Students for a Smarter Planet ..leaders with conscience
Sustainability
November 24th, 2014
13:46
 

Moms may not be so adamant about their kids finishing their meal if they know that the uneaten (waste) food will go to good use to provide sustainable energy.

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Disney World has become a circular economy hub: food waste – including table scraps, used cooking oils and grease – are collected from selected restaurants in the Disney World complex, as well as area hotels and food processors, and sent to a system of giant tanks at a facility near the park. There, the food waste is mixed with biosolids – the nutrient-rich organic materials left over after sewage is treated – and fed to microorganisms that produce biogas, a mix of methane and carbon dioxide. The biogas is combusted in generators to make electricity, and the remaining solids can be processed into fertilizer.

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Harvest Power operates anaerobic digesters in Vancouver, British Columbia, and London, Ontario, as well as this one, near Orlando. Photograph: Harvest Power

Learn about the process here:

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Leave it to Disney to find a way to illuminate their Magic Kingdom!

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November 24th, 2014
9:14
 

Chobani, the American Greek yogurt produced at an old Kraft Foods plant in upstate New York that was purchased by Hamdi Ulukaya, a Turkish cheese-maker living in New York, in the mid-2000s, is set to open a food incubator in New York City.  The food incubator will provide businesses with test kitchens, office space, and mentorship; along with access to the company’s resources like chefs and businesspeople to help get businesses off the ground and running.
If you’re unsure what a food incubator is exactly, it’s kind of like its tech-world cousin, a Y Combinator but for ambitious food businesses looking to scale. “Good food for all is the new tech,” Ulukaya said in a statement.

Chobani Announces Food Incubator

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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 20th, 2014
12:22
 

The FlyKly Smart Wheel fits practically any bicycle or lifestyle. And turns any bike into an electric bicycle and any commuter into a joyrider in no time. Just start pedaling and Smart Wheel delivers a boost up to 20 mph and a 30 mile range on a single charge – more than enough to power your every day. And it can be recharged in just 2-3 hours.

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In combination with a smart phone app, this technology encompasses all aspects of bike riding: setting your top speed, locking the bike, GPS tracking if the bike should happen be stolen and saving and sharing your favorite routes. There are plans to manufacture a glow-in-the-dark version in the near future.

While the cost of the FlyKly Smart Wheel isn’t inexpensive, it looks like a great product for cycling enthusiasts.

FlyKly products are exclusively available online. They ship orders on a first come, first served basis. Your credit card will be charged when your order goes into production; FlyKly will confirm with you before the charge.

This looks like just the incentive I need to get out my old bike and go for a ride!

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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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