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August 2016

Netherlands: a machine produces drinking water from air and sun

in Renewable Energy by

Developed under the auspices of the Dutch artist Ap Verheggen, SunGlacier DC01 is currently exhibited in a museum in The Hague. Its principle: condense the moisture in the air to turn it into drinking water. (Article from Lara Charmeil in We Demain, July 28, 2016) Read more

‘Green’ pavers manufactured from plastic waste in Cameroon

in Waste Management by

“The first time my friends saw me rummaging through a trash can, they thought I was going crazy, recalls  Robert Tedonfo. They ran to tell my aunt to check with her own eyes.” Patiently, the young man, aged 26, will attempt to explain what it does: collect packaging and plastic bottles in the trash of Yaoundé, the capital of Cameroon, to make “green” paving stones, useful for the construction of roads and houses. Read more

San Francisco turns its waste into money and jobs

in Waste Management by

Thirteen years back, San Francisco set a revolutionary goal: recycle 100% of its waste by 2020. With four years to go, this city of 850,000 souls is not far off the feat. It has given itself the means … and it pays a lot of money! Read more

Zero-waste or when the citizen is eco warrior

in Waste Management by

What do we do to reduce our ecological footprint? More and more conscientious people around the world are asking this question. In order to conserve our planet, ordinary citizens are joining an ecological movement known as Zero Waste internationally. Read more

Organic: The bread and butter of our future

in Agriculture by

Currently, the most organic conscious nation in the world is Denmark. Eight percent of all food sold is organic, with nuts, carrots and milk being the most popular products in 2014-2015, according to Organic Denmark — an association of companies, organic farmers and consumers. The organic agriculture is the way to go with our food, but let’s see why it’s about time to leave conventional farming behind.


We are more or less seven billion living humans on Earth — an alarming increase of 6 billion people in 200 years only. Thus, in a time of population eruption and environmental degradation, organic farming could be established as the most sustainable and healthy way to feed our species.

While the opponents of organic farming argue that the productivity of conventional farming is significantly higher, and at the same time requires less acres of land, Professor John Reganold of Soil Science and Agroecology at the Washington State University along with his team have found that yields are indeed increasing with non-organic farming but at the expense of our personal and our environment’s well being.

Organic agriculture takes a proactive approach, establishing an ecological balance while producing food. Along with the organic label comes a series of long term benefits and great accomplishments. More specifically, GMOs aren’t used intentionally in the production and processing of organic products.  Pesticide-free lands attract new or re-colonising species, including wild flora and fauna, pollinators and predators, and reduce the risks of groundwater pollution. Overall, organic agriculture is a less polluting agricultural system, which promotes biodiversity and quality over quantity.

The number of organic farms is growing, as well as the awareness and demand from the consumer’s side, who are willing to pay more for organic products

As per Professor Reganold’s article in The Guardian, organic farming is also looking after its own people, who are provenly having access to more job opportunities, and are also having less exposure to unhealthy pesticides and hazardous chemicals. Eventually, organic agriculture has the potential to provide for Earth’s population for years and years, as long as public policies and private investments support and encourage conventional farmers to convert to organic methods.


Even though the global agricultural land occupies only 1%, we are heading towards the right direction. We see that the number of organic farms is growing, as well as the awareness and demand from the consumer’s side, who are willing to pay more for organic products — a price, which compensates farmers for preserving the quality of their land.

Solar-powered smart umbrella to help pilgrims during Hajj

in Innovation by

Hajj, the Muslims annual pilgrimage, seasons will come in hot weather for the next 10 years and many pilgrims may be subjected to sun strokes, warned a study conducted by the Institute of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques for Hajj and Umrah Research. To this end, a Saudi-Palestinian firm invented a smart umbrella for Muslims performing the Hajj pilgrimage scheduled from 9 to 14 September. Read more

An Ethiopian village no longer fears neither drought nor exodus

in Sustainable development by
Etiopi puits2

Orange, avocado, and mango trees are covered with shade by huge acacia trees in Abrha We Atsbeha. These nitrogen-fixing trees, which provide beans to feed the cattle, were planted by farmers. Read more

12 000 lettuces per day without pesticides in Japan

in Agriculture by
Courtesy: Philips Lighting
In these vertical greenhouses, farmers produce salads and herbs with LED lights. Courtesy: Philips Lighting

Can we imagine another form of agriculture? A friendlier farming environment which does not use pesticides, do not waste water and reduces CO2 emissions? This is the objective of these projects in Shizuoka and in Narashino City, Japan. Read more

Fuel cookies help families cook up a better future in Bhutan

in Innovation by

boutanHarmful smoke produced in homes where coal, wood or manure are used as cooking fuel, is killing hundreds of people every day. However, in Bhutan, Dazin has developed an intelligent alternative – and a financial model – to help Bhutanese families. The company invented the “fuel cookie”. Read more

Surfers united: Catching the big waste wave

in Environment by

The numbers are alarming, but awareness is probably to everyone’s advantage, and will put the ocean waste image into a perspective. According to Beachapedia — a database on coastal environmental information — at least 5.25 trillion plastic particles weighing 268,940 tons are currently floating at sea. But this fact doesn’t mean that there’s nothing to be done, and surf companies are now more than ever taking action to manage ocean waste.

In a photo reportage, Tess Riley from The Guardian, profiles surf companies that find solutions to reduce ocean waste and inspire further stimulus. Here, we have put their efforts together with confidence that this is only the beginning towards cleaner and healthier oceans.

The American athlete Thomas Edward Blake revolutionised board designing between the 1920s-1930s by building the first hollow wooden surfboard, and adapted the hundred-year-old Polynesian technique of surfing into a popular sport. Surfers are taken back to their roots with the production of wood-made surfboards, as opposed to the petrochemical derived mass surfboards. Otter surfboard makers, recycle the wood offcuts, and the sawdust is turned into briquettes that are sold for communal use in log burners.

Sometimes ideas to save the sea come from the shore. Rareform has established that 12′ x 48′ ft of durable vinyl material is rather treasurable to go to waste. Thus, they collect, wash and hand-cut vinyl billboards into unique surf backpacks, wallets, board bags and duffles.

Swimwear is a surfer’s second skin, so it would better be a positive presence in the sea, and have a good environmental impact. Patagonia has launched yulex rubber-made swimwear that is neoprene-free and uses bio-rubber from the bark of the Guayule plant. Other eco-friendly swimsuits like the sustainable RubyMoon use ECONYL nylon yarn from dumped fishing nets and other waste materials that would eventually enter our food chain. 

sea-sunset-sunny-beach-mediumOther surf essentials, such as handplanes and surfboard fins — although they are seemingly small items — can leave a positive imprint too in the path of limiting industrial waste and plastics and producing less emissions. For example, Enjoy Handplanes uses foam and blanks from old boards and neoprene from well-worn wetsuits to make the handles. The materials that would definitely end up in the landfill are turned into fully recyclable products.  

With the convenience of modern life came too must wasteful non-biodegradable plastic and other pollutants that are getting into the sea, are harming marine life and — for the vicious circle to close — are harming us.

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