A More Robust Solar Desalination Solution

ocean shore

You should drink more water. We all should drink more water, however in some places water wells are drying up and water is getting harder to get. Fortunately for us, we have a lot of ocean to drink from. Costal cities have increasingly looking towards desalination as a solution to their water problems.

Producing clean drinking water from the sea is an energy-intensive process which makes it expensive to run. Researches in Australia recently found a way to combine solar power with a new material to filter salt out of water in an incredibly efficient way.

Wang and his colleagues explain in the study that a sustainable energy source, like sunlight, would be especially useful for communities that may not have access to a reliable electric grid necessary for other methods of desalination.

“This study has successfully demonstrated that the photoresponsive [metal compounds] are a promising, energy-efficient, and sustainable adsorbent for desalination,” said Wang. “Our work provides an exciting new route for the design of functional materials for using solar energy to reduce the energy demand and improve the sustainability of water desalination.”

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Learning About Moral Philosophy Reduces Meat Consumption

cat

A taste of a postsecondary level moral philosophy class can turn you off of tasting meat. It’s been debated for thousands of years if learning moral philosophy actually changes how people live. Does knowing about the complexities of ethics actually make you more ethical? Short answer: yes. In a recent study a team of researchers and philosophers tested out if moral education about meat consumption would change their diet.

And it worked! Not only were students in the meat ethics sections likelier to say they thought eating factory-farmed meat is unethical, analysis of their dining cards — basically debit cards issued as part of UC Riverside’s meal plan that students can use to buy meals on campus — suggested that they bought less meat too. Fifty-two percent of dining card purchases for both the control and treatment groups were of meat products before the class. After the class, the treatment group’s percentage fell to 45 percent.

This effect wasn’t driven by a few students becoming vegetarians, but by all students buying slightly less meat. It’s possible this effect was temporary; the authors only had a few weeks of data. But it at least lasted for several weeks.

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Defund the Police, Fund These Roles Instead

Thankfully, calls to defund the police are being heard throughout North America where police have military equipment. Despite decades of “austerity” which witnessed governments defunding social services and programs that helped the disenfranchised we’re finally seeing the police budgets on the chopping block. Why is this good? Well, the police have been doing a terrible job and other governmental entities can handle what the police do better. Heck, in Toronto the police outright stopped traffic enforcement despite getting $1 billion a year.

It’s high time we defund the police and reallocate that money to better services.

3) Create a mobile crisis response unit

Oftentimes, a police officer’s role bleeds over from mediation into something that resembles social work, usually involving populations like those who are homeless, intoxicated, substance abusers, or suffering from mental illness.

The results can be disastrous. About half of prison inmates were diagnosed with a mental illness. Around a quarter of fatal encounters with law enforcement involve someone with a mental health condition (and those numbers are possibly severe undercounts). A massively disproportionate number of police calls and arrests in cities across the country involve homeless populations. In Portland, Oregon, the city’s homeless population made up 52 percent of the city’s arrests in 2017 even though they comprise less than 3 percent of Portland’s population.

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Collision: How we can Better Protect Endangered Species

Collision at home

Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, and Achim Steiner spoke today at Collision at Home about The Lion’s Share organization. The organization looks to protect endangered species by channeling some funding that large companies put into advertising into spending on protecting our environment. It’s basically putting in a voluntary tax earmarked for a specific cause. This is great to see and a model that other causes and organizations can follow. It’s so successful that the UN is joining forces with some of the biggest brands in the world to make sure humankind pays its debts.

The Lion’s Share Fund is a pioneering initiative that supports wildlife while elevating brands to resonate with audiences in a more meaningful way – thereby positively impacting the brand’s growth, trust, and profitability.

Advertisers win
They become more profitable and are perceived positively.

Humans win
We feel good by supporting a business for doing the right thing.

Animals win
Their lives and habitats are preserved, enabling them to thrive.

Check out The Lion’s Share.

lion share fund
I’m attending Collision at Home this week.

Collision: Replacing Plastics with Seaweed

Loliware presentation

At the last Collision Conference Loliware pitched their eco-conscious business and won. Today Sea Briganti provided an update on the company and the success they’ve had replacing plastic usage with seaweed. They have created an entire line of products which are carbon negative! The company continues to grow and we need more companies like this so our recover from COVID-19 includes a green economy built on making the planet better.

As the CEO of an interdisciplinary team of expert scientists, food technologists, and seaweed biologists,
Sea F. Briganti developed LOLIWARE Intelligent Seaweed Technologies (LIST) – a category of materials made from seaweed (a regenerative and carbon sequestering input) that outperform paper products & bioplastics.

We think about sustainability and impact throughout every aspect of LOLIWARE and our products.Why does our vision of a future free of plastic disposables matter?
Reducing our use of single-use plastics matters for both human health and planetary health. A dependence on plastic perpetuates a broken economic model built on the extraction of fossil fuels, which in turn accelerates the detrimental effects of climate change. Plastic disposables are particularly harmful contributors to climate change, and ultimately human health, as they require the ongoing extracting of petroleum to come to market, and then become one of the worst culprits of land and water pollution at the end of use.

Check it out.
I’m attending Collision at Home this week.

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