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These Jane Goodall Quotes Will Inspire You to Save the World

By Amanda Froelich

Jane Goodall is one of the most iconic conservationists on planet Earth—and for good reason! At age 26, she left England with little more than a notebook, binoculars and a dream to live with wild chimpanzees in Africa.

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Renewable Energy
The skyline of Ardrossan, North Ayrshire, Scotland, is dominated by an enormous wind farm. Vincent van Zeijst, CC BY

Scotland Sets Wind Record, Provides Enough Electricity for 3.3 Million Homes in March

By Amanda Froelich

Slowly but surely, it is becoming fact that households and entire countries can run on clean, renewable energy. Costa Rica, for instance, ran on renewable energy sources for 285 days in 2015 and achieved similarly in 2016. Additionally, Denmark produced 160 percent of its energy needs in one day in July of 2015 via wind power.

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Disastrous Decision for Rhinos: South Africa's Top Court Lifts Ban on Rhino Horn Sales

As a result of South Africa's highest court rejecting a bid by the government to keep a ban on the sale of rhinoceros horn, it will soon be legal to buy and sell the land mammals' horns in the country.

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Photo credit: Quadrum

Gorgeous Hotel Constructed From Shipping Containers Leaves Landscape Untouched

By Amanda Froelich

From transforming shipping containers into homes to reassembling them into vivacious greenhouses, there is a lot one can do with the apparatuses. But construct a gorgeous hotel? Why not.

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Photo credit: iStock

Radioactive Wild Boars Have Taken Over Abandoned Towns Near Fukushima

By Whitney Webb

The first photos of the wild boars that have come to dominate the abandoned streets of towns near the site of the 2011 Fukushima disaster have emerged as government-led teams begin to cull the boar population to make way for the expected return of the towns' former residents.

For the last six years, the streets of the towns abandoned in the wake of the Fukushima disaster have been walked, not by people, but by wild, radioactive boars. After the 2011 meltdown of the Fukushima Daiichi power plant, exclusion zones were set up around the plant and the populations of the towns within were evacuated to a safer distance, giving rise to Fukushima "ghost towns." In the years since, hundreds upon hundreds of wild boars have come to roam the deserted streets, foraging for food.

The highly radioactive boars have been reported to attack people when provoked and have become a major problem in the Japanese government's efforts to prepare the towns for the eventual homecoming of its former, human residents. In the abandoned coastal town of Namie—just 2.5 miles from the site of the meltdown—residents are expected to return at the end of the month, meaning that the boars must be cleared. Tamotsu Baba, mayor of Namie, told the Mirror: "It is not really clear now which is the master of the town, people or wild boars."

The Japanese government has been sending in teams to "cull" the boars, which has also led the radioactive animals to be filmed and photographed for the first time. According to Baba, the need to eliminate the boars is urgent: "If we don't get rid of them and turn this into a human-led town, the situation will get even wilder and uninhabitable." The "culling" teams have been using cage traps and air rifles to reduce the boar population in Namie and three surrounding towns, including Tomioka where 800 boars have already been killed. Hundreds more boars have been captured since the program began and population control efforts are expected to continue well after residents return.

However, not all residents will be returning. For example, well over half of Namie's pre-disaster population of 21,500 have decided not to return home, according to a government survey conducted last year. These residents cited concerns over radiation and the on-going safety issues at the nuclear power plant as the main reason for their decision.

The Growroom

The Indoor Garden That Can Feed an Entire Neighborhood

By Amanda Froelich

There's a lot to appreciate about the Swedish company IKEA. From its numerous projects which have helped raise awareness about the Syrian peoples' plight to its commitment to the environment by using mushroom-based packaging that decomposes within weeks, the furniture business is progressive, to say the least.

Now, IKEA has released open source plans for The Growroom, which is a large, multi-tiered spherical garden that was designed to sustainably grow enough food to feed a neighborhood. The plans were made free on Thursday with the hope that members of the public will invest their time and resources to create one in each neighborhood, if not in every person's backyard.

The tools required to create the spherical garden include plywood, rubber hammers, metal screws and diligence to follow the instructions comprised of 17 steps. The Huffington Post reports that The Growroom isn't shipped in a flat pack like most IKEA products. Instead, users are required to download the files needed to cut the plywood pieces to size and are encouraged to visit a local workshop where the wood can be professionally cut. The free instructions online walk the builder through the remaining steps.

The Growroom

According to a press release, there are already plans to build Growrooms in Taipei, Taiwan; Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; San Francisco and Helsinki, Finland. You can add your city to the list by jumping on the opportunity and crafting a Growroom in your neighborhood.

The project is the brainchild of Space10, based in Denmark. The company wrote:

Local food represents a serious alternative to the global food model. It reduces food miles, our pressure on the environment and educates our children of where food actually comes from … The challenge is that traditional farming takes up a lot of space and space is a scarce resource in our urban environments.

The Growroom … is designed to support our everyday sense of well being in the cities by creating a small oasis or 'pause' architecture in our high paced societal scenery and enables people to connect with nature as we smell and taste the abundance of herbs and plants. The pavilion, built as a sphere, can stand freely in any context and points in a direction of expanding contemporary and shared architecture.

Here are images from the open source design:

The Growroom

The Growroom

The Growroom

Reposted with permission from our media associate True Activist.

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Photo credit: Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals

1,000 Tiny Chicks Found Abandoned in a Field

By Amanda Froelich

"Chick culling," as it's called, is something the egg industry doesn't like to talk about. And when one learns what the process entails, it's no wonder as to why. Also called "chick disposal," it involves shredding male baby chicks alive as they are deemed to be worthless to the industry because they will not produce eggs when mature. While most commercial chick producers continue to do this (in all countries except Germany) behind closed doors and in secrecy, it seems one producer decided an alternative solution would be more appropriate and left more than 1,000 chicks to die in a field.

Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals

Huffington Post reported that a mass amount of chicks were found dumped in a field in eastern England Friday, causing animal investigators to seek out the source. Inspector Justin Stubbs of the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA) said he'd "never seen anything like it" and was alerted to the "sea of yellow" birds after passersby contacted him.

Sadly, most were only a day old and had been affected by the frigid temperatures. Stubbs wrote in a statement: "The chicks are only about a day old and are really tiny and quite delicate."

Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals

By the time of their discovery, some were either already dead or were in such poor condition that they had to be put down. Most, however, "did not appear to be suffering," according to Stubbs.

The chicks were quickly rounded up and put into boxes to keep warm. RSPCA officials are sure that the birds were dropped off by a "third party official" from a nearby commercial chick producer. The investigation is ongoing.

"These tiny birds wouldn't have survived long out on their own at such a young age and in such unpredictable weather conditions," Stubbs added. "For someone to dump these vulnerable chicks is unbelievable."

Watch the video below:

Reposted with permission from our media associate True Activist.

Asia’s First-Ever Vertical Forest Will Produce 132 Pounds of Oxygen Each Day

By Amanda Froelich

When Stefano Boeri Architetti presented the idea of installing a vertical forest in Milan, people were beyond thrilled with the idea. Following the success of that introduction, the architecture firm now seeks to construct something similar, but in Nanjing, China.

Stefano Boeri Architetti

Inhabitat reported that two towers which overlook the Nanjing Pukou District will be completed by the end of 2018. Overflowing with 1,100 trees from 23 local species, as well as 2,500 cascading shrubs and plants, the installation will clean the city's air by producing 132 pounds of oxygen every day. Additionally, passersby and tourists will be greeted with a breathtaking view.

Stefano Boeri Architetti

The buildings, of course, will include more than just plants. The taller tower (656 feet) will hold offices, a museum, a green architecture school and a rooftop club. And in the second tower (354 feet), a 247-room Hyatt hotel will be found, complete with a rooftop swimming pool. Shops, restaurants and a conference hall will also be included in the second building in a podium that will rise 65 feet.

Stefano Boeri Architetti

Because city air is notoriously dirty with pollution, those who stay in the hotel will have the unique opportunity to benefit from the oxygen produced by the plants as well as form a closer bond with nature.

According to Stefano Boeri Architetti, there will be approximately 600 tall trees and 500 medium-sized trees, in addition to the other foliage, that will help regenerate biodiversity in the area.

Stefano Boeri Architetti

The project is being celebrated because it will be the first green tower in all of Asia. Investors are also satisfied with the fact that the conceptualized idea will further modernization efforts in the south of China's Jiangsu province. Because of the potential economic boost the towers will provide, Nanjing Yang Zi State-owned Investment Group Company Limited is promoting the project.

Stefano Boeri Architetti

It may be the first-of-its-kind in China, but the architecture firm intends to build more green towers in Shanghai, Guizhou, Shijiazhuang, Liuzhou and Chongqing.

Reposted with permission from our media associate True Activist.

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