IndiNature is a construction systems company that creates sustainable insulation called IndiBreathe to directly combat climate change. The construction industry annually produces half of carbon emissions and landfill waste while using half of natural resources. Developing sustainable architecture is a necessary step in mitigating these detrimental effects. IndiBreathe insulation is created from natural materials instead of petrochemical plastics and acts as a carbon-sink by absorbing carbon during the material´s photosynthesis process. This material also regulates temperature better than traditional materials, and can reduce a house´s gas bill to a quarter of the national average.
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Circular Charlotte is a circular economy initiative aiming to make Charlotte, North Carolina the first zero waste city. Of the 944,171 tons of waste Charlotte send to the landfill every year, 26.3% could be recycled. Implementation of the circular economy throughout five initial case studies plans to increase the total amount of city recycled waste from the current 11.5% while creating up to 2,000 new jobs and saving millions of dollars. Case studies involve food waste being repurposed for safe animal feed and using demolition remains to form new concrete.
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Alon Gorodetsky designed a material that allows users to regulate its insulating power. The material is comprised of a rubber sheet with copper pieces placed close together which trap heat inside. When the sheet is stretched, the copper is pulled apart and heat escapes. This design is based on the process cephalopods use during camouflage.
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The “Cloudburst Management Plan” in Copenhagen is designed to mitigate city flooding in the event of severe storms that are becoming more common. Past infrastructure and underground drainage systems were not designed for these large volumes of water. Excess water is led by nature-based drainage systems utilizing green above-ground paths, buildings, and streets to urban reservoirs such as Sankt Jørgens Lake. Currently, there are 300 individual planned projects forming the Cloudburst Management Plan and they will be implemented throughout the next 20-30 years.
As a part of Thessaloniki´s “City as a resource” campaign, Kipos3 is a project where local gardeners work together to create public urban vegetable gardens. ´Kipos´ means garden in Greek, and these spaces transform existing parks, abandoned properties, and outdoor spaces inside public buildings into green areas. These projects can be implemented despite limited funding and infrastructure because they are led by the public, under the city´s supervision. These new green areas are building community through the shared maintenance and are becoming social spaces for neighborhoods.
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Bin-e is a smart recycling bin which sorts inputted paper, plastic, glass, and metal into separate internal bins. The detection software not only identifies where to sort each object, but also when the paper and plastic bins need to be compressed. IoT technology also can send alerts to schedule recycling pick-ups. This process solves the problems of human error, inexperience, and effort.
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