4Ocean

4Ocean is an organization of teams that help clean the ocean and beaches around the world. You can donate to their cause by purchasing a bracelet and for each their ocean and coastal teams will collect a pound of trash. So far they have already collected over 50,ooolbs worldwide!

They explain how beach cleanups are an effective way to prevent trash from entering the ocean and that offshore cleanups are an effective way to remove trash that has already entered the ocean.

To donate, find out more info and how to become a 4Ocean ambassador visit their webpage at 4Ocean.com

The Next Phase

Today at 8:00pm CET (11:00am PST) Boyan Slat just announced the next phase of development for his organization “The Ocean Cleanup”.

“Why go after the plastic, if the plastic can come to you?” was Slat’s original rhetorical motto that summed up their initial netting system to clean the gyres of plastic waste.

For the next phase, he shared a new motto: “To catch the plastic, act like the plastic.”

Unlike the original design which involved a larger netting system that required them to anchor the nets to the ocean bed some 4 kilometers down with mixed subterranean stability (this proved to be the most challenging step as well), their new design involves more modular fleet of nets which are anchored in mid-ocean drift. They were able to test the force and flow of water at different depths and found that the netting system only needed to be drastically slowed from drift, not completely halted.  For this reason, weights that would slow the netting down to a rate that plastic still could be collected would be optimal for both the efficiency of implementation as well as the gradual development of a fleet of nets based on a budgetary standpoint.

Oddly enough, this drift technology seems to work even more in our favor than we expected. Slat stated that we need to act like plastic. By this he means that the technology to clean the plastic should be akin to the behavior of the plastic itself in the ocean.  He also explains how after the fleet of nets is set up, the netting system should be able to not only gather the plastic but also over time the drifting nets themselves will be gradually gathered together by the current.

For more information visit their website The Ocean Cleanup!

 

Rozalia Project

“Our mission is to protect the ocean.” (Rozalia Project)

Rozalia Project has an amazing collection of efforts being brought together to tackle pollution.

One cool tool they use for volunteer cleanups is their Rozalia Project Marine Debris Data Card to keep tabs on what trash has been collected.

Here is an excerpt from Rozalia Project’s mission statement:

Prevention: stopping trash getting into the water, and remediation: removing trash from the water and shores before it breaks down into micro size pieces, are the cornerstones of Rozalia Project’s belief that we can clean our oceans.
Here are the strategies and solutions that Rozalia Project is currently using to combat the problem of ocean pollution.
1) INNOVATION
Rozalia Project is using existing technologies in new ways and developing new technologies to clean our oceans from the surface to the seafloor:
Baleen Basker – low bycatch marine debris net
Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV)
Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV)
Sailing Research Vessel (American Promise)
High Resolution Ocean Trash Forecasting
Rozalia Project Ocean Pollution Fellowship Program (Guest Scientists berths available on every 2014 research expedition)
Rozalia Project Undergraduate Intern Program
2) EDUCATION
Rozalia Project has educated 47,000+ people of all ages about the effects and solutions to ocean trash through our in person education programs and our Expedition Reports/ virtual crew member programs over the last 4 years.
3) CLEANUP
Rozalia Project, from inception to present, has removed 565,000+ pieces of ocean trash from the waters and shorelines of North America by leading a variety of our own and volunteer cleanups with the following featured partnerships and programs.
4) SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH
We need knowledge before we can act, thus Rozalia Project has implemented several scientific research projects to develop data from which we can produce solutions.
5) LAND BASED SOLUTIONS
Rozalia Project is promoting several physical land based solutions to reduce the land to sea transport of trash.
For more information and videos visit their website Rozalia Project.

The Ocean Clean Up Next Phase

The next phase for Boyan Slat (CEO and Founder) and his team at The Ocean Cleanup is getting near.

On Thursday May 11th, The Ocean Cleanup will be sharing a very special announcement with the world. Discover what they’ve been working on for the past two years, and what will be happening next. The unveiling event will take place at the spectacular “Werkspoorkathedraal” in Utrecht, The Netherlands, and will be streamed LIVE on their webpage at 8.00pm CET / 2.00pm EST.

Check out source The Ocean Clean Up for more info and an unveiling teaser video of what’s to come!

A Sponge for Oil Spills

A group of researchers at the Argonne National Laboratory have developed a sponge that will collect oil from bodies of water, which could improve how harbors and ports are cleaned, as well as how oil spills are managed.

“The Oleo Sponge offers a set of possibilities that, as far as we know, are unprecedented,” said co-inventor Seth Darling, a scientist with Argonne’s Center for Nanoscale Materials and a fellow of the University of Chicago’s Institute for Molecular Engineering.

At tests at a giant seawater tank in New Jersey called Ohmsett, the National Oil Spill Response Research & Renewable Energy Test Facility, the Oleo Sponge successfully collected diesel and crude oil from both below and on the water surface.

“The material is extremely sturdy. We’ve run dozens to hundreds of tests, wringing it out each time, and we have yet to see it break down at all,” according to Darling.

The team is actively looking to commercialize the material; those interested in licensing the technology or collaborating with the laboratory on further development may contact partners@anl.gov.

For more info and a video demonstration visit Argonne’s website here!

Mother Earth Project

The Mother Earth Project, MEP, is focused on celebrating the small and large tasks each of us take to recycle, save energy, minimize pollution, and reduce our carbon footprint. Their hope is by creating a greater collective awareness, we will accelerate the activities necessary to save the environment, and preserve the planet for future generations.

MEP has created a monumental 15 foot-tall sculpture with the likeness of the human face. The vision behind this sculpture was to conceive of a way to incentivize countries to participate in stopping and reversing climate change, and thus preserve the environment. Each participating country places a Mother Earth sculpture in their capital city, showing their commitment to helping the environment and as a symbol of sustainability. In order to be eligible for receiving a Mother Earth sculpture, countries must submit their environment-saving actions and timelines to the United Nations.

As countries announce environment-saving achievements, the Mother Earth Project posts these major accomplishments on its MEP Hall of Achievements page.

What a wonderful way to educate, inspire and acknowledge the efforts of people around the world!

(Visit their website for more info: http://motherearthproject.org/ )

Citizen Science

 

Citizenscience.gov is an official government website designed to accelerate the use of crowdsourcing and citizen science across the U.S. government. The site provides a portal to three key assets for federal practitioners: a searchable catalog of federally supported citizen science projects, a toolkit to assist with designing and maintaining projects, and a gateway to a federal community of practice to share best practices.

Some of the projects include topics like Animals, Archeology and cultural, Biology, Climate and weather, Disaster response, Ecology and environment and many more.

Explore the 300+ projects in the catalog, follow the how-to: step-by-step process to plan projects with the toolkit, and join in with their community to learn more about what is going on!

(Visit Source link here!)

Taking Space

The HabitatMap & AirCasting Blog have come together for a space to collectively crowdsource live streaming air-quality data. Last November, New York city has even been leveraging AirBeam Data to Inform Policy Decisions!
New York City recently committed to implementing a “zoned” collection system for the commercial waste sector. By dividing the city into zones and having commercial carting companies bid to service each zone, the city’s study found that the number of miles traveled by private collection vehicles will be cut by an astounding 49 to 68 percent!  This is a win for both the private carting companies, which will be able to achieve dramatic efficiencies in operations, and everyday New Yorkers, who will have to contend with less noise and air pollution.
(Source: {Taking Space} )
If we are able to optimize the trash zoning over in more mega-cities, this could make a big impact on pollution  worldwide.

Kirigami-inspired Solar Cells

Researchers at the University of Michigan have developed solar cells that are lighter than ever before, modeled after “kirigami,” the ancient Japanese art of paper cutting.

A team of engineers and an artist developed an array of small solar cells that can tilt within a larger panel, keeping their surfaces more perpendicular to the sun’s rays.

“The beauty of our design is, from the standpoint of the person who’s putting this panel up, nothing would really change,” said Max Shtein, associate professor of materials science and engineering. “But inside, it would be doing something remarkable on a tiny scale: the solar cell would split into tiny segments that would follow the position of the sun in unison.”

(Source link: University of Michigan)

Powur

“To change things, don’t try and fight the existing reality, build a new model that makes the old model obsolete.” – Buckminster Fuller

Now that solar energy has  become comparable if not cheaper than other natural resources we are seeing the emergence of new disruptive and decentralizing organizations such as Powur.

Powur, founded by Jonathan Budd, is a company that offers the opportunity to help accelerate the adoption of solar energy worldwide and build a life-changing part or full time income.

In the last 5 years, solar costs have plummeted over 80 percent. Charles Thompson (Powur Executive Advisor) states that there is now real competition in the monopoly utilities model. Powur is now able to sell clean energy to homeowners that is cheaper than their utilities and is also something they own and control from their own home.

If over a million homeowners in the United States have switched to solar already and the cost is continuing to drop for production and installation, just imagine how  many homes will have switched to solar in the next 5 years.

For more information and a video on Powur visit their page here.

A thanks to Ishmael Brassard as well for coffee! You can contact him with questions as well.