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World Car Free Day –  re-thinking our daily commute
The past week has seen several sustainability-related events – we’ve celebrated Sustainable House Day , Zero Emissions Day and today we are turning our attention to World Car Free Day. Taking place on September 22 nd , this event “promotes improvement of mass transit, cycling and walking, and the development of communities where jobs are closer to home and where shopping is within walking distance”. It was established as a global event in 2000, but various projects of similar nature had taken place from time to time since 1956. Similar to Zero Emissions Day, World Car Free Day has set out a challenge: To spend one carefully prepared day without cars. To study and observe closely what exactly goes on during that day. Then, to reflect publicly and collectively on the lessons of this experience and on what might be prudently and creatively done next to build on these. We are going to focus on the last part of this challenge and look at the latest developments in eco-friendly transportation. Making public transport greener Copenhagen is a city with a green mission – the municipality has set a target of switching all of the city’s buses to electric power by 2030. And local operating company Movia is quickly moving towards reaching that goal – they have just announced that 41 new electric buses will join their fleet at once in 2019. The Netherlands has an even more ambitious goal. Back in 2016, Environment Minister Dijksma has signed an agreement with all transport operators in the country that by 2025 all buses used in public transport should be electric or hydrogen-powered. By then, two of the country’s provinces (Noord-Brabant and Limburg) have already switched completely to electric vehicles and became the drivers behind that agreement. All electricity that powers the buses will be generated completely sustainably by solar panels or wind turbines in the region, lowering the CO2 emissions further. Buses aren’t the only type of public transport that the Dutch are making more sustainable – the trains are quickly becoming greener every year. Holland’s national train company, Nederlandse Spoorwegen, became the world’s first railway company to get 100% of the energy needed to power its trains from wind. The company’s new goal is to re-use 75% of their waste by 2020. Trams have long been considered the cleanest form of public transport and the city of Melbourne, Australia is aiming to take it one step further. Back in January 2017, Victorian government has announced the construction of two new solar farms that will power the trams. With transport being the second largest and fastest growing contributor to Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions, changes like these can make a huge difference and highlight more opportunities for improvement. A small solution to a big problem While making public transport greener is important, it is also crucial to remember that the main challenge is getting the public to wave goodbye to their cars. One of the problems to solve is accessibility – most of the time smaller towns and villages simply do not have good access to public transport and thus living there makes owning a car a necessity rather than a luxury. The City of Candiac in Québec, Canada is currently hosting a long-term demonstration project for an autonomous electric shuttle that is aiming to promote use of public transport in such underserved areas. These shuttles have a capacity of 15 passengers and will run throughout the fall of 2018. Once winter season starts, the project will enter an experimentation phase without passengers to test the shuttle’s performance in winter conditions. This approach sounds very promising and hopefully we will see more similar projects taking place around the world. Other sustainable alternatives to cars Of course mass transit isn’t the only way to reduce the amount of cars on our roads. Malta’s Public Transport has teamed up with Ioscoot to introduce a more eco-friendly alternative to renting a car on the island – electric motorbikes. This initiative is set to become a solution to both carbon footprint and traffic problems. The service allows users to pick up and drop off scooters at designated spots and all they need is to download the app and have a valid moped licence. All of the scooters have space for 2 passengers and have 2 helmets in different sizes in their storage compartments. Ioscoot is already offering this service in Madrid and Barcelona, where it is already quite successful. It is impossible to write about sustainable car alternatives without mentioning bicycles. More cities are adjusting their roads to include bike paths and are closing off inner cities for cars. Cycling offers many benefits, such as low cost, the ability to avoid traffic and of course it provides the exercise many of us have to time for otherwise. One of the biggest drawbacks of cycling is the question of storage – in some areas bike racks are hard to come by and hallway space is too valuable. And what about those situations where you happen to need your bicycle when you are at work or out with your friends, while it’s locked in front of your house? These reasons are exactly why bike-sharing is becoming incredibly popular. In 2008 there were only 128 bike-sharing services worldwide – today there are more than 1’600! Companies that are traditionally associated with cars – such as Uber and Lyft – are entering that market as well. There are a lot of efforts to make our commutes easier and “greener”, and while some of them are focused on the longer term many solutions are available to us today. So if you haven’t biked since you were in school – World Car Free Day is the perfect opportunity to brush up that skill! Are there any eco-friendly transport initiatives taking place in your area? Tell us all about them in the comments! https://www.whatsorb.com/solution/transportation/general
The past week has seen several sustainability-related events – we’ve celebrated Sustainable House Day , Zero Emissions Day and today we are turning our attention to World Car Free Day. Taking place on September 22 nd , this event “promotes improvement of mass transit, cycling and walking, and the development of communities where jobs are closer to home and where shopping is within walking distance”. It was established as a global event in 2000, but various projects of similar nature had taken place from time to time since 1956. Similar to Zero Emissions Day, World Car Free Day has set out a challenge: To spend one carefully prepared day without cars. To study and observe closely what exactly goes on during that day. Then, to reflect publicly and collectively on the lessons of this experience and on what might be prudently and creatively done next to build on these. We are going to focus on the last part of this challenge and look at the latest developments in eco-friendly transportation. Making public transport greener Copenhagen is a city with a green mission – the municipality has set a target of switching all of the city’s buses to electric power by 2030. And local operating company Movia is quickly moving towards reaching that goal – they have just announced that 41 new electric buses will join their fleet at once in 2019. The Netherlands has an even more ambitious goal. Back in 2016, Environment Minister Dijksma has signed an agreement with all transport operators in the country that by 2025 all buses used in public transport should be electric or hydrogen-powered. By then, two of the country’s provinces (Noord-Brabant and Limburg) have already switched completely to electric vehicles and became the drivers behind that agreement. All electricity that powers the buses will be generated completely sustainably by solar panels or wind turbines in the region, lowering the CO2 emissions further. Buses aren’t the only type of public transport that the Dutch are making more sustainable – the trains are quickly becoming greener every year. Holland’s national train company, Nederlandse Spoorwegen, became the world’s first railway company to get 100% of the energy needed to power its trains from wind. The company’s new goal is to re-use 75% of their waste by 2020. Trams have long been considered the cleanest form of public transport and the city of Melbourne, Australia is aiming to take it one step further. Back in January 2017, Victorian government has announced the construction of two new solar farms that will power the trams. With transport being the second largest and fastest growing contributor to Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions, changes like these can make a huge difference and highlight more opportunities for improvement. A small solution to a big problem While making public transport greener is important, it is also crucial to remember that the main challenge is getting the public to wave goodbye to their cars. One of the problems to solve is accessibility – most of the time smaller towns and villages simply do not have good access to public transport and thus living there makes owning a car a necessity rather than a luxury. The City of Candiac in Québec, Canada is currently hosting a long-term demonstration project for an autonomous electric shuttle that is aiming to promote use of public transport in such underserved areas. These shuttles have a capacity of 15 passengers and will run throughout the fall of 2018. Once winter season starts, the project will enter an experimentation phase without passengers to test the shuttle’s performance in winter conditions. This approach sounds very promising and hopefully we will see more similar projects taking place around the world. Other sustainable alternatives to cars Of course mass transit isn’t the only way to reduce the amount of cars on our roads. Malta’s Public Transport has teamed up with Ioscoot to introduce a more eco-friendly alternative to renting a car on the island – electric motorbikes. This initiative is set to become a solution to both carbon footprint and traffic problems. The service allows users to pick up and drop off scooters at designated spots and all they need is to download the app and have a valid moped licence. All of the scooters have space for 2 passengers and have 2 helmets in different sizes in their storage compartments. Ioscoot is already offering this service in Madrid and Barcelona, where it is already quite successful. It is impossible to write about sustainable car alternatives without mentioning bicycles. More cities are adjusting their roads to include bike paths and are closing off inner cities for cars. Cycling offers many benefits, such as low cost, the ability to avoid traffic and of course it provides the exercise many of us have to time for otherwise. One of the biggest drawbacks of cycling is the question of storage – in some areas bike racks are hard to come by and hallway space is too valuable. And what about those situations where you happen to need your bicycle when you are at work or out with your friends, while it’s locked in front of your house? These reasons are exactly why bike-sharing is becoming incredibly popular. In 2008 there were only 128 bike-sharing services worldwide – today there are more than 1’600! Companies that are traditionally associated with cars – such as Uber and Lyft – are entering that market as well. There are a lot of efforts to make our commutes easier and “greener”, and while some of them are focused on the longer term many solutions are available to us today. So if you haven’t biked since you were in school – World Car Free Day is the perfect opportunity to brush up that skill! Are there any eco-friendly transport initiatives taking place in your area? Tell us all about them in the comments! https://www.whatsorb.com/solution/transportation/general
World Car Free Day –  re-thinking our daily commute
World Car Free Day – re-thinking our daily commute
A Bee Sting to Conventional Agriculture
How the loss of insect life changed the future of agriculture The variety of natural life in agricultural areas is declining at an alarming rate. Forty percent of the twenty thousand researched species of bees, butterflies and bumblebees are threatened with extinction. One third of all food crops and the lives of millions of people are at stake because of the disappearance of these small pollinators. This news has led to a ripple effect in the world of food production. How does the loss of insect life influence modern agriculture? The bee has put biodiversity on the agenda of the decision makers in our world. Five million people signed a petition to save the bees. This was followed by a study conducted by the European Food Safety Authority and eventually led to an EU ban of the three main insecticides used in agriculture. The EU Commissioner stated:  “Bee health remains of paramount importance for me since it concerns biodiversity, food production and the environment.” Monocultural agriculture is very effective, it has many disadvantages In Europe, the United States and South America, agriculture has, for many decades, meant increasingly large pieces of land used for only one type of crop each year. This type of agriculture is called monocultural agriculture. The farmer’s efforts and assets (land, water, fertilizer, means of pest control) are totally focused on growing that one particular crop. Everything else should step aside, including insects and other life forms. Even though monocultural agriculture is very effective, it has many disadvantages. An important disadvantage in relation to biodiversity loss is that a field, which essentially is a biotope, will be completely destroyed after harvesting. Furthermore, monocultural farming exhausts water supplies, depletes the soil in a high tempo and releases high volumes of green house gasses, since it is heavily dependent on oil for artificial fertilizer, pesticides, irrigation, machines and transport. Last but not least, in conventional agriculture fertilizer, insecticides, pesticides and herbicides leave their chemical traces in the soil, on the produce and in the life forms present in the field. Biodiversity in agriculture Plant life, the basis of the world’s food pyramid, starts in the ground. A rich soil offers a diversity of worms, nematodes, mites, ants, beetles, moulds and bacteria. Biodiversity in the soil increases plant productivity and reduces the risks of diseases and pests. For example, plants grow better in soil with worms, because they recycle dead materials, they ventilate the soil and make room for water to run through it to the right places. Agriculture in general but conventional monocultural agriculture even more so destroys this biodiversity with heavy machinery and the use of chemicals. This method erodes the soil and removes  its nutrients. Rich topsoil is being lost at many times the rate at which it is naturally replaced. In polycultural agriculture, the counter approach to monocultural agriculture, multiple crops are grown on a field. Such a mixed field’s biodiversity will form a natural defense line against pests, diseases, pollution, and climate change. One-crop fields are more vulnerable to diseases and pests. Mixed cultivation will lead to the production of more protective substances. The soil and the life in it will reap more benefits from the excretion of compounds of the separate species of plants in the field. Mixed cultivation also leads to stronger rooting, leafing and water retention systems. During a harvesting period natural enemies to pests such as wasps, mites and spiders can find shelter and survive. Last but not least: on average, probably due to all these mentioned reasons, polycultural farming will lead to higher yields. The only large disadvantage of polycultural agriculture is the actual harvest, since farm machines have been developed for monocultural use. For harvesting one row at a time one would need smaller machines or robot systems. Such machines and robot systems are already on the market, but they are costly and require a huge investment. In Africa mixed cultivation has already been practiced for many generations. Cocoa and plantain are a famous combination, as are corn and beans. The harvesting work is done with cheap labor instead of robotic assistance. Even though hand picking a tree or a plant is very time consuming and might therefore not be very efficient, this traditional harvesting method leaves the biotope intact. This is exactly what a robot system would do in a perfect, biodiverse world. The agriculture sector cannot change overnight, if only because of the enormous costs associated with new harvesting technologies. However, with diminishing use and therefore diminishing costs of insecticides, pesticides, artificial fertilizers and antibiotics there will be an opening in the farmer’s budget to consider alternatives for making the land more fertile and for fighting harmful insects, pests and diseases. What essentially needs to be done is for the agricultural sector, its suppliers, its customers (us) and governments to jointly carry the changing process that needs to take place. A switch towards nature inclusive agriculture Most of these parties understand the necessity of change. The news about the dramatic losses of insect life has been the pebble in the water which led to a far-reaching change in agricultural regulations. It opened the door for new and exciting technologies. The EU ban will mean that the agricultural sector and its suppliers shall now have to fundamentally reconsider their approach to insect and pest control. Just like Shell is investing in alternatives for fossil fuels , suppliers to the agricultural sector are investing heavily in new biological and bio-technological methods, materials and techniques. Governments are stimulating and subsidizing alternative farming methods such as organic and nature inclusive agriculture. Partly due to this stimulation, many farmers and their overarching branch organizations are making a switch towards nature inclusive agriculture as a first step away from monocultural agriculture and towards preservation of agro-biodiversity. Water basins, wooded banks, hedges and flower beds placed by farmers are important survival instruments for a sustainable and diverse ecosystem in agricultural areas. Polycultural farming, the use of natural enemies, adding micro-organisms to the soil, crop planting to enrich the soil instead of plowing: these and many other alternative farming methods are considered much more seriously by the sector since the disappearance of bees and the following ban on insecticides. In general, technology improvements in agriculture will be leaving drawing tables and laboratories much sooner to be put to work in practice. The horticultural approach to farming is a shining example of how to implement knowledge in practice. Horticultural farmers use a scientific approach to every aspect of farming. Plant and animal breeding, genetic technology, soil choice, amount of light, nutrition choice, nutrition system, irrigation or watering system, fertilization, pollination, the use of insects, pest control, harvesting techniques, vertical farming, the use of sensors, robots: every single alternative to every single deciding factor in farming is taken into consideration. This is the direction towards which farming will move. Technology not to produce as much as possible, but technology to produce as smart as possible. Technology which investigates the exact role of every single aspect of natural life and agro-biodiversity in the light of its indispensability in the agricultural process and in life on earth in general. The loss of biodiversity forces the agricultural world to put both knowledge of the natural world and capital intensive technologies and innovations to practical use. Due to the lost lives of many of our insect friends, precision farming has found the breakthrough it needed to emerge as the one and only representative of the future of agriculture. https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/sep/24/monsanto-weedkiller-harms-bees-research-finds https://www.whatsorb.com/solution/gardening---agriculture/vegetables
How the loss of insect life changed the future of agriculture The variety of natural life in agricultural areas is declining at an alarming rate. Forty percent of the twenty thousand researched species of bees, butterflies and bumblebees are threatened with extinction. One third of all food crops and the lives of millions of people are at stake because of the disappearance of these small pollinators. This news has led to a ripple effect in the world of food production. How does the loss of insect life influence modern agriculture? The bee has put biodiversity on the agenda of the decision makers in our world. Five million people signed a petition to save the bees. This was followed by a study conducted by the European Food Safety Authority and eventually led to an EU ban of the three main insecticides used in agriculture. The EU Commissioner stated:  “Bee health remains of paramount importance for me since it concerns biodiversity, food production and the environment.” Monocultural agriculture is very effective, it has many disadvantages In Europe, the United States and South America, agriculture has, for many decades, meant increasingly large pieces of land used for only one type of crop each year. This type of agriculture is called monocultural agriculture. The farmer’s efforts and assets (land, water, fertilizer, means of pest control) are totally focused on growing that one particular crop. Everything else should step aside, including insects and other life forms. Even though monocultural agriculture is very effective, it has many disadvantages. An important disadvantage in relation to biodiversity loss is that a field, which essentially is a biotope, will be completely destroyed after harvesting. Furthermore, monocultural farming exhausts water supplies, depletes the soil in a high tempo and releases high volumes of green house gasses, since it is heavily dependent on oil for artificial fertilizer, pesticides, irrigation, machines and transport. Last but not least, in conventional agriculture fertilizer, insecticides, pesticides and herbicides leave their chemical traces in the soil, on the produce and in the life forms present in the field. Biodiversity in agriculture Plant life, the basis of the world’s food pyramid, starts in the ground. A rich soil offers a diversity of worms, nematodes, mites, ants, beetles, moulds and bacteria. Biodiversity in the soil increases plant productivity and reduces the risks of diseases and pests. For example, plants grow better in soil with worms, because they recycle dead materials, they ventilate the soil and make room for water to run through it to the right places. Agriculture in general but conventional monocultural agriculture even more so destroys this biodiversity with heavy machinery and the use of chemicals. This method erodes the soil and removes  its nutrients. Rich topsoil is being lost at many times the rate at which it is naturally replaced. In polycultural agriculture, the counter approach to monocultural agriculture, multiple crops are grown on a field. Such a mixed field’s biodiversity will form a natural defense line against pests, diseases, pollution, and climate change. One-crop fields are more vulnerable to diseases and pests. Mixed cultivation will lead to the production of more protective substances. The soil and the life in it will reap more benefits from the excretion of compounds of the separate species of plants in the field. Mixed cultivation also leads to stronger rooting, leafing and water retention systems. During a harvesting period natural enemies to pests such as wasps, mites and spiders can find shelter and survive. Last but not least: on average, probably due to all these mentioned reasons, polycultural farming will lead to higher yields. The only large disadvantage of polycultural agriculture is the actual harvest, since farm machines have been developed for monocultural use. For harvesting one row at a time one would need smaller machines or robot systems. Such machines and robot systems are already on the market, but they are costly and require a huge investment. In Africa mixed cultivation has already been practiced for many generations. Cocoa and plantain are a famous combination, as are corn and beans. The harvesting work is done with cheap labor instead of robotic assistance. Even though hand picking a tree or a plant is very time consuming and might therefore not be very efficient, this traditional harvesting method leaves the biotope intact. This is exactly what a robot system would do in a perfect, biodiverse world. The agriculture sector cannot change overnight, if only because of the enormous costs associated with new harvesting technologies. However, with diminishing use and therefore diminishing costs of insecticides, pesticides, artificial fertilizers and antibiotics there will be an opening in the farmer’s budget to consider alternatives for making the land more fertile and for fighting harmful insects, pests and diseases. What essentially needs to be done is for the agricultural sector, its suppliers, its customers (us) and governments to jointly carry the changing process that needs to take place. A switch towards nature inclusive agriculture Most of these parties understand the necessity of change. The news about the dramatic losses of insect life has been the pebble in the water which led to a far-reaching change in agricultural regulations. It opened the door for new and exciting technologies. The EU ban will mean that the agricultural sector and its suppliers shall now have to fundamentally reconsider their approach to insect and pest control. Just like Shell is investing in alternatives for fossil fuels , suppliers to the agricultural sector are investing heavily in new biological and bio-technological methods, materials and techniques. Governments are stimulating and subsidizing alternative farming methods such as organic and nature inclusive agriculture. Partly due to this stimulation, many farmers and their overarching branch organizations are making a switch towards nature inclusive agriculture as a first step away from monocultural agriculture and towards preservation of agro-biodiversity. Water basins, wooded banks, hedges and flower beds placed by farmers are important survival instruments for a sustainable and diverse ecosystem in agricultural areas. Polycultural farming, the use of natural enemies, adding micro-organisms to the soil, crop planting to enrich the soil instead of plowing: these and many other alternative farming methods are considered much more seriously by the sector since the disappearance of bees and the following ban on insecticides. In general, technology improvements in agriculture will be leaving drawing tables and laboratories much sooner to be put to work in practice. The horticultural approach to farming is a shining example of how to implement knowledge in practice. Horticultural farmers use a scientific approach to every aspect of farming. Plant and animal breeding, genetic technology, soil choice, amount of light, nutrition choice, nutrition system, irrigation or watering system, fertilization, pollination, the use of insects, pest control, harvesting techniques, vertical farming, the use of sensors, robots: every single alternative to every single deciding factor in farming is taken into consideration. This is the direction towards which farming will move. Technology not to produce as much as possible, but technology to produce as smart as possible. Technology which investigates the exact role of every single aspect of natural life and agro-biodiversity in the light of its indispensability in the agricultural process and in life on earth in general. The loss of biodiversity forces the agricultural world to put both knowledge of the natural world and capital intensive technologies and innovations to practical use. Due to the lost lives of many of our insect friends, precision farming has found the breakthrough it needed to emerge as the one and only representative of the future of agriculture. https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/sep/24/monsanto-weedkiller-harms-bees-research-finds https://www.whatsorb.com/solution/gardening---agriculture/vegetables
A Bee Sting to Conventional Agriculture
A Bee Sting to Conventional Agriculture
Give vegan cheese a try with these 100% dairy-free recipes
Being a vegetarian for almost 20 years, I both care about animal welfare and feel a plant-based diet works best for my health. From the start I have cut out all meat and fish products, and since a couple of years I'm also trying to limit the dairy I consume on a daily base by replacing them by plant-based alternatives such as coconut yoghurt and almond- and oat milk. However, until very recently some of my most beloved foods remained untouched. I love my Gouda sandwich, prefer a French cheese board over a bowl of crisps or popcorn and – not unimportant – eating cheese makes my life as a vegetarian living and eating in Spain much easier. Yet my recent discovery of the fact that the production of cheese accounts for some of the highest emissions of greenhouse gases  ­– more than fresh fish, because for making cheese you need livestock – has put my mind to think. Should I cut down on my cheese intake or at least try some vegan alternatives? As it turns out the options for the latter are plentiful. Below are a few vegan cheese recipes that I’ve tried and tasted, and I recommend them to anyone who would like to give vegan cheese a try.  Creamy almond cheese This cheese is great as a replacement for white cheese in a salad or as a topping for pasta. The flavour and texture are different than normal cheese, but tasty. What you need 160 g unroasted almonds, soaked overnight and drained 160 ml water 2.5 tbs of lemon juice 0.5 clove of garlic 3 tbs of olive oil 1.25 tsp of salt How to make it Put all ingredients into a blender and blend on high until you have a smooth mixture. If it is too thick and not blending add more water. Remove the mixture from the blender and put into a small sieve lined with fine cheesecloth. Place the sieve over a pan to catch the draining water and refrigerate overnight, which will allow the flavours to merge. The next morning you carefully remove the cheesecloth. Put the drained cheese onto a lightly oiled baking sheet and bake at 180˚C for 30-40 minutes for a crumbly yet creamy cheese, or at 165˚C for 25-30 minutes for a spreadable cheese. Let the vegan cheese cool down and store it in the refrigerator in an airtight container. Image by: Tetiana Bykovets, Unsplash Vegan cheese with nutritional yeast Because of its richness in B-complex vitamins and its strong flavour that can be described as cheesy, nutty or creamy, nutritional yeast is a popular ingredient in vegan cheeses. Basically it is a deactivated yeast which is sold in the form of a yellow powder or as flakes, which can be used as a key ingredient in cheese substitutes ( personally I like it most as an alternative to parmesan). You can find nutritional yeast in most natural food shops.   What you need 4 tbsp nutritional yeast 75 ml water 200 ml coconut- or almond milk 1.5 tsp paprika powder 1.5 tsp salt 0.5 tsp black pepper 0.25 tsp kurkuma 1 pack of agar agar (a plant based alternative for gelatin) How to make it Put the spices, milk and nutritional yeast in a little pan. When it starts boiling, you add the agar agar and let it simmer for a while. Stir to prevent it from burning. The mixture will get thicker and look like melted cheese. If it is too thick, add a bit of water (max. 75 ml) a let it softly simmer for at least 4 minutes. Take the mixture off the fire and pour it into a baking dish or bowl. Put it away in the fridge for 45 minutes. Turn the solidified cheese upside down and put it on a plate. This vegan cheese is delicious on a pizza or pasta, or in a toasted sandwich. Refrigerated the cheese will last 1 to 1.5 week ­– that is, if you don’t finish it before. https://www.whatsorb.com/solution/food/recipy
Being a vegetarian for almost 20 years, I both care about animal welfare and feel a plant-based diet works best for my health. From the start I have cut out all meat and fish products, and since a couple of years I'm also trying to limit the dairy I consume on a daily base by replacing them by plant-based alternatives such as coconut yoghurt and almond- and oat milk. However, until very recently some of my most beloved foods remained untouched. I love my Gouda sandwich, prefer a French cheese board over a bowl of crisps or popcorn and – not unimportant – eating cheese makes my life as a vegetarian living and eating in Spain much easier. Yet my recent discovery of the fact that the production of cheese accounts for some of the highest emissions of greenhouse gases  ­– more than fresh fish, because for making cheese you need livestock – has put my mind to think. Should I cut down on my cheese intake or at least try some vegan alternatives? As it turns out the options for the latter are plentiful. Below are a few vegan cheese recipes that I’ve tried and tasted, and I recommend them to anyone who would like to give vegan cheese a try.  Creamy almond cheese This cheese is great as a replacement for white cheese in a salad or as a topping for pasta. The flavour and texture are different than normal cheese, but tasty. What you need 160 g unroasted almonds, soaked overnight and drained 160 ml water 2.5 tbs of lemon juice 0.5 clove of garlic 3 tbs of olive oil 1.25 tsp of salt How to make it Put all ingredients into a blender and blend on high until you have a smooth mixture. If it is too thick and not blending add more water. Remove the mixture from the blender and put into a small sieve lined with fine cheesecloth. Place the sieve over a pan to catch the draining water and refrigerate overnight, which will allow the flavours to merge. The next morning you carefully remove the cheesecloth. Put the drained cheese onto a lightly oiled baking sheet and bake at 180˚C for 30-40 minutes for a crumbly yet creamy cheese, or at 165˚C for 25-30 minutes for a spreadable cheese. Let the vegan cheese cool down and store it in the refrigerator in an airtight container. Image by: Tetiana Bykovets, Unsplash Vegan cheese with nutritional yeast Because of its richness in B-complex vitamins and its strong flavour that can be described as cheesy, nutty or creamy, nutritional yeast is a popular ingredient in vegan cheeses. Basically it is a deactivated yeast which is sold in the form of a yellow powder or as flakes, which can be used as a key ingredient in cheese substitutes ( personally I like it most as an alternative to parmesan). You can find nutritional yeast in most natural food shops.   What you need 4 tbsp nutritional yeast 75 ml water 200 ml coconut- or almond milk 1.5 tsp paprika powder 1.5 tsp salt 0.5 tsp black pepper 0.25 tsp kurkuma 1 pack of agar agar (a plant based alternative for gelatin) How to make it Put the spices, milk and nutritional yeast in a little pan. When it starts boiling, you add the agar agar and let it simmer for a while. Stir to prevent it from burning. The mixture will get thicker and look like melted cheese. If it is too thick, add a bit of water (max. 75 ml) a let it softly simmer for at least 4 minutes. Take the mixture off the fire and pour it into a baking dish or bowl. Put it away in the fridge for 45 minutes. Turn the solidified cheese upside down and put it on a plate. This vegan cheese is delicious on a pizza or pasta, or in a toasted sandwich. Refrigerated the cheese will last 1 to 1.5 week ­– that is, if you don’t finish it before. https://www.whatsorb.com/solution/food/recipy
Give vegan cheese a try with these 100% dairy-free recipes
Give vegan cheese a try with these 100% dairy-free recipes
Zero Emissions Day - let’s try it together!
September 21 st  is Zero Emissions Day (ZeDay) – the global 24-hour moratorium on the use of fossil fuels. This movement was started to “give the planet one day off a year” and there are 4 simple guidelines: Don’t use or burn oil, gas, or coal. Minimize or eliminate use of electricity generated by fossil fuels. Don’t put anyone in harm’s way: All essential and emergency services operate normally. Do your best, have fun and enjoy the day ZeDay can also be used as an opportunity to raise awareness of the amounts of fossil fuels that are used worldwide every single day. We are going to use this opportunity to share with you some interesting and lesser-known ways in which you could minimize your carbon footprint on the day itself and long-term. What you can do today… Leave your car and/or public transport pass at home and walk, bike or skate to work - whatever method of transportation you use, make sure that it doesn’t require any fuel or electricity. And who knows, perhaps you will discover exciting hidden gems somewhere you thought you knew so well! Minimize your appliance use on ZeDay. Have a lovely candle-lit dinner, read a book, play a board game or two, practice drawing (like you were planning to do for the past 3 years) – get creative! Plant a tree. Or maybe a bush, or some flowers, or a small herb garden on your balcony – the point is, add more plants! We all know that plants absorb carbon dioxide and transform it into oxygen, so this is a simple way to undo some of the damage that we have already done to the planet and make it at least a bit prettier. Switch over to paper-less billing. Paper bills contribute to carbon emissions in several ways: trees get cut down (which reduces the amount of natural CO2 “converters”), then they are used to manufacture paper (a process that releases many harmful emissions) and then this paper goes in a big adventure full of emissions. Some of it gets transformed into envelopes, some of it gets sent to big warehouses, from where it travels to companies and governmental offices so that they can print it and send it to you. Most of the transport that is used in this process isn’t “green”, so it takes a lot of emissions for you to get a message. Luckily, in the modern age of Internet, many companies and governmental braches allow you to receive all correspondence from them online. Take 10 minutes of your day (yes, you are allow to circumvent the “minimize your appliance use” rule for this!) to make a change that will help you reduce your carbon footprint in the years to come. … And what you can start doing tomorrow Switch to more energy-efficient appliances. This is perhaps an advice that you will see most often, but it is one that can make a lot of difference. You could save a large portion of your energy bill by switching to LED light bulbs and high efficiency appliances. Stop buying fast fashion. Fast fashion is problematic in more ways than one, and production of excessive amount of low quality clothing, transporting it from overseas and short life cycle of the items are just few ways in which this industry plays a big role in increasing carbon emissions. There are better alternatives out there: we have previously discussed the circular fashion movement and introduced you to different technologies that could become the future of sustainable clothing. Being sustainable is trendy! Speaking of circular economy – next time you are looking for something for your house, stop by your nearest charity or thrift shop. There are many amazing items there that can still be used for decades to come; all it takes is some tender loving care. There are also a lot of unique items to be found, they truly don’t make them like they used to anymore. Get some solar chargers to use for your phone, tablet and other small devices. These days there is a vast selection of external batteries, backpacks and even tents that are powered with solar energy. There are also solar-powered e-bikes, wireless keyboards, Bluetooth speakers and lights in case you want to take in one step further (or simply enjoy spending time in the sun). Vote for greener energy. This is perhaps the most crucial tip of all – it is important for governments and companies to know that we care about where our energy comes from. Make sure to support green causes and if possible don’t purchase from companies that are against making our planet a better place. What other ways do you know to reduce your carbon footprint? Share your tips in the comments! https://www.whatsorb.com/solution/transportation/solar https://www.whatsorb.com/solution/energy/solar
September 21 st  is Zero Emissions Day (ZeDay) – the global 24-hour moratorium on the use of fossil fuels. This movement was started to “give the planet one day off a year” and there are 4 simple guidelines: Don’t use or burn oil, gas, or coal. Minimize or eliminate use of electricity generated by fossil fuels. Don’t put anyone in harm’s way: All essential and emergency services operate normally. Do your best, have fun and enjoy the day ZeDay can also be used as an opportunity to raise awareness of the amounts of fossil fuels that are used worldwide every single day. We are going to use this opportunity to share with you some interesting and lesser-known ways in which you could minimize your carbon footprint on the day itself and long-term. What you can do today… Leave your car and/or public transport pass at home and walk, bike or skate to work - whatever method of transportation you use, make sure that it doesn’t require any fuel or electricity. And who knows, perhaps you will discover exciting hidden gems somewhere you thought you knew so well! Minimize your appliance use on ZeDay. Have a lovely candle-lit dinner, read a book, play a board game or two, practice drawing (like you were planning to do for the past 3 years) – get creative! Plant a tree. Or maybe a bush, or some flowers, or a small herb garden on your balcony – the point is, add more plants! We all know that plants absorb carbon dioxide and transform it into oxygen, so this is a simple way to undo some of the damage that we have already done to the planet and make it at least a bit prettier. Switch over to paper-less billing. Paper bills contribute to carbon emissions in several ways: trees get cut down (which reduces the amount of natural CO2 “converters”), then they are used to manufacture paper (a process that releases many harmful emissions) and then this paper goes in a big adventure full of emissions. Some of it gets transformed into envelopes, some of it gets sent to big warehouses, from where it travels to companies and governmental offices so that they can print it and send it to you. Most of the transport that is used in this process isn’t “green”, so it takes a lot of emissions for you to get a message. Luckily, in the modern age of Internet, many companies and governmental braches allow you to receive all correspondence from them online. Take 10 minutes of your day (yes, you are allow to circumvent the “minimize your appliance use” rule for this!) to make a change that will help you reduce your carbon footprint in the years to come. … And what you can start doing tomorrow Switch to more energy-efficient appliances. This is perhaps an advice that you will see most often, but it is one that can make a lot of difference. You could save a large portion of your energy bill by switching to LED light bulbs and high efficiency appliances. Stop buying fast fashion. Fast fashion is problematic in more ways than one, and production of excessive amount of low quality clothing, transporting it from overseas and short life cycle of the items are just few ways in which this industry plays a big role in increasing carbon emissions. There are better alternatives out there: we have previously discussed the circular fashion movement and introduced you to different technologies that could become the future of sustainable clothing. Being sustainable is trendy! Speaking of circular economy – next time you are looking for something for your house, stop by your nearest charity or thrift shop. There are many amazing items there that can still be used for decades to come; all it takes is some tender loving care. There are also a lot of unique items to be found, they truly don’t make them like they used to anymore. Get some solar chargers to use for your phone, tablet and other small devices. These days there is a vast selection of external batteries, backpacks and even tents that are powered with solar energy. There are also solar-powered e-bikes, wireless keyboards, Bluetooth speakers and lights in case you want to take in one step further (or simply enjoy spending time in the sun). Vote for greener energy. This is perhaps the most crucial tip of all – it is important for governments and companies to know that we care about where our energy comes from. Make sure to support green causes and if possible don’t purchase from companies that are against making our planet a better place. What other ways do you know to reduce your carbon footprint? Share your tips in the comments! https://www.whatsorb.com/solution/transportation/solar https://www.whatsorb.com/solution/energy/solar
Zero Emissions Day - let’s try it together!
Zero Emissions Day - let’s try it together!
Solar and battery-based generator delivers electricity wherever you want
If you are looking to generate energy in a mobile or off-grid place, this most likely requires a petrol generator. These polluting generators are used pretty much on a daily basis by building companies, farmers, and festivals. And while it certainly does not help the environment, it is the only option, for now. Needless to say, they are far from environmentally friendly. It is mostly based on the decade-old car technology. Back then, there were no strict regulations regarding emissions. This allowed car manufacturers and other users of petrol generators to pollute freely. While they are decidedly not ‘green’, there is an added downside, as they are generally very noisy and user-unfriendly as well. This is not to mention the huge amount of fuel that it consumes. Now, Volta Energy has created an alternative! The Volta Naos is a solar and battery-based system that can power the same devices or machinery as used by builders, farmers, and festival organizers alike - all while not using any fuel. This makes the system more sustainable. On top of that, it is silent and more user-friendly. Oh, did we mention that it is also a lot cheaper to operate? The Volta Naos is a modular system. This means that it can be extended or reduced through clicking on an extra battery or solar module. The latter uses a sun tracking system to maximize yield, which is a great way of using renewable energy sources effectively. And no, this system is not massive and top-heavy either. Even better, it can be transported using a van or a trailer. Additionally, the system as a whole can be lifted by a person (in line with relevant ARBO legislation). All of this makes it the ideal successor of the old-fashioned generators. Volta Energy has just successfully finished its prototyping phase and is scaling up its production of Naos systems. The first customer, that effectively launched it, was a city in the direct vicinity of the company’s base. This summer, several systems were rented out to users who had previously only used petrol generators, which led to great and valuable feedback. For the next year, Volta Energy is looking to ‘green up’ as many festivals as possible. They aim to do so by matching the price of the system with the price of a petrol generator. As such, cost can no longer be the reason for not opting for the more sustainable solution. Currently, the rental website is under construction to fit it to this purpose, while more rental systems are set up and a renting corporation is put in place. All to be ready for what is to come! Interested in the company? Or are you interesting in renting the Volta Naos for the weekend? Find out more at www.volta-energy.com . 
If you are looking to generate energy in a mobile or off-grid place, this most likely requires a petrol generator. These polluting generators are used pretty much on a daily basis by building companies, farmers, and festivals. And while it certainly does not help the environment, it is the only option, for now. Needless to say, they are far from environmentally friendly. It is mostly based on the decade-old car technology. Back then, there were no strict regulations regarding emissions. This allowed car manufacturers and other users of petrol generators to pollute freely. While they are decidedly not ‘green’, there is an added downside, as they are generally very noisy and user-unfriendly as well. This is not to mention the huge amount of fuel that it consumes. Now, Volta Energy has created an alternative! The Volta Naos is a solar and battery-based system that can power the same devices or machinery as used by builders, farmers, and festival organizers alike - all while not using any fuel. This makes the system more sustainable. On top of that, it is silent and more user-friendly. Oh, did we mention that it is also a lot cheaper to operate? The Volta Naos is a modular system. This means that it can be extended or reduced through clicking on an extra battery or solar module. The latter uses a sun tracking system to maximize yield, which is a great way of using renewable energy sources effectively. And no, this system is not massive and top-heavy either. Even better, it can be transported using a van or a trailer. Additionally, the system as a whole can be lifted by a person (in line with relevant ARBO legislation). All of this makes it the ideal successor of the old-fashioned generators. Volta Energy has just successfully finished its prototyping phase and is scaling up its production of Naos systems. The first customer, that effectively launched it, was a city in the direct vicinity of the company’s base. This summer, several systems were rented out to users who had previously only used petrol generators, which led to great and valuable feedback. For the next year, Volta Energy is looking to ‘green up’ as many festivals as possible. They aim to do so by matching the price of the system with the price of a petrol generator. As such, cost can no longer be the reason for not opting for the more sustainable solution. Currently, the rental website is under construction to fit it to this purpose, while more rental systems are set up and a renting corporation is put in place. All to be ready for what is to come! Interested in the company? Or are you interesting in renting the Volta Naos for the weekend? Find out more at www.volta-energy.com . 
Solar and battery-based generator delivers electricity wherever you want
Solar and battery-based generator delivers electricity wherever you want
Sustainable House Day - You are cordially invited
As a global platform, WhatsOrb presents an opportunity to share interesting local events and holidays related to sustainability with the world. So today I would like to share with you a great initiative coming from the Land Down Under – Sustainable House Day. Established in 2001, this event allows Australians to visit and learn from the most environmentally friendly houses in the country. Sustainable House Day’s goal is to inspire people to live more sustainably and show how they can reduce their energy bills and help the environment. This is a unique opportunity for Australians to meet the people that have transformed their living and working spaces, learn from their experience and get a lot of practical information on how to make their own houses “greener”.  The event usually takes place in mid-September – this year more than 200 houses will open their doors to visitors on Sunday 16 th  of July. Unfortunately for those of us that aren’t in Australia on that day we cannot see the houses in person, but luckily we can still have a peek at some of these unique dwellings. The garden of eco-friendly delights Photo taken by the owner, taken from Sustainable House Day listing First up is Jaspar’s Home and Gardens. It is a great example of an existing home that was improved upon to make it more sustainable and support surrounding wildlife. The house features solar panels that provide low-cost electricity and re-glazed and draught-proofed sash windows that help insulate the home. There are also above ground water tanks that supply all water throughout the house, including drinking water. While the house itself is quite “green”, it is the garden that can become a great example of sustainability that goes beyond reducing resource usage. The garden beds are watered with filtered grey water and are covered with deep mulch to retain the water. Jasper grows many fruit trees and vegetables without use of any artificial fertilisers, making it all that much more enjoyable. When he has any vegetable waste from cooking, he puts it into his worm farms to compost that can later be used to grow more vegetables. In the meanwhile, his 6 native bee hives help with flower fertilisation and ducks assist with pest control. Lastly, he created habitats such as water features, log piles, drilled logs and other to increase local wildlife. This is a truly great use of his resources that takes sustainability to a new level – and by his own estimations all of the improvements cost him a mere AUD 30,000 (approx. EUR 18’500 or USD 21’000)! Latest in sustainable house construction Photo by the owner, taken from the Sustainable House Day listing Another interesting example is Lekofly, an iBuilds Melbourne display centre that a result of a holistic approach to sustainability. This house demonstrates how a combination of various materials and technologies can create a modern stylish building that will save consumers hundreds of dollars every year in energy costs. With iBuild’s technology sustainability starts with materials. They use recyclable and locally sourced materials that are termite and fire resistant and are guaranteed to last. These materials are used to produce unique modules that are then transported to the final destinations and assembled into finished houses. This model allows them to cut down transportation emissions, costs and time, as well as leave the neighbours happier due to lack of noise and dust pollution. The finished product is a highly energy efficient house that can be disassembled and relocated at any time. Naturally, one can add features like solar panels and water tanks to make it more self-sufficient. A self-sufficient house with a tiny footprint Photo by Richard Ellender, taken from Sustainable House Day listing And of course this list won’t be complete without a tiny house. The Mayflower was designed and constructed by Tiny Footprint in just 8 weeks time in 2017. Its design is truly stunning and it wouldn’t look out of place in an interior magazine, while creative use of space makes it feel much bigger than it is. However, the true beauty of this house lies in its use of sustainable solutions. The Mayflower was designed to be used off-grid and thus has no dependence on mains electricity, water and septic. This is achieved by using a composting toilet, low flow shower head, specialised rain and grey water collection systems, energy-efficient lights and appliances and of course solar panels. The house is completely insulated, allowing it to stay warm during winter with little need for heating, while the ceiling fan and carefully positioned windows and skylights provide the much needed cooling during hot Australian summers. With more than 200 households taking part in the event it is impossible to cover them all, so I encourage you to check out more of them on https://sustainablehouseday.com . Does your house have sustainable features? Or have you visited one of the houses during the event this year? Share your pictures and stories with us on social media and don’t forget to tag WhatsOrb so we can see it! https://www.whatsorb.com/solution/architecture/general
As a global platform, WhatsOrb presents an opportunity to share interesting local events and holidays related to sustainability with the world. So today I would like to share with you a great initiative coming from the Land Down Under – Sustainable House Day. Established in 2001, this event allows Australians to visit and learn from the most environmentally friendly houses in the country. Sustainable House Day’s goal is to inspire people to live more sustainably and show how they can reduce their energy bills and help the environment. This is a unique opportunity for Australians to meet the people that have transformed their living and working spaces, learn from their experience and get a lot of practical information on how to make their own houses “greener”.  The event usually takes place in mid-September – this year more than 200 houses will open their doors to visitors on Sunday 16 th  of July. Unfortunately for those of us that aren’t in Australia on that day we cannot see the houses in person, but luckily we can still have a peek at some of these unique dwellings. The garden of eco-friendly delights Photo taken by the owner, taken from Sustainable House Day listing First up is Jaspar’s Home and Gardens. It is a great example of an existing home that was improved upon to make it more sustainable and support surrounding wildlife. The house features solar panels that provide low-cost electricity and re-glazed and draught-proofed sash windows that help insulate the home. There are also above ground water tanks that supply all water throughout the house, including drinking water. While the house itself is quite “green”, it is the garden that can become a great example of sustainability that goes beyond reducing resource usage. The garden beds are watered with filtered grey water and are covered with deep mulch to retain the water. Jasper grows many fruit trees and vegetables without use of any artificial fertilisers, making it all that much more enjoyable. When he has any vegetable waste from cooking, he puts it into his worm farms to compost that can later be used to grow more vegetables. In the meanwhile, his 6 native bee hives help with flower fertilisation and ducks assist with pest control. Lastly, he created habitats such as water features, log piles, drilled logs and other to increase local wildlife. This is a truly great use of his resources that takes sustainability to a new level – and by his own estimations all of the improvements cost him a mere AUD 30,000 (approx. EUR 18’500 or USD 21’000)! Latest in sustainable house construction Photo by the owner, taken from the Sustainable House Day listing Another interesting example is Lekofly, an iBuilds Melbourne display centre that a result of a holistic approach to sustainability. This house demonstrates how a combination of various materials and technologies can create a modern stylish building that will save consumers hundreds of dollars every year in energy costs. With iBuild’s technology sustainability starts with materials. They use recyclable and locally sourced materials that are termite and fire resistant and are guaranteed to last. These materials are used to produce unique modules that are then transported to the final destinations and assembled into finished houses. This model allows them to cut down transportation emissions, costs and time, as well as leave the neighbours happier due to lack of noise and dust pollution. The finished product is a highly energy efficient house that can be disassembled and relocated at any time. Naturally, one can add features like solar panels and water tanks to make it more self-sufficient. A self-sufficient house with a tiny footprint Photo by Richard Ellender, taken from Sustainable House Day listing And of course this list won’t be complete without a tiny house. The Mayflower was designed and constructed by Tiny Footprint in just 8 weeks time in 2017. Its design is truly stunning and it wouldn’t look out of place in an interior magazine, while creative use of space makes it feel much bigger than it is. However, the true beauty of this house lies in its use of sustainable solutions. The Mayflower was designed to be used off-grid and thus has no dependence on mains electricity, water and septic. This is achieved by using a composting toilet, low flow shower head, specialised rain and grey water collection systems, energy-efficient lights and appliances and of course solar panels. The house is completely insulated, allowing it to stay warm during winter with little need for heating, while the ceiling fan and carefully positioned windows and skylights provide the much needed cooling during hot Australian summers. With more than 200 households taking part in the event it is impossible to cover them all, so I encourage you to check out more of them on https://sustainablehouseday.com . Does your house have sustainable features? Or have you visited one of the houses during the event this year? Share your pictures and stories with us on social media and don’t forget to tag WhatsOrb so we can see it! https://www.whatsorb.com/solution/architecture/general
Sustainable House Day - You are cordially invited
Sustainable House Day - You are cordially invited
The EBIQ electric bicycle as sustainable city transport
The EBIQ bicycle is a concept bicycle which is used best in cities for short distances. EBIQ is space efficient. All the components of the bicycle which stick out can be folded down. It’s easy to charge with energy from your solar panels or if you haven’t with energy out of your socket at home. Image by: Tuvie This concept bicycle is cleaner than cars or motorcycles and therefore producing much less CO2. But it offers more! As a rider you can charge your laptop or smartphone. The EBIQ bicycle offers even a built in screen at the steering which makes it possible to be connected all the time at your stored laptop, thus to give you the latest necessary information. Image by: Tuvie By:  http://www.tuvie.com/the-ebiq-electric-bike-can-charge-personal-electric-gadgets/ https://www.whatsorb.com/solution/transportation/cycling  
The EBIQ bicycle is a concept bicycle which is used best in cities for short distances. EBIQ is space efficient. All the components of the bicycle which stick out can be folded down. It’s easy to charge with energy from your solar panels or if you haven’t with energy out of your socket at home. Image by: Tuvie This concept bicycle is cleaner than cars or motorcycles and therefore producing much less CO2. But it offers more! As a rider you can charge your laptop or smartphone. The EBIQ bicycle offers even a built in screen at the steering which makes it possible to be connected all the time at your stored laptop, thus to give you the latest necessary information. Image by: Tuvie By:  http://www.tuvie.com/the-ebiq-electric-bike-can-charge-personal-electric-gadgets/ https://www.whatsorb.com/solution/transportation/cycling  
The EBIQ electric bicycle as sustainable city transport
The EBIQ electric bicycle as sustainable city transport
DRIVING ON HYDROGEN: FUELLING THE FUTURE?
According to the US publisher Ward’s, the number of motor vehicles in use around the world crossed 1 billion somewhere during 2010. A mere four years later, in 2014, it was recorded that there were more than 1.2 billion vehicles crowding the earth’s roads. Predications are made that within two years, by 2020, the unbelievable threshold of 2 billion vehicles will be crossed. Combining these staggering numbers with the growing concern about the harmful emissions of cars and other motor vehicles, it only makes sense that a great deal of attention is paid to ways of making them less harmful for the environment. As such, more and more emphasis is placed on the reduction of scarce fossil fuels. As an alternative, automobile manufacturers are turning to cars that are powered by biofuels or by electricity. One of these alternatives is hydrogen . THE HYDROGEN ECONOMY Hydrogen vehicles are basically electric cars that use hydrogen (H 2 ) as its source of energy, instead of the battery that is commonly used in other hybrid- and electric vehicles. The goal of fuelling transportation with hydrogen is a key element of the so-called hydrogen economy. This concept, first drafted by British geneticist and scientist J. Haldane, encompasses a system that has the entire transportation industry - including boats, cars and planes - using hydrogen as their fuel of choice. WHY HYDROGEN? Hydrogen as a chemical element is the most abundant one in our universe, as it makes up 75% of normal matter by mass and more than 90% by number of atoms (Wikipedia, accessed August 2018). Furthermore, it is a welcome alternative for the automobile industry, that is hard-pressed to find cheap and clean alternatives for their gasoline and diesel ‘addiction’.   Quite a number of well-known producers, including Hyundai, Toyota and Honda, have already brought cars to market of which the fuel tank and combustion engine have been replaced by a hydrogen container and fuel cell. Oxygen is led to the fuel cell and reacts to hydrogen, to create energy and water. The electricity feeds the engine, whereas the water vapour - completely harmless - is released through the exhaust.   CLEANER, SMOOTHER, QUIETER It is a clean, durable way of producing energy that largely relies on natural components. On the contrary, ‘common’ electric and hybrid cars use a battery that requires lithium and cobalt. This raw material is dependent upon child labour in developing countries, such as the Democratic Republic of Congo and Chili. This makes its production highly questionable and possibly ethically indefensible. As such, hydrogen proves a better and more sustainable alternative. To further prove its sustainability, hydrogen does not lead to air pollution. Its combustion does not bring any polluting chemicals into the atmosphere.   The only by-product is water (vapour). It is also virtually inexhaustible, as hydrogen can be found in water, plants, and fertiliser - and can easily be generated.   Its use provides benefits for the car’s driver as well. The vehicle is very quiet, as there are no mechanical parts in the fuel cell. This will reduce noise nuisance in populated areas, improving the overall quality of life. Secondly, fuel cell vehicles guarantee a smooth drive, with instant power and intuitive controls. Running out of fuel? Then it will only take a few minutes to fill up the car with fresh hydrogen, without any nasty scents or spills. DISADVANTAGES For the production of hydrogen, a significant amount of energy is needed. This process is costly and brings along a whole new problem for the world as a whole, as we need energy to provide a fuel that should require less energy. A paradox if I have ever seen one. And one that has significantly pushed up the car’s price. A hydrogen-powered car can be yours from “only” as little as € 60,000. Definitely not an amount that most of us will budget for or have lying around. This car is therefore only reserved for those with deep pockets, for now. This means that there is a relatively low penetration of hydrogen-fuelled cars on the market, which makes it largely unfeasible to set up sufficient hydrogen-stations needed for refuelling. These stations are remarkably expensive, also due to the high costs of producing and storing hydrogen, which has made it a tough sell. Similarly, the absence of sufficient hydrogen-stations around the world acts as another deterrent for prospective buyers: why would you spend so much money on a car if you cannot fuel it wherever you like? The industry seems to be stuck in this vicious circle, with insufficient cars on the road to justify the construction of a station, and insufficient stations available to persuade prospective buyers to choose this car. Ignoring this dilemma for now, as I am sure that this will work itself out eventually, the central question remains. Can hydrogen fuel be used all around the world, to feed the soon to be 2 million cars, if it requires this much energy to produce? Some have called for a solution that involves using the excess capacity of wind parks, that are now often temporarily stopped once too much energy is offered to the grid. Feasible, yet it requires a change of mindset for many - and increases the pressure on wind park owners to deliver sufficient energy.   Will the world be running on hydrogen soon? It would certainly be better for our environment, yet the simple fact that it is decidedly not better for our wallets yet, means that there is still a long way to go. https://www.whatsorb.com/solution/transportation/hydrogen
According to the US publisher Ward’s, the number of motor vehicles in use around the world crossed 1 billion somewhere during 2010. A mere four years later, in 2014, it was recorded that there were more than 1.2 billion vehicles crowding the earth’s roads. Predications are made that within two years, by 2020, the unbelievable threshold of 2 billion vehicles will be crossed. Combining these staggering numbers with the growing concern about the harmful emissions of cars and other motor vehicles, it only makes sense that a great deal of attention is paid to ways of making them less harmful for the environment. As such, more and more emphasis is placed on the reduction of scarce fossil fuels. As an alternative, automobile manufacturers are turning to cars that are powered by biofuels or by electricity. One of these alternatives is hydrogen . THE HYDROGEN ECONOMY Hydrogen vehicles are basically electric cars that use hydrogen (H 2 ) as its source of energy, instead of the battery that is commonly used in other hybrid- and electric vehicles. The goal of fuelling transportation with hydrogen is a key element of the so-called hydrogen economy. This concept, first drafted by British geneticist and scientist J. Haldane, encompasses a system that has the entire transportation industry - including boats, cars and planes - using hydrogen as their fuel of choice. WHY HYDROGEN? Hydrogen as a chemical element is the most abundant one in our universe, as it makes up 75% of normal matter by mass and more than 90% by number of atoms (Wikipedia, accessed August 2018). Furthermore, it is a welcome alternative for the automobile industry, that is hard-pressed to find cheap and clean alternatives for their gasoline and diesel ‘addiction’.   Quite a number of well-known producers, including Hyundai, Toyota and Honda, have already brought cars to market of which the fuel tank and combustion engine have been replaced by a hydrogen container and fuel cell. Oxygen is led to the fuel cell and reacts to hydrogen, to create energy and water. The electricity feeds the engine, whereas the water vapour - completely harmless - is released through the exhaust.   CLEANER, SMOOTHER, QUIETER It is a clean, durable way of producing energy that largely relies on natural components. On the contrary, ‘common’ electric and hybrid cars use a battery that requires lithium and cobalt. This raw material is dependent upon child labour in developing countries, such as the Democratic Republic of Congo and Chili. This makes its production highly questionable and possibly ethically indefensible. As such, hydrogen proves a better and more sustainable alternative. To further prove its sustainability, hydrogen does not lead to air pollution. Its combustion does not bring any polluting chemicals into the atmosphere.   The only by-product is water (vapour). It is also virtually inexhaustible, as hydrogen can be found in water, plants, and fertiliser - and can easily be generated.   Its use provides benefits for the car’s driver as well. The vehicle is very quiet, as there are no mechanical parts in the fuel cell. This will reduce noise nuisance in populated areas, improving the overall quality of life. Secondly, fuel cell vehicles guarantee a smooth drive, with instant power and intuitive controls. Running out of fuel? Then it will only take a few minutes to fill up the car with fresh hydrogen, without any nasty scents or spills. DISADVANTAGES For the production of hydrogen, a significant amount of energy is needed. This process is costly and brings along a whole new problem for the world as a whole, as we need energy to provide a fuel that should require less energy. A paradox if I have ever seen one. And one that has significantly pushed up the car’s price. A hydrogen-powered car can be yours from “only” as little as € 60,000. Definitely not an amount that most of us will budget for or have lying around. This car is therefore only reserved for those with deep pockets, for now. This means that there is a relatively low penetration of hydrogen-fuelled cars on the market, which makes it largely unfeasible to set up sufficient hydrogen-stations needed for refuelling. These stations are remarkably expensive, also due to the high costs of producing and storing hydrogen, which has made it a tough sell. Similarly, the absence of sufficient hydrogen-stations around the world acts as another deterrent for prospective buyers: why would you spend so much money on a car if you cannot fuel it wherever you like? The industry seems to be stuck in this vicious circle, with insufficient cars on the road to justify the construction of a station, and insufficient stations available to persuade prospective buyers to choose this car. Ignoring this dilemma for now, as I am sure that this will work itself out eventually, the central question remains. Can hydrogen fuel be used all around the world, to feed the soon to be 2 million cars, if it requires this much energy to produce? Some have called for a solution that involves using the excess capacity of wind parks, that are now often temporarily stopped once too much energy is offered to the grid. Feasible, yet it requires a change of mindset for many - and increases the pressure on wind park owners to deliver sufficient energy.   Will the world be running on hydrogen soon? It would certainly be better for our environment, yet the simple fact that it is decidedly not better for our wallets yet, means that there is still a long way to go. https://www.whatsorb.com/solution/transportation/hydrogen
DRIVING ON HYDROGEN: FUELLING THE FUTURE?
DRIVING ON HYDROGEN: FUELLING THE FUTURE?
CONSUMERISM: A SOCIETY BUILT ON EXPLOITATION
Back in 2006, a heated debate in the Dutch Lower House between then prime-minister Jan Peter Balkenende and a representative from one of the opposing parties, took an unexpected turn. As the economic revival was discussed, Balkenende let slip in the heat of the moment: “We must get back that VOC-mentality!” It led to yet another heated debate. The prime-minister quickly retracted his statement, claiming that he had only meant to refer to the notorious organisation’s taste for exploration and expansion. The VOC (“ Vereenigde Oostindische Compagnie ”), was a private Dutch trade organisation that held a monopoly over overseas trade between the Dutch Republic and India and the whole of Southeast Asia. In many ways, it was the very first multinational corporation that played a major role in the rise of corporate-led globalisation. It was both innovative and pioneering. At the same time, it was an organisation that earned millions over the backs of poor countries. It rapidly depleted scarce resources abroad, without regard for the environment or properly rewarding the countries or indigenous people. Even worse, it actively practiced slavery in its territories, exploiting those considered ‘inferior’ for hard, dirty and dangerous work without any form of payment - rather, selling them to plantation owners and leaving them in an abysmal situation without rights or proper treatment, even subject to beatings, violence and other hardships. VOC MENTALITY IN THE 21ST CENTURY The public outcry was loud and clear. Funny, as the current globalisation is - roughly - still the same as it was back then. Granted, we do not actively encourage or tolerate slavery, violence, or robbery of natural resources. That is, unless it interferes with our current standard of living. Once we might lose our favourite palm oil-infested body lotion that is sure to make our skin glow. Or the latest, hottest line of popculture related t-shirts for € 3 each at low-cost clothing manufacturers. Or not have the supermarket selling strawberries during wintertime.   Apparently we are eager to intervene if these products are taken away from us. Yet only few people understand - and even fewer act on! - the fact that our standard of living and consumerism stands in stark contrast to the wellbeing of our planet and poor countries. After all, we want strawberries and that hot new punkband t-shirt right now! Let the consequences be damned, we need our Dove facial creams! EXPLOITATION AND SWEATSHOPS Our economy and welfare do, just like back in the 16th century, still hinge on the exploitation of other countries and people. We deplete scarce resources, such as palm oil, which is a major contributor to the loss of tropical rainforests. We exploit the population of low-cost countries, with looser regulations on work safety and work hours, through sweatshops, without paying appropriate wages or taxes and under God-awful working conditions. Would it really be a stretch to compare these sweatshops to the plantations? But hey, our constant hunger for the latest fashion, that is slowly turning into a wear-twice-buy-new industry, surely justifies the extra work that it require, flowing right out of little children’s hands. These kids will enjoy the cute prints of 90s TV shows as well, right? They might actually enjoy the work and end up being big time designers, we might actually be doing them a favour! Although these workers might actually be the lucky ones. Their next-door neighbour might be working in an electronics sweatshop, producing your brand new iPhone or a lithium-ion battery for your electric car. Not just tedious, but most of all dangerous. Fat chance that he might not live long enough to be able to finally afford one of these fancy smartphones he spent his entire life putting together. GLOBALISATION OR GLOBALISTRUCTION? As most of us were taught from a young age onward, you either do something well or you don’t do it at all. Somehow most of the corporations ruling our planet - enabled by grab-happy consumers - seem to have misinterpreted this.   Take the strawberries that I mentioned above. Logic would dictate that if there are no decent strawberries available locally, you just do not sell them in your supermarkets and wait for the next strawberry-season to arrive. A consumer would not buy a ticket to fly out to Israel and purchase his strawberries there, right? Much too costly and time-consuming. However, the industry does just that: strawberries are flown in, as are bananas, flowers, pineapples, melons, oranges… All to be able to provide all products to consumers around the year, even if it is not the ‘season’ for it. What’s so bad about certain products only being limited to a certain period of the year? Let Mother Nature do her job, as she knows when to grow which produce.   Nature should not be strained through monocultures or artificial productions. Nor should we waste energy and pollute the environment by flying in products from abroad and provide 24/7 power to greenhouses. Nor should local populations be forced to exploit their land and resources, even their children, in order to help us, spoiled consumers who refuse to give up our tropical fruits, H&M clothes, made-in-China toys, fancy sneakers, bananas and coffee. Have we really ‘lost’ that VOC-mentality and moved on to a more sustainable form of globalisation? Are we earnestly trying to run a global economy, as the multinationals are certainly rooting for and adding to, or are we just accelerating destruction on a global scale?   It probably says enough that most consumers will not consider these to be rhetorical questions. For our Dutch readers:  https://www.mo.be/analyse/wie-betaalt-de-groene-rekening-van-de-elektrische-auto https://www.whatsorb.com/solution/community/social-sustain-
Back in 2006, a heated debate in the Dutch Lower House between then prime-minister Jan Peter Balkenende and a representative from one of the opposing parties, took an unexpected turn. As the economic revival was discussed, Balkenende let slip in the heat of the moment: “We must get back that VOC-mentality!” It led to yet another heated debate. The prime-minister quickly retracted his statement, claiming that he had only meant to refer to the notorious organisation’s taste for exploration and expansion. The VOC (“ Vereenigde Oostindische Compagnie ”), was a private Dutch trade organisation that held a monopoly over overseas trade between the Dutch Republic and India and the whole of Southeast Asia. In many ways, it was the very first multinational corporation that played a major role in the rise of corporate-led globalisation. It was both innovative and pioneering. At the same time, it was an organisation that earned millions over the backs of poor countries. It rapidly depleted scarce resources abroad, without regard for the environment or properly rewarding the countries or indigenous people. Even worse, it actively practiced slavery in its territories, exploiting those considered ‘inferior’ for hard, dirty and dangerous work without any form of payment - rather, selling them to plantation owners and leaving them in an abysmal situation without rights or proper treatment, even subject to beatings, violence and other hardships. VOC MENTALITY IN THE 21ST CENTURY The public outcry was loud and clear. Funny, as the current globalisation is - roughly - still the same as it was back then. Granted, we do not actively encourage or tolerate slavery, violence, or robbery of natural resources. That is, unless it interferes with our current standard of living. Once we might lose our favourite palm oil-infested body lotion that is sure to make our skin glow. Or the latest, hottest line of popculture related t-shirts for € 3 each at low-cost clothing manufacturers. Or not have the supermarket selling strawberries during wintertime.   Apparently we are eager to intervene if these products are taken away from us. Yet only few people understand - and even fewer act on! - the fact that our standard of living and consumerism stands in stark contrast to the wellbeing of our planet and poor countries. After all, we want strawberries and that hot new punkband t-shirt right now! Let the consequences be damned, we need our Dove facial creams! EXPLOITATION AND SWEATSHOPS Our economy and welfare do, just like back in the 16th century, still hinge on the exploitation of other countries and people. We deplete scarce resources, such as palm oil, which is a major contributor to the loss of tropical rainforests. We exploit the population of low-cost countries, with looser regulations on work safety and work hours, through sweatshops, without paying appropriate wages or taxes and under God-awful working conditions. Would it really be a stretch to compare these sweatshops to the plantations? But hey, our constant hunger for the latest fashion, that is slowly turning into a wear-twice-buy-new industry, surely justifies the extra work that it require, flowing right out of little children’s hands. These kids will enjoy the cute prints of 90s TV shows as well, right? They might actually enjoy the work and end up being big time designers, we might actually be doing them a favour! Although these workers might actually be the lucky ones. Their next-door neighbour might be working in an electronics sweatshop, producing your brand new iPhone or a lithium-ion battery for your electric car. Not just tedious, but most of all dangerous. Fat chance that he might not live long enough to be able to finally afford one of these fancy smartphones he spent his entire life putting together. GLOBALISATION OR GLOBALISTRUCTION? As most of us were taught from a young age onward, you either do something well or you don’t do it at all. Somehow most of the corporations ruling our planet - enabled by grab-happy consumers - seem to have misinterpreted this.   Take the strawberries that I mentioned above. Logic would dictate that if there are no decent strawberries available locally, you just do not sell them in your supermarkets and wait for the next strawberry-season to arrive. A consumer would not buy a ticket to fly out to Israel and purchase his strawberries there, right? Much too costly and time-consuming. However, the industry does just that: strawberries are flown in, as are bananas, flowers, pineapples, melons, oranges… All to be able to provide all products to consumers around the year, even if it is not the ‘season’ for it. What’s so bad about certain products only being limited to a certain period of the year? Let Mother Nature do her job, as she knows when to grow which produce.   Nature should not be strained through monocultures or artificial productions. Nor should we waste energy and pollute the environment by flying in products from abroad and provide 24/7 power to greenhouses. Nor should local populations be forced to exploit their land and resources, even their children, in order to help us, spoiled consumers who refuse to give up our tropical fruits, H&M clothes, made-in-China toys, fancy sneakers, bananas and coffee. Have we really ‘lost’ that VOC-mentality and moved on to a more sustainable form of globalisation? Are we earnestly trying to run a global economy, as the multinationals are certainly rooting for and adding to, or are we just accelerating destruction on a global scale?   It probably says enough that most consumers will not consider these to be rhetorical questions. For our Dutch readers:  https://www.mo.be/analyse/wie-betaalt-de-groene-rekening-van-de-elektrische-auto https://www.whatsorb.com/solution/community/social-sustain-
CONSUMERISM: A SOCIETY BUILT ON EXPLOITATION
CONSUMERISM: A SOCIETY BUILT ON EXPLOITATION
Simple diet tweaks for a better planet and a healthier you
What we eat matters. Better choices in the kitchen help to improve your health and reduce your environmental footprint.   According to figures published by Eurostat the greenhouse gases generated in the EU stood at 4.400 million tonnes in 2015, with households remaining one of its most significant contributors, accounting for 20 to 25% of the European total. On carbonfootprint.com you can calculate your individual carbon footprint by month or by year, and gain insight in your ecological impact. Be warned: after seeing the result you may drastically want to reform your lifestyle to reduce your personal footprint by leaving your car at home and use the public transport more often, use less water in and around the house and switch to alternative sources of energy (solar panels) and more efficient heating and cooling systems. A relatively easy and cost-efficient way to reduce your footprint is by changing the way you eat.  The following diet tweaks will not only improve your health and fitness, but also help to fight global warming and pollution by reducing your carbon ‘foodprint’: the greenhouse gases produced on the farm, in the factory, on the road, in the shop, in your home and at the waste disposal.  1. Cook at home Channel your inner Jamie Oliver and prepare a fresh, home-cooked meal. By cooking at home you’ll eat healthier (because additive-free), get more satisfaction out of your meal, reduce wastage and take control of the food you eat. Plan ahead and choose natural ingredients that you can use for different meals such as lentils, beans, vegetables, fruits and whole-grains. 2. Buy local and organic Did you know around 11% of our carbon foodprint is linked to the transportation of food? Invest in the local economy and the planet by buying your groceries at the local farmer or vegetable shop, and choose merely products that are grown in the vicinity – this will often mean that you buy your fruits and veggies in season, when they are at their best. And if you have the option, opt for fresh and organic produce. Organic farming of crops – which uses natural methods for pest control, soil fertilisation and weed prevention ­– has a lower impact on the environment than conventional farming. Crops are grown in fertile soils that are pesticide-free yet full of healthy nutrients that will end up on your plate. Even though organic livestock farming, without the use of antibiotics and growth hormones, is preferred over its conventional counterpart, it is still more polluting than the cultivation of vegetables, wholegrains and fruit. 3. Eat plant-based Did you know that the carbon footprint of a plant-based diet is about half that of a carnivore’s diet? Meat, cheese, eggs and farmed fish generate much more greenhouse gases than fruit, vegetables, beans and nuts – with livestock farming accounting for 20 to 50% of all man-made greenhouse gases while being of the biggest polluters of the air and ground. Replace meat, farmed fish and cheese by plant-based proteins such as tofu, lentils, quorn and vegan milk and yoghurt, and include lots of fresh vegetables, beans and wholegrains. Bonus: this will reduce your risk of getting high blood pressure, diabetes and heart disease. 4. Reduce waste Bring your own shopping bag and reusable produce bags for your fruit and vegetables, and try to reuse and recycle plastic containers (for storage) and glass jars (which can make a nice vase or drinking glass) as much as possible. Don’t use plastic water bottles, separate your waste and try to limit the use of plastic packaging. 5. Find inspiration Invest in a few vegan cookbooks and browse magazines and blogs for inspiration about healthy and plant-based eating. Challenge yourself to make a new dish every week, eating vegan is so much more versatile and exciting than you may think. To give you some guidance we have listed 3 types of meals in order of their impact on our health and on the planet. We leave it up to you to separate the winners from the losers...  Healthy and climate-friendly A vegan meal with oven-roasted cauliflower with Indian spices and lentil salad with spinach, mint and tomatoes; dessert: pear, apple and yoghurt.  Healthy yet less climate-friendly A meal with many flown-in products: pasta with snowpeas and long beans, grilled tilapia (olive oil); dessert: papaya, lime and 2 scoops of ice cream. Healthy nor climate-friendly A dinner with many animal products: grilled steak (with butter)' potato gratin with cream, old cheese and bacon; creamed spinach; dessert: a cheeseboard. https://www.whatsorb.com/solution/food/vegan
What we eat matters. Better choices in the kitchen help to improve your health and reduce your environmental footprint.   According to figures published by Eurostat the greenhouse gases generated in the EU stood at 4.400 million tonnes in 2015, with households remaining one of its most significant contributors, accounting for 20 to 25% of the European total. On carbonfootprint.com you can calculate your individual carbon footprint by month or by year, and gain insight in your ecological impact. Be warned: after seeing the result you may drastically want to reform your lifestyle to reduce your personal footprint by leaving your car at home and use the public transport more often, use less water in and around the house and switch to alternative sources of energy (solar panels) and more efficient heating and cooling systems. A relatively easy and cost-efficient way to reduce your footprint is by changing the way you eat.  The following diet tweaks will not only improve your health and fitness, but also help to fight global warming and pollution by reducing your carbon ‘foodprint’: the greenhouse gases produced on the farm, in the factory, on the road, in the shop, in your home and at the waste disposal.  1. Cook at home Channel your inner Jamie Oliver and prepare a fresh, home-cooked meal. By cooking at home you’ll eat healthier (because additive-free), get more satisfaction out of your meal, reduce wastage and take control of the food you eat. Plan ahead and choose natural ingredients that you can use for different meals such as lentils, beans, vegetables, fruits and whole-grains. 2. Buy local and organic Did you know around 11% of our carbon foodprint is linked to the transportation of food? Invest in the local economy and the planet by buying your groceries at the local farmer or vegetable shop, and choose merely products that are grown in the vicinity – this will often mean that you buy your fruits and veggies in season, when they are at their best. And if you have the option, opt for fresh and organic produce. Organic farming of crops – which uses natural methods for pest control, soil fertilisation and weed prevention ­– has a lower impact on the environment than conventional farming. Crops are grown in fertile soils that are pesticide-free yet full of healthy nutrients that will end up on your plate. Even though organic livestock farming, without the use of antibiotics and growth hormones, is preferred over its conventional counterpart, it is still more polluting than the cultivation of vegetables, wholegrains and fruit. 3. Eat plant-based Did you know that the carbon footprint of a plant-based diet is about half that of a carnivore’s diet? Meat, cheese, eggs and farmed fish generate much more greenhouse gases than fruit, vegetables, beans and nuts – with livestock farming accounting for 20 to 50% of all man-made greenhouse gases while being of the biggest polluters of the air and ground. Replace meat, farmed fish and cheese by plant-based proteins such as tofu, lentils, quorn and vegan milk and yoghurt, and include lots of fresh vegetables, beans and wholegrains. Bonus: this will reduce your risk of getting high blood pressure, diabetes and heart disease. 4. Reduce waste Bring your own shopping bag and reusable produce bags for your fruit and vegetables, and try to reuse and recycle plastic containers (for storage) and glass jars (which can make a nice vase or drinking glass) as much as possible. Don’t use plastic water bottles, separate your waste and try to limit the use of plastic packaging. 5. Find inspiration Invest in a few vegan cookbooks and browse magazines and blogs for inspiration about healthy and plant-based eating. Challenge yourself to make a new dish every week, eating vegan is so much more versatile and exciting than you may think. To give you some guidance we have listed 3 types of meals in order of their impact on our health and on the planet. We leave it up to you to separate the winners from the losers...  Healthy and climate-friendly A vegan meal with oven-roasted cauliflower with Indian spices and lentil salad with spinach, mint and tomatoes; dessert: pear, apple and yoghurt.  Healthy yet less climate-friendly A meal with many flown-in products: pasta with snowpeas and long beans, grilled tilapia (olive oil); dessert: papaya, lime and 2 scoops of ice cream. Healthy nor climate-friendly A dinner with many animal products: grilled steak (with butter)' potato gratin with cream, old cheese and bacon; creamed spinach; dessert: a cheeseboard. https://www.whatsorb.com/solution/food/vegan
Simple diet tweaks for a better planet and a healthier you
Simple diet tweaks for a better planet and a healthier you
WOODEN WIND TURBINES: BROUGHT TO YOU BY EAZ-WIND
A ‘wooden mill’ will undoubtedly bring up associations of the age-old, traditional mills of the Dutch type. Fierce, imposing wooden structures towering over the surrounding landscapes. Quite often, the wind turbines that are so common today pale in comparison. They stand out, with their unnatural materials and shapes. That is, until EAZ developed their unique wooden wind turbines. This Netherlands-based company, originating from the rural area of Groningen, wanted to develop a wind turbine that could easily be set up in densely populated areas. Normally, some of these areas cannot afford an actual wind turbine. Not only are they too expensive, due to the expensive materials and the complicated process of installing and servicing it, they are also facing heavy resistance from the community.   Effectively, this makes it hard to make wind energy solutions available in areas that do not have the required funds or social support. The only options left are solar panels or water power, which are usually not sufficient for providing in the electricity needs of the immediate area either.   EAZ WIND TURBINES As the need for renewable energy grows, so does the need for solutions that actually fit in to the area. And while ‘traditional’ wind turbines often do not fit in, the unique versions created by EAZ manage to blend in seamlessly. The design for their wind turbines have been made simpler, and much more cost-effective. Production is all performed in-house, using local labour and materials. As such, it will not nearly be as expensive to get the wind turbines produced. These materials, sourced locally, include a number of sustainable components from natural sources - including the blades, which are made of larch wood and finished with fibreglass. The stabiliser is also made of wood, with an internal frame of steel for reinforcement.   MAINTENANCE AND INSTALLATION Not only are the materials largely sustainable, they are also chosen as they are relatively maintenance-free. For example, it also has a permanent magnet, a ring generator without gearbox, which means that there is no friction. The steel mast comes with a double coating, making it more durable. The installation is performed quickly and with a minimal impact for the environment. For the generation of energy, the wind turbine will be connected to the fuse box right behind the electricity meter, resulting in further savings on the purchase price of electricity as well as energy tax. SUPPORT OF LOCAL COMMUNITY In another clever move, EAZ wind turbines decided to take the development process to the local authorities and communities. With this, they guaranteed their support and made sure that the eventual design would fit in the landscape.   As the home turf of EAZ - the Dutch province of Groningen - is rapidly growing and expanding, as reflected by the improving economy, the region is becoming increasingly self-sustaining. More and more jobs are being created, putting pressure on local entrepreneurs to find ways of generating more energy in an efficient and sustainable manner. PLACEMENT OF WIND TURBINE One of their options is the purchase of one of these wind turbines, made easier because of the reduced cost price and lower impact on the environment. This way, it can be installed on a farm to provide in the energy needs. Secondly, people could opt for joining an initiative where they invest in a common wind turbine for the entire village. In this case, everyone in the area can directly benefit from the locally generated wind energy. Although these wind turbines might be better looking, it is still an infringement on the landscape. Therefore, EAZ has pledged to take great care in fitting it into the landscape. The already existing elements and lines are being taken into consideration, while the limited height ensures that it is less conspicuous. WHY DOES ANY OF IT MATTER? All well and good, but why would it matter what a wind turbine looks like? What does EAZ offer in an already crowded market that makes them stand out? Their continued success is a testament to the importance of keeping aesthetics and user demands in mind, so that wind turbines become more of a community product. The lower installation and maintenance costs, its adaptability to the landscape, and the decent yield: it adds up to a great proposition that is ready to scale up. After all, the truth of the matter is that the general opinion of wind turbines is still far from favourable. Perhaps unjustly so, but that does not make it any more urgent. EAZ should be commanded for their attempts to sway the public opinion through making wind turbines more accessible and friendly. https://www.whatsorb.com/solution/energy/wind
A ‘wooden mill’ will undoubtedly bring up associations of the age-old, traditional mills of the Dutch type. Fierce, imposing wooden structures towering over the surrounding landscapes. Quite often, the wind turbines that are so common today pale in comparison. They stand out, with their unnatural materials and shapes. That is, until EAZ developed their unique wooden wind turbines. This Netherlands-based company, originating from the rural area of Groningen, wanted to develop a wind turbine that could easily be set up in densely populated areas. Normally, some of these areas cannot afford an actual wind turbine. Not only are they too expensive, due to the expensive materials and the complicated process of installing and servicing it, they are also facing heavy resistance from the community.   Effectively, this makes it hard to make wind energy solutions available in areas that do not have the required funds or social support. The only options left are solar panels or water power, which are usually not sufficient for providing in the electricity needs of the immediate area either.   EAZ WIND TURBINES As the need for renewable energy grows, so does the need for solutions that actually fit in to the area. And while ‘traditional’ wind turbines often do not fit in, the unique versions created by EAZ manage to blend in seamlessly. The design for their wind turbines have been made simpler, and much more cost-effective. Production is all performed in-house, using local labour and materials. As such, it will not nearly be as expensive to get the wind turbines produced. These materials, sourced locally, include a number of sustainable components from natural sources - including the blades, which are made of larch wood and finished with fibreglass. The stabiliser is also made of wood, with an internal frame of steel for reinforcement.   MAINTENANCE AND INSTALLATION Not only are the materials largely sustainable, they are also chosen as they are relatively maintenance-free. For example, it also has a permanent magnet, a ring generator without gearbox, which means that there is no friction. The steel mast comes with a double coating, making it more durable. The installation is performed quickly and with a minimal impact for the environment. For the generation of energy, the wind turbine will be connected to the fuse box right behind the electricity meter, resulting in further savings on the purchase price of electricity as well as energy tax. SUPPORT OF LOCAL COMMUNITY In another clever move, EAZ wind turbines decided to take the development process to the local authorities and communities. With this, they guaranteed their support and made sure that the eventual design would fit in the landscape.   As the home turf of EAZ - the Dutch province of Groningen - is rapidly growing and expanding, as reflected by the improving economy, the region is becoming increasingly self-sustaining. More and more jobs are being created, putting pressure on local entrepreneurs to find ways of generating more energy in an efficient and sustainable manner. PLACEMENT OF WIND TURBINE One of their options is the purchase of one of these wind turbines, made easier because of the reduced cost price and lower impact on the environment. This way, it can be installed on a farm to provide in the energy needs. Secondly, people could opt for joining an initiative where they invest in a common wind turbine for the entire village. In this case, everyone in the area can directly benefit from the locally generated wind energy. Although these wind turbines might be better looking, it is still an infringement on the landscape. Therefore, EAZ has pledged to take great care in fitting it into the landscape. The already existing elements and lines are being taken into consideration, while the limited height ensures that it is less conspicuous. WHY DOES ANY OF IT MATTER? All well and good, but why would it matter what a wind turbine looks like? What does EAZ offer in an already crowded market that makes them stand out? Their continued success is a testament to the importance of keeping aesthetics and user demands in mind, so that wind turbines become more of a community product. The lower installation and maintenance costs, its adaptability to the landscape, and the decent yield: it adds up to a great proposition that is ready to scale up. After all, the truth of the matter is that the general opinion of wind turbines is still far from favourable. Perhaps unjustly so, but that does not make it any more urgent. EAZ should be commanded for their attempts to sway the public opinion through making wind turbines more accessible and friendly. https://www.whatsorb.com/solution/energy/wind
WOODEN WIND TURBINES: BROUGHT TO YOU BY EAZ-WIND
WOODEN WIND TURBINES: BROUGHT TO YOU BY EAZ-WIND
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