permitted in GW National Forest“).
“We think we’ve ended up in a much better place, which is we are allowing oil and gas drilling,” said Robert Bonnie, the undersecretary for national resources and environment at the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which oversees the Forest Service.
“From a policy perspective, the Forest Service allows fracking on forest lands throughout the country. We didn’t want to make a policy decision or change policy related to fracking,” Bonnie told The Associated Press in a telephone interview.
Keep on destroying that Garden of Eden with your unsustainable, violent acts on the earth, America, frack on!
As the media proclaims the accomplishments on the diamond for the 2014 World Series Champs, we in the green community are more proud of the Giants grandslam homerun over center field.
Literally over centerfield.
Yes, AT&T Ballpark boasts Solar panels that send clean, renewable electricity into the grid, and the first Silver LEED certification of any ballpark*, but it’s their edible garden that is winning at the plate. Check out this mini “appetizer” clip of this first of it’s kind Edible Garden at AT&T Ballpark in San Francisco.
Please watch the video clip below, produced by our friends at GardenTV. To read more and watch the full video, visit GardenTV.tv.