Eco Factor: Plastic water bottles transformed into buo

Used plastic bottles are one type of trash that has always fantasized green-minded artists, who turn them into a more valuable product.

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Earlier today we saw plastic bottles being converted into beautiful hanging sculptures and now we have another recycled creation for you, which this time isn’t merely an artwork, but life-saving equipment. Read more

Climate change threatens a fragile ecosystem in the Andes

In the Andes mountains of Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, and Venezuela, tucked between the tree line and the line of permanent snow, is the páramo, a unique and hauntingly beautiful mountainous wetland that is threatened by climate change and growing temperature extremes.

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The páramo of the Northern Andes is wet and cold. Temperatures can dip below freezing at night and soar above 60 degrees Farenheit during the day. But Daniel Ruiz Carrascal doesn’t mind the extremes. He goes back to this ecosystem any chance he gets, to study how the environment is changing. Read more

Stranded whales escape Scottish loch for safety of deeper waters

The animals were thought to have moved away from the shallow waters of Loch Carnan in South Uist, but returned later on in the day.

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However, marine experts said the whales have not been seen since yesterday evening and are now thought to have left the loch. Their apparent departure follows the death of one of the animals, whose body was discovered on an island in the loch.

A post-mortem examination carried out on the whale has suggested it died of an infection. Dave Jarvis, of the charity British Divers Marine Life Rescue (BDMLR), said: “It appears that what has been witnessed is a group of these extremely social creatures accompanying an ill individual and that the infection may have caused this animal to strand. Read more

Zuvo Water’s Stratus cleans your H2O with WiFi filters

Zuvo-Waters-Stratus-cleans-your-H2O-with-WiFi-filtersFew of us are fortunate enough to enjoy clean municipal tap water — the rest have to make do with clunky bacteria-riddled filters and wasteful bottled H2O. Enter Zuvo Water, which has hopped on Indiegogo to fund its elaborate and tech-centric Stratus water purification system.

It includes WiFi-enabled hardware, filters, optional “intelligent” faucets and a cloud-connected smartphone app that’ll tell you when to swap out old cartridges for new ones. These are no ordinary filters either — they go beyond simple carbon filtration by combining ultraviolet light (UV), oxygenation and carbon with a patented five-step process, which Zuvo claims makes it the “only filter system in the world that is self cleaning.” Beat that, Brita. Read more

“Hydro-diplomacy” needed to avert Arab water wars

agua-africaThe United Nations should promote “hydro-diplomacy” to defuse any tensions over water in regions like the Middle East and North Africa where scarce supplies have the potential to spark future conflicts.

They said the U.N. Security Council should work out ways to bolster cooperation over water in shared lakes or rivers, from the Mekong to the Nile, that are likely to come under pressure from a rising world population and climate change. The Middle East and North Africa are the regions most at risk of conflict over scarce water supplies, they said, but history shows “water wars” are very rare.

“We think that water is an issue that would be a appropriate for the U.N. Security Council,” Zafar Adeel, chair of UN-Water, told Reuters ahead of a meeting of experts in Canada this week to discuss water and security. Read more