This week Awesome Stories brings you solutions to create better buildings that protect our precious planet like bio-concrete, eco-friendly hardware, solar smiles and slowing down.
Henk Jonkers, of the Delft University of Technology, in the Netherlands, has come up with a new concrete that heals itself with bacteria. Concrete is a very alkaline, dry, harsh environment. Jonkers choose bacillus bacteria because they thrive in alkaline conditions and produce spores that can survive for decades without food or oxygen. The bacteria and calcium lactate are added to the concrete creating a limestone producing mix embedded within the concrete. The bacteria is dormant until cracks form, allowing water in to activate the bacteria which feed on the calcium to create new limestone that fills the cracks. This could be the future of building technology. Professor Jonkers is also working on creating a mix that can be sprayed onto old, cracked concrete to fix it.
I love this idea for an eco-friendly hardware business. As the article points out, our homes are one of the biggest energy and water users and producers of waste. After visiting a friend’s home that was remodeled with all the best green products, Jason was inspired to create a business to make those products more accessible. The mission for TreeHouse is to offer superior home products with great prices and service to more people. They have 1 store in Austin, with plans to open two more in Texas, and then expand around the country with the goal of becoming the “Whole Foods” of eco hardware products. Their ultimate goal is to open 300 stores, reaching 80 percent of the homes in the U.S. Jason is committed to transforming the way we build and live in our homes.
Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circles of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty. ~ Albert Einstein.
This is a very wise and thoughtful post about slowing down to make wise conscious choices that combine science and soul. Francisco Ramos-Stierle is a scientist with a mission to help make sure we are using science in the best ways. He urges us to slow down, rethink our education and science, and integrate our thoughts and feelings. As integrated humans, we can make choices from oneness and a desire to serve the good of the planet. Francisco/ Pancho is a proponent for non-violence who would like to see us channel technology’s powers for the good of all mankind based on cooperation, peace, wisdom, and equality. Wisely, he sees the need to grow as individuals, as well as change the focus of our institutions. Schools need to serve humanity, not be the training ground for corporate and military purposes. For example, if the US truly wants to help end the proliferation of nuclear weapons, then we need to lead the way and quit producing nuclear weapons. Pancho isn’t anti-nuclear, just pro-peace. Nuclear, like other technologies, can be used for good.
This article made me smile. It’s good to see the spirit of play entering the climate change game. A new solar power plant in Datong, China decided to have a little fun with its design by making the solar panels in the shape of a giant panda. Once complete, there will be two giant pandas stretched over 1500 acres producing 3.2 billion kilowatt-hours of solar energy over 25 years. The China Merchants New Energy Group created the Panda Project with the help of UNDP (United Nations Development Program) to raise awareness in China about clean energy.
May we slow down to make wiser, more compassionate choices for the good of all.