Biomimicry innovations/Green automotive news

November 27, 2018

Biomimicry, which is an approach to innovation by emulating nature is the hot area when it comes to innovation. The idea is to create products, processes, and policies well-adapted to life on earth over the long haul. The Biomimicry Institute supports innovators who are working in this way and we’re joined by Megan Schuknecht, the institute’s Director of Design Challenges.  

Tom Appel, publisher of Consumer Guide Automotive joins us for Green Automotive News on some of the challenges of connected cars. 

 

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Solar desalination/Turning waste water into revenue

November 13, 2018

Many underdeveloped parts of the world are surrounded by water but in order for the people who live there to survive, it has to be trucked in over great distances. Desalination has not been feasible until now, thanks to an innovative way to involve solar power. Jose Alfaro’s with the University of Michigan’s School for Environment and Sustainability and has been testing this out in Mexico. 

Waste water doesn’t need to be seen as ‘waste’ but rather as a way to make money.   There are 16 thousand wastewater plants in the US and Dr. Kelvin Okamoto, who heads up Gen3Bio transforms algae from waste water into revenue.  

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Archi’s acres/Renewable energy battery at Western Mich. Univ.

October 19, 2018

The idea of soldiers turning their swords into plowshares goes back to the Book of Isaiah in the Bible but it’s being lived out in new ways today as the numbers of U.S. veterans transitions back into society back home goes up along with agriculture technology. Karen Archipley co-founded Archi’s Acres which trains military vets to become organic farmers. You can view the 30-min. documentary about Archi's Acrens here

 

In an era where new developments in solar, wind and other renewable energy sources need to be the focus, American consumers are spending a billion dollars a year to bail out coal-fired power plants.  Not only is the coal-fired power damaging to the environment, but it’s more expensive. Still, several utilities have been selling people power from their own coal-fired plants instead of from cheaper sources on the grid. This is all according to a new study by the Union of Concerned Scientists and we’re joined by Senior Energy Analyst Joe Daniel.

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Cows belching carbon emissions/Climate change putting the Internet in jeopardy

August 31, 2018

The livestock industry is responsible for nearly 15 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions, according to the UN. That puts it on par with transport. One way to reduce those emissions is to help cattle, buffalo, sheep and goats with their digestion so they burp less!  Bezoar Laboratories in Texas is working on how to do that and we’re joined by founder Elizabeth Latham. 

 

We’ve heard how climate change could lower our national defences, destroy our homes, make the weather uncomfortably hot or cold more often, damage our economy, make food more scarce. But hows this for getting your attention: it could ruin the internet!  That’s what’s being explored in a new study co-authored by Paul Barford, a professor with the computer sciences department at the University of Wisconsin - Madison.  

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Denton, Texas going 100% renewable/Plastic waste into usable energy

August 14, 2018

The town of Denton, Texas could become the 2nd city in the Lone Star State to go 100% renewable energy with its new plan to reach that goal in the coming years.  To explain more, we talk with Jessica Rogers, Deputy Director of Public Affairs for the City of Denton.  

Plastic waste continues to clog our oceans, waterways and landfills. And, we’ve dedicated many programs to how keep adding to it. But also, the problem remains of getting rid of the waste that already exists.  A new report by the Earth Engineering Center at the Grove School of Engineering of the City College of New York suggests it could be transformed into usable energy. We’re joined by Dr. Marco Castaldi with the school’s Chemical Engineering Department. 

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Lush shampoo bars go viral/Coal-fired plants and fertility rates

July 12, 2018

The cosmetics company Lush recently created a video to promote ‘shampoo bars,’ which are like a bar of soap for your hair and don’t need to be contained in a plastic bottle, so there’s no plastic waste. That video helped sell thousands of the bars in a matter of days and, bring attention to an important issue.  Someone who was involved in its creation was Katrina Poulos with Lush, who joins us. 

We’ve known for years of the environmental issues from coal fired power plants and the dirty air they expel. But we’re still learning about specific health problems they can cause. Recent research shows closing coal-fired plants increases fertility and decreases the number of pre-term births for people living nearby.  Dr. Joan Casey of U.C. Berkeley contributed to a recent study.  

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Plastic waste paving roads/Minnesota Experimental City

June 29, 2018

The British company MacRebur takes plastic waste that would end up in landfills and uses it in paving roads. They say it makes for stronger, leaner and greener roads. And, we’re joined by MacRebur CEO Toby McCartney on Green Sense.  

Seeing how people in the past looked toward the future can help us here in the present day.  A new documentary about the Minnesota Experimental City project, 10-bilion-dollar “city of tomorrow” that being planned in the 1960s. It would produce minimal waste and pollution and offer the new technology and would be an answer to the urban blight and threat of over population.  It’s a fascinating story of big ideas and big personalities. We’re joined by Chad Freidrichs, director of the film “The Experimental City.”  

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Four-door sedans going away/Coal economics helps sustainability

June 27, 2018

Four-door sedans are as American as apple pie and baseball. And, the company that did more than anyone else when it comes to American automobile manufacturing will soon be phasing them out. Here to tell us more about this big bombshell of an announcement from Ford is Consumer Guide Automotive publisher Tom Appel.

Coal power generation in recent years saw an incredible drop not because of laws and regulations but instead because of the availability of other sources.  It’s something covered in the research by Dr. Harrison Fell, professor of resource economics with North Carolina University.  

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Museum of Water/Alternative energy and health

June 20, 2018

There’s a lot of talk when it comes to water issues around the world. The challenge is to get people excited and inspired about important issues like water and that’s one of the aims of the Museum of Water, a traveling exhibit that started five years ago, curated by Amy Sharrocks.   

Using cleaner sources of energy isn’t just good in the long term because of its less likely to contribute to climate change, but there’s a connection to alternative sources of energy with long-term health of human beings. To tell us more about his ongoing research is Geoscientist Scott Montgomery with the University of Washington’s Jackson School of International Studies. 

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Food waste solutions/Insects as sustainable animal feed

May 11, 2018

A new report on food waste continues to show the shocking reality of the problem: Americans waste 915 pounds of food per person every year. The report also finds that the largest share of food loss and waste in North America, occurs at the consumer level. To help us understand some solutions to the problem, we’re joined by David Donaldson with the Commission for Environmental Cooperation which came out with the report.   

Insects could be a sustainable, protein-rich food source  for humans. Because it doesn’t sound appetizing to many, the biggest challenge seems to be getting humans to want to eat bugs!   But what about getting the animals we eat to eat insects?  That’s what they do at Enterra located in British Columbia, Canada. We’re joined by Victoria Leung who’s in charge of marketing & operations.  

 
 

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