LifeCan: A Human-Powered Water Filtration System

For those of us with easy access to it, clean drinking water is usually taken for granted, but in many parts of the world, the basic human need for safe potable water isn’t nearly as easy to meet as just turning a tap. In fact, there are still over a billion people on our planet that lack access to safe drinking water, and waterborne diseases are the second leading cause of death among children under five in the world. So…

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Sunflower Pumps Water Using Solar Power

Sunflowers, sunbeams, and dry fields. The sun is shining and the fields need watering, what’s a farmer to do? Use his tired old back pumping water? Worse yet, use that smelly diesel fuel or petrol to pump some water? No, there is an alternative! Use the sunshine to pump the water. It just goes hand in hand — sunshine and watering are two parts of the same work day. When the fields need watering, there is plenty of sunshine. Renewable…

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Cleaning Water With Music CDs

Researchers in Taiwan have come up with an interesting way to make use of the incredible quantities of compact discs which are thrown away every year — use them to break down sewage and clean wastewater. The research team behind the new idea will be presenting their wastewater treatment device (which utilizes CDs) at the Optical Society’s (OSA) Annual Meeting, Frontiers in Optics 2013, October 6-10 in Orlando, Florida. “Optical disks are cheap, readily available, and very commonly used,” states…

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Social Good And Profitability Are Not Exclusive, They’re Very Compatible

In today’s world where everyone seems to be trying to make a buck, it can be hard to see the bigger picture and accomplish something for the greater good. Times are tough in this economy and if you can come out on top for your business and your own personal gain in any way, it can be seen as a win. In the same vein, in the last few years, something great has been happening in the world of business.…

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Water Pricing is Not the Roadblock to Water Innovation

There is a commonly held view among industry observers that “water is undervalued” and “water is underpriced.” Gloomy venture capitalists frequently cite the fact that “water is underpriced” as having the effect of hindering innovation and adoption of new technologies in the water sector (… and, incidentally of course, the ability to make good returns on venture capital investment). If water were properly priced, so goes the logic, then investment would follow, and innovation would flourish. It is worth remembering…

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Earth Overshoot Day Means Humanity Is Bouncing Our Ecological Checks

Anyone who has had their own bank account knows this simple equation: withdraw more than you’ve got, and you’ll overdraw your account and start owing people money. Unfortunately, it looks like the Earth is officially bouncing its ecological checks as of today – Earth Overshoot Day – the approximate day our resource consumption in a given year exceeds the planet’s ability to replenish itself. While it’s only a rough estimate of how fast humanity is drawing down our ecological bank…

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Wind Power + Water Desalination = Win!

Water scarcity is a significant and rapidly growing problem throughout much of the world, and one which has no easy solutions. How do you increase the quantity of available fresh water enough to keep up with the demands of a fast-growing human population? One of the only real solutions is through saltwater desalinization — but that’s a very energy-intensive process. So, how to make it economically viable? Perhaps through the pairing of renewable energy technologies — such as wind turbines…

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How to Hack Buildings to Increase Productivity

We may be familiar with computer hacking, but what about hacking buildings? Future360 investigates that a hackable building is one that’s been adapted or modified to be almost unrecognizable from its original form. Architecture firm Gensler first coined the phrase “hackable buildings” and became a case study for this exciting new concept. Gensler’s Los Angeles headquarters was transformed from a banking hall into dynamic, social workplace. The team organized the space around a central communicating stair by hanging an entire…

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