Students for a Smarter Planet ..leaders with conscience
September, 18th 2014

A new study by German scientists attempts to answer the question that we’ll need to know once we immigrate from Earth to other planets in our solar system and beyond. The space agencies are busy working on sustaining human life away from Earth but after that’s resolved we’ll need a way to feed ourselves. In comes this study. The scientists didn’t go to Mars to conduct the study but used dust from around volcanoes in Hawaii to simulate the extraterrestrial soil. For comparison the study used deposits from a dormant volcano in Flagstaff, Arizona, USA to simulate Moon soil in addition to soil from beneath the Rhine River, as the Earth soil. For these tests they used plants that thrive in ‘bad’ soil. The plants were watered, using demilitarized water, twice a day and left to fend for themselves. The results? The Moon plants didn’t survive. The Earth plants grew, but the Mars plants; they out performed the Earth plants. Amazing! So get ready and put some seeds in your pocket for your next trip to Mars. You may feed a planet.

Can Plants Grow on Mars and the Moon: A Growth Experiment on Mars and Moon Soil Simulants

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September, 18th 2014

An Icelandic tannery, Atlantic Leather is taking perch, salmon, wolffish and cod skin, a by-product of the fisheries industry and turning it into leather for luxury fashion.

The fish leather produced at Atlantic Leather is environmentally friendly, in two different ways:

  1. it is a by-product of the fisheries industry, utilizing raw material that would not otherwise be used
  2. the production process makes use of renewable hydro and geothermal energy

From shoes…..

blog fish leather

to clothing….. blog fish leather2

to accessories…..     blog fish leather3


to wall covering, this very durable, yet flexible product is an innovation whose time has come!

blog fish leather4

The next time you go shopping for clothes or decor, you might want to check out this new product.

This idea grew out of someone’s imagination and with some innovative thinking, turned into a thriving business.  Do you have any eco-friendly ideas that you’d like to see come to fruition?



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September, 17th 2014

Heard this story on the radio and thought of boyfriends past who were SO into StarWars; perhaps they are still…  It was all about the Rebel Forces, and how the Death Star pulled them in – but I digress…

“Sci-fi” references aside, this is genuine Tractor Beam Technology that is currently being explored by scientists in Australia.  News has been released that physicists at The Australian National University (ANU) ‘have created a tractor beam on water, providing a radical new technique that could confine oil spills, manipulate floating objects or explain rips at the beach‘.

Here’s three takes on the subject:

ANU     BBC News   IFL Science


P.S.  I hear the surfing is great down under. Maybe you want to head off and join the Aussies to do some water research…

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Have you ever submitted a paper to a conference? There is currently a call for papers for the Eleventh Sustainability Conference to be hosted in Copenhagen, Denmark on 21-23 January 2015. Here’s an opportunity to share you great idea(s) for sustainability!

This is a knowledge community brought together by a common concern for sustainability in an holistic perspective, where environmental, cultural, economic and social concerns intersect. The community interacts through an innovative, annual face-to-face conference, as well as year-round online relationships, a family of peer reviewed journals, and book series. Members of this knowledge community include academics, teachers, administrators, policy makers, and other education practitioners.

blog sustainability

Proposal guidelines can be found here.

Good luck to those who submit!


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September, 15th 2014

Think of the biker image of the daredevil: James Dean, Marlon Brando, Evil Knievel. Now think celebrities who rode motorcycles in the ’40s, like Humphrey Bogart, and in the ’50s and ’60s, like Elvis Presley and Steve McQueen. And the quintessential biker film “Easy Rider” with Dennis Hopper, Peter Fonda and Jack Nicholson [which is a must see for any real film-nik].

Now think about all their slick rides: Harley, Ducati, a classic Indian.  And the leathers – jackets, boots, gloves, etc.  OK… you’re in the right frame of mind…  Here’s some new tech that promises to ‘revolutionize’ the headgear of the biker crowd (I wonder if you can get it with spikes sticking out of the top?)

Skully motorcycle helmets  ties a whole lot of technology together with voice recognition and a head-up-display.  Jason Dorrier on Singularity Hub says: “If the design is right, it’ll be awesome.”   And another thumbs-up from TechNewsWorld

So – are you ready to “get your motor runnin’, head out on the highway”?  Or at least design some cool tech-gear for the road?

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