Mountain Of Trash Now A Massive Energy Hub

Many groups are taking action towards the worldwide landfills issue. Cosmetics brands are recycling trash to use in packaging. Smart labels are reducing plastic waste. Now, the infamous Massachusetts “Mount Trashmore” has been transformed into an energy hub.

Local officials estimate the new clean energy infrastructure installed on-site will offset the carbon emissions of more than 12,000 cars annually and will generate more than $300,000 in annual revenue for the city.

The solar panel arrays line Massachusetts highways and commercial plots. Landfills cause an increase in methane and pollute groundwaters, which has apparently created enough initiative for Brockton natives.

Over the next twenty years, these highway clean power plants are estimated to generate at least $15 million of revenue for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

It may be a handful–okay landfill of money, but we can’t allow dollar bills to be the driving force of change. It’s about time we truly get clean out of concern for the planet–not our bank accounts!

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This Phone Doesn’t Need A Battery To Function

As a self-proclaimed techie, I am always on the hunt for the most efficient power bank. There is nothing worse than draining a smartphone, whether you’re waiting for a text or in the middle of a selfie. Of course, longer lasting batteries can serve more urgent needs such as emergency calls to the police or fire department. The University of Washington seems to have solved this problem with a cellphone that requires no battery. Instead, it harvests power from radio signals.

The battery-free cell phone saves on power by taking advantage of analog, as opposed to digital, voice encoding. The device’s range comes from tiny solar panels called photodiodes.

“A phone like this would never need to be recharged, and could still be used to make phone calls and send text messages,”

The current prototype has basic functions (such as texting and calling) but holds promise for more advanced models. Former student Vamsi Talla expounds on why the device is so important.

“The reason we chose to build a battery-free phone is because phones are one of the most important devices that virtually everyone uses,”

“Most of us have experienced the situation where our phone battery has died at an inopportune time, such as when we want to make an important phone call.”

Whether we like it or not, smartphones have become a vital part of our everyday lives. Everything, now, is in the palm of our hands, and accessible. We ought to give a standing ovation to the people who are keeping it that way.

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Vertical Garden Is Bogota’s New Air Purifier

Nowadays, gardens seem to be a thing of the past. We are constantly running out of time and space. But this isn’t stopping anyone in Bogota, Colombia from coming up with a solution. Colombian group Groncol has created Santalaia, an 11-story vertical garden.

The plants produce enough oxygen for around 3,000 people each year and act as a giant air purifier.

“A city like Bogota only has around four square meters per inhabitant of green areas and… we should have at least 15. So this is truly a reminder for the whole city that buildings need to be greener, a lot greener, so we can compensate the lack of parks, the lack of green areas and have a much healthier city for the people,”

Maintenance uses rainwater and recycled shower water to keep the structure green. On rainy days, Mother Nature takes care of things.

“A tree is always more efficient for compensating carbon footprint. But since we don’t have enough space in the city to plant so many trees, we have to use unused space like walls and roofs to be able to compensate, so these solutions of having vertical gardens and having green roofs are great,”

Looks like we’re running out of excuses not to go green. Who says trees can’t make a difference?

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Divers Play Music For Coral Reefs

Environmental enthusiasts celebrate nature in different ways. Some host fun runs. Others put together benefit film screenings. This group of divers housed an underwater music festival.

About 400 divers and snorkelers gathered together… for the 33rd annual Lower Keys Underwater Music Festival, held at Looe Key Reef in the Florida Keys. Organizers provided divers with a “submerged soundtrack” of nautical tunes by broadcasting music underwater through speakers suspended beneath boats.

The Florida Reef is the only remaining coral barrier reef in the United States. Because of constant deterioration, it could use all the help it can get.

“The Underwater Music Festival is a way to celebrate the coral reef, and we celebrate it by looking for a balance between protection of the reef and public enjoyment. The more people realize what’s down there and enjoy it, the more they’re likely to protect it,” explained Bill Becker, co-founder of the music festival.

Talk about letting loose your inner mermaid for a cause! Remember, kids: clean waters make for happy waters.

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Traffic Generates Energy Using Genius Device

2017 is proving to be the star year of renewable energy. From air-purifying bicycles to power-generating streets, it seems there is much hope for sustainable lifestyle options. Even millennials are taking part in the fight against climate change, and eighth-grader Laalitya Acharya is no exception. The thirteen-year-old recently created a device that allows traffic to generate clean energy.

Acharya started researching cheap, easily renewable resources of energy, and came across a device she calls a piezo. When stress is applied to a piezo, it generates electricity… She designed TraffEnerate to obtain power when cars drive over the devices.

Acharya, of course, had to ensure that the device would work. She designed a robot that would imitate the motion of vehicles in order to test her prototype. That’s what I call thorough.

“I wanted to change the world, that simple. On my family’s yearly trip to India, I saw children who have no power in their homes, huddling near dangerous fires. I wanted to change their position in life, to make it better by creating clean energy and electricity.”

Acharya is among many who have used their intelligence to give back to the world. While I often wonder what parents are feeding their kids these days, it seems that most teens just want to make a difference.

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How To Embrace Your Mental Illness

More often than not, I trust no one. It’s been this way for years. At fifteen years old I was diagnosed with Paranoid Personality Disorder. Though I’ve seen much improvement, I have yet to come to terms with the fact that this is something I will always battle. It’s often difficult to be accepting knowing I am the only one in my family who suffers from mental illness. So how have I come to embrace it?

Mental disorders affect one in four people, not all of whom will have access to therapy services. This is why healing has to start with the self. The first step towards any type of recovery is acceptance. Acknowledge that you are suffering from a very legitimate illness. Denial only slows down the process.

Be in the know. Educate yourself and others. Know your habits and how to approach them. Understanding your triggers will help you to manage them better. However, know that mental illness follows no rules, and while it may be easier to follow patterns, things remain unexpected. It will take time but you will learn how to better handle your outbursts. Let your loved ones know how they can approach you.

Come up with a self-care regimen. Figure out what makes you feel in control. Despite my lack of confidence in strangers, I am entirely comfortable with my closest friends. I choose to be surrounded by them. I am constantly overcoming my struggle to let loose. Set goals for yourself and, if it helps, write them down. Put a schedule together. Consider the small victories like getting out of bed when you felt like you couldn’t. When I tick off a box on my to-do list, I always feel it’s a cause for celebration.

Engage in a hobby. I am not vocal but I am expressive, so I write. Create balance between doing something you are familiar with and doing something new. Expanding your horizons will make you feel empowered. Do something physical, even if you are a couch potato. If sports are not your thing (as they aren’t mine), jog or work out. Exercise can only bring about good energy.

Meditate. Learn how to zone out every once in a while and focus only on yourself. This is the one time you can think about where and who you want to be, fully, with no distractions. Yoga isn’t always accessible, but YouTube tutorials will do.

Don’t be afraid to seek help. And I don’t just mean a doctor. Confide in your family as they are most available to you. Admitting that your abilities may be limited is not a sign of weakness. Health trumps pride, and initiative is key to recognizing that you are not alone. While shame is an ordinary feeling for people who are new to therapy, knowing that you are getting better is overpowering.

Last of all, be patient. Healing never happens overnight. Progress always demands time. Be there for yourself and allow others to be there for you.

Mental illness stays with you. So instead of trying to outsmart it, embrace it.

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This Toothbrush Cleans Teeth In 10 Seconds


Brushing our teeth is a necessary hassle. Sometimes we forget, what with far more important things to do. But the Amabrush, an automatic toothbrush that gets the job done in just 10 seconds, hopes to initiate change.

All users have to do is press a single button, wait 10 seconds, spit, and rinse.

To keep clean, the flexible mouthpiece is made from antibacterial silicone that kills more than 99 percent of all bacteria. Bristles are arranged at 45-degree angles on both sides to clean every tooth at once.

The Amabrush cleans each surface for only 1.25 seconds. Talk about getting a tedious task out of the way! It also comes with three different toothpaste variations–fresh, whitening, and sensitive.

The battery within the handpiece uses just enough power to last for 28 sessions on a single charge. This means users can go on vacation and still brush their teeth twice a day for two weeks without using the charging station.

For sharing purposes, multiple mouthpieces can use the same handpiece. A strong magnet connects the two together, so when it is time to share, simply remove and swap the current mouthpiece.

Don’t get me wrong. I am definitely a fan of greater technology with the potential to change lives. But in my busy schedule, this just takes the cake.

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Robot-Engineered Skateboard Is Bulletproof

The recent rise of robots has been quick and inevitable. While I don’t mean this in an “I, Robot” sense, machines have been working alongside us to improve our daily lives. Some are combatting cyberbullying while others are performing surgery. Now, they’re helping to manufacture a bulletproof skateboard.

[Jelly] sells a line of clear, polycarbonate boards capable of stopping a bullet — a unique idea that has helped company president Sven Alwerud carve out a special niche in the skateboard industry.

Luckily for Alwerud, his dad — a famous robotics engineer — offered to help the upstart company.

Alwerud Sr. put together a robot to assemble the boards–and quickly. (I wonder how much of a hit he must’ve been at elementary school career days?)

“He designed the robot in two days and with his years of automation experience, he was able to use the simplest designs and techniques which helped reduce the chance of error and downtime.”

Jelly hopes to purchase a new robot in the near future in order to produce more of his in-demand skateboards. If you’re not a great rider, at least you’ve got protection!

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The Newest Member Of Sesame Street Is Afghan

In a day and age of hate culture, the entertainment industry is doing all it can to promote mutual respect. Sesame Street has had a long-running history of introducing a diverse cast of characters, encouraging kindness among children. Most recently, the show debuted Zeerak, who is an Afghan Muppet.

Zeerak is described as an “adorable orange Muppet” who wears glasses and regional Afghan clothing. His name means “smart” and “talented” in both of Afghanistan’s official languages, Pashto and Dari.

Both he and [sister] Zari… are intended to show young people in Afghanistan, where women’s rights have deteriorated under the Taliban, that girls can be as heroic as boys.

Zeerak preaches respect, tolerance, and gender equality.

[Zeerak] looks up to his educated big sister as a role model. She assures him that he will soon have the opportunity to attend school and “that working hard in school will help him achieve his dreams,”

As literacy rates in Afghanistan are low, Zeerak is vital in promoting education.

Over the past year, Sesame Street has also launched an LGBT campaign and introduced Julia, an autistic Muppet, to the family. I can’t say I’m not all for it!

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Biomass Stove Bringing Cleaner Air To India

In the age of our crumbling planet, we are doing everything we can to maintain good environmental etiquette. We are turning trash into product packaging, saving reefs with oyster shells, and planting trees at the speed of light. Now, entrepreneur Ankit Mathur has created a stove that is much less harmful to the environment.

The aluminum and steel contraption uses much less wood than a traditional mud stove, and produces far less harmful smoke in the process.

“We designed a cook stove that cuts down fuel consumption to a third of what a mud stove uses and reduces emissions to one quarter of what they are,”

Despite its obvious benefits, Mathur admitted to having trouble selling his product. People simply wanted to stay traditional. But after proving to potential customers that they’d spend less time collecting wood, the Greenway stove finally saw some sales.

Around 550,000 people have now bought a stove, bringing the firm $9 million in sales.

“It sounds like a lot, but if you look at the Indian numbers there are more than 100 million households we can reach out to,”

Mathur’s company is also selling solar-powered lamps. While most of us may not be innovators ourselves, it should be in our best intentions to support those who are.

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