This cool electric skateboard is made from recycled plastic

January 30, 2020 by  
Filed under Eco, Green, Recycle

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Native of Porto, Portugal, designer João Leão was becoming more and more concerned about the abundance of plastic waste he saw clogging up his city’s beautiful coastline. Inspired to act on the issue, the ambitious designer decided to find a way to clean the ocean by using that waste to create an innovative product. As a result, Leão created the PET MINI — an electric skateboard made completely out of plastic waste. Founder of the design studio Maker Island , Leão has made a career out of  creating innovative and collaborative designs that are geared toward addressing local problems on a global scale. But with his latest invention, Leão is trying to address an issue close to his heart — Porto’s plastic waste. Related: New line of men’s swimwear is made from recycled ocean plastic “It all started with two problems, the plastic waste I was seeing being gathered on the beaches of my hometown, Porto, and the increasing commute times due to the high increase of people on the city and poor public and personal transportation infrastructures,” Leão explained. The resulting design is the PET (Personal Electric Transport) skateboard. The process began by experimenting with various types of discarded plastic. By examining the most common types found in Porto’s waters — ABS, PP and PET HDPE — Leão was able to better understand the mechanical and aesthetic properties of each. Finally, he discovered that the most suitable type of plastic for creating the electric skateboard was HDPE. From there, Leão began to outline the design itself. Using the body of an armadillo as inspiration, he first created the electronics enclosure, which is a series of modular pieces that run along the underside of the board. The enclosure is durable enough to protect the board’s electronic components without affecting the smooth ride of the deck. The deck of the board was 3D-CNC milled at the local VIVA Lab using recycled thermoplastics as the main manufacturing material. The PET MINI electronic skateboard weighs just over 17 pounds and is 75 centimeters long. With a top speed of 21 miles per hour, the board can go up to 22 miles with a single charge time of almost 2 hours. Built for under $550, the innovative board is comparable to other commercial electric skateboards on the market that typically cost about $1,700. +  João Leão Images via João Leão

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This cool electric skateboard is made from recycled plastic

Sustainability career options you may not have considered

January 30, 2020 by  
Filed under Business, Eco, Green

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In the past 10 to 20 years, careers in sustainability have grown exponentially. This is partly due to increased awareness of climate change. It’s also a result of innovation in the field; for example, the use of wind turbines and solar panels create jobs that didn’t exist before. Looking into the future, more and more jobs will fall into the category of sustainability. Many industries will face stricter resource management, opening the door to an endless number of earth-focused jobs — including some that don’t even exist yet! If you’ve considered a career in sustainability, here are some green jobs you might want to look into. Engineer There are hundreds of types of engineering degrees and titles, with myriad job opportunities in sustainability. Wind, water and solar engineers study and develop those technologies while product, systems and mechanical engineers can also find ways for business and manufacturing to be more eco-friendly. Engineers focused on urban design can influence the infrastructure of an entire city, and structural engineers can work to design buildings with earth-friendly materials and passive energy systems. Then there are environmental, water, renewable energy and even recycling engineers, too. Solar, wind or water specialists Even if you’re not interested in becoming an energy engineer, there are many job opportunities relating to renewable energy. You can install solar panels or wind turbines. If you’re a mechanical type, you can work as a repair technician. Or, you could contribute to research and development for new systems. Another option is to educate others about renewable energy or work in product and system sales. Related: Former coal miners receive training for renewable energy jobs Organic farmer As the population of the planet continues to grow, food production is a central focus for many. But artificial, preservative-filled foods are a poor solution for feeding the masses. If you enjoy a hard day’s work and the satisfaction of literally seeing the fruits of your labor, working as an organic farmer might be for you. Energy broker As more and more clean systems become available to produce energy, we will continue to need ways to store, transport and use it. As a broker, you can facilitate this process by buying and selling renewable energy for clients. Green construction workers Opportunities for construction planning and work at the residential and commercial levels mean you can take part in helping to build more sustainable structures. Modern construction practices involve the use of energy-conserving HVAC systems, smart home technology , energy-efficient windows, improved insulation, non-toxic paints, water reclamation, solar panels and so much more. Jobs include construction worker, site manager, structural engineer, systems design engineer, architect, HVAC installer, technician or floor covering specialist. Electric car mechanic The number of electric cars on the road continues to rise, making a job as an electric car mechanic a promising career choice for the future. In this position, you can perform repairs or even convert gas-guzzling vehicles into electric ones. Teacher or public speaker Education is a powerful tool in the drive to inspire people to change their habits or get involved in a cause. As a teacher or public speaker, you can inform attendees in classrooms, offices and conference centers about important topics like climate change . This will allow you to educate the public about the needs of the environment and steps they can take as individuals or businesses to lower their ecological footprints. Writer There has always been power in words, but if public speaking isn’t your thing, perhaps you can express the same information through the written word instead. For example, you can work as a journalist researching companies who pollute or, on the other end of the spectrum, go out of their way to support environmental causes. There are also opportunities to create content on social media, formulating social media campaigns that create awareness about environmental topics. Consultant Depending on your background, you might not need to obtain additional education in order to work in an industry related to sustainability. As a consultant, you can use your existing knowledge to advise businesses. For example, if you have experience as a contractor, architect or engineer, you can help businesses identify eco-friendly materials or systems during construction or a remodel. Green jobs will continue to evolve and offer new challenges, but one thing is for certain — they are here to stay. Images via Shutterstock

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Sustainability career options you may not have considered

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