Making sure we live in a healthy world is a collective action problem. It doesn’t really work unless everyone—or at least a significant majority of countries, industries, and consumers—starts making radical changes in behavior. If that doesn’t work, one student designer envisions a future in which we resort to personal air quality drones.
“Not all beaches are equally filled with fecal matter.”
Tiny “microbeads” in beauty products seemed great, until someone tried to clean them up.
Sometimes product innovation turns out beautifully. Other times, it gets messy and requires a clean up. The story of plastic microbeads in personal care products—the tiny spheres in many body washes and toothpastes that Illinois became the first state to ban last week—is an example of the latter.
“Many people think that Antarctica is well protected from threats to its biodiversity because it’s isolated and no one lives there, however, we show that’s not true.”
When the classic VW bus was at the height of its popularity in the ’60s, ads bragged about the fact that it got 24 miles per gallon. Fifty years later, that’s actually still a lot better than some similarly sized vans, but it isn’t exactly carbon neutral. Brazilian designer Eduardo Galvani decided to reinvent the hippie bus as something truly sustainable.
Just in time for the World Cup, the UK-based artist has transformed this waste into an eye-catching photo series, called Penalty, which aims to raise awareness about marine plastic pollution in the world’s oceans. Arranged against black, the colorful, sea-gnarled balls resemble galaxies of waste. Viewed abstractly, the images are simply beautiful. But they take on a more sinister aspect when you realize they represent just a tiny fraction of the pollution clogging our oceans.
20 years ago, Manila’s Pasig River was considered biologically dead. But there is a campaign to rehabilitate the waterway that cuts through the city and now a Japanese natural cosmetics brand is using a creative billboard to lend a hand in the cleanup efforts. … Spelling out “Clean River Soon,” according to the brand the installation is capable of cleaning between 2,000 and 8,000 gallons of water every day.
"It is a strange process to suck the pollution out of the air and have it in our hands a few minutes later," Roosegaarde says. "It looks like a mystic black powder, but most mesmerizing about this is that normally you would have to breathe it."
Wadi, which is solar-powered of course, works like an alternative bottle top. You screw it in place, leave it in the sun (you can measure several bottles at once if they’re close together), and then consult a progress bar on the side. An unhappy smiley indicates bad water. One, two, three, four bars (like on a mobile phone) show water getting cleaner. Finally, when there’s a happy face, you’re good to go.
Canada, with the top three cities on the list, is apparently a pretty resilient place to live.
horrifying delightful vision of our future without honeybees.
A new initiative from Universidad de Ingeniería y Tecnología (UTEC) and agency FCB Mayo does more than advertise—it cleans up the very air we breathe.
Walls might be the next frontier for urban farming.
“Micro-organisms like algae are like bacteria—it’s one of those things that in our culture people try to get rid of,” Griffa says. “But algae offer incredible potential because of their very intense photosynthetic activity.” Algae take in carbon dioxide and produce oxygen while growing. Compared to a tree, micro-algae are about 150 to 200 times more efficient at sucking carbon out of the air.
“I guess the word now is ‘disruption.’”
New Yorkers could see a free-floating public pool pilot that filters water from the East River as early as 2016.
Two blockbuster Kickstarter campaigns and more than $300,000 later, +Pool is testing the waters for a real 2016 launch. Its creators have gained the support of key political figures, donors, community groups, environmental watchdogs, and even Jay-Z (via tweet). This week, at a meeting held at Kickstarter’s East River waterfront headquarters, +Pool announced the next phase of its development, as well as a new feature: A partnership with Google.