Greenlid: An Easy Solution for Your Green Bin

The “dragons” on CBC’s show Dragons’ Den the investors funded a new product called Greenlid. Greenlid is a contraption that makes it easier to deal with household composting and waste diversion projects. In parts of Canada it is known as a “green bin” program.

With most waste diversion programs it’s hard to get 100% success so hopefully the Greenlid will make it easier for people to be a part of the earth-saving green bin programs (or similar )

Constructed from end-of-life recycled cardboard and newsprint, The Greenlid is scientifically designed to make composting easier and cleaner by using a proprietary leak resistant formula that mimics natural water-repelling structures found in nature. As a result, The Greenlid can hold four litres of the wettest organics and remain leak resistant for up to 10 days while remaining an attractive addition to your kitchen. A re-useable, dishwasher safe lids keeps smells locked away while The Greenlid is in use. When placed in municipal compost facilities or home compost, The Greenlid quickly breaks down, adding to the overall eco-friendly nature of the product and quality of the compost, which eventually becomes useable soil.

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Under the Dome: A Documentary on China’s Pollution

The Chinese documentary Under the Dome (I can’t find english subtitles, sorry) has taken China by storm. The documentary was released on last week and is already changing the conversation about pollution in the country. This could mark a massive change in how China enforces their pollution laws and improves how they treat nature.

Chai Jing’s documentary was released on 28 February, less than a week before China’s annual parliamentary session begins. China’s central government is expected to pass an ambitious new law that hopes to impose tough new regulations on China’s coal-burning polluters.
But in China, passing a law is one thing. Enforcing it is another.
Beijing could certainly use public pressure in its bid to carry out the new rules. Laws from the central government are commonly ignored by lower level officials, particularly when they might affect economic growth.
China named its new Environment Minister, Chen Jining, one day before the documentary was released. In his first press conference the day after his appointment, he noted he had already watched the documentary and had phoned Chai Jing to thank her for contribution.

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We Are in the Anthropocene Epoch

Human civilization has undoubtedly changed the surface of the planet on a massive scale. There will be evidence of our civilization’s impact for millions of years to come. This may not strike you as good news considering it implies we’ve altered the planet in a way only nature itself could have done.

The good news comes from the fact that the Anthropocene Working Group has reached the conclusion that we are indeed in this epoch. This means that geological research and theory has a new intellectual framework to better our understanding of the world and how we as a species interact with it.

“Like any geological boundary, it is not a perfect marker – levels of global radiation really rose in the early 1950s, as salvoes of bomb tests took place,” said Dr Jan Zalasiewicz, of the University of Leicester’s Department of Geology and chair of the Anthropocene Working Group.

“But it may be the optimal way to resolve the multiple lines of evidence on human-driven planetary change. Time – and much more discussion – will tell.”

The term ‘Anthropocene’ was first coined by Nobel Prize winning chemist Paul Crutzen who in 2000 suggested that man’s impact on the world was so substantial that we were no longer in the Holocene – the era which began at the end of the last Ice Age around 11,700 years ago and saw unprecedented human expansion and the emrgency of towns and cities.

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Paris to Spend €100m on Bike Lanes While Reducing Car Traffic

Paris has had a tough time with traffic and pollution in the city due to the number of cars. They have launched many environmentally friendly intitaves to curb the use of cars while making alternative transit solutions to cars more appealing. It’s working and is already inspiring other cities to follow suit. Still, traffic in France’s capital is still quite bad so the mayor as launched a new program investing €100m on new bike lanes!

“I want diesel cars out of Paris by 2020 and, if possible, beyond the peripherique,” said the mayor, referring to the city’s constantly choked ring road.

“Today, 60 per cent of Parisians don’t have their own car, whereas in 2011, it was 40 per cent. It’s moving quickly,” she said.

In proposing a raft of anti-pollution measures, Ms Hidalgo is building on the efforts of her predecessor and mentor, the former Paris mayor Bertrand Delanoe.

He championed bike and car rental schemes, expanded bus and bicycle lanes, and reduced speed limits, as he sought to wean Parisians off cars in a bid to make the city more liveable.

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Slow Increasing Carbon Waste by Growing Cities

People living in cities have a lower carbon footprint than those in the suburbs and rural areas. Some people find this rather counter intuitive for reasons I don’t fully understand. There are researchers looking into the future of our global carbon footprint and they have concluded that if we increase the percentage of people in urban places instead of suburban/rural we can lower the rate of wasteful carbon increase.

By taking these key steps, particularly in Asia, Africa and the Middle East, the analysis concluded that the world’s cities could limit themselves to using 540 exajoules of energy in 2050 (it takes the U.S. about three weeks to produce enough crude oil to generate 1 EJ of energy). That’s a lot of energy—more than double cities’ 2005 energy demand of 240 EJ. But it’s a quarter less than the projected demand of 730 EJ under the business-as-usual scenario analyzed.

Given that most of the energy used by humanity today comes from fossil fuels, improving the energy efficiency of cities could deliver big climate benefits. Cities account for so much of the world’s energy use that a recent U.N climate report concluded they’re responsible for three quarters of yearly carbon dioxide pollution.

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