Students for a Smarter Planet ..leaders with conscience

Snact is just starting to ramp up their new business using food that would otherwise be thrown away, such as apples that are deemed too small for supermarkets as well as other fruits that would otherwise be thrown away. A bit of pulping and a lot of drying later, they turn into snacts.

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GrowUP Urban Farms uses aquaponics to produce sustainable plant and fish growth to supply city businesses with nutritious food.  They lower the environmental impact of agriculture by building and operating farms that take unused urban space and use it to grow produce. Through the use of aquaponic technology and protected cropping, they can produce a year-round harvest of fresh, leafy vegetables and fish.

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Sounds like 2 very responsible businesses that are lead by young entrepreneurs who decided to take action and make a sustainable difference in the world.

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‘Waste’ is actually a resource


Talking about human waste is not the best of topics, but it is incredibly important. Around 2 billion people still use latrines that are not drained sanitarily, or simply do their business out in the open. This waste ends up contaminating water and making millions of people sick. It is estimated that diseases from poor sanitation is responsible for the death of around 700,00 children every year, and many more are permanently affected by these diseases.

Enter the Janicki Omniprocessor:

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This machine can take human waste, which is a feedstock that you can actually get paid to take off someone else’s hands, and transforms it into desirable things: Pure, drinking water, excess electricity (the machine powers itself and can send excess power to the grid), and sterilized ash.

Now for the best part, see Bill Gates take a swig of this ‘sanitized’ water:

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Would you be brave enough to drink this water knowing what it’s source was?

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Last year University of Engineering and Technology (UTEC) in Peru created a billboard that filters 100,000 cubic meters of air every day, benefiting residents and workers in a 5-block radius. The University has installed its first air-purifying billboard near a construction zone in Lima, a city that’s famous for having the worst air quality in all of South America.

Take a look at what they did:

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The purifying process is continuous, uses 100 percent recyclable water and consumes little energy, the team says – roughly 2.5 kW (2,500 watts) per hour.

UTEC continues to change the world using technology with billboards – most recently – to produce clean water.

What great ideas do you have that can make a big impact on the quality of our resources?

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February 10th, 2015

  • First façade system in the world to cultivate micro-algae to generate heat and biomass as renewable energy sources.
  • Structural glass photobioreactors used as external cladding elements and dynamic shading devices.
  • Fully integrated in the house´s building services system to harvest, distribute, store and use the solar thermal heat on site.

Since commissioning the innovative SolarLeaf façade in April 2013, it has been monitored for its technical and energy performance as well as for its acceptance with users. The intermediate results are promising: the system is generating a net energy gain. Additional research programs are investigating the viability of a full integration of the system on a larger district scale, as well as the creation of a way that the high-value biomass may be converted into pharmaceutical and food-supplement products.

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SolarLeaf façade is based on the idea to utilise bio-chemical process of photosynthesis for the design of energy efficient buildings and building clusters.


If, as a graduate or an experienced hire, you seek a rich culture that is naturally curious and always stimulating, check out the career opportunities at Arup.

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February 9th, 2015

If you are a fan of restricting your water usage and waste to help our planet, you’ll love this Shower of the Future!  Although not currently widely available on the consumer market, the OrbSys recycling shower may be the future of your cleanliness routine…  A new kind of shower, created in Sweden, that saves up to 90% of the water and 80% of the energy consumed by a normal shower!

orbital-recycling-showerThe shower head system is designed to purify and recycle the water you use in the shower, pumping freshly cleaned & filtered water back onto you – saving water normally ‘wasted’ that goes straight down the drain.  Read about it here: Save Water!  And take a look at this article as well:  Possibly the most energy efficient shower in history

There’s a complete FAQ section on the OrbSys company website – if you’re interested in owning one of these, you may find this information helpful: How can I get my Shower of the Future as soon as possible?   The only way to get the Shower of the Future before 2016 is to Pre-order it on this website.

Of course, if you normally serenade the surrounding bathroom as you shower, you may have to choose longer songs that will allow you to fully enjoy your energy saving shower system.  And you can simultaneously feel virtuous about your contribution to helping the environment!  (You may want to invest in those singing lessons you thought about, too – for the sake of anyone who is within earshot of your ‘free concerts’ Smiley face)


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