80+1 » Recycling http://www.80plus1.org A Journey Around the World Thu, 25 Nov 2010 14:24:05 +0000 http://wordpress.org/?v=2.7.1 en hourly 1 (Deutsch) Diese Taschen sind reiner Müll http://www.80plus1.org/blog/diese-taschen-sind-reiner-mull http://www.80plus1.org/blog/diese-taschen-sind-reiner-mull#comments Thu, 13 Aug 2009 15:15:06 +0000 Christoph Santner http://www.80plus1.org/?p=3190 Sorry, this entry is only available in Deutsch.

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Sorry, this entry is only available in Deutsch.

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Recycling: voestalpine asks: What’s the next step towards the future? http://www.80plus1.org/next-step/future-recycling http://www.80plus1.org/next-step/future-recycling#comments Tue, 16 Jun 2009 00:18:39 +0000 Admin http://www.80plus1.org/?p=1431 Many enterprises and household have already come to appreciate the fact that trash is a secondary raw material that it pays to collect. Join our discussion of the next step to a better future, and send us your ideas on…

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Many enterprises and household have already come to appreciate the fact that trash is a secondary raw material that it pays to collect. Join our discussion of the next step to a better future, and send us your ideas on the subject of recycling!

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A railway line, now an elevated park http://www.80plus1.org/blog/a-railway-line-now-an-elevated-park http://www.80plus1.org/blog/a-railway-line-now-an-elevated-park#comments Thu, 11 Jun 2009 01:20:20 +0000 Florica Vlad http://www.80plus1.org/?p=1196 This week Highline Park opened in New York City’s west side, spanning the section from Gansevort Street to West 20th Street.

The Highline is an elevated railway line built in the 1930’s, abandoned in the 1980’s, and was stated to be demolished. Nature…

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This week Highline Park opened in New York City’s west side, spanning the section from Gansevort Street to West 20th Street.

The Highline is an elevated railway line built in the 1930’s, abandoned in the 1980’s, and was stated to be demolished. Nature had taken over and the tracks became overgrown with shrubs and wildflowers. The haunting images of this peaceful, neglected, elevated oasis inspired neighborhood activists to campaign against its demolition and to fight for its preservation as a public space.

In 1934, when the Highline railway first began service, it connected freight trains from Penn Station all the way to to St. John’s Park Terminal, at Spring Street. It was designed to pass by factories and warehouses on Manhattan’s west side, allowing easy transportation of meat, produce and other raw and manufactured goods by connecting directly to the industrial buildings while avoiding street-level traffic.

The Highline Park retains the memory of the trains by integrating the original railway tracks, which weave beautifully throughout a colorful quilt of wildflower varieties that grew naturally when the Highline was abandoned. The elevated park still passes by industrial buildings, casting views on old factories with shattered windows, graffitied walls and barbed wire. But there are also new and elegant views of the Standard Hotel at Washington Street and high-end boutiques and restaurants where once stood industrial yards and meat-packing plants.

Large reclining benches take advantage of sweeping views of the Hudson, allowing guests to lay in the sun or watch its descent to the west. The only other re-construction of an elevated train line into park space is found in Paris at the Promenade Plantée (the planted promenade).

While the park currently only extends up to 20th street, future plans will lengthen the public green space all the way up to 34th Street at Penn Station. The stretch leading up to 30th street is set to open in 2010, while the fate of the final section of railway from 30th to 34th street is still up in the air. (Since this section is owned by the MTA and Related Companies, a public hearing was held in the city yesterday, June 10, on the fate of the railway yard.

Friends of the Highline, the non-profit organization responsible for the preservation of the Highline and its transformation into a public park writes:

The High Line is a monument to the industrial history of New York’s West Side. It offers an opportunity to create an innovative new public space, raised above the city streets, with views of the Hudson River and the city skyline. Its conversion is a global model for the reuse of transportation infrastructure, offering greening opportunities, alternative transportation options, and social and economic benefits to meet changing needs in post-industrial urban environments.

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No Impact Man speaks in New York http://www.80plus1.org/blog/no-impact-man-speaks-in-new-york http://www.80plus1.org/blog/no-impact-man-speaks-in-new-york#comments Fri, 05 Jun 2009 14:53:57 +0000 Florica Vlad http://www.80plus1.org/?p=1099

On Sunday afternoon I attended a volunteer organized event titled “Evolver Town Hall”. Gathering in the St. Mark’s Church on the Bowery in New York City, the event spilled out into the adjoining courtyards with workshops, panel discussions, art and…

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On Sunday afternoon I attended a volunteer organized event titled “Evolver Town Hall”. Gathering in the St. Mark’s Church on the Bowery in New York City, the event spilled out into the adjoining courtyards with workshops, panel discussions, art and food. The St. Marks Church is known for hosting unique and sometimes outrageous events and the Ontological-Hysteric Theatre makes its home in the Church attic.

The event attracted an eclectic mix of individuals and on the balmy day music from an ad-hoc gathering of bands could be heard from the Church garden.  The Evolver Town Hall was aimed not only at exposing current issues, but also to giving people the ideas, information, connections, and contacts they need for getting involved within their community. Nonprofits, government organizations, local businesses and active individuals all gathered to address the environmental and economic issues that are affecting New York City, and by extension, the world at large.

No Impact Man

The Keynote speaker of the day was Colin Beaven, aka The No Impact Man. In 2006 Colin Beaven launched a year-long project in which he, his wife Michelle and their then two-year-old daughter Isabella, experimented with living with as little environmental impact as possible. Colin Beaven began the project because he grew tired of complaining about public policy and feeling disempowered in the face of government. When the United States went to war with Iraq, Colin Beaven, instead of criticizing events in public protest, decided to see how much change he can affect by focusing on himself and his own family:

“And so, at first,” writes Beaven in his blog, “when the politicians said that they were executing the Iraq War to protect the American way of life—my way of life—I was offended and angry. But then I realized how many resources I use in my life, including oil. I used so much that a war might actually be necessary to protect that way of life, to make sure there was enough to supply my endless consumption. If I expect to be allowed to use so many of the world’s resources, aren’t I partly to blame if my government fights to secure those resources?”

The result became a year-long adventure in minimizing waste, going off the power grid and eating locally. The many trials and errors of his project were documented daily on his blog, “No Impact Man,” and provided a narrative vehicle for engaging the public on issues of food system sustainability, water scarcity, climate change and energy and material resource depletion.

The series of panels hosted at the Evolver Town Hall included talks on “Taking Back the Commons”, “Collective Consciousness” and “Real Food and Water”, among many others. The organizations that were present include: Sierra Club NYC, Regenerative Culture, Vertical Farms, Rooftop Food, Eco Eatery, Just Food, Trust for Public Land and Green Edge Collaborative, among many others. Some of the prominent writers that were present include Daniel Pinchbeck, who is also the co-founder of Evolver, and Douglas Rushkoff.

To find out more about the Evolver Town Hall, and various ways to get involved see here.

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Interview with Pakistani photographer Ameer Hamza http://www.80plus1.org/blog/interview-with-pakistani-photographer-ameer-hamza http://www.80plus1.org/blog/interview-with-pakistani-photographer-ameer-hamza#comments Mon, 01 Jun 2009 08:57:51 +0000 Cyrus Farivar http://www.80plus1.org/?p=1082 After poking around the Internet for information about Gadani, I came across a striking set of photos from Karachi-based photographer Ameer Hamza.

I decided to contact Mr. Hamza to learn more about Gadani. Here’s our email interview:

Why did you go to…

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After poking around the Internet for information about Gadani, I came across a striking set of photos from Karachi-based photographer Ameer Hamza.

I decided to contact Mr. Hamza to learn more about Gadani. Here’s our email interview:

Why did you go to Gadani? Did you already know about ship-breaking?

Why did I go to Gadani? Because it is a beautiful beach and makes for the wonderful day trip. Yes, I have always known that Gadani is a classic ship breaking place. In fact, I have often heard that it is the world’s largest ship breaking place. I am not sure if that claim is correct or not. But sure enough Gadani is worth a visit.

What’s the most surprising thing that you learned about the place when you went there?

Umm. I think it is a difficult question. Well, I think I saw that lot of poor men, from far off places, like Northern Pakistan and Punjab province, come here for the job. Not many people from Baluchistan are here. And almost none from Karachi. I mean that is very surprising. But when you know that ship breaking is actually a back breaking work, you understand that only Punjabis and Pathans can do it. Not someone from city like Karachi. And not surprisingly, almost all the owners of the ships are from either Karachi or Lahore.

And the sea is very dirty as well. It is still beautiful.

How does it compare to other places that you’ve photographed?

It has a clear blue sky. Most of Pakistani coastal areas have a beautiful sky specially if you happen to be there early morning. So the photographs naturally come out nice and brisk. Another advantage is that as a photographer / photojournalist you get lot of good photographs of hard working, smiling, tough men. It is a place to be if you like hard work yourself. And all the steam from the engines, and oil spread around; and the huge chains and the sound of Arabian Sea splashing. Wow.

Do you think that the recycling that they’re doing makes a difference? How does it impact Karachi and Pakistan?

If there were no Gadani, I think the price of steel and iron would simply shoot up and would perhaps go beyond imagination. That is my opinion. But that could be the case. One good reason why activity has suddenly improved at Gadani recently.

I should tell you that I my maternal uncle used to buy ships from abroad and break them at Gadani. He made lot of money in that business. And he still has that wonderful wooden wheel which acts as a driver’s steering wheel installed at his home. And I possess a captain’s chair, gifted to my father, long ago, by my uncle. So my relationship with Gadani dates back to before my birth.

What should Europeans and North Americans understand about Gadani and ship-breaking that maybe isn’t show in your photos? What do we need to understand about this issue?

People should understand that although Gadani brings in lot of jobs to people in Pakistan, it also inevitably destroys large chunks of natural beauty. The sea gets polluted and the water gets polluted. All the dirt and the garbage are thrown into the sea. And no care is given to environmental concerns. I think that is one reason why ship breaking at such a large scale has not been developed in western countries.

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International Space Station astronauts embrace urine recycled as water http://www.80plus1.org/blog/international-space-station-astronauts-embrace-urine-recycled-as-water http://www.80plus1.org/blog/international-space-station-astronauts-embrace-urine-recycled-as-water#comments Thu, 21 May 2009 18:58:57 +0000 Cyrus Farivar http://www.80plus1.org/?p=1026 Yesterday, astronauts aboard the ISS took, what The Associated Press called: “one small sip for man and a giant gulp of recycled urine for mankind.”

Yep, scientists have now perfected recycling drinking water from human urine. Until now, Russian scientists get their…

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Yesterday, astronauts aboard the ISS took, what The Associated Press called: “one small sip for man and a giant gulp of recycled urine for mankind.”

Yep, scientists have now perfected recycling drinking water from human urine. Until now, Russian scientists get their water aboard the station by capturing moisture in the air.

We presume that the drinking water tastes more or less like water — those NASA dudes are smart folks. Indeed, the article describes a weeklong process whereby the urine is collected, the water is boiled off, and then collected. The uric acid and other brine is then discarded.

What do the astronauts themselves say about how it tastes?

Reports the AP:

“The taste is great,” American astronaut Michael Barratt said.

Then as Russian Gennady Padalka tried to catch little bubbles of the clear water floating in front of him, Barratt called the taste “worth chasing.”

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