Monday, August 31, 2009

Israeli Company Produces Biodegradable Bottle

Crushed plastic bottlesA biodegradable, environmentally-friendly plastic bottle made in Israel from corn could be hitting the market soon.

Instead of oil-based plastic, Kibbutz Ashdot Yakov’s Log plastics manufacturing company discovered a production method using a corn starch polymer to make the transparent disintegrating bottles. While there are several companies in the world currently producing disintegrating bottles, the Israeli version is believed to be the world’s first to also include a disintegrating label made from corn.

Only the bottle’s cap is made from regular plastic.

The bottles were produced by a joint venture between Eco Joe, an environmentally friendly disposable items distributor, the Log company, and the Mei Bat water company. The first 5,000 bottles are scheduled to be distributed to guests of next week’s Plasto Ispak plastics exhibition at the Israel Trade Fairs and Convention Center in Tel Aviv.

Despite being of slightly harder consistency, the company says it is difficult to tell the difference between the corn bottles and their regular plastic counterparts. Following consumer use of the bottle, the corn bottles disintegrate without a trace within 90 days if placed in compost (organic fertilizer). The bottle’s only drawback is that only a small percentage of Israelis currently take appropriate household waste to a composting facility.

As a result, marketing will begin on a small scale. "There’s no point in flooding the market when anyway it won’t decompose since most Israelis still don’t compost their waste in the house or yard,” said Eco Joe Chairman Avner Inbar.

"We hope that Israel will start pushing advanced waste treatment methods which are more environmentally safe. Then we will be able to widely market the bottle,” Inbar said, promising that the biodegradable water bottles would only be slightly more expensive than regular bottles.

Source: Israel National News

Friday, August 28, 2009

Here Comes The Rain Again

As the saying goes, Israelis made the desert bloom. In spite of that, there is no abundance of water in the desert and there is a water shortage altogether throughout the entire Middle East. So what's an Israeli to do? Fly a kite, er, I mean an airplane! More specifically, a solar powered drone that coasts through the atmosphere, pulling in water and dropping it to the ground in the form of man-made rainfall.

Who said a man can't play Mother Nature? Certainly not Mayer Fitoussi, CEO of Aqua Soft, an Israeli company in Haifa that solves our normal, day to day problems with the greenest of notions. And the best part is that the higher it flies, the wetter things get on the ground.

Get the entire scoop here.

Off to chase some rainbows of my own, till next time!


Solar Energy Systems Installed on Tel Aviv Schools

The coat of arms of the municipality of Tel Aviv YafoInstallation of photovoltaic solar energy systems on the roofs of the Golomb and Rokach schools in Tel Aviv has been completed. Sunday Solar Energy and Rand Metal and Enamel Industries finished the project three months after winning a Tel Aviv-Jaffa Economic Development Authority tender.

The project represents Israel's first tender for public school solar installation. The Tel Aviv-Jaffa Municipality said it intends to expand the program to more schools in the city.

Source: Israel National News

Monday, August 24, 2009

Ben Gurion Airport to install solar energy systems

Ben Gurion International AirportThe Israel Airports Authority plans to install a pilot 50-kilowatt solar energy system on a 500 square meters area at the long-term parking lot. The size of the project is limited to the amount of electricity that can be sold by private power producers to Israel Electric Corporation (IEC).

The Airports Authority aims to earn NIS 400,000 a year from the system, which will provide electricity to the airport. The Airports Authority has not yet estimated the investment needed in the pilot project, which if successful, will be expanded to border terminals.

Planning for the solar energy project should last through the end of the year. At the same time, the Airports Authority is undertaking energy conservation measures to reduce its NIS 60 million energy cost by 15%, or NIS 7.5 million, in 2009.

The plan aims to turn Ben Gurion Airport into an environmental leader.

Source: Globes [online]

Monday, August 17, 2009

Globe Ecological Hub Coming Soon to an Israeli City

Israeli architect Zvika Tamari has his visions set on a rather unusual and unconventional project -- an eco-dome located between Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, surrounded by green spaces and designed to promote sustainable living. Reusing water for irrigation, natural ventilation and solar energy are among the ways this eco-dome would bring the concept of modern, green living to a whole new level.

Get all the juicy, green details here.

The closest I'll come to an eco-dome is my caterpillar hatching into butterflies ecosystem I created (sounds hard but it's really easy) so I'm off to seek out more caterpillars, till next time!


Sunday, August 16, 2009

Why There Is No Peace Under The Olive Trees

Gaza sewage lake
I still remember the September '05 news lines announcing that Israel completely withdrew from Gaza. Palestinians were celebrating by ravaging synagogues and greenhouses and splashing in the crystal-blue waters of the Mediterranean Sea. Every news article I read spoke of those crystal-blue waters. If you look at the map, you will not find rivers or lakes in Gaza. But there are rivers and lakes – rivers and lakes of raw sewage that are making people sick. Raw sewage is flowing freely into the sea that is not crystal blue anymore.

Ilan Juran, an American-Israeli specialist in urban infrastructure, proposed a joint project to build a new recycling and water management system for Gaza City and its surrounding villages modeled on the water treatment facility in Ashkelon.

Mayor of Ashkelon Benny Vaknin went to Brazil to present the idea to the XVII International Media Seminar on Peace in the Middle East, a conference on Middle East peacemaking co-hosted by the United Nations' Department of Public Information and the Brazilian government at the end of July.

It was hoped that officials from both sides would sign the agreement in Rio de Janeiro, but despite permits to travel being arranged by the Israeli side, two days before the conference, Mayor of Gaza City Maged Abu Ramadan and his officials were refused permission to travel by Hamas.

Palestinians from the West Bank and East Jerusalem did attend the event, however, and they signed their names on the water works plan, without the consent of Hamas officials.

Israel will raise more than $50 million needed for the project. Israel will provide the blueprints and specialists. All that is required of Hamas government in Gaza is to accept, no strings attached. But they will not.

And this is, in a nutshell, why there is no peace under the olive trees, 61 years and counting.

Original report: Israel21c

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Ban On Force-Feeding Of Animals

GoslingFoie gras production methods, and force-feeding in particular, really do constitute an awful mistreatment of animals. Animal rights groups have been fighting to ban the practice of force-feeding for years, and I wouldn’t call the current results a great success. Here is what we have so far:

The force feeding of animals for non-medical purposes, essential to current foie gras production practices, is explicitly prohibited by specific laws in 6 of 9 Austrian provinces, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, Norway, Poland, or following interpretation of general animal protection laws in Ireland, Sweden, Switzerland, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom. However, foie gras can still be imported into and purchased in these countries. Most of these countries aren't currently producing foie gras, nor have they been in the past.

Turkey has also banned the force-feeding of animals on June 24, 2004 by the enactment of the animal protection law.

Since 1997, the number of European countries producing foie gras has been cut in half. Five countries still produce foie gras: Belgium, Bulgaria, Spain, France and Hungary.

United States
State of California: The California Health and Safety Code, enacted in 2004 and to become effective July 2012, prohibits force-feeding as well as the sale of foie gras.
City of Chicago: The Chicago City Council voted to ban the sale of foie gras, effective 22 August 2006. Following Mayor Richard Daley’s objections the City Council overwhelmingly repealed Chicago's ban on May 14, 2008.

Elsewhere in the world
Argentina: Foie gras production is illegal as a mistreatment or act of cruelty to animals.

Israel: In August 2003, the Supreme Court of Israel ordered the Israeli Ministry of Agriculture to ban the force-feeding, effective March 31, 2005.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Made In Israel To Save Animals Everywhere

A dog at an animal shelterI strongly believe that concern for the wellbeing of animals is a necessary attribute of a civilized person – or a civilized country. Israelis certainly subscribe to this notion. In fact, Israel can share with the world its success story in animal adoption efforts. What they did was simple yet effective – a national database of animals needing adoption. True, maybe a country that is more substantial than a tiny speck on the world map doesn’t need a nationwide database. Maybe all we need is something on a smaller scale…

As I was browsing the web, I stumbled on a product built in Israel and offered free of charge to anyone who cares enough to use it. MyPetAdopt is a new solution for a community-based pet adoption website built on Joomla 1.5.x content management system foundation. To quote the El-Tech Elharar Techonology company website, “the main goal of this project is to save as many souls as possible”.

Please visit El-Tech Elharar Techonology to see a demo or to download the software.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Joint Israeli-Jordanian Biofuel Project

Collecting agricultural wasteIsrael and Jordan are joining forces to produce biofuel from agricultural waste in a project which will be showcased at Israel’s Water Technologies and Environmental Control Exhibition (WATEC) this November. Run in cooperation with the Peres Center for Peace and using German technology, the project produces biofuel energy without harming food production and offers an alternative for removal and treatment of agricultural waste.
According to a report published on Green Prophet, the proposed project aims to naturally generate 8 million liters of biofuel from over 15,000 tons of dry organic waste, while running exclusively on its own independently produced energy and emitting no pollutants. Biofuels received negative publicity last year after farmers began growing crops solely for the production of bio-fuel rather than food, and were blamed with sparking the global food crisis.