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Environment
Sexism also exists in botany
Sexism also exists in botany Urban green spaces provide several benefits beyond aesthetics. They offer shade, help to reduce pollution, offer habitat for birds and insects, a space to meet and socialise or for kids to play.
Oceans: they pollute, they pay
Oceans: they pollute, they pay Plastic pollution from single use items such as straws, cutlery and cotton bud sticks are a serious issue facing oceans and marine life. Often these items are not disposed of properly and because they do not degrade end up in the oceans.
From ground to sky to detect water leaks
From ground to sky to detect water leaks The annual World water day founded in 1993 by the United Nations General Assembly on March 22, reminds us of the importance of preserving this precious source of life.
Climate change: trees to the rescue
Climate change: trees to the rescue Fighting climate change is the challenge of the century. The last UN Environment Emissions Gap Report warned that, in order to ensure global warming stays below 2°C, efforts should be tripled , and if we want to stay below 1.
Turning urban sewage into clean water thanks to “electric” bacteria
Turning urban sewage into clean water thanks to “electric” bacteria At first look they seem just small gardens in Carrión de los Céspedes, close to Seville, Spain.
Recycled construction waste: building a more sustainable future
Recycled construction waste: building a more sustainable future In the southern Belgian province of Namur, concrete and bricks from demolished buildings are being turned into eco-friendly road surfaces.
Liverpool, a frontrunner city in re-naturing public spaces
Liverpool, a frontrunner city in re-naturing public spaces If you happen to swing by Liverpool in the future, you will probably see a tree urban drainage system in Bold Street, where people frequently shop. Surface water flooding is a problem in many cities.
Robotic spies among bees
Robotic spies among bees The 20th of May has been declared World Bee Day by the United Nations. Bees and wild pollinators are crucial to ecosystem biodiversity and food security, and they have been used as bioindicators of environmental pollution for decades.
Simplifying hospital waste with bio-based disposables
Simplifying hospital waste with bio-based disposables Hospitals generate huge amounts of rubbish. According to the World Health Organization , high-income countries produce up to 0.5 kg of hazardous waste per hospital bed per day.
Small aircraft to find water leakage
Small aircraft to find water leakage In about half of the EU countries, more than 20% of clean drinking water is lost in the distribution network before it reaches consumers’ taps, and in some countries the proportion is as high as 60%, stated a report by the European Commission.
The fight on plastics heats up in the EU
The fight on plastics heats up in the EU A wind of change is blowing across Europe, trying to sweep away all the plastic bags that are littering our countries. January 2018 has been a busy month in this sense.
Improving the imperfect: photosynthesis for the future
Improving the imperfect: photosynthesis for the future Despite its splendour and beauty, nature is full of imperfections. Indeed, the process of natural selection relies upon minor errors in genetic duplication to produce new variants, better suited to a given environment.
Bioplastics: use and misuse
Bioplastics: use and misuse When dealing with bioplastics, definitions like “biobased”, “biodegradable” and “compostable” can generate confusion among consumers : this affects the way these materials are dealt with after use, resulting in a problematic waste management process.
Climate change threatens some of the world’s best wines
Climate change threatens some of the world’s best wines Millions of people across Europe have enjoyed soaring temperatures in the summer of 2017 , with sizzling barbeques, good food, and fine wine.
Intelligence in the abyss
Intelligence in the abyss Would you dive into a body of water populated by about 150 robots? That’s what could happen if you were to fall off a “gondola” in the Venice lagoon, where scientists from an initiative of seven European research institutes, are giving birth to the world’s largest population of autonomous robots .
Rooting sustainability starts on school benches
Rooting sustainability starts on school benches Do young people know what a smart city is? Do they care about saving energy and preserving the Earth’s resources? “Rooting sustainability starts on the benches of schools,” affirmed UNESCO director-general Irina Bokova at the recent UN Climate Change Conference ( COP22 ) in Marrakech, Morocco.
Homes storing CO2, just like trees
Homes storing CO2, just like trees Domestic efforts play an important role in curbing global warming. Besides producing and using renewables, homes can also act as banks that store CO2 .
Levelling food price volatility, while supporting the poor
Levelling food price volatility, while supporting the poor The worst food crisis in 30 years looms for 50 million people across southern Africa from Mozambique to Angola. Two years without rain has destroyed harvests. Food prices have skyrocketed.
Robots in distress in the Venetian Lagoon
Robots in distress in the Venetian Lagoon Can mathematics be expressed poetically through computational technologies? Visual artists Vicky Isley and Paul Smith believe it can be and are collaborating with the Artificial Life Lab of the University of Graz, in Austria, on the Subcultron project (Submarine Cultures Perform Long-Term Exploration of Unconventional Environmental Niches).
Cities: surviving floods and significant whims of the weather
Cities: surviving floods and significant whims of the weather Part of the solution to counter the devastating effects of floods on human communities could be long-term climate forecasting, backed by assessments on the vulnerability of towns and cities As centres of innovation and growth, European cities are home to around 75% of the continent’s population and use about 80% of the energy it produces.
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