Energizing a Continent

Off-grid provides lighting for families using a subscription service.
Off-grid provides lighting for families through a solar panel subscription service.

In my last post I mentioned non-profit and for-profit business ventures around the world with a mission to improve society and the environment. It would be naïve to say that the driving force in business is to benefit others. So what is driving entrepreneurs to Africa? An article recently featured in The New Yorker called “The Race to Solar-Power Africa” says it all. Continue reading “Energizing a Continent”

Echoing Green

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Abubaker Musuuza is the founder of: Village Energy Limited.

Echoing Green is a non-profit organization that provides support to entrepreneurs with solutions to social issues worldwide. Once an entrepreneur presents their idea, they are granted 90 thousand dollars to start their business. Financial advisers and other professionals support each business as they take off with their innovations. I chose to cover three such innovations and their creators on the blog today because I find non-profits essential to humanity. Sometimes it gets discouraging to think about how much financial support is needed to start a business. With Echoing Green, those issues are taken care of and inventors are allowed to do what they do best. They are free to create.

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Product Life

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Repurposed skateboard idea from boredpanda.com

When trends die, where do they go? You may be surprised to find that junk can go in more places than just the trash. In fact, there are five possibilities:

  1. Landfill
  2. Combustion – incineration is a popular method used in regions such as Japan but not the U.S.
  3. Recycle – recycling companies melt down certain materials so they can become new products
  4. Reuse – for example, rinsing out your starbucks cup and using it again instead of throwing it out
  5. Re-purpose – for instance, turning a broken sled into a new shelf

Continue reading “Product Life”

Holy Cow

'She had high standards. Everything she did was well done.'

Dear fellow tree huggers, bloggers, and socialites: Follow me on twitter @definearth if you would like to participate in a weekly eco-challenge! For my sustainability class we are being given weekly challenges to change our perspective on personal impact and to encourage discussion surrounding the environment. This week was #nomeatweek and it was a little challenging for me, but I have had some really good meals. Continue reading “Holy Cow”

Guilty Confessions

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Microbeads are banned in some states.

Environmentalists like to act high and mighty sometimes, like earth goddesses destined to restore the ecosystem and punish those who harm it. Labor Day Weekend I was feeling determined. I ran two miles to watch Suicide Squad at the theater, and ran back. How environmentally conscious, right? I know I seem perfect, but I have some confessions to make. Continue reading “Guilty Confessions”

You Can’t

I’ve shared plenty of sweet remembrance on this blog and my memoir “All I See Is Green”. The truth is my journey to getting my degree has been bittersweet. With just a few semesters left I am reminded of student debt, the need for employment, and many other crucial life choices I need to make.  It’s a feeling reminiscent of high school graduation. You can choose to graduate or continue. You can choose to move out or stay home, get married or adventure, just like Game of Life. This post goes out to everyone faced with those decisions right now.

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Continue reading “You Can’t”

On Water

The following was my submission to Kelly Engineering Services for an annual scholarship. Although I was not the winner, my essay had a strong message. I titled it: “On Water: The Social Complexities of a Simple Molecule”

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Water surrounds us; it is in our showers and baths, it washes our hands, cooks our appetizers and entrée. With it, we continue living like nothing ever happened. Without it, the most basic forms of life could not exist. Although water encapsulates seventy percent of our planet, there are people struggling to find it. I believe that engineers have a responsibility to protect humanity; to share knowledge of technological advances with the world, and correct their mistakes in social and political aspects. As of late, issues such as the Flint water crisis and Porter Ranch methane leak reflect engineering at its worst in the US. However, I still hold true that engineers are capable of so much more.

Continue reading “On Water”