Pheromones, mulch and wildflowers – how to control pests without pesticides

Pheromones that interfere with insect mating patterns, crops that are grown together with others and fields edged with wildflowers are just some of the techniques being developed by European scientists to defend crops from pests without resorting to pesticides, which have been linked to widespread insect biodiversity loss. Most crops require pesticides to grow profitably. But … Read more

Smart windows could reduce the need for energy-hungry air conditioners

Smart windows that control the amount of heat that enters or leaves a building can reduce the need for energy-intensive air conditioning units and help efforts to retrofit Europe’s buildings to make them more energy efficient.   Roughly 75% of EU buildings are energy inefficient and countries now are looking to retrofit old buildings to prevent a … Read more

Building from old buildings: demolition waste is being turned into new concrete

Concrete can perform just as well if three-quarters of its content has been recycled, a team has found. Concrete is made from granular materials such as sand and crushed stone – known as aggregates – bound together by a cement paste. Cement has a high carbon footprint due to the chemistry of its production and … Read more

What urban nature really means for insect biodiversity

Parks and green spaces in cities provide health and wellness benefits to human inhabitants, but they’re not necessarily beneficial for other urban dwellers – like insects. Researchers are investigating urban biodiversity with approaches such as ‘bee hotels’ to see how cities can better foster insect life. Green spaces now cover about 40% of cities in Europe, … Read more

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