In this week’s Awesome Stories we look at sustainability with a dash of human potential and a splash of humor.
Sapphire Energy has just completed their facility for producing fuel from algae with the help of a loan from USDA. “We grew the company, advanced our algae technologies, and built, on time and on budget, the first, fully operational, commercial demonstration, algae-to-energy facility that delivers a proven process for producing refinery-ready Green Crude oil.” This could be big. They’re continuing to expand the technology and process for mass scale fuel production.
LEED Goes Cradle to Cradle!
The USGBC has just introduced LEED v4 with more improvements to sustainable building. The most interesting to me is the new Cradle to Cradle certification, that gives points for using materials that are sustainable throughout their life cycle. Cradle to Cradle judges a material’s environmental safety, ability to be recycled, sustainable manufacture, water stewardship and social fairness. Go LEED!
Alpaca smiles! – a silly look at alpaca grooming.
Sweden Wants Your Trash!
They have gotten so good at recycling and waste management that other countries send them garbage. Only 4% of Sweden’s waste ends up in the trash, whereas here in the US, over half of our waste becomes trash. Sweden is actually using much of it’s waste as energy. It’s interesting that so many countries are willing to pay Sweden to dispose of their trash instead of using it like Sweden does as a fuel. Obviously, we have a lot to learn from Sweden’s waste-to-energy program.
I’ve been enjoying the videos of Christian Pankhurst lately. I particularly like his series on heart intelligence, helping people to integrate all our sources of information to make better choices and live fully. His message, energy and style resonates for me. In this video he talks about the power of feeling our way into whatever is going on for self or another. By feeling and witnessing in ourselves and others, we expand our mental, emotional, energetic capacities. Feel your way into flow!
Tesla Surging Ahead
Tesla Motors keeps pushing the boundaries for electric cars. First, they came out with a relatively affordable high performance sport sedan. Last fall, they announced plans to create a national battery charging network to allow long distance driving for most of the US. More recently they announced a battery swapping program for Tesla owners. Now, they are working on a breakthrough supercharger that would completely recharge their car batteries in 5-10″. This is way beyond the current technology, but for electric car owners everywhere, I hope they pull it off.
More and more researchers are looking at the benefits and possibilities of bacteria. Suzanne Lee is a clothing designer who has started experimenting with bacteria to literally grow clothes! In her wonderful TED Talk she explains her process and what possibilities lie ahead for BioCouture. Other researchers are looking at using bacteria to clean up waste or even create fuels like this NASA project called OMEGA System. Welcome the future.
ERO the Magic Robot
ERO is a concrete recycling robot being used in Singapore to demolish and recycle old buildings with far less water and waste and more material available to reuse. The robot tears down with a water jet, then vacuums and separates the water from the cement. The cement gets recycled for new pre-cast concrete structures and the water gets reused for more demolition. Very cool.