Coconut Husks Could Replace Wood Pallets and Save 200 Million Trees Per Year

September 15, 2021 at 6:05 pm

Company turns coconut waste into biodegradable pallets just as strong as wood!

As Lumber Prices Skyrocket, Builders Give Hemp Blocks a Second Look

June 2, 2021 at 5:41 pm

The cost of wood has gone up by 500% in a year, pushing more builders to consider hemp building materials

Hemp and lime blocks built in Pennsylvania are used for building insulated walls. Credit: Coexist Build

For the Cost of an iPhone, You Can Buy a Windmill that Will Power a Small House for Life

April 16, 2021 at 3:56 pm

Super cheap, super efficient wind turbine could power your home for free for the rest of your life

Japan Had its Earliest Cherry Blossom Bloom in 1200 Years This Year

April 6, 2021 at 2:12 pm

Warmer springs are causing Japan’s cherry blossoms to bloom nearly a month earlier than they used to

Man-made Stuff Outweighs Earth’s Total Biomass for First Time, New Study Finds

December 16, 2020 at 12:21 am

2020 is the first year human-made materials outweigh nature!

Super Efficient Solar Hemp House Design Could Help Moroccans Live Comfortably Off Grid

November 11, 2020 at 5:51 pm

A sphere of solar panels passively cools the earthen home while generating maximum electricity

Worn Out Wind Turbine Blades Are Piling Up in Landfills Because They Can’t Be Recycled

October 26, 2020 at 1:46 pm

Governments are realizing they have nowhere to put the hundreds of thousands of aging wind turbine blades that will reach the end of their lifespans over the next decade

Credit: Benjamin Rasmussen, Bloomberg

In an epic case of poor foresight, the “clean, green” wind industry forgot to come up with a plan for what to do with wind turbine blades after they stop working.

Like all things, they get old and stop functioning properly after a while, but the plastic  used to make them lasts virtually “forever.”

The industry has found ways to recycle the steel used to build the towers, but not the fiberglass (a type of plastic) used to build the blades of the high-tech windmills.

Now that the first generation of wind turbines has reached the end of their “lives,” tens of thousands of blades the size of Boeing 747 wings are coming down for burial in giant graveyards we call landfills (12,000 a year in the U.S. and Europe alone).

And that’s just a fraction of what’s to come. These dying turbines were built over a decade ago, “when installations were less than a fifth of what they are now,” Bloomberg reports.

That means there will be more than 5 times as many (hundreds of thousands) being retired over the next decade.

Because they are “built to withstand hurricane-force winds, the blades can’t easily be crushed, recycled or repurposed,” Bloomberg notes.

“That’s created an urgent search for alternatives in places that lack wide-open prairies.”

There are only a handful of landfills that accept them in the U.S. in Iowa and South Dakota.

After being cut into three pieces so they can fit on a truck, they are transported thousands of miles to these junk cemeteries and buried in stacks 30-feet deep.

Credit: Benjamin Rasmussen, Bloomberg

“The wind turbine blade will be there, ultimately, forever,”  Bob Cappadona of Veolia Environnement SA told Bloomberg. “Most landfills are considered a dry tomb.”

A Texas startup called Global Fiberglass Solutions has developed a method to break down blades and press them into pellets and fiber boards to be used for flooring and walls.

“We can process 99.9% of a blade and handle about 6,000 to 7,000 blades a year per plant,” said Chief Executive Officer Don Lilly. “When we start to sell to more builders, we can take in a lot more of them. We’re just gearing up.”

Until demand for the company’s product increases, the blades will continue to make the long haul to the landfills in cities that are paid up to $675,000 to store them indefinitely.



Joshua Tree Becomes First Protected Plant Due to Climate Change

October 11, 2020 at 1:50 pm

It’s now illegal to damage or destroy a Joshua tree for any reason under California’s Endangered Species Act

Joshua Tree National Park could be devoid of its namesake by the end of the century

Tesla is About To Unveil a “Million Mile Battery” That Will Make Electric Cars Cheaper than Gas

September 2, 2020 at 12:35 am

Tesla’s new “game changer” battery will last 70+ years and make gas guzzlers obsolete, Musk says

STUDY: Megadrought Emerging in Western U.S. is the Worst in 1200 Years

April 19, 2020 at 11:48 pm

The last 20 years have been the driest in over 1000 years according to tree-ring data, and scientists don’t expect conditions to get better anytime soon

O.C. Fisher Lake in San Angelo, Texas, in 2011. Credit: Tony Gutierrez, AP