We’re happy that you reached our website. Here you will find a series of articles that promote well-being and a sustainable way of life. Explore our site so you find inspiration to make a positive change in your life. Our reading material includes travel and tips plus ways to contribute in the making of a better world.
A group of German chemists have developed a sustainable plastic alternative that allows it to be chemically recycled 10 times more efficiently than normal plastic. Derived from plant oils, this is a more environmentally friendly option when compared to the conventional fossil fuel-based plastic that has polluted Earth so much for decades.
Nowadays, recycling is mostly done by sorting and slicing plastic into pellets that are used to create new materials at a temperature of at least 600 degrees Celsius, and is chemically recycled at a rate lower than 10%. With these plant-based plastics, the long polymer chains of plastic are broken down with heat or solvents to get the material back to its initial components in a more efficient manner. For example, they require a temperature of 120 to 150 degrees Celsius and retain a 96% of the initial material.
These plant-based plastics come in an appropriate time, as landfills and warehouses struggle to keep up the never-ending increase of disposed plastic waste. Chemical recycling will play a significant role in a circular economy by reducing plastic waste and repurposing it into new products.
The new plant-based plastics are very similar to high-density polyethylene, which is mostly known for its recycling number 2, and is better suited for 3D printing as it retains its properties even after the recycling process after reusing it. They also biodegrade in nature more quickly than common plastic types.
Hopefully in the not-so-far-away future we can all gain access to these plant-based plastic solutions.
Last year we saw a surge in online shopping due in big part to the COVID-19 pandemic, which set off an increase of cardboard boxes and plastic packages outside of our homes. While more and more people are now used to bringing their own tote bags to the grocery store, recycle at home and use public transportation instead of driving on our own car, we don’t always pause to assess the impact it can have on our environment.
Due to this reality, dozens of major retailers such as Ray-Ban, Ugg and Antropologie are looking to consolidate home deliveries in reusable tote bags that are dropped off once a week - instead of the standard individual plastic bags and boxes. New ideas such as compostable packaging and reusable plastic packaging with algae-ink shipping labels are some of the ways companies are innovating to be more sustainable.
Other initiatives such as Clorox and Häagen Dazs are moving towards other types of packaging such as glass, aluminum and stainless-steel which can be returned and refilled for future uses. If more and more companies sign up for this initiative, the amount of waste from households will dramatically decrease in the coming years.
This new trend of consumer’s reliance on online shopping during the pandemic put online shopping under the spot of sustainability experts: Tons of discarded cardboard boxes were seen all across the US during the last year.
It’s also up to us to find which of the products we order online are trying to make a sustainable difference in the world!
Smart city planners around the world are starting to look towards a new and intelligent digital infrastructure that will enhance their smart cities. A company called Signify, formerly Philips Lighting, has recognized the key role that lighting plays in the smart city market and have developed a management system which enables streetlights to be remotely controlled and monitored through a centralized online application.
With this innovative system, Signify aims to provide energy-efficient smart street lightning that will benefit the environment and the city’s economy. While switching to LED streetlights is already reducing energy consumption by up to 50% across a metropolitan area, this smart remote management can increase that percentage to 80%!
The technology can remotely control the output of individual streetlights, detect problems more efficiently and monitor energy performance. Additionally, the poles can double up as powerful IT service nodes, housing connectivity applications like 4G/5G and Wi-Fi, as well as setting the platform for security cameras to be installed on them.
All these features will help improve wireless connectivity and eliminate potential dead zones, accommodating an increasingly network dependent society and their needs for a connected world.
Signify designs its smart streetlights with a circular economy in mind – with their lights designed to be highly serviceable and built with components which can be reused, replaced and even upgraded easily and without much cost.
Think about what this could mean to individual/personal use in the days to come! Who knows, in the not so distant future, we could all be paying a significant reduced amount in our electricity bills. Phew, sounds like a smart plan”
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