Tonight at 8:30pm is Earth Hour, and annual event where hundreds of monuments around the globe go dark for an hour in order to promote sustainable energy and conservation. This year more than 170 countries are taking part, from the Eiffel Tower, Big Ben, Times Square and even the International Space Station. Earth Hour started in Sydney Australia in 2007 and has grown each year. In order to support this tonight from 8:30pm to 9:30pm turn off all of your lights and share this link to spread the word!!
What is this contraption? This is a Solar 3D Printer than takes plastic and recycles it by melting it and turning it into a whole new product.
This is part of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch that lies in the North Pacific Ocean. It is a “swathe of plastic rubbish covering an area the size of turkey”. This buildup of trash has compiled into a huge mass of waste. Due to the publicity about recycling and sustainability, Studio Swine, a London based design studio run by Alexander Groves and Azusa Murakami has developed a 3D printer. The first product they made was what they call the “Sea Chair”.
Groves and Murakami started by collecting plastic rubbish that washed up on the shore or Cornwall. They proceeded to “build their own shredding and extrusion machines and began to create filament. That filament was then used to print a 3-legged stool they dubbed the Sea Chair.” I thought this was really amazing because this new technology could allow people to convert The Great Pacific Garbage Patch and all other plastic into brand new products. This kills two birds with one stone; it reduces the amount of waste product that affects ecosystems around the world and create products that allows people to live more sustainable.
A home in Yerres, France built for sustainability and efficiency.
On Earth Day an article was posted about things to consider if you wanted to build a house with a sustainability aspect. It shows that there are many options and many building techniques that could enhance a homes sustainability. There is more than just solar panels and wind turbines which the every day person probably thinks of first when talking about sustainable measures. When reading the article I realized insulation and sealing is one of the biggest factors in improving ones home. In order to conserve heat or air conditioning a concealed and correctly insulated home will need less heat or cool air to keep a comfortable temperature. There are a plethora of things to keep in mind. From little things like purchasing items that were made from recycled materials to using solar hot panels and photovoltaic panels, one can choose the level of sustainability their house will have. I thought this article was interesting because one day I would like to build a home that is completely sustainable.
Today is EARTH DAY! Every year on April 22 Earth day is celebrated. The whole idea behind Earth Day is if the public could get energized and excited about air and water pollution that would in turn energize more people around the world. As a result each year millions of Americans take the streets, parks and auditoriums to demonstrate healthy, sustainable ways of living. Earth Day is a great way to challenge the environmental community to convey knowledge to those who may be in the dark and show those who don’t know the little steps that help one live a more sustainable life.
This year on the Lehigh Campus, like years before, Lehigh is hosting a Earth Day fair where organizations around campus set up tables showing people ways to live a more sustainable lifestyles, educating people on new technologies that have been created and fun games that promote sustainable practices.
What can you do? There are little and big things an individual can do to make a difference. From buying solar panels and constructing LEED certified buildings to recycling and reusing your plastic bottles one can make a difference. It is much easier to do small things so here is a list of easy things to do:
1. Switch your light bulbs to compact florescent light bulbs
2. Plant a tree or two
3. Turn off your lights
4. Unplug your chargers (they are using electricity even if your phone isn’t plugged in)
5. Carry your own reusable water bottle
and there are many more. Make a change and make a difference!
The history of Earth Day: http://www.earthday.org/earth-day-history-movement
Debates about how to become more sustainable, how to prevent more global warming, deforestation, loss of fresh water, loss of diversity occur more than one can count. Prevention of more harm to our planet is crucial but cleaning up our already wasted products is equally important.
recycled plastic Adidas sneakers
Over the years many products have been created using recycled plastic bags or bottles. From carpets to shirts to bags, plastics have been recycled to serve another, hopefully longer lasting, purpose. Adidas is jumping on the bandwagon by partnering with Parley for the Oceans to develop products that are made from plastic waste that originates from the ocean. Starting in 2016, Adidas in all 2,900 retail stores will retire from using plastic bags in order to support the environment and encourage everyone involved to raise awareness about ocean pollution. Like Adidas, Patagonia is trying to rid their materials of toxic chemicals, H&M is the world’s largest purchaser of organic cotton and has set up a recycling program.
Many companies in the different industries are making little sustainable steps towards helping the world. Little steps here and there do not seem to make a difference but it causes a chain reaction. Don’t be afraid to be the one to make the first step in the right direction!! Every step counts!!
It’s EARTH WEEK! From April 19th to 25th Lehigh University is hosting Earth Week! From guest speakers to the Earth Day Fair to Sustainability workshops students get the opportunity to learn about Earth’s natural beauty as well as how conserve and preserve that beauty. The schedule of events can be found at: http://sustainability.lehigh.edu/calendar-events.
Lehigh University has been making a sustainable effort all around campus. The Bethlehem Farmer’s Market is held weekly when crops are in season therefore allowing the students to buy locally grown food while supporting our local community. Students also have the opportunity to participate in the Community Gardens, Energy Conservation Month, RecycleMania competition, SustainabLEHIGH to live in sustainable housing and to take classes in LEED certified buildings. There are many groups and clubs on campus that are also trying to expand the initiative by starting to compost and taking little steps to sustainability.
Lehigh University celebrated Holi by holding a school wide event on the UC Lawn yesterday. People from all over campus and all different organizations came together with white shirts and a whole lot of colored powder. In honor of the Holi Festival, a spring festival also know as the Festival of Love, the students of Lehigh put on a show of flying colors and laughing faces.
Tomorrow I will be registering for classes for my Spring 2015 semester. I am mixed with emotions of sadness and enthusiasm. My freshman year at Lehigh is coming to an end and it has been quite a roller coaster! From acclimating to the social life and the dynamics of a new school away from home, to the vigorous and interesting classes I have taken, this year has been filled with amazing memories. I am reminiscing about this past academic year due to registration. Once again I was astounded by what the IDEAS Program can offer me. Next semester I will start taking higher lever engineering classes as well as electives like product design and sustainable policy that I am greatly interested in exploring. Bill Best is by far one of the best advisers. He knows each major inside and out, and a five minute talk with him will show you that you can do anything you want. His knowledge, outward thinking and dedication to his students are inspiring and I am thankful to have him as my mentor and guiding star.
Dynamic Tidal Powder is the newest idea to harness energy from the tides. Renewable energy is produced by the surge of the ocean waters due to the rise and fall of tides. It is a new idea therefore the amount of power produced thus far by tidal energy is small and there are very few power plants. The first Tidal Power Station is located in La Rance, France. Unfortunately the U.S. has not sites where energy could be produced at a reasonable price, but it is a great idea for other countries like China, France, England, Canada, and Russia to implement. There is a long road for tidal energy but once engineers develop a product that has a low Energy Payback Ratio, has little impact on the environment, and is profitable for everyone, it will be a highly beneficial sustainable solution.
Tidal Streams are bodies of high velocity water due to tides. Turbines are placed within these streams to allow the waters steady and reliable tides to produce a constant stream of electricity. The turbines blades move slowly to prevent marine life from getting caught in the system. The first tidal power station was constructed in 2007 and implemented in a narrow straight between the Strangford Lough inlet and the Irish Sea.
What is this strange plastic looking tree you might ask? It is the Arbre A Vent or “wind tree” created by French entrepreneur Jerome Michaud-Larivieve through his company New Wind. The 26×36 foot tree has 72 “leaves” that are silent power generators. A wind as light as 4.4 miles per hour can push a leaf, allowing energy to be produced potentially year round. Power is produced from these trees to power all the streetlights and some small surrounding apartment buildings. Even though this does not sound like much, in the long run it will be highly beneficial. Wind power has a high Energy Payback Ratio although it’s biggest criticism against their implementation is their appearance. This invention is great because it is allowing a great sustainable resource to be implemented without the criticism of those who will see it everyday.