💚 Solar Power From Indoor Lights? ☀️

💚 Solar Power From Indoor Lights? ☀️

By
Dennis Kamprad

Read Time:5 Minutes

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Hey fellow impactful ninja ?

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Stay impactful,

Happy Tuesday 👋

Here are the impactful insights that I have for you today:

  • Reducing reliance on batteries with indoor solar cells ☀️
  • The success of single-use plastic bag bans across the US 🛍️
  • Get involved in Dechox 🍫🚫
  • And more… 💚

Did you know that your average has a carbon footprint of 110kg (~240lbs) in the manufacturing process alone?

Not to mention the additional carbon emissions that come from constant electrical charging and the disposal of the product once it’s no longer working.  

I certainly didn’t know about this before coming across our main story for today…

And I frankly didn’t even consider the carbon footprint of my laptop (which is strange cause I look into carbon emissions of most other products)…

With that said, let’s look straight into how we could reduce this carbon footprint while also getting solar-powered laptops in the process!

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☀️ How Indoor Solar Cells Can Reduce Our Reliance on Batteries 

1️⃣ The big picture: California-based company Ambient Photonics is working on the development of solar cells that can harvest energy from any available light source, including artificial light, to help devices go battery-free. The cells can be 3D printed into any shape and size for use on everyday devices like wireless keyboards and remote controls. The emerging technology, called bifacial cells, can harvest light from two sides, allowing them to continuously recharge devices no matter which side they are placed on. The company also received funding from Amazon’s Climate Pledge Fund which supports green innovations. Studies have shown that bifacial cells can triple the energy output of conventional silicon cells and increase the output of single-sided cells by 50%.

2️⃣ Why is this good news: The production of 1kg of electronics releases almost 25kg of carbon emissions, contributing to the climate crisis. Moreover, in the US alone, 3 billion batteries are discarded every year, totaling 180,000 tons of hazardous waste that ends up in our atmosphere or polluting waterways. Harvesting artificial light sources for energy will help electronics manufacturers lower their carbon emissions significantly and keep billions of batteries out of landfills. 

3️⃣ What’s next: The company Ambient Photonics has already announced a collaboration with Google to release a new solar-powered device using bifacial cells in 2024. The cells have also been incorporated into several products such as remote controls by Universal Electronics and wireless keyboards by Chicony. The next step is to expand the use of these bifacial cells further to reduce our reliance on batteries that pollute our planet. 

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📢 More Good News…

🛍️ Single-use plastic bag bans have successfully reduced plastic bag use and associated environmental pollution

  • A new study has found that single-use plastic bag bans across 5 US States and cities have successfully reduced plastic bag consumption by 6 billion bags a year, enough to circle the Earth 42 times.
  • For example, after New Jersey’s ban in May 2022, 46% less plastic was collected during beach sweep-ups than in April 2022. 
  • The further adoption of similar bans in other states can eliminate 300 plastic bags per person per year according to the report. 

🔋 A disused mine in Finland is being turned into a gravity energy store:

  • One of Europe’s deepest mines, the Pyhäjärvi mine, is being transformed into a prototype underground energy store by Scottish company Gravitricity.
  • Once complete, this gravity energy system will be capable of storing 2MW (megawatts) of power and integrating it back into the local power grid to be used when needed.  
  • Scientists from the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis have found that the world’s abandoned mines could store up to 70TWh (terawatt-hour) of energy, which is the equivalent of global electricity consumption. 

🦟 Red nets can reduce the need for pesticides on farms:

  • A study conducted by researchers at the University of Tokyo shows that red nets are better at keeping away a common agricultural insect pest than standard black or white nets.
  • The researchers experimented with the effect of red, black, and white nets to deter onion thrips from eating Kujo leeks, with red nets being significantly more effective.
  • Furthermore, in field tests, crops covered by red nets required 25-50% less insecticide than uncovered crops, suggesting that red nets can reduce our need for pesticides on farms and in gardens.  
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🍫🚫 Event of the Week: Dechox

👉 Did you know that this Friday (March 1) marks the first day of Dechox? This month-long event was founded in 2015 to encourage people to give up chocolate for a month and donate money to a worthwhile cause that would have otherwise been spent on chocolate treats. 

1️⃣ The big picture: Dechox was founded by the British Heart Foundation as a novel way to combine health and fundraising with a fun challenge – to give up chocolate. It was originally set up to encourage people to improve their heart health and raise awareness of circulatory and heart disease. Today, people around the world get involved in Dechox to improve their own health and others. Giving up chocolate is also a great way to help our environment and raise awareness of deforestation for cocoa plantations

2️⃣ Why is this important: 75% of the world’s cocoa is produced in West Africa, particularly Ghana and Côte d’lvoire, which have lost at least a third of their forests to make way for cocoa production. The loss of forests around the world has been proven to contribute to climate change as they act as efficient carbon sinks. Furthermore, half a billion people are affected by cardiovascular diseases, which cause a third of all deaths globally. Dechox helps us to tackle both of these issues through a simple challenge and sponsorships. 

3️⃣ How can you get involved: The best way to get involved in Dechox is to give up chocolate for a month and encourage family and friends to sponsor you. The money raised can go to a charity of your choice. Or you can officially sign up for the Dechox challenge directly through the British Heart Foundation website. Alternatively, you can host chocolate-free events in your local community to showcase tasty chocolate-free recipes or raise awareness through your social media platforms.  

You can also check out the organizations below that are working to improve heart health and save our forests:

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📜 This Week in History

🇺🇲 February 27, 1951: The Twenty-second Amendment was ratified. This limited the number of terms a US President may serve to two.  

🪖 February 27, 1991: US President George H. W. Bush ordered a ceasefire and declared victory in the Persian Gulf War.

🇪🇬 February 28, 1922: Egypt was declared as an independent country. 

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💭 Quote of the Day

“We are a nation of communities… a brilliant diversity spread like stars, like a thousand points of light in a broad and peaceful sky.

— George H. W. Bush, former US President

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Share the news with your friends to make a bigger positive impact on the world and society together!

Stay impactful 💚

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