New SafariSeat wheelchairs made from bicycle parts help East Africans roam rough terrain

October 20, 2016 by  
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One in 200 people in East Africa need wheelchairs , but don’t yet have them. SafariSeat has developed an all-terrain, open source wheelchair that could allow those people to live their lives with more independence. Currently crowdfunding on Kickstarter , SafariSeat hopes to use money collected to build more wheelchairs and create a manual with the open source designs. SafariSeat wheelchairs are inexpensive and can be made with bicycle parts. They’re designed to be built and repaired in developing countries . A mechanism that imitates car suspension keeps all four wheels on the ground so users can navigate difficult terrain easily. The wheelchair is designed to minimize pressure sores, and rolls via pump levers that a rider can use. Related: Google.org awards $20 million to groups developing tech for people with disabilities Designer Janna Deeble was raised in Kenya , and met a Samburu man named Letu as a child. Polio left Letu disabled and dependent on other people. But the difficulty of Letu’s condition really hit home when Deeble himself was wheelchair-bound after an accident in design school. Deeble went back to Kenya to create SafariSeat, working with a team and with local workshops. The SafariSeat wheelchair has granted Letu independence, and now he’s able to teach his son the Samburu way of life. Deeble and his team want to create a pictograph manual that a person can use no matter what language they speak. Their goal is for local workshops to build the wheelchairs, creating jobs and allowing locals to repair the wheelchairs. They note on their Kickstarter page that while wheelchair donations can help people for a time, when the chairs break there’s often no way to repair them. SafariSeats are designed to be made with locally accessible parts and repaired in basic workshops. SafariSeat is the first project of social enterprise Uji, and they are crowdfunding on Kickstarter so more people can access the innovative wheelchair. With just under a month to go, they’ve raised over $24,000. Their goal is $36,889. You can back the campaign here . + SafariSeat + SafariSeat Kickstarter Campaign Images courtesy of SafariSeat

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New SafariSeat wheelchairs made from bicycle parts help East Africans roam rough terrain

New Source solar panels pull clean drinking water from the air

October 20, 2016 by  
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A new kind of solar panel is being tested in water scarce regions of Ecuador, Jordan, and Mexico where the device, called Source, pulls moisture from the atmosphere to provide clean drinking water. Developed by the Arizona-based startup Zero Mass Water , the setup uses solar energy to produce potable water for a family of four or an entire hospital, depending on how many panels are in use. Last year, the company raised $7 million to back a series of pilot programs to prove how simple and cost-effective access to clean water can be. Founder and CEO Cody Friesen is also an associate professor at Arizona State University’s School for Engineering of Matter, Transport and Energy. Zero Mass Water is the second startup to stem from Friesen’s work at ASU, and it promises a reliable source of affordable drinking water without the need for additional infrastructure. Because the devices can be used alone or in groups, the solar-powered system can scale up or down to meet the water needs of as many or as few people as desired. Related: Wind-powered Water Seer pulls up to 11 gallons of clean drinking water from thin air A single solar panel can produce enough clean water for a family of four, and it’s easy to use because the water flows from a faucet on the back side of the solar panel setup. Source works by passively absorbing moisture from the air using a special humectant material. The solar panel converts solar energy to electricity, which is used to power the process that drives the water back out of the collection material. The water is then evaporated to remove pollutants, leaving behind clean, safe drinking water. Around the world, there are many places primed for this type of sustainable, standalone passive water source. ZMW plans to use Source to provide fresh water to Syrian refugees in Jordan and to Jordanian families, affecting 100,000 households by the end of 2017, with funding from the Clinton Foundation , Duke Energy International, and other investors. Although the pilot programs to date have been conducted in developing countries and areas where water supplies have been contaminated or disrupted by violent conflicts, Friesen sees no reason that residents of the United States couldn’t put Source to work for them as well, and effectively skirt problems with municipal lead contamination and the other threats that increasingly limit access to clean drinking water across the country. Via FastCo Images via Zero Mass Water , Duke Energy , and Arizona State University

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New Source solar panels pull clean drinking water from the air

Paper-thin printed solar cells could provide power for 1.3 billion

June 17, 2015 by  
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The cost of solar power has declined dramatically over the past few decades, from $40 per watt in 1977 to $0.74 per watt in 2013. This trend is expected to accelerate as improvements in efficiency and new technologies come online. This is good news for citizens of developed countries who want to make the switch to a cleaner and increasingly cheaper energy source. The shift to solar may be most dramatic for those living in developing countries. Thanks to inexpensive printed solar cells, 1.3 billion people currently without electricity may be able to plug in for the first time. Read the rest of Paper-thin printed solar cells could provide power for 1.3 billion Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: “solar energy” , anti-poverty , developing countries , electricity access , Kyung-In Synthetic , off-grid , paper-thin solar cells , printed solar cells , solar , Solar Cell , solar panel

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Paper-thin printed solar cells could provide power for 1.3 billion

California oil refineries use 94 million gallons of water a day and nobody is stopping them

June 17, 2015 by  
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In California, the ground is dry, cracking, and sinking faster than ever. Farmers are walking away from hundreds of thousands of acres of croplands because there is no water to irrigate. Golf courses and celebrities are shamed for watering their green lawns . But in the fourth year of the worst drought in California’s history, those who wish to save the Golden State have another silent enemy in the fight against the drought: oil refineries. Read the rest of California oil refineries use 94 million gallons of water a day and nobody is stopping them Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: california drought , california oil , california refineries , california sinking , california water , mother jones report california , oil industry , oil refineries , water usage

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California oil refineries use 94 million gallons of water a day and nobody is stopping them

These affordable bamboo houses were built for just $2,500 each

June 17, 2015 by  
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Read the rest of These affordable bamboo houses were built for just $2,500 each Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: “natural materials” , bamboo , Building Trust International , Cambodia , flood-resistant homes , Framework House , Framework House by Atelier Cole. Atelier Cole , Habitat for Humanity Cambodia , natural building techniques , Phnom Penh , Recycled Materials , SELAVIP , sustainably-grown timber

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These affordable bamboo houses were built for just $2,500 each

Innovative “growing shoe” helps protect children in need

April 20, 2015 by  
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Like every great story, The Shoe That Grows began with someone seeing a need and figuring out a way to fill it. In 2007, Kenton Lee was living in Nairobi, Kenya. While walking to church one day, he noticed a little girl who was wearing shoes  that were way too small. This of course lent itself to the question, “why?” and the resulting answer was an idea. “What if kids had shoes that could adjust and expand, so that they always had a pair that fit?” Read the rest of Innovative “growing shoe” helps protect children in need Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: adjustable shoe , developing countries , impoverished kids shoes , kenton lee , shoe , shoes for impoverished kids , the shoe that grows

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Innovative “growing shoe” helps protect children in need

Bill Gates drinks water made from sewer sludge via the Omniprocessor

January 8, 2015 by  
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In his quest to help save the planet, Bill Gates has literally tasted the next evolution in waste water technology—drinking water recycled from human waste. Gates visited the Omniprocessor, a new machine that can turn sewage into drinking water, and posted a video of his first sip on his blog GatesNotes . Check it out below: Read the rest of Bill Gates drinks water made from sewer sludge via the Omniprocessor Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: bill gates , clean water access , developing countries , drinking water , gates foundation , Janicki Bioenergy , Omniprocessor , sewage , sewer , wastewater , water issues

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Bill Gates drinks water made from sewer sludge via the Omniprocessor

Russian Pavilion at Milan Expo features a huge canopy made of sustainably sourced timber

January 8, 2015 by  
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Read the rest of Russian Pavilion at Milan Expo features a huge canopy made of sustainably sourced timber Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: Canopy , Expo architecture , Expo Milan 2015 , pavilion , pavilion design , rooftop gardens , Russian architects , Russian Pavilion , Sergei Tchoban , soviet architecture , SPEECH Tchoban & Kuznetsov , Sustainable Materials , sustainable timber , timber , timber architecture , wooden canopy

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Russian Pavilion at Milan Expo features a huge canopy made of sustainably sourced timber

Terrifying UN Report Warns Climate Change is Becoming Irreversible

August 28, 2014 by  
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The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) just released an alarming new report that shows unchecked greenhouse gas emissions are leading to inevitable and irreversible climate change. The report warns that higher seas , devastating heat waves , torrential rain and other climate extremes are likely to intensify unless greenhouse gases are brought under control. And furthermore, the report warns that the world is nearing the temperature at which the loss of the vast Greenland ice sheet is inevitable. Read the rest of Terrifying UN Report Warns Climate Change is Becoming Irreversible Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: Climate Change , climate change draft report , climate extremes , coal use , copenhagen , developing countries , greenhouse gas emissions , greenland , heat waves , higher seas , ice sheet , industrialization in china , intergovernmental panel of climate change , IPCC , irreversible global warming , limiting global warming , torrential rain , western countries

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Terrifying UN Report Warns Climate Change is Becoming Irreversible

CNN’s Hero of the Year Keeps Rivers Waste-Free

November 21, 2013 by  
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The 2013 CNN Hero of the Year winner and runner-up use their eco-focused passions to clean up the environment and bring energy-efficient power to developing countries.

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CNN’s Hero of the Year Keeps Rivers Waste-Free

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