A liter of light, an update

Back to  2011 I wrote about Isang Litrong Liwanag, a Filipino iniative to bring light to people living in the slums of Manila. Years laters, the project has grown, found partners and is expanding globally.

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Swiss company unveils white solar panels

The future will be solar powered. We have seen it time and again. But for those fearing a world full of black or blue solar panels, have no fear. If I had reported about colored solar panels in 2010, here is something new…

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An efficient alternative to fluorescent tubes

Philips InstantFit LED lampFluorescent tubes are everywhere : in offices and homes and of course, in supermarkets and factories. This ubiquitous lights are used in a staggering amount of 12 billion sockets to Philips.

The company has developed an alternative based on LED technology : the InstantFit LED lamp. Up to 40 percent more efficient than traditional T8 fluorescent tubes, it could quickly replace old models.

As TreeHugger reports, switching all these lights could lead to switching off the equivalent 210 medium sized power plants.

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Brazilian deforestation increasing

Illegally logged timber floating in BrazilHere are some bad news I read last week : deforestation in Brazil is increasing again. For the past years, it had been decreasing steadily, reaching its lowest levels in two decades.

But over the last year, deforestation increased by 28 percent over the previous one. As the BBC noted : ” The government is working to reverse this “crime”, Environment Minister Izabella Teixeira said.”

This takes place as on a global scale, the world has lost a staggering 900,000 square miles (2.3 million square kilometers)  of forests between 2000 and 2102 to deforestation or fire.

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Friday video : Petroleo

I thought a short video might be interesting to end this week. It’s called Petroleo and it was done by two animation students at Gobelins, The French Ecole de l’Image. This was done during a Cartooning for Peace workshop.

An idea from famous French cartoonist Plantu, Cartooning for Peace offers higher levels of visibility to the many syndicated cartoonists fighting for peace and Human Rights around the world.

Petroleo offers a great reflection at our addiction to oil and its effect on us. You know my opinion on that matter : we need to get out of oil ASAP.

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Towards sustainability, reloaded : electricity

For the second part of this series – the first one was on heating – we are having a look at electricity consumption of households and the various ways we can decrease it.

This will enable you to have lower energy bills – always a good thing with the hard times we have – to cut your carbon dioxide emissions and thus enable you to have a more sustainable lifestyle.

From your lightning to the various appliances around you, the opportunities for savings are numerous and this post propose you a selection of three.

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Earthrise, the making of

I love the picture Earthrise. Since I first discovered it back to 2007, it has become the central part of my communications; It is featured on my Twitter account, my About.me page, my business cards and on the header of this website.

So when Andrew Revkin from the New York Times tweeted about the “ Nice video assembly of Apollo 8 astronaut audio & photos leading to iconic “EARTHRISE” image “ I just had to click.

To say the least, I wasn’t disappointed as this making of clearly explains how such a beautiful image was created by the Apollo 8 crew.

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Renault Z.E. : The best electric car ad ever

As you surely know now Renault – a French carmaker – plans to sell four different electric cars this year and next. The first model, the  Fluenze Z.E. ,  will be available in September.

To this effect, the company presented today an excellent and hilarious advertisement, that will hopefully stays in everyones’ mind when it comes to THE technology of this decade, electric cars.

I have been thinking for some time now that electric cars have a really revolutionary potential (and I am not the only one to think so). This one-minute video clearly shows why.

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Great astrophotographies – February 2011

I think this is a record of some sort as I am only publishing today my selection of astrophotographies for February… Anyway, here is my selection of the best pictures of the NASA’s Astronomy Picture of the Day (APOD).

This month is a bit special as my favorite is a video : ” How big is our Sun compared to other stars? In a dramatic and popular video featured on YouTube, the relative sizes of planets and stars are shown from smallest to largest. “

The video is visible in the full post below. This clearly demonstrates how infinitesimal we are and how our beautiful planet is tiny, thus the need to protect our ability to live on it…

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The Story of Cosmetics

Annie Leonard comes back ! After the Story of Stuff – about the true environmental cost of our consumerist frenzy – and the Story of Bottled Water – which is the apex of unsustainability – she comes back with the Story of Cosmetics.

Exposing the horrendous toxic products found in our personal care products Annie Leonard make us think about the implications these products can have on our health in the short and long terms.

Apparently the situation is more concerning the United States as the European Union seems to be a little bit more precautionary. But this makes me wonder of what happens on a global scale.

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Would you buy a $10,000 sandwich ?

The most probable answer is no. Then today’s post should help you reconsidering buying bottled water. Indeed, according to Annie Leonard’s latest short video the price of a bottle of water is 2,000 times the price of tap water.

I stopped drinking bottled water when I bought a Brita water filter. I could have went straight to tap water but concerns over the plumbing of our old house prevented me to do so.

Bottled water raises several questions and come with many problems. Indeed, it takes an awful lot of energy and money just to drink something you already have in your own home.

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Barcelona’s amazing smart lightning idea

The city of Barcelona and Spanish utility Endesa have been installing smart LED lightning systems that automatically switch themselves off when no one is around. This enables the city to cut by 30 percent its electricity consumption.

I really would like this idea to spread across Europe and even the entire world. Indeed, how many plants are used only to light streets unnecessarily? This would drastically cut costs and would go far beyond the Earth Hour

Last but not least, this would also improve the night sky quality drastically. As we have seen previoulsy, darker skies would benefit Nature and astronomers alike.

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