While traditional investment in the ocean technology sector has been tentative, growth in Israeli maritime innovations has been exponential in the last few years, and environmental concern has come to the forefront.
theDOCK aims to innovate the Israeli maritime sector. Pexels<p>The UN hopes that new investments in ocean science and technology will help turn the tide for the oceans. As such, this year kicked off the <a href="https://www.oceandecade.org/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">United Nations Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development (2021-2030)</a> to galvanize massive support for the blue economy.</p><p>According to the World Bank, the blue economy is the "sustainable use of ocean resources for economic growth, improved livelihoods, and jobs while preserving the health of ocean ecosystem," <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0160412019338255#b0245" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Science Direct</a> reported. It represents this new sector for investments and innovations that work in tandem with the oceans rather than in exploitation of them.</p><p>As recently as Aug. 2020, <a href="https://www.reutersevents.com/sustainability/esg-investors-slow-make-waves-25tn-ocean-economy" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Reuters</a> noted that ESG Investors, those looking to invest in opportunities that have a positive impact in environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues, have been interested in "blue finance" but slow to invest.</p><p>"It is a hugely under-invested economic opportunity that is crucial to the way we have to address living on one planet," Simon Dent, director of blue investments at Mirova Natural Capital, told Reuters.</p><p>Even with slow investment, the blue economy is still expected to expand at twice the rate of the mainstream economy by 2030, Reuters reported. It already contributes $2.5tn a year in economic output, the report noted.</p><p>Current, upward <a href="https://www.ecowatch.com/-innovation-blue-economy-2646147405.html" target="_self">shifts in blue economy investments are being driven by innovation</a>, a trend the UN hopes will continue globally for the benefit of all oceans and people.</p><p>In Israel, this push has successfully translated into investment in and innovation of global ports, shipping, logistics and offshore sectors. The "Startup Nation," as Israel is often called, has seen its maritime tech ecosystem grow "significantly" in recent years and expects that growth to "accelerate dramatically," <a href="https://itrade.gov.il/belgium-english/how-israel-is-becoming-a-port-of-call-for-maritime-innovation/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">iTrade</a> reported.</p><p>Driving this wave of momentum has been rising Israeli venture capital hub <a href="https://www.thedockinnovation.com/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">theDOCK</a>. Founded by Israeli Navy veterans in 2017, theDOCK works with early-stage companies in the maritime space to bring their solutions to market. The hub's pioneering efforts ignited Israel's maritime technology sector, and now, with their new fund, theDOCK is motivating these high-tech solutions to also address ESG criteria.</p><p>"While ESG has always been on theDOCK's agenda, this theme has become even more of a priority," Nir Gartzman, theDOCK's managing partner, told EcoWatch. "80 percent of the startups in our portfolio (for theDOCK's Navigator II fund) will have a primary or secondary contribution to environmental, social and governance (ESG) criteria."</p><p>In a company presentation, theDOCK called contribution to the ESG agenda a "hot discussion topic" for traditional players in the space and their boards, many of whom are looking to adopt new technologies with a positive impact on the planet. The focus is on reducing carbon emissions and protecting the environment, the presentation outlines. As such, theDOCK also explicitly screens candidate investments by ESG criteria as well.</p><p>Within the maritime space, environmental innovations could include measures like increased fuel and energy efficiency, better monitoring of potential pollution sources, improved waste and air emissions management and processing of marine debris/trash into reusable materials, theDOCK's presentation noted.</p>
theDOCK team includes (left to right) Michal Hendel-Sufa, Head of Alliances, Noa Schuman, CMO, Nir Gartzman, Co-Founder & Managing Partner, and Hannan Carmeli, Co-Founder & Managing Partner. Dudu Koren<p>theDOCK's own portfolio includes companies like Orca AI, which uses an intelligent collision avoidance system to reduce the probability of oil or fuel spills, AiDock, which eliminates the use of paper by automating the customs clearance process, and DockTech, which uses depth "crowdsourcing" data to map riverbeds in real-time and optimize cargo loading, thereby reducing trips and fuel usage while also avoiding groundings.</p><p>"Oceans are a big opportunity primarily because they are just that – big!" theDOCK's Chief Marketing Officer Noa Schuman summarized. "As such, the magnitude of their criticality to the global ecosystem, the magnitude of pollution risk and the steps needed to overcome those challenges – are all huge."</p><p>There is hope that this wave of interest and investment in environmentally-positive maritime technologies will accelerate the blue economy and ESG investing even further, in Israel and beyond.</p>
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An independent market monitor says ERCOT, the Texas grid operator, left wholesale electricity prices at the legal maximum for two days longer than necessary, and overcharged power companies $16 billion in the process during the winter storm that caused massive grid and gas system failures and left more than 4 million Texans without electricity.
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According to the UN Environment Program, up to 5 trillion single-use plastic bags are used globally each year, and because of the material they're made from, most municipal recycling centers don't accept them (more on this below).
The most sustainable option is to skip the bag altogether. You can also make your own reusable produce bags out of old T-shirts. But if you'd rather purchase them new, here are our recommendations for the best reusable produce bags on the market today.
Eco Joy<p>If you're making the switch to more sustainable shopping bags and want a variety of products to use, the <a href="https://www.amazon.com/Reusable-Sandwich-Biodegradable-Eco-Drawstring/dp/B003PK4W3I/ref=sr_1_36?crid=3TDUCB8ZOM7WI&dchild=1&keywords=produce+bags+grocery+reusable&qid=1613484643&sprefix=produce+bags%2Caps%2C189&sr=8-36" target="_blank">Eco Joy Cotton Reusable Produce Bags</a> set is a great place to start. The set comes with three mesh drawstring bags, three muslin drawstring bags, a large mesh tote and a zippered sandwich-size pouch.</p><p>Each product is made with organic, non-GMO cotton that's ethically sourced in accordance with Worldwide Responsible Accredited Production (WRAP) standards. The cotton comes from India and Turkey, and the bags are hand-assembled in Canada by the owner of Eco Joy, so you can feel good about supporting a small business while reducing your environmental impact.</p><p><strong>Customer rating:</strong> 4.7 out of 5 stars with over 300 Amazon reviews</p><p><strong>Why buy: </strong>Zero-waste; Handmade in Canada; WRAP compliant; Machine washable</p>
Organic Cotton Mart<p>Some shoppers prefer to use mesh bags when shopping for fruits and veggies. We recommend checking out <a href="https://www.amazon.com/Best-Reusable-Produce-Organic-Cotton/dp/B07CK2TJKL/ref=sr_1_16?crid=10A7NM0LQ0B7E&dchild=1&keywords=mesh+produce+bags&qid=1613483897&s=home-garden&sprefix=mesh+pro%2Cgarden%2C162&sr=1-16" target="_blank">Organic Cotton Mart's Reusable Cotton Mesh Produce Bags</a> if you're in this camp, as they're made with Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) certified cotton.</p> <p>Mesh reusable produce bags can make the checkout process easier than muslin bags since you can see what's inside them without having to open them up. Plus, the tare weight (i.e., the weight of the empty bag that should be subtracted from the total weight of your produce to make sure you don't pay extra for using your bag) is printed right on the label of Organic Cotton Mart's bags, making everything that much more convenient.</p> <p><strong>Customer rating:</strong> 4.6 out of 5 stars with nearly 1,000 Amazon reviews</p><strong>Why buy:</strong> GOTS certified; Machine washable; Biodegradable
Simple Ecology<p>On the other hand, if you just want to purchase muslin bags, we like <a href="https://www.amazon.com/Simple-Ecology-Reusable-Organic-Shopping/dp/B004UJ0U0C" target="_blank">Simple Ecology's Reusable Produce Bags</a>, which are also made with GOTS-certified organic cotton. Simple Ecology also has a <a href="https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01N6AUMBG/ref=sspa_dk_detail_2?psc=1&pd_rd_i=B01N6AUMBG&pd_rd_w=MA3ZS&pf_rd_p=cbc856ed-1371-4f23-b89d-d3fb30edf66d&pd_rd_wg=hVunQ&pf_rd_r=G6RTQ1Z5DKEY325MAJZ9&pd_rd_r=5d298b3a-1be7-4ebd-a9e1-d5d672a40497&spLa=ZW5jcnlwdGVkUXVhbGlmaWVyPUExMzc4RVAxWjNLOTdCJmVuY3J5cHRlZElkPUEwNTc0NTAwMzBDMjFYOVJPTUpWSCZlbmNyeXB0ZWRBZElkPUEwNjYyOTM4M0s4Vk81SVBPS1NFSyZ3aWRnZXROYW1lPXNwX2RldGFpbF90aGVtYXRpYyZhY3Rpb249Y2xpY2tSZWRpcmVjdCZkb05vdExvZ0NsaWNrPXRydWU=" target="_blank">starter kit</a> that comes with several reusable grocery bags if you're looking for more variety.</p> <p>The benefit of using muslin reusable produce bags is that, unlike mesh, there are no holes for small items to slip through. This means that in addition to larger produce, you can use them to purchase bulk foods like lentils, beans and rice — or even powders like flour or spices — without worrying about anything leaking. They're also best for keeping leafy greens fresh.</p> <p><strong>Customer rating:</strong> 4.7 out of 5 stars with nearly 1,500 Amazon reviews</p><strong>Why buy:</strong> GOTS certified; Machine washable; Biodegradable; Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) certified packaging when purchased from manufacturer
ECOBAGS<p>Whether you're buying bread, fresh flowers, produce or all of the above, the <a href="https://www.amazon.com/ECOBAGS-Market-Collection-Reusable-Natural/dp/B08KFGPGN5" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">ECOBAGS Market Collection Reusable Bag Set</a> is ideal for <a href="https://www.ecowatch.com/farmers-markets-coronavirus-safety-2645581711.html" target="_self">farmers market</a> shopping or large grocery hauls. The netted bags are durable, flexible, and pack down small so they're easy to keep in your car or purse.</p> <p>ECOBAGS is a woman-owned certified B Corp, which means it uses sound social and environmental practices. These bags come in packs of three or five and have a few different handle lengths and color options, but they're all made with GOTS-certified organic cotton.</p> <p><strong>Customer rating: </strong>Not applicable</p><p><strong>Why buy:</strong> GOTS certified; Machine washable; Biodegradable; Certified B Corp; SA8000 certified for the protection of basic human rights of workers</p>
FedEx's entire parcel pickup and delivery fleet will become 100 percent electric by 2040, according to a statement released Wednesday. The ambitious plan includes checkpoints, such as aiming for 50 percent electric vehicles by 2025.
Six major U.S. electricity utilities will collaborate to build a massive EV charging network across 16 states, they announced Tuesday.
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Citigroup will strive to reach net-zero greenhouse gas pollution across its lending portfolio by 2050 and in its own operations by 2030, the investment group announced Monday.
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As bitcoin's fortunes and prominence rise, so do concerns about its environmental impact.
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Colombia is one of the world's largest producers of coffee, and yet also one of the most economically disadvantaged. According to research by the national statistic center DANE, 35% of the population in Columbia lives in monetary poverty, compared to an estimated 11% in the U.S., according to census data. This has led to a housing insecurity issue throughout the country, one which construction company Woodpecker is working hard to solve.
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The Postal Service is updating its massive fleet of mail carrying vehicles, heralding a significant step toward reducing carbon pollution from its massive fleet while also helping to protect its workforce from climate impacts.
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Annapolis, Maryland, is suing 26 oil and gas companies for deceiving the public about their products' role in causing climate change. The city is among two dozen state and local governments to file such a lawsuit.
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Dealing with pest infestations in your home can be stressful. While there are plenty of exterminators that can use toxic chemicals to rid you of your problem, sometimes you want a less harmful solution. Luckily, there are some DIY, eco-friendly methods and natural products that can effectively keep pests out of your home. Below, we're discussing some easy-to-use, natural pest control options for the most common household pests.
Bed Bugs<p>Bed bugs are among the most prevalent pests to infest homes, and they're among the most stressful for homeowners to manage.</p><p>Luckily, there's a simple DIY solution you can use to kill bed bugs in their tracks. Sprinkle baking soda around the areas you believe to be infected, including around the base of your beds and couches, especially near the legs.</p><p>When bed bugs inevitably try to traverse the powder, the baking soda will naturally dry them out and can kill them before they get to you to feed. Let the powder sit for about a week before vacuuming it up and disposing of the dead bed bugs.</p><p>Pro tip: baking soda is effective against cockroaches as well!</p>
Termites<p>Termites feed on wood and often burrow into the framing of your home to feed, gradually causing damage and potentially compromising the structural stability of your house.</p><p>Many pest control companies use bait stations with potentially harmful chemicals to kill termites, but you can often get a successful treatment using vinegar and lemon juice. The acidity will either deter termites or kill those that are exposed to it.</p><p>Simply mix a cup of white vinegar with the juice from four lemons, and place the mixture in a spray bottle. Apply the solution to areas where you see termite damage or believe the insects may enter your home. Reapply regularly to ensure thorough treatment.</p>
Rodents<p>Whether you live in a rural setting, or an urban sprawl like New York City, mice, rats, and other rodents have an uncanny ability to find a way into your home. However, many of us still feel bad about using poison or rodent traps to kill or capture them. Thankfully, there's a much simpler method for keeping rodents out that won't cause them any harm.</p><p>Mice and rats naturally stay away from certain scents, and peppermint is one of the odors they detest the most. Soak some cotton balls in peppermint oil and place them around your home where you believe the rodents are entering. The smell can help keep them at bay and may make them decide to relocate entirely.</p><p>If you have a major infestation you can't solve on your own, don't hesitate to look for <a href="https://www.peststrategies.com/exterminators/new-york/new-york-city/" target="_blank">eco-friendly pest control companies in cities like New York</a> that use non-toxic solutions and integrated pest management. Their treatments often have better results than homemade repellants while remaining safe for the environment.</p>
Ants<p>It's never pleasant to find ants in your home, and keeping them outside where they belong is often straightforward, even without harmful insecticides.</p><p>Ants leave scent trails to help others locate food sources. Aside from eliminating potential attractions in your home like garbage, crumbs, or unsealed food, destroying the scent trail is an excellent way to ruin their chance of finding a meal in your house.</p><p>The acidity and pungent odor of lemon juice can wipe out a scent trail. Spraying some around areas where you notice ants entering your home can help deter them altogether.</p>
Mosquitoes<p>Mosquitoes are just about the only thing that can ruin a beautiful, sunny day in your yard. Most pest management companies can spray pesticides to keep them at bay, but these can be harmful to you, your family, and other beneficial insects on your property.</p><p>Luckily, there's an eco-friendly solution that can keep mosquitoes away for weeks on end. Mix about two cups of mint-flavored mouthwash, three cups of Epsom salt, and three cans of stale, non-alcoholic beer (yes, really!). Spray the solution around your yard, avoiding only flowers.</p><p>The zero-toxicity repellent can deter mosquitoes entirely, leaving you to enjoy the outdoors in peace.</p>
Nzambi Matee is an entrepreneur with an incredible goal -- to turn plastic destined for the landfill into sustainable, strong building material. Her company, Gjenge Makers, uses the plastic waste of commercial facilities to create bricks that can withstand twice the weight threshold of concrete.
Gjenge Makers Ltd.<p>The factory is only in its beginning stages, but it has already <a href="https://www.reuters.com/article/us-kenya-environment-recycling/kenyan-recycles-plastic-waste-into-bricks-stronger-than-concrete-idUSKBN2A211N">recycled 20 tons</a> of plastic since 2017 and created 120 jobs in Nairobi. In addition, Gjenge bricks are also one of the more affordable options on the market. They cost approximately $7.70 per square meter, as opposed to <a href="https://www.remodelingcalculator.org/concrete-calculator/" target="_blank">$98 per square yard</a> for concrete produced in the U.S.</p> <p>However, it hasn't been an easy road. <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QbZKP4UAtL8&feature=emb_title" target="_blank">Matee says</a> about the founding of her company, "I jumped in, off a cliff without even a parachute. I was building it as I was falling down. But isn't that how great things are done?" </p> <p>With entrepreneurs like Matee, there is a beacon of hope for the worldwide plastic pollution crisis. To learn more about Gjenge Makers process and impact, you can visit their <a href="https://gjenge.co.ke/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">website</a> or <a href="https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCH7ahGR28JP4Gy47CGhCZTg/featured" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">YouTube channel</a>. Or, <a href="https://www.ecowatch.com/stop-plastic-pollution-2649324134.html">read this</a> to learn more about ways you can help fight against plastic pollution in your community. </p>
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