First Smog-filtering Bicycles

Millions of Chinese cyclists may soon be able to ditch their air-pollution masks. Dutch innovation firm Studio Roosegaarde has partnered with bike-share startup ofo to develop a new model that can collect polluted air, purify it, and release the clean air around the cyclist. Studio founder Daan Roosegaarde confirms to Quartz that the first prototype of the smog-sucking “future bike” is expected to be ready by the end of this year.

How about we filter polluted air while riding bicycles? Sounds like a win-win to me!

Visit the source link for more info: www.qz.com

(Photo credit: Studio Roosegaarde)

Bee’s Wrap

Why use plastic wrap when you can use sustainable Bee’s Wrap?

Bee’s Wrap is washable, reusable and compostable. Their fabric and printing is certified by the Global Organic Textile Standard using beeswax that is sourced from sustainably-managed hives in the US. Bee’s Wrap packaging is recyclable and plastic-free.

Get your own and start cutting down on needless plastic waste! https://www.beeswrap.com/

As they say on their website: “Because good food deserves good care”

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

TraffEnerate

“Just be you and pave the way to change” says 13-year-old inventor Laalitya Acharya who hopes to revolutionize energy in developing countries by using vehicular motion to generate and harness clean and affordable energy.

Acharya’s invention “TraffEnerate” came about after she started researching cheap, easily renewable resources of energy, and came across a device she calls a piezo. She explains when stress is applied to a piezo, it generates electricity. She wanted to make it easy to utilize piezos, so she designed TraffEnerate to obtain power when cars drive over the devices. Her prototype incorporates 11 piezo sensors and a 3D-printed block so stress will be applied to all 11 piezos even if a car just barely passes over the corner of the prototype.

Acharya said, “I wanted to change the world, that simple. On my family’s yearly trip to India, I saw children who have no power in their homes, huddling near dangerous fires. I wanted to change their position in life, to make it better by creating clean energy and electricity.”

CEF FFT: Imagine what a difference TraffEnerate could provide for people around the world living with an environment congested with vehicular traffic!

For more info visit this link on inhabitat.

Thanks again to Michelle for the share! =)

DroneSeed

Let us welcome DroneSeed–a new solution to precision reforestation!

DroneSeed is working with commercial foresters to make reforestation more efficient. Their team offers a one-stop solution of drones capable of planting tree seeds and spraying fertilizer and herbicides to keep trees healthy.

Millions of acres of forestland are currently under-utilized. The availability of dependable workers, and the safety concerns of rough terrain, prevent trees from being planted and cared for. DroneSeed is presented as a scalable solution to addressing this problem. Could this be the future of a faster, safer, and more efficient forestry?

Check out their website for  videos and more info: https://www.droneseed.co/

CEF FFT: Using drones is perhaps more efficient, but this isn’t to disregard the freedom we have to plant seeds and plant trees. If we all planted even a single seed and tree each week, what sort of transformation would we expect to see?

Ooho Water

Ooho is a drinking water product created by a startup known as Skipping Rocks Lab. The product is reported to hype up the internet due to making “eating water” possible and getting rid of plastic bottles at the same time.

According to Extreme Tech eating water was made possible by the startup due to the product’s packaging. Ooho was seen as a spherical blob which has water encased in it making it a squishy bottle. Yet, the huge surprise is that you could actually eat the whole blob of water with no plastic bottle needed.

Ooho was mentioned to be created through seaweeds used as its membrane. The edible bottle’s membrane was composed through spherification which includes sodium alginate from seaweed and calcium chloride. Each ball was then mentioned to only take 2 cents in order to produce it thus saving money as well.

Moreover, amid Ooho being edible, people are still given the choice whether to eat the membrane or not since it was identified to be tasteless and has an unusual surface when eaten. Yet, people could still throw it away and not eat it because as it was mentioned to be biodegradable it will just break down as a compost on land or ground over a week or so.

Furthermore, the Ooho product aims to be “the global solution to water and drinks on-the-go.” The startup mentioned that they also aim to replace and get rid of plastic bottles as they pose a great environmental issue to the world.

Visit source link for more info and a video!

Reintroducing ByFusion

Consider the empowering solutions to pollution, waste management and local community development made possible by the ByFusion machine. Their goal is to put all plastic waste to work cost effectively, maximizing efforts of people cleaning by creating building blocks called RePlast. Here is an overview:

PLASTIC-AGNOSTIC: We do not discriminate against any type of plastic. We take it all.

 STREAMLINED PROCESSING: No sorting or pre-washing required. Just shovel in the plastic and the transformation process begins.

100% MODULAR: Self-contained and fully transportable. Runs on gas or electric to meet varying conditions.

ECO-FRIENDLY DESIGN: Nearly 100% carbon neutral, non-toxic manufacturing process.

CUSTOMIZABLE BYPRODUCT: Able to control density and shape of the product, called RePlast. Currently configured to manufacture common cinder block sized material.

FIT FOR PURPOSE: RePlast was developed to be used in a wide variety of applications from walling to roadway barriers. In most cases, we are able to customize RePlast to meet the needs of the job.
Check out their website http://www.byfusion.com for more info!

100 Percent Green California

California’s Senate leader wants the Golden State to shift to 100 percent renewable electricity by 2045, pushing it to lead the country in grabbing that green power goal.

Environmentalists are cheering California Senate President Pro Tempore Kevin de León’s (D) plan to double, and accelerate, the state’s current renewables mandate of 50 percent by 2050. Oscar-winning actor Leonardo DiCaprio even tweeted his thanks to de León among his 17 million followers.

The nation’s most populous state switching to fully renewable electricity sounds idealistic. But several experts said it can be done — with a lot depending on definitions, technological advancements and acceptable price tags.

“2045 is a long way away,” said Severin Borenstein, economics professor at the University of California, Berkeley’s Haas School of Business. “A lot could happen between now and 2045.”

Energy storage through batteries “could get a lot cheaper. That could make the goal much more attainable and much more cost-effective,” he added. Wind and solar energy already are close in price to natural gas, he said. “If you could actually store the power cost-effectively, then you could make it work much more effectively.”

Others warned major expenses would ensue. Large-scale solar and wind projects often go in deserts or other open areas, requiring added infrastructure to move the power to cities, said Evan Birenbaum, who led the environmental strategies program at Los Angeles-area utility Southern California Edison Co. before leaving in 2014. He now heads Chai Energy, which focuses on reducing household energy consumption.

“You would need to build new transmission lines to support the incoming [renewable] power,” Birenbaum said. “Old power lines might not be able to support it.”

Utility substations also likely would need upgrades, he said, adding, “You’re talking about many billions of dollars that have to be invested in that new renewable energy future. It’s the ratepayer who will have to pay for that.”

Borenstein said that calculating how much it will cost nearly 30 years from now is “nearly impossible to answer. … Imagine going back 30 years,” when the internet-connected cellphones used now didn’t exist.

“It’s very hard to predict technology 30 years in advance,” he added.

FFT: Although goals and estimates for 100% renewable energy may not be accurate to the year, the challenge gives us perspective as we progress towards the goal. Who knows, maybe we’ll even beat it.

( Visit the full article at the Scientific America )

https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/can-california-go-100-percent-green/

 

Foldable Solar Panels

We can now fold up solar panels that are nearly unbreakable and take them with us anywhere.

Instead of one solid sheet, these highly portable panels are made from a pliable network of glitter-sized solar cells.

A typical solar panel—more than five feet long and encased in glass—isn’t exactly portable. But a new type of solar technology, miniaturized so that each cell is the size of a piece of glitter, could be used anywhere.

The tiny cells are made from high-efficiency silicon, like standard solar panels. But the new form means that they’re not only small but flexible, and can be folded up for transportation, incorporated into clothing, or easily used in electronics.

Conventional solar panels “are brittle because they’re crystalline,” Murat Okandan, CEO of mPower Technology, the startup making the new technology, tells Co.Exist. “If you bend or flex them, at some point they’ll just break and shatter. By making our cells small and then interconnecting them we’re able to make them almost unbreakable.”

Visit the source link for more details!