By now it’s well documented that those tiny plastic microbeads used in face scrubs and toothpastes are contaminating lakes and oceans at an alarming rate. Starting next month they’ll be officially banned in the US for personal care products, but oily faces rejoice, eco-friendly replacements are already in the works.
A 720-foot-tall wind turbine featuring 35 ton blades has just set a new world record, producing a whopping 216,000 kWh of energy over a span of 24 hours. That’s enough to power an average American household for twenty years.
Today is Earth Overshoot Day—the day when humanity has consumed more natural resources than the planet is able to generate in a single calendar year. Disturbingly, this date is happening earlier with each passing year.
The most popular artificial material on Earth isn’t steel, plastic, or aluminum — it’s concrete. Thousands of years ago, we used it to build civilizations, but then our knowledge of how to make it was lost. Here’s how we discovered concrete, forgot it, and then finally cracked the mystery of what makes it so strong.
It might not look particularly groundbreaking, with its full-length windows and timber cladding. But this is, according to industry standards, the most sustainable office in the world.
The quest to build the world’s most energy-efficient buildings largely plays out in temperate regions or in big, heat-generating cities. That’s what makes this new building in Colorado so impressive: It’s located at high elevation in a location that gets about 90 inches of snow per year—yet, amazingly, it uses no…
Time and again, our appetite for tasty seafood pushes our favorite species to the brink of collapse. We’ve seen it with North Atlantic cod, Pacific bluefin tuna, Peruvian sardines, and more. But it doesn’t have to be this way. A new study finds that the majority of the planet’s fisheries could be sustainable within…
Construction for the first phase of Morocco’s Noor 1 power plant is nearing completion. Once complete in 2020, the solar farm will be the largest of its kind in the world. But even now, the plant’s half-million solar mirrors are already visible from space.
The digging of wells in Africa has often been thought of as the solution to helping rural women walking to get water, but they may cause more harm than good.
It seems like every week brings a new doomsday study about the death of our oceans. But off the coast of Long Island, an underwater farm is demonstrating how sustainable ocean farming can clean the water, give sea life a safe haven, and turn kelp into the “next kale.” Its creators hope the model will catch on–and a…
A new kind of concrete from the UK building materials company Tarmac instantly soaks up gallons and gallons of H20–simultaneously preventing flood conditions while also conserving water by cycling it directly back into the ground.
Traditional farming is taking a huge toll on the environment—a problem that’s set to worsen due to our ever-growing global population. Yet there are some high-tech solutions. Here’s what you need to know about the burgeoning practice of controlled-environment agriculture and how it’s set to change everything from the…
Ikea bought 83,000 acres of forest last month. In April, Apple bought 36,000 acres. What’s the reasoning behind these retail giants buying their own forests? To manage them.
New York City is great at a lot of things. Walking! Skyscrapers! Pizza! And according to a new study on the world’s megacities, NYC can add one more thing to its list of things it excels at: Trash!
If you live anywhere in the US, chances are that you have a product in your home right now that came through the Port of Los Angeles. The largest port in the Western hemisphere handles about a quarter of all cargo distributed throughout the country—about $1 billion a day. Now LA is working to make it the most…
Paris is one of the world's most beautiful cities, with its landmarks, parks and the cobbled roads of Montmarte the envy of the world. Architectural progress can sometimes meet opposition when a city's iconic sights and historic look is challenged, but architects Vincent Callebaut's vision of a green, sustainable…
It's hard to assess the sustainability of our civilization when climate scientists and ecologists have nothing to compare ourselves to. Which is why we need to learn from the success — and potential failures — of distant alien civilizations.
A new study concludes that strict fertility measures, such as a one-child policy, or even a mass catastrophe like a global plague or a third world war, would not have a significant effect on the human population trajectory this century.
Sumatra and Borneo are the only places in the world where orangutans – the so-called "red apes" – live in the wild. Both species are endangered, the Sumatran one critically so. And your Halloween candy could be, at least in part, to blame.