A handful of companies are trying to take an idea straight out of Willy Wonka and turn it into reality: edible packaging. I mean, why dump tons of waste into landfills when the container your food comes in could be a part of the snack?
One company called WikiFoods has taken inspiration from fruit to create a frozen yogurt ball surrounded by an edible skin. But marketing glitz aside, this product shows that duplicating nature is no easy feat.
Researchers studying the Gulf of Maine say its waters are warming faster than 99 percent of the world’s oceans, and worry the rising temperatures will hit New England commercial fisheries hard.
The study is still in its preliminary phase, and is being conducted by scientists at the Gulf of Maine Research Institute. According to their data the waters off of New England’s coast are warming by about a half a degree Fahrenheit per year on average. That gives the region a dubious distinction.
The Beacon 10 Stirling – black, with a glowing blue light, and about the size of a large chest freezer – emits a constant low hum. And this one, in the basement of the Essex Resort & Spa, converts natural gas into electricity, enough electricity to power an average-sized home.
It’s just one of the technological innovations on offer at NRG Energy, a national company that is about to use Vermont as a testing ground for its products and services.
At the tail-end of the section that opens New Hampshire’s ten-year energy strategy, released Tuesday, there are three paragraphs that acknowledge the issue which has been dominating the regional energy conversation. During the winter prices spike because natural gas electricity plants have been built and homeowners have converted to natural gas for heating and the region’s network of gas pipelines has not expanded as demand has grown.
Originally published on Wed August 13, 2014 12:58 pm
Green Mountain Power broke ground in Rutland Tuesday on a new $10 million solar project that the utility says will not only generate clean energy, but also provide emergency back up power to parts of the city when needed.
Solar arrays are sprouting up all over Rutland County and some of the larger ones have generated a fair amount of controversy and criticism.
A study by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration or NOAA finds that Atlantic Cod cod stocks have reached the lowest level ever.
Russ Brown, with the NOAA’s Northeast Fisheries Science Center, says after researchers observed declining cod stocks in 2011, counts during the last fishing season showed cod populations continue to slide.
"All three of the bottom trawl surveys have all reached record low levels, and our estimate of spawning stock biomass coming out of the stock assessment has also reached record low levels," says Brown.
Data released Friday shows that a crucial piece of the ecosystem of the Great Bay estuary continued a seventeen-year downward trend.
Eel-grass is a big deal to the Great Bay. According to Rachel Rouillard, the executive director of the Piscataqua Region Estuaries Partnership (PREP), “eelgrass is like our canary in the coal-mine, it’s a fundamental underpinning of the health and vitality of the whole system.”
Compost has long been the domain of farmers and gardeners, not city-folk, but with both Vermont and Massachusetts pushing ahead with bans on throwing away food waste, curb-side pickup of compost is set to become more commonplace.
Banning food-scraps from land-fills hasn’t come been high on the legislative agenda in New Hampshire, but with a few tweaks, towns could begin to turn to compost for another reason: to save money.
As sustainable as Star Island's systems are, the folks at Star Island Corporation are working to make them even more efficient, making improvements that mean bringing less onto the island, sending less off, and making more use of what's there.
The graphic below outlines what comes onto the island - either naturally or shipped by boat - what gets sent off, and where everything goes in between.
Star Island – a 43 acre spit of land in the isles of shoals, more than 6 miles off the New Hampshire coast – is installing enough solar panels to power roughly 30 homes and a battery array to back them up.
The island is home to a hotel and conference center run by a non-profit with close ties to the Unitarian Universalist Church. Its efforts to go solar are actually culmination of years of work that some think are a model for how the future of energy could look on the mainland.
The baseline forecast for New Hampshire's energy mix does not imagine a whole-sale shift in where power comes from over the next ten years, though it does presume that the amount of energy coming from coal will shrink.