Who Gives a Crap?

Who Gives a Crap is an organization determined to prove that toilet paper is about more than just wiping bums. All of their products are made with environmentally friendly materials, and they donate 50% of their profits to help build toilets for those in need. To date Who Gives a Crap has donated over $1,100,000 Australian dollars to charity and saved a heck of a lot of trees, water and energy. Not bad for a toilet paper company, eh?

Who Gives A Crap was started when the creators learned that 2.3 billion people (roughly 40% of the world’s population) don’t have access to a toilet.  Around 289,000 children under five die every year from diarrheal diseases caused by poor water and sanitation. That’s almost 800 children per day, or one child every two minutes. Luckily, toilets are proven to be a great solution—they provide dignity, health and an improved quality of life. And in case that wasn’t enough, it’s been shown that a dollar invested in sanitation yields $5.50 in increased economic prosperity. You could say toilets are magical!

More people in the world have mobile phones than toilets. Think about that next time you’re texting on the loo!

For more info and to start wiping visit https://us.whogivesacrap.org/ 

Parachutes for the Planet

To raise awareness of people living sustainable lives and affected by climate change, Mother Earth Project is encouraging individuals, schools, and communities around the world to create PARACHUTES FOR THE PLANET!

So why go with parachutes? Saving the environment is vital to our health, safety and future, and parachutes are a metaphor for this process. Parachutes are safety nets and when held by groups during demonstrations or collectively displayed in large numbers, they transform into powerful messages of strength, hope and communal determination.

In the 1990s, thousands of HIV/AIDS Quilts (blankets) were exhibited in Washington, DC, to bring attention to a disease that was previously not understood. The result of this exhibition was dramatic – people became more aware and governments began to fund research to find a cure. Using artwork and text displayed on parachutes, the Mother Earth Project hopes to accomplish similar goals for saving the environment.

Display your parachute in your local community to raise awareness about sustainability (for example your school, company, city government, neighborhood, or on your car). Also, please encourage two other schools/clubs to create a parachute, as spreading awareness is the central theme of this project!

Why is Plastic Non-biodegradable?

Most plastic is manufactured from petroleum the end product of a few million years of natural decay of once-living organisms. Petroleum’s main components come from lipids that were first assembled long ago in those organisms’ cells. So the question is, if petroleum-derived plastic comes from biomaterial, why doesn’t it biodegrade?

A crucial manufacturing step turns petroleum into a material unrecognized by the organisms that normally break organic matter down.

Most plastics are derived from propylene, a simple chemical component of petroleum. When heated up in the presence of a catalyst, individual chemical units monomers of propylene link together by forming extremely strong carbon-carbon bonds with each other. This results in polymers long chains of monomers called polypropylene.

“Nature doesn’t make things like that,” said Kenneth Peters, an organic geochemist at Stanford University, “so organisms have never seen that before.”

The organisms that decompose organic matter the ones that start turning your apple brown the instant you cut it open “have evolved over billions of years to attack certain types of bonds that are common in nature,” Peters told Life’s Little Mysteries.

“For example, they can very quickly break down polysaccharides to get sugar. They can chew up wood. But they see a polypropylene with all its carbon-carbon bonds, and they don’t normally break something like that down so there aren’t metabolic pathways to do it,” he said.

But if all you have to do to make propylene subunits turn into polypropylene is heat them up, why doesn’t nature ever build polypropylene molecules?

According to Peters, it’s because the carbon-carbon bonds in polypropylene require too much energy to make, so nature chooses other alternatives for holding together large molecules. “It’s easier for organisms to synthesize peptide bonds than carbon-carbon bonds,” he said. Peptide bonds, which link carbon to nitrogen, are found in proteins and many other organic molecules.

Environmentalists might wonder why plastic manufacturers don’t use peptide bonds to build polymers rather than carbon-carbon bonds, so that they’ll biodegrade rather than lasting forever in a landfill . Unfortunately, while peptide bonds would produce plastics that biodegrade, they would also have a very short shelf life. “It’s an issue of ‘you can’t have your cake and eat it too,'” said Jim Coleman, chief scientist at the US Geological Survey Energy Resources Program. “When you buy a plastic jar of mayonnaise, you want [the jar] to last a few months.” You don’t want it to start decomposing before you’ve finished the mayo inside.

For the original article visit livescience.com!

[Photo Credit: Antonio Oquias | Dreamstime]

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!

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!

Oasia Hotel

Singapore’s Oasia Hotel Downtown is alive – and growing fast. Covered in 21 species of verdant climbers and flowers, it was designed by local architects WOHA as the first tropical high-rise. “We wanted as many species as possible to recreate an ecosystem,” says WOHA co-founder Wong Mun Summ, 54. “It has flowers to attract insects and climbers for squirrels and lizards.”

Located in Singapore’s dense business district, the 190-metre-high building was designed to compensate for the area’s lack of greenery. “Sustainability is important to us,” Mun Summ says. It has open-sided gardens, so there is no need for mechanical ventilation in the hotel’s 314 rooms and 100 office units. Most of the water for the irrigation system is harvested from rainfall.

Imagine what cities can look like covered in eco-friendly carbon-sequestering towers!

Here is the source article from wired!

Surfrider Foundation

With roughly 80 chapters in 10 regions around the globe, the Surfrider Foundation has a blueprint for success that transforms passion into protection, which is mobilized in local communities, all across the U.S..  Their network campaigns for the ocean as issues arise and proactively works on programs to help keep beaches healthy. Whether it is for clean water, the ecology and environment of the beach, erosion, rising sea levels, the impacts of development, to keep the ocean’s clean and safe for the next generation…there are lots of reasons volunteers are showing up to make a difference in their local communities.

Visit their website www.surfrider.org to find your local chapter and get involved!

Smog-eating Tower

Take a look at this twisting, smog-eating tower that is going up in Taipei, Taiwan.

On the outside, 23,000 trees and shrubs – nearly the same amount found in New York’s Central Park – will fill the skyscraper’s facade, roof, and balconies. And inside, it will feature 40 luxury condos.

The plants will absorb 130 tons of carbon dioxide emissions per year – the equivalent of about 27 cars, lead designer Vincent Callebut tells Business Insider.

Called the Tao Zhu Yin Yuan Tower , it’s set to open by September 2017.

CEF FFT: Imagine what cities could look like (not too far) in the future if we set new municipal standards that increased our sustainability and environmental health!

For more information visit the source article here!

First Solar-powered Train

The world’s first solar-powered train is here!

India’s first solar-powered trains has begun service, running a 12.5-mile route from Delhi’s Safdarjung station to Farukh Nagar in the country’s north. The diesel-electric hybrid train has six coach cars with solar panels embedded in their roofs. The panels feed a battery that can power the train for up to 72 hours. Roughly 50 solar-harvesting coaches are set to be launched in the next several days, running primarily along commuter routes.

The new trains are a part of Indian Railways’s plan to establish an energy-generation capacity of 1 gigawatt of solar and 130 megawatts of wind power in the next five years. The state-owned company has been using train-mounted solar panels since 2015 to power interior lights and air conditioning, but their newest train is the first in the world to use solar power.

India isn’t the only country exploring solar-powered trains. A research team at the Imperial College London is embarking on a similar quest to take trains off-grid and power them with solar energy. However, the UK project is looking to track-side solar panels, not ones directly mounted to the trains themselves.

Visit the source article with a video as well on curbed.com

Action Network

Whether you were signing a petition, signing up for email notifications for community events or a fundraiser for a good cause, it very well could have been powered by “Action Network”.

Action Network is an open platform that empowers individuals and groups to organize for progressive causes. They encourage responsible activism, and do not support using the platform to take unlawful or other improper action. They do not control or endorse the conduct of users and make no representations of any kind about them.

If you opt to partner with Action Network you’ll get access to a wide range of tools, including the ability to upload activists and subscribe them to your list, create custom-branded email and page wrappers, and more. The interface allows you to organize with other users to create petitions, events, ticketed events, forms, fundraisers, letter campaigns, emails, reports, queries and more!

This is pretty darn cool.

Visit their website and see how easy it is!