Kenyan activists are using human poop to make affordable cooking fuel

August 15, 2017 by  
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Resources are scarce in Kenya, and nearly half of the population lives below the poverty line , but they do have poop. Activists with Nakuru Water and Sanitation Services Company are providing clean fuel for local residents in the form of small balls of human feces. The group takes in truckloads of sewage from septic systems and pit latrines and transforms the waste into safe, economical briquettes that burn cleaner and longer than coal. And don’t worry: they are odor-free. Ordinarily, human feces can pose various health problems if left untreated or if disposed of improperly. Sometimes, it can even lead to cholera outbreaks or other sanitation -related diseases. However, because it is the most abundant and widely available human resource, Nakuru Water and Sanitation Services Company developed a method to turn it into an affordable, clean-burning fuel. To create the briquettes, the company slowly sun-dries the feces. Then, it treats it at a high temperature of 300 Celsius (572 Fahrenheit) in a kiln via a carbonizing process where sawdust is added to it. TreeHugger reports that the resulting product is then mixed with a small amount of molasses to act as a binder. It is then rolled into balls and dried. One kilo of the briquettes is said to cost just 50 cents USD — a very reasonable price for Kenyan citizens. John Irungu, the site manager at Nakuru Water and Sanitation Services Company, describes carbonization as “a process whereby we increase the carbon content of your materials.” He added, “In this case we are using the drum kiln whereby the sludge is fed, the drum has some holes at the bottom, these holes allow the oxygen to come in, in a controlled manner, that oxygen will only support combustion but to a certain level so that it doesn’t burn completely into ash. In this way, you are able to eliminate all the volatile matters, all the harmful gasses, and it is at this point that you ensure that your sludge doesn’t smell it is safe for handling when you are carrying out the other processes which is milling and briquette production.” Related: First-ever dog poop composting program in NYC comes to Brooklyn park It took some time to overcome the stigma that surrounds the use of human feces, but the company succeeded by informing residents that they could obtain a cleaner-burning cooking fuel for a fraction of the cost. (function(d, s, id) { var js, fjs = d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0]; if (d.getElementById(id)) return; js = d.createElement(s); js.id = id; js.src = “//connect.facebook.net/en_US/sdk.js#xfbml=1&version=v2.10”; fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, fjs);}(document, ‘script’, ‘facebook-jssdk’)); Turning poop into fuel These Kenyan entrepreneurs built thousands of special toilets to turn poop into sustainable fuel. Posted by Al Jazeera English on Saturday, July 15, 2017 Every month, Nakuru Water and Sanitation Services Company produces about two tons of the human waste briquettes. By the end of the year, the goal is to produce 10 tons per month. This will occur once additional de-watering and carbonization equipment is procured, as it will scale up and optimize the present production methods. The company is also invested in the construction of more than 6,000 toilets that can collect waste. Someday, the company will expand its offerings elsewhere in Kenya, Africa. + Nakuru Water and Sanitation Services Company Via TreeHugger Images via  Nakuru Water and Sanitation Services Company

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Kenyan activists are using human poop to make affordable cooking fuel

Earth’s population just hit 7.5 billion people

May 15, 2017 by  
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Over 7.5 billion people now reside on planet Earth , according to the World Population Clock . But with more people could comes less access to resources like food and energy . A global population of 7.5 billion people has far-reaching repercussions – including increased greenhouse gas emissions , strained food supplies, and increased total consumption, according to Charity organization Population Matters . Population Matters says that population growth could keep some countries in poverty , and it intrudes on land needed by wildlife . Head of Campaigns Alistair Currie told edie.net , “We will see cutthroat competition for shrinking resources which will include not just fossil fuels but productive land and water, pushing prices up not just for consumers but for the businesses and industries which need them too. Huge potential markets like much of sub-Saharan Africa will be stuck in poverty and we’ll see political instability arising from population and migration pressures, including conflict over resources.” China has the most people in one country; 1.38 billion people live there. India is next with 1.34 billion, followed by the United States with 326 million. The United Nations thinks our global population will hit 10 billion people by the year 2056. Related: Scientists say the world is “one crop breeding cycle away from starvation” Currie warned that while businesses may see increased global population as the opportunity to gain more customers, too much growth won’t be good for our planet – or business. He said, “Growth cannot continue indefinitely on a finite planet and fewer consumers is ultimately better for all of us. Business must start recognizing and adapting to that reality. With action now, we can limit population growth and eventually reach sustainable levels.” We’re currently using up the resources of 1.6 Earths , and we’ll need 3 Earths by 2050 unless we can alter our consumption patterns. + Population Matters Via edie Images via Stròlic Furlàn – Davide Gabino on Flickr and McKay Savage on Flickr

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Earth’s population just hit 7.5 billion people

IKEA unveils plan to lift 200,000 people out of poverty

April 19, 2017 by  
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When most people think of IKEA , they most likely think of affordable furniture and trendy home accessories. But many people are unaware of the company’s lofty social goals. In addition to their efforts to promote sustainability , it turns out IKEA is also working on a plan to alleviate poverty for Syrian refugees and other disadvantaged people around the globe. IKEA recently announced it’s building new production centers in Jordan this summer, as part of a plan to create employment for 200,000 disadvantaged people around the world. The facilities will be open and running by August, and will provide jobs to refugees producing rugs, cushions, bedspreads, and other handmade woven items. These particular facilities are the result of a partnership with the Jordan River Foundation , a non-governmental organization founded by Jordan’s Queen Rania. To start out, these particular plants will only employ 100 people, rising to 400 within two years. About half will be local workers and the other half will be Syrian refugees . Related: IKEA’s Lena Pripp-Kovac talks to Inhabitat about their sustainability program The new production centers are just one of many projects the furniture giant is working to establish around the world. Already, they’ve launched programs to help Indian women and Sweden’s immigrant population, which employ about 2,000 people collectively. The ultimate goal is to eventually employ about 200,000 people around the world through these initiatives. Rather than lead the projects themselves, IKEA is teaming up with local social entrepreneurs – organizations that help use business solutions to alleviate poverty, rather than simply distributing aid. Not only does this help provide jobs for people who desperately need them, it also helps organizations that would normally be too small to meet IKEA’s supplier guidelines to get their work into stores around the globe. Related: IKEA is launching a whole range of “no waste” products made from recycled materials This isn’t the first time IKEA has used its clout for social good. The company also recently established the IKEA Foundation to help children in poor communities, and unveiled an award-winning flat-pack refugee shelter design . So the next time you buy a new bookshelf or visit just to sample the Swedish fare at the restaurant, you can feel good knowing your purchase is helping others around the world. Via Dezeen Images via YouTube/Screenshot

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IKEA unveils plan to lift 200,000 people out of poverty

Pope opens free laundromat for Rome’s poor

April 11, 2017 by  
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Homeless people in Rome will now have a place to wash their clothes and blankets, thanks to Pope Francis . The pope recently opened a free laundromat, the Lavanderia di Papa Francesco, or Pope Francis Laundry, with the goal of restoring “dignity to many people who are our brothers and sisters.” The Pope Francis Laundry, in a former hospital near the Vatican in Rome’s city center, is stocked with six donated washing machines and dryers from the Whirlpool Corporation . Poor and homeless people have access to detergent, fabric softener, and irons provided there as well. The Community of Sant’Egidio , a Christian organization fighting poverty , will operate the free laundromat. Showers, medical facilities, and a barbershop are also planned for the site. Related: Pope Francis urges Americans to fight climate change in his first address to the country According to the Vatican, the free laundromat is for “the poorest people, particularly the homeless, who will be able to wash, dry, and iron their clothes and blankets.” This isn’t the first time Pope Francis has stepped out to help the poor. Outcasts or those on the edges of society have been a large focus of his papacy so far. He opened a shower and barber facility near St. Peter’s Basilica two years ago. That same year to mark his 78th birthday he passed out hundreds of sleeping bags to Rome’s homeless. Last September at the canonization celebration for Mother Teresa, he invited 1,500 homeless people to travel to Rome and occupy seats of honor, and eat a free pizza lunch. He’s also housed refugee families in the Vatican. Last week three Syrian families moved in, replacing some families who have recently moved out to live on their own. Last year on Maundy Thursday, following Christian tradition, Pope Francis washed people’s feet, and the people whose feet he chose to wash were those of refugees and Muslims. This year for Maundy Thursday this week he will wash the feet of inmates at a prison south of Rome. Via The Guardian Images via Office Of Papal Charities/EPA , Community of Sant’Egidio Facebook , and Wikimedia Commons

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Pope opens free laundromat for Rome’s poor

Ontario is rolling out a basic income test for citizens living under the poverty line

November 16, 2016 by  
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Earlier this year Canadian officials in Ontario indicated plans to test a basic income project. Now they are moving forward with a 2017 start date. Ontario citizens living under the poverty line will receive a certain amount of money each month with no strings attached. Conservative strategist Hugh Segal thinks the project could help Canada determine whether a basic income will reduce pressures on healthcare spending and encourage people to work. The government tasked Segal with exploring the idea, and he released a lengthy discussion paper around the end of the summer. He noted the pilot project is meant to provide evidence on how the program might improve lives. For example, as opposed to traditional welfare programs, the money could responsibly help people working low-paying jobs and might strengthen motivation to work. Segal argued in his paper that current eligibility programs are seriously demeaning, and can only go so far in alleviating poverty. “Our present social assistance system imposes limits on economic progress, often keeping welfare recipients from entering the economic mainstream,” he wrote in his paper. Related: Canada is planning to give people free money, just for being citizens In an interview with The Guardian, Segal said basic income could “give people a floor beneath which they’re not allowed to fall.” Under the pilot project, citizens 18 to 65 under the poverty line will receive $1,320 every month, and disabled people will receive $1,820. People will receive basic income whether they are employed or not. According to Big Think, the basic income idea has bipartisan appeal because it could totally shake up the welfare system and provide people with opportunities. Segal said for Ontario to get a true sense of whether or not the project is working, the basic income experiment should run for a minimum of three years. Via Big Think and The Guardian Images via jsnsndr on Flickr and Dennis Jarvis on Flickr

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Ontario is rolling out a basic income test for citizens living under the poverty line

Incredible coating makes watermelon bounce after 150-foot drop

September 1, 2016 by  
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What happens to a watermelon when it’s sprayed with a protective coating meant for pickup trucks and then dropped 150 feet off a tower ? The Australian trio behind YouTube channel How Ridiculous decided to find out. Here’s what happened: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RLpsIuhTb8k How Ridiculous coated a watermelon with Line-X . While the spray is commonly used for truck beds, the How Ridiculous amateur scientists decided to get creative with the protective spray and test it on a squishy food we wouldn’t necessarily think of as resilient. In the video, the watermelon sprayed with Line-X not only remained intact, but it even bounced. Related: Liquipel’s Hydrophobic Nanocoating Makes Gadgets Completely Waterproof! Meanwhile, a watermelon dropped without the coating wasn’t so lucky: it exploded, with pieces flying everywhere. Clearly the protective coating succeeded at keeping the outside of the watermelon undamaged, but when the team opened up the coated watermelon later with a saw, inside the fruit had turned to slush. How Ridiculous has run silly science experiments in the past, like trying to catch a fish with an iPhone , and also perform stunts and tricks like making a basketball shot off a 415-foot-tall dam in Tasmania. The team holds Guinness World Records for the “highest basketball shot” off the dam, a tower, and the Euromast. Their stunts and experiments are entertaining but they also have a meaningful purpose: they aim to inspire viewers to battle poverty . Through a relationship with international organization Compassion , they offer fans of the channel the opportunity to sponsor children in developing countries. There’s more to the story with Line-X as well. The company’s coatings aren’t used just for trucks and watermelons, but for buildings like the Pentagon or emergency response vehicles. According to the company’s website , they were the first company to provide “commercially available pure polyurea,” and they created the first “spray-on blast-mitigation coating” tested by the U.S. military. + How Ridiculous Via Sploid

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Incredible coating makes watermelon bounce after 150-foot drop

Lava Mae’s big blue bus brings mobile showers to San Francisco’s homeless population

July 1, 2016 by  
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®LavaMae.org Lava Mae founder Doniece Sandoval, who has a background in marketing, community relations, and the arts, was eager to do something about the homelessness she saw every day in San Francisco. She began to research shower resources for them in the city and discovered there were only slightly more than a dozen available for an estimate homeless population of over 7,000 people. Her research led her to re-imagine the mobile food truck craze and explore the possibility of creating a mobile hygiene station. Going mobile would also help circumvent rapidly rising rents in San Francisco, as well as provide a way to reach homeless people all across the city. ®LavaMae.org RELATED: Sheltersuit is a transforming suit that that becomes a sleeping bag to provide shelter for the homeless With the help of architect Brett  Terpeluk , the Lava Mae team successfully reached out to San Francisco’s Municipal Transportation Agency to arrange the donation of a de-commissioned city MUNI bus and launched their crowdfunding campaign. A MUNI bus was not only an iconic local symbol, but also allowed the team to use a locally available resource and give a decommissioned bus a new life. The bus was retrofitted inside and out to hold the shower and toilet facilities in partnership with AIRCO of Sacramento. The Lava Mae project has harnessed the power of cooperation to successfully launch and operate the project. On a day-to-day basis, the project is supported by essential partnership from local nonprofits, who schedule and sign up clients for the showers, from the City of San Francisco, which assists with water hook-up and disposal, and from private companies, who donate toiletries and linens. Lava Mae sets up a regular weekly schedule with stops at drop-in centers, health clinics, and public libraries, where potential users can add their name to a sign-up list. ®LavaMae.org Sandoval calls the service Lava Mae provides “radical hospitality”, and users of the bus showers are referred to as “guests”. It’s all part of the concept that helping people access shower facilities and get clean provides an element of basic human dignity . ®LavaMae.org Since their initial launch, Lava Mae has secured funding from a variety of nonprofits and private donors, including a grant from the Google Impact Challenge. The project has generated interest from communities around the globe that have been inspired to start dreaming up similar solutions. Lava Mae is currently exploring ways to share their experience and provide guidance to other communities who would like to start a similar model. You can donate toiletries for use on Lava Mae’s buses, and you can follow their progress on their blog . + Lava Mae

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Lava Mae’s big blue bus brings mobile showers to San Francisco’s homeless population

The effects of climate change on agriculture could kill half a million people

March 3, 2016 by  
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A new study funded by The Oxford Martin Program on the Future of Food reveals that climate change could cause the deaths of over half a million people by 2050. The study, conducted by researchers from the United Kingdom and United States and published in The Lancet , found these deaths could occur because of climate change’s impact on agriculture – especially fruits and vegetables. Read the rest of The effects of climate change on agriculture could kill half a million people

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The effects of climate change on agriculture could kill half a million people

G7 leaders pledge to phase out fossil fuels this century

June 11, 2015 by  
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In a monumental step forward against climate change, German chancellor Angela Merkel announced  that the G7-leading industrial nations have agreed to phase out the use of fossil fuels by the year 2100. The agreement was reached after lengthy diplomatic negotiations during the G7 summit in Germany. Merkel has said that both public and private sources will be needed to raise the annual $100 billion in funding needed to implement such a change on a global scale. Read the rest of G7 leaders pledge to phase out fossil fuels this century Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: Angela Merkel , Climate Change , fossil fuels , g7 fossil fuels , g7 leaders , g7 summit , hunger , phase out fossil fuels this century , Poverty , world leaders agree to cut emissions , world leaders combat climate change

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G7 leaders pledge to phase out fossil fuels this century

Atelier YokYok weaves ethereal blue tunnels inside a medieval cloister garden

June 11, 2015 by  
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Read the rest of Atelier YokYok weaves ethereal blue tunnels inside a medieval cloister garden Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: Atelier YokYok , Cahors , Cahors landscape garden competition , cloister gardens , contemporary art , landscape design , landscape garden competition , Les Voûtes Filantes , Les Voûtes Filantes by Atelier YokYok , monastic garden , string art , Temporary Art , temporary artwork

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Atelier YokYok weaves ethereal blue tunnels inside a medieval cloister garden

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