Out of the Box Thinking & Food for Thought

Are companies moving to recycling their own products? Several FMCGs and Big Brands are starting such initiatives. Levi’s is urging customers to buy less, re-use or repair their worn-out clothing. Ikea is starting its first second-hand shops and buy-back scheme for customers to return unwanted furniture and other items. Burger King is initiating a reusable packaging via which customers are charged a small deposit initially and then refunded when customers return with boxes and cups, which are taken away for cleaning and processing via the zero-waste e-commerce system, Loop.

Can a hotel generate energy, not only consume it? The designer for a floating hotel seems to think so. The eco-friendly hotel will generate its own energy by rotating all day in order to being located in areas with continuous water currents. The hotel is designed by Hayri Atak Architectural Design Studio, its construction started in March 2020 and is scheduled to be ready by 2025.

Could we cool buildings by means other than air conditioning? Engineers at Purdue University (USA) are working on this by creating the whitest paint yet that could help cool down buildings. The paint reflects 98% of the sun light and radiates infrared heat through the atmosphere and back into space.

Can the Dutch habit of living ‘on water’ help with climate change? The architects of the Schoonschip neighbourhood in Amsterdam proposed this floating ‘village’ to fight population density and sea levels challenges. The 46 homes are built on 30 floating arks and are designed to be mainly self-sufficient – energy comes from solar panels, heating from heat pumps, wastewater will be converted back into energy, and the dwellings’ roofs are green.

How can emissions from air travel be further reduced? By literally flying less:  France aims to do so by banning short haul flights where travelling by train takes less than two hours and a half; Austrian Airlines replaced its flights between Vienna and Salzburg (300-350 km) by increased train services. Secondly, by introducing a frequent flyer tax: people wanting to fly would be given an initial tax-free return flight, with the tax kicking in at a low rate and rising with each increment flight. The money collected would be used towards environmental initiatives to help offset the impact of the various flights.