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A tree that has the environmental benefits of a small forest

smart tree (1)

Created by start-up Green City Solutions, CityTrees are covered in moss and lichens which have a massive surface area that can absorb particulate matter, nitrogen dioxide and ozone. The trees’ inventors estimate that a single structure has the environmental benefits of 275 urban trees, but taking up 99% less space and at just 5% of the cost. So far, CityTrees have been rolled out in several cities in countries including Norway, France, Germany, Belgium, Macedonia and Hong Kong. The cost for each tree can be mitigated by the potential for advertising on them. https://greencitysolutions.de/en/

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Rebuilding lives through jobs

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The Mile High WorkShop in Denver, Colorado is an employment and job training program for those facing barriers to work through the manufacturing and production of handmade goods. It provides contract manufacturing services in cut & sew, woodworking, laser etching/cutting, handmade assembly, and packaging/fulfillment services, in order to employ men and women rebuilding their lives from homelessness, addictions, and incarceration. https://www.milehighworkshop.org/

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A primary school in a residential development

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Primary schools in Sydney’s north are so overcrowded that the state government has considered buying land and redeveloping it into residential blocks with classrooms underneath to cope with ballooning enrolments. However no progress has yet been made and the overcrowding problem is now in high schools.  Holy Trinity CE Primary School in Beechwood Road London is a residential development operating successfully as a solution to this problem. http://www.smh.com.au/national/education/sydneys-primary-school-overcrowding-to-hit-high-schools-20170613-gwpxte.html

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Cups made from coffee

Huskee coffee cups (1)

Coffee husks have no nutrient value so it doesn’t make sense to mix them with other organic materials for composting. Instead of throwing them away a new use has been found for them. The new Huskee cups are a three-in-one solution – they cross the boundaries between a dine-in ceramic cup, a takeaway cup, and a reusable cup. They have a universal saucer and lid that fit all sizes in the range. While the cups, lids, and saucers are recyclable they are also dishwasher-safe, so they can be reused and ultimately replace takeaway cups. https://www.huskee.co/

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Reusable bread bags

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Onya’s vintage styled reusable Bread Bags are designed to carry your bread home in style without any packaging waste. They are also perfect to use as storage for the home baker. Simply bake, allow your loaf to cool, slice and store in your reusable bread bag. Due to the unique roll and clip closure, you can simply roll down the closure as the loaf is eaten to ensure maximum freshness is maintained by reducing air movement around the bread.‪ https://www.onyalife.com/product/reusable-bread-bag/‬

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Connecting and sharing

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We are experiencing unprecedented waste as we consume more and use less. Spare Harvest brings local communities together to share, swap or sell what they have spare in their kitchens, gardens and farms. Spare Harvest uses technology to take us back to a time when we shared our resources, bought less and connected more. Produce, plants, tools, time, land and jams are some of the items exchanged. As they say, your trash is someone else’s treasure. There will be someone in your community who will use it; you just have to let them know it is available. www.spareharvest.com

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Startup countries that are floating islands

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A new company, Blue Frontiers, plans to build and operate floating islands in French Polynesia. The goal is to build about a dozen structures by 2020, including homes, hotels, offices and restaurants, at a cost of about $60 million. To fund the construction, the team is working on an initial coin offering. If all goes as planned, the structures will feature living roofs, use local wood, bamboo and coconut fiber, and recycled metal and plastic. Each will offer different ways of governance hoping that with more choices it will be more likely that there is peace, prosperity and innovation. https://www.nytimes.com/2017/11/13/business/dealbook/seasteading-floating-cities.html

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AR that brings training materials to life

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The German startup ioxp develops training manuals that work with AR glasses to place step-by-step instructions directly into your field of vision. The software combines artificial intelligence with AR to produce a system that can quickly and easily understand almost any work environment and process and teach it to workers step-by-step. Besides the immediate self-supervision and the reduced error rate this system can greately contribute to workplace safety. www.ioxp.de

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Panda conservation features in major photo competition

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The World Press Photo 2017 exhibition showcases the winners of the 60th World Press Photo Awards, which honours the photographs that have best captured the state of the world in the past year. In total, 152 photographs were selected from 80,408 images made by 5,034 photographers from 126 different countries. This photo, in the nature category, shows a keeper in a panda suit keeping a young panda away from human contact as part of training before being released into the wild in the Sichuan Basin, China. China’s efforts to eliminate poaching and to protect the panda’s habitat have played a large role in increasing numbers. www.worldpressphoto.org/collection/photo/2017/nature/ami-vitale

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Banking with Apple

Apple

Soon, you’ll be able to make payments to friends on an iPhone or Apple Watch via Apple Pay. In the meantime, a public beta will let “friends and family” test it pre-launch. Apple Pay users can already make merchant payments. As an extension of this service iPhone users will be able to transact with any other iPhone user to make payments, receive payments, and use the card associated with their Apple Pay Cash account as a store of value. In summary, Apple is transforming into a bank. https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/banking-apple-paul-shetler/?

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