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Sustainability Stories from the Web

Sustainable innovations, big and small, happen every day. It’s easy to lose sight of all of the positive progress accumulating on a global scale when it’s left off the front page (so to speak). That’s where the idea to host a sustainability digest comes into the fold. 

It came from the web…

Here are five cool, interesting, or inspiring stories from the web that give hope and remind us of what we are capable of when we work towards a common goal.

Edison Motors

It’s alleged that Edison stole ideas from Tesla, and this company leaned into that premise. Legally borrowing ideas from Tesla Motors, a group of truck drivers and loggers in Canada have developed a powerful diesel-electric log truck, and it works now – creating a tangible step in the right direction. 

A bonus, the trucks have that classic semi-truck look – “no more ugly trucks.”

The next era of solar panels

Why isn’t the desert a giant solar panel? There’s ample sun and a hard-to-inhabit landscape – seems like a no-brainer, but there’s always more to the story. It comes down to cleanliness and abrasion resistance.

Scientists have been waging a long battle with the forces of nature to provide limitless power through environmentally friendly and abundant means. The challenge with solar in the desert is the endless winds of sand that quickly dirty solar farms. It’s said that the accumulation of materials on solar panels can reduce efficiency by as much as 30 percent in the first month of use.

What’s more, abrasion from grinding dust and sand reduces the effectiveness of solar panels. It’s important to reduce this wear and give solar investments a longer, more effective life.

A great challenge of our time is keeping solar panels clean and protected despite the competing forces of nature. Whether it’s a self-cleaning innovation or a dust-repellant formulation, the work is well underway to make solar more viable where it’s most applicable.

The race is on, so to speak.

Wave energy

You’ve heard of wind and solar, the most abundant natural resources being captured today, but scientists are looking to the seas of the world to harness another source of energy abundance. Some consider wave power the next big evolution of green energy produced via nature’s existing forces.

Cow power

The world consumes a lot of beef and dairy products, and a major byproduct of the process of growing and making that food is a significant amount of animal waste. But this waste isn’t going to waste, per se. Many innovative farms around the world are harnessing the methane in animal waste to produce power.

Old paper, new pencils

Paper is a notorious landfill dweller. Here viewers see the efforts of two brothers in Kenya who are taking old newspapers and making them into pencils. When completed, the pencils have the weight and feel of that Ticonderoga from one’s youth.

One small act, when added to other small acts, leads to big positive change.

There’s always more!

What innovations do you know of? What is your organization doing in terms of sustainability? Tell us more about it. 

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