Space hotel by 2016

A Russian firm is set to build a hotel (or a Commercial Space Station) in orbit 217 miles up by 2016. It will take two days aboard a Soyuz rocket to get there and it won't be a budget holiday, the Daily Mail reported. The hotel would house seven guests in four cabins and have huge windows for views of the Earth turning below.

Freiburg: the world's ecological model city

Situated in the famous Black Forest bordering France and Switzerland, it also houses the world's first ecological district, Vauban, a solar-powered low-energy housing area inhabited by around 6,000 people.

The story of Freiburg, better known as the environmental capital of Germany, goes back to the early 1980s when local people stalled the installation of a nuclear power plant in the city and forced the authorities to switch to renewable sources of energy.
Freiburg is much admired for its cycling, muesli eating and garbage recycling. Its broad climate protection measures have been attracting attention from across the world.
Vauban was established in 1995 by a group of citizens who wanted to show their care for energy.The architecture of houses in the area is totally different from one another. But all of them have solar panels installed on flat roofs, a rainwater harvesting and recycling system, wooden walls and floor.The area also has many passive houses - houses built in a way that they do not need energy for cooling during summer or heating during winter.
"Vauban is the lowest energy consumption area of Germany which consumes only a quarter of energy consumed by an average household in the rest of the country. The solar energy produced by rooftop solar energy panels in the area is sufficient to meet 60 percent energy demands of the residents here," Hans-Gerrg Herr, an expert in renewable energy here, told IANS.

Tweeting in Times of Distress

The bomb blasts in Mumbai recently sparked a surge of anger, grief and concern online. Within minutes, users on Twitter exchanged real-time updates even as people started offering all kinds of help. An online Google Docs spreadsheet with details of people offering food, lifts, accommodation, and information on the missing and injured persons, or even particular blood groups spread virally on Twitter.

World Green Tourism comes to a Global Stage

The World Green Tourism 2011 will be held at Abudhabi in December 2011 and the following are the Conference Highlights:
• Wild Jordan and The Blue Yonder will tackle the issue of limiting tourist numbers and asking if this is necessary in environmentally sensitive areas like the Middle East.
• The Government of Kerala and Thomas Cook will be discussing if large scale tourism can ever be truly sustainable.
• The Government of Oman and Etihad will be discussing the pertinent issues of water and energy use, considering the impact increasing demand and constricted supply with have on the tourism sector.
• Ministers of tourism will announce tourism and sustainability policies and provide feedback from the closed door minister's session.
• The relevance of green certifications will be examined by the UN Foundation and Green Globe.
• Workshops will offer you practical solutions for reducing energy use and engaging local communities.

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