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Planet Care Carbon Capture Energy Human Effort Materials Mobility Your Home

366: The Resolutionary Anthem

Problem:

How to make people aware that there are solutions to Earth’s ailing condition and that YOU can help clean up, repair and protect our planet.

Solution:

Today marks one year since we started 366solutions and we have posted one solution per day – now a whole year’s worth –  on this site. You can find out more about the solutions by clicking on various links throughout 366solutions.com, or download all solutions through these links:

Download Microsoft Word file

Download .pdf file

In fact, these documents include even more ways to help clean up, repair and protect our shared planet Earth –  732 in all!

The Resolutionary Anthem

We also offer you this musical inspiration: The Resolutionary Anthem, by Sophia Dady:

Sophia Dady’s Website: www.sophiadady.com

Lyrics

14,000 miles away they judge because they can
In their plush offices they couldn’t give a damn
No reason to believe that there is a threat to man
For years we’ve been presented with the scientific papers
Books and documentaries are warning of the dangers
For those in the field, we sing a different song!

Can’t you see? The Earth can’t breathe
The birds can’t feed their young anymore
It’s Nature’s law…

We’re playing for a team, a team that is the same
Not working on our own behalf for personal gain
The right time isn’t in the future, it is NOW!

Don’t you see? It’s not about me!
We all must pull together more
It’s Nature’s law…

CHORUS
Find solutions, that’s the key
Join your voice and sing with me
The World deserves our respect.

Solutions come so easily, when you focus on these three:
Clean,  Repair,  Protect

Our World

Find solutions, that’s the key
Join your voice and sing with me
The World deserves our respect

Solutions come so easily, when you focus on these three:
Clean, Repair, Protect

Our World

For how to do this, check out the solutions on this website and act NOW!

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Planet Care

364: Nesting Boxes

Problem:

Industrialization, deforestation and other human activities since the mid-20th century have caused severe declines in birds’ natural habitats, introducing hurdles to breeding.

For example, the evaluation of threatened bird species in Finland was updated in 2015 under the coordination of the Finnish Environment Institute SYKE. The evaluation concluded that overall the populations of Finnish bird species are on the decline.

The number of threatened bird species increased by 28 compared to the previous evaluation, while 21 new species were red-listed. The availability of suitable holes has greatly decreased in Finnish forests, and without access to a hole or a bird box many birds simply fail to nest. As such, providing birds with bird boxes is a great way to help them.

Solution:

A nest box can help prevent bird extinction. The species that use nest boxes and platforms are diverse. Many species of owls, bats, wrens, bluebirds, chickadees, American Kestrels, Purple Martins, and many more will use nest boxes of various sizes because they mimic cavity nests they would find in the wild.

In 1915, following publication of the US Department of Agriculture’s “Farmer’s Bulletin 609, “Bird Houses and How to Build Them”, an estimated 50 million boxes were built.

Sixty years later, since January 1975, thanks to the initiative of Mary Marlar, the Northern Neck Audubon Society (NNAS) has been constructing and distributing bluebird nest boxes (also known as bluebird houses) to make up for the loss of natural sites for blue birds depleted by logging and other development activities in the Virginian community. Over ten years, NNAS has built and sold around 1,000 nesting boxes a year.

In March 2015, the Finnish Broadcasting Company Yle launched the One Million Bird Boxes campaign, which is set to introduce one million new bird boxes to Finnish trees by the end of May 2017.

A million bird boxes would provide homes to ten million hatchlings, motivate people to do hundreds of thousands of outdoor treks and create a veritable symphony of congratulatory chirping to commemorate Finland’s centenary.

During the first few weeks after launch nearly 300,000 bird boxes already registered to the campaign with people from all over Finland taking the challenge to build bird boxes, from the capital Helsinki all the way to northernmost Lapland.

Over 40 bird boxes were hung in the garden of the President’s official residence. Many cities also gave their citizens permission to hang bird boxes in parks and other city-owned recreational areas. The campaign proved more than successful with over 1.3 million nest boxes registered by May 21. (yle.fi)

In France, winegrowers from the Clairette de Die appellation with the support of the Vercors Natural Park, built and installed 800 nest boxes on their 40 hectares of land. The nesting birds fed on the insects in the vines eliminating the need for insecticide.

Discover Solution 365: Wind Turbine variable speed rotor

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Planet Care

363: Iron fertilisation

Problem:

Our planet is warming.

Solution:

The more daring scientists are taking a more radical approach to cooling the earth’s climate, such as dumping iron dust into the ocean, hoping to grow algae blooms that suck up carbon. Iron fertilization is the intentional introduction of iron to iron-poor areas of the ocean surface to stimulate phytoplankton production.


This is intended to enhance biological productivity and/or accelerate CO₂ sequestration from the atmosphere. Iron is a trace element necessary for photosynthesis in plants. It is highly insoluble in sea water and in a variety of locations is the limiting nutrient for phytoplankton growth. Large algal blooms can be created by supplying iron to iron-deficient ocean waters. These blooms can nourish other organisms.

Consideration of iron’s importance to phytoplankton growth and photosynthesis dates to the 1930s when English biologist Joseph Hart speculated that the ocean’s great “desolate zones” (areas apparently rich in nutrients, but lacking in plankton activity or other sea life) might be iron-deficient.

Little scientific discussion was recorded until the 1980s, when oceanographer John Martin renewed controversy on the topic with his marine water nutrient analyses. His studies supported Hart’s hypothesis. These “desolate” regions came to be called “High Nutrient, Low Chlorophyll” (HNLC) zones.

John Gribbin was the first scientist to publicly suggest that climate change could be reduced by adding large amounts of soluble iron to the oceans. Martin’s 1988 quip at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, “Give me a half a tanker of iron and I will give you another ice age”, drove a decade of research. Perhaps the most dramatic support for Martin’s hypothesis came with the 1991 eruption of Mount Pinatubo in the Philippines.

Environmental scientist Andrew Watson analyzed global data from that eruption and calculated that it deposited approximately 40,000 tons of iron dust into oceans worldwide. This single fertilization event preceded an easily observed global decline in atmospheric CO₂ and a parallel pulsed increase in oxygen levels.

Beginning in 1993, thirteen research teams completed ocean trials demonstrating that phytoplankton blooms can be stimulated by iron augmentation. Controversy remains over the effectiveness of atmospheric CO₂ sequestration and ecological effects.

In Spring 2004, an international team on board the 386 ft 10 in (117.91 m) RV Polarstern (meaning pole star) of the Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research (AWI) in the Helmholtz Association, Bremerhaven, fertilized a part of the closed core of a stable marine eddy in the Southern Ocean with dissolved iron, which stimulated the growth of unicellular algae.

The team followed the development of the phytoplankton bloom for five weeks from its start to its decline phase. The maximum biomass attained by the bloom was with a peak chlorophyll stock of 286 Milligram per square metre higher than that of blooms stimulated by the previous 12 iron fertilization experiments.

According to Dr. Victor Smetacek and Dr. Christine Klaas from the Wegener Institute, this was all the more remarkable because the EIFEX bloom developed in a 3330 ft  (1000 m) deep mixed layer which is much deeper than hitherto believed to be the lower limit for bloom development.

In early 2009 a further dumping of 20 tons (18 tonnes) of ferrous sulphate by Victor Smetacek, called LOHEFEX (LOHA is Hindi for iron, FEX stands for Fertilization EXperiment) was suspended by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) demanding that an independent assessment into the environmental impacts of the experiments be carried out before the ferrous sulphate is dumped in the Southern Ocean.

Greenpeace and other environmental organizations demanded from the start that LOHAFEX be stopped, saying that pouring iron into the ocean amounted to pollution and violated international agreements. Some scientists feared the unintended side effects of the project. The German Government sent the proposal for scientific and legal reviews that were supportive of the project and the experiment was allowed to continue.

Other trials have continued. In 2012, the Haida Salmon Restoration Corporation (HSRC), financed by a First Nations community from the British Columbian archipelago, Haida Gwaii, conducted a small scale Ocean Fertilization experiment where 120 tons (109 tonnes) of iron compound were deposited in the migration routes of pink and sockeye salmon in the Pacific ocean West of Haida Gwaii over a period of 30 days.

The project resulted in a 14,000 mi² (35,000 km2)  plankton bloom that lasted for several months and was confirmed by NASA satellite imagery. The HSRC scientific team collected a significant amount of oceanographic data using autonomous underwater vehicles (Slocum Gliders), Argo Drifters, Multi-Spectral Sonar, Surface Seawater samples, Phytoplankton Tows and other methods.

The Desarc-Maresanus project, led by Professor Stefano Caserini, Professor of Mitigation of Climate Change at Politecnico di Milano, in collaboration with the Foundation Euro-Mediterranean Center on Climate Change (CMCC) with support of Amundi, consists in discharging alkaline products (i.e. limestone or slaked lime) in the sea, increasing the pH of the water favoring a greater absorption of CO2 from the sea surface.

This is known as ocean alkalinisation and has been carried out by ships whose great turbulence caused by the propeller and by the ship’s wake great improves dispersal.

In 2019, researchers at the University of Hawaii and University of Southern California published a report which stated that following the previous year’s eruption of Kilauea, the incredible volume of lava that spewed from the ground as not only a source of destruction but of creation.

It looked at the massive algae bloom in the Pacific ― so big it could be seen by satellite ― that was triggered by millions of cubic ft. of lava pouring into the ocean off the Big Island and found that it actually created a nutrient-thick soup across a wide expanse of ocean that helped algae to thrive. The nutrients did not come from the lava itself, they found, but because the lava was heating up subsurface water and pushing nutrients deep in the ocean up to the surface. The Pacific Ocean is actually quite nutrient-poor, which makes the algae bloom all the more unique.

Discover Solution 364: Nesting boxes

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Planet Care

361: Johad dams

Problem:

In the 1980s, the Alwar district in the North-Western state of Rajasthan had become one of the driest in all of India, even though older villagers remembered that its rivers used to flow in the past. The annual rainfall is very low, between 17 and 23 in. (500 and 600 mm) and the water can be unpleasant to drink. Many farmers were migrating to the cities, as there was no longer any means of subsistence from the land.

Solution:

When Rajendra Singh, a 26-year-old volunteer from the NGO Tarun Bharat Sangh, arrived in the area in 1985, he discovered the alarming state of children’s health in the villages, because of malnutrition, a consequence of the drought.

From an elder of the village Singh learned of the former existence of johads, earthen ponds used to retain runoff water so that it infiltrated the soil instead of s’ drain and evaporate. Johads in Haryanvi language and Rajasthani language are also called sarovar, and taal and talab, respetively in Hindi language.

Johads could collect and store water throughout the year, to be used for the purpose of recharging the groundwater in the nearby water wells, washing, bathing and drinking by humans and cattle. Some johads also had brick or stone masonry and cemented ghat (series of steps and/or ramp).

Dating back to the 13th century, johads were considered unhealthy by the occupying British Raj and replaced by the provision of water through pipelines in some cases from very long distances, from dammed reservoirs

It has emerged that the traditional water-collecting methods are more robust in case of a poor monsoon than the large reservoirs, which sometimes dry up completely.vSingle-handedly, Rajendra Singh first decided to build a water johad to see how it would work. He then brought together groups of villages to build others or rebuild old ones. When the villagers had constructed 375 johads, the river began to flow after having been dry for several decades.

Through his Tarun Bharat Sangh NGO of which he became President, Rejandra Singh formed the Haryana State Waterbody Management Board to rejuvenate and manage 14,000 ponds in the state, including the development of 60 lakes in Delhi NCR. By 2003, despite bureaucracy and the mining lobby, over five thousand johads had been built leading to the rejuvenation of 2,500 old reservoirs, providing irrigation water to 346,000 ac (140,000 ha.) and to 700,000 people across more than 650 villages in Alwar district..

By 2015, that number had risen to 8,600 johads bringing water back to 1,000 villages, reviving five rivers in Rajasthan, Arvari, Ruparel, Sarsa, Bhagani and Jahajwali. Rajendra Singh attributes the success of the johads to the fact that the technology encourages people to work together, building community while addressing essential needs.

This is in strong opposition to the large government-built dams, which have displaced millions of people in India and, on average, have increased poverty. Singh, who won the the Ramon Magsaysay Award for Community Leadership in 2001 and Stockholm Water Prize in 2015, is known as द वाटर मैन ऑफ राजस्थान (“the Water Man of Rajasthan”).

Discover Solution 362: Straw drinking-straw

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Planet Care Your Home

359: Insect food for animal and human consumption

Problem:

Each year, around 70 million people are added to the world’s population. If growth continues at this rate, by 2050 the population is expected to reach a whopping 9 billion. To feed all of those hungry mouths, agriculture and pisculture will need to produce almost twice as much food as they currently do.

Solution:

Entomophagy (the consumption of insects) is a common practice that has been taking place for tens of thousands of years. Around 2 billion people regularly eat insects as part of their diet, and over 1,900 species are edible


The most commonly eaten bugs are beetles, caterpillars, bees, wasps and ants. The eggs, larvae, pupae, and adults of certain insects have been eaten by humans from prehistoric times to the present day. Around 3,000 ethnic groups practice entomophagy. Human insect-eating is common to cultures in most parts of the world, including Central and South America, Africa, Asia, Australia, and New Zealand. 80 % of the world’s nations eat insects of 1,000 to 2,000 species

Consuming insects as opposed to livestock is more environmentally friendly. Insects are cold-blooded and thus require less energy to maintain their internal body temperature. This means they are very efficient at converting feed into edible body mass, such as cattle.

Crickets require around 4 lb (2 kg) of feed to produce 2.2 lb (1 kg) of meat, and around 80% is edible. Cattle, on the other hand, require 8 kg to produce the same amount of meat, but only 40% of the cow can be consumed. This means that less land needs to be dedicated to growing feed for insects than for livestock, reducing irrigation and pesticide use.

Furthermore, the insects could even be used as livestock feed, for example replacing fishmeal. This would have the added advantage of increasing fish supplies available for humans to eat. Insects emit less GHGs and can be cultivated on organic waste.

In the Netherlands in 2009, Kees Aarts and Tarique Arsiwalla founded Protix in Dongen, North Brabant, which was then the world’s biggest automated insect farm. Protix began by using Hermetia Illucens insects, otherwise known as the black soldier fly although since 2017, the firm has added mealworm, cricket and locust ingredients through the acquisition of Fair Insects. In 2019 Protix opened a 150,000 ft² (14,000 m), US$ 500 million euro production plant and announced that it was looking to open more farms within two years.

In France, Antoine Hubert of Ynsect produces powdered insect protein in bulk from a small beetle, called mealworm for fish farming, pet food, and even the fertilizer industry. Originally a musician, inspired by the way he had seen New Zealand farms use worms for composting food waste, Hubert became an environmental activist, developing a science education game and visiting schools to evangelise about the importance of insects in the food chain.

Ynsect uses robotics, artificial intelligence and techniques borrowed from vertical farming he can bring costs enough to make this a mainstream protein source. Robots feed the stacked trays of mealworm larvae and rotate them around the factory as they go through their two-to-three month growth cycle, until they are finally dipped into boiling water to kill and sterilise them.

Ynsect raised US$125m in series-C funding in February to finance the building of a new 430,000 ft² (40,000 m²) vertical farm in Amiens in Northern France, an order of magnitude bigger than the 32,000 ft² (3000 m²) facility it already has in the Burgundy wine region.

The facility, dubbed FARMYING, enabled Ynsect to multiply its current production capacity by 50-times. The facility became be the new hub for 3 raw materials and nutritional suppliers, 1 larvae supplier, 2 research facilities, 4 tech suppliers (including Ynsect), a quality-control specialist, a sustainability consultant, an innovation consultant, 4 end-users and 3 international bio-economy consortiums.

The company plans to build 15 factories around the world over the next decade, in North America and South East Asia as well as Europe, producing at 1m tonnes of insect protein a year. That would still be a tiny fraction of the 1 billion tonnes produced each year for animal feed.

The Aspire Food Group based in Austin, Texas, led by Mohammed Ashour pioneered the first large-scale industrialized intensive farming entomophagy company in North America with a 25,000 ft² (2,300 m²) building where automated machinery breeds crickets. Each bin can hold about 10,000 to 15,000 crickets at a time. Since crickets take only about a month to become big enough to harvest, Aspire produces roughly 22 million every month Aspire are part of the North American Coalition for Insect Agriculture.

Pets are estimated to be consuming up to 20% of all meat globally. Pet owners are being urged by vets to feed their dogs and cats on a diet rich in insects. The British Veterinary Association (BVA) says some insect-based foods may be better for pets than prime steak. Farmed insect protein is typically raised on human food waste.

In terms of human consumption, by 2011, a few restaurants in the Western world regularly served insects. For example, two places in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, offered cricket-based items. Vij’s Restaurant had parathas that are made from roasted crickets that are ground into a powder or meal. Its sister restaurant, Rangoli Restaurant, offered pizza that was made by sprinkling whole roasted crickets on naan dough.

Discover Solution 360: Room-temperature superconductors

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Planet Care

357: Hulhumalé

Problem:

The Maldives, a tropical paradise spread over almost 1200 islands, is facing a rise in sea levels. The government is finding it difficult to cater to the economic and social needs of small islands

Solution:

Maldives President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom, experimented with anti-flood solutions, starting with a massive seawall made of concrete tetrapods surrounding the entire capital of Male.

Gayoom was able to persuade the Japanese government to pay for the $60 million wall after the floods of 1987. The wall reduced the vulnerability of Male, which is a mile long and houses one-third of the country’s population.

President Gayoom’s next solution was a reclaimed island located in the south of North Malé Atoll, Maldives.

Called Hulhumalé (Dhivehi for City of Hope), the artificial island is being built up by pumping sand from the surrounding atolls and depositing it on shallow reefs that surround the original lagoon. It is being fortified with walls 3 metres above sea level — which is higher than the highest natural island at only 2.5 metres above the sea.

The official settlement was inaugurated by President Gayoom on May 12, 2004. The Hulhumalé Development Unit/Hulhumalé Development Corporation) was incorporated on March 23, 2005. Land reclamation has increased the island’s area to 4 km2 (1.5 sq mi), making it the fourth largest island in the Maldives. As of December 2019 the island has a population of more than 50,000; it is planned to house as many as 240,000 by the mid-2020s.

In August 2020, the Indian Government announced that they are providing assistance to the Government of Maldives to construct a State-of-the-Art Cricket Stadium in Hulhumalé. The project is one of the many centerpieces of the Hulhumalé Central Park development, which aims to convert the island into a future housing, industrial and commercial hub of The Maldives’ capital city, Malé.

Discoverr Solution 358: Free range, solar-powered chicken farm

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Planet Care

353: Submerged Sculptures for protecting marine life

Problem:

Off the coast of Tuscany, Italy, the illegal act of industrially trawling the sea bottom with heavy nets, was devastating the benthic flora and fauna that exists down below, especially the seagrass meadows which work at a natural barrier against erosion and are home to a unique ecosystem which teem with a myriad of young fish.

Solution:

12-ton sculptures on seabed to block the passage of the nets


Paolo Fanciulli has been fishing for 47 years with his small boat, La Sirena, off the Tuscan village of Talamone. From the 1980s, he began to notice that his catches were less and less abundant, in particular because of competition from industrial trawlers.

Initially, Fanciulli disguised himself as a police officer, blocked an industrial port, and he even tried to pierce giant nets with barbed wire. This not only attracted media attention but also the local Mafia which sent him death threats and blacklisted him from fish markets.

In 2006, the Tuscan authorities began to install concrete blocks to obstruct the passage of these giant trawls. There are now nearly 800 in this area of the Mediterranean. But Fanciulli wanted to go further to draw attention to the problem of overfishing.

The solution was to solicit artists to sculpt the dissuasive blocks and create a real underwater museum. He launched a crowfunding campaign,“La Casa dei Pesci” (=The House of Fish in Italian), obtaining permission from ARPA, the regional environmental protection association, to install these large sculptures 50 meters deep on the sea bottom.

His plan was realised when Franco Barattini, President of the Michelangelo di Carrara quarries donated an army of marble blocks to the project, carved by artists such as an obelisk by Massimo Catalani and Giorgio Butini.

Before long artists from all over the world were participating: the acclaimed British artist Emily Young carved four 12-ton sculptures she calls “Weeping Guardians” while nearby lies a mermaid by the young artist Aurora Vantaggiato. Massimo Lippi has contributed 17 sculptures representing Siena’s contrade, or medieval districts.

To-date, thanks to the support of Greenpeace Italy and many tourists, 39 sculptures have been placed although the target is 60. These attract diving enthusiasts, while pointing out the issue of overfishing. Algae covers the statues, and lobsters have taken up residence nearby, while turtles and dolphins return to swim near the coast.

Paolo Fanciulli now offers eco-fishing tours on his boat Sirena in the Maremma Regional Park. This practice he calls “pescaturismo” (fish tourism) which aims to combine profitability while also teaching eco-sustainability and a greater appreciation for the Italian coastline.

Discover Solution 354: SunBOTs

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Materials Planet Care

352: STRAP, or Solvent-Targeted Recovery and Precipitation processing

Problem:

While a bag of chips might not look very complex on the outside, it is in fact a multi-layered plastic bag. Polyethylene is made up of several extremely thin films stacked on top of each other to provide strength, flexibility, and integrity. The layers are chemically incompatible when it comes to breaking them down. They simply cannot be recycled en masse like soda bottles can.

Solution:

STRAP, or Solvent-Targeted Recovery and Precipitation processing.


University of Madison-Wisconsin professors of chemical and biological engineering George Huber and Reid Van Lehn and their students have created a technique called that could be the solution.
The key to the new process is to selectively dissolve a single polymer layer in a solvent system in which the targeted polymer layer is soluble, but the other polymer layers are not. In other words, you need to break down each polymer layer individually, and use a solvent to dissolve them one at a time.

STRAP relies on a computational approach used by Van Lehn called the Conductor-like Screening Model for Realistic Solvents (COSMO-RS) to guide the process.

COSMO-RS is able to calculate the solubility of target polymers in solvent mixtures at varying temperatures, narrowing down the number of potential solvents that could dissolve a polymer. The team can then experimentally explore the candidate solvents.

The researchers have. In a study published November 20th 2020 in the journal Science Advances, the researchers lay out their case for why the technique could start a recycling revolution.

The Madison-Wisconsin team tested their process using a real-world multilayer film built by Amcor Flexibles, which designs pouches and bags for food, drinks, healthcare, and other essentials.

The process achieved separation of these three components with nearly 100 % material efficiency

The goal is to eventually develop a computational system that will allow researchers to find solvent combinations to recycle all sorts of multilayer plastics.

The team is continuing its research on STRAP processing through the newly established Multi-University Center on Chemical Upcycling of Waste Plastics, directed by Huber. Researchers in the $12.5 million U.S. Department of Energy-funded centre are investigating several chemical pathways for recovering and recycling polymers.

The STRAP process could eventually level up to take on current levels of plastic waste.

Discover Solution 353: Submerged Sculptures for protecting marine life

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Planet Care Energy

351: PVF (Photovoltaic Fishery)

Problem:

With space at a premium, floating solar farms on their own and fish farms on their own, take up many hectares.

Solution:

Combine the two.


In 2015 a successful 120 MW prototype PVF (Photovoltaic Fishery) built above the fish pond in Yintu Township of Jinhu County, east China’s Jiangsu Province. Two years later a 220 GWh PVF was installed above a fish farm on the Zhouxiang and Changhe reservoirs in Cixi City in the Zhejiang Province in eastern China, 150 km south of Shanghai. The local division of the State Grid Corp of China (SGCC) power utility supported the project by building two new 110-kV booster stations.

It consists of 300 hectares of solar panels that can generate enough power for 100.000 households, negating the need to burn 7,4 tns of coal instead. By connecting the power station to the national grid, the fishery can expected an annual yield of 240 million RMB (US$34M) above the annual income already generated through the fish farm.

Acting as a “canopy system”, the solar panels have intentionally been spaced far enough apart in order to let sunlight penetrate the water so not to disturb the growth of the fish beneath the surface. In addition the PV panels installed above the pond will provide shade that will facilitate fish farming under the water.

In Taiwan, Google a subsidiary of Alphabet is working with Taiyen Green Energy the Fisheries Research Institute (COA) unit of the Taiwan Council of Agriculture on the installation of a 10-megawatt canopy system PVF on a 60-hectare fish pond in southern Taiwan’s Chiayi County. It should go into operation in 2022.

In Vietnam, funded by the German Government the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems is working with Viet Uc Seafood to develop a 100 kWp pilot PVF in the Mekong Delta.

Fraunhofer ISE reports that according to its initial analyses, a 1 MW project installed in Bac Lieu should see a CO2 reduction of around 15,000 metric tons per year and water consumption would fall by 75% per year compared to a conventional shrimp farm.It later hopes to expand the idea with smaller, more affordable solar fish farms. This will enable everyday aquaculture farmers to benefit from “dual land use.”

Discover Solution 352: STRAP, or Solvent-Targeted Recovery and Precipitation processing

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Materials Planet Care Your Home

340: Pods for coffee

Problem:

When Éric Favre, an aerodynamics engineer from the French-speaking Swiss canton of Vaud first created a system for putting coffee into single-serve aluminium capsules or pods, he little dreamed of the environmental risk they posed.

Machines that depend on hard-to-recycle pods, such as Nespresso and Keurig systems, are awful for the environment can create unnecessary landfill waste. Of the 39,000 capsules produced worldwide every minute, 29,000 of them end up in landfills. Nespresso alone made almost enough coffee pods to circle the world 26 times.

Solution:

1991 saw Nespresso launch the world’s first capsule recycling system in Switzerland. By 2015 they had reached 86% global recycling capacity, achieved with the help of some 14,000 dedicated capsule collection points operational around the world (additional to over 80’000 UPS points in the US and over 6’000 Green Dot collection points in 3 countries).

Nespresso are expanding their capacity to collect used aluminium capsules to 100% wherever the company does business, thereby increasing recycling rates. Further to this, each time it makes environmental sense, they will recycle used Nespresso capsules collected by the company, reusing them as new capsules.

Another key part of this vision is for 100% of our virgin aluminium capsules to be produced with material compliant with the new Aluminium Stewardship Initiative standard, currently being developed within a multi-stakeholder program led by the IUCN.

Nespresso is not the only firm with a conscience. In 2017, regarding his creation of the Keurig machine and its plastic pod, inventor John Sylvan stated, “I feel bad sometimes that I ever did it.” Glorybrew is a Miami (Florida) based coffee brand and the innovator of the 100% compostable, single-serve, BPI and Rainforest Alliance Certified coffee pods for Keurig machines.

The ring is made using coffee chaff and the filter with renewable bio-based materials. These K-Cup pods have been proven to completely break down in about 8 weeks, becoming clean soil that can be added back into the ecosystem.

Even though Keurig has a goal to make all pods recyclable by 2021, (still 57 billion, or so, more sold pods away) Glorybrew pods will remain the greener choice both now and then. This breakdown occurs in Industrial Composting Facilities, as there is not currently a certification for backyard composting.

CBD produces 95% organic, Hemp You Can Feel Coffee, based on some of the highest quality ingredients available in the marketplace: hemp extracts, organic non-GMO starches from vegetables, honey from organic farms, and trace amounts of organic vegetable and coconut oils.

No chemicals, surfactants, or artificial processes are added to make their infusions. Their hemp extract infusions are based on BeeFuse Technology patented biomimicry composition, which is part of PhytoPharma International Ltd, was invented by Ilan B. Simon in Israel. CBD’s packaging of the coffee pod and the lid are 100% compostable within 120 days of being discarded.

What you can do: Use environmentally benign coffee pods

Discover Solution 341: Ruthenium

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Planet Care

338: X Prize Carbon Capture and Removal

Problem:

The Carbon Capture and Removal solutions which have being appearing on this website need a serious incentive.

Solution:

XPrize Carbon Removal


February 9th 2021 Tesla and Space X CEO  Elon Musk launched a four-year competition which will see 15 teams receive $1million each to develop ideas to capture carbon from the atmosphere or oceans, with a $50million prize awarded to the winning project, second place $20 million and third $10 million. According to XPrize Foundation, this makes it the largest incentive prize in history.

Funded by Musk and the Musk Foundation and organised by non-profit organisation the XPrize Foundation, XPrize Carbon Removal challenges designers to develop a machine to pull large amounts of carbon dioxide (CO2) directly from either the atmosphere or the oceans.

“We want teams to build real systems that can make a measurable impact at a gigaton level,” said Musk. “Whatever it takes. Time is of the essence.” The overall aim of the contest is to produce a device that can remove one gigaton – one billion tons – of CO2 from the earth per year.

According to the organiser’s estimates, we need to remove around six gigatons of CO2 per year by 2030 and 10 gigatons per year by 2050 to reach the climate goals agreed in the Paris Agreement climate change treaty.

The winner of the contest will need to develop a scale model of their carbon removal solution and demonstrate that it has the potential to be scaled up to meet the one gigaton target.

Discover Solution 339: Energy-efficient shower head

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Planet Care Your Home

331: Synthesized dairy products

Problem:

Butter ranks third, below beef and lamb, for carbon dioxide emissions per pound of food. Cheese comes fifth.

Solution:

Synthesized dairy products


From 2014, Ryan Pandya and Perumal Ghandi of Perfect Day Foods in Berkeley California have produced synthesized milk by altering sections of the DNA sequence of food-grade yeast into

Trichoderma reesei fungus such that the microorganisms, once fed with certain nutrients, produce many of the dairy proteins, casein and whey found in milk (casein, lactoglobulin, and lactalbumin);
Combine those with water, plant-based fats, vitamins, and minerals, and you get dairy products—without having a cow – like mozzarella cheese, baked goods that require milk, yogurt, and milk shakes.

Smitten Ice Cream and Brave Robot have turned the proteins into delicious vegan, dairy-based ice cream, but Perfect Day is hoping to expand into a whole range of creamy products, for example nosh on a bagel with real schmear that doesn’t contribute to the climate crisis.

Perfect Day, the most well-funded protein fermentation company in the world, has over $360 million in total funding to-date. The recent acceleration has been supported by continuing expansion of production capacity of its animal-free dairy protein, solidifying new brand and foodservice partners, and establishing commercialization plans in new product categories within the next year.

In Glil Yam, Tel Aviv, Israel, Ori Cohavi and Aviv Wolff also founded the start-up Remilk to commercialise their patents for microbial fermentation to create a base that is identical to dairy milk but free from animal-derived ingredients.

The Israeli solution was to recreate the proteins by taking the genes that encode them and inserting them into a single-cell microbe, which they manipulated genetically to express the protein in an efficient and scalable way. Using a microbial fermentation process, they increased the number of proteins, which they then dried into a powder. When mixed with water, plant-based oils like coconut oil or sunflower oil, and plant-based sugar, the milk liquid and its derivatives can be produced with exactly the same properties, taste and structure, he said

Remilk has raised $11.3 million in capital to move its goal of disrupting the global dairy industry into production.
Perfect Day’s and Remilk’s solution for food production will be up to 100 times more land efficient than the existing dairy system, 25 times more feedstock efficient, 20 times more time-efficient, and 10 times more water-efficient, he said.

What you can do: Purchase and enjoy synthesized dairy products

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Planet Care

330: Water monitoring satellites

Problem:

Studies have found that a third of Earth’s largest groundwater basins are being rapidly depleted by human consumption, despite not having accurate data about how much water remains in them.

That means significant segments of Earth’s population are consuming groundwater without knowing when it might run out.

In many parts of the world, little or no information is publicly available on how much water a given aquifer contains. It’s rare to know how much water people are withdrawing or how this relates to replenishment rates.

Solution

Satellites to reveal path to better water management.


Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE), twin satellites launched in March 2002, circling the Planet, always between 106 and 193 miles apart, have been providing invaluable assistance in managing natural resources on the ground.

The two satellites (nicknamed “Tom” and “Jerry”) constantly maintain a two-way, K-band microwave-ranging link between them.
GRACE has been generating weekly drought indicators at the National Drought Mitigation Center.

This information already is helping water users and policymakers manage scarce groundwater resources in California, the Tigris-Euphrates Basin and several other locations around the world. It is also providing an example of how satellites and remote sensing are reshaping the water world.

Agricultural yields in Syria and Iraq plummeted after 2007. Turkey — the upstream user — refused to release additional flows to the neighbouring countries, and water stress became so severe that some farmers abandoned their lands and migrated to Baghdad. As of this year, the region had the second-fastest rate of groundwater depletion on Earth, after India.

Researchers in Turkey at times refused to release their water-related data, citing security concerns. But the GRACE remote-sensing technology has created a bypass around the reluctance of many countries to release their data.

In 2018, the Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment Follow On (GRACE-FO) satellites—a joint mission launched in 2018 by NASA and the German Research Center for Geosciences (GFZ) joined “Tom and Jerry” in the mission of detecting subtle shifts in Earth’s gravity field, caused by changes in groundwater storage or by the decay of ice sheets and glaciers.

Recent data shows that the planet’s surface mass in August 2020 deviated from the average for all months between 2004 and 2009. with some of the most dramatic changes focused in the ice-rich areas of West Antarctica, Greenland, and southeast Alaska. Scientists analyzing GRACE data found that mountain glaciers had lost about 200 gigatons of ice per year between 2002 and 2016, contributing 8 millimeters to global mean sea level.

Discover Solution 331: Synthesized dairy products

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Materials Planet Care Your Home

326: Plastic-free aisles in supermarkets

Problem:

According to the Checking Out on Plastics report by the Environmental Investigation Agency and Greenpeace UK, .Britain’s top 10 supermarkets are flooding the planet with 810,000 tonnes of single-use plastic every year, according to a major new report.

This is in addition to over 1.1 billion single-use bags, 958 million “bags for life” and 1.2 billion plastic bags for fruit and vegetables, which supermarkets produce annually. Seven of those supermarkets are putting into circulation around 59 billion pieces of plastic packaging a year – roughly 2,000 pieces for every household in the country.

Solution:

In 2016, Siân Sutherland and Frederikke Magnussen launched A Plastic Planet, coming up with one solution of a plastic free aisle in supermarkets. In February 2018, the world’s first plastic-free supermarket aisle opened in Amsterdam. Ekoplaza, a Dutch chain, where around 700 products at its pilot launch and everything was packaged, just in glass, metal, cardboard or a compostable, plant-based biofilm.

Sutherland and her team at A Plastic Planet have been working collaboratively with industry, retailers, Governments, legislators and the UN to accelerate the pace of change at all levels creating the Plastic Free Trust Mark for brands, with over 1,000 already certified, and the Industry Commitment Mark ‘Working Towards Plastic Free’.

A Plastic Planet also became a key founding partner in the Plastic Health Coalition, bringing together the world’s scientists, doctors to irrefutably prove the impact of plastic toxicity on human health.

In January 2019, Thornton’s Budgens supermarket in Belsize Park, North London introduced dedicated plastic-free zones featuring more than 1,700 plastic-free products. Customers can pick up everything from fresh fruit and vegetables, bread and cheese, to wild game meat, including squirrel and wild boar, all free from plastic packaging. Plastic-free materials are being used instead, including beech wood nets, pulp, paper, metal, glass, cellulose and carton board.

In June 2020, A Plastic Planet and packaging companies Reelbrands and Transcend Packaging came together to develop the world’s first compostable, plastic-free PPE (personal protective equipment) in clear plastic-free REELshield visors in a bid to assist the fight against coronavirus polluting the environment.

From June 2020, collaborating with Loop, a “zero waste shopping platform”, Tesco, the British supermarket chain is trialling a scheme in the UK where online shoppers will get products in reusable packaging. The trial covers 150 items, which will be delivered in reusable containers for which consumers pay a deposit.

After using the products, which include Heinz Tomato Ketchup, Persil washing liquid, Coca-Cola, and Danone yoghurt, customers ask for DPD (Dynamic Parcel Distribution) to come and pick up the empties in the bag.

Based at the European Marine Science Park in Oban Scotland, a team led by Karen Scofield Seal, at Oceanium Ltd is investigating the potential of seaweed to provide a long-term response to the demand for marine-safe packaging as well as sustainably-sourced plant-based food sources. Their solution is a circular life-cycle bio packaging material, Oceanware designed to be disposed of with food waste and ultimately used for compost for soil health or anaerobic digestion for energy.

What you can do: Be conscious of your ‘plastic footprint’ and shop at Ekoplaza if possible 

Discover Solution 327: Bricks from cigarette butts

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Planet Care

324: Vertical Forests

Problem:

The parks and gardens of traditional cities spreading out horizontally or on slopes take up valuable building space, while potted plants and bonsai on balconies can only capture miniscule amounts of CO₂.

Solution:

Perhaps the earliest example of a “vertical farm” is the legendary Hanging Gardens of Babylon, built by King Nebuchadnezzar II more than 2,500 years ago. According to some scholars, the gardens consisted of a series of vaulted terraces, stacked one on top of the other, and planted with many different types of trees and flowers.

Reaching a height of 65 ft. (20 m.), the gardens were irrigated by an early engineering innovation known as a chain pump, which would have used a system of buckets and pulleys to bring water from the Euphrates River at the foot of the gardens to a pool at the top.

In the 1970s, Ken Yeang, a Malaysian architect, began to propose that instead of hermetically sealed mass-produced agriculture, plant life should be cultivated within open air, mixed-use skyscrapers or “Farmscrapers” for climate control and consumption.

In 2006, Stefano Boeri, Gianandrea Barreca and Giovanni La Varra, a team of architects in Milan, Italy, working with horticulturalists and botanists, designed two residential towers near the Porta Nuova Garibaldi railway station of that city, What made them different was that these towers, 364 ft (111 m.) and 249 ft (76 m.) in height, would contain more than 900 trees (approximately 550 and 350 in the first and second towers, respectively) on 96,000 ft.² (8,900 m²) of terraces.

In short, they were a Vertical Forest ( = Bosco Verticale), incorporating 900 trees, 20,000 shrubs and plants, which help mitigate smog by converting approximately 44,000 lb (20,000 kg) of carbon each year. Construction of the towers began in late 2009 and early 2010, involving 6,000 onsite construction workers. Between mid-2010 and early 2011 construction progressed very slowly and the towers rose and by the beginning of 2012 the structures were completed, and construction of the facades and installation of the plants began on June 13, 2012. The building was inaugurated in October 2014.

Before long, residents found that their Vertical Forest was attracting new bird and insect species to the city such as bumblebees, hermit wild bees, syrphidae (hoverflies) and more. It was also moderating temperatures in the building in the winter and summer, by shading the interiors from the sun and blocking harsh winds. The vegetation also protects the interior spaces from noise pollution and dust from street-level traffic.

The building itself is self-sufficient by using renewable energy from solar panels and filtered waste water to sustain the buildings’ plant life. These green technology systems reduce the overall waste and carbon footprint of the towers. After five years, these residential high-rises seem to be almost disappearing under all that green, and continue to be a testament to sustainable urban living.

The Milano model is being developed across the world. In Paris, Stefano Boeri Architetti are designing a 177 ft (54 m.) tower, Forêt Blanche, which will incorporate 2.5 ac (1 ha) of woodland. Another one is planned for Tirana in Albania.

The Vertical Forest concept is under development in future cities in China, including Shijiazhuang, Liuzhou, Guizhou, Shanghai and Chongqing The Nanjing Forest City project, scheduled to be finished in 2020, comprises a 340 ac(138 ha.) city featuring 40,000 trees and a million plants, a total of 1100 trees from 23 local species, as well as 2500 cascading plans and shrubs that will cover a 6,000 m² area.

As with the Bosco Verticale, the Chinese towers will help to regenerate local biodiversity and will provide 28 tons (25 tonnes) of CO₂ absorption each year. B+H Architects in collaboration with ECAD have developed an “urban living room” and rooftop gardens to animate the Shenzhen Children’s Hospital and Science and Education Building at the edge of Lianhuashan Park .Composed of gardens and play areas, this is to help children engage with nature and establish a playful, unintimidating medical environment.

In his book “A Forest City” Boeri has unveiled designs for three buildings covered with pollution-absorbing trees and plants in Egypt’s new administrative capital, which is under construction in the desert east of Cairo. The Egyptian project will be the first of its kind for Africa.

In October 2019, Stefano Boeri, commissioned by developer and textile giant Grupo Karim, presented plans for a new “smart forest city” proposed across 1376 ac (557 ha) near Cancun, Mexico which would be home to 130,000 people.

Touted as “the first forest city of the new millennium”, the new plans for Mexico include 988 ac (400 ha) of green spaces with 7.5 million plants, and 400 different species, 260,000 of which will be trees equating to 2.3 trees per inhabitant, The smart forest city will absorb 116.000 tons (105,000 tonnes) of CO₂ with 5.800 tons 5260 tonnes) of CO₂ stocked per year.

Water is a key element in the project: surrounded by a ring of solar panels and agricultural fields irrigated by a water channel which is connected with an underwater maritime pipe. Climate-responsive engineering firm Transsolar‘s involvement in the city plans for it to be completely food and energy self-sufficient.

Other architects developing plantscrapers, include Vincent Callebaut of Belgium, Rogers Stirk Harbour & Partners of London (Skyfarm), Plantagon of Sweden (World Food Building) etc.

In, India, taking a more modest approach, an Internal Revenues Services officer, Rohit Mehra with his wife Geetanjali and friends have been creating “green walls” in Ludhiana, a large industrial city in the north Indian state of Punjab, to minimise the effect of environmental pollution.

Very simply they take empty 3 and 6 pint (1.5 and 2-liter) used plastic bottles then fix rows of them vertically as flower pots, using drip feed irrigation. Having decorated the 2,500 ft² provided by the walls of their home, Rohit then applied it to the walls of his own office at Rishi Nagar, where over 18,000 bottles were used.

The next location, unveiled on Income Tax Day 2017 was Ludhiana’s railway station with a vertical garden displaying some 37,000 plants. Thanks to Rohit’s initiative, involving building one vertical garden in three or four days on an average, there are now 75 vertical gardens in Punjab, include premium hotels, district courts, schools and colleges like Punjab Agricultural University and even religious institutions like Gurdwara Dukh Niwaran Sahib in Ludhiana. While this totals 1.85 lakh (185,000) saplings, Team Green’s target is 1,000 vertical gardens across India to help curb pollution.

Discover Solution 325: Water battery

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Planet Care

309: Shaded farming aka Agrophotovoltaics

Problem:

The expansion of renewable energies aims at meeting the global energy demand while replacing fossil fuels. However, it requires large areas of land. At the same time, food security is threatened by the impacts of climate change and a growing world population. Some highly urbanised countries, such as Belgium and the Netherlands, lack the necessary space to install large solar power plants.

Solution:

Agrophotovoltaics
In 1981 Adolf Goetzberger, head of the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems, proposed the idea of installing solar modules on agricultural land or in the hot and dry regions of the world. He predicted that the consequent shading would make the hard soil bloom.
In 2016 Fraunhofer built a test installation at in Heggelbach near Lake Constance which during the next three years proved the concept: They founded that, given the impacts of climate change and conditions in arid climates, potential benefits are likely for crop production through additional shading and observed improvements of water productivity. In addition, APV enhances the economic value of farming and can contribute to decentralized, off-grid electrification in developing and rural areas, thus further improving agricultural productivity.
ENGIE BENELUX has taken up the challenge and is implementing a large-scale project of this type in the Netherlands that aims is to install a 45-megawatt solar farm combined with a crop-growing activity by 2021. It also envisages the development of an APV project in Chile’s Arica Province. Ombrea has installed an AI-based mobile shade system on a vineyard in Rians, France, and the first harvest was a conclusive success.

Endesa, Spain’s largest utility has added bee hives to two AGV sites in Carmona, south-west Spain. By establishing at the 50 Mw Las Corchas and Los Naranjos solar plants, the additional bee pollination will increase productivity even further. The underground cable network spanning 4.5 km may also act as electroculture.

Discover Solution 310: Twin thin-film solar cell with 34% efficiency

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Materials Planet Care

307: Pesticide eco-friendly

Problem:

Chemical pesticides, such as neonicotinoids, produced from chemical alteration can contaminate soil, water, turf, and other vegetation. In addition to killing insects or weeds, pesticides can be toxic to a host of other organisms including, humans, birds, fish, beneficial insects such as bees, and non-target plants. Examples of acute health effects include stinging eyes, rashes, blisters, blindness, nausea, dizziness, diarrhea and death.

Solution:

Nanopesticides offer hope of a more environmentally-friendly approach.

Nanopesticides are plant protection products where nanotechnology is employed to enhance the efficacy or reduce the environmental footprint of a pesticide active ingredient. It is such a young solution that, in the European Union, silicon dioxide (SiO2) is the only active substance with an approval for use as a nanomaterial in biocidal products.

Bacterial leaf blight of rice caused by Xanthomonas oryzae pv. oryzae (Xoo) is a major disease of rice, leading to reduction in production by 10–50%. In order to control this disease, various chemical bactericides have been used. Wide and prolonged application of chemical bactericides resulted in the resistant strain of Xoo that was isolated from rice.

To address this problem, Chinese researchers at both the College of Materials and Energy, South China Agricultural University, Guangzhou and the College of Agriculture, Shihezi University, Xinjiang were searching for an environmentally friendly alternative to the commonly used chemical bactericides.

They found that silicon dioxide nanospheres loaded with silver nanoparticles (SiO2-Ag) can be prepared by using rice husk as base material precursor. The results of the antibacterial tests showed that SiO2-Ag composites displayed antibacterial activity against Xoo.

Nano technology can also be used to create e-friendly fertilisers. In 2019, Researchers at Egypt’s National Research Centre in Cairo produced a nano-fertiliser from banana peels. They used potassium hydroxide as the extracting agent at optimum operating conditions (solid to liquid ratio 1:2, temperature 100 °C, and cooking time 30 min).

The product was applied in agriculture of two crops, tomato and fenugreek (Trigonella foenum-graecum). Their findings revealed that germination percentage increased with increasing dose of banana peel extract for both crops. For tomato crop, the germination percentage was increased from 14% (control without nano) to 97% after 7 days of plantation. Also, the same trend was noticed for fenugreek crop, the germination percentage was enhanced from 25% (control without nano) to 93.14%.

Discover Solution 308: Retrofitting vehicles to electric propulsion

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Materials Planet Care

303: Selective fishing net

Problem:

In 2008, the Norwegian coast guard filmed a Scottish fishing vessel riding gray swells, dumping 5 tonnes of dead fish back into the North Sea. Over the European Union catch quota and unable to keep all the fish they had caught, the fishermen had to ditch some. To the Norwegians, who aren’t part of the EU and hold a strict discards ban, the waste was shocking.

Solution:

In 2011, Dan Watson, a Royal College of Art student in Glasgow designed an ocean trawling system that would allow certain fish to escape via lighted rings, offering more catch selectivity.


For his SafetyNet, Watson received an MA in Innovation Design Engineering. The escape rings can be retrofitted into any net to keep the holes of the net stretched open, permitting small fish to escape and ensuring that only marketable ones are caught (ordinarily, the mesh becomes compressed as it is dragged through the water by the boat). The rings are illuminated to make the exits more visible.

An internal separator panel running horizontally within the net delineates the border between a finer upper mesh and wider-spaced lower mesh, taking advantage of the fact that endangered cod tend to swim downwards when under stress but the desired haddock and whiting will tend to swim upward.

Two models of escape ring are both capable of snapping onto existing mesh nets; one is battery-powered, and the other is self-charging, capturing the energy from the flow of water over a small built-in turbine in order to generate power to the LEDs. Using the ‘safetynet’ system, the fishing industry can become more sustainable. In 2012 SafetyNet won the James Dyson Design Award.

To further commercialise, Watson founded SafetyNet Technologies, enlisting the help of Aran Dasan and Steven Ogborne. This included integrating their PISCES light-emitting devices into fishing gear to lower non-target by-catch in fishing activities. PISCES was trialled by Carrefour’s suppliers, FROM Nord, in the Eastern Channel fishery in order to avoid the capture of juvenile whiting.

SafetyNet Technologies has great ambition to make fishing more sustainable, and part of that is to sustain the fishermen’s livelihoods, by making devices that not only work to fish selectively but are easy to use and maintain.

What you can do:

Discoverr Solution 304: Toftlund

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302: Reforestation sponsored by search engine

Problem:

Reforestation costs money.

Solution:

With the 50th anniversary of Earth Day fast approaching in 2020, Earth Day Network is launching a series of major campaigns to catalyze and channel global collaboration for the health of our planet, Trees for the Earth was the first of these campaigns.


Launched in 2016, its goal is to plant 7.8 billion trees worldwide by 2021, one for every person projected to be on Earth. This could cut carbon dioxide in the atmosphere by up to 25 %, to levels last seen almost a century ago.

Ecosia, a popular internet search engine has brought in enough revenues to enable it to plant 70 million trees. This equates to the removal of 2.5 million tonnes of CO₂ from the atmosphere.

The search engine is planting a tree every second in Kenya, Brazil, Indonesia, Spain, Tanzania, Madagascar, Colombia, Peru, Senegal, Burkina Faso, Haiti, Morocco, Ethiopia, Uganda, Ghana and Nicaragua with the profits it makes from advertisements on its search engine.

Ecosia has partnered with Bing, Microsoft’s search engine, to get results for users, but receives a majority portion of any revenues. After covering its internal costs, everything left goes towards planting trees; Ecosia, founded by Christian Kroll, is a non-profit organization.

The startup, which began operations in 2009, has grown exponentially, with people using Ecosia in 183 countries, but particularly in its home country of Germany. As consumer concern about climate change increases, the company is on track to reach 100 million trees planted by the end of 2019, thanks to its users. It is targeting planting one trillion trees, costing equivalent to 10% of the world’s annual military spending.

What you can do:

Discover Solution 303: Selective fishing net

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294: Recreational power plant

Problem:

Proximity to power plants isn’t typically a selling point for urban neighbourhoods,

Solution:

Recreational power plant


With Copenhagen’s commitment to being carbon-neutral by 2025, the team of architects and engineers at Bjarke Ingels Group has completed the “cleanest waste-to-energy power plant in the world” Their design for the 41,0000-square-metre plant won an international competition in 2011, with the building breaking ground two years later and the power station officially going online in March 2017

CopenHill, also known as Amager Resource Centre, replaces a 50-year old waste-to-energy plant with one that incinerates trash, then uses catalytic filtration to remove pollutants from the resulting smoke. It converts 440,000 tons of garbage annually enough to provide over 30,000 homes with electricity and 72,000 homes with heating in an area spread across five municipalities including Copenhagen.

But this is not all. CopenHill, “the epicentre for urban mountain sport, comprises an artificial ski slope that is open all year round. Operated in partnership with Snowminds Ski School, a glass elevator ferries skiers and snowboards to the top; and at 85 m the world’s tallest climbing wall, designed by walltopia; and a 490-metre-long hiking and running trail within a rooftop bar and a “lush” garden.

Once a month CopneHill hosts a new freestyle event Friday Night Freestyle. Everyone is welcome – skiers, snowboarders, rookies and pros! The event starts at 5pm where there will be a huge freestyle session on the slope. The Middelgrunden wind farm can be seen in the distance.

This “garden” is designed by collaborators SLA Architects, and is hoped to created a “vibrant green pocket” in the city for birds, bees and flowers, while absorbing heat, remove harmful air particles and minimise storm water runoff.

Due to its location on the industrial waterfront of CopenHill is also the ground level site for the site for extreme sports from wakeboarding to go-kart racing

It is hoped the building will help Copenhagen meet its goal of becoming the world’s first carbon-neutral city by 2025.

Discover Solution 295: Polypropylene-free tea bags

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Energy Planet Care Uncategorized

293: Passive Downdraught Evaporative Cooling (PDEC)

Problem:

Leaking CFC and HCFC-based air conditioners contribute to GHG and ozone depletion.

Solution:

Eastern architecture as an alternative to air conditioning. Chimney-like towers, (Persian: بادگیر‎ bâdgir: bâd “wind” + gir “catcher”) have been used for centuries to deliver passive cooling in arid desert regions.


Their function is to catch cooler breeze that prevail at a higher level above the ground and to direct it into the interior of the buildings. During archaeological investigations conducted by Masouda in the 1970s, the first historical evidence of windcatcher was found in the site of Tappeh Chackmaq near the city of Shahrood, Iran which dates back to 4000 BC.

A painting depicting such a device has been found at the Pharaonic house of Neb-Ammun, Egypt, which dates from the 19th Dynasty, c. 1300 BC (British Museum), while similar edifices can be found in Hyderabad, southern Pakistan.

Many traditional water reservoirs (ab anbars) are built with windcatchers that are capable of storing water at near freezing temperatures during summer months. The evaporative cooling effect is strongest in the driest climates, such as on the Iranian plateau, leading to the ubiquitous use of windcatchers in drier areas such as Kerman, Kashan, Sirjan, Nain, Bam and Yazd, the latter known as the “City of Windcatchers”.

The modernisation of windcatcher’s efficiency was proved in 1997 by Nimish Patel and Parul Zaveri of Abhikram Architects designed the 1 million ft² (93,000m2) Torrent Research Centre for Torrent Pharmaceuticals Ltd. in Ahmedabad, India. It is a complex of windcatchers saved around 200 tonnes of air conditioning load.

The Kensington Oval cricket ground in Barbados (2007) and the Saint-Étienne Métropole’s Zénith (2008) with their aluminum windcatcher rooves both use this method. Since 2004, over 7000 X-Air windcatchers have been installed by Monodraught Ltd. of High Wycombe on public buildings across the UK.

Discover Solution 294: Recreational power plant

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Planet Care Materials

284: 99Recycle

Problem:

Every year, Russia generates 55-60 million tons of municipal solid waste (MSW) 99% of which is non-hazardous waste. In St Petersburg the sprawling mountains of rubbish located on the outskirts have become a testament to our 21st Century throw-away culture.

Solution:

Anton Rykachevskiy, Alexander Semenov, Olesya Kulik and a team at 99Recycle in St Petersburg exclusively source plastic from landfill sites to create its products. The brand works alongside various charities that support in their quest to collect plastic. Covers for Kindness is one of these.


The organisation gathers old plastic lids or covers, sorts them according to colour, and delivers them to 99Recycle. According to Maria Kutuzova, head of the project, they have collected over 70 tonnes of plastic so far.

Most of 99Recycle’s is taken up by the preparation, because they need to clean it, to make it even, to select it, to reject some materials.

The current roster includes a range of waist bags, tiles, plant pots, jewellery and pencil cases, through to skateboards and even a bike produced from recycled plastics via 3D printing.

Discover Solution 285: Offshore floating wind farm

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Planet Care Your Home

283: Microfilter clothes washing devices

Problem:

700,000 plastic microfibers come off synthetic garments when they go into a machine. By coming off, these fibers pass through the filters of the washing machines, which are not equipped to retain these microparticles. Since wastewater treatment plants do not have the capacity to filter them, they end up in sewage and, therefore, in the oceans. These fibers finally finish their course in the organism of marine animals.

Solution:

Microfilter clothes washing devices


In 2005, Brian Koski of Wexco Environmental Inc., Milaca, Minnesota developed the Filtrol 160 attachable filter which removes non-biodegradable materials and fibers, such as lint,hair, pet fur, sand, food and other debris, from a washing machine discharge. Filtrols are now in use problem in thousands of homes, businesses, and residential properties across the USA.

In 2008, keen surfers, Alexander Nolte and Oliver Spies co-founded of LANGBRETT GmbH specializing in environmentally friendly surf, skate and outdoor apparel with retail stores in Berlin, Hamburg, Düsseldorf and Frankfurt.

Concerned with micro-particle pollution, they conceived of a plastic filter bag specially designed to retain these particles during a clothes wash. Nolte and Spies worked with German research institute Fraunhofer to test and vet the bag’s design and material.

They settled on polyamide, also known as nylon, that does not shed synthetic fibers easily. It is made with a 50-micron mesh, a width that allows soapy water to enter the bag without allowing fibers to leave. They trade named their patented innovation the Guppyfriend.

Guppyfriend attracted the attention of Patagonia, the American clothing company, Greener Grazing program at Australis Aquaculture when word about the project reached Phil Graves, managing director of Tin Shed Ventures, Patagonia’s investment fund. Patagonia already had a relationship with LANGBRETT, which sells Patagonia clothing.

They received early prototypes of the bag and tested them with the UCSB researchers they had worked with on their fiber loss study. They confirmed that the bag trapped anywhere from 90-95% of fibers. When the bag is removed from the washer at the end of a cycle, the fiber – visible against the white mesh – can be removed by hand and disposed of. Tests show that the bag remains functional and intact after hundreds of washings.

Since then, Nolte and Spies are also working on reducing microfiber losses before the fabric reaches the laundry room. They are working with Deutsche Textilforschungszentrum, a German standards body, to create a metric that will show the rate and amount of fiber losses of a given textile. They hope clothing designers will choose fabrics that aren’t prone to shedding. (en.guppyfriend.com)

In Ljubljana, Slovenia, a team led by Mojca Zupan and her engineer Hakim El Khiar have developed the PlanetCare washing machine filter. PlanetCare filters are available worldwide from an online shop. Every user receives a filter, replacement cartridges, a hose, a mount, and a small counter of wash cycles.

After the initial installation, the user will need to replace a full cartridge after approximately 20 wash cycles. After installing the last new cartridge, they return the used cartridges to PlanetCare for recycling (cartridges come in a returnable box with prepaid postage) who will send you a new set.

A commercial PlanetCare filter is designed for the service industry. Laundromats, hotels, hospitals, marinas: wherever washing machines operate 24 hours a day. This filter has been tested and approved by four renowned institutions: University of Slovenia, Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche (CNR), the Swedish Environmental Agency and a washing machine manufacturer.

As of January 1, 2025, based on a decree passed by the French Ministry of Ecological Transition, all new washing machines must be fitted with microplastic filters, while manufacturers would obtain an environmental bonus if they transitioned before 2025.

What you can do: Use one of these filter to help reduce microfiber pollution.

Discover Solution 284: 99Recycle

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Planet Care Uncategorized

281: Sea grass

Problem:

Mitigation and adaptation to extreme weather conditions is particularly applicable to small islands.

Solution:

Similar to several Indo-Pacific islands, the Maldives is committed to building a strong business case to protect tropical coastal wetlands given their importance for fish production, coastal protection, water purification and carbon storage (i.e., Blue Carbon). One solution to this is the cultivation of sea grass (angiosperms).


Sea grass produces oxygen, stabilises sediment, protects shorelines, and gives food and shelter to marine life. A sea grass meadow creates a home for up to 20 times more fish. Up to 100,000 fish can live in just one hectare of sea grass. 2.5 ac (1 ha) of sea grass can be a home for up to 19 turtles.

In 2016 the Maldives Underwater Initiative (MUI) and Blue Marine Foundation (BLUE), along with luxury resort Six Senses Laamu joined together to demonstrate how sea grass and tourism can coexist and generate positive outcomes. As their work gained momentum, the collaboration launched the

“ProtectMaldivesSeagrass” campaign, asking resorts, as well as the public, to pledge their support for the protection and preservation of sea grass beds in Maldives.

Sea grass bed restoration is also taking place elsewhere.

As of 2019 the Coastal Marine Ecosystems Research Centre of Central Queensland University has been growing seagrass for six years and has been producing seagrass seeds. They have been running trials in germination and sowing techniques.

In a study of a species of seagrass called Posidonia oceanic, Anna Sanchez-Vidal, a marine biologist Department of Stratigraphy, Paleontology and Marine Geosciences at the University of Barcelona has discovered that plastic debris on the Mediterranean seafloor can be trapped in seagrass remains called “Neptune Balls”, eventually leaving the marine environment through beaching.

With no help from humans, the swaying plants – anchored to shallow seabeds – may collect nearly 900 million microplastic items in the Mediterranean alone every year, nearly 1,500 pieces per kilo of Neptune Balls or up to 600 bits per kilo of leaves.

Discover Solution 282: Hydrogen-powered steel

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Energy Planet Care

277: Nuclear fusion power station -Tokamak reactors

Problem:

The world’s 440 nuclear fission plants generate only 10% of the world’s electrity while presenting the lethal menace of dealing with waste by transporting it to deep earth burial sites.

Solution:

Nuclear fusion is a reaction in which two lighter nuclei, typically isotopes of hydrogen, combine together under conditions of extreme pressure and temperature to form a heavier nucleus, releasing energy in the process. Fusion has been powering the sun and stars since their formation.


Unlike fission, fusion will have a low burden of radioactive waste. The energy released during fusion in the sun makes all life on earth possible. The simplest way to replicate the primordial source of power on earth is via the fusion of deuterium and tritium.

Deuterium is found aplenty in ocean water, enough to last for billions of years. Naturally occurring tritium is extremely rare, but it can be produced inside a reactor by neutron activation of lithium, found in brines, minerals and clays. Moreover, to run a 1,000 MW power plant with a fusion reactor, it is estimated that about 150kg of deuterium and three tonnes of lithium would be required per year, while the current fission reactors consume 25 to 30 tonnes of enriched uranium.

Fusion’s by-product is helium, which is an inert, non-toxic, non-radioactive gas used to inflate balloons. In addition, a fusion power plant would not require transporting hazardous radioactive materials.

The 35-nation International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER) including states from theEuropean Union, the USA, India, Japan, South Korea and Russia began construction at Cadarache in France. It is the world’s largest fusion reactor, taking up equivalent to 60 football pitches.

Launched in 2006, ITER was beset with technical delays, labyrinthine decision-making and costs that have soared from an initial estimate of five billion euros to around 20 billion euros.

In the chaos of the United Kingdom’s leaving the European Union, or Brexit, there is now at least one certainty: As the UK’s quest to produce clean energy from nuclear fusion by 2040, The Culham Centre for Fusion Energy Oxfordshire, UK but supported by the European Union will keep operating until the end of 2020, thanks to a €100 million infusion of EU funds.

The deal, agreed in April 2019, will enable the Joint European Torus (JET) to embark on a daring fusion campaign with a rare, tricky fuel that will help pave the way for its successor: the giant ITER fusion reactor under construction in France.

The agreement comes as a relief to fusion researchers, who had feared JET would be shut down after Brexit. Now, they can go ahead with plans to gradually switch to a fuel mix of deuterium and tritium, both hydrogen isotopes. The latter is rare and hard to handle, but the change will provide the most ITER-like dress rehearsal before the main event in 2025. The same “D-T” reactions will ultimately power ITER and the commercial reactors that follow it.

Nuclear fusion is usually done in hollow, donut-shaped reactors called tokamaks, which are filled with rings of plasma as hot as the Sun. Soviet scientists coined the term as a shortening of the Russian for “toroidal magnetic confinement.”

The name is perfectly descriptive. A tokamak is a torus—the math term for a donut. But this takes tremendous effort to maintain the intense pressures and temperatures required for an “artificial star” here on Earth. Eruptions called edge-localized modes (ELMs) have been damaging the walls of reactors, making them less secure and requiring the replacement of parts far too regularly.

The problem was that the plasma used is inherently unstable, and large eruptions can damage the reactors containing it. Recently, physicists from the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL) have found that creating a series of small ELMs could prevent larger, more damaging ones from occurring.

These smaller eruptions could be triggered by injecting granules of beryllium, measuring about 1.5 mm thick into the boiling plasma at regular intervals. Following computer simulations, the team ran physical experiments in the DIII-D, a tokamak reactor housed in the National Fusion Facility in San Diego prior to testing the technique out on other tokamaks, such as the Joint European Torus (JET).

The next breakthrough came when scientists developed a new superconducting material, essentially a steel tape coated with yttrium-barium-copper oxide (YBCO) enabling smaller and more powerful magnets. This in turn lowers the energy required to get the fusion reacton off the ground. With 18 nobium-in superconducting magnets (aka torroidal-field coils) installed, 150 million degrees celius was finally in sight

November 2019 saw the completion of the seven-storey Tokamak Building, after six million work hours, performed by approximately 850 workers since 2010. Some 105,000 tonnes of concrete, reinforced by approximately 20,000 tonnes of steel rebar, had gone into the building’s construction.

Transport of component parts was been a major undertaking. The PF6 (the second-smallest of the six coils that circle the vacuum vessel) weighing 396 tonnes and measuring 40 ft. (12 m.) long, 36 ft. (11 m.) wide and a little more than 13 ft. (4 m.) high, was made in China under an agreement signed between the Institute of Plasma Physics of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (ASIPP) and the procuring party, the European Domestic Agency.

Transported by ship, having arrived at Fosses-sur-Mer, the port of Marseilles, for this “highly exceptional load” (HEL) to reach the ITER site, approximately 2,220 cubic yards (1,700 cubic m.) of roadside rock and trees had to be removed. This is just one of approximately 100 large components for the magnet feeder system, adding up to 1,600 tonnes of equipment in all and measuring from 100 to 160 ft. (30 to 50 m.) in length.

Among other components to be delivered was the 18 m., or 60 ft. (18 m.), tall 1000-tonne “Central Solenoid,” the superconducting electromagnet that stands along the central axis of the tokamak, sometimes referred to as “the beating heart of ITER,” under manufacture by General Atomics in Poway, California, near San Diego.

This 1,000-metric-ton solenoid will have 5.5 gigajoules of stored energy to enable 100-million-degree-Celsius plasmas within carefully defined magnetic fields. In some locations, there will be only 10 mm of space—the width of a thick pencil—between the massive central solenoid and a 45 foot (13 m.) tall “D”-shaped toroidal field magnet.

Despite the delay caused by the COVID-19 lockdown, the project began its five-year assembly phase in July 2020, launched by the French president, Emmanuel Macron alongside senior figures from ITER members, the EU, UK, China, India, Japan, Korea, Russia and the US. In February 2021, after enduring a battery of rigorous tests, the first of seven 45,000 amp superconducting magnet modules was given the green light. Built at General Dynamics of San Diego, it is now en route for ITER’s central solenoid.
Trials were due to begin in 2021 and if successful, regular power supply will be in 2025. (iter.org)

Meanwhile, by November 2019, following delivery of the coil system, the Southwestern Institute of Physics (SWIP) under the China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC) completed the construction of HL-2M, the Experimental Advanced Superconducting Tokamak (EAST) at a research centre in Chengdu, the capital city of southwest China’s Sichuan province.
人造太阳 (Rénzào tàiyáng = artificial sun), expected to generate plasmas hotter than 200 million°C should also be operational in 2020. (cnnc.com.cn)

On November 24th 2020, The Korea Superconducting Tokamak Advanced Research (KSTAR), a superconducting fusion device also known as the Korean artificial sun, set the new world record as it succeeded in maintaining the high temperature plasma for 20 seconds with an ion temperature over 100 million degrees Celsius (retention time: about 1.5 seconds) the same temperature as the core of the Sun—its hottest part. In a continuing research program with the Seoul National University (SNU) and Columbia University of the United States, KSTAR aims to continuously operate high-temperature plasma over the 100-million-degree for 300 seconds by 2025.

Discover Solution 278: Orange juice bar – circular economy

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Planet Care

275: WasteShark

Solution:

A marine robot or aquadrone to eat waste and collect data.
Oliver Cunningham and Richard Hardiman co-founded RanMarine Technology in Rotterdam, the Netherlands to launch the The WasteShark, the world’s first marine robot designed specifically to capture plastics, microplastics, oils and other pollutants and collect data. Hardiman, from Cape Town, South Africa wanted to create a device that could help clean trash out of a harbour before it reached the ocean.

WasteShark floats through the sea just like the former with its mouth open, collecting garbage instead of fish As it navigates the water the electrically-propelled WasteShark emits no carbon, produces no noise or light pollution, and poses no threat to wildlife.

It can travel up to 5 km and collect up to 350kg of waste at a time.  WasteShark is also supported by a docking- and recharging station. One WasteShark can collect in excess of 15 tonnes of waste a year, with the plastic recycled to make products.

With 10 WasteSharks being tested around the world in India, the Netherlands, the U.S., and Cape Town, from December 2020, WWF and Sky Ocean Rescue launched a WasteShark in north Devon, England to clean up Ilfracombe harbour

Discover Solution 276: Microbial fungi and bacteria for CO2 capture

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Planet Care

274: Seabin

Problem:

Garbage is always to be found floating near ports and harbours, private marinas and yacht clubs.

Solution:

Seabin was invented and developed by two Australian ocean lovers, Andrew Turton, skipper, boat builder and surfer and Pete Ceglinski, surfer and industrial designer in injection-molded plastic products.

Witnesses of the damage caused by plastic pollution across the globe, they chose to devote their energy to find effective solutions and to carry out educational actions to change behaviors.

They developed a “trash skimmer” whereby rubbish and debris are brought into a bin thanks to a submersible water pump capable of displacing 6,600 gallons per hour (25,000 LPH (liters per hour), plugged directly into a 110/22v outlet. They are then collected in a catch bag which is removed and replaced.

The product was tested for four years and never had fish caught up in the bin. Although Ceglinski has taken out a patent, he was not the first. In 1992 Louis W. Pasoz obtained a patent for Apparatus and method for removal of floating debris.

The design and development of the Seabin project is based in Palma, Mallorca, Spain at the design center “The Sea” a factory space set up for creatives. The Sea has office and meetings space, an events gallery and a workshop area ideal for the Seabin project.

The Palma Mallorca location is important for the Seabin project, being the central hub of Europe’s marine industry and also having quick international access.

Following trials in France at La Grande Motte, Seabins built of recycled materials by Poralu Marine, were soon being trialled at various European ports. In 2017, the major shipbuilder, Wärtsilä signed up, as the first big industrial company, to partner with the Seabin Project and donated 35 Seabins to various locations globally.

By 2019 there were over 60 Seabins in Europe from the UK to Liguria, including the canals of Paris and Swiss Lake Lugano.

Three Seabins in Toronto, Canada are the first to be installed in a North American harbour. By 2019, following a video campaign which went viral, SeaBins are in use in 52 countries around the world which have collected more than half a million tonne of marine litter.

Before long, Seabins had arrived at Pete Ceglinski’s native country with the installation of two Seabins in the Port Macquarie Marina, New South Wales, Australia. The purchase of the first Seabin was made possible through a NSW EPA litter grant, the first one in Australia to be used for the purchase of Seabin clean technology.

Seabin is also supported with a seed investment by Australian marine technology development company Shark Mitigation Systems Pty. Ltd. (SMS). SMS has technology partnerships with Google and Australian telecommunications company Optus, and is on a pathway to IPO listing on the Australian Stock Exchange.

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Planet Care

273: Robo bees

Problem:

The honey bee (Apis Mellifera), which pollinates nearly one-third of the food we eat, has been dying at unprecedented rates because of a mysterious phenomenon known as colony collapse disorder (CCD).

The crisis is generally attributed to a mixture of disease, parasites, and pesticides. If the bee disappeared off the face of the Earth, man would only have four years left to live. No more bees, no more pollination, no more plants, no more animals, no more man.

Solution:

In late June 2014, The White House gave a new task force just 180 days to devise a coping strategy to protect bees and other pollinators.


Inspired by the biology of a bee, researchers, led by engineering Professor Robert Wood at the Microrobotics Lab of the Wyss Institute, Harvard University, began developing Autonomous Flying Microbots aka RoboBees, man-made systems that could perform myriad roles in agriculture or disaster relief.

A RoboBee measures about half the size of a paper clip, weighs less than one-tenth of a gram, and flies using “artificial muscles” compromised of materials that contract when a voltage is applied. To construct RoboBees, researchers at the Wyss Institute have developed innovative manufacturing methods, so-called Pop-Up micro-electromechanical (MEMs) technologies that have already greatly expanded the boundaries of current robotics design and engineering.

A Robobee can lift off the ground and hover midair when tethered to a power supply. After two years of R&D, in 2016 the Wyss team announced that their Robobees can now perch on objects from any angle, using an electrode patch and a foam mount that absorbs shock to perch on surfaces and conserve energy in flight, like bats, birds or butterflies.

The new perching components weigh 13.4 mg, bringing the total weight of the robot to about 100mg, similar to the weight of a real bee. The robot takes off and flies normally. When the electrode patch is supplied with a charge, it can stick to almost any surface, from glass to wood to a leaf. To detach, the power supply is simply switched off.

But they still need to be able to fly on their own and communicate with each other to perform tasks such as a real honeybee hive is capable of doing. The researchers believe that as soon as 10 years from now these RoboBees could artificially pollinate a field of crops, a critical development if the commercial pollination industry cannot recover from severe yearly losses over the past decade.

RoboBees will work best when employed as swarms of thousands of individuals, coordinating their actions without relying on a single leader. The hive must be resilient enough so that the group can complete its objectives even if many bees fail.

The new generation four-wing hybrid RoboBee X-Wing can dive into water, swim, propel itself back out of water, and safely land. Although only one-quarter the weight of a paper clip, it still needs the extra lift provided by its two extra wings to carry its on-board electronics and six tiny solar cells.

Since the robot is untethered unlike other similar robotic insects, it gets its power from the sun — or from powerful lamps, which the researchers used during their tests. The solar cells generate 5 volts of electricity, and a small onboard transformer turns it into the 200 volts of electricity the RoboBee needs to lift off. That voltage causes the bee’s piezoelectric actuators to bend and contract such as the real insect’s muscles would, leading to the flapping motion of the robot’s wings. (wyss.harvard.edu)

Even though the X-Wing does not need a tether, it still cannot be deployed in real missions. For one, it requires light three times the intensity of our sun to be able to generate the power it needs. In addition, it does not work when it is not directly under the light and could only fly for a second or two during testing until it veers out of view. The researchers need to equip it with a power storage solution so it can fly in the dark. But that would make it heavier.

In 2017, Eijiro Miyako, a researcher at Japan’s National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology, developed a drone to deliver pollen between flowers. The bottom is covered in horsehair and coated in a special sticky gel. When the drone flies onto a flower, pollen grains stick lightly to the gel, and then rub off on the next flower visited. (aist.go.jp)

In March 2018, Walmart filed a patent for autonomous, pollination drones. In 2019, scientists at the Tomsk Polytechnic University (TPU) Russia launched a robo-bee prototype at least seven times bigger than real bees, or the size of a human palm.

Another approach was taken by Anna Haldewang, a 24-year-old industrial design student at Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) in Georgia, USA. Haldewang created 50 designs of a bee drone before landing on the final model, Plan Bee, which does not resemble a bee at all.

The drone consists of a foam core, a plastic-shell body and two propellers. There are also six sections of the drone that meet at the bottom, all of which have tiny holes that let the machine gather pollen while it hovers over plants. It can then release the pollen at a later time for cross-pollination.

Haldewang noted that Plan Bee is still in its early stages, but she has filed a patent for the technology and design. Its application in backyards as a teaching tool has potential, but the drone could conceivably be used in large-scale farming, even in hydroponic farming.

Discover Solution 274: SeaBin

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Planet Care Materials Mobility

271: OEOO (One Earth – One Ocean)

Problem:

After fishing plastic waste out of the ocean, it normally has to be shipped back to port and on to a recycling plant.

Solution:

Günter Bolin is a passionate sailor. On his ocean voyages, the Munich-based IT entrepreneur came across ever increasing amounts of plastic waste. He decided to put his IT company to rest and to deal intensively with solving the global plastic waste problem.


In 2011 with Dr. Harald Frank, Erich Groever, Lennart Rölz, Bolin founded the environmental organization One Earth – One Ocean (OEOO). In 2013, One Earth – One Ocean e.V. was awarded the prestigious GreenTec Award 2013, Europe’s largest environmental and business award, for its concept of “marine litter cleanup”.

Since then, from its Kiel and Hamburg bases, OEOO has been developing various types of ships to collect plastic waste from the sea: Since 2012, five 5m x 2 m SeeHamsters developed by OEOO have been sailing in rivers and port areas. These are equipped with a collapsible safety net or safety harness to collect plastic waste from inland waters.

The SeeKuh, a plastic collecting ship measuring 12m × 10 m, has also been in use since 2016. It is used collect the plastic debris and the plastic that is floating up to 4 meters under the surface in coastal regions and estuaries of the Baltic Sea and in Hong Kong.

In 2018 OEOO became an official partner of the UN Environment #CleanSeas campaign. During the past two years, OEOO has been developing the SeeElefant, (= Elephant Seal) a container ship that is designed to take on board the rubbish collected by the hamsters and cows and process, sort, process and, among other things, reprocess it into oil using the system technology integrated in the ship.

Over the past few years OEOO has carried out a feasibility study for this largest ship model; the pilot system is scheduled to start in 2021.

In the future, this vessel will press the finds into single-variety plastic balls that can be processed into new products on land. For the SeeElefant, OEOO received the Federal Ecodesign Award in the “Concept” category in 2019.

With the second generation of the SeeKuh, which is currently under construction, the garbage will be divided into recyclable and non-recyclable materials. Organics such as algae and mussels are sorted out and returned to the sea. So far, the recycling garbage has been given unsorted to local recycling companies.

OEOO’s vision is to establish as many systems of collection vehicles and processing vessels as possible, preferably in front of each river mouth. Because when no more rubbish ends up in the sea, it helps a lot. Once it’s drifted into the open sea, it’s actually too late.

What you can do: Reduce your plastic usage.

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Energy Planet Care

270: Nature Urbaine

Problem:

Fruit and veg on average travel by refrigerated air and land transport between 2,400 and 4,800 kilometres from farm to market. The global transportation force is the largest of humanity’s carbon-emitting activities, and reducing the number of flights and truckloads of produce is a great place to start cutting the amount of CO2 entering the atmosphere.

Solution:

In 2016, Pascal Hardy, an engineer in agro-development had the intuition that growing towers could be used to set large farms on the rooftops of cities and created Agripolis Organics in Paris.

He started with the roof of Hall 6 at the six-storey Paris Exhibition Centre in the in the 15th arrondissement of the capital, designing the largest urban rooftop farm in the world, covering 3.4 acres, about the size of two soccer pitches. aeroponic or vertical growing techniques would be used to create fruits and vegetables without the use of pesticides, refrigerated trucks, chemical fertilizer, or even soil.


By 2019, “Nature Urbaine” (French for Urban Nature) was supplying produce to local residents, including nearby hotels, catering halls, and more. For a price of 15 euro, residents can order a basket of produce online containing a large bouquet of mint or sage, a head of lettuce, various young sprouts, two bunches of radishes and one of chard, as well as a jar of jam or puree. Also available are 150 baskets of strawberries, as well as aubergines, tomatoes, and more.

Accompanying the urban farm will be a new rooftop restaurant run by area group “Le Perchoir”.

When the Nature Urbaine is finished, twenty gardeners will tend 30 different kinds of plants and harvest up to 2,200 lbs (1,000 kg) of perhaps 35 different kinds of fruits and vegetables every day.

Pascal Hardy is now planning similar projects in the suburbs of Paris and abroad.

Discover Solution 271: OEOO (One Earth – One Ocean)

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