Archive for the ‘Hygiene’ Category


Nourishing the Planet TV: Using Small Businesses to Create Local Markets

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In this week’s episode, research intern Christina Wright discusses Sylvia Banda’s entrepreneurial efforts in Zambia. Since 1986, Banda has created small businesses like Sylva Professional Catering Services Limited. Her businesses have successfully created markets for local farmers and emphasized local cooking methods.


To read more about how small business are helping local communities, see: Innovation of the Week: Using Small Businesses to Create Local Markets

To purchase your own copy of State of the World 2011: Innovations that Nourish the Planet, please click HERE. And to watch the one minute book trailer, click HERE.


Innovation of the Week: School food gardens support food security and education in the Cape Flats

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By Matt Styslinger

Southeast of central Cape Town, South Africa is a large, flat swath of land known as the Cape Flats. The area is home to around 4 million people and unemployment is around 40 percent. As many as 25 percent of students in the Cape Flats are undernourished.

SEED is working with students and teachers to establish permaculture food gardens in 21 Cape Flats schools. (Photo credit: Matt Styslinger)

South African non-profit organization School’s Environmental Education and Development (SEED) has established its Organic Classroom Programme in 21 Cape Flat schools. The project aims to improve food security in the Cape Flats by engaging students in environmental sustainability and teaching them how to practice permaculture—a holistic agriculture system that mimics relationships found in nature. SEED’s Organic Classroom Programme is a winner of the 2010 Sustainability Awards presented by Impumelelo—an independent awards program for social innovations in South Africa.

“Permaculture looks at ecological habitats and applies them to human habitats,” says SEED Permaculture Designer, Alex Kruger. Kruger says that sustainable food gardening is a starting place for students to learn about larger environmental sustainability issues. “It addresses an immediate need. And it also brings biodiversity back into these schools, which are quite barren.”



Preventing Cruelty on the Farm

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Check out this New York Time‘s on-line discussion about preventing cruelty to farm animals.

Rancher and lawyer, Nicolette Hahn-Niman, suggests five ways government can prevent abuse at factory farms. Walter Olsen from the CATO Institute and Temple Grandin,a professor of animal science at Colorado State University, also join the conversation.

To purchase State of the World 2011: Innovations that Nourish the Planet please click HERE. And to watch the one minute book trailer, click HERE.


Technological Advances For Life Off the Grid

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The Buckminster Fuller Challenge recognizes innovative strategies with the potential to solve humanity’s most pressing problems. Each year, a distinguished jury awards $100,000 to the winning strategy to support further development and implementation. In this series, we’re featuring the 21 semi-finalists currently under consideration for the 2011 award

Frontline-sms-nourishing-the-planet-agriculture-buckminster-fullerFrontlineSMS is an open-source, award winning software program that enables groups of people to instantaneously communicate with each other without internet connectivity using computer-to-cell phone text messaging. The software is particularly useful in remote areas of developing countries where internet access may be limited or non-existent. With 12.5 million users in 60 countries and 300 organizations, applications of the software range from monitoring national elections to tracking potential targets of human trafficking networks. Developer Ken Banks was named a Pop!Tech Social Innovation Fellow in 2008, Laureate of the Tech Awards in 2009, and National Geographic Emerging Explorer in 2010.

portable-light-buckminster-fullerThe Portable Light Project created an adaptable solar textile kit that provides decentralized power and light to communities in developing countries without access to electricity.  The 2-watt PV cell can be woven into bags, clothing, or other textiles and provides up to 14 hours of light with 5 hours of charging. An integrated USB connection makes charging devices like radios or cell phones possible, and the individually owned cells can be joined to form a larger grid that powers community-scale tasks. The non-profit partners with NGOs in Mexico, Nicaragua, Haiti, Brazil, South Africa, and Kenya.

sanergy-buckminster-fuller-challengeSanergy, a collaboration between engineers from MIT and Kenya, has developed technologies to convert human waste into biogas and fertilizer safely and efficiently, addressing the sanitation and energy problems of slums while also creating jobs and a valuable agricultural product. Their design moves human waste from a franchised network of pre-fabricated ferrocement toilets to an off-grid waste collection area using bicycle power, and on to a centralized processing facility where it is converted to electricity and fertilizer. There is a potential $72M market in Kenya where they are operating pilot projects in Kibera and Lunga Lunga slums.


Answering Nature’s Call with Agriculture

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Nourishing the Planet and State of the World 2011 were recently highlighted in the Mail & Guardian, one of South Africa’s oldest and top news sites.

The article focused on agricultural innovations that are using human waste to provide nutrients for farms, which is not only helping to fertilize crops, but also helping to improve sanitation in many African countries.

An estimated 2.6 billion people still lack access to basic sanitation services in developing countries and these same people are also suffering from food insecurity due to the lack of clean, nutrient-rich soil. But organizations, such as SOIL/SOL and Oxfam, are helping to build public toilets and waste composting sites to convert dry waste in to nutrient-rich fertilizer, turning two problems in to a solution.

To purchase State of the World 2011: Innovations that Nourish the Planet please click HERE. And to watch the one minute book trailer, click HERE.


Climate, Climate Change and Public Health Workshop at Johns Hopkins University

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Next week, from April 12-14th, Johns Hopkins University (JHU) is hosting its “Climate, Climate Change and Public Health Workshop” in Baltimore.

GAIA_Global_Assimilation_of_Information_for_Action_Johns_Hopkins_University_JHUThe conference is part of JHU’s new initiative, Global Assimilation of Information for Action (GAIA), which is designed to focus on extreme weather events brought on by climate change and their impact on society, as well as to build connections between decision-makers and the research community. The workshop, focusing on the intersection between health and climate change, aims to bring together members of the academic, scientific, health, and grassroots activist communities to identify and prioritize research and policy needs that can help people working to address climate change and public health at the practical level. Registration is available online at the GAIA