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Earth Pledge

Earth Pledge

Community, Environment

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  • Biosphere 2 gives up some of its secrets

    Environment, Environmental Design

    More than two decades ago, eight people entered a sealed, self-sustaining glass enclosure near Oracle, Ariz., called Biosphere 2. For two years, the Biospherians, as they were called, lived almost exclusively off the complex’s various biomes — mini-ecosystems like savanna, rainforest and wetlands –— that represented various Earth climates.

    Only energy and information were to be exchanged with the outside world. That included sunlight, electricity and communications with a support staff. Food was grown on site. Oxygen and carbon dioxide were regulated through photosynthesis. The goal: Show that future space colonists could survive and thrive in similar environments on deep space missions or planetary colonies.

    It didn’t all go according to plan. Controversies ranging from supplemental oxygen to opened airlocks swirled around the original two missions. Today, most of the people inside the Biosphere at any given time are the photo-snapping tourists who stream through the biomes on a daily basis.

    That doesn’t mean Biosphere 2 isn’t still in the business of cutting-edge scientific research. For instance, there’s the Landscape Evolution Observatory, a long-term experiment designed to investigate how our planet’s landscapes evolve over time. Another ongoing simulation is the model city project, which examines energy and water conservation.

    But beneath the biomes, less has changed. The ghosts of researchers...


    Environment, Environmental Design

    Energy is an indispensable resource that is required to run the economy and sustain the well-being of people. Every day new discoveries are made to improve efficiency of the methods of power generation and transmission. After all, energy conservation must be our social responsibility.

    Social responsibilities for exploring, harnessing, adopting the given energy sources to obtain effective means to consume those are no less important. The rapidly developing economies of Third World countries like India, China need to generate increasing amounts of energy as they grow. Energy shortages with rising cost confront every nation, especially those aspiring for industrial development. A time has come when no resource of this planet, including energy, should be used wastefully. To achieve this ideal, the society as a whole would require collective efforts of all groups, especially between the organizations harnessing energy and the consumers of energy. And both must understand the underlying principles of energy generation and energy consumption.

    Every day new discoveries are made to improve efficiency of the methods of power generation and transmission. Some of the discoveries would fail to attract the users while some may be rejected or replaced by new claims. Such a circumstance would demand repeated explorations of energy opportunities and the way social responses can facilitate t...


    Gundersen Lutheran Medical Center officially fired up a new boiler Wednesday that burns wood chips and is projected to save the health system $500,000 a year.

    The 800-horsepower boiler also represents nearly 40 percent of Gundersen’s goal of 100 percent energy independence by next year, officials said at a ceremony unveiling the $6.5 million project on its La Crosse campus.

    Gundersen CEO Jeff Thompson said the project fits a mission beyond the goal of controlling health care costs.

    “Gundersen believes our responsibility is to the breadth of the population, not just within the walls of our hospitals or clinics,” Thompson said. “It means the health and well-being of the whole community … keeping the people and the economy healthy.”

    The boiler creates steam for use throughout the hospital for heat and other needs in areas such as sterilizing equipment, providing humidification and running the laundry and the kitchen, as well powering as a turbine to generate electricity for the hospital.

    The boiler — called biomass because it uses natural, renewable resources — supplants three boilers that dated to 1971 and needed to be replaced, said Jeff Rich, executive director of GL Envision, the health system’s energy subsidiary.

    “When we looked at all of our options, installing a biomass boiler was the right choice,” Rich said. “Not only will the biomass boiler save the organization an estimated $500,000 a year,...


    Process Barron and Jansen will co-host the first Jansen boiler workshop of the year at the in Boston, Mass., May 9–10, 2013. An annual event for representatives from the pulp and paper, independent power, utility, and energy-from-waste industries, the Jansen seminar seeks to educate attendees about new technologies capable of improving biomass boiler burning capacity, efficiency, emissions, and overall performance. These working sessions are free for all participants.

    Representatives from ProcessBarron will conduct three technical sessions at the event. One will give an overview of material handling and fuel feed equipment, another will talk about design and performance considerations for multiclone dust collectors. In addition, president Ken Nolen will discuss fan design, efficiency, and horsepower requirements.

    ProcessBarron’s biomass division specializes in retrofitting draft systems and general techniques for reducing emissions and optimizing performance, working in ways that minimize downtime and loss of productivity. Source:

  • Dynamic system holdings Canada GXG: DSHI ; ENER-TREE

    Environment, Environmental Design

    Dynamic system holdings Canada GXG: DSHI ; ENER-TREE | Chirpstory

    Hybrid Wind and Solar Generator creates clean renewable energy. Entire surface is comprised of Solar Photovoltaic Cells, ideal for remote locations where portable power is required. • Ener-Tree is a mobile Wind & Solar generator • Can generate electricity day or night • Requires 1/3 the space of a standard flat solar panel • Highly fault tolerant, mechanically robust and reliable • Less expensive to install and maintain than competition • Sleek design keeps electric components out of elements

    The Ener-Tree can be located on any type of surface with minimal anchoring requirements to allow it to be mobile and portable. The combination of wind and solar generation in a single controller will allow the units to be used in Grid Tied or Off Grid applications. There are a number of remote applications that require electricity: • Purification of contaminated water in third world countries • First on Site mobile response in disaster relief zones • Forward deployment of troops support or remote workers • Rural abodes away from the conventional power grid supply • Remote lighting, Advertising, Traffic Lights, Highway Lighting

    The Ener-Tree is the first product to be introduced, and the revenue generated from licensing and sales will be used to fund growth of the other technologies organically. Can be used singly, or grouped together to create "Eco Generating Forest" of Ener-Trees!


  • Arnhem's Awearness Fashion Fete

    Arts & Culture, Fashion Design


    This Sunday, 28 June, the magical city of Arnhem will be showcasing the Awearness Fair Fashion Show, organized in conjunction with the Arnhem Mode Biënnale 2009. This is the first year that the month long biënnale will highlight ‘sustainable fashion' as a vital theme.

    Sunday's carefully curated runway line up will include prêt-a-porter, eco couture and arty fashion labels such as Alchemist, Merunisha Moonilal, Studio Jux, Van Markoviec, Rianne de Witte, Marlon Borgschot and Hedwig Homoet.

    • visit Awearness Fashion for more details
    • featured fashion photo from Van Markoviec collection

Earth Pledge promotes sustainable development by identifying and implementing innovative technologies that balance human and natural systems.

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Moderator: Leslie Hoffman