Urban Windmills

Corpus ChristiUnited States

Small lineup of vertical axis (VAWT) windmills along the beachfront.

LEED Building Green Roof

HoustonUnited States

The Houston Permitting and Green Building Resource Centers are housed within a certified LEED Gold building, which incorporates a large variety of sustainable and low-impact features.

This is a vegetated green roof that spans an area of around 1,720 square feet, and can be enjoyed through the windows of a large meeting room and other spaces. The roof system also serves to collect condensate in its troughs, which is practical in a location such as Houston, where a typically hot and humid climate can produce a great deal of moisture.

Overall, green roofs such as this are considered in credits toward LEED certification, due to their added benefit of minimizing possible building contribution to the heat island effect in urban areas. This involves the concept that dense cities tend to show a localized temperature increase, due to the heavy amount of human and industry activity over a small area.

While rooftop cooling efforts such as this are helping to decrease this effect, they may also serve to better insulate buildings, aid with stormwater runoff, and provide help in other aspects that make them a beneficial addition to many buildings.

Restaurant LED Lighting

Ville de QuebecCanada

We recently converted all lighting from the restaurant to LED fixtures, saving us $ 700 per month. However, after finding these other LED filament bulbs- which adapt much better to our style of globes- we could not resist converting them another time.

Despite their retro appearance and high power (they are turned on at a minimum), these bulbs consume only 4 W of electricity, against 7 W from the previous LEDs, and 50 W for the initial halogens.

Recycling Bins for Glass

DenverUnited States

While paper and plastic recycling bins are common in public settings, it’s rare to see glass included. Now the product least likely to break down can be reused & recycled infinitely! 

https://www.peacecorps.gov/educators/resources/timeline-decomposition/

University Vertical Axis Wind...

Corpus ChristiUnited States

A line of vertical axis (VAWT) turbines on the A&M Corpus Christi campus.

City Recycling Cages

ZipaquiraColombia

Thanks to these cages in our city, recycling has become easier for everyone.  If you have plastic bottles, cardboard, or glass at your house, instead of mixing it with organic matter, you take it out to these cages. It is also easier for our city’s waste collection team to take proper care of the recyclable waste.

Fully Integrated Aquaponic Ecosystem

Half Moon BayUnited States

The entire way we produce our vegetables is sustainable.  Our farming methodology is chemical-free, 15x more land efficient, and 20x more water efficient than traditional soil agriculture, requiring 95% less water.  We occupy 1/3 of an acre with 7000 sqft of actual grow space, and can produce as much as 5 acres of soil. An integrated 30,000 gallon fishery provides the nutrients used to grow the crops.
 
Water is constantly recycled and reused over and over again, meaning that the vast majority of usage goes toward transpiration, and very little is lost to evaporation.  Because nutrients and water are brought directly to the plants roots, they grow 50% faster, can be planted up to 10x more densely, and only use 2-5% of the water required for soil.  Plus, you have a protein source in the fish.  Our farms serve as a fully integrated ecosystem that brings perishable foods closer to the consumer and maximizes freshness and nutritional value.

Backyard Bee House

HoustonUnited States

We were given this small bee house to try to encourage bees to stay and thrive in our area. Along with a garden planted to attract pollinators, we hope to see more bees in the future, since there have not been many for the past few years.

The house has been posted along a safe part of our fence to lessen the possibility of harm from wind and other factors.

Apartment Recycling and Sorting

SeattleUnited States

My apartment building offers a composting option in addition to the general waste and recycling bins.

Urban Vertical Lattice Gardening

HoustonUnited States

These are a few samples around our Downtown area of vertical vine growth for shade and privacy purposes. It is an excellent way of implementing urban greenery while providing a practical purpose.

 

The first group of images displays a line of green shading along several bus stop waiting areas. The next group shows the potential for green shading use in urban parking garages. 

Reused Moving Boxes

HoustonUnited States

When we moved, we went to a few local stores to ask for any extra used boxes they may have, for us to pack with. Our Kroger told us the best time to come for boxes, and let us choose from a large selection in the back. Some of the boxes also had some thick packaging paper.

A liquor store would also put out its used boxes for people to take, and some had special cardboard separators that we were able to use for fragile glass and kitchen items.

EcoCamp Waste Sorting

Puerto NatalesChile

The camp sorts its output by organic and non-organic waste, paper, plastic, glass, and composting items. Even in such a remote location, where we do not have the resources available to recycle everything, we try as much as possible to recycle all that we can. We are also hoping to increase recycling capabilities in our area, not only to serve the camp, but the surrounding community as well.

Apartment Recycling for Community...

San AntonioUnited States

Our apartment complex has recycling bins in community mail areas, encouraging recycling directly at the source, where there is a high potential for mass paper waste. This has been an easy way to help residents responsibly dispose of unneeded letters and other mail that may otherwise be thrown away with regular trash.

National Plastic Bag Tax...

BogotaColombia

This is one of the nice reusable bags we had received at a local store, after legislation regulating plastic use was enacted in Colombia in 2016. Due to the large amount of plastic waste ending up in surrounding water bodies, Colombia has banned all plastic bags smaller than 30×30 cm, and placed a small charge on others that can still be purchased in stores (with a plan set to increase the tax each year until 2020).

By the middle of 2018, this initiative had served to decrease plastic bag consumption by 35%, and raised around $4 million in taxes [see articles below]. Success from these efforts is spurring other similar initiatives and will hopefully continue to drive progress toward mitigating damage from plastic moving on.

More on Colombia’s Plastic Initiatives:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Food Rescue Organization and...

MultipleAustralia

Our organization gathers surplus food from all types of food providers in order to tackle food waste and eliminate hunger, contribute to charities in need, and educate and involve communities by increasing awareness about food waste, rescue, and security.

We provide rescued food through our supermarket and band of food trucks, while also directing it to more than 900 charities across Australia. To date, we have delivered over 60 million meals and saved more than 20,000 tonnes of food from ending up in a landfill.

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