Out of the Box Thinking & Food for Thought

How much is the carbon footprint of beer? According to author Mike Berners (of the book “How bad are bananas?”), the CO2 footprint of a pint of beer ranges from 300gCO2e to 900g CO2e, with electricity accounting for 25% of the footprint.

Could we fully trace recyclable materials? RecycleGO is promoting the use of Hyperledger Fabric blockchain technology to build a platform capable for the tracking of recyclable material throughout its lifecycle. The project starts with the history of respective material, from its creation to its collection, then through its conversion back to raw material and shipping to a manufacturer for recycled use in a new product.

Is there an alternative to electric vehicles? Porsche seems to believe so, with its creation of synthetic fuel, named eFuel, seen as clean for electric vehicles, with no by-products, fewer particulates, and less NOx produced than traditional fossil fuels. Trials of eFuel are scheduled to start in 2022 and could be a ‘game-changer’ if successful.

How serious is the car industry about climate change? The news from the industry confirms the efforts are rather serious (see the Porsche announcement above) as Volvo announced in early March a plan to stop selling fossil fuel cars by 2030 and moving to selling all new electric vehicles and only on-line.

How can cities grow without negative climate impact? In a return to the past, wood is being considered for tall buildings as architects are becoming more interested in modern timber-construction techniques. Such techniques were already employed in Norway to build the 85-meter tall Mjostarnet building, and with the under construction 228-meter riverside edifice proposed for Chicago, USA.

Can people become energy generators instead of only energy consumers? By developing wearable devices that use people’s body heat as batteries, scientists believe it possible. These thermoelectric generators to harness the difference in temperature between people’s skin and the surrounding air, converting heat energy into electricity. The device, from the University of Colorado Boulder, is made of a stretchy material that fits close to the skin and worn as a ring or a bracelet. The generated energy (around 1volt) is below regular battery power, but enough to power a watch or fitness tracker.

What’s the latest technique of absorbing CO2 emissions from the atmosphere? Two companies (New York based Aether and UK based Skydiamond) developed a technique to transform CO2 emissions into diamonds. Each diamond carat removes 20 tons of CO2 from the atmosphere and offsets 1.25 years of an average person’s lifetime CO2 footprint.