Archive for the Environment Category
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Tower of Nests Designed to House Displaced Urban Wildlife
As more people begin moving from rural areas and into swelling urban centers around the world, it usually means that local wildlife gets the boot. But now, thanks to a revolutionary new building called Tower of Nests proposed for construction in Shanghai, city squirrels, birds, and insects that might otherwise be displaced will have a high-rise to call their very own, living in peace with human residents. The designers behind the tower hope that it will usher in a new era of urban architecture — one that promotes sustainability and harmony with nature. The Tower of Nests, brainchild of Kjellgren Kaminsky Architecture, was recently awarded first prize at the 2011 World Architecture Festival in Barcelona in the Future Projects Category. At 50-stories, the tower will feature a facade of natural materials such as mud, straw, stone, and wicker as a way of inviting urban species to make their habitat in... Continue Reading
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Thinking Our Way Out of Extinction
What’s the Big Idea? What are the ways our civilization might collapse, and how might the human race become extinct? According to sociobiologist Rebecca Costa, the answers are all staring us straight in the face. Just look at current events. Costa writes in her book The Watchman’s Rattle: Thinking Our Way Out of Extinction that human existence is threatened by “a global recession, powerful pandemic viruses, terrorism, rising crime, climate change, rapid depletion of the earth’s resources, nuclear proliferation, and failing education.” Fortunately, Costa argues we are remarkably equipped to counter these threats today, due to our current understanding of... Continue Reading
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Open Source Ecology
What if we took all that civilization has learned today and apply it to an experiment for making a better world? This is an brief overview of Open Source Ecology, the best sustainable project I’ve seen so far. Note: Most of the text in the this blog post is taken from the Open Source Ecology Wiki, blog and their Proposal 2012. It is really well described there, so no interpretations were needed by myself and I have just copied it. If I had to quote it almost everything would have to be in quotations and it would disturb reading, so... Continue Reading
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Why Good Causes Need Great Design
In March of 2010, Nikhil Arora was finishing his degree in Political Science and Business at UC Berkeley, getting ready to start a career in corporate America. Passionate about making a difference, but without a clear path to make a career out of his interests, he decided to pursue a more traditional path—that was until an unusual school project sent his ambitions in a very different direction. When we sat down with Nikhil, he told us: “We came about this idea of growing mushrooms from coffee grounds just a few months before graduating. [My partner] Alex Velez and I were... Continue Reading
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David de Rothschild Prepares for a New Adventure in the Amazon
(Interview between treehugger & David de Rothschild) For the Plastiki expedition, David de Rothschild sailed across the Pacific in a boat made of plastic to raise awareness of ocean pollution. His newest adventure, which sets off next week, will take him into the heart of the Amazon region in Brazil. TreeHugger: We hear you’re preparing for another adventure. What’s the destination this time? David de Rothschild: Yes, I am getting ready for another adventure. We’re heading off for the amazon early next week. Part of the team is already down there now. It’s a pretty interesting adventure, and we will... Continue Reading
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Spirit of Hope Urban Farm: Filling Food Pantries, Strengthening Communities in Detroit
In the latest issue of Natural Home and Garden Magazine, Kelli B. Kavanaugh profiles one of Detroit‘s urban farms. The Spirit of Hope Urban Farm is located on the grounds of Spirit of Hope church, just two miles from downtown Detroit. It is a great example of what a small farm can do for a community, and provides plenty of lessons for those of us who grow in urban areas. The garden’s founder, Kathleen Devlin, asked the church’s pastor if she could start an urban farm on the church’s grounds which encompass over 12,000 square feet of growing area. He... Continue Reading
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Lessons From The Lorax
The Lorax is a glorious creature, who embodies the environment and acts as the guardian of green. He is the “voice of the trees” and attempts to fight a lonesome battle against the giants of industry, the Once-ler. Overall, his message rings true to the folks here at Urban Times, as we also believe that without action, no solutions can be assembled. Where the story of The Lorax hits the nerve is exactly where we diverge however, Seuss emphasizes the woe and sacrifice attached to the battle of the environment at the time (1970s), whereas we like to think of... Continue Reading
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Makin’ It: Meg Paska, Urban Beekeeper
Meg Paska is an urban beekeeper, backyard farmer, and self-sustainability advocate living in the backwoods of Brooklyn, New York. Her adventures detail on raising chickens in a small backyard, brewing beer in the basement, and harvesting honey on rooftops will be richly explored in a forthcoming book. In the meantime, she keeps the wonderfully robust blog, Brooklyn Homesteader. Why bees? Bees sort of came into my life through a series of experiences in self-sufficiency over the years. I always enjoyed being outside and had an affinity for gardening and, more importantly, eating. I’m rather self-indulgent by nature. I got really... Continue Reading
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21st Century Gargoyles Are Drawn on Found Paper and Decorated with Recycled Trash
Gargoyles and monsters are usually the domain of medieval art, hanging off of Notre Dame and dealing death in fear inspiring paintings. But artist Keri Rosebraugh has revived the motif, and she’s added another element as well. Her gargoyles are drawn on found paper and wood, and brightened up with colorful pieces of repurposed trash. Many of the Portland-born, LA-based Rosebraugh’s works have clear environmental messages, railing against factory farming and industrial pollution. On her blog, she writes: Expressing the importance of protecting and improving our environment directly through her artwork, Keri’s paintings seek to inform, encourage, and inspire others... Continue Reading
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