It seems we’ve been underestimating the power of plastic. After the material was repurposed into makeshift lamps in the Philippines, it’s proving there is little it can’t do. Grey Dhaka in Bangladesh is taking plastic to new limits with a plastic bottle air conditioner that is completely electricity-free.
Repurposed plastic bottles are cut in half and mounted on a board or a grid in accordance with the window size with the bottlenecks facing the inside of the house. The board is then installed on the window… Hot air enters the open end of the bottle and is compressed at the neck of the bottle, turning the air cooler before it is released inside the house.
The device, called the Eco-Cooler, can reduce indoor temperatures by up to 5 degrees Celsius. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I think regular-running electric air conditioners may now be facing a promising contender.
Today, more than 25,000 households have an Eco-Cooler in their homes. It has been installed in places such as Nilphamari, Daulatdia, Paturia, Modonhati and Khaleya.
Inventor Ashis Paul claims his daughter’s physics tutor inspired the Eco-Cooler. If simple DIY projects can combat climate change at no cost, maybe kids should reconsider paying attention in class.
Oftentimes, for a piece of rubbish, landfills are an eternal resting place. Rarely do they see a better climax, save for those that become furniture or even vodka. Despite lack of efforts to recycle, some continue to hold the Earth near and dear to their hearts. One such individual is 12-year-old Nadia Sparkes, a.k.a. “Trash Girl”, Norwich’s newest cartoon hero.
The Hellesdon schoolgirl was so “shocked” by litter strewn near her home and school she began picking it up in her bicycle basket, leading to jibes and the seemingly cruel nickname.
Sparkes has since encouraged the public to pick up three pieces of litter a day, and hundreds have agreed. If you haven’t heard, kids, sustainability is all the rage — and bullying is so yesterday.
Creative Nation’s Alex Jeffery said… “We think she is a superhero for putting the planet first in the face of the bullies who chose to criticise, rather than help her and get involved.
“We also wanted to see if our image could inspire a nationwide cartoon, sent to schools to inspire more young people to do the same fantastic work.”
Never pick on the kid with a basket of empty cans. It could be their greatest weapon!
At present, contemporary breweries have moved out of beer houses and into labs. To make up for scant resources, many sustainable groups are crafting tasty drinks from bread and other waste. While revamping recipes is a success in itself, we can’t yet say the same for packaging. Six-pack holders are often 100% plastic, but that isn’t the case for Mexican Startup E6PR. Eco Six Pack Rings’ holders are made with compostable materials that are completely biodegradable.
“With the help of E6PR, we would like to inspire the entire beer industry to follow our lead… Our goal is to transition all of the packaging in our facility to this six-pack ring alternative that goes beyond recycling and strives to achieve zero waste.” [said Chris Gove of SaltWater Brewery.]
The rings dissolve in water and are safe for marine animals to ingest. E6PR hopes to produce the holders for all types of cans and bottles along with their standard size.
“If most craft brewers and big beer companies implement this technology, we will potentially be saving hundreds of thousands of marine lives as a result,” said Francisco García, the engineer behind the project
It’s quite the genius party trick, and while it won’t harm any animals, we do hope you reach for a rubbish bin before making the ocean yours.
Powering motorcycles and stringing together running shoes, algae is the eco-material of the year. So far, it seems capable of almost anything. Taking the next step, Dutch designers are 3D printing the stuff in the hopes of replacing synthetic plastics.
“Our idea is that in the future there will be a shop on every street corner where you can ‘bake’ organic raw materials, just like fresh bread,” said [designer Eric] Klarenbeek.
If the concoction goes commercial, it can replace oils, which are vital in the production of bottles and containers. A complete cherry on top, algae is also highly absorbent of carbon dioxide, which makes production sustainable.
“In this relatively brief period, a vast amount of carbon dioxide has been released into the atmosphere, with damaging consequences. It is therefore important that we clean the CO2 from the atmosphere as quickly as possible and this can be done by binding the carbon to biomass.”
Along with partner Maartje Dros, Klarenbeek has been on a steady mission to create less wasteful industries. Why spend time on DIY furniture when you can simply grow them?
Believe it or not, anyone can turn plastic into a valuable and non-wasteful material — all it takes is resourcefulness. Whether as part of an art piece or repurposed into product packaging, the possibilities with plastic are endless. This Cameroon student is salvaging not just a handful, but thousands of plastic bottles into recycled fishing boats.
“We are fighting,” he said. “We are trying to find innovative solutions that are new and can be useful in order to add value to these bottles.”
Ismael Essome Ebode claims his project is meant to combat pollution.
He’s been testing the boat and trying to convince local fishermen to use it as a cheaper, environmentally-friendly option to wooden boats.
Despite enforcing a ban on disposable plastic bags in Cameroon in 2014, the law does not extend to rural areas. Other materials are too expensive for simple merchants, while plastic is available and affordable. Ebode has successfully crafted five boats, proving it doesn’t always take a village to make a difference.
The Philippines is one of Asia’s most impoverished countries. However, it is also home to a very resourceful population. Around 12% of Filipinos have no access to electricity, making it difficult to work and study. Liter of Light has since provided nearly a million households with electricity-free plastic bottles that act as lamps.
The bleach-filled bottles… refract the light from outdoors into the house, lighting up much like a lightbulb.
In addition to using the bleach bottle lamps and the nighttime solar bulbs, the group also converts kerosene lamps into solar lamps.
To make the bleach bottle lights, people simply have to mix 3 milliliters of bleach into a liter of water. The concoction lasts for around five years, at which point one can simply switch out the water.
The low-budget project has proved to be simple but highly effective. Making them has also become a source of income for those without regular jobs. All the materials are sourced locally.
Making the plastic bottle lamps is “something everybody can do,” “You have to understand the genius of the poor: People have spun off our ideas into their own backyard solar business. That’s what we want. A nation of backyard solar entrepreneurs, instead of them relying on our foundation.”
As one of the five countries that contribute to half the world’s plastic waste, the Philippines should be commended for taking initiative.