The Most Environmentally Friendly Water Filter Jug Smashes Fundraising Goals

The worlds most sustainable, environmentally friendly water filter jug
The worlds most environmentally friendly water filter jug, with refillable, reusable filter
Phox V2

We don’t use plastic water bottles anymore, even though they house purified, clean mineral water that is so highly sought after. Its not worth it. Tens of billions of them end up in landfills each year, breaking down into micro-plastics and making their way into our oceans. From their they enter our food chain and actually end up inside of our own bodies. Our taps (usually) offer clean drinking water, but often contains chlorine and other contaminant chemicals creating ‘hard’ water. We want alkaline and fresh mineral water in a sustainable way, and to get it we have to turn to filters. The most effective ones available today are both affordable and effective. They are however not the most sustainable and environmentally friendly products you can find.

The current leader in the water filter jug category is Brita which offers a noticeably different taste in your tap water after it flows through its filters and into their plastic jug. You can pick it up on Amazon now for under $30.

What is lacking in the industry is sustainability. More than 100 million cartridges entering a landfill each year (enough to fill 50 jumbo jets), so there’s a huge marketplace for a 100% reusable alternative to go with a jug made from recycled BPA plastic and locally sourced glass. This is why the new Phox V2 is such as hit, reaching their fundraising goals in under 2 days.

The most environmentally friendly water filter jug

The worlds most environmentally friendly water filter is getting an upgrade with the new design after the UK based startup Phox smashed their kickstarter goal by more than 3X.

diagram of a Phox v2 water filter jug
carbon black Phox v2 water filter

There are two different refillable filter packages for the fully reusable cartridge. The first provides the option for clean filtered water, and the second a mineral fueled for an alkaline pH.

two types of Phox refillable cartridge packs

How does a water filter work?

This eco friendly filter contains 5 separate layers. One layer removes the hardness in water, one adds minerals while 3 layers are dedicated to removing contaminants. One gram of carbon has the surface area of 4 tennis courts, so a single coconut shell activated carbon filter found in Phox V2 can absolve mercury, heavy metals and pesticides. 

demonstrating how to change water filter jug refillable cartridge

In fact, 99% of odor/taste, 98% of chlorine, 95% of mercury and 90% of copper and lead are absorbed. Added ION exchange resin is included to add sodium, potassium, magnesium, and calcium are added at the end of the filtration process to soften the water while retaining maximum hydration effectiveness, unlike most filters that remove electrolytes. The end result is clean and mineral packed.

chart of heavy metals and contaminants that water filter jug removes

Still available to support on IndieGoGo, the seemingly best deal for backers in to pledge the 109 Euros+ that includes a lifetime refill subscription. These refills are the best part of the entire innovation as they were designed to fit in letterboxes that actually come straight through the mail with ease, in addition to the environmental benefits. Most products on the market have trouble getting their cartridges delivered with regular mail. The Phox packets definitely do not.

A beautiful design is accompanied by two color options, carbon black or seal grey. If the company reaches 50k in funding an arctic white option will become available, and at 100k a marine blue alternative. The additional 50-100k may be better spent going entirely towards creating an even more sustainable V3 product or efficient manufacturing/shipping pipeline, but they do look stunning as far as jugs go. 

If you’re looking for just any water filter, you can find the alternatives like Brita or ZeroWater on Amazon and have them delivered to your door. You can order dozens of cartridges each year that will fill ultimately end up in trash cans. We suggest though, you support the most sustainable and environmentally friendly water filter jug that does more for your water, more for the planet, and more for you! Join the Millennial Online Community for our free newsletter offering weekly updates on sustainable brands, ethical products and cleantech that is making the world a better place.

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A Reusable, Sustainable Lunch Box to Replace Takeout Containers

showing impacts of using a sustainable lunchbox instead of a single use takeout container
PACKD Lunch

The next time you’re in the office during lunch hour, walking through a local market or out in a public park, take look at the people eating around you. The food many people choose to snack on seems more often than not to be held in some sort of single use takeout container. This wasteful packaging is commonly made from either aluminum, polypropylene or extruded polystyrene. These are all a major contributor to ocean pollution and global warming. Combined with single use cutlery, lunchtime meals have become a leading producer of plastic particles floating in our oceans, now outnumbering fish. The production of aluminum containers causes more harm to the depletion of the ozone layer and has the highest human toxicity of the three. Polypropylene makes the worst impact on our environment, and extruded polystyrene is not recycled. We’ve come across a Kickstarter project titled PACKD Lunch that is not only a solution, but THE solution. A revolutionary reusable and sustainable lunch box for takeaway food designed to eliminate the waste from the tens of millions of single use takeaway lunches consumed each day and billions annually.

gif showing how sustainable reusable PACKD Lunch box works
GIF showing how chefs & shop owners use a reusable sustainable PACKD Lunch box
GIF // PACKD Lunch

Bettina Garnier, an innovation & strategy consultant, along with designer/architect Laura Burley,  founded this London based cleantech startup. Their estimates are that 5 million takeaway lunches are purchased daily in the United Kingdom alone. A 2018 study published in the Journal of Cleaner Production highlights that more than 1.8 billion aluminum containers (12,680 tonnes) are used each year in the UK. Nearly 8 billion extruded polystyrene containers (58,500 tonnes) are used in the USA. The global takeout/delivery industry is expected to rise above $102 billion in 2020. 

Tremendous support from both shop owners and consumers

To combat the climate crisis Bettina and Laura set up a pilot program with 75 employees from 10 local London businesses. Using their prototype containers, participants visited a popular lunch time market to gather reactions from both consumers and vendors. Designed for chefs and shop owners to use, acceptance has proved simple. One vendor is quoted as saying “this is important for all takeaway food businesses.”

An unsurprising amount of positive feedback has been received and 96% of customers signified an intention to continue using the product post pilot program. A large part of that acceptance has to do with the fact that one reusable, sustainable PACKD Lunch box can replace 250 single use boxes.

An incredible, sustainably designed sustainable lunch box

Using shatter-proof glass made from recycled drink bottles collected in Japan and metal reusable cutlery PACKD Lunch created a truly sustainable product. The insulated lunch box is leak proof, microwaveable safe and elegantly designed to hold either your homemade lunch or a takeaway meal.

reusable sustainable lunch box invention that replaces single use takeout
https://packd-lunch.com

How to support the oceans and environment through PACKD Lunch

The Ocean Cleanup is currently doing damage control with a system designed to remove trillions of plastic particles from our oceans, but the effort will prove useless without a fundamental change in our daily behaviors. We can start with our meals. To support PACKD Lunch, visit them now on Kickstarter. The money raised from their current campaign will be used to manufacture the first batch of lunch boxes available for purchase this fall.

Official PACKD Lunch Kickstarter video
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Plant Trees For Free By Using This Search Engine

  • If this search engine was the size of Google, it could offset global vehicle emissions
  • 1kg of CO2 is removed from the atmosphere with every single search. 
  • 1 tree is planted for every 45 searches
  • Company built solar plant that provides servers with 100% renewable energy
  • Privacy policy includes no third party trackers no reselling of personal data to advertisers

It’s hard to rival google in terms of search result quality, they are incredibly dominant after having gathered so much data over such a long period of time. But, for simple searches there are alternatives that will most certainly provide the results that you are looking for. In fact, more often than not every search made through these alternatives will bring visitors exactly where they wanted to end up. One search engine has an additional benefit that helps the entire well-being of the planet… Ecosia. By using this alternative sear engine you can essentially plant trees for free. So far more than 60 million trees have been planted using profits the ethical startup has earned. For every single search request made through this site, 1kg of CO2 is removed from the atmosphere. That’s right, just search MillennialOnline.com in their browser and you will contribute tremendously in combatting the ongoing climate crisis. For roughly 45 searches made using the site/app the company is able to plant one tree. 

Approximately 53 trees are planted each minute thanks to the 8+ million global users that search the web using Ecosia. Forest replenishing efforts are focused in locations worldwide where there is extreme necessity due to climate change and deforestation. Local communities, wildlife and economies all benefit immensely from the work funded by this Berlin based company. 

Ecosias May financial report displaying where money was spent on reforestation
May financial report // https://www.ecosia.org

Where does Ecosia spend its money?

Every 6 weeks the company publishes their financial report detailing exactly where every cent earned ends up. In May, almost 700,000€ were spent on reforestation efforts. In April they helped to plant 3.4 million trees in Madagascar, Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Tanzania, Peru, and Senegal. Prior to that, nearly 500 thousand trees were planted in March between Ghana and Burkina Faso. A portion of proceeds is spent on advertisements and raising awareness, and some money is put aside for future tree planting efforts and ethical investments.

According to their official company website, the trees planted “will each remove 50kg of CO2 during an expected 15 year lifetime. This means that if Ecosia were as big as Google, it could absorb 15% of all global CO2 emissions… enough to offset vehicle emissions worldwide.”

April financial report from Ecosia showing where money is spent and trees are planted
April financial report // Ecosia

This is not the first search engine started by companies CEO Christian Kroll. After traveling through India and Thailand he established Xabbel to fund local charities in Nepal before being forced to abandon the project due to a lack of electricity and internet connectivity available daily. The idea for a world positive, ethical search engine was born, and not lost during those times. Today this search engine runs on servers powered by 100% renewable energy thanks to a company built solar plant. 

Deforestation in Brazil

Over the past 6 months, Brazil has increased deforestation at an unprecedented rate. This July has seen deforestation rise more than 100% compared to the same month of 2018. To counteract this, Ecosia pledged to plant 1 million trees in the next 6 months with the intention to reconnect remaining forest patches along the coastal strip. Current efforts are already underway in the Atlantic Forest where less than 10% of the original forest stands today. 

Privacy is a priority

With online privacy in mind, using Ecosia includes no third party trackers plus your data is not sold to advertisers. You can add the search engine as an extension of your browser, download the official app, or search by visiting the companies website. 

How does Ecosia earn money?

Revenue is generated by serving ads atop the search results. About 0.5 cents (Euro) is earned per search. Working with partners around the world they have been able to get the cost of planting one single tree to about 0.22 EUR or around 0.25 USD. Merchandise sold via the brands online store contributes 100% of profits to reforestation efforts. 20 trees are planted thanks to the sale of a single t-shirt. 

So the next time you want to search the operating hours of a local shop, when your favorite artists new album is being released on Spotify, or how you can plant trees for free from your phone/computer to help save our planet from the effects of climate change, try using Ecosia first. If you want to receive the best weekly roundup of information for the next generation, join the Millennial Online community for our newsletter consisting of the best curated, clean fresh content from around the web. Cleantech, sustainable developments, and ethical brands. Simply enter your email to join!

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Tree Planting Technology Growing Trees in the Harshest Deserts

  • Tree planting technology for climate change, ending poverty, feeding communities and creating jobs
  • Devices to ensure tree/crop growth under the most extreme conditions
  • Trees planted in an area that received no rain for 2 decades grew 2 meters in a single year
  • +90% tree survival rate using 90% less water
  • Cleantech company named a National Icon of the Netherlands

Using Groasis technology, trees are growing in the the driest of deserts

Deforestation is occurring rapidly across our planet, yet the need for an increase in agricultural land is rising exponentially with the human population fast approaching 10 billion people. The United Nations expects that almost 3 billion people in 48 countries will live short of necessary water supplies in just 10 years. To counteract these issues, Pieter Hoff, a former lily breeder, founded Groasis. This Dutch cleantech company is aiming to reduce the amount of fresh water we waste on agriculture annually with their tree planting technology. Between 70-80% of water used goes to agriculture, but they have ambitions to reduce this number by 90%. 

According to the companies site there is some 2 billion hectares of degraded farmland available that could be used for agricultural purposes. In this space, 5-10 tonnes of food per hectare can be grown, offsetting approximately 15 tonnes of CO2 in that same space. One direct job and one indirect job can be created for each hectare of land that is repurposed for growing trees, plants and vegetables.

A major goal of Groasis is to develop and implement ‘ecological water saving technology’ to provide fresh produce, create jobs, reduce poverty and create new sustainable ecosystems.

a diagram of tree planting technology the Groasis growboxx and waterboxx
Diagram of a functioning Growboxx®

Triple 90 Benefits

Groasis touts ‘triple 90 benefits.’ This means planting with 90% cheaper methods, using 90% less water, and carrying a survival rate of more than 90%. Succeeding in this has lead to numerous awards from a top 100 most innovative company in the Netherlands to the victors of the ‘Pioneering and Sophisticated Innovations serving the Agricultural Sector” category at the Khalifa International Award for Date Palm and Agriculture Innovation in Abu Dhabi. In 2016 Pieters startup was branded as a National Icon of the Netherlands. 

One of the revolutionary products they’ve created is the Waterboxx® plant cocoon. The traditional method of watering planted trees is with drip irrigation, a technique that uses between 15-50 liters of water daily per tree. Staggeringly 50% of this water is lost due to evaporation. The Groasis Waterboxx® allows for trees to be planted in desert conditions for around $2.50, nearly 90% cheaper under these harsh growing conditions. Additionally, the device can be reused up to 10 times.

Survival rate over 90%

This device allows for trees to be planted with over 90% success rate in places like Santa Helena, Ecuador where temperatures during planting season reach 41˚C (106˚F) while receiving only 111mm of rain on average. At this location there is also the highest radiation levels on earth, but Groasis has designed the cocoon to thrive under these circumstances. Groasis makes reforestation and agriculture possible where it otherwise would not be.

tree growing technology being used in the harshest, driest, hottest deserts.
Trees grew two meters tall after a single year in Ancon Lima, Peru where decades have passed between rainfall
Groasis.com

There are single use, biodegradable plant cocoons that can grow trees on sand dunes, rocks/mountains, eroded regions and in burned forests. Thousands of these cocoons have sprouted trees in more than 30 countries. In Kuwait, where temperatures can exceed 50˚C in the desert, the Waterboxx® plant cocoon was able to plant Ghaf trees at a 100% survival rate.

Trees planted in Ancon Lima, Peru, an area that had not received rainfall for more than 20 years, grew 2 meters tall. This strip of land stretches from Peru’s Sechura Desert to the Atacama Desert of Chile, referred to as the driest non polar land on the entire planet. Less than 2 inches of water falls in Lima annually, but some places of this desert region see less than a quarter inch per year.

Tree planting in Africa has also proven highly successful, with projects having been executed in the Sahara desert. 

Tree planting how to’s and success videos

Groasis offers numerous tutorials on how they planted a plethora of species in a variety of different conditions as well as tons of informative content. Their YouTube channel displays more than 100 videos in 26 countries highlighting the companies successful projects and strategies. A separate channel has educational content teaching viewers organic vegetable growing.

For those interested in starting an ecosystem restoration project, visit here for project implementation tips. The tree planting technology is also used to plant orchards in developed nations for profits along with their reforestation efforts across the globe. 

Worlds First Zero Waste Makeup Products – Created By Sephoras Former Head of R&D

worlds first zero waste cosmetic products from aether beauty are organic, vegan and cruelty free
Aether Beauty zero waste cosmetics
https://aetherbeautyco.com

The former head of product & development at multi-billion dollar cosmetic retail giant Sephora has created the worlds first vegan, zero waste makeup products. Founder of Aether Beauty, Tiila Abbot, spent more than 7 years in charge of Sephora collaborations, private label brands and makeup accessories before realizing the wastefulness and ethical dilemmas plaguing the industry. She volunteered to become the head of R&D before starting her own eyeshadow line in 2018. The flagship product created was an organic, zero waste eyeshadow palette free of toxic chemicals while avoiding animal byproducts. Her cosmetics company bans more than 1400 ingredients from their products, far above the mere 11 chemicals that the United States finds unfit for human use (last updated by the nation in 1938). The European Union bans 1300. Focused on sustainability and putting customer wellbeing before profits is where Aether Beauty separates themselves from the competition. 

The worlds first zero waste eyeshadow is on sale now here

Being a vegan for almost a quarter century, Tiila made sure that all animal derived ingredients are also banned from her products. The company uses a combination of natural and synthetic chemicals that are guaranteed safe for human use. There is currently a disturbing sacrifice of animal health in the cosmetic and beauty industry today. Outlined in a study published by Springer Science, the European Commission determined 11.5 million animals were experimented on in the EU during 2011, with the number of animals involved in testing reaching 115 animals annually worldwide. Tiila’s brand avoids animal testing completely and is PETA certified.

To create an organic zero waste beauty line, entire products had to be redesigned from the ground up. Inks are water based soy products and all paper used is sourced from sustainable tree farms. The stunning product packaging that the California based company designed is 100% recyclable and always made from recycled materials. Some Aether Beauty products garner a lot of attention as quality makeup for hooded eyes, but the brand caters to a much wider audience across the industry as a whole.

Environmental and community work

Along with ethical, environmentally friendly zero waste makeup products, the brand goes even further with efforts to support the well being of our planet. 1% of profits sold from each product is donated to charities that represent earth, air, fire, water, and aether. To date, the company has partnered with The Water Project providing clean water to communities in Africa, The Rainforest Foundation helping indigenous people secure land rights, and The Surfrider Foundation helping to clean our oceans. Join the Millennial Online Community today and receive a curated newsletter of the most relevant cleantech and environmental news from around the web each week!

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9 Invasive Animals You Had No Idea Live Wild in the United States

People cross the globe to catch glimpses of zebras, parrots, crocodiles, monkeys and many more exotic animals that, believe it or not, live wild in the United States of America. Here are 9 wild animals that most people have no idea can be found in America.

Lion Fish

There are two nearly indistinguishable species of lion fish that have invaded some of the coastal waters of the United States, first caught off the coast of Florida. Native to the Indo-Pacific Ocean, lion fish can now be found in the Atlantic Ocean, Caribbean Sea and the Gulf of Mexico. Although stunning to look at, these venomous, carnivorous fish have proven detrimental to native species. Scientists uncovered that just one individual lion fish can reduce native reef fishes by more than 75%. According to the USDA, exotic fish cause more than $5 billion of damage. 

Lion fish found in USA

Giant African Snail

Growing up to 8 inches in length and 4 inches in diameter, the three species of giant African Snail found in the USA grow larger than an adult human fist. The Ghana tiger snail, West African snail, and giant African snail have been found in Florida, Hawaii, and Texas. First discovered in Hawaii in 1936, they moved to mainland thirty years later imported through the pet trade. These giants destroy natural vegetation at an unprecedented rate compared to native snails and can quickly destroy large patches of agricultural areas. 

Giant African Snail found across the USA

Macaques 

Smack dab in central Florida, along the Silver River, hundreds of rhesus macaques swing through the trees. Native to the forests of South/Central Asia, a dozen were introduced  a dozen macaques were released in Silver Springs State Park to boost tourism in the 1930’s. By 2012 state officials had removed nearly 1000 Old World monkeys that had completely overpopulated the area. The capture efforts caused great controversy in the state, and efforts to remove more macaques was halted. The last official count, taken in 2015, found 5 groups totaling almost 200 individuals. Researches estimate that this population will double by 2022.

Wild macaque old world monkey in USA

Zebras

More than 100 zebras graze along the stunning Pacific Coast Highway near the Hearst Castle. At one point the estate owned by William Hearst was the largest private zoo in the world. Following his death in 1951, the herd was released into the wild and has never strayed too far from the original site between Los Angeles and San Francisco.

Wild zebras in California, USA

Here is How Climate Change Will Affect the City You Live In

Parrots

There were two native parrot species in the United States (the Carolina parakeet and thick-billed parrot) both of which became locally extinct in the 20th century. Today there are several feral parrot species numbering tens of thousands of individuals that can be found in Florida, California, Texas, New York, Michigan, Connecticut, Illinois, Rhode Island and New Jersey. During winter months, many of the birds that travel east perish each year. Budgerigars, rose ringed parakeets, nanny conures, green-cheeked Amazon parrots, monk parrots and chestnut fronted macaws have all been spotted. 

Wild parrots in the USA

Nile Crocodile

Between 2000 and 2014 two crocodiles were captured in Florida that, after DNA analysis, most closely related to Nile crocodiles native to Africa. Capable of growing to 18 feet in length, the Nile crocodile actively preys on cattle, reptiles, mammals, birds and even people. The species was responsible for 493 attacks on humans between 2010 and 2014, with more than 70% of those resulting in fatalities. There are 4 other non-native crocodilians in Florida, the slender snouted crocodile, spectacled caiman, smooth-fronted caiman and the Cuvier’s dwarf caiman. 

Two nile crocodiles in USA

Northern Snakehead

This terrifying species of fish carries shark like teeth and is known to ‘walk’ across land. A carnivorous fish native to Asia, the Northern Snakehead is a dominant predator that actively feasts in American waters from California to New York. Snakeheads can breathe atmospheric oxygen, allowing them to travel on land spreading to different waterways. Adults are capable of eating reptiles, birds and mammals.

A Northern Snakehead walking fish in the USA
Northern snakehead fish. Photo: U.S. Geological Survey Archive, U.S. Geological Survey, Bugwood.org

Killer Bees aka Africanized Bee

These bees first arrived in the United States in 1990 and have since spread to several states across the nation. There are giant killer bees found in California, Utah, Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Florida, and Louisiana. The dangers of these bees on humans is not as deadly as the name suggests, but they are known to repeatedly sting victims up to 1000 times. The true hazard caused by an Africanized bee is the damage they do to native species who are much more effective pollinators. Killer bees infiltrate the hives of local inhabitants, destroying the queen and taking it over with relative ease.  

Killer bee // pest.org

Cane Toad

These venomous toads pose a major threat towards many native species of birds, mammals and reptiles that often feed on toads. Introduced to control sugar cane fields, they have since spread from their native homes in South America and are found in Florida, California, Texas and Hawaii. In Australia, this invasive amphibian reaches millions of individuals causing a serious crisis among indigenous wildlife. 

Dangers of Climate Change Include Threatening Invasive Animals, Bacterias and Viruses

  • An increase in breeding sites for mosquitoes, water contamination, toxic algal blooms and rodent abundance
  • Temperature increase of just 2-3 degrees will expose millions more globally to malaria alone
  • Melting ice releasing viruses frozen in permafrost for thousands of years
deadly bacterias that thrive thanks to climate change

You’ve probably already come across our article detailing what your cities future climate will look like in the coming decades continuing at todays current greenhouse gas emission rates. Dramatic temperature changes will leave some North American cities most comparable to cities in Mexico. A more humid, subtropical climate is expected for much of the north eastern United States. A desert like Southern California climate is expected for many western cities. Floods, droughts and extreme weather patters are immediate disasters caused by climate change, but the implications of this stretches much farther. The dangers of climate change carrying the highest potential for damage will occur from animals and bacteria able to survive in places that were once inhospitable. A subtropical humid climate that is expected for many North American and European regions can be especially alarming because it supports an entire new ecosystem that native species have are not adapted for. Climate change is allowing new species of all kinds to thrive where local ecosystems are completely unprepared.

Invasive Species Already Thriving 

Non-native invasive species already wreak serious havoc on ecosystems today in sub-tropical Florida. Animals such as Burmese pythons notoriously reign supreme in the Florida Everglades. Predatory fish such as catfish also completely dominate some waterways with no natural predators. The lack of prey is allowing them to feast on the native animals that today support a healthy ecosystem. Believe it or not, there are even wild monkeys (macaques) that live in Silver Spring State Park, smack dab in the centre of Florida. A study found that there is a risk of this population doubling by 2022 even though around 1000 macaques were removed from the USA before 2012 in an effort since controversially abandoned. 

Animals You Had No Idea Lived WILD in the United States

wild monkey in USA
wild monkeys, zebras, and Africanized killer bees are some species that can be found wild in the USA

Plants, mosquitoes, birds, rodents, fish, spiders, snakes and reptiles will surely have no problem finding their way over into foreign lands. With them come the bacteria and viruses they carry.

How Will Global Warming Increase Our Exposure To Diseases?

Thanks to global warming we are expecting to see an increase in breeding sites for mosquitoes, water contamination, toxic algal blooms and rodent abundance.

Many of these climate conditions are becoming more and more ideal for disease carrying mosquitoes like the Asian tiger mosquito. Dengue fever is already spreading faster throughout Mexico in recent years due to more favorable climate conditions, an illness that resembles the zika virus transferred from mosquitoes. The most deadly aspect of these invasions brought on by rising global temperatures is that native species (including us) are not adapted to withstand the bacteria and viruses that the non-indigenous ones may carry and transmit.

Threats like malaria could also potentially return to Europe and North America, a curable disease that kills hundreds of thousands of people each year across the globe. The World Health Organization expects that temperature increases of just 2-3 degrees would increase the number of people who are at risk of malaria by 3-5% potentially affecting millions of people. Other parasites, viruses, and invaders could also be detrimental to our plants species, both land and marine. Extinction of plants causes an immediate threat to the food chain and could happen in the blink of an eye. When the climates change, it is really out of our control at that point which life forms will succeed and survive there, even more-so at a bacterial level. 

Viruses Frozen For Thousand of Years are Being Released

Another danger from rising temperatures and melting ice is that plagues and diseases carried by humans or animals from hundreds, or even thousand of years prior, are currently buried frozen beneath the ice. Approximately 75 years ago, a reindeer died in Siberia carrying a rare disease virus that became frozen in Siberian permafrost. A 2016 heat wave thawed the animal and released the virus, fatally impacting thousands of animals. It was responsible for taking the life of a 12 year old boy. In 2005 a study was able to revive a virus frozen for well over 30,000 years.

The recent warming temperatures are creating a potential for outbreaks of sicknesses that once wiped out entire species. A New York Times article highlights the destruction and dangers happening now in their piece “Russian Land of Permafrost and Mammoths Is Thawing.” Current defrosting in Russia is causing mass flooding resulting in serious damage for city infrastructure, in some cases actually pulling bodies out of their grave sites. More than 2/3 of the entire country is covered in permafrost

Researchers created an interactive map showing how climate change will impact your city

Rising global temperatures and climate change are creating breeding grounds for disease carrying flies and insects. Native species are being overtaken by unfamiliar prey who have no natural predators, while spreading diseases to those they contact with no built up immunity. The effects of the ongoing climate crisis runs extremely deep, affecting every plant, animal and person on the planet. The most dangerous result of climate change may not be rising sea levels or droughts, but invasive animals along with disease outbreaks that take regions by surprise. 

Here is How Climate Change Will Impact the City You Live In

the effect climate change has on the city you live in

The worlds climate is a difficult concept to model, and until now it has been a challenge to get an accurate picture of how climate change will impact the city you live in. Scientists from the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science have developed an interactive map detailing top estimates of what the climate will look like over the next 60 years in 540 urban areas in the United States and Canada. Coverage spans to the homes of 250 million North American residents. Some of the findings from this technology known as climate-analog mapping is quite alarming. Cities in the northeast will be more similar to the humid subtropical climates of the Midwest or Southeastern U.S. Western cities are expected to more closely resemble the desert conditions of Southern California and the Southwest.

This information is useful for more than just assessing exposure and communicating the changes. Valuable data can be gathered to predict impacts on our agriculture and natural systems that we currently depend on and help us defend from the current climate crisis. A different climate also supports different forms of life, giving rise to the potential for new problematic organisms such as invasive species or diseases spreading into new territories.

Using 12 measures including minimum/maximum temperature and seasonal rainfall, the map provides two possible futures. The first scenario is one where greenhouse gas emissions continue to rise at current rates. A more optimistic option is also displayed where emissions peak in 2040 and begin to decline, granted we take huge steps forward as a society. At current rates, the average urban resident will need to travel nearly 1000km’s to experience a climate similar to their hometown today. Some of the changes in climate will undoubtedly be so dramatic, the current climate would be unrecognizable. Cities like Los Angeles will feel 5.9˚F/3.3˚C warmer and more than 2000X times wetter than traditional LA summers. Comparatively, the city would feel much like Las Palmas, Mexico today. The most notable changes are expected to be seen on the East coast. New York City will see temperature rises of nearly 10˚F and a climate resembling present day Jonesboro, Arkansas. 

At current emission rates, by 2080:

  • New York is set for a big increase in temperature of 9.1˚F/5˚C while becoming 20% warmer, like Jonesboro, Arkansas
  • Toronto will be 5.2˚F/2.9˚C warmer and 33% wetter, most similar to a summer in Secaucas, New Jersey
  • Washington will feel more like Greenwood, Mississippi, 6.4˚F/3.5˚C warmer
  • Boston summers are going to be 22% wetter and 4.2˚F/2.4˚C warmer
  • Seattle will feel more like Milwaukie with summer temperatures increasing by 5.4˚F/3˚C and 22.5% drier than summers today
  • Vancouver will warm by 4.3˚F/2.4˚C and be 24.4% drier, mirroring todays winters in Seattle, Washington 
  • Chicago will become 30% more dry and 7.2˚F/4˚C warmer, similar to Lansing, Kansas
  • Denver to feel more like Borger, Texas, 7.4˚F/4.1˚C warmer
  • Houston, Texas will be 27.1% wetter and 4.1˚F/2.3˚C warmer
  • Los Angeles will feel 5.9˚F/3.3˚C warmer and more than 2000% wetter than traditional LA summers, much like Las Palmas, Mexico

To view the full interactive climate map developed by Matt C Fitzpatrick and Robert Dunn of the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science, visit here.

Such dramatic temperature changes, accompanied by precipitation increases is going to spell disaster for many coastal and riverside locations. There will undoubtedly be losses in real estate land, within our generation, like no other time in the history of modern humans. A good start is for us to have the ability to actually see how climate change will impact the city you live in, but the results are always changing, and that means we have the potential to change it for the better. Developments in sustainable energy solutions coupled with government and community support can halt and/or reverse some devastating outcomes. It is going to take the global support and efforts from us all, our politicians and our entrepreneurs. A sustainable world is not only possible, but we are making steps towards achieving this goal. Join the Millennial Online Community for more information on the next generation.

Autonomous Delivery Robots Now Share the Sidewalks With You

Watch where you’re stepping, because friendly autonomous delivery robots are now roaming the sidewalks with you. They are called KiwiBots, produced by Kiwi Campus and today more than 150 of these semi-autonomous machines have delivered some 35,000 orders to university campuses and surrounding communities. First developed in Medellin, Columbia at the kitchen table using an iPhone for brainpower, the product has come a long way in technological advances. These cooler sized bots are equipped with 6 cameras, a custom GPS and 5 hour interchangeable batteries along with AI and facial recognition sensors to aid in obstacle avoidance. 

a diagram of autonomous delivery robot
kiwicampus.com

They’re up against stiff competition with some of the most valuable private companies like Postmates, Doordash, and (recently public) Uber all fighting for their piece of the pie. These current services are charging between $5-15 for delivery, and that’s where Kiwi Campus is setting themselves apart. The model Kiwi developed aims to completely eliminate delivery fees. Potentially as soon as the upcoming September 2019-2020 school year they are considering implementing free delivery.

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Initially launching at UC Berkeley and Stanford University, CEO Felipe Chavez (founder of acquired online grocery store lulo.com) has since expanded the service to an additional 12 campuses. 40 robots have been delivered to major U.S college and universities including Cornell, Harvard, NYU, Rutgers and Texas A&M. Along with the growing markets, deliveries can also now be made using the iPhone app (android coming soon) to deliver anything from groceries to school supplies… if it can fit inside the chest of these smiling droids, it will come to you!

autonomous delivery robot in action
The KiwiBot in Action : KiwiCampus.com

The level of autonomy is a big step, but they’re not entirely controlled by computers. In fact, in the startups home country of Columbia there are employees behind the wheel of each KiwiBot using a point and click system reminiscent of an old school RPG game. This is the major reason why the company can consider such low delivery costs. A single employee can operate up to 3 robots at a time and handle more than a dozen deliveries an hour. Operating remotely from their home town allows them to pay wages less than $2/hr (which is above Colombias minimum wage).

A 2018 partnership with online learning facility Udacity is training 200 engineers in Columbia with Udacities self driving car nano degree. To further develop and run the companies operations, a factory in Medellin is also being prepared.

How it works

The $2500 KiwiBots are not the only creation that the company has developed. With leadership from CTO & founder Jason Oviedo and Head of Design Alejandro Otalora, the startup released the “worlds first smart-assisted semi-autonomous electric cargo tricycle.” Along with this is a RestaurantBot that does not leave the premises of participating stores and restaurants. Using these technologies, the company built a streamlined service where the sidewalk roaming robot only makes the final 200m journey of product delivery. The startups CEO claims that this 5X more efficient than traditional couriers and offers a more desirable experience making KiwiBot the future of personal delivery.

right to left: RestaurantBot, KiwiBot, Tricycle

When a customer places an order they can expect delivery within the hour. During that hour, a driver of the elecric cargo tricycle makes the trip to restaurants with pending orders. The restaurant bot is expected to meet the driver at the door where the tricycle is loaded with up to 20 meals at a time. The electric trike can then quickly retreat back into the area of service around campus where KiwiBots can be deployed with packages to reach the end user. The smiling KiwiBots top speed is around about 2km/hr.

There have been some mishaps, including a fire where the Berkeley Department was called to aid a robot in flames. Locals seem to have taken fondly to the KiwiBot and often protect them from abuse, including this case where a passerby reacted and extinguished the fire before officials arrived. That event prompted some upgrades which to date has worked perfectly.

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Some of the worlds largest companies like Amazon and Google are stepping up their delivery efforts today. We’ve seen patents for drone releasing blimps flying in our skies to make orders, but we are yet to see appropriate delivery robots that work in the real world. Kiwi Campus is leading the way with their robotic autonomous delivery startup that is effectively merging leading technologies with efficient and acceptable methods. What’s next? Join the informed Millennial Online Community for continuing updates and information on new technologies creating a better, more sustainable world for the next generation.

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How a Tax on the Pet Industry Could Save Our Planet

Almost $80 BILLION is spent on the U.S pet industry annually, up $10 billion from 2018’s total of around $69 billion. The American Pet Products Association (APPA) says that pets are now in more than 85 million American households, and millennials have recently overtaken baby boomers as the largest demographic of pet owners. So here is an idea: If companies in the pet industry had to pay an extra tax on supplies, foods or other pet-related expenses (which would get passed on to the consumer), the country would raise billions in support. Based on the estimates of the total market, just a 2.5% tax on the pet industry would bring in about $2 billion in funds that could be invested in either clean tech companies creating sustainable solutions, national parks, or put towards cleaning our polluted oceans. 

How far would $2 billion really go?

I’m sure you’re familiar with Beyond Meat, the plant based meat company that went public this year in probably the most successful tech IPO. The company raised only $750 million to accomplish that feat and are now in grocery stores, restaurants and fast food chains across the continent. OxfordPV recently broke world records for solar cell energy efficiency creating the most efficient industrial solar panels and have only raised around $100 million. The Ocean Cleanup, attempting to remove trillions of plastic particles from our oceans, has raised only $35 million for their efforts. Infarm, the vertical farm startup bringing fresh produce to busy cities has raised just over $130 million. These revolutionary companies combined have raised just over $1 billion to create these technological breakthroughs. $60 billion would solve a lot of environmental issues, and a small tax on that money could at least solve some. 

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Majority of pet owners are considered middle or upper-class, and if you have the extra income to own, care for and love an animal you should have to pay to support the environment they naturally live in. If pet owners cannot afford a small increase in price to their animals needs, they probably shouldn’t own an animal in the first place. That’s besides the point though. It should be mainstream to love wild animals as much as domesticated ones. I would not be upset if pet owners, pet suppliers and the pet industry were forced to support animal habitats a little more. 

I don’t believe that a small tax on the pet industry would provide anything other than tremendous benefits to our animals, people, and planet. Awareness needs to spread that we can do a lot for our environment by just being mindful of our impact on it. However we get it, a fair amount of money should be set towards protecting the environment that provides us with fresh water, trees, plants for medicines, food, and most of all… these beautiful animals that we love and cherish. The size of the pet industry shows human beings love animals, and care about all of the living things that cover the entirety of our planet. Join the Millennial Online Community for more information on sustainable developments and ethical brands creating a better future for the next generation. 

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