Montreal surprised and delighted the world when they announced the complete ban of plastic bags from 2018. Now, Mayor Denis Coderre made another surprising announcement last month that could change the scenario of plastic usage and waste management across the city. He spoke on the ban of plastic water bottles, labelling them as an ‘environmental nuisance’. In an email, the Mayor wrote, “More than 700 million of these single-use bottles end up in Quebec’s landfills every year. In Montreal, we are lucky to have excellent tap water, which is tested several times per day. We tend to forget that our water is of such good quality, that some companies even bottle it directly and then people find themselves paying for it.” This makes so much sense as it brings with it not only economical but also financial benefits.
Clean and green is the world that knows and respects the fruits of nature. On that philosophical note we applaud Bhutan because they created more value for the planet in a scenario that would be celebratory and polluting in most other corners of the world. The country may not look like much on the world map but the way they celebrated the birth of the heir to the monarchy’s throne showcases how big they are when it comes to ecological consciousness. To lead by example, Prime Minister Tshering Tobgay, some of his ministers and even leaders of the opposition party joined hands to plant 108,000 trees on the auspicious day. The Tendrel initiative was inspired by Buddhist values. Coordinator Tenzin Lekphell said, “In Buddhism, a tree is the provider and nourisher of all life forms, symbolizing longevity, health, beauty and even compassion.” If only the rest of the world shared this perspective.
Ever wondered what happens to all the chewing that’s chewed and thrown away? One thing’s for sure, it doesn’t all combine to be a giant ball of gum that swallows the planet. So what does it do? Not much, really. So, we have an English designer, Anna Bullus take things into her own hands and create the incredible Gumdrop Bin. Bullus spent eight months experimenting at the University of Brighton chemistry lab where she finally came out with a solution for the world’s mounting chewing gum problem. All the deposited gum is collected by Gumdrop LTD and processed to create Gum-Tec products. A single, full bin can create three more bins and Gum-Tec products such as an Americano Mug, Guitar Pick, Bicycle Spoke, Rulers, Sports Cones, Frisbee and Boomerang, Door Stop, Meal Mate, Lunch Boxes and Combs.
Genovation are known to breathe new life into the cars they touch. When they got hold of this 2006 Corvette Z06, they created the world’s fastest electric vehicle out of it. While the Tesla Model S P90D may have been an efficient 0-60 in 2.8 seconds machine, its top speed wasn’t a benchmark that was unbeatable as the batteries run dry over distances. That’s where Genovation checked in and created their very own Genovation eXtreme Electric or GXE. Believe it or not, this electric powered 10-year old car managed to reach a speed of 186.8 mph during tests! This takes the game to the rest of the EV market and even challenges the regular variants of the car.
If we are to believe those who let some exciting tidings slip into the rumor mills, there’s delight on the e-driving front. A very cryptic tweet could have opened up the possibilities of an even more efficient and faster Tesla S arriving soon. A tweet from a renowned and respected Tesla hacker arrived and was broken down by those with the curiosity to do so. Jason Hughes is famous from the early Model S days and decoded what looked like P100D in the rather curious looking text. Hughes found out about Tesla working on a 100 kWh, which is leagues beyond the 60 kWh model.
Imagine a world without polluting cars and you would immediately fantasize clean air blowing across city streets. But this dream is distant and one that begs a lot more action than words. Following in the footsteps of a few select cities that strongly promote cycling as an alternative to driving to work, Milan is working towards cleaning its smog-ridden air. Pierfrancesco Maran, the city’s councilor for mobility told The Guardian that he is willing to reimburse citizens who cycle their way to work rather than use a car. Something similar has transpired in France. Milan and Rome are the financial backbones of Italy, also making them the cities with maximum car usage.
The German city of Hamburg has made a move to stop the use and distribution of single-use coffee pods. In an endeavor by the city’s Department of Environment and Energy a special effort has been made to curb the amount of waste caused by this wasteful means of serving coffee. “These portion packs cause unnecessary resource consumption and waste generation, and often contain polluting aluminium,” said the department’s Jan Dube. “The capsules can’t be recycled easily because they are often made of a mixture of plastic and aluminum. It is 6 grams of coffee in 3 grams of packaging. We in Hamburg thought that these shouldn’t be bought with taxpayers’ money.” The alarming fact that the sale of single-use dispensers and serving pods going up has led to the extreme measure.
Trams are adorable. Truly. They move around crowded streets with all the solemnity one could expect from a 19th century mode of transport. French designer Ora ïto has revisited the classic tram and given it a complete facelift. This includes eliminating the need for overhead wiring to power the bogeys, instead, the coach is powered from the ground. In partnership with French railway company, Alstom, the trams will ply between the 7-mile east-west line that goes through Nice. This futuristic experience was voted up by denizens of the land, in January. To blend in with the 17th-century buildings such as the Place Massena and Villa Matisse, the trams will be colored a reddish ochre. The trains that will be used in this endeavor will be 44-meter Alstom Citadis X05 models with a capacity to accommodate 300 travelers in each.
Picture this, reading a book out there on the mountains, reclining against an ornate bench, with not a bother about the charge of your ebook reader running out. Before you compare the experience with reading an actual book, remember that we’re talking about reading book volumes in a single device. It’s all good and possible with the Cybook Ocean ebook reader from Bookeen that offers battery charging via the power of the sun. You can continue reading for days on end and not go hobbling for a charging point. The reader is equipped with invisible solar cells at the back of it, with dedicated solar modules that add to the overall reading time. All a reader would have to do is read while outside in the sun, braving some serious tan and sun-burns and voila, you have a fully charged device to read even more.
We were rather fascinated about the robot-operated farm from Japan when we heard about it. This is the world’s first such farm and aims to minimize the effort in cultivating basic crop. The idea has been put into practice and has a start date to it as well. Set up in Japan’s Kyoto, the farm aims to harvest 500,000 heads of lettuce a day. This will be the first such farm to leverage robots and create a large scale growth. Called ‘Spread’, this facility is based in Kameoka City within the Kyoto Prefecture. Human intervention is not completely cancelled though. Human planters will still sow the seeds but the rest of the farming operations will be handled by robots. The machines will handle transplanting, watering, harvesting and trimming.