scinerds:

Living Wall

These vegetated surfaces don’t just look pretty. They have other benefits as well, including cooling city blocks, reducing loud noises, and improving a building’s energy efficiency. What’s more, a recent modeling study shows that green walls can potentially reduce large amounts of air pollution in what’s called a “street canyon,” or the corridor between tall buildings.

For the study, Thomas Pugh, a biogeochemist at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology in Germany, and his colleagues created a computer model of a green wall with generic vegetation in a Western European city. Then they recorded chemical reactions based on a variety of factors, such as wind speed and building placement.

The simulation revealed a clear pattern: A green wall in a street canyon trapped or absorbed large amounts of nitrogen dioxide and particulate matter—both pollutants harmful to people, said Pugh. Compared with reducing emissions from cars, little attention has been focused on how to trap or take up more of the pollutants, added Pugh, whose study was published last year in the journal Environmental Science & Technology.

That’s why the green-wall study is “putting forward an alternative solution that might allow [governments] to improve air quality in these problem hot spots,” he said.Compared with reducing emissions from cars, little attention has been focused on how to trap or take up more of the pollutants, added Pugh, whose study was published last year in the journal Environmental Science & Technology.

That’s why the green-wall study is “putting forward an alternative solution that might allow [governments] to improve air quality in these problem hot spots,” he said.

Full Gallery

(via hermititude-deactivated20140426)

thekidshouldseethis:

In collaboration with the World Wildlife Fund, National Geographic just released a video explaining the impact of a cotton t-shirt: how much water it takes to make just one, how much energy it takes to grow, manufacture, and transport that shirt, and how much water and energy it takes to care for that shirt in your home. The video also explains how we can make a difference in reducing the resources used in care for that shirt: 

One load of washing uses 40 gallons of water. One load of drying uses 5 times more energy than washing. In fact, skipping the ironing and drying of your t-shirt, saves a third of its carbon footprint.

Whether it’s reducing waste, saving energy, or being a conscious consumer, small actions can make a big difference. Think about ways that you could save energy and water.

Interested in a few changes that makes an impact?

1. Buy and share second-hand clothes. Related watching: Jessi Arrington’s Wearing Nothing New TedTalk about buying thrift store clothing. Two favorite quotes: “Color is powerful. It is almost physiologically impossible to be in a bad mood when you’re wearing bright red pants.” and ”Fitting in is way overrated.” 

2. Buy a drying rack at a local store and let the sun (or the heat in your house) do all of the work!

Watch more videos about conservation here.

thekidshouldseethis:

The kind of light that we see things in changes how we see those things. This reef tank is shot under actinic light, which not only “will facilitate photosynthesis or stimulate light sensitive species,” but it changes how the corals look, as well. From liveaquaria.com:

The light spectrum, or Kelvin rating, of aquarium lighting will also alter the appearance of corals… For example, bulbs that emit light heavy in the actinic blue range bring out dazzling fluorescent colors not visible under full spectrum daylight bulbs. While different hobbyists prefer different combinations of light spectrums, a typical lighting system for a reef aquarium consists of 50% white light with a high Kelvin rating and 50% blue, actinic light.

It’s also a lovely video of reef life to boot!

thekidshouldseethis:

Now this is an environmentally-friendly and resourceful improvement on a scarecrow! It seems that, without the use of harmful chemicals, this Japanese farmer came up with a simple system to keep local crows from eating the vegetable patch.How? Things are kept moving and shaking around the growing plants using that roaring little river next to the farm. Follow the strings! 

via ScienceDump.