Smog Free Tower

Designer Daan Roosegaarde has installed the “largest smog vacuum cleaner in the world” in Rotterdam to help improve the city’s air quality. The seven-meter-tall structure is designed to create a pocket of clean air in its vicinity, offering a respite from hazardous levels of pollution.

According to the designer, it processes 30,000 cubic meters of air per hour – removing ultra-fine smog particles and pumping out clean air using no more electricity than a water boiler. “The Smog Free Tower produces smog-free bubbles of public space, allowing people to breathe and experience clean air for free,” said a statement from Roosegaarde.

Roosegaarde‘s Smog Free Tower was unveiled on 4 September 2015 at Vierhavensstraat 52, following a successful Kickstarter campaign to help fund the project.

Visit the source article here!

https://www.studioroosegaarde.net

Mental Health and Climate

Here is an excerpt from the 2017 APA Mental Health on Climate white-paper:

MENTAL HEALTH
The ability to process information and make decisions
without being disabled by extreme emotional responses is
threatened by climate change. Some emotional response is
normal, and even negative emotions are a necessary part of
a fulfilling life. In the extreme case, however, they can interfere
with our ability to think rationally, plan our behavior, and
consider alternative actions. An extreme weather event can
be a source of trauma, and the experience can cause
disabling emotions. More subtle and indirect effects of
climate change can add stress to people’s lives in varying
degrees. Whether experienced indirectly or directly, stressors
to our climate translate into impaired mental health that can
result in depression and anxiety (USGCRP, 2016). Although
everyone is able to cope with a certain amount of stress,
the accumulated effects of compound stress can tip a
person from mentally healthy to mentally ill. Even uncertainty
can be a source of stress and a risk factor for psychological
distress (Greco & Roger, 2003). People can be negatively
affected by hearing about the negative experiences of
others, and by fears—founded or unfounded—about their
own potential vulnerability.
PHYSICAL HEALTH AND MENTAL HEALTH
Compromised physical health can be a source of stress
that threatens psychological well-being. Conversely, mental
health problems can also threaten physical health, for
example, by changing patterns of sleep, eating, or exercise
and by reducing immune system function.
COMMUNITY HEALTH
Although residents’ mental and physical health affect
communities, the impacts of climate on community health
can have a particularly strong effect on community fabric
and interpersonal relationships. Altered environmental
conditions due to climate change can shift the opportunities
people have for social interaction, the ways in which they
relate to each other, and their connections to the
natural world.

Link to article: https://www.apa.org/news/press/releases/2017/03/mental-health-climate.pdf

Alcedo Sanitizing Force

Among the global efforts to remove litter and material waste from our environment is the environmental conservation organization the Alcedo Sanitizing Force.

Based out of Bandar Lampung, Indonesia, these trash warriors introduce themselves as a “Bunch’o youngsters attemptin to banish plastic pollution from the ecosystem! We r the Sanitizers, we will neva surenda”.

Using a hand-made bamboo “ARP” to quickly and efficiently pick up trash they are well-equipped to fight pollution–not to mention the cool team outfit!

Check out there IG: @asf_trash.warriors

 

Plant With Purpose

With over 23 million trees planted since 1984, Plant With Purpose programs and activities are designed to foster long-term impact by equipping families to use their own God-given abilities to address the problems they face. Through an integrated approach to community development, they work to get at the roots of three facets of poverty—environmental, economic, and spiritual.

How is this possible? Plant With Purpose’s programs help families to increase farm yields, heal damaged ecosystems, improve nutrition, increase household savings, and provide greater economic opportunity. Combined, this integrated program solves two major issues facing the world today: environmental degradation and rural poverty.

There are a variety of ways to get involved with Plant With Purpose including sponsorship, internships, fellowships and volunteering. Visit their website: https://www.plantwithpurpose.org/ to learn more about how you can get involved!

Aclima

Until now. Beginning in 2015, a pair of Google Street View cars, equipped with high tech “mobile labs” developed by San Francisco–based startup Aclima, crisscrossed the streets of West Oakland taking second-by-second samples of the area’s air. They tested for nitrogen dioxide and a type of pollution known as black carbon (bad for your heart and lungs, not to mention the planet), as well as nitric oxide. The cars hit every stretch of pavement, from tiny cul-de-sacs to truck-choked Peralta Street, multiple times, taking millions of measurements.

There are three stationary air pollution monitors for all of Oakland, which reveal the city’s air quality as a whole. But the Street View cars can tell you what the air is like at, say, the corner of Market Street and Grand Avenue—basically anywhere you can drive a Street View car. They can even tell you how the air varies from one end of a single block to the other for a truly hi-res view of the problem.The result: one of the largest and most granular data sets of urban air pollution ever assembled in the world.

Quoting Google’s interview on Aclima: “We visited each block on between 20 and 50 different days over the course of a year,” says Joshua Apte, an engineering professor at the University of Texas at Austin. In the process, they were able to identify patterns they wouldn’t have otherwise seen. “If pollution spikes for an instant, it may or may not be such a bad thing. But if pollution is consistently high, that’s something we really should care about.”

Imagine what difference awareness on air pollution can make when this information becomes more accessible!

Visit https://aclima.io/ for more information!

Plastic Bank

The Plastic Bank is an organization setting out to stop ocean plastic and poverty by turning waste into currency! The Plastic Bank is a root cause solution to prevent the flow of plastic into our oceans using Blockchain technology.

Partnering with IBM to unite & empower recycling ecosystems to safely transfer as much value as possible into the hands of collectors, Plastic Bank’s mission is to stop Ocean Plastic by gathering a billion people together to monetize waste while improving lives.

Plastic Bank was the featured solution to stop Ocean plastic in the award-winning documentary A Plastic Ocean. They received the prestigious Sustainia Community Award at COP21 during the Paris Climate Summit, the RCBC innovation award, and recently their new Blockchain exchange & incentives platform received an IBM Beacon Award.

Visit their website to find out more on how you can get involved, their work in Haiti and many other videos!

Cora Ball

 

A hard truth to swallow, but according to Rozalia Project, we are eating our fleece! Rozalia Project has developed the Cora Ball microfiber catcher, the first human-scale, consumer solution to synthetic microfiber pollution in our ocean, lakes and rivers. Check out their successful Kickstarter Campaign here: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/879498424/cora-ball-microfiber-catching-laundry-ball

The single biggest pollution problem facing our ocean is microfiber: trillions of pieces of tiny fibers flowing into the ocean – every time we use our washing machines. Our clothing is breaking up, sending this microfiber (made of plastic and chemical-covered non-plastics) out with the drain water – just one fleece jacket could shed up to 250,000 pieces per garment per wash [source]. New York City, alone, could have 6.8 billion microfibers flowing into its harbor every day. We are all contributing to this problem. Learn more about the problem of microfiber pollution herehttp://rozaliaproject.org/stop-microfiber-pollution/

Eden Reforestation Projects

Eden Reforestation Projects, a California Registered 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, reduces extreme poverty and restores healthy forests in Haiti, Madagascar, Ethiopia, and Nepal by employing local villagers to plant millions of trees every year.

Eden currently has projects in countries, with 139,897,936 trees planted over 1,398,979 workdays created with 1176 members as of September 2017!

The destruction of healthy forest systems causes so many different problems. Trees provide a habitat for animals, purify water sources, control flooding and erosion and help to replenish the soil with nutrients needed for farming. When farmers can’t grow anything their farms fail and they have no option but to move to the overcrowded cities looking for work. Often they have to resort to selling themselves or their families into slavery just to survive.

Eden has started by hiring the local villagers to plant trees. This gives them a decent income so they can provide for their families again. As the reforestation effort goes on, healthy forests begin to emerge and all the negative effects of deforestation begin to disappear.

Find out more about how you can get involved with Eden Reforestation Projects online!

 

 

ReTree

ReTree (verb): the act of replenishing the earth’s tree supply to help reverse climate change.

The mission of ReTree is to inspire people to help reverse climate change, one tree at a time. ReTree wants to plant 1 million trees in 2017.  And to accomplish this mission, ReTree will double the number of trees their donors plant for the entire year.

Our world is home to more than three trillion (3,000,000,000,000) trees! While that might seem like a large number, each day more than two and a half million (2,500,000) trees are destroyed. This constant and ongoing destruction has contributed (along with fossil fuel emissions) to a major issue for our planet: climate change.

When it happens naturally, as it did for millions of years, tree loss is a normal part of the cycle of life. A tree dies and another one grows. Now, with man’s interference and the loss of trees happening at an alarming rate, our planet can’t breathe. It was never designed to handle all that we’re putting it through. Climate change being at the top of the list.

Reducing factory and auto emissions might be the first thing you think of when tackling this global issue. Guess what? We don’t need fancy gadgets or millions invested in new technologies to fight climate change. There’s a simpler way to remove carbon dioxide from the air: trees!

Trees absorb CO2 from the air as they grow. Using energy from the sun, they turn the carbon captured from the CO2 molecules into building blocks for their trunks, branches, and foliage. This is all part of the carbon cycle and ReTree has created the simplest way to increase the number of trees and help reverse climate change.

Now multiply these results by thousands and millions of trees! We can’t stop climate change, but we can make an incredible impact, together, one tree at a time.

For more information visit ReTree online and start filling our forests!

Recycling Psychology

Although it may seem counter-intuitive–consider for a moment that recycling may have us incidentally wasting more, and not only because be we are using the wrong receptacles to recycle.

People used more cups and paper when recycling was an option versus when they had to put them in the trash. Researchers say people’s guilt for wasting is overridden by the good feelings for recycling.

As Shankar Vedantam, NPR social science correspondent explained when ask if recycling was ‘bad’: “No, recycling isn’t bad. It’s actually very good. But in fact, that’s where the problem lies. Recycling is so good that it makes us feel virtuous, and that can lead to problematic outcomes. Let me back up and explain. I was talking to Remi Trudel. He’s a marketing professor at Boston University. He told me he was having lunch at a restaurant with his colleague, Monic Sun, when they noticed something.

Then Remi Trudel continues: We noticed that people were just grabbing napkins, like, way more than they needed. And we started thinking is it because they feel, you know, that it’s OK because they’re going to be recycling it anyways? So then we decided to run some experiments to try to prove it. (Source: NPR)

Visit the NPR transcription of the interview here to find out what results came from their studies!

CEF FFT: (After reading the NPR transcript…) Do you think people who normally buy single-use cups and utensils would buy glassware or other long-lasting containers for food and drink if they knew about this potential pitfall of the psychology behind how we perceive the impact of our recycling?

(Photo Credit: Hiroshi Watanabe/Getty Images)