The waterless washing machine

Sustainability Problem

  • Water is a scarce resource in our planet that needs to be consumed efficiently.
  • Electricity from fossil fuels is one of the main greenhouse gas emissions sources that are causing climate change.
  • Toxic wastewater with detergent that is not treated pollutes watersheds.

The solution

  • The Xeros Machine is a washing machine that saves water, energy and detergent on every load.
  • It works with a polymer bead washing system that only uses a small amount of water.
  • Beads absorb stains and reduce the need of large amounts of detergent.
  • The small amounts of water and detergent used produce less effluent.

Stakeholders

  • Xeros
  • Investors
  • Household clients
  • Laundry companies

Deployment

  • The waterless washing machine was designed and manufactured by Xeros, a company that is specialized in innovative products for the laundry industry.

Source

http://www.xeroscleaning.com/the-xeros-machine

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A recycling machine that turns office paper into fresh toilet paper

The problem:

Due to the huge use of paper sheets in offices, these account for a high proportion of their solid waste and contribute to deforestation. Although recycling bins are common, it is sometimes hard to find out where all that trash ends up and if it is even recycled.

The technology

To solve that problem, in Japan they have invented the White Goat, an on-site machine that turns office paper into fresh toilet paper. All you need to do is put in 40 A4 sheets to produce one roll of toilet paper. The machine has a shredder that tears the paper into little pieces, which are then dissolved in water in a pulper. After that, the pulp is thinned out, dried and rolled up to produce the toilet paper roll. It takes just 30 minutes and its operating costs are calculated at 11 cents (US$) per roll. The use of this recycling machine can save an average of 60 trees per year.

Stakeholders

  • All organizations that have offices
  • Employees
  • Oriental

Deployment

Oriental is the company that designed and manufactures the White Goat. They presented it in EcoProducts 2009.

Source: http://www.coolthings.com/white-goat-recycles-used-office-paper-into-fresh-toilet-paper/

Hand Tree: Personal air purifier

The problem

Global greenhouse gas emissions are leading the world to a temperature increase between 2ºC and 4ºC, which could cause an environmental collapse in our planet. Moreover, the air is being polluted by toxic emissions from cities and industries.

The technology

The Hand Tree is a wristband that offsets your carbon footprint. It purifies the air around you, turning CO2 equivalents, other pollutants and even dust into oxygen. In other words, this bracelet works like a plant in your arm.

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The stakeholders

  • User
  • Environmentalists
  • Investors
  • Retailers

Deployment

The Hand Tree was designed by Alexandr Kostin for the Electrolux Design Lab competition, were students were challenged to create a technology to address the issue of global pollution.

Source: http://on.mash.to/29MF5Mz

BaySeparator: Stormwater Treatment

The problem

Storm water is one of the main causes of pollution in cities. All the water runoff that is produced accumulates waste and pollutants throughout the city and is finally poured into rivers and water bodies, affecting environments and natural resources that people depend on.

The technology

The BaySeparator is a water treatment system that treats runoff throughout entire storms, no matter their intensity and duration.

In the following link it is explained how it works with different storm intensities:

http://www.baysaver.com/flash/demo_separator.html

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The stakeholders

  • Municipalities
  • City governments
  • Water treatment institutions
  • Citizens

Deployment

BaySaver Techonogies Inc. is a company that designs and manufactures stormwater treatment products. They created the BaySeparator in order to improve older systems that treated only the first flush of runoff. The idea was to create a new technology able to treat the stormwater throughout the entire storm.

Source: http://www.baysaver.com/#

Electricity generating gyms

The problem

Non-renewable energy is one of the main causes of climate change and is still the main source for electricity production in the world by far. In the U.S., energy consumption in buildings accounts for almost 50% of the country’s greenhouse gas emissions, while Industry accounts for 24.4% and transportation 28.1%. Thus, low energy efficiency in buildings is one of the biggest sustainability issues around the world and must be addressed in order to reduce the carbon footprint.

The technology

In order to improve its energy efficiency and address the increasing costs of electricity, a fitness center in Bristol, UK, installed an innovative equipment that harness the workout of the clients to produce clean energy. Cadbury House Club became one of the first gyms to convert their user’s energy into electricity and channell it into the facility’s power supply.

The stakeholders

  • Gym shareholders
  • Gym customers
  • Citizens that care about the environment

Deployment

  • Cadbury House Club needed to address the increasing costs of electricity
  • To avoid extra charges to customers, Jason Eaton, general manager, decided to invest in ARTIS Technogym machines, the electricity generating equipment for fitness centers.
  • A normal workout on each machine can generate between 50 and 100 watts, which means 1kWh of energy per day per machine.

Source: https://www.forumforthefuture.org/greenfutures/articles/uk-gym-converts-workout-energy-building-power

The Seabin: a new ocean cleaning techology

The problem

The oceans are seriously polluted. 80% of the human waste that ends up floating in the ocean are plastics that are causing a huge damage on the ecosystem and thus, affecting one of the most important food sources of our planet. According to plasticbank.org, 46,000 pieces of plastic are floating in each square mile on the sea, which kill 100,000 sharks, turtles, dolphins and whales that ingest them every year.

The technology

The Seabin is an automated rubbish bin that absorbs floating plastic, oil, fuel, detergents and other kinds of waste form the surface of the ocean. It is designed for floating docks, marinas, private pontoons, residential lakes, harbors, water ways, ports and yatch clubs.

Here’s how it works:

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The stakeholders

  • Poeple that own, frequent or live in marinas, private pontoons, residential lakes, harbours, water ways, ports and yatch clubs.
  • Poralu Marine – Manufacturer and distributor of the product

Deployment

  • Pete Ceflinski was a product designer that realized the consequences of his job and quitted
  • He started the project with his surf mate Andrew Turton to clean up the floating waste for the ocean.
  • They designed the Seabin, which catches everything that floatates in the water
  • Pete and Andrew signed a partnership with Poralu Marine, an industrial global leader of aluminium facilities, which will start developing, manufacturing and distributing Seabins by the end of 2016.

Source: The Seabin Project: www.seabinproject.com

A billboard that creates water out of thin air

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Sustainability Problem

Lima, Peru, is the second largest city in the world that is located in a desert after Cairo, which makes its inhabitants vulnerable to the scarcity of water. This issue affects specially the population that lives in the poorer outskirts of the city, who often depend on wells as the main source of this element. The main water sources of the city are three rivers that during the winter (dry season in the Andes) depend on glaciers as their main source. However, according to a study in the journal The Cryosphere, Andean glaciers have shrunk between 30% and 50% since the 70’s, which threatens the availability of fresh water in the future.

The solution: A billboard that creates drinking water out of thin air

The University of Engineering and Technology of Peru (UTEC) built a billboard that captures air humidity and produces potable water in Bujama, a district located in the outskirts of Lima that gets less than two inches of rain a year. However, this place has an atmospheric humidity of 98%, according to UTEC. This technology consists in a system that uses a water purifying process called reverse osmosis to produce water out of the humidity and stores it in 20 liter tanks. Finally, the potable drinking water is dispensed at the bottom of the billboard.

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Stakeholders

  • The population of the Bujama district, located in the south of Lima, Peru.
  • The target audience of UTEC: potential new undergraduate students of engineering programs of UTEC.

Implementation 

UTEC wanted to attract potential engineering applicants by demonstrating an innovative solution to a sustainability problem through technology. The university identified the problem of water scarcity and determined the ideal place to locate the billboard that would solve that issue while announcing application deadlines: right next to the Panamerican Highway, south of Lima.

Source