Amazon Has a Patent For a Garden Service That Would Help You Grow Food
Amazon has a new frontier it's looking to tackle: your garden. The tech company recently received a patent for a new service that would let users upload photos of their vegetable gardens then receive a variety of recommendations from Amazon including recipes for the specific veggies they've planted, gardening tools they might need, and even advice on what else to plant and exactly where in your plot it should go.
The "garden service," as the company bills it in the patent, uses algorithms and image recognition software to make the recommendations. The company gives a weirdly specific example of a woman named Evelyn who likes to cook with home-grown veggies, has just moved to Seattle, and isn't familiar with the plants in her backyard or how to cook them. The gardening service would provide recipes based on what it determines she's growing. In the example, the service finds she has mint, tomatoes and cucumbers (why Evelyn would be unfamiliar with these common plants isn't explained, nor is why she'd be growing plants she doesn't know how to use, which we guess is besides the point, but still, c'mon). It would then recommend a Greek salad recipe and even let Evelyn know she can get other ingredients, like feta cheese and olive oil, from Amazon.
The much more interesting part of the service is that it can identify any are growing impediments—a tree that's shading a section of the garden, for instance—and make recommendations for plants that do well under those conditions (for the hypothetical shady garden plot, Amazon suggests a wild ginger plant) that users could buy from the site. The service, given the right inputs, could also geolocate the garden's specific location to determine what plants have the best chance at success in that area; the user would see a "virtual garden" explaining the best places to plant certain vegetables, herbs or fruit trees, and would include a feature where they could see what the garden would look like from season to season—or even several years in the future (at least for perennials).
Amazon has been really getting into food of late, most notably with its purchase of Whole Foods, and now it seems to be going a step further into trying to entice the folks who like to grow their own to do their shopping on the site. There's no information on when, or even if, the garden service would be up and running.
Reposted with permission from our media associate Modern Farmer.
'Kicking Ass for Her Generation': Applause for 16-Year-Old Greta Thunberg as EU Chief Pledges $1 Trillion to Curb Climate Threat
By Julia Conley
Sixteen-year-old climate action leader Greta Thunberg stood alongside European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker Thursday in Brussels as he indicated—after weeks of climate strikes around the world inspired by the Swedish teenager—that the European Union has heard the demands of young people and pledged more than $1 trillion over the next seven years to address the crisis of a rapidly heating planet.
In the financial period beginning in 2021, Juncker said, the EU will devote a quarter of its budget to solving the crisis.
‘Plastic Is Lethal’: Groundbreaking Report Reveals Health Risks at Every Stage in Plastics Life Cycle
With eight million metric tons of plastic entering the world's oceans every year, there is growing concern about the proliferation of plastics in the environment. Despite this, surprisingly little is known about the full impact of plastic pollution on human health.
But a first-of-its-kind study released Tuesday sets out to change that. The study, Plastic & Health: The Hidden Costs of a Plastic Planet, is especially groundbreaking because it looks at the health impacts of every stage in the life cycle of plastics, from the extraction of the fossil fuels that make them to their permanence in the environment. While previous studies have focused on particular products, manufacturing processes or moments in the creation and use of plastics, this study shows that plastics pose serious health risks at every stage in their production, use and disposal.
Air pollution within the home causes 3.8 million deaths a year, according to the World Health Organization. A recent University of Colorado in Boulder study reported by The Guardian found that cooking a full Thanksgiving meal could raise levels of particulate matter 2.5 in the house higher than the levels averaged in New Delhi, the world's sixth most polluted city.
But soon, you will be able to shop for a solution in the same place you buy your budget roasting pans. IKEA is working on a specially-designed, air-purifying curtain called the GUNRID.
A rare species of giant tortoise, feared extinct for more than 100 years, was sighted on the Galápagos island of Fernandina Sunday, the Ecuadorian government announced.