Students for a Smarter Planet ..leaders with conscience
October 6th, 2015

So, you may be wondering how can lights cut emissions.  Well, the Danish city of Copenhagen has decided to host a massive experiment to determine the effectiveness of so-called “smart lights” – energy efficient street lamps that could cut carbon emissions and even help monitor an urban setting.

blog street light

Their climate change plan is a roadmap to make Copenhagen “carbon neutral” by 2025, cutting carbon emissions to insignificant levels.  To become utterly devoid of all but the most insignificant of carbon dioxide emissions, the city will have to overhaul and reinvent some of the most iconic parts of city-life.  Lighting has been found to account for about six percent of global carbon emissions, a worrisome greenhouse gas.  According to New Scientist, Los Angeles pumped out 111,000 metric tons of carbon to keep its streets lit, simultaneously costing the city and estimated $15 million.

The 5.7 miles (9.2 km) of road in the Copenhagen suburb of Albertslund has replaced their street lights with “smart lights” which will be closely observed.  These lights could even help monitor city life, sensing potentially dangerous toxins in the air or noticing peculiar street activity that may warrant police attention.

It’s nice to see yet another big move in an effort to clean up our planet.





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October 5th, 2015

We’ve had a few blogs over the past year that make reference to Origami – the ancient art of paper-folding brought to us by the Japanese.  The intricacies of these creations, made by human hands, is nothing short of breathtaking.  Modern day technology is seeking to take advantage of the principles of historic art forms to break new ground…  And here’s the most recently reported result!

University of Michigan at Ann Arbor (UM) have used the ancient art of paper cutting, known as kirigami, to create a unique thin-film solar cell that can use a method of following the sun called optical tracking.


Read the article direct from the school’s website

Inspired by art,


lightweight solar cells


track the sun


U Mich Solar kirigami

And take a look at the LiveScience story on the same topic:  Japanese Paper Art Inspires Sun-Tracking Solar Cell

Solar energy use is growing in popularity everywhere.  Will you be on the ‘cutting edge’ like these U Mich students?

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The many issues facing the African continent concerning food, energy, healthcare, and many other services taken for granted in various areas of the globe continue to dominate headlines.  Those issues bring the heads of nations to the table to speak seriously on what we all can do to address crises that arise in any part of the world.  If each of us were to take steps in our own lives to examine the way we go about our daily routines, there could be some miraculous improvements.  Take a look at a company in Africa that is dedicated to that concept – and the well-deserved recognition they’ve received for their work!  Notably, they were a recipient of a Genesis Generation Prize in 2015.  Click the logo below to learn about this exciting company in Nairobi, Kenya…



Check out some of the awards and accolades Sanergy has garnered.  And, their reach extends beyond the places in which inhabitants live…  Read about:

Scaling sanitation in schools: Sanergy’s partnership with the SWASH+ Consortium

Sanergy’s School WASH (Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene) program aims to raise students’ awareness of the importance of hygienic sanitation. Over the last year, Sanergy has made good progress toward this goal, training teachers from 109 primary schools in the Mukuru and Kamukunji areas of Nairobi. Of these, 90 schools have now installed Fresh Life Toilets for their students.


Take a look, too, at this site & think about becoming a competitor…

Genesis Generation Challenge

The Genesis Generation Challenge welcomes multi-disciplinary teams of young adults to propose big ideas to better the world. Each team must consist of approximately 10 individuals and must designate a team leader (age 20-36). Other team members must be 18 years or older. Teams may represent nonprofit or for profit entities. Because the idea must offer a sustainable and scalable solution to an important problem, we are seeking social entrepreneurs and others with experience delivering projects with lasting and innovative change in their communities and the world.

Maybe your submission will bring about a remarkable change that leaves your imprint on civilization!

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September 29th, 2015

While it may sound like an oxymoron, the WalkCar is a reality.

With mobile phones, an industry was created that changed the communications model and allowed people to talk with one another anytime and anywhere -  free from a ‘land line’.  The WalkCar may do the same for the auto industry.  It may be an item that will revolutionize the way we think about transportation – in addition to helping solve the dilemma of being unable to find a parking spot in a crowded urban location!!

As described by Charles Osgood on CBS Radio:  It is a lightweight aluminum board that – despite looking like a cookie sheet on wheels – has a top speed of over six miles an hour and a range of nearly seven-and-a-half miles when fully charged. …  The device is also pretty simple to maneuver, with the rider just shifting his weight to change direction.

Kuniaki Sato is the CEO of Cocoa Motors, which makes the WalkCar. He told Reuters it was designed to fit in a small bag…

Check out the video on YouTube here:



For those of us who haven’t mastered a skateboard, this may be a tad unnerving – I like to have something to hold on to when I’m free-rolling along a sidewalk.  But, it certainly looks like fun!  And it’s a non-polluting source of mobility.  What’s your opinion?

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September 24th, 2015

Creating a density based traffic system

Student project submission:

Nowadays, controlling the traffic becomes a major issue because of the rapid increase in automobiles and also because of a large time delays between traffic lights. So, in order to rectify this problem, we will go for density based traffic lights system. In this system, we will use IR sensors to measure the traffic density. We have to arrange one IR sensor for each road; these sensors always sense the traffic on that particular road. All these sensors are interfaced to the micro-controller. Based on these sensors, controller detects the traffic and controls the traffic system.         

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