LuminAID Lanterns Are Solving The Natural Disaster Problem You Didn't Even Know Was A Problem
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When natural disasters strike, there are countless needs that require attention. Medical emergencies, of course, but infrastructural ones too, like clean water, warm blankets, and safe shelter. One vital need that isn't often considered? Light. Enter LuminAID. These solar-powered, durable and sustainable lanterns (which were featured on a 2015 episode of Shark Tank and got an investment from Mark Cuban) have provided light in the wake of disasters like Hurricane Sandy, Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines, and the 2015 earthquakes in Nepal.
Earth Overshoot Day Came Earlier Than Ever In 2016
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Humanity's ecological footprint is bigger than it should be, and it's beginning to show. An ecological footprint represents how much humanity demands from the Earth in a given year. Right now, our demand is equal to what can be supplied from 1.6 planets, according to the Global Footprint Network (GFN). Earth Overshoot Day is the annual day on which humanity has consumed the amount of natural resources that the planet can regenerate over an entire year. In 2016, Earth Overshoot Day came on August 8th, the earliest in history—not a huge surprise, since the day has crept up on the calendar since it was first recorded on December 19, 1987. From that day on, humanity has been heading in the wrong direction. In 2015, Earth Overshoot Day landed on August 13th. The GFN is asking people to live more sustainably and is requesting that countries make a stronger effort with renewable resources. Watch the video below for more on Earth Overshoot Day.
ReGen Villages Are Off-Grid Settlements That Are Totally Self-Reliant
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ReGen Villages have been called "the Tesla of eco-villages." These new neighborhoods are closed-loop settlements that will produce their own food, generate their own power, and manage their own waste. The first ReGen Village is set to be completed by the summer of 2017 in Almere, a suburb outside of Amsterdam in the Netherlands. To grow food, these communities will utilize a combination of aeroponics, aquaponics, permaculture, food forests, and high-yield organic farming, which will result in much more food -- using far fewer resources -- than a traditional farm of the same size. ReGen Villages use a combination of geothermal, solar, solar thermal, wind, and biomass to generate their own energy. Compostable waste in the community will feed livestock or soldier flies, and a biogas plant will turn non-compostable household waste into power and water. James Ehrlich, CEO of ReGen Villages, told Fast Company that he anticipates "literally tons of abundant organic food every year."
This Huge Indoor Vertical Farm Represents The Future Of Farming
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A facility in the works in Newark, New Jersey has been called an "agriculture revolution." Developed by AeroFarms, the 70,000-square-foot facility will become the world's largest indoor, vertical farm. This facility will use 95% less water than traditional field farming, with yields 75 times higher per square foot annually. Zero pesticides, herbicides, and fungicides will be used at the facility, and it will grow crops indoors using a technique called aeroponics, where the plants grow in mist. This method of farming uses 40% less water than hydroponics. It's a fruitful plan too: each AeroFarms facility can grow 22 crops per year. It would take field farms a full three years to grow that many crops.
The World Wastes Millions Of Tons Of Food
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Much of the food that goes to waste around the world is discarded based on aesthetics, or other factors that don't relate to the food's taste or quality. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, if we managed to save just one fourth of the food that typically goes to waste, it could feed 870 million hungry people. Some businesses have also taken it upon themselves to purchase and sell the foods that farmers and other businesses don't want, but they constantly find themselves overwhelmed by the sheer amount of "reject" foods.