Respyre: Turning concrete into a green and living material to green-up cities — Life & Soul Magazine

Amsterdam-based startup Respyre is turning concrete into a green and living material with its “bio-receptive” concrete product which when applied to existing structures facilitates the growth of moss. The aim is to apply this concrete as a layer on existing but otherwise bare concrete surfaces. By doing so these bare surfaces will over time be […]

Respyre: Turning concrete into a green and living material to green-up cities — Life & Soul Magazine

Weekly Magick of Symbolism- Action

Magickal Properties of Action: Is Being: When my higher mind was weeding my small dwarf spruce tree my higher mind made me aware of the action. Asked what the action my higher mind was taking is doing? and I replied it is weeding out what is not needed on the tree. Like cutting the dead branches. And so, what does this taking action mean symbolically, she asked? And then it dawned on me that the action meant that I was also weeding everything out of my own life at the same time that which does not belong to my higher mind and trueself. Another way to release and let go. If I wasn’t aware of this, I would have lost the magickal opportunity that the tree was offering me with some extra booster dose to weed things out of my life that I was holding onto. This way it was easy for me to let go because of my awareness in its symbolic message. The magick of the tree and my higher mind makes it possible to just let go. So, by becoming aware of our actions, we get to see what the action represents symbolically. Is it creating what you want or is it creating what you don’t want in your world? What is your action showing you wanting you to be aware of? Pay attention to your action is when you will know whether your higher mind is in control, or you have stepped in and taken control from your higher mind.

Life is symbolic including our physical form. What we say, our doing, our choices, actions are sacred and symbolic in nature. Every action has a purpose, sacredness to it. Being mindful of your action and then putting intention behind your actions makes you aware of your choices, aware of your higher mind and soul and keeps those negative worries, concerns, emotions and feelings out. It is about taking charge of you, being in control of you, being responsible, not letting things slide, being in the knowingness, mindfulness, sacred, symbolic process, creating, giving birth to new beginnings, gratitude, love, magick, healing.

The other thing about action is who is taking the action? is it your higher mind and soul or the body has taken control from higher mind? Be aware of the who. When actions are done by higher mind and trueself it always serves the greater good of the environment and the balance between order and chaos and creates magick. Be your trueself!

What Are Solar Trees, and Could They Replace Solar Panels?- Ecowatch- Nisha Designs

Solar trees in the Super Tree Grove at Gardens by the Bay, Singapore

Solar trees in Super Tree Grove at Gardens by the Bay, Singapore. Coleen Rivas / Unsplash

Did you know that the shape of airplane wings were designed to mimic the sloped wing tips of eagles? That the ridges on whales’ fins that create an aerodynamic flow in water inspired the shape of the modern wind turbine? That termites drilling holes in their mounds to cool down in the desert summers influenced a method for designing more energy-efficient buildings?

Biomimicry has long been one of my favorite growing areas of science and sustainability — emulating models, systems or elements of nature to solve complex human problems. After all, mother nature has been around a lot longer than humans; she has a lot to teach us. So, as a specialist focused on solar energy, I’ve often wondered what nature can teach us about how to capture our power from the sun. Enter solar trees. 

What Are Solar Trees? 

A solar tree is a device resembling a tree in shape, but with photovoltaic (PV) panels in place of its crown. The “leaves” of the tree capture solar energy and convert it to electricity, with branches funneling that electricity down through a trunk and into a central battery within. In essence, they provide the same benefits as solar panels, but they use only a fraction of the surface area necessary for an array of solar panels.       

Solar trees are not a new invention, but they’re enjoying a rising popularity. Most of our readers may recognize the most iconic solar trees in Singapore’s stunning Gardens By the Bay, as seen in productions like Crazy Rich Asians and The Bachelor.

As they exist today, more solar trees raise public awareness around sustainability than are used to generate residential or commercial power. What’s more, the trees are still perceived as “futuristic,” but it might be time we start shifting our mindset about these inventions by incorporating them into our vision of what sustainability looks like in practice. Here’s why:

Benefits of Solar Trees

At first glance, solar trees might seem impractical — more art than function when compared to the best solar panels. But solar trees offer a few surprising benefits over their ground-mounted counterparts, including:

  • Solar trees preserve land: Since solar trees are vertically integrated, they require significantly less land than solar farms. The same logic would apply to a high-rise being able to fit more residents than a one-story house. Plus, because of their greater heights, the panels may receive more sunlight than a ground-mounted or roof-mounted arrangement would.
  • They can provide habitat for rare flora and fauna: Solar trees like those in Singapore’s Gardens By the Bay are large enough to host tropical flowers, vines and plants on its trunk and branches. These valuable habitats provide homes for plants and animals, protecting biodiversity in urban areas. 
  • Solar trees require little maintenance: Besides cleaning debris off the solar panels every now and then, solar trees are standalone electrical units requiring little to no maintenance.
  • The trees cool heat islands: By creating shade in urban environments, solar trees reduce the amount of thermal energy that is reflected off of urban surfaces like asphalt, concrete and brick. This can combat the most deadly effects of climate change within cities.
  • They increase awareness of clean energy: The striking structures are immediate attention-getters, conveying a message of creativity, resourcefulness, humility and the need to incorporate sustainability into everyday life. We see similar art installations at work across the world, such as the Terra pavilion in Dubai.

Solar Trees Vs. Solar Panels

We mentioned that solar trees serve essentially the same purpose as solar panels but require a much smaller footprint to do so. But are there any other significant differences outside the trees’ widespread adoption? Let’s dig in.

Efficiency

Solar panel efficiency is a measure of how much energy is produced relative to the amount of sunlight that strikes the panels. So, to compare a standard solar array and solar trees in terms of efficiency, we’d need to know the specs of the solar cells used within the tree. 

However, when it comes to space efficiency, trees take the crown. This solar tree in West Bengal, India produces enough energy to power five homes in the U.S. Solar trees in Lynn Haven, Florida are capable of powering six to seven homes. Instead of using an entire roof to produce this electricity, the trees do so using only a few square feet of ground space. 

Cost

Since solar trees are still rare in the U.S., the average installation cost is high. According to top solar tree company Spotlight Solar advertises total pricing to be $40,000 to $80,000. Based on current average solar costs, you could buy a 15-kW to 30-kW solar panel system (for context, the average home needs a system between 5 kW and 10 kW). 

Of course, the complexity and size of the solar tree will influence the final price. Until solar trees reach the commercial mainstream, demand will limit their widespread availability. 

Storage and Distribution

Solar trees are used to produce electricity that will be used onsite. Storing and distributing the energy generated by the trees (like solar farms and power plants do) would require larger solar batteries and complex systems of transmission.

Utility

While solar panels are used primarily on rooftops or mounted on the ground, solar trees offer a different type of utility. In addition to energy, they provide shade and whimsy while taking up minimal surface area. A creative mind could find endless uses for these trees: shade for city sidewalks, parking lots, playgrounds, backyards and more. This brings us to…

The Future of Solar Trees

The metallic, modern look of solar trees might turn off the average reader, but keep in mind that as the technology improves, investment flows and demand increases, they’ll become much more similar in appearance to real trees or other plants. This modern mimicry will allow us to blend the trees into our forests, yards, coastlines, parks and cities. 

Apart from residential applications, here are a few of our favorite ideas for the uses of solar trees:

  • Shade along highways or agricultural areas
  • Artistic installations in public parks, outdoor malls and gardens
  • Energy sources for carports and parking lots

Solar trees may still be a few years from the mainstream, but relative to other solar panel alternatives like solar roads, they offer a lot more practical value. The efficiency and versatility of the trees make them ideal for cities and densely populated areas, making us think they will be commonplace sooner than you might expect. 

Looking to “Plant” a Solar Tree?

The options are still somewhat limited, but there are a number of organizations that can install solar trees throughout the U.S. We’d recommend starting with these companies:

Smartflower

Smartflower offers stunning designs of solar devices in the shapes of trees and sunflowers, with solar petals tracking, opening and closing with the sun for optimal energy conversion. We’re talking about premiere trees here. Each tree has an output of 2.5 kW at peak power, which is about half the power production of a small home rooftop solar system. 

Smartflower solar flower on lawn with two people and dog playing Frisbee
Courtesy Smartflower

Spotlight Solar

North Carolina-based Spotlight Solar produces models of several different types of solar trees. With flexible configurations, accessory options, efficient panels and quick assembly, Spotlight Solar’s trees serve as great options for public parks, carports and walkways.

Spotlight Solar solar tree models diagram
Courtesy Spotlight Solar

Beam Global

Founded in 2006, Beam Global (formerly Envision Solar) produces patented infrastructure products for the electrification of transportation. The San Diego-based company offers solar trees and solar carports as electric vehicle charging stations.

Beam solar trees shading parking spots
Courtesy Beam

Karsten Neumeister is a solar energy specialist with a background in writing and the humanities. Before joining EcoWatch, Karsten worked in the renewable energy sector of New Orleans, focusing on solar energy policy and technology. A lover of music and the outdoors, Karsten might be found rock climbing, canoeing or writing songs when away from the workplace

Weekly Magick of Symbolism- Airplane- Nishante Divinelove

Magickal Properties of Airplane: I remember my first time sitting in an airplane when I was 10 years old. My first trip to USA. It was magick. That I could fly and go anywhere I want to. And ever since then 40 years later I have been flying and soaring as a lioness.

Its magickal properties are creativity, dreams and possibilities, freedom, endless pursuits, goals, visions, intuition, imagination, magick, owning one’s power, Stories, myths, tales, fables, broadens our awareness, knowledge, wisdom, capabilities, travel, soul journeys, shamanic journeys, discoveries of otherworld’s, luxury, awakens your inner child, fun, balance. It reminds me of dragons. Its magick teaches us let go of controlling that is not in your control rather learn to be in control of you. Your Inner world of thoughts, beliefs and change what you can, and you can soar as high as you desire that serves the greater purpose. Let your soul drive the winds of your life as they are the creators of your life. There are no limits to our soul only limits are what we put on ourselves. Plane rides are sometimes bumpy, sometimes smooth and sometimes fatal, its magick is about showing us how do we desire to travel? Do we choose a bumpy ride or smooth ride of being aware of oneself and being responsible of our actions so we can be the balance and go with the ebb and flow. No matter what happens we are in the knowing we will accomplish and reach our destination in gratitude. It also teaches us to accept ourselves as we are and what is.

So next time you sit in an airplane, or you think about airplane in your meditation ask for its assistance to show you the magick that you are. And always remember inanimate objects are sentient energy beings. Everything is energy. Alive and symbolic. Just waiting on us to hear the messages and guidance to better serve our purpose and to have a wonderful joyous ride on this planet. They teach us how to live and thrive on this plane of existence. Respect its presence, magick, direction and guidance they bring to us. Always give gratitude for safe journey home.

Weekly Magick of Symbolism- Acorn — Nishante DIVINELOVE

Magickal Properties of an Acorn: Acorns are the nuts of Oak Trees. I love acorns. It reminds me of Buddha. There magick is Protection, Healing, Strength, Peace, Harmony, Spiritual Growth, increases one’s Intuitive, Psychic and Telepathic abilities and communication, Wisdom, Knowledge, assist in Meditation and maintains our connection and oneness to our higher mind and…

Weekly Magick of Symbolism- Acorn — Nishante DIVINELOVE

How to Keep Your Gift Plants Happy After the Holidays — Wyndesong’s Place

Whether you receive them as a gift or choose them yourself, living plants have become an essential part of holiday decor. Where once only poinsettias ruled, you’ll now find many more options, from Amaryllis and paperwhites to holiday cactus, cyclamen, moth orchids, and hydrangeas. And, of course, you can even have a living Christmas tree.…Read…

How to Keep Your Gift Plants Happy After the Holidays — Wyndesong’s Place

Winter Solstice /Yule 2021 — ravenhawks’ magazine Magick for Mind Body and Soul

Winter Solstice Symbols: Yule or Christmas Tree Continuity of Life, Protection, Prosperity are all symbolic of the evergreen and associated with Green Goddesses & Gods; Hertha; Cybele, Attis, Dionysius (Pine); Woodland Spirits traditions: Roman, Celtic, Teutonic. The tradition of decorating with evergreen trees and boughs, however, originates from ancient pagan cultures. Many cultures saw the […]

Winter Solstice /Yule 2021 — ravenhawks’ magazine Magick for Mind Body and Soul

WEEKLY ENERGY REFLECTION-DECEMBER 13, 2021 – DECEMBER 19, 2021-DIVINATION-Mistletoe- NISHANTE DIVINELOVE

This week’s energy divination reflection is Mistletoe. Mistletoe is a plant that is strongly associated with the oak tree and ancient druids of the celtic culture. Mistletoe symbolizes many magickal properties but for us it brings in a special message this week about adventuring into the magick of our heart and soul. It asks us to open our hearts to our soul. It’s through the opening of our heart is how we will be able to experience the magick of our soul and higher mind. What does your heart want you to be aware of this week? are you connecting to your heart? Do you know who your heart is or what your heart feels like? Journey to becoming soul is through heart. If there is no heart, there is no soul. And if there is no soul there is no life, creation, joy, happiness, love, trust. When we choose to be in control, take control away from our heart and walk away from our heart thinking I got this, I know best how to be and handle life is when things really go out of hands have you noticed? And Mistletoe asks us how is that going for you? It was you who made choices all along to be in control and walk away from your own heart. When you step away from your heart something has to step in to guide you so guess who gets to guide you? Ego. This is when your ego steps in and starts telling you how miserable you are and that you are hurt, lonely, scared, no one loves you, no one wants to see you happy? really? Every part of your life ingredients is then filled with people, situations, circumstances, jobs, career, relationships with no heart at all. It is not anyone’s responsibility to make you happy, or to love you. What brought you to this place is your own doing and choosing to walk away from your heart, your soul and choosing to listen to ego, conscious mind. Notice this week when you do focus on heart there is peace, there is love, trust, safety, sanity, abundance, joy and gratitude. Heart is the way of divine. If you are not connecting with your heart, how will you experience divine within you? How will you experience life of wonder and magick? Ego has no belief in magick, wonder, dreams, creation. Heart the home of soul is fearless. There is only acceptance. In acceptance there is knowing and in knowing there is trust no matter what life throws at me I will be fine because I am one with my heart and soul and this is my home. Right here in my heart where my soul lives and breathes through me.

If you having a hard time opening or connecting to your heart call upon the energy of mistletoe to assist you. And make sure to always give gratitude for their service. Heart is about balance. We take and we give back.

“I enter into the presence of Mistletoe with gratitude for guiding me for this week’s energy reflection and opening my heart and knowing of my soul”

Happy Holidays. Enjoy and we will see you next week.

Podcast: https://anchor.fm/nishantedivinelove/episodes/Weekly-Energy-Reflection–December-13–2021–December-19–2021–Divination–Mistletoe-e1bkirj