- The first commercial carbon removal plant officially settled in Iceland
- This app has built a community specifically for menopausal people
- McDonald's launches "True Vegetarian" burger in the UK
- How does Pinterest "bring" an algorithm with less bias?
- Solios: When watches meet solar energy
To reduce greenhouse gases, commercial companies are taking two paths-one is to reduce emissions, and the other is to actively reduce carbon dioxide in the air.
Today, we are going to introduce the latter.
Climeworks is one of the few companies that focus on "direct air capture". Recently, their first commercial carbon removal plant, Orca, officially opened in Iceland.
Prior to this, Climeworks had tested this technology on a small scale in Switzerland. At that time, they would transport the captured carbon dioxide to the adjacent greenhouse for use. They also sold the carbon dioxide to Coca-Cola to make Valser sparkling water.
However, the above methods only temporarily transfer carbon dioxide, and this time the factory in Iceland hopes to achieve the effect of permanently removing carbon.
Specifically, Climeworks mainly uses a fan to blow air into the "collector", and then uses chemical agents to capture carbon dioxide; the carbon dioxide is heated to a temperature that can be extracted into a high-concentration gas, and then pumped deep underground. Reacts with basalt stone until it turns into stone.
However, this is not cheap.
At present, Climeworks refuses to announce the cost, saying that it will take a period of time to make more reasonable statistics. According to the company’s executives, the cost per ton of carbon is between 500-600 US dollars, which is more expensive than afforestation. The latter stores one ton of carbon. The cost is about $50.
In addition, this technology is also very power-consuming, which is why Climeworks chose to build the plant in Iceland because the local clean energy is abundant.
At current efficiency, the Climeworks factory can capture 4,000 tons of carbon dioxide a year, but we need to reduce 10 billion tons of carbon dioxide each year by the middle of this century to have a chance to prevent the temperature from rising by 1.5 degrees Celsius.
Although the development is difficult and long, Noah Deich, head of Carbon180, a non-profit organization that focuses on carbon removal, is still optimistic about this field:
This commercial project is similar to the solar project 20 or 30 years ago. We have also witnessed how fast the solar industry can grow, and how fast its costs can fall. But emissions are still rising.
Even if we can develop rapidly, it will take decades for this field to grow before it is possible to bring changes to the climate. So, we start to do it now, it's really very, very important.
The Internet has long become an "infrastructure" that almost everyone needs to use, but most Internet companies only like to stare at young people.
Peanut, a social application launched in 2017, hopes to accommodate women of all ages.
Recently, Peanut announced that it will launch a new area in the app specifically for menopausal women, so that people in need can discuss their difficulties more at ease and meet other friends who have experienced this period as well.
At present, Peanut has many different communities for different life/birth stages, which contain many discussion topics.
For example, in the "Novice Moms" area, we will see the discussion of "How to make time for hobbies?"; some people have already begun to discuss the discomfort of changing the body through menopause and taking care of children at this stage. It's harder."
For many women, different stages of life mean that they are experiencing different challenges physically and mentally, but we rarely have the opportunity to discuss and understand these issues.
Statistics point out that many Chinese women have relatively little awareness of menopause and menopause, and they often think that all the discomforts experienced at this stage have to be "survived." However, based on the average age of menopause, women have been in menopause for about 30 years in their lives.
Experts suggest that women at this stage can actually use hormone therapy to make themselves better through this period, and this can also protect the bones, cardiovascular and nervous systems for a long time.
McDonald's UK announced the launch of the "True Vegetarian" Burger McPlant in ten restaurants in Coventry.
Although McDonald's has introduced vegetarian burgers in other countries before, these burgers usually use cheese or mayonnaise. This time, the "True·Su" McPlant standard is much stricter.
In addition to using the meatloaf created in cooperation with Beyond Meat, this McPlant also ensures that the bread does not contain dairy products. The ingredients are also replaced with vegetarian cheese (the raw material is pea protein) with other vegetables. In addition, the cooking tools used in this burger will also be separated from other meat kitchen utensils.
McDonald's UK CMO Michelle Graham-Clare said that although this burger took a little longer to arrive in the UK, they wanted to make sure that it "reached the highest standards, and I believe our customers will love it."
The picture social product Pinterest is a place where many people look for inspiration with visual clues. Among them, there are 80 million searches for beauty salons or styling in a month.
Recently, Pinterest has launched six screening modes under the hairdressing branch, mainly to serve minorities such as African Americans and Latin Americans. Therefore, when users search for similar "summer hairstyles", they can use filters such as curls and wavy curls to find further inspiration they need.
This filtering function is based on artificial intelligence and machine learning, and there has been a lot of news about the algorithm's discrimination against African Americans. For example, Google Photos once labeled a photo of an African-American user as "gorilla."
One of the major reasons for the emergence of discrimination is that the data samples used by the algorithm are not representative enough. In order to prevent this, Pinterest first collected tens of thousands of photos containing different hairstyles, skin colors, genders and styles, and then gradually adjusted the algorithm in a targeted manner:
This is an iterative process. You look at the performance of the algorithm and the mistakes it makes, and then adjust the algorithm according to this and let it learn from it.
At the same time, Dennis Schultz, head of the Blacks in Technology Foundation, also pointed out that "beauty is subjective. When you let AI or algorithms determine the results of the search, you will hope that it will contain as many results as possible."
In addition to the "outdated" smart products, there may be watches that have stopped running because of no electricity.
Solios, a Canadian watch brand founded in 2019, wants to solve the battery problem of the watch. So they created a series of watches that are charged by solar energy. They only need to "bake" in the sun or even artificial light sources for two hours, and the electricity generated is enough to run the watch for six months.
Samuel Leroux and Alexandre Desabrais, the co-founders of Solios, decided from the beginning to make products that neither harm the environment nor require people to compromise their lifestyles. Therefore, the sustainable elements of Solios products are not limited to batteries.
First of all, Solio chose materials that have less impact on the environment: the very few plastic materials in the quartz watch are changed to recycled plastic; the leather watch strap is made of silicone leather, and the rubber used to fill the strap is replaced with cork. ; The packaging of the product, of course, discards plastic without any suspense, and chooses recycled paper.
In addition, in order to better ensure the durability of the watch, a layer of sapphire scratch-resistant coating is also applied to the outside of the watch, and a better quality clasp and stainless steel case are used.
In terms of social responsibility, Solio promised to donate to Rainforest Trust for every watch sold to protect an acre of rainforest. Moreover, starting in April this year, Solio has also launched a watch recycling program to encourage users to send them idle watches with vouchers to recycle these products more efficiently and safely.
Although the watch is small, its structure is very sophisticated, and every small part is an opportunity for the product to become better. Sustainable living does not actually require us to cut off those things that bring enjoyment to our lives. Every time we change, we are gradually moving towards a healthier lifestyle.
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