By using a single type of plastic, Adidas has created a shoe that can be fully recycled. Traditional trainers use multiple materials, making recycling difficult if not impossible. The shoe isn't available yet, Adidas claim it's a "beta". Extensive testing will determine how the shoe performs both to wear and recycle, helping guide its development and how the recycled material can be used.
Maine company launches renewable energy system designed to power remote communities around the world – The Times Record
While expansive wind and solar farms are build to feed energy to an increasingly urban population, remote and rural communities face a challenge in being connected to a renewable source. Ocean Renewable Power has extended its product range to include a small-scale hydro-electric system that runs from river currents.
‘Decades of denial’: major report finds New Zealand’s environment is in serious trouble – The Guardian
Almost two thirds of the country's rare ecosystems are under threat of collapse, while 90% of seabirds and 80% of shorebirds are threatened with or at risk of extinction. The report from Environment Aotearoa highlights other significant environment issues, drawing on data collected from Statistics New Zealand and the environment ministry. Government ministers have welcomed the report as it supports the efforts being made to reduce the impact of climate change and move to a carbon neutral economy.
Addressing environmental concerns at the end of packaging's life has largely focused on recycling materials, particularly for meat products. Soaker pads, which absorb fat, blood and other materials resting meat releases, end up in landfill, so are being reworked to degrade faster. However, redesigning the package to eliminate the pad completely may be a less harmful outcome.
As well as benefiting the environment, green buildings create healthier and more enjoyable spaces for people to be in. The number of LEED projects is growing, and developers are finding ways of reverse engineering existing buildings to reduce their carbon footprint and improve living conditions.
Old smartphones are being reused by The Wireless Alliance, who delete the data, install updated software and send them out for resale. However, increasing numbers of iPhones are finding their way into the recycle pile because the former owners haven't disabled "find my phone". With it enabled, the phone can't be wiped, so it has to be sent for recycling. While much of the material can be recovered, it still means otherwise usable phones are lost and waste has to be disposed of.
Canadians will be able to apply for grants of up to $5,000 for Electric Vehicles from May. The grants are targeting "affordable" vehicles, pegging upper limits at $55,000 for cars up to 6 seats, $60,000 for 7 seats or more. To avoid confusion, eligible vehicles have been listed, with market leader Tesla missing from the list.
The manufacturing giant's annual report has demonstrated some of the challenges companies face in becoming 100 per cent sustainable. 8 years into a 10 year plan, good progress has been made, with some of their 2020 targets already met. Sourcing sustainable agriculture products has plateaued at just over half of demand, and their water reduction target is under threat. However, good progress has been made in reducing plastics, with improved formulas contributing to more efficient washing liquids and a new range of "low-rinse" and "rinse-free" shampoos and conditioners reducing consumer demand for water.
Personal privacy is behind a lawsuit aimed at all 3 levels of the Canadian Government over plans to let a Google subsidiary develop a smart city. The centre of the complaint is whether a person gives consent for their personal data to be used simply by walking through city streets. Legal action may be premature though, as Sidewalk has yet to submit firm proposals to Toronto.
Charging an EV battery to 100 per cent may help range anxiety, but will shorten battery lifespans. The heat created to fully charge battery damages the chemicals in it, causing them to lose efficiency faster. Over time this leads to a rapid decline in battery performance. Instead, Tesla recommend charging to 90% as a norm, while regenerative braking features will keep adding extra miles as you drive.
The oil giant was invited to give evidence on their past history of denying climate change denial. Citing concerns with ongoing litigation in the US, Exxon declined to attend. While MEPs considered censuring and banning the company from the European Parliament, a technicality has prevented punishment. The response of the company has been to try and undermine the committee and its members.
Keeping classic cars on the road may become easier thanks to a company in Wicklow, Ireland. Electrifi has developed a technique to replace petrol engines with electric motors. Their showcase is a Ferrari 308 GTS, made famous by Magnum PI, and now finding a new lease of life as a technology demonstrator.
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