We collected the most unusual solutions for the benefit of the environment from around the world. Let’s check this compilation, thankfully to the “Rubryka”.
What is the problem?
Climate change is a global problem. Forest fires, powerful hurricanes, swarms of earthquakes, droughts, abnormal floods and frosts – what other cataclysms must occur for humanity to finally begin to take this seriously?
BioScience magazine has released a new climate report, which found that the last five years – the hottest period in human history. In 2019 alone, global warming has killed 356,000 people, and the other day in Canada, asthma caused by climate change was diagnosed for the first time. Climate change is affecting our daily lives.
Undoubtedly, the climate crisis is directly related to the development of technology. Scientists predict that in just 500 years, humanity may cease to exist and the Earth will become uninhabitable. And while world leaders are communicating at the Glasgow Climate Summit, interesting solutions to save our planet are already being implemented around the world.
In the struggle for the future of our planet, all means are suitable. We have collected 18 original solutions for you (and one bonus – we could not ignore it). Some of them are very unexpected.
Superglue as a superweapon in the struggle for climate
In London, environmental activists are gluing themselves to the asphalt with superglue to draw attention to the fight against climate change. They believe that the government is not doing enough – and are trying to block traffic in the city. Police have recently detained 300 “green” protesters. It is not easy for law enforcement officers to tear off members of the Insulate Britain movement, it takes a lot of time. Recently, environmental activists blocked traffic on one of the busiest routes near Heathrow Airport. So far, the only reaction of the authorities has been the ban on such actions by the court, because the city is creating terrible “traffic jams”.
Contraceptives for rodents
However, the complete inaction of UK officials cannot be blamed either. They intend to artificially limit the amount of gray proteins that harm trees with oral contraceptives.
Gray squirrels were brought to Britain from North America in the late 19th century. Now their population is almost 3 million individuals, they have virtually supplanted the local red squirrels, which left only 140 thousand. Invasive rodents have a special love for the bark of young trees. The loss from the gastronomic passions of these seemingly nice newcomers is about 2 billion pounds a year.
Gray protein is called no less than an obstacle to solving the climate crisis. The plan for forced contraception, which is presented as a humane alternative to destruction, was approved by Prince Charles himself. Contraceptives mixed with hazelnut paste will be periodically decomposed into special feeders, available only for this species. Experts expect to reduce the population of gray proteins by 90%.
Modular greenhouses in supermarkets
In Germany, there will be a supermarket with an aquaponic system and a modular greenhouse – it will grow certain products on site and thus reduce emissions from production and transportation.
This is a joint project of the REWE supermarket chain and the architectural firm Acme – the store is created as a prototype, which will then be implemented across the country. The first store in Wiesbaden will produce about 10 tons of fresh fish and 800,000 pots of basil. Basil will help filter the water used in fish farming, and fish products will be used as fertilizer for basil.
Hotel, friendly to nature
You can also travel environmentally. In the Danish city of Rennie, a new building of the Green Solution House Hotel was built, which should have a positive impact on the climate. The wood materials from which the building is built not only have a neutral CO2 emission – they will absorb greenhouse gases.
The building is made of sawdust and scraps from other industries (no felled trees!), Which after the end of service life can be reworked. The premises were decorated with fragments from local quarries.
Put on masks!
The main culprits of the greenhouse effect are carbon dioxide and water vapor. Methane is only third on the list. However, its impact on the atmosphere is very significant – methane is more harmful to the environment than carbon dioxide, about 20-25 times.
The main “supplier” of methane is cattle. Thus, the most ordinary cow “produces” and emits 400-500 liters of methane per day, about 95% of methane cows emit in the form of belching and through the nose.
So now the United States will wear masks on cows to save the environment. The American food company Cargill will start selling methane-absorbing devices for cows in the form of masks that will help reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The device was developed by British startup Zelp. According to the developers, it can halve methane emissions.
Size devices will work over the mouths of cows, they will operate on the principle of a catalytic converter in cars. The device has a filter that absorbs methane. When the filter is saturated, as a result of a chemical reaction, methane is converted to CO2, which is then released into the atmosphere.
The price of the product has not yet been determined. Zelp says the annual fee can be about $80 per cow.
Toilets for cows
And in order to reduce the amount of toxic livestock waste, cows will be accustomed to the pot. Cattle are a source of not only methane and nitrous oxide, which are a side effect of digestion, but also a huge amount of nitrates that get into the soil with urine. Scientists have proposed to train calves in a special place where urine will be collected and removed from the units.
The experimenters reacted to the idea with great enthusiasm, the calves show a high ability to learn and this will help prevent soil contamination with toxins.
These emissions do not directly affect global warming, but entering the soil, ammonia is converted into nitric oxide – the third most common greenhouse gas. In their experiment, called MooLoo, experts began to reward the food of those calves who urinated in the toilet. Then they were allowed to approach the trays when necessary. In order to associate urination outside the tray with negative sensations, the scientists tried to play unpleasant music to the calves through in-ear headphones – but they did not respond to such stimulation. A second “shower” from sprinklers got the proper effect.
Volcanic energy mining farms
The impact of mining on the environment is increasingly becoming part of the global environmental order. Bank Of America conducted a study, finding that 60 million tons of carbon dioxide are released into the atmosphere each year during bitcoin transactions – as much as the whole of Greece emits. And the world’s electricity costs for mining are greater than Finland’s annual electricity consumption.
In El Salvador, they decided to have cryptocurrency on the electricity of volcanoes. This was announced on Twitter by President Naibik Bukele. It took only four months from the idea to the realization of the idea – a unique mining farm at the foot of the volcano has already started working. The President boasted of extracting 0.00599179 bitcoins (about $269).
The mining equipment was connected to a power plant that uses the heat of the volcano to generate energy. Energy for the power plant comes from a new geothermal well with a capacity of 95 MW. The vapors released do not leave precipitation and dissolve naturally in the air. This method of energy production today is considered the cheapest and cleanest.
Mining with… cows? Yes, we are talking about cows again
There are no volcanoes in the UK, where local farmer Philip Hughes produces cryptocurrency using manure energy. To convert cow dung into electricity, the man installed anaerobic digesters – plants in which methane released during waste decomposition is burned and transformed into electricity. One third of the energy obtained is used to power mining facilities in which the farmer produces Ethereum. The rest is used for the needs of the farm itself.
In addition, Hughes leases its facilities. Tenant Josh Riddett, who set up a cryptocurrency firm in such small renewable farms, says he has successfully installed such equipment at 42 sites.
Mammoths for Siberia
The scientists, led by genetics professor George Church of Harvard Medical School, have teamed up with Colossal, a company that will genetically regenerate the woolly mammoth. The project will cost $ 15 million. Researchers expect to create a hybrid of mammoth and Asian elephant, in the existing DNA of which will be added mammoth genes responsible for the formation of subcutaneous fat and wool in animals. The result should be a cold-resistant elephant that will look and behave like a mammoth.
Populations of extinct mammals are planned to settle in Eastern Siberia in the near future. In addition to purely scientific interest, the initiator of the project promotes the idea of restoring the ecological balance with the help of mammoths. Due to global warming, the temperature rises in the tundra of Siberia and North America, which leads to the accelerated release of large amounts of carbon dioxide. In the current tundra, only moss grows, but in the time of mammoths there were real meadows, and among biologists it is believed that mammoths were a kind of guardian of this ecosystem, they supported the meadows, breaking moss, breaking trees and leaving abundant manure that fertilizes the soil.
According to the professor, mammoths could restore meadows in the tundra, protect the soil from erosion and ultimately promote carbon dioxide. Today, almost a million species of plants and animals on our planet are threatened with extinction. And if the Colossal project is successful, it will pave the way for “genetic salvation.”
Stones from the atmosphere
The Icelandic startup offers another way to neutralize carbon. Carbix claims that it can be turned into a stone! The inventors have created a technology that allows you to capture CO2 directly from the pipes of factories before the gas enters the atmosphere, or remove it from the air. After capture, CO2 is dissolved in water and sent to the ground. There, the liquid reacts with calcium, magnesium and iron, and after about 2 years turns into stones – carbonates that fill voids in underground rocks. These stones can be stored in rocks forever. And it’s cheap, easy and environmentally friendly.
In Wales locals “freeze” road construction to improve the environmental situation.
The government has declared an “environmental emergency” and road construction projects will be reviewed soon to delay its onset. Instead, they intend to build bike lanes to reduce the number of cars running on diesel and gasoline, which account for 17% of total air pollution. Thus, Wales intends to achieve full carbon neutrality by 2050.
€100 for a moderate choice
The Italian University of Pavia promises to pay its students €100 if they refuse flights. We are talking about trips for academic exchange to other European universities. When traveling, students must choose a more environmentally friendly transport: bus or train. Not only Italian citizens but also foreigners will be able to receive €100. All you need to do is apply.
Thus, the University of Pavia supports Europe in its attempts to find an alternative to air travel. Airplanes are the dirtiest mode of transport, emitting 160 grams of CO2 per kilometer. Trains, on the other hand, are considered the most environmentally friendly way to travel – they leave only 33 grams of carbon dioxide per kilometer.
Refusal of meat is a modern trend
Only vegetarian food will be served on Mondays in Berlin’s student canteens. On other days, the menu is as follows: 68% – vegan, 28% – vegetarian, 2% – fish, and 2% – meat. Studierendenwerk Berlin deals with the nutrition of Berlin students. They are introducing a new menu from the winter semester of 2021 and explain this by the fact that students are concerned about the carbon footprint of food production of animal origin and ask themselves to make food more environmentally friendly.
And this is true. In 2019, 14,000 Berlin students were interviewed on this topic. Of these, 13.5% said they were vegans and 33% said they were vegetarians. That is, almost half of students do not eat meat. But given the current trend towards environmental friendliness around, the percentage of “refusals” among young people from meat in two years could grow significantly. After all, today vegetarianism is driven not only by love for animals, but also by the threat of global warming.
Beer of the apocalypse
In order to spread the message about the risks of climate change to the general public, American brewers have released beer with a taste of the future of the planet from the worst nightmares.
The famous New Belgium Brewing has created a frothy drink that consumers are unlikely to be delighted with. Ale is called Torched Earth. According to the creators, it should mimic the taste of post-apocalyptic beers. The novelty is made from meager ingredients that will be available to brewers if we cannot prevent climate change. These are muddy water, dandelions and drought-resistant grains.
The company thus claims the effects of global warming on agriculture and how it strongly affects beer ingredients such as hops and malt. In addition, the brewery presented its own plan to achieve zero carbon emissions by 2030. To help other manufacturers follow suit, New Belgium offers a digital plan to anyone on its website.
Bioengineers from the United States have created plants that can glow. They embedded strontium aluminate nanoparticles in the leaves, which accumulate and emit light. The experiment showed that after 10 seconds of exposure to sunlight, plants can glow for an hour. They can be charged continuously for two weeks. Moreover, this process does not disrupt the natural functions of plants, such as photosynthesis and water evaporation. Specialists in nanobionics have made watercress, tobacco and basil glow. The next step is to make the “Thai elephant ear” glow, the leaves of this plant reach 40 cm in width.
Scientists say that soon the night lights can be replaced by environmentally friendly lighting from plants.
Enough to “heat the street”
Last winter was the last when the French will be able to sit on the heated terrace near a cafe or restaurant. From the spring of 2021, the use of street heaters in public catering outlets is banned throughout France. There are more than 12 thousand such terraces in the country. In particular, in Paris, 75% of institutions are equipped with them.
In some regions, heaters were abandoned even earlier, but in most cities the initiative was not supported at once: too strong a blow to small business. Now this decision is enshrined in law. In order to reduce unjustified energy consumption, owners of public places will also be required to improve the insulation of the premises and keep the doors closed so as not to “cool / heat the street”.
The ban is part of a set of measures previously developed by the Civil Convention on Climate Change. Its participants, selected from the public last year, also proposed a large-scale transition to cleaner domestic heating systems (excluding coal and oil) and the creation of new nature parks and reserves.
The American agency Zubi and the animal rights organization Cleo Foundation have created an external campaign from wax. The three installations created as part of the campaign melted in five days under the hot Florida sun. In place of the melted sculptures of animals, there was a report of the danger of rising temperatures on Earth. The figures were made by artist and director Bob Partington. They are part of a campaign to combat the climate crisis in Florida. The campaign was organized by the non-profit organization The CLEO Institute, which is engaged in educational projects in the field of climatology.
Let’s cheer ecologically
In September 2021, football clubs Tottenham and Chelsea held the world’s first football match with zero CO2 emissions. Tottenham Hotspur, the “greenest” football club in the English Premier League, has invested heavily in transport infrastructure: four railway stations have been opened near the stadium, free buses have been launched, so that fans do not travel by car. Those who got on bicycles were offered special parking spaces.
The stadium offered plant-based food made from local and organic products. Both teams arrived on biofuel buses, and the players quenched their thirst with cardboard, not plastic, water packs. It is worth mentioning that the home stadium “Tottenham Hotspur” runs on renewable energy sources, and the players’ uniform is made of recycled PET bottles.
Bonus solution. Don’t be pigs!
An international team led by researchers from the University of Queensland and the University of Canterbury has identified other culprits of global warming from the animal world. Wild pigs have joined the mad squirrels and breathing cows! It turns out that they, like small tractors, plow the earth around the world – while carbon is released into the atmosphere (and it is three times more in the soil than in the air!). It is estimated that carbon emissions from pig farming are equivalent to emissions from 1.1 million cars. Researchers believe that the ever-growing population of wild boars on the globe could pose a serious threat to the climate.
Nicholas Patton, Ph.D., of the University of Canterbury, said: “Invasive species are a human problem, so we need to recognize and take on their environmental consequences. If invasive pigs are allowed to enter areas with high soil carbon, more may occur in the future. greater risk of greenhouse gas emissions “.
Undoubtedly, this statement is noteworthy, but let’s be honest – to shift responsibility for the destruction of the Earth to our younger brothers is not the best idea. First of all, people should stop behaving like pigs.
NFT will help the UN to fight global warming. The organization will promote eco-approaches together with digital artists using the Digitalart4climate platform. You may get to know more here.