Element Hotels – Green Traveler Friendly

Element Hotels are made to order for travelers who are conscious of the environment and who appreciate good design and lots of light. Their design ethic includes guest rooms and public spaces with as much natural light as possible. Stylish and sustainable throughout, Element offers comfort with a conscience and signature amenities from its complimentary, healthy RISE breakfast and RELAX evening reception to saline swimming pools, spacious fitness centers, bikes to borrow and electric vehicle charging stations. Element made history in 2008 as the only major hotel brand to pursue LEED certification for high-performance buildings brand-wide. To date, there are Element hotels in 10 U.S. markets, with new domestic and international hotels in development. My wife and I stayed at the Element hotel in New York City recently, guests of the chain. We drove to the hotel in our Chevrolet Volt and charged it at the EV charging station in the parking facility the hotel uses. This was the first time in over two years of Volt ownership that I was actually able to charge the car at a hotel. I am planning on purchasing an all electric in a year or so, being able to charge at a hotel becomes extremely important. Kudos to Element for being kind to EV owners! Note, this was not free at the New York hotel where a parking facility across the street is used for parking, but I was told that at other Element Hotels free charging stations are available.

Element Hotels, Great for the Green Traveler

Element Hotels are made to order for travelers who are conscious of the environment and who appreciate good design and lots of light. Their design ethic includes guest rooms and public spaces with as much natural light as possible. Stylish and sustainable throughout, Element offers comfort with a conscience and signature amenities from its complimentary, healthy RISE breakfast and RELAX evening reception to saline swimming pools, spacious fitness centers, bikes to borrow and electric vehicle charging stations. Element made history in 2008 as the only major hotel brand to pursue LEED certification for high-performance buildings brand-wide. To date, there are Element hotels in 10 U.S. markets, with new domestic and international hotels in development. My wife and I stayed at the Element hotel in New York City recently, guests of the chain. We drove to the hotel in our Chevrolet Volt and charged it at the EV charging station in the parking facility the hotel uses. This was the first time in over two years of Volt ownership that I was actually able to charge the car at a hotel. I am planning on purchasing an all electric in a year or so, being able to charge at a hotel becomes extremely important. Kudos to Element for being kind to EV owners! Note, this was not free at the New York hotel where a parking facility across the street is used for parking, but I was told that at other Element Hotels free charging stations are available.

Stress makes organic tomatoes more nutritious, sweeter

Organic tomatoes are sweeter (more sugar) and more nutritious (more vitamin C and anti-oxidants) than tomatoes grown with pesticides and chemical fertilizers, according to a new study published in the open-access journal PLOS ONE. The scientists theorize that stress may be why organic farming produces a more nutritious and tastier tomato.

Electric Flowers

Flowers are pretty and attractive for a variety of reasons. These all just means of communicating to likely pollinators. Flowers' methods of communicating are at least as sophisticated as any devised by an advertising agency, according to a new study, published today in Science Express by researchers from the University of Bristol. However, for any advert to be successful, it has to reach, and be perceived by, its target audience. The research shows for the first time that pollinators such as bumblebees are able to find and distinguish electric signals given out by flowers.

Europe’s Unexpected Immigration Problem – Wildlife!

Animals and plants brought to Europe from other parts of the world are a bigger-than-expected threat to health and the environment costing at least €12 billion a year, a study said on Thurday (21 February). More than 10,000 'alien' species have gained a foothold in Europe, from Asian tiger mosquitoes to North American ragweed, and at least 1,500 are known to be harmful, the European Environment Agency (EEA) said.

Small Planet Around Kepler -37

NASA's Kepler mission scientists have discovered a new planetary system that is home to the smallest planet yet found around a star similar to our sun. The planets are located in a system called Kepler-37, about 210 light-years from Earth in the constellation Lyra (the general direction of the star Vega). The smallest planet, Kepler-37b, is slightly larger than our moon, measuring about one-third the size of Earth. It is smaller than Mercury, which made its detection a significant challenge.

Latin America Analysis: Environmental Policy and Deforestation

In a year that was marked by bad news on the environmental front — the polar ice caps melting at an increasing rate, the decline in biodiversity, the failure to reach agreement on climate change, amongst other things — the release of data, at the end of 2012, showing a fall in deforestation in the Amazon, one of the most important biomes in the world, came as a relief. According to estimates by the National Institute for Space Research (INPE) — a Brazilian organisation that conducts environmental surveillance programmes in the region — 4,600 km2 of jungle, in Brazilian territory, were deforested between August 2011 and July 2012. This is a drop of 27 per cent, compared with the same period, a year before. Brazil, where deforestation is seen as the main cause of carbon emissions, has set itself a voluntary goal to reduce illegal logging, annually, in the Amazon, to an annual maximum of 3,900 km2 by 2020. The latest figures would seem to indicate that the country is only four per cent shy of reaching its goal. Celebrations, however, have been short-lived. The Amazon's monthly deforestation alert system is already showing a marked increase in the area cleared in the last five months of 2012.

Avocados Linked to Better Diet Quality

Break out that guacamole! New data suggests avocado consumption may be associated with better diet quality! Avocados, also known as the alligator pear for their shape, skin and rough texture can be found in dishes all around the world. From adding them to dips, spreads, salads and sandwiches, avocados not only add to the flavor of your meal, but carry multiple health benefits as well.

Mobile masts could help measure rain and chill vaccines

Mobile-phone masts in Africa could be used for other development initiatives, such as filling gaps in rainfall data and providing electricity to refrigerate vaccines, experts say. For example, masts could be used to measure rainfall in areas without rain gauges, according to a study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) this month (4 February).

In the News: Whales to benefit from a reduction in shipping noise

The North Atlantic right whale, along with many other whale species, is set to benefit from work by scientists to reduce the noise levels caused along shipping routes. One of the rarest of the large whales, the North Atlantic right whale is thought to have a population of just 500 individuals, and it is believed that excessive noise along shipping routes is likely to negatively affect this threatened species. The din from commercial ships makes it extremely difficult for the marine mammals to communicate with one another, which in turn means that their ability to locate food and mates, and therefore their ability to sustain a viable population, is greatly diminished.