Gunter Pauli, creator of the Zero Emissions Research and Initiatives (ZERI). Along with The Blue Economy - an international community of companies, innovators and scientists - both organizations seek to do business in a new way, by re-envisioning the way we do things by using the resources available in cascading systems, where the waste of one product becomes the input to create a new cash flow. By creating these zero emissions inventions, the hope is to create more jobs that will instill a safer, cleaner environment and future.
The first video, entitled "The Blue Economy" is an overall description of what The Blue Economy is and what it strives to achieve, in simple 3 and a half minute YouTube video.
The second short video discusses Gross National Happiness. GNH was developed in an attempt to define an indicator that measures quality of life or social progress in more holistic and psychological terms than gross domestic product (GDP).
For more information on The Blue Economy, please visit http://www.blueeconomy.de/
David de Rothschild journeyed across the Pacific in a 60-foot sailboat made of 12,500 plastic bottles.
Four years ago, David de Rothschild announced he would sail across the Pacific in a boat made entirely out of intact, recycled plastic bottles. He would call it Plastiki, after Thor Heyerdahl’s legendary balsa-wood raft, Kon-Tiki. The raft and the journey would call attention to the overwhelming amount of plastics clogging our seas. At 30, de Rothschild had already crossed Antarctica and led an expedition through the Ecuadorian Amazon. He was the youngest Briton ever to visit both North and South Poles, the heir to a European banking fortune, and a 2007 National Geographic Emerging Explorer. But his latest plan sounded slightly ludicrous and, after early models of the hull failed to hold together, increasingly dangerous.
He was going to set sail in winter 2008—cyclone season—then summer, 2009. Still the hull wouldn’t hold. An entirely new method of welding plastic was invented. Skepticism abounded. Reporters asked him if he was ever actually leaving. And if so, when? De Rothschild smiled and deflected the criticism with self-deprecation, pointing out that, even if they did get underway, even though he had been on plenty of expeditions before, he hadn’t any sea legs to speak of. “I get sick in the bathtub,” he told them.
Then, somehow, in the spring of 2010, Plastiki sailed from the California coast and into the Pacific. On July 26, 2010, after four months and roughly 9,500 miles, de Rothschild and his crew—including skippers Jo Royle and Dave Thomson, and Heyerdahl’s grandson, Olav—sailed into Sydney Harbor, their remarkable, sustainable, ecological-minded ocean crossing complete.
—By Ryan Bradley
IN MY OWN WORDS
By David de Rothschild
Into the Frying Pan
We were expecting to get slammed with weather right away, but there was no wind. It was absolutely dead for two days. We were all like, “Wow, this is going to be super long. It’s been 48 hours and we can still almost see the Golden Gate.” Turned out, it was calm before the storm.
No Sleep ‘Til…Australia
You’re sitting in a cabin that is constantly moving and it’s 100 degrees in there—a plastic sweat lodge. Sleep aboard Plastiki was like sleeping on a railway car that’s crashing through the forest. The creaking and slamming and banging was like trying to fall asleep on the side of a highway.
We’d seen pods of dolphins surrounding the boat and coming right up and brushing against our feet, but whales are much more solitary. Once, a pair of pilot whales, a mother and her calf, were with us for ages. The calf would get closer and closer, and the mother would usher it away. Whether it was the noise the bottles made or just a curious baby whale, I don’t know. I was on a radio interview and I’m looking at these whales frolicking by the back of the boat and I was just like, “You know what? I got to go.” And I hung up.
It was an incredible night: jet black, with a slightly ominous energy in the air. It was so still. Dead still. It was the 4 a.m. to 5 a.m. watch, and I went inside to play some chess, popping out to have a look every 15 minutes or so. Then I saw a ship. A pretty big one, it looked. It’s getting closer and closer. Dave was there and I point it out. He jumps up and has a look through his binoculars, trying to see what direction it’s headed. “Yup,” I say, “he’s coming straight at us.”
Dave jumps on the radio. We’re four days out from New Caledonia, on the last leg. “Dave, Dave,” I’m yelling. “The ship’s getting closer.” He’s like, “I know, I know, I can’t get a hold of him.” We take a torch, shine it on the sail to make ourselves more visible. We’re on the radio. The ship’s getting closer and closer. At the same time, there are these incredible electrical storms happening all around us. I see it closer and closer, through pops of lightning silhouetting this monster of a container ship. It was like something out of a horror movie. At the last minute, 500 meters away, the ship just turned and the smell of diesel washed over us and this container ship chugs past, bow wake crashing on the side of the boat. The name of the boat was Forest Harmony. I could see the headline: Plastiki sunken by Forest Harmony.
For so long we’d been talking about the arrival that, when it finally happened, it just snuck up. Now is the hardest part—continuing to share the story.
I like to think of Plastiki as a metaphor for action. We built a boat out of plastic bottles and sailed it across the Pacific. Let’s apply the same ingenuity and hard work to the ocean’s problems. I hope, most of all, people buy into the audaciousness of the whole thing.
Featured in SouthCoastToday.com
During a time of year when many children are making wish lists and asking for things, the children at Crayon Campus, early childhood and educational facilities in New Bedford, Dartmouth and Somerset have been collecting their pennies to help buy pencils, build schools and open the door to education for children in Pakistan and Afghanistan.
School officials report that the little ones have joined hands with tens of thousands of other school children around the world in the Pennies for Peace program. Crayon Campus students have completed a Pennies for Peace campaign to broaden their cultural horizons and help them to become members of a global family dedicated to peace, officials said.
So how can a penny bring peace? The folks at Crayon Campus say it doesn't buy much on SouthCoast. But in the villages of Pakistan and Afghanistan, it can buy a pencil, start an education, and transform a life, they said, and can empower a child to read, write, and learn.
Crayon Campus students, their families and local community business teamed up collecting pennies and raised more than $600 in pennies. Crayon Campus owners pitched in with a $400 contribution which meant a $1,000 gift to the Central Asia Institute. The Pennies for Peace campaign is a program of Central Asia Institute founded by Greg Mortenson, author of the New York Times best seller, Three Cups of Tea. Mortenson was in New Bedford this fall for the Bioneers by the Bay conference.
To view the article on SouthCoastToday please visit www.southcoasttoday.com
The world market for insulation materials reached in 2009 just under 37 billion dollars. Demand is expected to grow annually with 4.6 percent until 2014. The Chinese market is advancing at the highest pace of all nations with 8.2 percent expansion of sales per annum, increasing to 24 billion Yuan, or 3.6 billion dollars in 2010. The US market continues to increase with a healthy 7.4 percent growth in sales to 7.1 billion in the same year. The European market, which had already invested heavily in insulation thanks to government tax incentive programs over the past decades, is rather flat.
The two leading insulation products on the market, foam plastics and fiberglass represent 75 percent of worldwide sales. However, the fastest growing new product is cellulose derived insulation. Numerous start-up companies like Termoträ in Sweden started over two decades ago to recycle waste cellulose from the pulp and paper industry, converting the short fibers that do not meet the minimum size for paper making into a natural and dry insulator that is easy to install. Whereas the production and material cost of the insulation is always a key factor influencing its competitive position on the market, the ultimate price is determined by the cost of installation. Industry invests in reducing labor input, increasingly opting for prefabricated insulation.
The insulation value of materials differs greatly. Thermal resistance is measured as the R- value, expressed as the thickness of the material divided by the material conductivity. The most efficient insulation on the market is the Barrier Ultra R, produced by Glacier Bay which at R-50, has ten times the insulation value of polyurethane foam. It is made with aerogel, a gel where the liquid has been replaced by a gas. Actually the performance is so well documented and convincing, that the makers offer a full 25 year warranty.
The search for new, healthy and sustainable insulation material has brought numerous innovations to the market recently. Since fiberglass permits molds to proliferate, and spray-in foams could be off-gassing chemicals for years, the quest for new materials even put recycled denim jeans as an insulator on the market. Cotton batts made from old jeans perform as good as fiberglass. Fire retardants used in insulation represent a critical component (See Case 16) in steering the industry towards health and sustainability. However, the major challenge faced by insulation materials of all types is their bulkiness. The material requires large volumes of space, thus limiting its applicability.
Tatsujiro Ishiko, President of Nissin Sangyo Corporation observed the development of highly efficient insulation materials based on silica (ceramics) by the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), the equivalent to NASA from the United States. Scientists blent different shapes of micron sized beads of silica (80%) with a traditional paint (20%), makes them float on top creating an innovation from "space" at competitive material and labor costs. Painting both the inside and outside with this "bead paint" improves insulation. The outside reflects solar heat, and the inside prevents loss of cooled air. In the winter the reverse happens: these silica-beads spread as paint prevent the chill to come inside, while it prevents the loss of the warmth to the outside.
Ishiko-san licensed the technology for commercialization beyond the aerospace industry from JAXA and created the brand name Gaina. Ishiko-san noted that the cool air from AC-equipment quickly creates a cold cover all over the painted inside, improving the sensory temperature which is calculated as the temperature on the wall and temperature of the air divided by two. We often neglect that the energy is predominantly consumed exchanging heat or coolness over the walls. If the sensory temperature could drop one degree in the summer, or raise one degree in the winter, then according the scientific research of the Tokyo Electric Power Corporation (TEPCO), one degree temperature difference is equivalent to 10 percent energy savings. This innovation, based on simple physics permits to convert paint into an easily applied insulation material, turning it into a multi-functional product. This is one of the core principles of The Blue Economy.
The First Cash Flow
The first successful application is in housing and construction industry. This double envelop saves 30 percent energy in the summer and 20 percent in the winter, basically eliminating the need for insulation material. It all comes down to choosing a smart type of paint. While the paint, originally manufactured in Japan was more expensive than the standard on the market, a new production facility soon to come on stream will drive the cost of production down offering a unique selling proposition to home owners who basically get their insulation while painting the house.
One of the breakthroughs of this innovation is that a thin layer of paint applied by a brush, or a paint spray competes with inches of insulation material. This opens up many opportunities for energy savings in sectors where space has been a limiting factor. Major shipping companies applied the innovative paint to the deck. Since the beads are made of silica, it is resistant to ultraviolet (UV) radiation, which extends the effectiveness of both the paint and the insulation. The fuel efficiency of cars and buses improves thanks to the application of the GAINA©, the newly branded insulation paint that reduces the accumulation of heat in the summer. Perhaps the greatest savings are achieved by the reefer containers and refrigerator trucks. The immediate distribution of the heating or cooling through the layer of minute beads also prevents dew condensation, which is a major cause of mold growth. The Todaiji Temple, one of Japan's precious World Heritage sites recognized by UNESCO, applies the paint to save energy and to protect its treasures from molds.
While the durability has only been proven up to ten years, the advent of multi-functional products that save energy, resists UV, prevents dew, insulate sound, and absorbs odor makes it a competitive product. After all we should not forget that this water based coating also serves as a paint, providing 52 different colors to brighten up our living environment. This portfolio of multiple benefits creates a new opportunity for entrepreneurs who may have wondered how to take on the market leaders of the paint and insulation industries. Entrepreneurs with access to these markets can now take on industrial leaders in both markets at the same time. David cannot only take on Goliath, he can take on two Goliaths simultaneously. An opportunity that is not often viable in a market economy for aspiring entrepreneurs.
For more information please visit The Blue Economy
Is there someone on your list who has everything and you never know what to buy for them? We have the perfect gift, a gift that rewards you and your loved one with a year-long return. Give a gift to the Marion Institute or one of our seven programs and you will be giving the gift of a more sustainable and socially just world by supporting our work.
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