Jing-Jin-Ji Megacity Emerges in China Because Why Not?

Right now, a megacity is emerging in China.  The big goal is to connect the city of Beijing, the port city of Tianjin, and the province of Hebei into one huge megalopolis the size of Kansas.  If plans push through, the new megacity would be home to as many as 130 million people—that’s about one third of the entire population of the United States.

Aerial view of Tianjin (Image fromm Quartz.com)

Aerial view of Tianjin (Image fromm Quartz.com)

Elsewhere in the world, cities just happen, evolving organically over time.  But cities in China don’t just happen.  Every detail is planned, every aspect is thoughtfully engineered.  Make no mistake: China is dead serious about its smart cities.

Already known as Jing-Jin-Ji…

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Food Waste Hurts Not Just Your Wallet But Also the Planet

Food waste is serious matter. Even if we bought it with our hard-earned cash doesn’t mean we can waste. Here’s why it hurts your wallet and the planet.

Food waste is serious matter.

Food waste is serious matter. (Image from FoodNavigator.com)

There’s a big disconnect in the world’s food supply and demand, and that’s an alarming thing.  According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), an estimated 795 million people are chronically undernourished in 2012-2014.  So while citizens of developed nations enjoy endless access to all kinds of food at low, low prices, the poor in Third World countries struggle to afford a single decent nourishing meal each day.

And yet in all of these, we’re still wasting too much perfectly good food.  Food waste is serious matter.  One third of global food production is wasted, says the UN.  In the US, up to 40% of all edible food simply ends up in landfills, even outnumbering the plastic and paper waste there.

 

Every Bite Counts

With so many people going hungry all over the world, and so much food unnecessarily wasted, you’d think somebody ought to bridge the gap somewhere.  Unfortunately, connecting surplus food to those who need them isn’t as easy as it sounds, since food wastage happens in various levels.  From the farm to transportation, to the warehouses and supermarket shelves, to the consumers’ shopping basket and finally to their home.

There will be inevitable wastage and preventable ones.  We can always minimize the former through better technology and techniques (e.g. right storage and right timing of harvest).

As for the preventable wastage, that usually involves a change in attitude, since most of us have …

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Why 3D Printing Buildings Is Exciting and Revolutionary

If buildings tell a lot about a country’s people, culture, and their priorities, then Dubai’s impressive and ever-changing skyline has a lot of stories to tell.  From sky-piercing towers to curiously-shaped man-made islands, Dubai’s many construction projects are known for pushing the boundaries of technology, design, aesthetics, and sheer scope.

Dubai’s next claim to fame: an office building 3D printed in its entirety.

Proudly 3D printed: the proposed office in Dubai (Image courtesy of Treehugger).

Proudly 3D printed: the proposed office in Dubai (Image courtesy of Treehugger).

Whereas previously for other so-called 3D-printed projects, only a select number of structural components were printed, this proposed office in Dubai plans to 3D print 100% of everything, down to the interior furniture.  A combination of Special Reinforced Concrete (SRC), Glass Fiber Reinforced Gypsum (GRG), and Fiber Reinforced Plastic (FRP) will be used for the building….

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Roundup: Compelling Stories for the Month of June

Google Repurposes a Coal Plant

As coal plants shut down in many parts of the world, Google has its eye on a particular site, the Widows Creek coal power plant in Jackson County in Alabama.  The $600 million project hopes to repurpose the soon-to-be defunct plant into a data center, which will then be powered using 100% renewable energy.

Via Digital Trends

 

France’s Ecology Minister Singles Out Nutella for Palm Oil Content

Earlier this month France’s Ecology Minister Ségolène Royal appealed to viewers of French TV network Canal+ to boycott Nutella for its unsustainable palm oil content.

Our favorite spread for our morning toast has a lot of proving itself innocent to do.  (Image from Bloomberg)

Our favorite spread for our morning toast has a lot of proving itself innocent to do. (Image from Bloomberg)

“Oil palms have replaced trees, and therefore caused considerable damage to the environment,” she said.  Greenpeace however …

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