Most Clicked SmartBrief on Sustainability Stories

1. Keurig hack lets coffee lovers use compostable pods

SmartBrief on Sustainability | Feb 25, 2015

Keurig's single-cup coffee brewers contain DRM-type technology -- but rival Rogers Family Coffee has now introduced a clip-in part to cancel out Keurig's protections and allow the use of other manufacturers' coffee pods. The move allows the use of third-party compostable pods, letting coffee drinkers enjoy their brew without creating the waste associated with Keurig's single-use, nonrecyclable pods. Guardian (London), The (02/24)

2. What does Elon Musk have against hydrogen?

SmartBrief on Sustainability | Feb 27, 2015

Toyota is rolling out the Mirai, a hydrogen-powered, fuel-cell automobile that takes five minutes to recharge, comes with three years of free gas and emits only water vapor. EV pioneer Elon Musk called the technology "incredibly dumb," but Toyota execs brushed off the Tesla chief's criticism. "If I was in a position where I had all my eggs in one basket, I would perhaps be making those same comments," said Toyota Senior Vice President Bob Carter. Washington Post (tiered subscription model), The (02/25)

3. Eiffel Tower gets green makeover, micro wind turbines

SmartBrief on Sustainability | Feb 24, 2015

Two VisionAIR5 micro wind turbines have been installed at the Eiffel Tower in Paris as part of an ongoing effort to give the structure an environmentally friendly overhaul. The turbines can generate 10,000 kilowatt-hours of electricity annually. UGE produced the micro models. CleanTechnica (02/24)

4. A bird's-eye view of Big Solar

SmartBrief on Sustainability | Feb 26, 2015

Photographer Jamey Stillings has been traveling the world to capture aerial images of the world's biggest solar power installations. "I want to create a visual counterpoint, to show, for example, the differences in the environmental impact of five square miles of solar panels and that of five square miles of coal mining," he says. (02/26)

5. Renderings: Plans revealed for a sustainable floating village

SmartBrief on Sustainability | Feb 24, 2015

Yacht designer Christian Grande wants to construct a floating village in a marina. The project would contain floating homes with sustainable and modular designs. Abifloat, as it's dubbed, would utilize "load bearings made from aluminum posts and stringers, buoyancy reserves, sandwich wall technology made from recycled plastic, and thermal insulation made from lightweight straw, cork or chipboard honeycombed baffles." Gizmag (02/16)

6. LED bulbs help Japan recover from Fukushima disaster

SmartBrief on Sustainability | Feb 26, 2015

Japan is embracing LED lighting in a bid to curb its energy use in the aftermath of the Fukushima disaster, which saw about 30% of Japan's energy supply taken offline. About 73 million high-efficiency light bulbs have been sold since 2011, and researchers are also exploring technologies such as regenerative braking for subway cars, and vending machines that recycle their waste heat. "There's no doubt Japan has some of the most advanced technologies in energy saving," says Takumi Fujinami of the Japan Research Institute. Bloomberg (02/25)

7. Apple to spend billions on green data centers

SmartBrief on Sustainability | Feb 23, 2015

Apple is planning to spend $2 billion on green data centers in Ireland and Denmark, using wind power and other renewable sources to power the centers entirely with clean energy. "Our commitment to environmental responsibility is good for the planet, good for our business and good for the European economy," said Apple environmental chief Lisa Jackson. TechCrunch (02/23)

8. Brazil brings charges against "Deforestation King"

SmartBrief on Sustainability | Feb 25, 2015

Ezequiel Antonio Castanha, the Amazon's so-called King of Deforestation, has been arrested in Brazil on deforestation charges that could bring a prison term of up to 46 years. His logging group is believed to have illegally cleared an area of rain forest equivalent to two and a half times the size of Manhattan. Atlantic online, The (02/24)

9. Researchers spot the greenhouse effect in action

SmartBrief on Sustainability | Feb 26, 2015

Researchers have directly observed the greenhouse effect in action for the first time, using specialized instruments to measure energy fluctuations and demonstrate that greenhouse emissions are trapping solar heat and warming the planet. "Numerous studies show rising atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations, but our study provides the critical link between those concentrations and the addition of energy to the system, or the greenhouse effect," explains lead author Daniel Feldman. Mashable (02/25)

10. Wal-Mart aims to show the power of an eco-label

SmartBrief on Sustainability | Feb 26, 2015

Wal-Mart has created a new online eco-badging program in a bid to drive its suppliers to improve their environmental standards. "What Wal-Mart is very excited about today is using this tool to inspire a race to the top," explains Wal-Mart product sustainability chief Robert Kaplan. (02/25)

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