sustainable technologies

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In the future, your water bottles and other pieces of plastic could dissolve like sugar

  • Discarded plastic is seriously polluting all corners of our earth, and it doesn’t seem to be going away anytime soon.
  • But recent inroads in biodegradable versions of plastic may potentially reduce damage to our planet in the future, so long as the world adopts it.
  • Researchers at the Centre for Sustainable Chemical Technologies in the U.K. developed plastic made from sugar and carbon dioxide, which could transform any polycarbonate-made item of the future. 
  • Polycarbonate is typically used for your average water bottle, CD or DVD, along with other objects such as phone screen protectors. Read more (6/14/17)

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the potential of poor people is lost in capitalism. people are so smart, dedicated, passionate, and talented, and it’s beat out of them, or turned into something they don’t care for too much … when it doesn’t have to be this way.

Life has been constructed this way, because the capitalists have content lives, so they do not care for bettering the world anymore than it already is. The world is functioning as they need it to, the poor, technological advancement, sustainability: decimated. all so they can live lavish lives at the top.

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All green – not solarpunk vs solarpunk
I just wanted to address some aesthetics which I guess separate solarpunk from generic green concepts. 

Something that always bothers be about ‘futuristic’ designs, whether green or not, is that the designs always seems to look sterile, smooth, textureless, cold, unwelcoming, and very very white

And the common concept cities! They are always so open and spread apart! And you know what that means? It is a city specifically designed with cars in mind. I think that doesn’t always register for a lot of people. Spread out cities = made for car culture, condensed cities = made for public transit, biking, walking, etc.

What I want for solarpunk – and for the future – is warmth! color! texture! craftsmanship!  And a very important feature is that I want it to be built first and foremost for streetcars and the like. Cars are useful and they can stick around, but in a condensed city people won’t need to rely on them as much. In modern American cities, many people need cars because of how cities are designed. 

I hope I am being clear on how solarpunk aesthetics differs from common concepts of a green future! 

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Matthew Mazzotta. CLOUD HOUSE. Springfield, MO. USA. photos: Tim Hawley – Photography. seen on: Floornature.com

Water-Based ‘Artificial Leaf’ Produces Electricity

Solar cells that mimic nature could be less expensive and more environmentally friendly than current solar technology. In 2010, researchers at North Carolina State University developed water-gel-based solar devices that are essentially ‘artificial leaves’ that couple plant chlorophyll with carbon materials, mimicking the way nature harvests solar energy. They’re flexible, which is a huge improvement over today’s problematically brittle cells.

Imagine plastic made from sugar and CO2

Scientist have developed a new way of making plastic by replacing crude oil with sugar and CO2. The researchers from the Centre for Sustainable Chemical Technologies at the University of Bath, UK, created a new type of polycarbonate using sugars and carbon dioxide in a new process that requires low pressures at room temperature, thus making it cheaper and safer to produce than current methods. 

The polycarbonate is biodegradable using enzymes from soil bacteria. The resulting plastic is strong, transparent and scratch-resistant and could potentially replace current polycarbonates in items such as baby bottles and food containers, and as the plastic is bio-compatible, the researchers believe it could also be used for medical implants or as scaffolds for growing tissues or organs for transplant.

Dr Buchard, Whorrod Research Fellow in the University’s Department of Chemistry, said, ‘Chemists have 100 years’ experience with using petrochemicals as a raw material so we need to start again using renewable feedstocks like sugars as a base for synthetic but sustainable materials. It’s early days, but the future looks promising.’

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If you weren’t already aware, Apple had a keynote yesterday announcing various exciting products and software advancements. But about 20% of the keynote was incredibly important but overshadowed by hype over new products, and that was Apples dedication to leaving the planet better than they found it.

2 years ago Apple made the lofty goal that they wanted to reach 100% renewable energy in 100% of their operations worldwide, and yesterday they shared their progress:

  • Currently they are at 93% renewable worldwide. 
  • They are at 100% renewable in the U.S. and China.
  • 99% of their paper packaging is used from recycled paper, or pulled from sustainably managed forests.
  • They’ve saved and reserved 36,000 acres of working forest in the U.S. and are currently working with the World Wildlife Fund to improve the management of 1,000,000 acres of forest in China.
  • They’ve also created a robotic system called LIAM to ensure as many parts of Apple products are recycled responsibly as possible.

I share this because not many companies out there are as transparent as Apple is around their responsibility to the environment. Although there is so much more progress to be made, we should be challenging more companies to be more open and more bold in their role in protecting our planet. E-mail these companies, call, make it known that change is necessary for everyone.

Habitat 2020’s Breathing Leaf-Like Skin

Just like the surface of a leaf, the ‘skin’ of the Habitat 2020 building reacts to external stimuli, opening, closing and breathing throughout the day through a system of ‘cellular’ openings that allow light, air and water into the apartments contained within. Designed for China, Habitat 2020 improves indoor air quality and provides natural air conditioning – the skin can even absorb moisture from the air and collect rainwater before purifying and filtering it so it can be used by the building’s inhabitants.

anonymous asked:

Do you think the speculation of the Ruby Squad sent to Earth could've been the elite. I mean they wouldn't send just any Rubies, your thoughts.

Anonymous said:
I have to ask about the rubies, I mean in regards to them being possible elites. Just look at veteran Eyeball and cunning Navy, just two of the five. Do you think they could be elites, why send 1 out of 5 experienced rubies to Earth. Except Leggy.

So I’ve received two asks asking about a specific word: Elite. 

And I don’t know about that word because it’s never mentioned in-show. That means that it carries a lot of the baggage and connotations of our world. Elite would refer to the highest, the best. 

For me, it insinuates that this Ruby Squad is the best Ruby Squad there is on Homeworld. And the reasons for this are that 1) It’s Earth. 2) Eyeball and Navy know what they’re doing.

I’ll talk about the latter point first. I feel like Homeworld aspires for higher standards than the bare minimum. Saying that Eyeball is a veteran is not saying a whole lot. I’m all for declaring the competency of the Ruby Squad. It’s something I’ve been reiterating over and over that Homeworld trains its gems and makes sure they can get the job done because they can’t afford to keep wasting resources in failure.

Nonetheless, the point often cited is that Navy was able to deceive the Crystal Gems in Room for Ruby, which the CGs were able to do easily, twice, without much effort. That’s not saying a lot for the Ruby Squad except that on the third try, they finally wised up and beat the CGs at their own game.

Eyeball’s attacking Steven, and Navy’s flinging them out of the plane were signs they were upset and angry and spiteful which is something people tend to be after being sent on two wild goose chases by the same people. But other than that, they did exactly what their job entailed.

My point is, Rubies are guards. They were sent to retrieve and guard Jasper. They were assigned to guard nobility like Sapphire. These are important gems, and they aren’t all trained to fight, again, like Sapphire. Rubies have to be competent, or the rare aristocratic gems with special war-winning abilities would have been assigned other gems as guards at this point.

I’m not incredibly surprised at all that they were able to pull one out from under the CGs because the CGs had drastically underestimated them at this point. 

As for their location being Earth, the Diamonds still think Earth is a relatively safe place. Save for the emerging Cluster, they don’t think there’s a threat. That’s why they sent a lone civilian the first time around, Peridot. And even when Jasper went missing, it wasn’t a threat of other gems that caused them to send for a rescue team. It was because of the Cluster, which hadn’t hatched yet to the best of their knowledge. 

Blue Diamond visited Earth herself without guards to escort her. That’s how safe the Diamonds think the planet is. So I don’t think Earth is a huge factor in sending their best team. 

If there’s anything to take away from this post, it’s really that we should be expecting more of Homeworld and the forces they send. SU has shown us that Homeworld isn’t playing Bond villain. The Diamonds aren’t irrationally destroying everything that irks them and their citizens aren’t bumbling henchmen. They don’t have a huge self-destruct button for their own base that anyone can waltz up to and press. They are an organised civilisation much older than those of Earth and there’s a reason they’ve been able to sustain such rapid technological progress. It’s not to say the Ruby Squad isn’t good at their job, but I’d be hard pressed to say they’re the best.

what good is money really when we have the ability to be sustainable and provide all with sustainable luxuries, if everyones needs are being met, and luxury no longer exists as a concept what purpose would monetary compensation serve? 

We as a society can move past this petty bullshit, we can move past needing payment to do what we love. Perhaps if people weren’t so dependent on making a living by trying to accrue capital, they could instead be focused on bettering the world around themselves.

People would stop doing jobs they hate, people would be allowed to research what they like, people would be allowed to work at their own leisure, we already have the means to accomplish most of these goals, the only thing stopping us is this illusion that capitalism is sustainable and the best possible situation for us all economically and politically.

We already can automate the vast majority of things, we can allow more people to research and develop sustainable forms of technology and transportation, etc.,

what use is money if all have equal access to all. are some of you so afraid to be equal to those you deem less worthy that you’d rather suffer under the stain capitalists far more wealthy put you through, than live a life of what is today considered luxury with all around you?

Why live like this when we can all live lives currently only allotted to the wealthy. It doesn’t have to be that way. Yes of course we have to phase some things out like oil, and other goods that we can’t recreate, but that doesn’t mean we can’t live good lives and continue improving all of our lives. 

Stop clinging to the concept of compensation; bettering yourself and the lives of others should be compensation enough. What more do you need if you have access to all there is available? 

Solar Cell Self-Repairs Like a Plant

When leaves are damaged by intense ultraviolet light, they’re able to repair themselves, constantly producing new cells to replace the damaged ones. If only solar cells could do the same thing, they’d last a lifetime. Luckily, scientists have found a way to replicate that natural process using proteins, bacteria and water. These solar cells can’t compete with silicon cells just yet – it will take decades of research to improve them – but it’s an impressive start that could improve ‘artificial leaf’-type solar cells even further.

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Yes yes yes! What a wonderful idea! A 100% biodegradable six-pack ring, plastic-free and made of barley and wheat leftover from the brewing process. 

We need every beer company to support and switch to these edible six pack rings! In the meantime and if you must purchase a six-pack with plastic rings, don’t forget to cut it up before you throw it out, That way, if it accidentally ends up in the water, no animals will get entangled in the rings. 

1. Equal No. 1 goes to Emma Watson, Margot Robbie and Lupita Nyong’o!

All wearing Calvin Klein Collection, designed in collaboration with The Green Carpet Challenge. I know Emma’s ensemble was made from fibres woven from recycled ocean plastic, sustainably sourced, produced and organic cotton. The bustier  and trousers can both be worn separately, emphasising the sustainable need to reuse our resources. Lupita’s amazing peppermint green, sequin tiled dress compliments her beautiful complexion and her hair pushes the ‘futuristic’ element. Margot’s sleek, modern and simple design really emphasises modernity and technology. These women and the team behind them work so hard to collaborate sustainably, ethically and responsibly and for this reason they are No. 1. We live in a world where the solution to resource managment is being grasped with both hands by these women and they deserve every bit of recognition for their efforts and effortlessness cool

Picture: Vogue UK

Crazy paving: Rotterdam to consider trialling plastic roads

Dutch city could be first to pave its streets with recycled plastic bottles, a surface claimed to be greener, quicker to lay and more reliable than asphalt

Gordon Darroch in The Hague

The Netherlands could become the first country to pave its streetswith plastic bottles after Rotterdam city council said it was considering piloting a new type of road surface touted by its creators as a greener alternative to asphalt.

The construction firm VolkerWessels unveiled plans on Friday for a surface made entirely from recycled plastic, which it said required less maintenance than asphalt and could withstand greater extremes of temperature– between -40C and 80C. Roads could be laid in a matter of weeks rather than months and last about three times as long, it claimed.           

The company said the environmental argument was also strong as asphalt is responsible for 1.6m tons of CO2 emissions a year globally – 2% of all road transport emissions.

Rolf Mars, the director of VolkerWessels’ roads subdivision, KWS Infra, said: “Plastic offers all kinds of advantages compared to current road construction, both in laying the roads and maintenance.”

The plastic roads are lighter, reducing the load on the ground, and hollow, making it easier to install cables and utility pipelines below the surface.

Sections can be prefabricated in a factory and transported to where they are needed, reducing on-site construction, while the shorter construction time and low maintenance will mean less congestion caused by roadworks. Lighter materials can also be transported more efficiently.

Mars said the PlasticRoad project was still at the conceptual stage, but the company hopes to be able to put down the first fully recycled thoroughfare within three years. Rotterdam, a keen supporter of sustainable technology, has already signalled its interest in running a trial.             

Jaap Peters, from the city council’s engineering bureau, said: “We’re very positive towards the developments around PlasticRoad. Rotterdam is a city that is open to experiments and innovative adaptations in practice. We have a ‘street lab’ available where innovations like this can be tested.”

Mars said the idea had huge potential for future development, such as heated roads or ultra-quiet surfaces. He said: “As far as I know we’re the first in the world [to try this].

“It’s still an idea on paper at the moment; the next stage is to build it and test it in a laboratory to make sure it’s safe in wet and slippery conditions and so on. We’re looking for partners who want to collaborate on a pilot – as well as manufacturers in the plastics industry, we’re thinking of the recycling sector, universities and other knowledge institutions.

“Rotterdam is a very innovative city and has embraced the idea. It fits very well within its sustainability policy and it has said it is keen to work on a pilot.”