Students for a Smarter Planet ..leaders with conscience
Leadership
October 15th, 2014
6:25
 

Here in the U.S., there’s been a growing trend to give incentives to people who reduce their use of non-earth friendly carriers (e.g., plastic bags).  While they are convenient, most are NOT biodegradable and create mountains of waste.  There has been some success – I’ve seen lots of shoppers at the grocery stores and farmers’ markets using canvas or cloth bags for their purchases.  Small victories, to be sure…but they do add up!

The Scottish have taken this further and there is a Parliamentary pledge for the entire country:

and click here to read the clip about:

The Zero Waste Scotland Carrier Bag Commitment

The Scottish Parliament has passed legislation that will require ALL retailers (food and non-food) to charge a minimum of 5p for each new single-use carrier bag (including paper, those made from some plant based materials and plastic), from 20th October 2014.

The Carrier Bag Commitment will recognise businesses who donate the proceeds from the bag charge to good causes, and all retailers are being urged to sign-up, free of charge.Here’s a story about one retailer, Superdry,  that’s taking the Pledge and donating their proceeds to the Trees for Life charity in the U.K.

Think about what kind of ‘bag-gage’ you use and carry – and make a conscious effort to reduce, reuse and recycle.  It’s good for everyone!

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October 3rd, 2014
2:54
 

Or at the very least, inspire change for the better in some capacity?  While you should aim to ‘make your mark’ on a global scale, sometimes starting small makes sense – take into consideration financial constraints and that “Rome wasn’t built in a day”.  But, don’t stop dreaming on a large scale!  Every idea that comes to fruition began with a dream…

Here’s an event being held in October in the U.S. that is worth investigating (click the pic for full details). 

 

BBC World Changing Ideas

 Speakers are to include:

  • Professor Mary “Missy” Cummings, Director of Humans and Autonomy Laboratory, Duke University
  • Ezekiel Emanuel, Vice Provost for Global Initiatives, University of Pennsylvania
  • Julius Genachowski, Former Chairman, FCC
  • Alexis Ohanian, Partner, Y Combinator and Co-founder, reddit
  • Alfred Spector, Vice President of Research, Google

 

NOTE: I’m aware it’s a pricey event for a Grad Student.  If you aren’t able to attend, you can follow them on Facebook or Twitter!

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October 1st, 2014
8:29
 

With a new illness dominating the headlines seemingly on a daily basis, health care has taken a prominent position in the minds of the global community.  Here’s an organization you may wish to consider adding to your list of ‘where will I go after school?’ and ‘what contributions can I make that will be valuable to the sustainability of our planet?’

Health Care Without Harm

Health Care Without Harm (HCWH) is an international coalition of more than 500 members in 53 countries that works to transform the health care sector worldwide, without compromising patient safety or care, so that it becomes ecologically sustainable and a leading advocate for environmental health and justice.

Programs include: Medical Waste, Toxic Materials, Safer Chemicals, Green Building and Energy, Healthy Food, Pharmaceuticals, Green Purchasing, Climate and Health, Transportation, Water.

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September 5th, 2014
11:00
 

While aesthetics are often a main concern in home furnishings, and haute design is slick, these gadgets may completely revolutionize decor!  If you live in a house built in the 1800′s (as I do), you might have some reservations about putting these pieces next to a vintage dining table or hand-turned stair banister – but, mixing things up might make you a forerunner in stylish magazine photos, right???

École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL—Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne) scientists are creating futuristic furniture that can move around and autonomously change its shape.

 

After all, the Swiss are known for the cuckoo clock and that’s become a collectible around the world – proving a little silliness can be a very positive thing!

Roombots take a ‘Transformer’ spin on furniture design

Roombots: Modular Robots That Become Adaptive Furniture

Robot furniture

 

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August 29th, 2014
10:49
 

According to Merriam-Webster, the definition of PUSHBACK is: (#1) the action of forcing an object backward; (#2) resistance or opposition in response to a policy or regulation especially by those affected.  [Personal note:  lots of language has morphed around the globe - - being a language purist, I'd rather see pushback as a hyphenated word, but I don't think I get a vote!]

Most often we hear “pushback” used in the office or home environment to describe a “counter-offensive” in response to a proposed idea, suggestion, or (heaven forbid) chore to be done in the house – so definition (#2) is in play there.  In the aviation world, pushback relates to the primary definition (#1).

Read about the new system being developed in Germany to bring more automation to airline departures or PUSHBACKS

Pilot Ground Situation Awareness System (PGSA)

Make sure to check out the contact information for the companies at the bottom of the article (job prospects, maybe?)  Sorry, I didn’t see any advice in the article as to how to make your teachers, parents or boss give in to your pushback! You’re on your own there, I’m afraid :-)

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