How does an urban farm also heat the building above it? How small is the world’s smallest solar charger? And, what scientific breakthrough could mean a reduction in ocean plastics?
This, and more, in the week’s ten biggest climate innovation stories.
Black timber Villa S makes more energy than it consumes
Villa S ia a plus-energy home in the western Netherlands built to replace a former home from the 1960’s. RAU architecten designed the new solar-powered home that embraces the surrounding dune and forest landscape through large windows. The architects’ focus on sustainability also extends to materials, which include FSC-certified timber and “emission-free materials.
— inhabitat (@inhabitat) December 4, 2017
Cremona, Italy, makes the circular economy real for cities
Cremona has become a European test ground for new ideas to promote a circular economy. In the last two years alone, Cremona has increased the percentage of waste collected separately—necessary for recycling—from 53 per cent to 72 per cent.
— GreenBiz (@GreenBiz) December 6, 2017
Electric cars already cheaper to own and run than petrol or diesel—study
Pure electric cars cost less over four years than petrol or diesel cars in the UK, US, and Japan, researchers say, but China is set to lead the market.
— Greenpeace UK (@GreenpeaceUK) December 4, 2017
Modular power blocks snap together to scale up energy needs in remote areas
Power-Blox is a distributed energy system is made of 1.2-kilowatt battery cubes that store solar or wind energy. They snap together LEGO-like to save and provide more power. One unit can serve the needs of a few people, while several units can work together to create a modular microgrid, powering an entire village.
— Power-Blox AG (@power_blox) November 21, 2017
Swedish electric car startup offers five years of free solar charging to owners
The Uniti electric city car will come bundled with a green charging incentive for buyers in Sweden.
This underground urban farm also heats the building above it
Underneath a 26-floor office tower in Stockholm, an underground space once used as an archive for a newspaper will soon become a farm. And because of a unique business model, the urban farmers growing greens in the new farm won’t pay rent—their farm will pay for itself in heat.
— Plantagon (@Plantagon) November 23, 2017
German city offers ingenious alternative to single-use coffee cups
The city of Freiburg, Germany, created the Freiburg Cup, which coffee lovers can snag for one Euro and return to participating stores to be cleaned and used again—up to 400 times.
— World Economic Forum (@wef) December 7, 2017
Credit card-sized unit claims to be world’s smallest solar charger
Sunslice is a small folding solar charger that can fit into a pocket, while still producing enough electricity to compete with much larger offerings.
Sunslice is a small folding solar charger that can fit into a pocket, while still producing enough electricity to compete with much larger offerings. https://t.co/0ZsPOfbwl0
— TreeHugger.com (@TreeHugger) December 1, 2017
Scientists discover cheap method to identify “lost” 99 per cent of ocean microplastics
Previous surveys suggest only one per cent of marine plastic waste is identifiable. To suss out the “missing” 99 per cent, researchers from the University of Warwick in England decided to shine a light on the problem—quite literally—by using fluorescent dyes.
— CleanAcres (@CleanAcresCTC) December 1, 2017
Green-roofed Viewpoint Granasjøen is a modern take on the traditional Norwegian hut
Bergersen Arkitekter AS designed Viewpoint Granasjøen as a combination of shelter and summer house that recreates the old Norwegian Gapahuk (English: lean-to) as a multi-functional, flexible space that can be used throughout the year.
— inhabitat (@inhabitat) December 1, 2017