What would driving in Tucson be like without all the road pylons and traffic detours? A whole lot more relaxed! But the cracks and potholes caused by our weather may become a thing of the past with the development of plastic roads, as proposed by the Dutch firm Volkerwessels. The material would be virtually weatherproof, capable of withstanding temperatures from -40 to 176 degrees Fahrenheit, and consist 100 percent of recycled plastic. The segments would fit together like Lego blocks and be hollow to accommodate ducts and cables. The durability of road would triple and, of course, it would reuse a whole lot of plastic waste. The idea is still on paper, but the port city of Rotterdam has already expressed interest.
Talking about Lego: the Danish firm is moving away from oil-based plastics in the manufacturing of its building blocks. By 2030, all Lego block should be made of sustainable materials. With an output of 60 billion blocks a year, this should reduce the company’s carbon footprint by three quarters.
SKY ISLAND EXCURSIONS
The Sky Island Alliance organizes several restoration excursions in the coming weeks. On Tuesday, July 28, and Wednesday, July 29, you can join the Alliance for one or both days in Madera Canyon to ensure that its famed population of birds and other native species have the water they require.
On Friday, August 7th, the Alliance goes to Sutherland Wash just north of Catalina State Park to improve the flow of water there for the benefit of plants and animals alike.
And on August 7-9, the Alliance will be in the Santa Rita Mountains to assess springs that would be destroyed by the proposed Rosemont Copper Mine. This area is home to jaguar!
For more information, please visit www.skyislandalliance.org
BIRD & WILDLIFE FESTIVAL
The Tucson Audubon Society hosts the Tucson Bird & Wildlife Festival from August 12-16.
The festival comprises full-day and half-day guided birding field trips departing from the Riverpark Inn.
Many of the excursions are already fully booked, but there are still slots available for the half-day trips to the Sweetwater Wetlands and to Madera Canyon, both on Friday, August 14, and for the Willcox Shorebirding Excursion on Sunday, August 16. There is still room on the full-day excursion to Patagonia and Sonoita on August 16 as well.
There will be workshops, presentations and other activities at the Riverside Inn on Friday and Saturday from 10 am to 6 pm and Sunday from 10 am to 2 pm.
For more information, please visit www.tucsonaudubon.org.
Northern Europe is experiencing the hottest summer in recorded history, accompanied by extremely heavy weather. A storm as forceful as the one that tore through the northwest last Friday has not occurred since 1901.
Sales of airco systems and fans are unprecedented and power usage has correspondingly increased by some 40%.
Water usage has increased by about the same amount, but restrictions are imminent, because of a drought that has lowered water levels to such an extent that some major shipping locks are impassable.