Students for a Smarter Planet ..leaders with conscience
Transportation systems
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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The 2014 Sustainia Awards, chaired by Arnold Schwarzenegger, attracted more than 900 submissions for projects and technologies representing 10 different sectors from food, fashion, city development, transportation, and healthcare. Collectively, these projects are deployed in more than 84 countries. You can submit your winning ideas for 2015 – see the bottom of this post.

Nigerian Pedal-Powered Recycling Initiative Takes 2014 Sustainia Award for Best Sustainability Solution

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Here are the 9 runners up:

1. Food finalist: Netafim (Israel) – gravity-powered irrigation

This irrigation system increases and secures yields while saving water and cutting costs. It drips precise quantities of water and nutrients right at the root zone of crops while an elevated tank distributes the water using gravity.

2. Transportation finalist: 8D technologies (Canada) – bike sharing app

The Spotcycle app from 8D technologies aims to make bike-sharing more convenient and smartphone-friendly.

3. Buildings finalist: Advantix (USA) – air-conditioners which use saltwater

Advantix’s air conditioning system uses saltwater which means it needs 40% less energy than normal systems.

4. Fashion finalist: I:CO (Switzerland) – textile recycling

Through an advanced take-back system, I:CO works to keep apparel, footwear and other textiles in a continuous closed-loop cycle.

5. IT Finalist: Fairphone (Netherlands) – A smart-phone with social values

Through development, design and production, social enterprise Fairphone works to create positive social impact in the consumer electronics supply chain – from responsible mining, decent wages and working conditions to reuse and recycling.

6. Health finalist: We Care Solar (USA) – solar suitcases giving life

The Solar Suitcase provides solar electricity for medical lighting, mobile communication and essential medical devices for rural areas and humanitarian settings. This enables safe and timely obstetric care, which ultimately improves maternal and neonatal outcomes.

7. Resource finalist: Newlight Tech (USA) – carbon-negative plastic

With its novel technology that converts greenhouse gases into plastic material, AirCarbon has disrupted the market by replacing oil-based plastics with a sustainable product that is competitive in both price and performance.

8. Education finalists: Shidhulai Swanirvar Sangstha (Bangladesh) – school boats combatting climate change

By building a fleet of solar-powered school boats, the Bangladeshi initiative Shidhulai Swanirvar Sangstha has secured year-round education in flood-prone regions of Bangladesh.

9. Energy Finalists: Opower (USA) – personal energy-efficient expert

The software solution combines cloud technology, big data and behavioral science to produce data analyses and personalised information on how to save energy.

Read all about these sustainability innovations here.

Do you have a great new idea on sustainability – find out how you can submit for the next round of finalists to be announced in the fall of 2015 – you may even take home the top prize!

 

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October 30th, 2014
11:03
 

theguardian has reported that when looking for “renewable energy”, there have been developments in transportation using food waste items.

Hormel Foods reports that it takes one pound of bacon grease to produce one gallon of fuel (4.5 litres), which can cover between 75 and 100 miles on a motorbike. If you happen to be behind the motorbike during one if it’s rides, you can enjoy the scent of bacon during the trip! Careful, it might make you hungry enough to stop along the way for breakfast.

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I’m going to see if research has been done regarding potato peels – like the ones that I frequently discard – maybe they can power my alarm clock :-)

 

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Just following the People’s Climate March in NYC, Rick McGahey, who teaches economics and public policy at The New School, published an CNN Opinion article.

In the article, Rick tries to debunk the notion that helping our environment would hurt our economy. Though transitioning would cost more, the end result would actually create new US jobs.  Studies have shown that for every $1 million of investment in clean energy, the U.S. can create 16.7 jobs compared with only 5.3 jobs from fossil fuel investments.

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Read the article here.  Where do you weigh in with this debate?  And, more importantly, do you have the expertise for one of these newly created jobs?

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I am a self-proclaimed chocoholic and couldn’t resist the chocolate temptation when I ran across this exciting use of chocolate.

I would have a tough time resisting the urge to drink the fuel (since, after all, it was derived from chocolate production)….

This started as an idea and grew into a viable, sustainable solution to production waste. Any ideas floating around about how to use the by-products of cotton candy production :-)

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