New York’s Green Landscape

Green LandscapingGreen landscaping is a growing environmental practice. In New York City, many urban landscapers are looking for ways to lower their negative environmental impact. Green landscaping is a huge way to contribute positively to the environment by harvesting rainwater, growing native plant species, and fertilizing soil with compost.

These are things that most home landscapers and gardeners can get involved in and will transform New York City into a greener space. Drip irrigation systems is an easy way to reduce water usage and to contribute to greener and healthier landscapes. Planting native species is a way to give the ecological environment more variety and to encourage the flourishing of wildlife. Composting is a way to cut down on waste reduction and nourish your plants and landscape with the waste, rather than contributing to landfills. These practices are easy and have very positive impacts on the environment, and will also help New York to become a greener place.

Luminant Shelves Plans For Licensing of Nuclear Reactors

Nuclear ProtestsOpponents of nuclear energy in Texas are rejoicing as Dallas based nuclear giant Luminant has abandoned their efforts to obtain license for two nuclear reactors. Chief opponents of Luminant’s venture, Sustainable Energy and Economic Development Coalition, view this move as clearance for Texas residents to be provided with affordable renewable energy which is also safer and cleaner.

In the wake of Luminant’s decision, reports have surfaced that announcements have been made by owners to close five existing nuclear reactors. These events are testament that the renaissance of nuclear energy is slowly coming to an end.

Following announcements five years ago of 8 reactors for Texas, the only area still seeking license now is South Texas. The majority interest of these reactors would be owned by a company in Japan. The Sustainable Energy and Economic Development Coalition are also opposing these reactors.

Low natural gas prices in recent years have kept electricity rates in Texas cheap.  This has created an even more challenging environment for renewable energy.  Renewable energy often finds it difficult to compete with fossil fuels on price.

A Green Roof in Brooklyn

greenroofHurricane Sandy brought devastation to New York in 2012, including the gallons upon gallons of dangerous sewage that was dumped into the Gowanus Canal, which had already been declared as toxic.  Lynn Shon, a middle school teacher investigated the issues of water runoff and the forced disposal of waste into natural bodies of water.

The teacher let her students delve further into the issue by participating in a class project where they realized the harmful effects of sewage overflow. The intelligent group of students concluded that a “green” roof would use plants to soak up the rainwater before it could leak onto the streets and contribute to waste disposal into rivers and canals. This roof would create a positive protection plan for the canals and rivers in Brooklyn, diminishing its level of toxicity and having a positive impact on the environment overall.

Could Technology Combat Global Warming?

Smoke StacksCan technology be used to combat global warming? The Confederation of European Paper Industries (CEPI), a trade association, decided to see if technology could make more than a minor improvement to the environment. Paper and pulp combine to be the world’s fifth-largest energy user, according to the World Resources Institute, a think-tank, which says the CO2 emissions from pulp and paper used 500m tonnes throughout the world in 2005. In Europe, however, the CEPI said its members only used 46m tonnes in 2011. Until now, environmental policies have focused on such issues as consumption, prices and subsides to wind and solar power. Technology has not brought many breakthroughs to help the environment.

One of the few innovations has been carbon capture and storage. Carbon and storage neutralize emissions from burning fossil fuels of carbon dioxide. The Norwegian government stopped its support of a big project at Mongstad.

This week, however, European pulp and paper companies announced plans to greatly reduce emissions through technological change. CEPI established to seek ideas from outsiders with carbon-reduction programs.

More information about what is being done to combat global warming through technology can be found here.