29 October 2017

Digital Transformation: Business as usual is dead.

28 October 2016

Featuring: 'Technology vs. Humanity' by Gerd Leonhard

"Are you ready for the greatest changes in recent human history? Futurism meets humanism in Gerd Leonhard’s ground-breaking new work of critical observation, discussing the multiple Megashifts that will radically alter not just our society and economy but our values and our biology. Wherever you stand on the scale between technomania and nostalgia for a lost world, this is a book to challenge, provoke, warn and inspire." Gerd Leonhard on www.techvshuman.com

Seven Beland highly recommends 'Technology vs. Humanity' as an important lecture for the modern human in our technology-driven, modern society. The book is available as hardcover and e-book in all Amazon-Stores worldwide, for example:
Great-BritainUS / IntlCanadaDeutschland

18 July 2016

<-- Seven Beland Posting is taking a Break -->

15 June 2016

Environment: How tiny Malta copes with several hundred thousand stray cats - new ebook 'Islands of Cats'

Islands of Cats ebook pre-release available on Lulu.com

Many of us appreciate a cat as a pet, the moggy that wakes us in the morning with a loving purr or lounges in our favourite arm chair when we come home. In several countries around the globe, stray cats have become a true problem. This species is very productive when it comes to procreating, and though this is their nature, in the absence of natural predators, cats that end up in the streets will instinctively mate and after a while we have a population explosion, if not a pest. The US currently cope with 50 million stray and feral cats, Australia is confronted with 20 million jeopardising several endangered species, around Berlin 100'000 strays roam the area, the UK faces problems, Switzerland is discussing a tax on un-neutered/un-spayed cats, the shelters are packed, to name just a few. Many stray cats end up in shelters just to be euthanised ...

In 2012 we moved to Malta and soon noticed the many stray and feral cats in the streets. Moving to a place with a "cat colony" across the street in 2015, the topic finally caught our attention. Why are these home-less felines so good looking, well-fed and healthy? How many are there? Who are these more than 1,000 individuals going around to feeding spots on our Islands to provide food, water, veterinary aid and neutering 7/365? How does tiny, sea-locked Malta cope with the issue? To answer all this and much more, we went around Malta and Gozo to interview dozens of "Stray Cat Carers" as well as shelters dedicated to cats. After six months we are now able to present our research in an entertaining and, at the same time, educational photo-story book with the mission to take this environmental topic closer to the public and to clear some misunderstandings.

"Islands of Cats" contains 22 representative carer portraits, interviews, cat facts and descriptions of places of interest on 121 pages with 222 high-resolution photographs. Of the Euro 7.99 (excl. VAT) sales price we will return 1 Euro to the stray cat carer community, to help with food and vet vouchers to cover otherwise and primarily privately paid costs for the carers' many furry protégés. This electronic pre-release comes as PDF in English, German, or Maltese. A print version is planned. Please refer to our most recent newsletter for all details, a preview, and more links. And please share share share. Grazzi ħafna !!

8 June 2016

Mumbai airport recycling 25% of the water used by every passenger (via The Indian Express)

illustration: original post
The Indian Express 7 June 2016: "To reduce its consumption of fresh water, the Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport (CSIA) has set up three sewage treatment plants. The plants recycle 25 per cent of water used by every passenger, which is then utilised for toilet flushing, cooling and in the airport’s green spaces.

Speaking on the sidelines of an event to mark World Environment Day on Sunday, a Mumbai International Airport Pvt Ltd (MIAL) spokesperson said, “Fresh water is required for airport activities such as concessioners, cooking, drinking, cooling tower, etc. We can’t substitute fresh water requirement by treated sewage totally, but fresh water requirements in some activities, such as toilet flushing, gardening and cooling in HVAC, can be substituted by treated sewage. The sewage generated from... "read on.

31 May 2016

Journey to Mars begins … and ends with Earth (via TheSpec)

Space innovations also used to develop new technologies for industry and medicine

The Hamilton Spectator 30 May 2016: "Mars is as far away as humans have so far dreamed of going to, but the end goal is actually to help those close to home said an American astronaut visiting Hamilton.

"What we do in space exploration is really about life back here on earth," Catherine Coleman told the 2016 Innovation Nation conference at Liuna Station Sunday.

Space innovations get us one step closer to Mars, but they're also used develop new technologies for industry and medicine.

The remote-controlled mechanical arm Canadarm and Canadarm2 are used in space to deploy and capture satellites, maintain equipment and move cargo. But it has also inspired a better way to..." read on.

27 May 2016

A World With Little Water Supply Has Dire Economic Consequences: World Bank (via TechTimes)

Tech Times 24 May 2016: "Too little water supply in an increasingly warming world can spur dire economic consequences, trigger sudden migration and spark conflict around the globe, a new report by the World Bank warns.

High And Dry
The new report examines the long-term effects of diminishing water supply on the world, citing effects on food, urban, energy and environmental systems.

As cities expand, incomes rise and populations continue to grow, and water supply becomes more erratic and uncertain, researchers write.

Unfortunately, unless action is taken immediately, water will become scarce in places where it is currently abundant, including East Asia and Central Africa.

At the same time, scarcity will worsen in places already with short supply, including the Middle East and the Sahel, the..." read on.

26 May 2016

Meet the private company that has changed the face of the world (via Fortune)

A rare inside look at family-controlled global construction giant Bechtel.

illustration: original post
Fortune 26 May 2016: "Fourteen stories below Saudi Arabia’s Capital, Riyadh, a 1,000-ton monster is carving a hole. The tunnel-boring machine, or TBM, is longer than a Boeing 747 and weighs five times as much. It grinds through the Arabian Desert sandstone 24/7, chewing through the pink-hued rock with its tungsten blades to sculpt a circle 33.6 feet in diameter. The massive device has been given the name Mneefah, for the legendary stallion that carried the kingdom’s first ruler to victory.

This modern Mneefah, however, grinds along rather than gallops. On a recent visit, the tunnel behind the machine’s cutting head is bathed in an eerie fluorescent light. Suddenly, in a cycle that repeats every hour, the blades stop whirring, and a robotic arm swoops down and uses its powerful suction shoe to slowly pick up eight curved six-ton concrete panels one at a time and place them on the newly carved wall in a..."
click to read full article.

25 May 2016

A Warming World Means Less Water, With Economic Consequences (via KQED)

illustration: original post
KQED 23 May 2016: "We often associate climate change with too much water — the melting ice caps triggering a rise in sea levels. Now a new World Bank report says we also need to think about too little water — the potable sort.

High and Dry: Climate Change, Water, and the Economy examines the future effects of diminishing water supplies on the world. “Water-related climate risks cascade through food, energy, urban, and environmental systems,” researchers write. “Growing populations, rising incomes, and expanding cities will converge upon a world where the demand for water rises exponentially, while supply becomes more erratic and uncertain.”

The World Bank says that in areas where water is readily available, like Central Africa and East Asia, it could become harder to find. And in areas like the Middle East, already facing..." read on.

24 May 2016

Environmental policy must be on the agenda (via The National)

image: original post
The National 21 May 2016: "We are only a few months past the Paris agreement, which was signed by more than 165 countries last December at the meeting of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, with the pledge of limiting global warming to below 2°C.

The UAE is particularly vulnerable to climate change and, as part of the Arabian Peninsula, one of the most water-stressed regions in the world. Prospects for an acceleration of climate change – including more extreme summer temperatures and the faster withdrawal of scarce fresh water resources – are no distant possibility. We’re witnessing greater temperature extremes, and Abu Dhabi’s water reserves are now expected to run out in as little as 50 years at current consumption rates.
It is high-time for more coordinated climate governance internationally and nationally. Energy has long been at the core of climate-related policy, and rightly so: the power generation and energy-intensive industries together account for over 80 per cent of the..." read on.

20 May 2016

Stop Firms to waste water worth 1'250 Olympic size pools A DAY (via This is Money)

We meet the Ofwat boss demanding firms stop the astonishing 1,250 Olympic-size pools worth of water A DAY leaking out

This is Money 16 may 2016: "Britain's water regulator has a blunt message for companies that provide our water and sewerage service: they need to get ‘a hell of a lot more efficient’.

Energy companies and telecoms groups are used to taking flak over high prices but it sounds like the water sector is about to come under similar pressure – from Ofwat chief Cathryn Ross.

And the challenges are legion: prices must fall and leaks must be reduced, says Ross. The equivalent of 1,250 Olympic-size swimming pools is leaking per day from the network in England and Wales.

‘This sector right now is at a pivotal point,’ says Ross. ‘If you think about the challenges – population change, climate...' read on.

19 May 2016

REPORT: Recycled Antifreeze has 28% Lower Carbon Footprint (via WmW

illustration: original post
WMW 17 May 2016: Recycled antifreeze has a lower carbon footprint than virgin, according to a study commissioned by Indiana based ORG CHEM Group, a specialist in the distillation of heat sensitive materials.

The newly released study compared Carbon Footprint of Recycled Antifreeze vs. Virgin Antifreeze by analyzing energy consumption from the two processes.

According to ORG CHEM fleet managers can help meet their organisations' scope 3 greenhouse gas emissions reduction targets by purchasing recycled antifreeze. However, the company added that due to data limitations, a cradle-to-grave comparison was not possible, making the comparison..." read on.

18 May 2016

To Prevent Zika, US And Mexico Join Forces To Collect Tires (via KBPS)

KPBS 12 may 2016: "Every year, environmentalists rush to clean uphundreds of discarded tires that flow into southern San Diego County from Mexico through the Tijuana River. But whenever it rains, the tires pile up again.
A new binational collaboration led by the organization Wildcoast aims to stop the tires from washing into the U.S. The pilot program, which launched Thursday, aims to collect and shred up to 100,000 tires in Tijuana. The tires will be sold for reuse by a Mexican commodities company.
The initiative brings together government officials, business leaders and environmentalists from both sides of the..." read on.

12 May 2016

Indian Scientist Has Developed System From Sea Water To Drinkable Water (via PressInsider)

PressInsider 11 May 2016: "The Indian Scientist has developed a system to purify the sea water into drinkable water successfully. Right now, the system is producing nearly 6.3 million liters of potable water daily from the sea water.

Ther are 13 states are affected by heavy drought, As the development of the converting the sea water into the drinking water by the system, It gives relief for the states and solves the water problem.

Also, they have developed specific filtration methods, which ensures the groundwater is containing the arsenic and uranium are safe to..." read on.

11 May 2016

Digital transformation: are you ready for exponential change? by Futurist Gerd Leonhard / TFA Studios

A short film by Futurist Speaker Gerd Leonhard.

Business as usual is dead. Increasingly, science fiction is becoming science fact. Exponential technologies are rapidly changing our lives and societies, every day, everywhere. We will need different skills, and we will need to get much better at driving change - or we will be driven by it. Most importantly, we should embrace technology but not become it. Anything that can be digitized or automated, will be - and anything that cannot be digitized or automated will become extremely valuable. Lastly, we must go beyond technology to define real human values in this new digital ecosystem.

10 May 2016

5-Hour Energy Drink Founder Wants To Make Fake Rain (via Forbes)

Forbes Green Tech 10 May 2016: "Manoj Bhargava is taking the Henry Ford approach to clean water.

Bhargava, who single-handedly changed impulse buying in convenience stores by with his 5-Hour Energy Drink, is now dedicating his time to the Rain Maker, a water distilling system for helping ameliorate the world’s looming water crisis.

The system works similar to other evaporation systems from companies like 212 Resources or Altela. Wastewater goes in one end, get transformed into vapor and, when again condensed, comes back as clean water. Whether you call it artificial rain, water recycling or distillation, you’re essentially using heat in an..." read on.

3 May 2016

Using treated sewage water to clean trains, railway station

To clean one train, it takes 20,000 liters of water!

Rush Lane 2 May 2016: "Over two lakh liters of fresh water is being used every day to clean 20 trains in Chennai alone. With Indian Railways cleaning hundreds of trains every day, crores of liters of fresh water is being wasted on a daily basis. But, cleaning trains is equally important. So how to clean trains without wasting fresh water? Well, Chennai has an answer.

Basin Bridge Train Care Center is supplying treated sewage water to the Chennai Central Railway Station as they embark on a new strategy to save water. Main pipelines are laid for the transportation of water while branch carries the water to all platforms. This drastically reduces the amount of fresh water being used to..." read on.

1 May 2016

How To Grow Your Own Food Garden

Grow your own veggies and herbs in any place or space

illistration: Longevity
As seen on Longevity 29 April 2016: "In today’s world, the idea of growing your own food garden is appealing. Not only is it cost-effective, but you can control the soil in which your plants grow, and will be assured that no additives or pesticides have been used, thereby improving the nutrient and mineral content.

But is it easy? The correct guidance on the nature of soil, water recycling and creative spaces can quickly dissolve inhibitions and turn gardening into a fun adventure. Longevity speaks to some of South Africa’s top gardening..." read on.

29 April 2016

Japan, China, South Korea agree to cooperate over disaster waste

The Japan Times 27 April 2016: "Environment ministers from Japan, China and South Korea agreed Wednesday to cooperate on management and reuse of disaster waste, with Tokyo offering to share its experience from the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami that hit northeastern Japan and other disasters.

“Japan would prepare an opportunity among the three countries to share experience and know-how on disaster waste management,” said the joint communique adopted by the ministers following their two-day meeting in Shizuoka, where they also discussed air pollution and marine trash.

Environmental cooperation is one of the few realms that have not suffered a serious setback amid Japan’s sometimes strained diplomatic relations with China and South Korea over differing views on history and territory. The trilateral environment talks have been..." read on.

27 April 2016

New UN report finds almost no industry profitable if environmental costs were included

Exposing Truth 9 April 2016: "If you haven’t been paying attention, I don’t blame you for at first not believing this. After all, companies go to great lengths to greenwash their image and present themselves as progressive and environmentally responsible, even while they turn your land to deserts and your oceans into dead zones. Unfortunately, as Mark Twain once famously said: “It’s easier to fool people than to convince them that they have been fooled.”

The truth is that our current system allows pretty much every corporation to externalize both environmental and social costs. In this article, we won’t even be touching on social costs. If you don’t know what cost externalization is, you can imagine it as making someone else pay part or all of your costs. For example, BP externalized the environmental costs..." read on.

26 April 2016

Indian Railways comes up with a noble solution to save water

Business Insider India 24 April 2016: To cope up the drought situation slowly gripping the country, Indian Railway has decided to set up automatic coach washing plants at 10 major depots to save water required for cleaning trains.

ACWP will be equipped with an effluent treatment system and water softening plant for recycling water used for cleaning trains and platforms. There are 23 railway depots out of which we will set up modern washing plants with added facilities for treatment of water for reuse at 10 at an estimated cost of Rs 20 crore, said a senior Railway Ministry official involved in execution of green initiatives of the national...read on.

25 April 2016

South Korea cuts food waste with 'pay as you trash'

Country has adopted creative ways to manage food waste problems and promote recycling

The Straits Times Asia 24 April 2016: Moving to South Korea from the US in 2012, English teacher Michelle Svensson was shocked to find that she had to separate her food waste and dump it in a centralised bin within her apartment compound.

"It's kind of disgusting," said the 29-year-old half-Swedish, half- Korean mother of two.

"My husband and I really hated taking the food waste out because it'd smell so bad and it's so embarrassing to go into the lift when there are other people inside."...read on

22 April 2016

Almost Nothing About the ‘Apple Harvests Gold From iPhones’ Story Is True

The Motherboard 20 April 2016: "You may have seen a viral headline floating around over the last few days: Apple recycled $40 million worth of gold last year, which was extracted from iPhones. Almost none of what was reported is true.

The story was everywhere, from major mainstream outlets like CNN, Fox News, and Huffington Post to tech-focused and normally very good sites such as MacRumors, Gizmodo, Quartz, and The Verge. I’ve never come across a story that has been so uniformly misreported—hundreds of outlets covered Apple’s “Environmental Responsibility Report,” and not one article I read came remotely close to getting the story right.

The most egregious and inaccurate storyline goes something like this: Apple, out of the goodness of its heart or perhaps fueled by monetary incentives, took old iPhones and iPads that were brought back into its stores, took them apart, melted down the roughly 30 milligrams of gold in each phone, and ended up with 2,204 total pounds of…" read on.

iPhone News And Rumors: Apple Gained $40 Million From Recycled Gadgets

Recycling is undoubtedly a good environmentally-conscious practice for companies.

News Everyday 19 April 2016: Just recently, the Cupertino-based company has publicly announced how their gadgets recycling program allowed them to rake in (literally) almost a metric ton of gold from recycled devices and parts from electronic products like iPhones and iPads last year worth at an estimated $40 million as per its Environmental Responsibility Report.

Out of the 90 million pounds of trash that went through its e-waste recycling program, the Silicon Valley giant was able to extract 61 million pounds of reusable materials including gold albeit in relatively small amount. However, gold is currently worth $1,200 per troy ounce as per latest trading value in the market which makes the precious one of...read on.

21 April 2016

Geosynthetic-Concrete Composite Barrier for Brazilian Mine

image by original post
geosynthetica.net 19 April 2016: In October 2015, a Concrete Canvas® GCCM (Geosynthetic Cementitious Composite Mat) composite barrier was used to line a newly constructed drainage lagoon at Votorantim Metais Zinco mine in Vazante, Minas Gerais, Brazil. The site needed to transport alkaline mine water through a series of drainage ditches—also to be lined—to the lagoon where the water would be treated.

Sites like this had used concrete-based solutions in the past; but, with the rainy season having already begun, a solution such as shotcrete was not possible. The specification of a geosynthetic-concrete composite barrier system gave the site operators a strong lining system that could be...read more.

8 April 2016

Turning surplus food into a resource

San Diego Union-Tribune 6 April 2016: What is excess food — waste or a resource? California aims to re-characterize surplus food so that we see its value. Starting April 1, state law began restricting organic material — food scrap and yard trimmings — from going to landfills. At the heart of it, organic material retains minerals and nutrients that were mined from our soil. Once disposed in a landfill, those resources are lost, just as with landfilled aluminum cans. Compounding this environmental concern, organic material in our landfills generates copious amounts of greenhouse gases. Instead of landfilling, organic material can be recycled into a soil amendment through composting or into energy through anaerobic digestion.

With new legislation (AB 1826), California continues its progress toward removing all recyclable material from our landfills. Businesses that generate a large volume of organic material must make arrangements for services to have it all recycled. But the San Diego region cannot comply with this state law right now. We do not have the capacity to handle all the material we generate — an estimated half million tons of organic material each year. So while large food-generating businesses must begin recycling their surplus food, most have no service to turn to.

Over 25 years ago, California passed the nation’s landmark solid waste law, the Integrated Waste Management Act (AB 939), which sought to decrease the amount of...read on.

5 April 2016

Recycling program launched to clean migrant waste trail on Greek island

New China 3 April 2016: The huge "mountains" of life jackets and dinghies left behind by thousands of refugees on the beaches of the Greek island of Lesvos over the past year bring hope and possible job opportunities for recession-hit locals as authorities have launched a recycling program this spring to protect the environment and generate revenues.

The municipality of Lesvos in cooperation with volunteer architects and environmentalists has started a pilot project to turn refugee waste into items of immediate use for the refugees and migrants such as bags, raincoats, mattresses and shelters, local officials told Xinhua in recent telephone interviews.

With the support of the Greek Ministry of Environment, Lesvos hopes to become an example for other islands that are affected by the refugee crisis.

Lesvos has been at the front line of the crisis during the past year. Almost half of the one million arriving in Greece since early 2015 were registered on the island.

Up to 700,000 life vests and 10,000 inflatable dinghies were left on the beaches since...read on.

4 April 2016

Massive deforestation discovered in Brazil's Cerrado region

During the dry season, farmlands recycled 60 percent less water than native savanna.

UPI 1 April 2016: A new study shows deforestation, already prevalent in the Amazon, has expanded southward into Brazil's Cerrado, a vast region of tropical savanna.

"This is the first study to show how intense the deforestation and agricultural expansion in the Cerrado has been in the past decade," Gillian Galford, an ecologist at the University of Vermont, said in a news release. "It's clearly a new hotspot for tropical deforestation."

In coordination with researchers at Brown University and the Woods Hole Research Center, Galford and her colleagues at Vermont used satellite imagery to plot the...read on.

1 April 2016

Lifting weight of water off women

Bethany Caruso:  Females must carry as much as 50kg daily for each family member for drinking, cooking and cleaning.

NZ Herald 28 March 2016: Imagine going through your day without ready access to clean water for drinking, cooking, washing or bathing. Around the world, 663 million people face that challenge every day. They get their water from sources considered unsafe because they are vulnerable to contamination, such as rivers, unprotected wells, streams and ponds. And the task of providing household water falls disproportionately to women and girls.

Water, a human right, is critical for human survival and development. A sufficient supply of biologically and chemically safe water is necessary for drinking and personal hygiene to prevent diarrhoeal diseases, trachoma, intestinal...read on.

29 March 2016

Thirsty Cities Need Smart Solutions Like Water Reclamation

The New Indian Express 27 March 2016: This week, across cities, conscientious Indians did not use water to celebrate Holi. The unprecedented water crisis compelled the shift in social practices. Essentially, necessity acquired the cloak of virtue.

The magnitude of the crisis of thirst is illustrated by headlines from across the country. In Hyderabad, residents took away a 5,000-litre water tanker of the HMWSSB. Authorities in Latur imposed Section 144 to avoid water riots. Kochi plans to introduce permit raj to ensure water quality supplied by tankers. Navi Mumbai residents are agitated about tanker operators siphoning from pipelines for sale to housing societies. In Gurgaon, authorities warned use of water for car wash or gardens could result in FIRs. Aggrieved women in Dhenkanal, Odisha, forced engineers out of office to check tube wells. Residents of...read on.

24 March 2016

Austrian Environment Agency assists Ukraine in waste management

umweltbundesamt - Kiev, 22 March 2016: A new two-year Twinning project on the collection and recycling of e-waste and used batteries was officially launched today at the Ministry of Regional Development, Building and Housing and Communal Services of Ukraine. 

Every year, Ukraine has to dispose half a billion tons of wastes, including hundreds of tons of harmful e-waste that often contains hazardous substances that cause pollution and health problems. In the EU waste legislation, landfilling is the "least preferred option" and recycling is encouraged, in particular for waste containing harmful substances and valuable raw materials like e-waste.

Georg Rebernig, Managing Director of Umweltbundesamt, the Environment Agency Austria, explains at the Kick-off event in Kiev: “With this project, the Environment Agency Austria together with...read on.

23 March 2016

Apple's robot rips apart iPhones for recycling

Lisa Jackson, Apple vice president for Environment, Policy and Social Initiatives, introduces a robot named Liam that deconstructs iPhones during an event at Apple headquarters in Cupertino, California March 21, 2016
Reuters 21 March 2016: Apple Inc (AAPL.O) on Monday unveiled a robotic system called Liam to take apart junked iPhones and recover valuable materials that can be recycled, such as silver and tungsten.

The move is an attempt to address criticism that Apple's products, while sleek and seamless in design, are so tightly constructed that their components can be difficult to disassemble, refurbish and reuse.

Liam, which has been under development for nearly three years, will initially focus on the iPhone 6. Apple plans to modify and expand the system to handle different devices and recover more resources, the company said.

The system started to operate at full capacity last month and can take apart one iPhone 6 every 11 seconds to recover aluminum, copper, tin, tungsten, cobalt, gold and silver parts, according...read on.

21 March 2016

Barbecue ban not enough to keep beaches clean, say environmental NGOs

In Malta, litter on beaches is a big problem, and the more activities allowed, the more litter there is.

Times of Malta 12 March 2016: Banning all non-gas operated barbecues was still not enough to keep beaches clean, environmental NGOs said yesterday, calling for more enforcement and better waste-management solutions.

The organisations were reacting to the decision to allow only gas barbecues to be used at Golden Bay after this newspaper reported that all other types would soon be banned from Mellieħa bay, as the council steps up efforts to keep its beaches clean.

Mayor John Buttigieg told this newspaper that during discussions on whether to revoke the barbecue ban at Għadira, the council identified threats to the quality of the beaches due to barbecues. So it decided to propose banning barbecues which do not run on gas at Golden Bay, where all...read on.

18 March 2016

Israel top in recycling water, bottom in renewable energy

Israel has the best record in the OECD in recycling wastewater and the worst record in producing electricity from renewable sources.

Globes 16 March 2016:  The proportion of Israel's population not connected to wastewater recycling is one of the lowest among the members of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), according to a quality of life report published today. The proportion of people not hooked up to wastewater recycling in Israel fell from 7.7% in 2000 (485,000 people) to 2.2% in 2014 (180,000 people). Most of the people not connected to water recycling live in unrecognized Bedouin communities or East Jerusalem. The proportion of people connected to tertiary (the highest level) of wastewater treatment rose from 33.6% in 2000 to 51.7% in 2014.

Israel's management of its water sector has won praise around the world. In an interview published in "Globes last October, Seth Siegel, author of "Let There Be Water: Israel's Solution for a Water-Starved World," explained how Israel had changed from a...read on.

14 March 2016

Heathrow sets sustainability pledges for food and drink retailers

resource 14 March 2015: Heathrow Airport has set targets, including a 70 per cent food waste recycling rate, for all its food and beverage retailers as part of a new sustainable restaurant guide.

Drafted in partnership with the Sustainable Restaurant Association (SRA), ‘Ingredients for Success’ is designed to help the airport work towards a Responsible Heathrow 2020, which aims to ‘enhance local, regional and national, economic and social benefits of Heathrow in a sustainable way’.

The guide sets out sustainability target for all food and beverage retailers on the airport, focusing on six core areas: waste, water, energy, colleagues, community and customers.

As part of the sustainability commitment, Heathrow will also review the waste prevention and recycling communication tools and messaging with the food service community.

Additionally, the guide suggests that the airport retailers will reduce energy use by 10 per cent for every person served and implement a systematic approach to...read on.

11 March 2016

This supermarket is Denmark’s first to only sell waste food

WeFood is a supermarket that sells only surplus and waste food at a discounted price, while giving the profits to charities.

Springwise 4 March 2016: Waste food still remains a massive problem in developed countries. Only this year did France passed a law banning supermarkets from throwing away waste food, instead asking them to donate it to charities or food banks.

That’s why WeFood opened in Denmark in February. The shop is the country’s first selling only food that has gone past its sell by date, with prices up to 50 percent cheaper than in normal shops. The store is located in the country’s capital Copenhagen, and is run by volunteers. The company has already secured deals with retailers and importers to sell the food that would otherwise...read on.


7 March 2016

London Waste & Recycling Board: Amec Foster Wheeler to help draft London route map

Consultancy firm Amec Foster Wheeler has been awarded a contract by the London Waste & Recycling Board (LWARB) to provide technical support for the development of a new Circular Economy Route Map for London.

letsrecycle.com 22 February 2016:  According to LWARB the route map reflects the Mayor of London’s ambition that the capital becomes a ‘world leader’ in implementing an overarching strategy for the circular economy. The Route Map will identify how this can be done focusing on identifying partners, actions, opportunities and challenges to implementing a circular economy in London.

It is hoped that the route rap will inform economic, environmental, and social policy development in the city, with an initial focus on five key areas: the built...read on.

4 March 2016

A Nice Glass of Seawater? Drought Forces Australia to Rethink Desalination

Daily News 23 February 2016: On the southeast coast of Australia, a A$5.7 billion ($4.1 billion) processing plant to turn the ocean into a source of drinking water has sat idle since it was built in 2012. That could change soon.

The state of Victoria will decide by April whether to switch it on, sucking water from the Bass Strait through an underground tunnel into a complex of more than two dozen buildings in a seaside town south of Melbourne. At the heart of the facility is technology that can remove salt and supply as much as 150 billion liters (40 billion gallons) of water a year, or about a third of the city’s consumption.

Australia, the world’s driest inhabited continent, largely hasn’t needed more than A$8 billion of desalination plants built in response to the so-called Millennium Drought, and critics have portrayed the Victorian project as a whit...read on.

3 March 2016

At what cost a T-shirt?

The Hindu 25 February 2016:  They say it fits you to a T. But at what environmental cost does a T-shirt come, asks D. Radha Krishnan, a colour solutions provider based in Salem.

A normal T-shirt, weighing roughly 200 grams, will soak up between 100 and 200 litres of water in its making. During its entire life term, it will take around 6,000 litres of water for its maintenance.

The quantum may vary but the fact is that conventional methods of cotton fabric production leaves a huge carbon footprint, he said at a presentation on organic cotton production in the city on Wednesday. The seminar was organised by the directorate of handloom and textiles as part of a campaign to create awareness about organic cotton fabric.

Mr. Krishnan said modifying the dyeing process has resulted in water consumption coming down from 200 litres to 50 litres. Waste water recycling and zero residue in water released from factories are ways to control eco damage from cotton fabric production, he added.
Original article here.

1 March 2016

Water for Life: For first time in Egypt, UNICEF uses click-funding to seek higher donations for its campaign

The ultimate dream for more than 7 million people in Egypt is to have clean accessible water to use and drink, a dream that UNICEF Egypt is trying to achieve

Daily News Egypt 21 February 2016: When magicians perform a show, they usually impress the children watching by  pulling a rabbit from a top hat, revealing a dove from their clasped hands, or drawing a never ending handkerchief out of their pocket. But for some children, all it would take to make them happy is to find clean, drinkable water pouring from their taps.

The ultimate dream for more than 7 million people in Egypt is to have clean accessible water to use and drink, a dream that UNICEF Egypt is trying to achieve. For the first time in Egypt, UNICEF started using click- funding in its campaign “Water for Life”. The initiative aims to provide access to safe drinking water for the poorest families in Egypt, to protect tens of thousands of...read on.

29 February 2016

Video: Stop Coca-Cola trashing Australia

A strong message about the dangers of plastic waste for sea life in this video, which is well worth watching.

28 February 2016

This farm is hidden 33 metres below London

Wired Magazine 25 February 2016: Forget everything you were taught in biology -- plants don't need sunlight to grow. Growing Underground is a farm 33 metres below Clapham, south London, swapping sunlight for LEDs.

"Over the past three to five years, LED development has reached the stage where we can grow without any natural light whatsoever," says Steven Dring, who founded the project with fellow Bristolian Richard Ballard. "You can even change the light spectrum to cater to the different plants that you're growing."

Growing Underground's focus is on the leafier vegetables, from microherbs to baby leaf salad. They grow quickly and...read on.

25 February 2016

Nigerians Are Building Fireproof, Bulletproof, And Eco-Friendly Homes With Plastic Bottles And Mud

These colorful homes are bulletproof, fireproof, and can withstand earthquakes. They also maintain a comfortable temperature, produce zero carbon emissions, and are powered by solar and methane gas from recycled waste.

TrueActivist 2 November 2015:  Plastic is everywhere. In fact, the environment is so riddled with it, researchers predict that 99% of all birds on this planet will have plastic in their gut by the year 2050.
It is not enough to persuade people to use less, plastic needs to be repurposed and reused to be kept out of landfills. Despite informative infographics, emotional statistics, and recycling programs, many nations – especially the United States – continue to toss plastics into landfills without much care.

This unfortunate reality has spurred many to get creative with the discarded byproducts of society. Some have used plastic waste to construct marvelous sculptures and raise awareness about the issue, while others are repurposing it entirely to construct eco-friendly homes.

As phys.org reports, the housing crisis has become so bad in Nigeria, nearly 16 million units are required to address the shortage. Because crafting traditional homes would be far too expensive for most, locals adopted the idea put forth by two NGOs and are now building plastic...read on.

22 February 2016

66% Of World’s Population Faces Severe Water Scarcity [STUDY]

Value Walk 17 February 2016: As many as 4 billion people from across the globe face severe water scarcity. According to a study published in the journal Science Advances, the population growth is increasingly putting pressure on freshwater supply. Some past studies have suggested that between 25% and 40% of the global population face water scarcity. But the new study reveals that the situation is even worse.

Some African countries face year-round water shortage
Scientists led by Arjen Y. Hoekstra of the University of Twente in the Netherlands used computer modeling to study the growing shortage of fresh water. Population growth, changing consumption patterns, improved living standards, and the expansion of irrigation in agriculture are collectively responsible for the shortage. The study focused on how the supply of fresh surface water and...read on.

19 February 2016

Where Do iPhones Go After They Die?

The Public Slate 17 February 2016: Where do iPhones go after they die? The first iPhone was released in 2006, and some are still working or becoming collectors’ items, however, most are recycled. On Wednesday, Feb. 17, 2016, Bloomberg released some specifics about how Apple, Inc. recycles their phones.

iPhones that are sent to Apple are shredded but not destroyed. None of the components of the products are reused because the tech giant fears the black market will use them to create counterfeit Apple devices.The products are shredded and then their scraps are separated for recycling.

Bloomberg reports that in 2014, Apple collected over 40,000 tons of waste from their recycled electronics, which would be enough steel for 100 miles of train tracks. The company assures consumers that any hazardous waste is safely discarded.

The waste from electronics is referred to as e-waste. This includes VCRs, televisions, copiers, stereos, computers, fax machines, and printers. Many of these devices can be refurbished, recycled, or...read on.

18 February 2016

In Mexico's thirsty capital, a renewed focus on recycled rainwater

When Mexico City suspended water services last month to more than five million residents, it was another sign of how acute the situation has become in this metropolis of roughly 20 million. Those who could leave town did; others had to go without water for more than a week while city engineers repaired some of the city's pipes.

Built by Spanish colonialists on top of drained lake beds, Mexico City is sinking, in some places by as much as 8 inches a year. The taps often run dry. In summer come the floods. And its creaky system of water pipes, pumps, and plants loses 40 percent of water in transit.

And as the population grows and the city pumps more ground water, the broad valley on which the city is built will sink...read on.

16 February 2016

Upcycling ideas worth downloading

Earth911 15 February 2016: Better than recycling is upcycling. Did you know there are so many unique and inventive ways to re-use your old electronics? Making the old new again is an age old tradition that many DIYers and crafters are building upon today.

If you have e-waste that you don’t know what to do with, take a look at these unique upcycling ideas to give your old electronics a fun, new use. If you’re not the crafting type, be sure to educate yourself about your e-waste recycling options – don’t let your old electronics end up in the landfill.

Make a statement with upcycled jewelry and fashion

One very common use today for old electronic components is jewelry. Upcycled jewelry is very popular on sites like Etsy and Pinterest. Here are a few unique ideas for making...read on.

13 February 2016

VIDEO: Project CONS Creative Recycling – From Skateboard to Stool

WMW Waste Management World 10 Febaruary 2016: A project to encourage more people to be creative with reuse and recycling being run by clothing street wear firm, converse, has published a video in which designer and skateboarder Andy Vasque explains how he recycles end of lift materials such as skateboards to make furniture.
Vasque makes functional objects in wood and concrete. These objects take the shape of furniture, household items, planters, and skateable objects like coping, parking...read on.

11 February 2016

Navy, Water Department Wary of Massive Fish Farm Project

File photo by Sam Hodgson
Voice of San Diego 8 February 2016: The backers of a massive fish farm off the coast of San Diego are starting to get a sense of all the hurdles they’ll need to overcome to pull the project off.

The city’s water department is afraid pollution from the fish farm could trigger a regulatory chain reaction that could cost city water customers $2 billion.

The Navy worries that cages of fish five miles off the coast could interfere with its operations. Those operations or debris from them could accidentally drift into the cages, the Navy warned in a recent letter.

The agencies’ concerns challenge the project’s backers, the Hubbs-SeaWorld Research Institute, a nonprofit, and Cuna del Mar, a private equity firm. Their plan to raise 11 million pounds of fish offshore is the most ambitious aquaculture project of its kind in the United States.
Supporters say fish farming is one way to guarantee a sustainable source of...read on.

White House launches "Moonshot" Effort on Water, Promoting Recycling and Market Forces

S&W Environmental & Natural Resources Law Blog 16 December 2015: The White House has released a new report, “Water Resource Challenges and Opportunities for Water Technology Innovation” (December 2015).  The report describes a strategy of promoting innovation in the water sector, described as a “moonshot” effort.

The report includes a notable emphasis on market forces, especially in the West, stating (page 5) that:

"The Administration will also work to facilitate market mechanisms that enable water management flexibility and create incentives for investment in water efficiency. In particular, through the new Natural Resource Investment Center at the DOI, the Administration will encourage the development of water exchange and transfer in the western United States. By opening up regional water markets, establishing water banks, and facilitating exchange through Federal water assets, the Department of the Interior will begin laying the foundations for a broader voluntary water market that has, and will continue to drive, additional investment in conservation technologies.”

Citing a recent EPA report, the new report notes three areas for innovation (pages 7 to 8):
  • New technologies
  • New management approaches, especially regional coordination
  • Increasing efficiency through use of existing technology such as sensors and controls
The report also discusses (pages 10-11) desalination opportunities (both sweater and brackish groundwater) as well as water recycling or reuse, noting that “[b]eyond desalination, water reuse can provide additional benefit, including water conservation opportunities for areas with limited water resources.”

Lastly, the report also notes the need to reduce “soft costs”, such as delays in permitting and environmental reviews, in order to promote such projects.
- read on for more.

9 February 2016

WHO International Scheme to Evaluate Household Water Treatment Technologies

Publication: Results of Round 1

WHO 2016 - Overview: In 2014, WHO established the International Scheme to Evaluate Household Water Treatment Technologies. The Scheme aims to consistently and independently evaluate the performance of household water treatment (HWT) technologies against WHO performance recommendations.

This Round I Report of the Scheme is the first ever global assessment of HWT performance, and details the results from a range of HWT technologies including solar, chemical, filtration and ultraviolet (UV). It highlights that of the ten HWT products evaluated, eight were found to meet WHO performance recommendations. The report also recommends specific actions at the national level needed to ensure that health gains from HWT are realized, including strengthening regulation and evaluation of HWT technologies and improving monitoring of use.

Go to WHO website to download the publication.

7 February 2016

How do Stray Cat Carers in Malta and Gozo help Environment and Community?

Travelling in the Maltese Islands, one will soon notice the many feral cats in streets and parks - well-fed and healthy and in top condition. Thanks to more than one thousand persons of all walks of life, their furry co-residents enjoy a pleasant life even though they live outdoors.

For the love of animals, stray cat caregivers dedicate quite a lot of time and money to their cat colonies. They feed them daily with proper food, provide veterinary help and neuter males and females as early as possible. 

How does the work of these devoted volunteers help the environment and the community?
  • A male cat can and will father thousands upon thousands of kittens every year of his life as long as he is not neutered. In ten years a mating pair of cats can, if allowed, have over 70,000 off springs. If it were not for the hard work of the caregivers, the Maltese Islands would be swarmed by starving, mating, stray cats!
  • A colony fed in the same spot every day will not roam a wider area and keeps the males from territorial spraying.
  • The quasi-domestication lets them get used to their local area with less risk of car accidents.
  • Regularly fed strays have no interest in the temptations of garbage bags in the streets.
  • Healthy and neutered feral cats are clean and don't transmit diseases.

Alexander Johnson and Gabriele Ruttloff of Seven Beland are in the process to write a photo-story book about the widely ignored, quiet work of the stray cat carers in the Maltese Islands - Islands of Cats. Bursting with photographs, this interesting and entertaining book will feature twenty caregivers, their work and stories. The rights to all material and the book will remain with Seven Beland, while costs for translations and the printing are currently being crowdfunded. The campaign on Kickstarter will end March 9. As some of the proceeds will be donated to give much needed aid to the carers. Consider a contribution.

Thank you very much for considering your support.

1 February 2016

Con: The US remains the most wasteful nation on Earth: We need more recycling, not less

EDITOR’S NOTE: The writer is addressing the question, “Are America’s recycling programs too costly and ineffectual? Should we scrap them?”

GazetteXtra 01 February 2016: We Americans consume a lot and waste a lot. That means we dump far more trash than is necessary into landfills. In fact, we produce twice as much waste per capita as Western European nations.

The amount of municipal solid waste produced annually in the United States has tripled since 1960. In 2013, it totaled 254 million tons. That's 4.4 pounds per person every day.

We've made a lot of progress through the years in how we handle waste. Recycling jumped dramatically nationwide after the mid-1980s, but it leveled off around 2010, with the average American recycling or composting 34 percent of his waste.

The rate varies by the type of waste, and by state and city. The Environmental Protection Agency reports that we recycle 99 percent of lead acid batteries, 67 percent of paper, and 55 percent of aluminum cans, but only 40 percent of the...read on.

27 January 2016

8,000 panel multi-million pound solar farm switched on

The Bolton Post 24 January 2016: A MULTI-million pound energy farm has officially been switched on.

Th new 8,000 solar panel facility is now powering the Greater Manchester Waste Disposal Authority’s (GMWDA) Over Hulton waste recycling centre — with the surplus electricity being fed back into the national grid.

Theresa Griffin, Member of the European Parliament (MEP) for the North West England and Councillor Catherine Piddington, Chair of the Greater Manchester Waste Disposal Authority (GMWDA), officially opened the Salford Road Resource Recovery Facility and Solar Farm this week. Guests were invited to tour the newly-built solar farm.

The £2 million solar farm was funded by GMWDA and designed and built by...read on.

26 January 2016

Using waste to turn lives around

The Asian Age 26 January 2016: Raaginii Jaain has been campaigning for cleanliness drive from long before the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan was launched. Ms Jaain had started plastic waste collection, segregation and recycling in the plush area of Juhu Vile-Parle Development (JVPD) in 2003. It’s the first Private-Public Partnership model in India in waste management supported by K-West Ward of MCGM. Working on no profit-no loss, Ms Jaain’s Geetanjali Envirotech has given employment to more than 150 to 200 former beggars who are earning at least Rs 15,000 per month.

Originally from Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh, Ms Jaain (57) later shifted to Bengaluru and then Mumbai during the course of her career. According to Ms Jaain, after moving to Mumbai in 2003, she saw solid waste and nullah full of plastic waste in plush area of JVPD, and approached ‘K’ ward officer of BMC in 2003 and asked for permission to collect waste.

“Initially, nobody was ready to allow me as collecting waste and dump it at specific allotted area is the work allotted to some contractors and the contractors was not ready to allow me to interfere in their ‘business’” said...read on.

25 January 2016

The problem of e-waste is as wide as the world and as close as individual choice

The Altamont Enterprise Opinion 20 Janbuary 2016: The United States produces more electronic waste than any county on Earth yet has no national laws on how to dispose of it and no plants to recycle it.

The average American uses 24 electronic products, according to the Consumer Electronics Association. This can include cell phones, e-readers, computers, televisions, video games, and even hearing aids. In 2010 — and the amount is increasing rapidly every year — the United Sates generated 2.44 million tons of electronic waste, known as e-waste, according to the federal Environmental Protection Agency. But less than a quarter of it was recycled.

Recycling e-waste is essential for two reasons — it contains toxic substances like mercury, lead, cadmium, and beryllium. It also contains precious and special metals like gold, silver, platinum, and...read on.

21 January 2016

Joint Statement from Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, and WASH United on UN General Assembly Resolution 70/169 on the Human Rights to Water and to Sanitation

United Nations General Assembly affirms that water and sanitation are distinct rights and confirms a strong definition of these rights

Human Rights Watch 17 December 2015: The UN General Assembly today adopted by consensus a resolution which for the first time recognises the distinction between the human right to water and the human right to sanitation. Amnesty International, WASH United and Human Rights Watch welcome this step and the additional clarification of States’ obligations contained in General Assembly resolution 70/169.

Highlighting the right to sanitation
The recognition of the rights to water and sanitation as distinct human rights reflects the accurate understanding of the right to an adequate standard of living, as defined in international human rights law. The right to an adequate standard of living contains a number of different rights that are recognised and treated as distinct rights. This includes, for example, the rights to food, health and housing. With the resolution adopted today, the General Assembly has clarified that the rights to water and sanitation, while linked, are separate from one another and have distinct features, while they remain part of the right to an adequate standard of living and are interrelated to other human rights...read on.