Students for a Smarter Planet ..leaders with conscience
Cities
August 14th, 2014
6:06
 

Excess heat is a wasted by-product of many industrial processes. Weizmann Institute of Science reports on an Israeli start-up that has discovered a way to capture this industrial by-product and turn it into fuel.  While this new process has not yet been put into production, the test data supports a very compelling debate.

Besides being a sustainable source of energy, an advantage of using released industrial heat rather than solar energy is that the former is released 24 hours a day, while solar energy heat can only be generated between 8 and 10 hours daily.

blog weizmann

Prototype of the the excess heat system setup. Photo: COURTESY NEW CO2FUELS

With plans on the table with two companies in Europe – the largest steel manufacturer in the world, and an engineering and equipment supplier, it remains to be seen how successful this new process will be.

Do you think this transformation of excess heat into fuel will reap substantial benefits?

Read about the proposed plan to execute this process

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August 7th, 2014
2:30
 

Travel on a bike is fun and healthy.  Traveling with a bike can be exhausting and hazardous to your health (keep in mind the angry looks and comments you endure from those who are unintentionally whacked by you toting your green transportation onto a subway, train, bus, … you get the idea).  And trying to get a bike into an electric car for a trip to the mountains is the equivalent of solving the riddle of the Sphinx.

Ta da!!! – this way cool alternative (which may or may not make it to the mass market), but is SO AWESOME!

Lucid Design’s Full-Size Bike Fits Into a Tiny Circular Backpack!

KitBike

And check out Lucid’s website for information on their other products and projects.  Based in India, their collective creativity is mind-blowing.  And their excitement in what they do is obvious – catch their spirit and build it into your own work!

 

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August 6th, 2014
5:00
 

There are approximately 20,000 people per square mile in Singapore.  So the island nation doesn’t really have space for farms.  Nearly all food consumed there is imported; often from great distances, places like Argentina.  Could floating vertical farms be the answer to make local farm to table a reality?  Barcelona base firm JAPA proposes a system for looping towers that float in harbors which may make space for crops to grow year round.  The project, called Floating Responsive Architecture (FRA) is inspired by floating fish farms in use since the 1930s.  The unusual shape of the towers helps save space and maximizes light according to JAPA principal, Javier Ponce.

Sign me up for repelling during the crop harvest and accessing transportation to and from the farms via helipad.

vertical farm

Bringing Local Food to Dense Urban Areas

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August 1st, 2014
12:40
 

While you might raise an eyebrow (at the very least) at the thought of eating in an actual dumpster, this story has a very positive message.  I can be as skeptical as the next person about trendy NY happenings, but I leave you to make your own judgements.  I donate to my local food banks – both monetarily and by bringing in fresh home-baked goods.

If the concept of dumpster-dining catches on, could it help alleviate the need for dumpster-diving by those who have no other recourse for dinner by prompting more social consciousness about their plight?  Maybe this story will inspire you to create a food storage system that reduces spoilage – or to hold a fundraiser for your local food bank and team it with a job training program offering that helps those who’ve lost jobs obtain marketable new skills – or devise a social media campaign that invites participation in creating bacteria resistant foods that don’t involve GMOs? Could you be the ‘chef of the future’?

One Man’s Trash Is Another Man’s 6-Course Dinner

 

According to the Natural Resources Defense Council, American families throw out about 25 percent of their groceries each year, often because they don’t maximize the food’s full use — for example, some people throw away broccoli stems and only use the florets — or they don’t know how to store perishable items correctly. What’s more, according to the World Resources Institute, about one-third of all food produced worldwide gets lost or wasted in food production and consumption systems annually.

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July 31st, 2014
6:13
 

How do you educate others?  Do you take up the cry for what is right?  Contribute to the betterment of your society?  You may be inspired by a passionate and dedicated voice for Africa.

The environmentalist, Nnimmo Bassey, deplores the Green Revolution in Africa and oil spills in the Niger Delta region. He does not underestimate the work to be done to educate people on the need to stop those who wish to destroy the environment and to redefine new concepts of development Read an interview with Nnimmo Bassey, director of Health of Mother Earth Foundation in Nigeria, which is an ecological think tank.

Visit the Health of Mother Earth Foundation (HOMEF) website and learn the stories of those who want to make a difference.  Explore the activities undertaken by these individuals driven by their love of humanity. (Be patient; it may take a few mins for the site to load…)  While you’re there, view some of the recorded videos of Bassey – powerful stuff!

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