Germany Gifts Households With Free Wind Energy

Rarely does a community experience a surplus of energy — much less clean energy. In fact, rural areas are still depending solely on whatever they can gather from eco-boxes. Germany, on the other hand, may be the first to boast an energy overflow. As it happens, in a single weekend, the country produced enough wind energy to provide households with extra — for free!

[Bloomberg], which tracks daily wind power in Europe, said that over 24 per cent of the EU’s electricity demand was powered by wind on Saturday, the highest per cent ever recorded.

Wind farms amassed an impressive output of 39,409 megawatts altogether. That’s almost equally as shocking as electricity itself. But considering much of Germany’s power grid is wind-generated, everything falls perfectly into place.

Offshore wind accounted for 2.8 per cent of the EU’s electricity demand while onshore wind accounted for 21.8 per cent. Wind represented 61 per cent of electricity demand in Germany.

Good weather may have played a hand in helping Germany strike gold (or air) — but its eco-initiatives surely take the cake.

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Germany Offers Free Transport To Fight Pollution

The best things in a sustainable life come free. Whether solar power or library books, the end goal is the same. Protect the planet. Educate. With an extensive amount of waste and pollution looming over the globe, Germany has had enough. To cut rising costs of living and minimize emissions, nation is offering free public transport.

“We are considering public transport free of charge in order to reduce the number of private cars,” three German government ministers wrote in their recent letter to the E.U… “Effectively fighting air pollution without any further unnecessary delays is of the highest priority for Germany.”

Though it hasn’t topped the list of most polluted countries in Europe, Germans remain among the 400,000 that succumb to air pollution every year. Expenses are tricky, but are encouraging other forms of eco-traveling.

The free public transport plans would be complemented by other measures, such as car-sharing schemes or expanded low-emissions zones within cities.

Sure, a crowded subway may not sound ideal — but let’s hope Germany has its reigns on that as well.

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Wild Wolf In Belgium First Spotted In Over A Century

When an endangered species is lucky enough to make a comeback, it isn’t usually without the help of two-legged friends. After all, it’s Kazakh activists bringing wild tigers into jungles after a 70-year absence. But for a lone pioneering wolf, its reemergence in Belgium after a century of silence is all its own doing.

“This increase in wolves numbers and distribution area is going quite rapidly. So it is not a matter of if wolves are coming to the Netherlands, and probably Belgium, but how fast. We have seen in recent weeks how fast they can go.” [said researcher Hugh Jansman.]

Despite a number of herding casualties, the wolf, nicknamed Naya, is a good sign for suffering populations. The number of packs roaming Germany is at 74 — measly but significantly more promising.

“Agricultural areas are being abandoned by people so they are re-wilding again, leaving lots of space for carnivores. The countryside is being abandoned by young people who are moving to the cities.”

Nomadic wolves are no threat to humans — in fact, they are repulsed by our very stench. It is simply pleasing to know that if the world isn’t ending for them, it may not be for us.

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Deposit These Reusable To-Go Cups For A Treat

If anything can get me through a stressful day, it’s coffee. Who needs an upper when you can chug an Americano? Still, masked by its drool-worthy kick, coffee to-go is perpetrating a massive pollution issue. To deal with mountains of plastic waste, edible coffee capsules are making an appearance. Further giving consumers an incentive is the Freiburg Cup, which buyers can take and return for a 1 euro incentive.

Participating stores have an identifying green sticker in the window. When you return the cup, these stores will disinfect and reuse the cups, which can be reused up to 400 times.

As a country that dispenses 300,000 coffee cups an hour, Germany makes a great candidate for the Freiburg. That amounts to a migraine-inducing 2.8 billion tossed cups a year. Though the Freiburg Cup is plastic, it’s significantly less problematic than paper cups.

It’s made from polypropylene and [does] not contain BPA or plasticizers. And according to the book Life Without Plastic, polypropylene is fairly heat resistant and considered “relatively safe.”

The Freiburg still has some tweaks to undergo, but it sure makes up for forgetting your coffee tumbler. And you even get your euro back!

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Artist Builds Parthenon Out Of Books

Some artists boast unusual styles–take the pixel painter who creates portraits out of virtually anything. Others, like Michelangelo, are famous for their grandeur. Artist Marta Minujin is definitely (and literally) making it big, having built a Parthenon using 100,000 books.

Minujín… didn’t just erect that 45-foot-tall structure anywhere. Rather, she chose to build it in the town of Kassel, Germany — and more specifically a plaza called Friedrichsplatz. It was there that, in 1933, members of the Nazi Party burned approximately 2,000 books.

During the “Campaign Against the Un-German Spirit,”… Nazis attempted to do away with any… works… they saw as “un-German” or having corruptive Jewish or “decadent” qualities. During this campaign, the Nazis burned thousands of works of literature that they deemed degenerate or subversive.

Not only did Minujin take months to build the Parthenon–she had to identify 170 banned and censored books. Now that’s symbolism for you. Minujin had also constructed a book-thenon in the 80s following the fall of the military junta in Argentina.

By building these Parthenons, Minujín says she seeks to highlight one thing: that the open exchange of ideas — not their suppression — is the key to building a stable democratic state.

Minujin’s art is a true testament to literature. And who knows? We may run into another Parthenon in the near future.

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