Archives for the month of: April, 2014

green halo waste tracking system dunkin doughnut

Dunkin’ Doughnuts is under pressure to replace their polystyrene foam with cardboard like many food chains around the USA have already done. Dunkin’ Doughnuts has been experimenting for the past few years and “aims to have an alternative cup in two to three years”. Dunkin’ Doughnuts says that the cup has to meet a few different criteria but according to Venessa Wong from Bloomberg Businessweek, other chains’ customers are “pretty used to paper”. This article shows some of the comparisons between what food chains and restaurants face to go green but the contrasts between where McDonald’s is now, compared to Dunkin’ Doughnuts’s strategy is enthralling.

Here is the second article that this summary refers to. Back in 2012, Mc Donald’s choose to phase out polystyrene beverage cups since petroleum-based food packaging persists in the environment for hundreds of years after use and polystyrene might even be a human carcinogen. This switch to paper cups reduced restaurant waste by 30 percent, and saved an estimated $6 million per year. Interestingly enough, McDonald’s is now: “the largest purchasers of recycled paper, used in its food containers, bags, and napkins”. One thing is for sure, eco-friendly packaging is sweeping the globe and taking care of our earth is extraordinary.

Another great Green article from Green Halo
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Makers of electronic cigarettes such as Lorillard Inc. (LO) and Altria Group Inc. will for the first time face regulatory oversight, including passing a review to stay on the market, under a U.S. plan that doesn’t ban TV ads or flavored versions of the new products.

The Food and Drug Administration today proposed to extend its reach over the tobacco industry to include the $3 billion market for e-cigarettes such as NJOY and blu, as well as cigars. The rules, if made final, will prohibit sales to minors, ban free samples and require nicotine addiction warnings.

Green Halo - E-Cigs Under FDA ReviewConsumer groups have said e-cigarette companies use candy flavors, TV ads and music festival sponsor-ships to target youth, who doubled their use of the products in 2012 from a year earlier. Agency officials called today’s proposal a foundation that may lead to tighter control in the future.

“For the first time there will be a science-based, independent regulatory agency providing gate-keeping,” Mitch Zeller, director of the FDA’s Center for Tobacco Products, said in a briefing. “The regulator will finally be doing its job.”

Industry representatives reacted positively to the proposal.

“This is not a sort of trenched-in, battlefield mentality,” Miguel Martin, president of e-cigarette maker Logic, said in an interview. “ We want to work with the FDA.”

Martin and Jeff Holman, president and co-founder of Vapor Corp., were upbeat about the FDA’s plan.

Another great Green article from Green Halo
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Cancer is a devastating killer that takes one out of every eight lives on the planet. While cancer treatments have improved over the years, one key to battling the disease is early detection, which has historically been invasive, painful or hit-and-miss. That’s why the latest research from a group of Swiss and Japanese scientists is so exciting: working together, these scientists have created a surprising new way to catch cancer that is as simple as taking a breath.

Green Halo - Scientists Develop a Way to Detect Cancer on Patient's BreathGenki Yoshikawa at the National Institute of Materials Science in Japan, Frederic Loizeau from the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, Hans Peter Lang at the University of Basel in Switzerland and their colleagues worked together to create a sensor that is able to detect head and neck cancer using breath analysis. Previously, cantilevers with a chemical layer coating could absorb compounds which would deflect the cantilevers, but this system wasn’t sensitive enough to detect cancer. So scientists figured out a way to make the system much more sensitive using nano-chemical sensors in what is known as a membrane-type surface stress sensor (MSS).

The improved MSS was presented at the 26th IEEE International Conference on Micro Electro Mechanical Systems and in a double-blind trial, the scientists were able to accurately detect four cancer patients from four healthy patients using the new system. The units are easily portable and work as a sort of mobile nose to sniff out cancer in its early stages, potentially saving lives and alleviating some of the uncertainty when diagnosing cancer.

Another great Green article from Green Halo
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China’s food safety problems have no better symbol than the illegal and utterly disgusting problem of gutter oil. Cooking oil is used heavily in Chinese food, so some street vendors and hole-in-the-wall restaurants buy cheap, black market oil that’s been recycled from garbage. You read that correctly. Enterprising men and women will go through dumpsters, trash bins, gutters and even sewers, scooping out liquid or solid refuse that contains used oil or animal parts. Then they process that into cooking oil, which they sell at below-market rates to food vendors who use it to cook food that can make you extremely sick.

This video, produced by Radio Free Asia, shows in excruciating detail how a couple of gutter oil vendors go about their work. It starts with the couple scooping sewage out of the ground, and it ends with unwitting Chinese consumers chowing down on the end product:

To reiterate, this is illegal, something that Chinese authorities are trying to stop and not used by all street vendors. But it’s also thought to be widespread. Being reprocessed garbage and sewage, gutter oil contains all sorts of untold carcinogens. Many of the operations, like the one shown in the video, are small-time. But there’s enough money to be made that some producers go much bigger.

In April, Chinese authorities uncovered a gutter oil production ring that spanned 13 cities and over 100 people, who somehow acquired rotten animal parts and boiled down the fat into oil. The sting, which came after a five-month investigation, yielded 3,200 tons of the stuff; authorities estimated the black-market producers had already sold a stunning $1.6 million worth of their product.

Food in China is delicious, and gutter oil typically is used just in some street food stalls or cheap, hole-in-the-wall dives. But it is a reminder why authorities there are deeply concerned about food safety issues.

Another great Green article from Green Halo
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The Texas city of more than 104,000, suffering the worst drought on record, is about to become the first place in the U.S. to treat sewage and pump it directly back to residents. People who live in Wichita Falls, northwest of Dallas on the Oklahoma border, say they’ll buy more bottled water and try not to think about what’s flowing through their pipes when they bathe, brush their teeth and make soup.

Green Halo - Wichita Falls, Tex. to Turn Sewer Water into Drinking WaterOther U.S. localities are considering similar approaches as water becomes scarcer — the result of drought, growing populations and greater consumption. The crisis is worldwide. In California, food prices are being driven higher and from Brazil to southeast Asia a historic lack of rainfall is hobbling power and crop production.

Wichita Falls, a sun-baked ranch town that hosts the Hotter’N Hell Hundred endurance bike ride each August, is awaiting final state approval to begin recycling 5 million gallons a day starting next month, said Teresa Rose, deputy public works director. That’s about a third of its usage.

Another great Green article from Green Halo
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In a show of defiance against a recent court ruling by the UN’s International Court of Justice, hundreds of Japanese government officials, lawmakers, and pro-whaling lobbyists attended a feast that consisted almost entirely of various whale meat delicacies. At the event, which was held on Tuesday near Japan’s parliament, the attendees all vowed to continue whale hunts despite the ruling. There was even a toast which involved everyone at the event cheering in unison, ”Whale!”

Green Halo - Japanese Government Officials Feast on Whale Meat to Protest World Court RulingEven though Japan has already said it will cancel next season’s Antarctic expedition in light of the ruling, there are still two other expeditions, one along the country’s northern coast, and another in the northern Pacific, that could both continue as planned within the next few weeks. The average kill count for those programs is often around 300 minke whales each year.

Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi told the meeting that hunting whales is a part of Japanese culture, and that it “has a policy of harvesting and sustainably using the protein source from the ocean, and that is unshakable.” While coastal whaling has been around since the 12th century, it’s fairly obvious that the Antarctic expeditions, which only started in the 1930s and often pull in more than 1,000 whales each year, are anything but sustainable.

The most likely scenario is that Japan will go ahead with its two other whaling programs, and although it could also try and redesign its scientific whaling program in the Antarctic, the chances of it being approved as legitimate are virtually zero. Should the other expeditions head out to sea, they are bound to meet a great deal of resistance, which would hopefully put an end to their renewed killing spree before it even begins.

Another great Green article from Green Halo
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Peruvian researchers have collaborated with an ad agency to create an unusual billboard that generates drinking water from thin air. While the billboard fulfills its traditional role as an advertising tool—in this case for courses at Lima’s University of Engineering and Technology (UTEC)—it harvests moisture directly from the air, which is then processed through a filtration system. Capable of producing 25 gallons (96 liters) of water a day during summer, the billboard has produced 9450 liters of clean drinking water for a nearby community in the three months since it was first installed.

Lima, Peru’s capital city, receives less than one inch of rain each year, forcing some residents to get their water from dirty wells. Despite the lack of rain, the high humidity makes it possible to harvest water directly from the city’s air, providing a sustainable, alternative source of drinkable water.

The researchers at Peru’s University of Engineering and Technology teamed up with Mayo DraftFCB advertising agency to create the billboard. The panel consists of five machines which convert humidity into water through use of air and carbon filters and a condenser. The water is stored in five tanks located at the top of the structure. The filtered water flows into a pipe at the bottom of the billboard, supplying the neighboring community with clean water. In the three months since it was first installed, the billboard has produced 9450 liters of water.

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Another great Green article from Green Halo
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Green Halo - Google Buys Solar-Powered Drone Manufacturer Titan Aerospace to Boost Internet Access in Third World Countries3D printing may be all the rage in design, but for Big Tech, drones are where the money is. On Monday, web giant Google beat out Facebook in a race to acquire Titan Aerospace, a solar-powered drone manufacturer. Although Google claims the drones will be used for the forces of good, such as broadcasting Internet signals to remote areas, some worry that the high-flying drones may pose troublesome consumer privacy implications.

New Mexico-based drone maker Titan Aerospace specializes in the creation of high-altitude solar-powered drones. “It’s still early days, but atmospheric satellites could help bring Internet access to millions of people, and help solve other problems, including disaster relief and environmental damage like deforestation,” said a Google spokesman in an email to AFP. Google also plans to use the high-flying drones to assist their ongoing Project Loon, which uses giant balloons to broadcast Internet signals, as well as Makani, a project to build an energy-efficient airborne wind turbine.

The drones may also be used to enhance Google Earth’s aerial imagery capabilities. According to Titan, its drones can stay airborne for up to five years without the need for routine maintenance. The search engine giant’s continued foray into drone investing mirrors similar gambits by other high-profile consumer-based businesses such as Amazon’s proposed drone delivery service and Facebook’s similar plans to deliver Internet via drones to third-world countries.

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Monitoring LEED project compliance is a full time job, especially when it comes to monitoring waste flows from the project, its contractors and sub contractors. Waste Flows  provides waste and recycling tracking and monitoring solutions that are inexpensive and easy to use, while saving you time and money. Check out the website: http://wasteflows.com/

Tracking_Your_Waste_and_Recycling_for_LEED_is_Easy!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Another great Green article from Green Halo
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Is the robot apocalypse already here? Scientists at Harvard are developing a robot that can build structures without humans telling them how. The bot is inspired by nature’s best builder — the termite. Researchers hope one day they’ll be able to build projects on Mars and rescue people from burning buildings. (Source: Bloomberg)

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Another great Green article from Green Halo
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