Latest Green News Mon, 07 Jul 2014 16:08:35 GMT FeedCreator 1.8.1 (obRSS 1.8.11) Latest Green News TOP GREEN NEWS at ECOSEEDs Global Green News Portal - The Information Leader in Tomorrows Economy, a FREE service featuring the latest green news and information on the worlds fastest growing economic sector - Green Technology Elemooni: Eco-friendliness for kids
Elemooni: Eco-friendliness for kids
New cute and lovable characters to be launched by the end of the year, teaches children about eco-friendliness.

By L.J. Polintan

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A new group of nano explorers could change the way children learn about positive values, the environment, and believe it or not, the periodic table of elements.

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Elemooni is a new group of characters that embark on an adventure story that combines entertainment and education. It teaches children positive values, promotes eco-friendliness, and encourages kids to learn and explore their potentials.

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The cute and lovable characters of Elemooni are the spirits of elements: Oxygen, Iodine, Potassium, Iron, Gold. Through their adventures, complex and difficult science concepts are easier and more fun to learn.

The Elemooni characters are the very first attempt to create characters for children that will teach them about the environment, the elements, and values.

“We already decided to build a new character brand that every kids love, because our team used to work on some blockbuster films and animation series and created many cool characters like Transformers, Ironman, Star Wards. So this time we want to do something different, we try to create some ‘close friends’ for kids,” the marketing director and one of the creators of Elemooni, Henry Chan, told EcoSeed.

Doing some research, the team behind Elemooni found out that kids can remember cartoon characters and their story in just a short time. Having this in mind, Arkin Au, Elemooni’s design director thought of having the elements of the periodic table as characters so as to have a huge roster of characters and teach kids about the elements – what is viewed as a boring topic in school.

Children will learn eco-friendliness from Elemooni through the characters’ mission to find a place without pollution and shortage problems. Raising these issues “can make kids pay more attention on those topics,” as well as lead kids to a green life style, said Mr. Chan.

“We hope kids will have a stronger eco-friendly mindset and have better behavior,” Mr. Chan said, citing small habits such as preventing food wastage and turning off lights when not in use.

Elemooni will be launched by the end of 2014 as an animated series, but the team behind Elemooni also plans to launch comic books, mobile gaming applications, and a card game for the title. Some crossover projects such as events with Friends of the Earth and Earth Hour with the World Wide Fund for Nature is also being considered.

For more information regarding Elemooni, and interested investors and partners, you can visit their website at – L.J. Polintan

R.E.S. Americas orders 166 MW-worth of wind turbines from Vestas
R.E.S. Americas orders 166 MW-worth of wind turbines from Vestas
Vestas receives order for 166 MW-worth of turbines from R.E.S. Americas

Wind turbine manufacturer Vestas has received an order from Renewable Energy Systems Americas Inc. for 166 megawatts worth of wind turbines for a wind project in Minnesota, U.S.

The 166 MW-worth of turbines will be comprised of 83 V100-2.0 MW wind turbines and will be used for the 200 MW Pleasant Valley Wind Project in the U.S. state of Minnesota.

“Pleasant Valley will deploy efficient, cutting edge technology to generate carbon-free electricity while providing meaningful cost savings to Xcel Energy’s customers in south-eastern Minnesota,” said Rob Morgan, chief development officer for R.E.S. Americas.

“We are committed to delivering competitively priced renewable energy, and the technological advances made by leading companies like Vestas, is essential to the wind industry’s ability to continue driving down costs while increasing clean energy production,” Mr. Morgan explained.

The initial 34 MW-worth of turbines were announced in connection with the master supply agreement which was signed back in 2013. This order is the final call-off on the September 2013 M.S.A. for multiple U.S. projects, the potential of which totaled 610 MW.

With the current order from Vestas, the wind turbine manufacturer has now secured 350 MW directly with R.E.S. Americas, with the remaining 260 MW from other parties that purchased the R.E.S. Americas prior to placing a firm and unconditional order with Vestas.

“Vestas is extremely pleased that R.E.S. Americas has now finalized the M.S.A., either through orders placed directly with Vestas or via projects transferred to other customers,” commented Chris Brown, president of Vestas sales and service division in the U.S. and Canada.

“Vestas’ track record and technology means we can offer our customers a strong business case for their wind power plants, and this order further confirms R.E.S. Americas’ confidence in Vestas and the investment certainly we can offer,” Mr. Brown added.

Back in May, Vestas has also received an order for 148 MW-worth of their turbines – a project which is also part of the M.S.A. (see related story). – EcoSeed Staff

U.N.E.A.’s first ever session gets underway in Nairobi
U.N.E.A.’s first ever session gets underway in Nairobi
The UN Environment Assembly gets underway in Nairobi, Kenya. Photo: UNEP

The first ever session of the United Nations Environment Assembly gets underway, gathering representatives from all 193 U.N. Member States in Nairobi to discuss various issues.

Around 1,200 high level participants, which include Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and U.N. General Assembly President Josh Ashe, have gathered in this week’s meeting of the U.N.E.A. that is being held under the theme of “A Life of Dignity for All.” The U.N.E.A. plans to meet every two years.

The first session discusses issues such as illegal wildlife trade, chemical waste, air pollution, and new universal development goals. It can be remembered that back in May, it was announced that issues such as air pollution would be part of the agenda on the first ever U.N.E.A. assembly (seerelated story).

In particular, the session’s discussion focused on worsening air quality in African cities, as a result of increasing population, urbanization and motorization, and on sustainable development.

“We must seize this historic opportunity here in Nairobi – so close to the Rift Valley, the cradle of mankind – to unite the world in its effort to achieve a course correction and shape a new, more sustainable future for humanity, one in which we live in harmony with the natural world and create a life of dignity for all,” said U.N. Environment Programme Executive Director Achim Steiner.

“As such, U.N.E.A. is not just an expanded U.N.E.P. Governing Council, but symbolizes a fundamental change of scope as the new body plays its newly defined role of serving as the world’s authoritative voice on environmental matters across the U.N. System. Every Member State has a voice in the Environment Assembly on environmental sustainability,” Mr. Steiner added.

In addition to discussing air pollution, participants will also discuss a new post-2015 development agenda to succeed the U.N. Millennium Development Goals – which were agreed upon by world leaders at a U.N. summit back in 2000.

Although the Millennium Development Goals will conclude by the end of 2015, targets will not be reached in many countries and areas, and will be incorporated in an even more ambitious post-2015 agenda.

“Hopefully this week is a week in which key decisions will be made but also an opportunity for debate, for dialogue, for the presentation of cutting edge science, cutting edge research – all of which is crucial in terms of informing policy – innovations, the voice of stakeholders, civil society, the private sector,” said Naysan Sahna, U.N.E.P Director for Communications and Public Information. – EcoSeed Staff

Ascent Solar announces milestone agreement for their J.V. in China
Ascent Solar announces milestone agreement for their J.V. in China

Thin-film solar module manufacturer Ascent Solar Technologies, Inc. has announced the achievement of a significant milestone for their joint venture in Jiangsu Province, China.

In December of 2013, Ascent signed a definitive agreement with the government of the Municipal City of Suqian to develop solar projects in the area.

Under the agreement, Suqian will build a facility to manufacture Ascent’s proprietary cooper-indium-galloum-selenium photovoltaic modules. Ascent and Suqian will also form a joint venture entity in which Ascent’s share will grow progressively up to 80 percent based on an ascribed value of Ascent’s contributions to the J.V.

In phase 1 and phase 2 of the project, Ascent is required to contribute to the J.V. manufacturing equipment, intellectual property assets, proprietary technology and know-how, as well as cash for its ownership share ($129 million). Suqian is also required to contribute cash ($32 million) for its ownership share.

The major milestone for the J.V. was the agreement by the Suqian government to credit approximately $77 million to Ascent’s contribution of its proprietary technology, which represents 60 percent towards Ascent’s total required contribution.

The actual contributions of cash and other assets into the J.V. by Ascent and Suqian will happen incrementally over time. In addition, under the Definitive Agreement, Suqian has agreed to provide rent-free use of the 331,000-square-foot manufacturing facility and office space that is currently being built for Ascent in the Suqian Economic and Industrial Development Science Park. – EcoSeed Staff

Kyocera’s solar module production reaches 5-GW milestone
Kyocera’s solar module production reaches 5-GW milestone

Japan’s Kyocera Corporation has exceeded the 5-gigawatt milestone in accumulated production of solar modules.

Since the company began producing solar modules in 1975, they have now produced 5GW -worth of solar modules, enough to supply individual 3.5 kilowatt photovoltaic systems for more than 1.4 million homes.

In a statement, Kyocera cited rising global demand for renewable energy resources as having spurred their rapid increase in solar production. The company intends to keep up this fast pace, targeting annual production of 1.4 GW for the current fiscal year (April 2014 to March 2015), up from approximately 1.2 GW in the previous fiscal year.

Solar is becoming an attractive solution for countries, businesses and consumers who wish to reduce their impact on the environment and dependence of coal and nuclear energies. This shift to solar has become especially evident in Japan, which launched an aggressive feed-in-tariff program in July 2012.

Kyocera provided solar modules to Japan’s largest solar power plant, the 70 megawatt Kagoshima Nanatsujima Mega Solar Power Plant which went online last November 1 (see related story).

The company’s solar activities in Japan will expand even further if a recently-announced concept near Nagasaki comes into fruition. Five companies, including Kyocera, have come to an agreement to investigate the possibility of operating a 430 MW project on the island of Ukujima. The project will use Kyocera solar modules. – EcoSeed Staff

One-step chemical mix reduces reflectivity of silicon for better light absorption
One-step chemical mix reduces reflectivity of silicon for better light absorption
Rice University scientists have reduced to one step the process to turn silicon wafers into the black silicon used in solar cells. The advance could cut costs associated with the production of solar cells. Here, a top-down view shows pyramid-shaped pores etched into silicon over eight hours. (Credit: Barron Group/Rice University)

In just one-step, researchers from Rice University have found a way to improve the efficiency of solar cells.

Chemist Andrew Barron has developed a technique to etch nanoscale spikes into silicon that allows more than 99 percent of sunlight to reach the cells’ active elements where it can then be turned into electricity.

Mr. Barron, along with Rice graduate student Yen-Tien Lu, has simplified the two-step process that creates what’s called “black silicon.” Black silicon is silicon with a highly textured surface of nanoscale spikes or pores that are smaller than the wavelength of light. This textures surface reflects almost no light.

By reducing the reflectance of a solar material, we increase the amount of power that a solar cell can produce. Black silicon’s texture allows the efficient collection of light from any angle.

Black silicon was previously produced through metal deposition and electroless chemical etching. Mr. Barron and Mr. Lu produce their black silicon with a single step that works at room temperature.

They use a chemical mix of copper nitrate, phosphorous acid, hydrogen fluoride and water that, when applied to a silicon wafer, produce the needed nanoscale spikes.

Upon applying the mix to the wafer, the phosphorous acid reduces the copper ions to copper nanoparticles. The nanoparticles attract electrons from the silicon wafers, oxidizing it and allowing hydrogen fluoride to burn inverted pyramid-shaped nanoparticles into the silicon.

This process can produce a black silicon layer with pores as small as 590 nanometers that let through more than 99 percent of light.

While there are still a few improvements that need to be made to the material, but according to Mr. Barron, the ease by which they can create the black silicon in one step makes it a very practical method to improve solar cells.

They are now working on ways to shorten the eight-hour process needed to produce the black silicon as well as a special coating that would protect the spikes from the elements. – EcoSeed Staff

Various aspects of green web designing that will aid an entrepreneur
Various aspects of green web designing that will aid an entrepreneur

By Terry White

For any business organization, it is important to have a web presence to generate traffic and yield high profit. Of late, the entrepreneurs across different areas of work have taken initiatives to contribute positively to the environment and make this earth a better place to live for the ecology. A recent trend has been noticed in the rise of the eco-friendly websites and also hosting services. Well, green websites or web designs do not imply that the color of the site, but the approach of the designers and the methodologies adopted by them to create an effective website. Various designing techniques are adapted for the reduction of the carbon footprint.

Get innovative solutions

If you are planning to create green website then the first, you need to consult a web designer who can provide you with innovative solutions for a green website. Designing and creating a website is not a daunting task. If you are ready with the message that you intend to convey through the website, then the first step is to meet the web designers. As with the other websites, the designers will listen to your ideas, and get back to you with their feedback through different phases of designing process.

Keep the sites lite

It is important to remember the designing process of the website determines its eco-friendly nature. It is important for the sites to be light and quick to load. The use of the content that is the audio, video, images in the website influences this to a great extent. You need to remember that electricity is consumed while operating the internet. The use of codes that are used in the site is also important. There are few aspects of designing that designers need to consider for designing these websites. So, to get the environmental solution for an existing website or for the one that you intend to create it is important to seek help of the designers.

Accommodate important issues

Without hampering the integrity of the design of your website, they can provide you with a viable solution for your website. While working with the designers in the different stages, you need to identify the different elements of designs that you can be curbed so that you can accommodate the important issues and contents in the website and refrain from making the website heavy unnecessarily. This way you can accommodate the message that you want to convey effectively and keep the website lean.

Responsive web designing

Discussions and practice regarding the sustainability on the arena of web designing has been doing rounds in the last few years. An important development in this regard was the introduction of the responsive web designing that makes loading the sites easy across various platforms and devices. In the last few years, there has been a rise in the use of interactive websites that are of high quality, but takes time to load. Often this takes high time to load an also drains of the battery of the device. Use of flash and other forms of interactive forms increases the size of the page.

Keep designs simple

So it is important to keep your designs simple. Elegant and sleek designs are energy efficient in nature as the consumption of the energy reduces remarkably. The energy usage can be reduced through the use of few images that are of low resolutions. Use of JavaScript is also necessary for making the website energy efficient. While designing a website for your business with the aid of the developer, you need to make sure that you determine the weight of the page first so that it will help you prioritize the elements that you will display on the website.

Terry White is an entrepreneur and he wanted to make the website of his organization eco-friendly. For this, he consulted the designers and emphasized to make the site light so that it is easy to load.

Filtering basics - clean rain water
Filtering basics - clean rain water
Image taken from

By Hally Bertram

The process of filtering rain water and making it clean is a pretty old practice. A couple of decades ago people used the rain water for different purposes and nowadays, when we face major problems such as the water shortage in some areas and even countries worldwide and drought, the idea of harvesting rain water is gaining more and more popularity.

However, things have changed a lot and now making the rain water suitable for drinking is a really challenging task. The fact that people started paying more attention to the environmental issues is praiseworthy but the problem with the immense number of pollutants and our incapacity to efficiently deal with them, is here to stay. The harmful agents the industrial waste contains, the pollution of the rivers, the acid rains – all these make the rain water cleaning and purification much more difficult.

When you decide to collect rain water and use it for your household needs you should ask yourself two main questions before starting the harvesting procedure. “Am I going to use the purified water for drinking?” and “ What kind of filter should I get?” Picking up the right filter is essential. You have to pay attention to the certification claims and directions. Buying a brand new filter is recommended otherwise your investment can be a complete waste of money.

There are some creative and labour – intensive methods for processing rain water and making it clean like the technology for cleaning of DeluxeCleaners carpets, drinkable and suitable for gardening purposes, car washing, doing the laundry and so on.

If you take the task of cleansing the rain water you should be well aware of the purification techniques. The procedure must be precise or you risk serious health troubles. As it was mentioned above, the rain water can contain extremely harmful ingredients.

The water scarce is considered to be a major problem in some countries and in order to reduce the need of pure drinking water, a widespread cleaning method is applied – filtering with sand. It may sounds weird but it actually works. The sand is capable of eliminating all the bacteria, some of which can be lethal. In brief, the most primitive cleansing method includes two rain water barrels put one over another. The top one is filled with sand up to the middle. Once the water goes through the sand, it is potentially drinkable. Some additional desinfecting techniques would be a huge help as well – chlorinisation, ozonisation, ultraviolet light, membrane filtration. Although chlorine can prevent some serious diseases such as cholera, hepatitis and dysentery, it should be used in reasonable quantities.

Another easy, effective but for one reason or another, underestimated method for rain water purification is boiling. It is a common knowledge that the boiling process literary eliminates all kinds of bacteria that can be dangerous to the health. You may be surprised to know that if the rain water undergoes a minute or two boiling procedure, it will be absolutely clean and appropriate for drinking.

There is no person who haven't heard the term “distillation” . Although it seems too complicated, the truth is that there is nothing tricky or requiring special skills. The distillation process includes the following: the rain water is boiled in order to produce water vapour. Once the vapour is in direct contact with a cool surface, it turns into a liquid, which is absolutely clean and suitable for drinking.

The health benefits of using clean water are indisputable. Apart from diseases prevention, the water that lacks any bacteria, chemicals and pesticides keep your body energetic and kelps the kidney functioning. What's more, watering your plants and especially vegetables with clean water guarantees that the production will be really organic and the positive impact on your body will be obvious. Not to mention that the collected and purified rain water will reduce the expenses for irrigation.

Contributed by Hally Bertram- business owner and professional, living in London.

Suzlon gets green light for 100.8 MW wind power project
Suzlon gets green light for 100.8 MW wind power project
Photo from Suzlon

India-based wind turbine manufacturer Suzlon Group has received a green light from CLP India to proceed with a 100.8 megawatt-wind power project.

Suzlon has received a Notice to Proceed from CLP India, a power business in Asia and one of the largest foreign investors in the Indian power sector, for the 100.8 MW-wind power project that will be located at Tejuva in Rajasthan.

The wind project will utilize 48 units of Suzlon’s S97-2.1 MW wind turbines. Upon completion, the project will boost CLP India’s wind power portfolio to close to 1,000 MW.

“With close to 1,000 equity MW, wind power now forms almost one-third of our entire portfolio in India. It is indeed a strong reflection of our commitment to reducing carbon emissions to the extent we can and to growing our business responsibly,” said Mahesh Makhija, Renewables Business Development, CLP India.

This partnership with Suzlon will make an important contribution towards meeting our commitment to growing our renewable portfolio,” added Mr. Makhija.

“India is the fifth largest country in terms of total installed capacity of wind power, with large reserves of untapped potential that spells out a great opportunity for this sector to grow exponentially,” said Rajiv Mishra, managing director, CLP India. – EcoSeed Staff

Want an Eco Dream Home? Build it.
World Bank to help Kosovo, Kazakhstan become more energy efficient

By Jack Dawson

Is your dream home the most well decorated one in the city? Whatever you pick, you can do your part to keep the planet healthy by making eco-friendly decisions. Whether you decide to develop a flat in your city or big mansion in the farmland, you can make a home that shows the extent to which you think about practising environmental safety; by living delicately, and picking a house that keeps the planet healthy with its eco-friendly materials.

Not only just does an eco-accommodating home utilize fewer assets, it enhances the personal satisfaction of your family and cut back on expenses as well. Eco-friendly house can reduce fossil fuel utilization, produce easier carbon footprint and enhance your savings. The procedure of contest a will for eco-friendly home is as same as any other property.

Green structures look very manageable, sturdy and agreeable. They make use of only those materials which are useful for the environment. Before building a green house you ought to verify your water usage or consumption. It is a good idea to use the rainwater running off the top and divert it to lawns and yards. You can utilize water barrels for your green building to maintain a strategic distance from supplements. You can use low-stream toilets that keep water and decrease your waste; in the meantime, eco water systems can reuse water from showers and sinks in lawns and gardens.

Heating & Cooling

Generally, 29 percent of your home energy is used for warming and cooling activities. You can use a programmable indoor regulator for yearly reserve funds of $180. Fixing and protecting your channels enhances the productivity of your warming and cooling framework. To amplify the comfort levels of your home, you can introduce an appropriately measured superior, vitality productive HVAC framework. Installation of roof fans can likewise keep you cool and decrease AC usage.

Solar power

You can make your home environment friendly with the help of a solar powered electric device (photovoltaic, PV, frameworks) and/or solar hot water systems (sunlight based warm frameworks). A solar device controls your home with the power generated from the sun's energy. Similarly, a sun powered boiling hot water framework catches heat for heating water. The solar boards on rooftop secure your home's top from ultraviolet rays and cruel climate conditions, thus, amplifying the lifespan of your roof. The best thing about solar energy is that it is available for free. The sun never charges a penny for its light and if you store the electricity generated by the solar panels on your roof, you can use it during rainy and cloudy days to reduce traditional electricity usage.

Green top

Green top is a sort of top that is secured with vegetation that does reflect as well as proselytes daylight to other valuable energies. Green top is sheltered and it could be composed with extra layers that protect the primary material framework from saturation, as the vegetation typically gathers water from sprinkle.

Being eco-friendly should not be just a home plan decision; it should be a lifestyle decision. Use eco-friendly cleansers. Minimize the use of plastic bags when shopping. Reusable sacks could be acquired from most of the outlets. Eat healthy by minimizing the utilization of added substances and flavour. It is all about making the right choices. Some people fail to understand the power of small improvements. But once you are aware of the damage mankind is causing to nature, you will surely try to do your bit to save earth by building an eco-friendly home. Love nature and people will appreciate your new eco-friendly home. Live happily and proudly in your green home.

Jack Dawson is an environmentalist and a financial advisor. Most of his writings are about how to protect the environment by making it nature-friendly. Though he is a financial advisor, he never writes about how to contest a will.