Maximpact Blog

Communities Cope With a New Climate Reality, Naturally

A community group in Kisangani, Democratic Republic of Congo makes plans for a fish farming project that will help with water management. February 7, 2020 (Photo by Axel Fassio courtesy CIFOR) Creative Commons license via Flickr

A new climate reality is here, now. The year 2020 was one of the three warmest on record, and rivalled 2016 for the top spot, the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) concludes after consolidating five international datasets. A naturally occurring climate phenomenon, La Niña, cooled things off only at the very end of the year.

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Sustainability – Save The Planet: Turn Off That Camera

Cyber security analysts at work crunching data, August 13, 2018 (Photo courtesy Western Governors University) Posted for media use

Leave the camera off during your next virtual meeting, not just to hide a messy home office, but to save the Earth, scientists from three U.S. universities advise after their new study, “The Overlooked Environmental Footprint of Increased Internet Use,” was published this week.

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2021: World Turns to Clean Energy as Prices Fall

Mecktilda and Stefano became local agents for Global Cycle Solutions, a solar energy provider, in their village near Mwanza, Tanzania.  A year later, they had sold over 200 solar kits and earned enough to cover their children's school fees. August 25, 2015 Tanzania (Photo by Russell Watkins courtesy UK Department for International Development) Creative Commons license via Flickr

The Rockefeller Foundation has announced the formation of a global coalition aimed at providing sustainable energy for one billion people within this decade. Announcing the global sustainable energy coalition, Dr. Rajiv Shah, president of The Rockefeller Foundation, said, “Our success will empower millions of people to participate in a modern economy, growing economic opportunity for us all.”

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In Fashion: Solar Powered Streetwear

The newly developed solar concentrator is irradiated with blue LED light. The polymer material is so flexible that it can be bent with tweezers. 2020 (Image courtesy Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology (EMPA))

The once impossible dream of generating useable power by simply wearing clothes has become a reality. Power enough to charge phones, tablets, laptops on the go – this wearable energy supply is made possible by a new polymer applied on fabrics such as jackets and T-shirts, turning them into solar collectors.

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Sustainability: Megacity Mayors Map a ‘Future That Works for Everyone’

Mayor of Los Angeles Eric Garcetti speaks with the media at the Moving America Forward Forum hosted by United for Infrastructure, University of Nevada, Las Vegas. February 16, 2020 (Photo by Gage Skidmore) Creative Commons license via Flickr

The mayors of 97 of the world’s largest cities, members of the C40 global network of cities, have agreed to revitalize the post-pandemic world by creating green jobs, investing in public services, supporting essential workers, greening public spaces, and protecting struggling mass transit systems until the virus recedes and riders return.

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Life During Lockdown: Blessing or Curse?

Aisha, left, and her daughter Sundos, both resettled from Syria in Northern Ireland, at Warrenpoint Municipal Park, County Down, Northern Ireland, December 2020 (Photo by Brian McAlinden)

If anyone had told Aisha and her teenaged daughter a year ago that everybody would be locked down in his house, and the biggest cities in the world empty and looking like ghost towns, they would have said he is crazy!!! “However here we are,” she says, “all trying to adapt to our new situation.”

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New Nanomaterial Mines Wastewater for Valuable Metals

Clean, clear waterfall at McArthur-Burney Falls State Park, California, USA (Photo by Sathish J) Creative commons license via Flickr

A new nanomaterial called ZIOS can selectively target and trap copper ions from wastewater with unprecedented precision and speed. ZIOS offers the water industry and the research community the first blueprint for a water-remediation technology that scavenges specific heavy metal ions with a measure of control at the atomic level that far surpasses the current state of the art.

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Solar-Powered Mobile Desalination on the Horizon – Water

"I drink because I'm thirsty," says this boy who lives in the state of Tamil Nadu, India. March 20, 2016 (Photo by Nithi Anand) Creative Commons license via Flickr

Harnessing the sun to bring mobile desalination units that make fresh drinking water to remote and disaster-struck communities will be possible within five years, say researchers at the University of Bath. They have developed a revolutionary desalination process that can be operated in mobile, solar-powered units.

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New Multi-Layer Solar Cell Sets World Record

Scientists John Geisz, left, and Ryan France at the U.S. National Renewable Energy Laboratory have created a solar cell that is nearly 50 percent efficient.
2020 (Photo by Dennis Schroeder courtesy NREL) Posted for media use

A new kind of solar cell has captured the world record for the highest solar conversion efficiency at 47.1 percent efficiency in the lab and nearly 40 percent in the field, making new kinds of environmental solutions possible. The new solar cell outperformed typical solar panels by combining six kinds of collectors into one micro-thin surface.

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Turning Waste Into High Value Products

Bioplastic bottles can be transformed into the environmentally-friendly solvent methyl lactate. (Photo courtesy The Dieline) Posted for media use

New technologies are breaking through the barriers to a circular economy that would consign enormous landfills and incinerators to the dustbin of history. Waste has become a resource for the production of new materials, and entrepreneurs who ignore these facts will be left behind.

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Online Learning Backstops Education’s Virus Backslide

A woman works on her notebook, February 3, 2019 Cologne, Germany (Photo by Marco Verch) Creative Commons license via Flickr

School closures to control the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic have left roughly 60 percent of the world’s children without an education. In fact, global human development could backslide this year for the first time since the concept was introduced in 1990, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) is warning in a new report.

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Coronavirus Pandemic: Robots to the Rescue

community Solutions

Healthcare providers around the world need all the help they can get to stay healthy themselves while they support whole communities recovering from the coronavirus. Often now, from China to Singapore, from Spain to the United States, the help they are getting comes from robots.

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Keeping Refugees Healthy Keeps Everyone Safe

Community Solutions

“If ever we needed reminding that we live in an interconnected world, the novel coronavirus has brought that home,” said UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi as the UN Refugee Agency and the World Health Organization today signed a new agreement to strengthen public health services for the millions forcibly displaced from their communities.

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Gardens Create a Wealth of Wellbeing

Bumblebees pollinate a garden in London, England, July 16, 2009 (Photo by nikoretro) Creative Commons license via Flickr

Just being in a garden results in benefits for human health and wellbeing similar to living in wealthy areas, a new large-scale study in England has found. At this time, when so many people in communities around the world are socially isolating to prevent infection with the novel coronavirus, access to a garden can foster wellbeing, physical activity, and enjoyment of nature.

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