Stories tagged ecosystem

You know you want to know!

First, check out the Household Flux Calculator, and discover your flux score. With your curiosity piqued, keep going and find out how your household activities influence the cycles of carbon, nitrogen, and phosphorus.

Although households are known to influence the energy budgets of cities and countries, few studies have looked at their contribution to environmental pollution. The University's Twin Cities Household Ecosystem Project involves a survey of 3,100 urban and suburban households in Ramsey and Anoka counties and their household emissions. The study centers on a range of behaviors, including household energy use, food choices, vehicle use, air travel habits, pet ownership and lawn care practices. University scientists Lawrence Baker, Sarah Hobbie and Kristen Nelson will discuss the surprising results of this groundbreaking research.

And, yes, they'll answer the question, if you ask them nicely.

Households and Urban Pollution
Tuesday, January 18, 7 p.m. Doors open at 6 p.m.
Bryant-Lake Bowl, Minneapolis
Cost: $5-$12. Tickets available at the door and online at Bryant-Lake Bowl.
Call 612-825-8949 for reservations.


Nano housing
Nano housingCourtesy chappie

First a $2000 car, next $7,800 housing

TATA, the manufacturing company that is selling the world's cheapest car, is now planning to provide thousands of affordable housing units for people living in India. While not affordable to India's poor or even lower middle class, these apartment units are within reach by India's middle class who make between six and ten thousand dollars a year.

Only 218 sq. ft.

The living units are tiny but built within living communities that include its own garden, post office, meeting hall, schools, and hospital. The smallest units will be 218 square feet. The largest units would be about 373 square feet. Click this link to see floor plans.

An integrated township ecosystem

TATA Housing Development Company Ltd. is engineering a community and neighborhood concept with its first development near Mumbai named Shubh Griha. Their website proudly lists components included within Shubh Griha complex:

  • Community spaces for socio-religious gatherings
  • Rain Water Harvesting
  • Balanced mix of buildings and open spaces – best quality lighting & ventilation for all apartments
  • Large vegetated area to ensure fresh environment for living
  • Vermiculture – to make eco-friendly natural fertilizer
  • Neighborhood Retail spaces, specified Hawkers zones
  • Recreational facilities

Click this link for more news about TATA's housing

Source: Business Week


They’re watching: Waiting, patiently waiting, all the time planning their next move. Photo by Darragh Sherwin at
They’re watching: Waiting, patiently waiting, all the time planning their next move. Photo by Darragh Sherwin at

A recent study has shown that squirrels eating a large item of food are more vigilant, keeping an sharper eye out for predators than squirrels nibbling on tiny bits. Now, before you say “what an appalling waste of American taxpayer money!,” please realize two things:

1) The study was done in Canada.

2) Understanding animal behavior is crucial to protecting the environment.

The researchers note that humans have a tendency to change habitats as we move into them. Some of those changes may make an animal feel threatened when it is not – or feel protected when it is actually vulnerable. Inappropriate behavior can lead to declining populations, upsetting the whole ecosystem.

So, be careful where you spread your birdseed. A squirrel’s life could depend on it.