Students for a Smarter Planet ..leaders with conscience
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The latest textile technology is emerging and quite exciting. Sweden reveals the world’s first garment made entirely from recycled cotton. The end game is to advance technology to the point of adding nutrients to clothes so if they are composted, they would benefit the soil.

With the world population growing rapidly and the competition to stay fashionable, apparel consumption has almost doubled since 2010.

Traditional garment recycling methods transform used garments into other materials such as carpet padding and filler, but the end life of those secondary materials end up in landfills anyway.

Stockholm’s Royal Institute of Technology has developed a way of recreating cotton, which not only accounts for roughly a third of the world’s textile consumption but is also in danger of becoming a scarce resource. The technology allows for recycling of all materials that contain cellulose.

Recycled cotton dress

Dress made entirely from recycled cotton. Photograph: SKS Textiles

According to Teijin, a recycled polyester process reduces CO2 emissions by 77% compared to polyester made from petroleum. The process also reduces the consumption of petroleum, the raw material from which polyester is made.

“The dyes are a problem, which is why we need innovation in dyes,” Lewis Perkins, senior vice president of the San Francisco-based Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute says. “But in the future we could even add valuable nutrients to clothes, which would benefit the soil when we compost them.”

Read about these technology advances in textiles.

Now that’s what I call full-circle recycle processes!

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December 11th, 2014
5:39
 

One of the biggest challenges facing any entrepreneur is getting funding to turn their vision into actuality.  “Sugar daddies” and/or anonymous deep-pocketed benefactors don’t exactly grow on trees.  So it’s up to the visionary to get motivated and take their heads out of the clouds of big dreaming and think of the mundane, down-to-earth reality that they’re gonna need $$$ to get their project going.

Of course, Social Media has created new ways to reach out to would-be investors.  Names you may already be familiar with are Kickstarter and Indiegogo.  There’s a new site out there which might be the one for you!

BarnraiserBarnraiser

 

aims to help agriculture projects

get off the ground through crowdsourcing

 

Read the article in Modern Farmer for an interview with one of the principals, founder Eileen Gordon:  Barnraiser Aims to Be ‘Kickstarter’ for Sustainable Food

Maybe putting all your eggs in one basket could catapult you to be the next inventor helping us all achieve a Smarter Planet!

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November 21st, 2014
3:36
 

Some believe in a form of external ‘cosmic’ guidance concerning seemingly random events.  Others simply don’t.  Then along comes FATE  (FAll DeTector for the Elderly) which could be a key to assisting the elderly to have more independent lifestyles.  This product is literally putting fate in the hands of those who may feel a keen sense of loss of control of their own destinies!

This is done by implementing an accurate, portable and usable fall detector that runs a complex and specific algorithm to accurately detect falls, and a robust and reliable telecommunications layer based in ZigBee and Bluetooth technologies, capable of sending alarms when the user is both inside and outside the home.

The system is being tested and validated in 3 pilot studies involving real living scenarios, one in each of 3 different EU countries (Spain, Italy and Ireland), in close collaboration with the relevant public authorities (regional authorities in Spain, municipalities in Italy and National authorities in Ireland).

Read about it and watch the videos here:

Fall Detector for the Elderly

 

FATE

(The research is being conducted in partnership with Polytechnic University of Catalonia/Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya · BarcelonaTech.  They are one organization among those forming a consortium for the project.  Job opps for you perhaps?)

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November 19th, 2014
6:23
 

As a college student, I did my laundry more than most of my friends (and didn’t take it home to Mom at the end of the semester, either).   “Clean” water seems to be decreasing in supply – although there’s an abundance of the salty variety covering the planet.  We’ve come up with a bunch of de-salination methods that have been in the news.  This ‘fresh’ water is being used in many applications – farming, animal husbandry, drinking water for humans…

But what if we just decreased CONSUMPTION of the water that IS available? Or in any case, used the supply more efficiently?  Here’s a look at technology that aims to minimize the amount of water being used for the laundering of fabrics.  Although it’s not strictly new tech, having been around for several years, it is being used with greater frequency in industrial applications and may be available for household consumers in the near future.

Scientists develop waterless washing machines

 

Almost waterless washing could come to American homes

 

Read about one company that is on the manufacturing end of things:   Polymer beads  Maybe you’ll be inspired to go them one better?  (Or at least do some of that laundry that you’ve been piling up?)

 

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There is almost frenzied focus to find alternative fuels for use around the world.  In the U.S., there are a number of different replacements for fossil fuel that have been, and continue to be, explored.  How will this affect the world economy?  Maybe you have a great idea for merging production with prosperity?  Here’s some news on the Ethanol front that may spark some creative thoughts for your own ‘liquid energy’.

Since 1981, the Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) has been the authoritative voice of the U.S. ethanol industry. Our members are committed to helping our country become cleaner, safer, and more energy independent.

Click the pic to visit their website.

Click the pic to visit their website.

RFA Unveils New Mobile App

 

Ethanol Fun Fact:   Each bushel of corn used in ethanol production yields 17.5 lbs of nutrient-rich livestock feed, returning 1/3 of the bushel to the market.

 

 

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