The Danish hotel the Crown Plaza Copenhagen has decided to offer free meal vouchers to its guests for harnessing electricity. How are the guests generating electricity do you ask? The Plaza’s gym facility comes equipped with cycling machines that are attached to a generator. For lowering the hotel’s electricity bill, the Plaza has decided to show its gratitude by offering free meal vouchers up to 36 euro to its guests. The guests would have to produce 10 watt hours to receive the vouchers, approximately 15 minutes worth of pedaling. The high tech bicycle equipment comes with a pre-attached iphone that measures the amount of electricity generated.
Copenhagen has one of the highest cycling percentages in Europe. It only seems fitting for the Danish hotel to implement such a sustainable technology.
Here in Seattle it would be interesting to see if other businesses, such as gyms or fitness centers could implement programs similar to the Crown Plaza. Maybe, credit towards a gym membership? This would be a clean and sustainable way of harnessing energy and lowering electricity bills.
Universities or colleges with intramural athletic centers should look into plugging their “flock” of cycling and treadmill machines up to a generator to harness energy. (Hint Hint nudge nudge…University of Washington)
100 places to remember before they disappear is an exhibition of 100 locations that are at risk of vanishing or are currently threatened by climate change.The first international exhibition opened in Copenhagen, Denmark, with the Danish Capital topping the list at number 100. Advocates for the project include: Joss Stone, Desmund Tutu, Peter Garrett, and Dave Stewart. The exhibition was produced by CO+Life marketing company. Aside from the amazing photography and digital media, “100 places” also provides climate change solutions to curb the effects of CO2.
“In the last 30 years, the city has seen an average temperature rise of 1.5°C. In 1995, a severe heatwave killed 700 Chicagoans. In 1986, 1996 and 2008, it experienced severe flooding, with torrential rain shutting down highways and railroads, causing damage to streets and bridges and flooding properties in much of Chicagoland.
Throughout the rest of the 21st century, Chicago could experience a gradual, dramatic increase in heatwaves and flooding due to global warming. Prolonged summer droughts and heavy rainfall would have a grave effect on its infrastructure and transport system.
An increase in hot summer days with temperatures rising above 43°C, combined with unpredictable heavy rain and flooding, could cause more heat-related health problems and damage Chicago’s tourism industry. By the end of the century, the climate in Chicago could be similar to that of southern states like Texas and Alabama today.”
Great Barrier Reef, Australia: 31
“The Great Barrier Reef consists of some 400 different species of hard and soft coral in every imaginable colour. It is home to 1,500 varieties of fish and thousands of different shellfish, whose existence depends on the coral.
Higher water temperatures are very likely to have devastating consequences for the reef, as will increasing acidification of the oceans. If the water temperature rises 1.5°C2°C, many more parts of the coral will bleach and eventually die. An increase of 3°C would wipe the reefs out completely.
Global warming is expected to raise the temperature of the water in the area by at least 2°C by 2100. In other words, it is highly probable that the Great Barrier Reef will disappear from the surface of the Earth.”
Venice, Italy: 24
“Venice was built on wooden poles hammered deep into the muddy ground. The network of picturesque canals earned it the soubriquet the city on the water. By it’s very nature, Venice has always been extremely vulnerable to flooding.
Over the centuries, the city has been slowly sinking by 23 cm in the last century alone. In November 1966, the worst flood in recorded history raised the water level 1.94 metres above the norm and caused widespread damage to many historic sites.
To avoid similar incidents in future, a barrier comprising a number of mobile floodgates is now under construction. Known as MOSE (a play on Mosè, the Italian for Moses, who parted the Red Sea), it is designed to withstand a maximum flood of three metres and to safeguard Venice from storms and rising sea levels until the end of the century. At that time or sooner if climate change accelerates faster than predicted new measures will have to be taken to protect this Adriatic gem.”
Kauai, Hawaii: 1
“Hawaiian Honeycreepers Hiding in the Clouds
High in the cloud forests, where the climate is cool, live the beautiful and colourful Hawaiian honeycreepers. These rare birds use their long, downward-curved bills to sip nectar from flowers, hovering like hummingbirds and emitting a variety of sounds, from nasal squeaks to clear, flutelike calls.
The species of honeycreeper that is endemic to Hawaii lives at an elevation above 1,500 metres where the climate is too cool for mosquitoes to survive. Most of the Hawaiian honeycreepers are only 10-13 cm long and weigh no more than eight grams. They are extremely vulnerable to diseases like avian malaria.
The Hawaiian cloud forests make up one of the ecosystems that is most at risk due to climate change. Relatively small shifts in patterns could cause major local changes, putting the islands distinct ecosystems under pressure.
Deforestation and non-indigenous species like pigs and goats have decimated the honeycreepers habitat in recent years, and it is now an endangered species. With the projected rise in temperatures, mosquitoes are likely to gain a foothold at higher elevations in the Kauai mountains, slowly driving the honeycreeper to extinction.”
– Visit 100places.com for more information