Did you know that 25% of all food that is being produced is lost due to spoilage? What a waste! According to the Food and Agriculture Organisation, about 795 million people suffer chronic undernourishment globally. That’s one in nine persons. At the same time, agriculture is putting enormous pressure on our planet’s natural resources. Agricultural processes represent about 70% of the world’s fresh water consumption and cause about 14% of all greenhouse gas emissions. Reasons enough to tackle food waste.
It’s summer time! For students preparing their final exams, this means spending hours in the library with their textbooks. If there is one thing they will all agree on, then it is that textbooks contain a lot of bullsh*t. Although the scientific correctness of that statement can be questioned, it is now empirically proven it is at least true when it comes to climate change. Or rather, what YOU can do to stop it.
Illegal logging, urban expansion, cattle farming and palm oil production… they all contribute to deforestation. And that’s problematic. Very problematic. The current rate at which forests are chopped down is 15 million trees per year or 36 football fields per minute. Yes, per MINUTE. Where the trees once sequestered atmospheric CO2, their removal leads to 17% of global carbon emissions, according to the UN. To reverse the effects of this mass murder of forests, reforestation at industrial scale is needed.
What is the first thing you think about when you hear the term eco-village? Could it be that you envision a hippy-like commune, where people pass their days smoking pod and milking the cows? Then the ReGen village concept will surprise you. Envisioned by Harvard professor and tech-entrepreneur James Ehrlich and developed in collaboration with Danish architects bureau EFFEKT, this futuristic community concept went viral last year at the Biennale in Venice. It’s more than just some naive dreams: the first village is already under construction in Almere, a polder village 25 minutes from Amsterdam.
While Trump performed a piece of first-class alternative facts-stuffed theatre in Washington to announce he retreats the U.S. from the Paris Agreement, industry leaders from around the world discussed the latest innovations in solar technology at the Intersolar Europe summit in Munich last week. It is there that Chinese inverter* manufacturer Sungrow announced exciting plans for a new floating solar farm on a lake in the South of China. With an installed capacity of 140 MegaWatt, it will be the largest floating solar farm in the world, a record currently held by another farm of Sungrow that was opened earlier this year.
Does the name Boyan Slat ring a bell? There is a good chance it does. The now 22-years old engineer from the Netherlands decided to tackle the huge plastic waste problem in our oceans, after encountering more bags than fish in a scuba diving trip in Greece when he was 16. He came up with an invention to clean up the ocean’s garbage patches, an idea that soon would capture the attention of many after a video of his TedX talk in 2012 went viral. What the young inventor proposed is, by all means, ambitious – and in the eye of some oceanographers straight away insane. Nonetheless, in 2013 Boyan Slat founded a company to realise his idea: the Ocean Cleanup was born. After he revealed some major design changes and an updated timeline during an announcement event Delft, the Netherlands, earlier this month, it’s time to have a closer look at how this young fella thinks he will make it happen.