Sustainability Momentum Sdn Bhd

SEEDS Program Promotes Sustainability Practices in Schools Nationwide

E-Magineers (M) Sdn Bhd, has just launched an ecology education program called SEEDS (Sustainable Eco Education Development for Schools) 2014, targeting schoolchildren to promote environmental issues and encourage sustainability practices in schools nationwide. The gist of the program is to help schools in going green, setting up edible gardens and also providing a supportive environment for children to play, explore and learn. The program was held at The School, Jaya One, Petaling Jaya from October 31 to November 2. Parents, teachers and others who are interested in the programs can log on to or to get more detailed information.  
Date & Source: October 17, 2014, The Star 

Breakthrough: New Lithium Ion Battery with Superfast Charging Capability and Longer Lifespan

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Scientists from Nanyang Technological University in Singapore have invented a new type of lithium-ion battery that is able to recharge up to 70 percent in only two minutes. By replacing the traditionally used graphite with a titanium dioxide based gel, the nanostructure of the new material helps speed up the chemical reactions that occur within the battery and thus provide superfast charging. Not only is the new material used cheaper and abundant, the batteries also have a longer lifespan of over 20 years, which is 20 times more than existing batteries. Overall, this breakthrough could helps owners of electric vehicles save on battery replacement costs and allow for development of new applications in electric mobility and energy storage.
Date & Source: October 16, 2014, Reneweconomy 

Power Line Corridors Could be Potential Habitats for Wildlife

Photo Credit:
ROW Stewardship Council
Power transmission lines are often blamed for fragmenting forests, causing collisions and electrocutions for birds and also anxiety due to health concerns about the effect of electromagnetic fields. Wildlife biologists are now starting to reverse the negative image of these linear lines by proposing these areas as potentially valuable corridors for globally endangered species, including many birds and pollinators. As a common practice, large and tall trees are removed in traditional management and most corridors are constantly mowed and sprayed with herbicides to remove unwanted plants. Currently, the Right of Way Stewardship Council are encouraging power companies to manage their corridors through Integrated Vegetation Management (IVM), which promotes the formation of a scrubby habitat of wildflowers, sedges, ferns, and low shrubs that support native wildlife. The New York Power Authority, Arizona Public Service, and Vermont Electric Power Company have obtained their certification for practicing IVM in their power line corridor with several others in the process. Power tility companies in Brazil and Australia are considering similar measures.  Perhaps the Malaysian government may be inspired to do the same here.
Date & Source: October 16, 2014, Yale Environment 360 

Nitrogen Runoff: The Main Culprit Behind Green Sea Turtle Tumors

Photo Credit:
Peter Bennett & Ursula Keuper-Bennett/ Wikimedia Commons
Researchers from Duke University have recently published their study that linked nitrogen runoff from farming areas to a disease, fibropapillomatosis, which attacks green sea turtles with tumors on their faces, flippers and internal organs. A study done in Hawaii shows that excess nitrogen released from urban and farm activities is stored in seaweed in the form of arginine, an amino acid, which then accumulates in the body system of sea turtles that feed on the seaweed. Polluted waters, sea turtle tumors and an invasive red-algae species are all found to contain high levels of arginine. The finding is crucial to help boost better sea turtle conservation and coastal management, especially for those regions where these endangered species are living in, including Malaysia.
Date & Source: October 14, 2014, EcoWatch

Planting the Casuarina in Bagan Lalang

Photo Credit:
The Star
Earlier this month, working with Malaysian Nature Society’s (MNS) Environmental Interpretive Centre (EIC), Nets Printwork Sdn Bhd organized its fifth tree planting event themed “Growing the seeds of Hope” at Sepang Goldcoast in Bagan Lalang. More than 40 participants planted about 30 saplings of the Casuarina spp or Rhu Pantai, in a coastal area that is particularly well known for its mangrove ecosystem. As a natural wind breaker, coastal trees protect the shoreline by slowing down the effect of strong wind and preventing soil erosion. The guide from EIC briefed participants on the biodiversity of mangroves and also demonstrated proper tree planting techniques to ensure their survival in harsh condition. The event helps to raise awareness on the importance in conserving coastal ecosystem, particularly when the world is facing the threat of sea level rise and global warming.
Date & Source: October 11, 2014, The Star 

Working on Waste: New Initiative Focuses On Addressing Household Food Waste in UK

                                                                              Photo Credit:
Blue and Green Tomorrow

The Institute of Grocery Distribution (IGD) has started a campaign named “Working on Waste” in cooperation with the Waste Resource Action Programme (Wrap), in response to the growing concern on the quantity of food waste disposed from UK households. The initiative aims to approach about 650,000 people who work at 107 food and grocery companies in October by sharing tips and ideas on how to reduce food waste using meal planners, waste diaries and leftovers recipes. Based on the figures published by Wrap in June, Britons discard about
£2.4 billion of opened and untouched food in a year.
Date & Source: October 7, 2014, Blue and Green Tomorrow 

Take the Yogurt and Clear Away Toxic Metals!

Photo Credit:
Environmental News Network
A research group from the Canadian Centre for Human Microbiome and Probiotics has successfully produced a probiotic yogurt containing Lactobacillus rhamnosus bacteria that has a high binding affinity with toxic heavy metals. This characteristic of the bacteria was tested for the possibility of preventing heavy metals in food from being absorbed when ingested. In collaboration with the Western Heads East organization, the team had distributed the yogurt produced under a network of community kitchens in Mwanza, Tanzania to a group of pregnant women and children for study. The study observed that the probiotic yogurt has significant protective effect against mercury and arsenic in the pregnant women, which indicates its potential in decreasing negative developmental effects in fetus and newborns.
Date & Source: October 7, 2014, Environmental News Network 

New Life Sciences Building in Bristol University receives Excellent BREEAM Rating

Photo Credit:
Green Building Press
 Bristol University has officially launched the opening of its new Life Sciences Building; a green building that recently obtained an “Excellent” BREEAM rating for its sustainable design and energy efficiency. As the largest project in the campus, the building will serve as the central point for global scale research in fields like food security and environmental conservation. The new landmark of Bristol, with a built-up area of 13,500 square meters involved the dedication and innovation of about 2,000 people, including 28 architects from 10 countries. Advanced heat recovery ventilation system, rainwater harvesting system, lighting control, vertical garden, and greenhouse are the main highlights of the Life Science Building.
Date & Source: October 6, 2014, Green Building Press 

Tide Cold Water: Washing Powder that Repurpose 7000 Tons of Agricultural Waste a Year

Photo Credit:
Click Green
As the global leaders in consumer products, DuPont and Procter & Gamble have taken a new step forward by switching the source of the key ingredient of North American Tide laundry detergent from corn-based ethanol to cellulosic ethanol. The substitution is expected to repurpose about 7000 tons of agricultural waste annually. DuPont will produce the cellulosic ethanol in a new bio-refinery by utilizing a process with zero net carbon emissions. Followed by the initiative to remove phosphates in laundry products in January 2014, this decision represents another strong commitment from both companies in making good use of their strength in global markets to change consumer behavior.
Date & Source: October 6, 2014, Click Green

Canary Islands Call Vote against Oil Exploration

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Local authorities in Spain’s Canary Islands have called a vote on a controversial plan to drill oil and gas off the coast of the popular tourist destination by oil company, Repsol. Residents of the seven-island groups opposed the exploration as they fear that drilling will harm the environment and eventually jeopardize their tourism industry. The company has been granted permission to scour below the seabed 30 miles from Lanzarote and Fuerteventura for three years. In return, Repsol has to provide a deposit amounting to €20 million to offset its environmental impacts and they must cease drilling should an earthquake of a magnitude more than 4.5 hit the region. A civil rights group has planned a protest against the oil drilling across the seven Canary islands on 18 October.
Date & Source: October 2, 2014, The Guardian