Why These 2 Schools are the Greenest on Earth

So California, you’re doing a great job…but…Hong Kong and Kenya have the best green schools of all time.

But all jokes aside, these two schools have been named the Greenest Schools on Earth for 2013. Usually, there is only one winner; however the Global Coalition for Green Schools, which is an initiative of the Center for Green Schools at the U.S. Green Building Council and the World Green Building Council, simply couldn’t decide. They granted each school $5,000 to continue to work on their sustainability projects.

Say hello to the winners:

Sing Yin Secondary School – Hong Kong

What’s great about this school?

It has an organic farm.

It has two green roofs.

It even has an aquarium.

All classrooms are equipped with solar panel lighting, LED sensors, and motion sensors.

And, last but certainly not least, the school has assigned 100 students to be “green ambassadors” to carry out green initiatives in the community.



Uaso Nyiro Primary School – Kenya

It has a Waterbank School Building, which is made from materials found in the surrounding area and local labor.


The facility stores and filters clean water for its students and the surrounding community.

It even provides protected gardens with organically grown fruits and vegetables.

Which includes a courtyard theater and a community workshop where they have gatherings and “environmental theater”.

^ Dead Poet’s Society, Midsummer Night’s Dream reference. Edumacation.

And they did it at a disadvantage — 25% of the community lives on less than $1.25 a day, and it increased school attendance from 70% to 90%. You know what else? The risk of waterborne disease has dropped to zero.

So, yeah. These schools win.

OnAir: Thoughts/opinions? Know how you can make your school a candidate for 2014, or even a winner? Share your insight in a comment below!

Source: http://asumag.com/green-design-amp-buildings/2-schools-chosen-greenest-world?NL=ASU-02&Issue=ASU-02_20131024_ASU-02_886&YM_RID=sales@cxgbs.com&sfvc4enews=42

Bike Art

Yes, biking is perhaps one of the most (if not THE most) accessible, efficient, and eco-friendly ways to travel. But how cool is it when you have over 3000 bikes upcycled into beautiful art?

Yes, I know, it’s absolutely beautiful.

Ai Weiwei, a Chinese artist, set up this beautiful display in Toronto with lights. And it’s a true spectacle. It was the centerpiece for Scotia Nuit Blanche, which is a contemporary-art all-night event.

I just…cannot.

Bikes have a beautiful, geometric shape, no? And it’s cool that anything can be upcycled into beautiful art.

OnAir: How has this piece inspired you? Does it make you want to bike? Or maybe it makes you want to upcycle. Either way, you’ve got our support! Share your comments below!

Source: http://www.mymodernmet.com/profiles/blogs/ai-weiwei-forever-bicycles-installation-nuit-blanche-toronto

Wait, what are CDs again?

Okay, the last time we saw CDs, we were in elementary school. I think. Point is, we just don’t really do CDs anymore. If you’ve still got stacks hanging around, you might consider putting them in a museum.

But not so fast. Because someone’s developing new technology that uses old CDs to clean wastewater.

How does it work? The research team in charge of this revelation at National Taiwan University grew incredibly small, zinc oxide nanorods that stood upright. They act as photocatalysts that break apart organic molecules when exposed to UV lights on top of optical disks….or CDs.

So when contaminated water hits the device, the water spreads out to where UV light can easily pass through it and break up the contaminants.

O hai, nanorods.

What’s also great about this new research (which as we mentioned, they are turning into a device) is that it’s low power, small and efficient. We might really have a breakthrough on our hands.

OnAir: Heard of any other types of great technology in regards to wastewater? Update us in a comment below!

Source: http://www.treehugger.com/clean-technology/old-cds-could-be-re-used-sewage-treatment.html

Parking Space = Tiny Park

I think it might be safe to say that parking lots can be wasted space. If you take a step back and really think about it, they’re these huge swatches of land that only get used for one thing. And that one thing is storing the things that keep spouting pollutants into the air. FAIL.

So when we heard about Parking Day 2013, we were all about it. Parking Day is an event that originally took place in San Francisco and spread all over the United States. The idea behind Parking Day 2013 is to turn parking spaces into “public parks” or whatever else would be a better use of space.

Check it out.

Belo Horizonte, Brazil

San Francisco – A goat parklet


San Francisco – Free braiding

Phoenix – A bike parklet


No Atlanta representation yet, but that’s all the more reason to have an epic showing for Park Day 2014.

What would your Parking Day park look like? Share your ideas in a comment below!

OnAir: Also, as long as we’re cutting down on parking spaces…you know what super-fun transportation mode doesn’t need a parking lot? BIKING. Join the Teen Bike Challenge today!


Source: http://grist.org/slideshow/park-get-set-go-heres-what-it-looks-like-when-the-weird-and-the-car-free-steal-your-spot/

10-year-old eco-warrior is the best kind of overachiever

This environmentalist is only 10 years old. Yep. She’s younger than us. Way younger.

Her name is Hannah Alper. She’s Canadian. And here are a few of her projects:

-She started a green blog dealing with environmental issues like clean water, child labor, green living, and fair trade.

-She organized a shoreline cleanup in her community.

-She was the youngest WWF Earth Hour Team Captain of 2013.

-She spoke at the WWWF Earth Hour event in Toronto.

-She is the official “on the go eco-blogger” for the JUNO Awards.

-She launched We Create Change.

Yep. She’s more accomplished than some adults we might know. And that’s amazing.

It definitely inspires us to take more action in our communities. How about you?

Thing you can bat to that? Share your accomplishments or plans regarding the environment in a comment below!

Source: http://grist.org/list/this-amazing-green-blogger-activist-and-speaker-is-only-10-years-old/

Bike-Powered Elevator

Yes, we know what it sounds like initially. Like…why in the world would you have a bike powered elevator when you could just walk up the steps?

Thing is, this isn’t just a normal elevator. It’s an elevator created for a treehouse. SO NO STEPS, Y’ALL. NONE.

When Ethan Schlussler of Idaho was building a treehouse, he got tired of climbing up and down the tree to do work. So naturally he decided that pedaling into open air would be the way to go. We love it.


(Also, maybe don’t try this at home.)

OnAir: Oh, but speaking of bikes…and how they basically solve all of life’s problems…please tell me you’ve signed up for our Teen Bike Challenge. If you haven’t, YOU ABSOLUTELY SHOULD. Click here to learn more and join now!

Thoughts/opinions? I’d love to see what you guys have to say 🙂

Source: http://grist.org/list/bike-powered-treehouse-elevator-is-the-worlds-coolest-way-to-climb-a-tree/?utm_source=twitter&utm_medium=tweet&utm_campaign=socialflow

Did they really just upcycle another bus?

Okay, it’s really not that surprising, actually. We’ve seen buses decked out rooftop gardens, bus parts being used for a variety of things, etc.

But how about a bus being upcycled into a living space?

Quaint, right?

Two women in Even Yehuda, Israel, decided to upcycle an old, run-down bus into this cute, minimalist living space. This is incredibly important as the housing situation for Israel isn’t exactly the most efficient or accessible. Ever since 2011, there have been protests in regard to the rising cost of living.

All of which makes bus living even more attractive. Especially when it’s so beautifully designed. Check it out.

Yeah, okay. This looks nicer than my house. Whatever. It’s cool, it’s fine.

Tell me what you guys think!

Source: http://www.treehugger.com/interior-design/tali-shaul-and-hagit-morevski-convert-public-bus-into-house.html