Even if you’ve tried a certain food a few times and didn’t find it tasty, that doesn’t mean you’ll never learn to enjoy that food. In fact, according to new research, repeated exposure to bitter foods can change the proteins in your saliva, essentially calming the initial distaste for bitter and other flavors.
Bitter is the key word here, especially considering that bitter vegetables such as broccoli, kale, and radishes are the closest thing we have to actual superfoods and should be a staple of any healthy eater’s diet. So, if your child or partner is a stubborn eater who neglects broccoli, don’t lose hope. Be persistent and they might just wind up loving broccoli.
With 65,000 square feet of warehouse rooftop space dedicated to growing all sorts of produce, New York City’s Brooklyn Grange is one of the largest urban farms in the world. Next year, however, the urban farm will seem like a dwarf in comparison to a new urban farm soon to open in Paris. The company behind this urban farm is Agripolis, and they are getting set to open a 150,000 square foot urban farm that will grow more than 2,000 pounds of fruits and vegetables every day during high season. Located atop a sprawling entertainment complex that’s currently undergoing renovations in the 15th arrondissement, the farm will be home to more than 30 different species of plants that will grow vertically with aeroponic farming, a method that uses the nutrient-filled mist to nourish the produce. And what makes the urban farm even more brilliant is that local residents will be able to secure plots of land, effectively turning the garden into a community space.
In Alicante, it never rains, but it pours. The city in southeast Spain goes without rain for months on end, but when it comes, it’s torrential, bringing destructive and sometimes fatal flooding – or, at least, it used to.
In San Juan, a low-lying area of the city, authorities have built a new park with a twist. Called La Marjal, it serves as a typical recreation area and a nature reserve – but its primary purpose is to store, and then recycle, rainwater. In function, it resembles an aljibe, a technique developed by Arab residents of Spain many centuries ago in which rainwater is collected and stored in a kind of cistern underneath a building. La Marjal does a similar job, but outdoors.
The water is also then diverted to a nearby treatment plant where it can subsequently be used to clean streets and water parks. In southern Spain, where water is increasingly becoming a scarce resource, the aljibe represents a brilliant solution to water management.
No matter what you think of the proliferation of smartphones in society, it’s hard to deny that apps can make some facets of life much easier—including living a sustainable life. In Helsinki, the capital city of Finland, a new app has been launched that lets residents, tourists and business owners make smarter daily choices that contribute to the metropolis’ goal of reaching carbon neutrality by 2035.
The app is called Think Sustainably, and it helps users decide on activities, transportation options and shops by toggling specific sustainability filters to find choices that best suit their preferences and meet environmental metrics.
Touching on every major aspect of sustainable living, including transportation, food options, green jobs, and environmental justice, this is definitely an app that every city should have.
Everyone sees things differently, and yet, we often assume that people share our same perspectives. With such assumptions, you may conclude that someone else should also behave like you would or hold your beliefs.
Unfortunately, these assumptions are often wrong and can cause us to have less empathy and understanding of another person’s situation. The good thing is that with a little tinkering to your mindset, you can train yourself to be more empathetic. Here are 3 approaches to help you do just that.
In any conflict between two people, there are two sides to the story. Then there is the third story, the story that a third, impartial observer would recount. Forcing yourself to think as an impartial observer can help you in any conflict situation, including difficult business negotiations and personal disagreements. Imagine a complete recording of the situation, and then try to think about what an outside audience would say was happening if they watched or listened to the recording. What story would they tell? How much would they agree with your story? With the third story, you can see a situation for what it really is and get a better understanding overall.
Another tactical model that can help you empathize is the most respectful interpretation or MRI. In any situation, you can explain a person’s behavior in many ways. MRI asks you to interpret the other party’s actions in the most respectful way possible, giving people the benefit of the doubt. Even though you may not know the full truth, using the MRI approach to a situation will help you build trust with those involved rather than destroy it. Building trust pays dividends over time, especially in difficult situations where that trust can serve as a bridge toward an amicable resolution.
The third way of giving people the benefit of the doubt for their behavior is called Hanlon’s razor: “Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by carelessness.” A likely explanation for any person’s action, including harmful ones, is that they took the path of least resistance. That is, they carelessly created the negative outcome, but they didn’t cause the outcome out of malice. Hanlon’s razor is especially useful for navigating connections in the virtual world. For example, since the signals of body language and voice intonation are missing in the virtual world, harmless lines of text can be read in a negative way. Hanlon’s razor says the person probably just didn’t take enough time and care in crafting their message.
Beavers are known to settle in freshwater lakes and rivers, so a tidally salty wetland might seem like a strange place to search for beavers. But in Washington, beavers have made their home at the salty Elwha delta which was only recently reformed after two dams in the area were removed in the biggest dam removal project in history.
The fact that beavers have made a salty wetland their home is already remarkable, but what’s even more fascinating is that the beavers’ ecosystem engineering is believed to be responsible for the recovery of the threatened Chinook salmon, whose overall population has declined by 60 percent since 1984. Since the dams were removed and the beavers moved into the delta, the salmon population has already doubled.
Beavers and salmon; it’s a fascinating cross-species connection that you can read further about right here.
If you want to start living a zero-waste lifestyle, then the best place to start is by turning your home into a waste-free place. Cutting waste from your home doesn’t happen overnight, but with a few adjustments, you’ll be able to make your home into a place where nothing goes to waste.
To start with, find the things you already have in your house that can help you reduce your consumption of single-use plastics, such as mason jars and plastic bags.
Next, you’ll want to find shops where you can buy household items that don’t result in extra waste. For instance, if you need personal care products, look to brands such as Lush where you can buy naked bars of soap, shampoo, and lotions without the extra packaging. Should you live in an area devoid of these types of shops, there are a bunch of online stores that specialize in zero-waste lifestyle items and groceries such as Life Without Plastic and Wild Minimalist.
When it comes to groceries, you can already go zero-waste without going to a fancy store. Even stores like Walmart tend to have bulk bins where you can bring your own containers and stock up on staple foods such as rice, beans, and flour.
Living a zero-waste lifestyle also means cutting food waste from your kitchen. There are two main ways to go about doing this. First, buy carefully and reuse leftover items from one meal to make the next meal. Second, start composting. That way, anything that’s left over can be disposed of properly.
We know that’s already a lot of information, but trust us, there’s a lot more you must do before you can call your home a zero-waste one. Just think about basic things such as laundry detergents and beauty products. For all the guidance you need to cut the waste from your home, take a look at these tips from the people over at GreenMatters.
As the urgency of tackling climate change grows with each passing day, industries across all sectors are looking to implement different approaches to offset their carbon footprint.
In a bid to do just that, water companies in England have announced plans to plant 11 million trees – part of a wider commitment to improving the natural environment to support their goal of achieving a carbon-neutral water industry by 2030.
The firms will be planting trees on around 15,000 acres of land across England, as well as supporting work to restore original woodland and improving habitats that store carbon. While some of this land is owned by the water companies themselves, additional land will be provided by partners, including local authorities and regional environmental NGOs.
The production of concrete is responsible for as much as eight percent of annual CO2 emissions. Knowing that this is a big problem for future business, manufacturers have been looking for ways to reduce their carbon emissions which come from two sources. Traditionally, about half comes from the heating of the kiln, and the other half comes from the chemical reaction that makes cement out of calcium carbonate. And while there has been progress in producing more sustainable materials, getting it on the market has been a challenge – that is, until now.
A venture between the cement giant LafargeHolcim and cement-and-concrete technology start-up Solidia Technologies has had a commercial breakthrough for its patented low-CO2 cement. It will supply that cement to EP Henry, a national concrete products supplier.
Solidia concrete product hardens by adding CO2 instead of water in a patented curing process that reduces the overall carbon footprint by up to 70 percent – achieved with a 40 percent reduction in carbon emissions and a 30 percent reduction in energy during production. What’s more, this concrete can be made in a conventional cement kiln with the heat turned down, so it works within the existing systems of production.
While squeezing 70 percent of CO2 out of the production is an impressive achievement, it won’t be an effective solution unless more companies start to take up this sustainable alternative.
While carbon dioxide is typically painted as the bad boy of greenhouse gases, methane is roughly 30 times more potent as a heat-trapping gas. And one of the biggest sources of the gas comes from agriculture or, more specifically, from cow burps.
In 2014 Australian scientists discovered that a puffy pink seaweed, called Asparagopsis, can completely eliminate methane production when added to the cow feed. Now, scientists want to farm Asparagopsis on a large scale to reduce Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions – and the world’s.
One of the leading scientists in the study said that if enough pink seaweed was grown, it could help reduce greenhouse gas emissions in Australia by an impressive 10 percent. The seaweed contains a chemical compound that reduces the microbes in the cows’ stomachs that cause them to burb when they eat grass. According to the researchers, adding as little as two percent of dry seaweed to cow feed could completely knock out methane production.
The research team is currently working to figure out a way to maximize the concentration of the chemical within the seaweed so they can use less of it for the same effect.