🍻 Drones and Beers


Hui 👋 Did you know? A new study suggests that dogs can distinguish between humans' intentional and unintentional actions, reflecting that the bond between dogs and humans is even deeper than we previously thought.

📈 Uplifting Trends and Facts

  • For their next World Tour, music band Coldplay will harness their fans' energy to make their concerts more sustainable. Indeed, the band will capture the energy of dancing fans through kinetic flooring.
  • New Zealand passed a law that makes banks, insurers, and investment companies disclose the impacts of climate change on their business. The goal is for them to "become more sustainable by factoring the short, medium, and long-term effects of climate change into their business decisions." New Zealand is the first country to pass such legislation.
  • New evidence shows Vikings arrived in North America precisely 1000 years ago, in 1021. Although we already knew that the Norse reached America way before Columbus, it's the first time we pinpoint their exact arrival date in Newfoundland.
  • In the UK, investments in impact ventures (early-stage startups with a social mission) climbed by 41% in 2020. These impact ventures have been particularly resilient to the crisis, especially those working in the tech sector.
  • South Korea officially committed to reducing carbon emissions by 40% by the end of the decade. This necessary target is quite ambitious as the country is currently one of the world’s most fossil-fuel reliant economies, with coal accounting for more than 44% of the country’s electricity.

🌳 The Drones That Plant Trees

DroneSeed developed a drone-based technology to reforest lands after wildfires efficiently.

The drones pack everything new trees need to thrive: seeds, nutrients, and natural pest deterrent. Also, the company uses laser mapping technology to determine where the seeds have the highest chance of survival to optimize the process.

DroneSeed can reforest up to 50 acres per day with five drones and four employees. In contrast, traditional reforestation methods that plant nursery-grown trees by hand can only cover 2 acres per day and cost up to 50% more.

Why does it matter? The severity and frequency of recent wildfires threaten Nature’s capacity to reforest. Without intervention, most of these forests could disappear in the following decades, with dramatic repercussions on biodiversity, air quality and global warming.

What can we do?

  • The easiest way to prevent fire from spreading is never to leave a campfire or fire pit unattended. Also, we should make sure to extinguish it completely before leaving.
  • Under certain conditions, even a small campfire can turn into a significant fire. Therefore, it’s preferable to alert the authorities immediately whenever we spot an unattended fire — even a small one.

DroneSeed has aggregated decades' worth of experience to develop tools that give us a fighting chance against climate change's effects on our forests.

🍻 The Pub That Trades Beers For E-waste

In London, the Trade-Inn pub lets you pay for your food and beverages with electronic waste.

This pub accepts almost 14,000 electronic devices—including old iPhones—that they repair and resell afterwards or recycle if too damaged.

Spring, the company behind this project, is a new tech recirculation service that opens pods throughout England where people can drop their old tech in exchange for actual money.

So far, Spring has resold or recycled around 13,000 devices, saving almost 1,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions and diverting more than 2 tonnes of e-waste from landfills. Moreover, the company is currently working on opening a shop that sells refurbished items only.

Why does it matter? Each year, the UK produces 1.6 million tonnes of electronic waste and is forecast to be Europe’s biggest producer by 2024. Today, much of this waste ends up in a landfill or incinerated, affecting the environment considerably.

What can we do?

  • An average adult owns around 20 unused electronic devices. Putting them back in circulation would reduce the demand for new devices and the related environmental impact. Also, sorting and reselling our old tech can be highly beneficial for our bank account.
  • Although our old laptop might no longer be enough for us, many schools, libraries, or charities might give it a new purpose. The best way to donate a computer is to reach out to a third-party organization, such as Digitunity or the World Computer Exchange.
  • Finally, cloud storage (Google Drive, Dropbox, etc.) lets us reduce our reliance on hard drives and USB sticks to store our data, limiting the amount of e-waste we generate.

Beyond the genius marketing stunt, the Trade-Inn pub raises awareness about electronic waste and provides an easy way to give our old devices a new life.

🎯 Guild’s Pick

Scientists and engineers at The University of Texas at Austin have created a hydrogel tablet to purify contaminated water rapidly.

One tablet can clean a litre of water and make it drinkable in less than an hour. The hydrogel generates hydrogen peroxide to neutralize more than 99.999% of bacteria by attacking their essential cell components and disrupting their metabolism.

Moreover, the researchers say that scaling production would be straightforward. Indeed, materials are cheap, and the synthesis process is simple, even at scale. Also, they can control the tablets’ shape and size to adapt them to different use cases.

Why does it matter? Almost a third of the world does not have clean drinking water, and half of the population could experience extreme water scarcity by 2025. The existing purification processes rely on boiling water, which requires a lot of energy and time, and is not practical for the people who lack clean water the most.

Finding a solution to the water crisis could save millions of people. In this context, these hydrogel tablets can make a massive difference as they are easy to use, highly efficient and scalable to mass production.

🌎 Meanwhile, Worldwide...

🚘 Swedish automobile manufacturer Volvo wants all of its vehicles to be leather-free by 2030. In a recent press release, the company announced a series of sustainability-related initiatives to become a fully circular business by 2040.

🦊 The California Department of Transportation will build a wildlife crossing in the Agoura Hills, over Highway 101. Today, this busy eight-lane highway prevents many animals from travelling freely between the two mountainous areas, limiting genetic diversity and leading some species to extinction.

👕 Ralph Lauren brought together innovators to develop a way to colour cotton using 90% fewer chemicals, 50% less water, 50% less dye and 40% less energy than traditional methods. This month, the companies released an open-source manual detailing how to achieve the same result with already existing dyeing equipment.

🧊 The WWF and British Antarctic Survey seek help from the public to monitor the number of walrus in the Arctic using satellite images. The Walrus From Space project aims to paint a clear picture of the walrus population without disturbing the animals.

🐚 Researchers from McGill University developed a new type of glass, inspired by the inner layer of mollusc shells, five times more resistant than traditional glass. They hope manufacturers will use this new material to replace cell phone glass and other electronics components.

😊 Wholesomeness

That’s a wrap. If you enjoyed this newsletter, please share this post to spread positivity among your friends. For any feedback, reach out and drop a comment here or on LinkedIn :-)

Have an amazing week ahead 💗