Eating Roadkill In Montana Is A Vote Away From Being Legal.

Elk on a car in Montana.Montana is about to pass a law legalizing the consumption of roadkill. The law will only apply to elk, deer, antelope and moose but will not extend to fur-bearing animals.

Jubbling’s take: consuming roadkill is a much more Jubbling alternative to leaving a freshly killed animal behind to rot. I’d participate in eating roadkill too if a Tofurky made the mistake of running in front of my car. [USA Today]

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Reduce, Recycle, Reuse, Repurpose: Former Grain Silo Jubblingly Converted To Student Housing.

Grünerløkka Student House - Oslo Norway.Instead of ending up in one of those YouTube demolition compilation videos, a grain silo in Oslo Norway was converted into a 19 story student housing structure. The Grünerløkka Student House was recycled in 2001 and has 226 residences. From Inhabitat:

“Residents of Grünerløkka Studenthus enjoy excellent views of Oslo, as the 174-foot structure towers over its surroundings. The building consists of mostly studios and one-bedroom apartments, and unsurprisingly, most of the rooms are round. The unique building has become an architectural icon, and it won the City of Oslo’s Architecture Prize in 2002.”

It’s great to hear stories about a carefully designed building that reuses an existing structure. In a way, they trump newly constructed LEED Platinum rated buildings. [Inhabitat]

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GEOlino’s MELTDOWN Board Game: Lead A Polar Bear Family To Safety Over Actual Melting Ice.

GEOlino MELTDOWN Polar Bear Board Game.GEOlino’s MELTDOWN is a board game and the object is to save a family of polar bears before actual ice melts. Here’s a description of MELTDOWN from their website:

“The aim of the game is to take a polar bear family from the permanent ice floes to safety on the mainland. It’s a race against time, as the way leads across real, slowly melting ice floes, which children can make themselves with the accompanying mould, a bit of water and a freezer compartment. The chunks of ice are arranged on a blue polar sea sponge to form a small Arctic. The sponge is used as the game board and absorbs the melted ice at the same time. Now you can start saving polar bears.”

GEOlino MELTDOWN board game polar bearsMy take: after playing 100+ mind-numbing games of Candy Land, playing MELTDOWN would be a treat. Saving the polar bear family is a group goal in MELTDOWN so there are no winners or losers and MELTDOWN’s message about our environment is subtly delivered. What’s not to like?

Another nice feature of MELTDOWN: for parents who get stuck in the “lets play it again” loop – the melting ice is the clock and once it’s gone, you have to wait for it to re-freeze to play another game. Take that Candy Land. [MELTDOWN via Grist]


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Non-Food ‘Cellulosic’ Ethanol Could Be Price Competitive With Gasoline By 2016.

Cellulosic ethanol production.According to research company Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF), ethanol produced from non-food materials (inedible parts of plants, woods, and grasses) will be price competitive with corn-based ethanol and gasoline by 2016. It’s a second generation biofuel called cellulosic ethanol and for years, figuring out how to cost effectively produce ethanol from non-edible plants has been a challenge. From BNEF:

“The survey collected data and predictions on the production costs of 11 leading players in the cellulosic ethanol industry. All use a technique, commonly called enzymatic hydrolysis, to break down and convert the complex sugars in non-food crop matter, and a fermentation stage to turn the results into ethanol. The results showed that in 2012, the cost of cellulosic ethanol production was $0.94 per litre, around 40% higher than the $0.67 per litre cost of producing ethanol from corn, which dominates the US biofuel market and is competitive with US gasoline. By 2016, respondents thought the price of cellulosic ethanol would match that of corn-based ethanol.”

Why is the move to cellulosic biofuels so important? From BusinessGreen:

“Cellulosic biofuels are widely regarded as critical to the development of the biofuels industry, as they allow developers to produce fuels from waste material or fast-growing grasses removing the need for energy crops that have been blamed for eating into agricultural land and driving up food prices.”

Another benefit of cellulosic ethanol is that its production can reduce greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) by up to 85% over reformulated gasoline according to a study conducted by Michael Wang of the Argonne National Laboratory. Starch-based ethanol made from corn reduces greenhouse gas emissions by 18-29% over reformulated gasoline. [BusinessGreen and BNEF]

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Upcycling A Pizza Box.

The Buzzfeed article states differently but I’m pretty sure these upcycled pizza box ideas assume you don’t have the cheese-grease stain that kept you from recycling the pizza box in the first place.

Pizza box cat bed

Pizza box cat bed (click on the image for instructions)

Pizza box solar-powered s'mores oven.

Pizza box solar-powered s'mores oven. (click on image for instructions)

Pizza box birds nest.

Pizza box birds nest. (click on the image for instructions)

Upcycled pizza box Battleship game.

Upcycled pizza box Battleship game. (click on the image for instructions)

What can you do with a cheese-grease stained pizza box? Rip-off and recycle the unstained lid and then save the lower cheese-greased section as a fire starter. Additional upcycled pizza box ideas are posted on Buzzfeed.


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Ecover Will Be Partially Packaging Their Products With Plastic Retrieved From The Sea. Good Idea?

Plastic bottle in the oceanBased in Belgium, Ecover manufactures natural cleaning products primarily for the European market. They are like the United States’ Method brand – which they own. Ecover is always working on improving the sustainability of their products and their latest effort is to harvest sea-plastic from the ocean and incorporate it into their packaging. The sea-plastic will be mixed with a plastic made from sugar cane (PlantPlastic) and other recycled plastic to create a new one-of-a-kind packaging. Here’s how Ecover will recover and recycle the sea-plastic (Guardian):

“Boats outfitted with special equipment will be able to collect between two and eight tonnes of waste per trawl for cleaning and recycling, while other fishermen will collect plastic debris mixed with by-catch and deposit it at special collection points. The sorted waste will then be sent to Closed Loop Recycling’s plant in Dagenham, east London, where it will be processed and turned into the plastic for the new bottles.”

Reducing the amount of plastic in our oceans and creating awareness of the ocean garbage patches are all good things but I just can’t get past the idea of sending fuel-guzzling fishing boats out to trawl the ocean bottom for plastic. Maybe they’ll just skim the surface for floating plastic – still, it seems like an extremely consuming way to make a statement about ocean pollution and the sustainability of your product. Wouldn’t it be less consuming and less labor intensive to harvest the plastic on land before it reaches the ocean?

What do you think? [Guardian]


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