Tag Archives: sustainability

Apollo News Snippets – March 2014

Posted on March 4th, 2014

For this month’s technology snippet, here is a collection of fun innovations that could help improve our lives in the coming years.Plastic bags are literally strewn everywhere you look, especially in developing nations, so these two ideas are pretty cool: this is one to convert bags into liquid fuels; and this one converts plastic bags into high-tech nanomaterials.Finding new sources of energy for a growing planet will be crucial in the not so distant future. Here are two ideas for new sources of energy: using bacteria spores to capture energy from evaporating water; and capturing energy from moving parts. Most of us own and drive a car (thankfully I am not one of them!); and as we all know, gas prices continue to climb. This idea could raise the efficiency of combustion engines by 60% or more; and this idea for recovering wasted heat could boost engine and power plant performance. Here is an idea that makes total sense, generating energy from the weight of cars and pedestrians. Finally, nature is always a source of inspiration, for instance turning dandelions into rubber; and how about biodegradable building materials made from plant starches? A rather disturbing look at over consumption put … testContinue reading

Outside the Box – Reclaimed Water

Posted on February 4th, 2014

An overview of Barker Reservoir in Nederland, Colorado which is an important source of fresh water for nearby Boulder.50-cm color image captured October 5, 2013 by WorldView-2 and comes courtesy of DigitalGlobe. Photo enhanced by Apollo Mapping. My dad is fond of the saying that, if possible, you should buy land because they’re not going to make any more of it. I laugh, but it’s true. In the last several years, he has become interested in buying water rights too. And while he knows that our atmosphere will continue to produce water, as our population has grown, so too has our need for clean water. Many of our biggest cities such as Las Vegas and Los Angeles depend on fresh water being pumped in from afar; and these places, among others, also use that water for less-than-necessary amenities such as plush lawns and shooting fountains. In short, we’re using our water for non-essential purposes. Nothing new, but something that many have taken to heart over the last decade or two. For those who wish to see water used more sensibly, there has also been a big move in the reclaimed water market. Reclaimed, or recycled, water is treated to remove … testContinue reading

Outside the Box – Solo Solar

Posted on January 10th, 2013

Tokelau is a territory of New Zealand that covers only about 10 square kilometers of land, but it’s residents are taking a stand that countries far larger should take heed of. This island nation will be the first to be completely powered by solar energy. Not just their government buildings, but everything on their expanses will soon be powered solely by the sun. The territory is made up of three atolls (coral reef islands) and is comprised of only 1,500 inhabitants, but the message they are sending to the world is that they want to be completely energy self-sustainable. Currently, they employ biofuel generators (which will largely be fueled by their excess of coconuts) in tandem with their reliance on solar energy, but they are taking the necessary strides to completely cut themselves off from their 2,000 barrels of diesel a year habit. According to the Tokelau government website, they will be able to supply 150% of their energy needs, saving them some $850,000 a year with an excess supply left to grow into! The islands are located about halfway between Hawaii and New Zealand in the Pacific Ocean, and are approximately 300 miles north of Samoa. There is a … testContinue reading

    The Geospatial Times Archive