During the spring and summer months, the birdsong on Knepp estate is a glorious cacophony of sound.
Walking through the scrubland of this 3,500-acre estate in West Sussex in the south of England, it’s hard to believe the tangled thickets and rugged pastures were once orderly arable fields.
The estate, which includes a 19th century castle, has belonged to the Burrell family for over 200 years. Charlie Burrell inherited it in 1985, when he was just 21.
“I came out of agricultural college incredibly enthusiastic about farming,” he says. “We’d been taught that conventional farming can work.”
But by the late 1990s, with the farm producing low yields and costs rising, the estate was facing serious financial trouble.
Burrell realized that the farm occupied “very poor agricultural land” and was destined never to produce high yields.
“I got to the point when I just felt that I couldn’t go on, because we actually were beginning to lose serious money,” says Burrell. “I needed to change and to change radically.”
Burrell and his wife, Isabella Tree, decided to turn to nature for a solution and in 2001, set about “rewilding” the estate. Knepp is now home to an astonishing array of biodiversity and has become a celebrated conservation success story, attracting many rare species and transforming the landscape from English country farm to untamed wilderness.
“We were living in a biological desert,” says Tree. “Now, ecologists are blown away all the time by just the amount of life here.”
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The circular economy is more than just a buzz phrase. With the global population predicted to approach 9 billion people by 2030, we are using more resources than the planet can provide. Our future depends on reusing what we have in a sustainable way. Fortunately one resource that is unlimited is innovation, and many companies are developing ingenious ways to reduce, reuse and recycle.
Image: Ellen MacArthur Foundation
The World Economic Forum and the Forum of Young Global Leaders, in collaboration with Accenture Strategy, recognized the best of them at The Circulars. There were 450 applications from 45 countries. Here are 12 of the best:
We’re used to smart meters measuring electricity and water. But now British start-up Winnow has developed smart meters that analyse our trash. They are used in commercial kitchens to measure what food gets thrown away, and then identify ways to reduce waste. Up to a fifth of food purchased can be wasted in some kitchens, and Winnow has managed to cut that in half in hundreds of kitchens across 40 countries, saving its customers over $25 million each year in the process. That is the equivalent of preventing one meal from going to waste every seven seconds. This innovation earned Winnow the Circular Economy Tech Disruptor Award.
The textiles industry uses vast quantities of water and chemicals and produces huge amounts of toxic waste, which is a major problem in countries like China, India, Bangladesh, Vietnam and Thailand. But Dutch company DyeCoo has developed a process of dyeing cloth that uses no water at all, and no chemicals other than the dyes themselves. It uses highly pressurised “supercritical” carbon dioxide, halfway between a liquid and a gas, that dissolves the dye and carries it deep into the fabric. The carbon dioxide then evaporates, and is in turn recycled and used again. 98% of the dye is absorbed by the cloth, giving vibrant colours. And because the cloth doesn’t need to dry, the process takes half the time, uses less energy, and even costs less. The company already has partnerships with major brands like Nike and IKEA.
I put my heart and soul into this video. I hope you it inspires you like it inspired me. It's the story of the country that impressed me the most out of all the countries I've been to. I hope their story gets you more excited like it got me more excited.Because if they can, then we can. INSTAGRAM: @NasDailyGROUP: Nas Daily GlobalThank you to every single Singaporean for helping make this video possible. And thank you to Project Nightfall and Dear Alyne for going on this journey with me.
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Science has a long and storied history of looking for one thing but finding something better instead. Penicillin, radioactivity, science boxes…I mean microwave ovens — all of these discoveries came in the the search for something else. Researchers at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee announced that they too had unintentionally discovered something incredible: a means of transforming carbon dioxide directly into ethanol using a single catalyst…
Read the rest of the article by Andrew Tarantola in Engadget.
A physicist in Fermilab, Arden Warner, has somehow managed to come up with a brilliant solution, one that does not involve chemical agents. The method is so simple and non-destructive way of collecting oil spills and uses abundant and naturally occurring earth minerals – Magnetite.
Though oil is non-magnetic, adding powdered magnets, they were able to get them attracted in clumps as magnets adhered to the sticky mess. In turn, the magnetites carried the oil, cleaning the spill in a way that was so simple and yet so effective.
Soil is the second biggest reservoir of carbon on the planet, next to the oceans. It holds four times more carbon than all the plants and trees in the world. But human activity like deforestation and industrial farming – with its intensive ploughing, monoculture and heavy use of chemical fertilisers and pesticides – is ruining our soils at breakneck speed, killing the organic materials that they contain. Now 40% of agricultural soil is classed as “degraded” or “seriously degraded”. In fact, industrial farming has so damaged our soils that a third of the world’s farmland has been destroyed in the past four decades.
As our soils degrade, they are losing their ability to hold carbon, releasing enormous plumes of CO2 into the atmosphere.
There is, however, a solution. Scientists and farmers around the world are pointing out that we can regenerate degraded soils by switching from intensive industrial farming to more ecological methods – not just organic fertiliser, but also no-tillage, composting, and crop rotation. Here’s the brilliant part: as the soils recover, they not only regain their capacity to hold CO2, they begin to actively pull additional CO2 out of the atmosphere.
Read the rest of the article by Jason Hickel in The Guardian.
ByFusion is a 100% modular technology platform that converts all types of waste plastic into a new building material called RePlast.
Plastic waste has become one of the most pressing environmental challenges of the 21st Century. Globally, we produce over 300 million tons of plastic every year and recycle only 8%.
In the US alone roughly 28 million tons of plastic is sent to landfills every year at the staggering cost of over $1.5 billion dollars annually.
We envision a future where communities can put their plastic waste to work – building infrastructure, housing, and municipal projects. Imagine using all of the plastic waste we see littering our roadways, parks, neighborhoods and oceans to rebuild our communities without long processing times, labor-intensive overhead, or toxic output. Now we can. With ByFusion, the future is now.
This information comes from the website of ByFusion.