Sustenance Out of Thin Air

Just over a year ago I blogged about a Peruvian billboard I saw in a BBC article. The billboard functioned as a water filter, pulling water from the humidity in the air, cleaning it and dispensing drinking water free of charge to the people living there. Needless to say, I was more than a little impressed.

So you might imagine that I was even more impressed when I read a recent article on Smithsonian.com that introduced a tower with a similar function as the billboard. But this time it’s in Ethiopia, where, according to the article, a six-hour journey is often required just to get some drinkable water. In other words: similar idea but many more design constraints. (more…)

Getting the Green Light on your Water Consumption

A little bit of knowledge can go a long way, right? And often that knowledge is illusive … or sometimes just inconvenient to gain. But what happens when you design the inconvenience barrier out of the way?

If you had to guess, would you have any clue how much water and energy you consume during an average shower? No? Me neither. Often times that is THE problem with water issues: most everyone knows there are current and impending shortages globally, but not everyone knows how they might fit into that picture.

When three Ohio-based college students (Craig Lewis, Andrew Schad and CJ Valle) did some research for an extra credit project on water consumption, they found that over 78 percent of the people they polled had no idea how much energy they consumed while showering, and 76 percent said they’d change their behavior if they knew. (more…)

CONTEXT. IT’S WHAT CAN TURN INFORMATION INTO POWERFUL ACTION.

Before you begin a journey, often times it’s a good idea to get your bearings and understand your starting point.  This is called situational awareness and it can be an especially powerful tool when changing one’s behavior is the desired goal.  A little information can go a long way as we create these little dashboards for everyday life.  At the very least, if you have no idea of the starting gate it will be awfully hard to calculate your progress. And what fun is a journey without a little feeling of accomplishment to help you along your way? (more…)