‘Unlimited renewable energy’

The world is in danger — so who are you going to call?

When aliens invaded in Independence Day, it took Jeff Goldblum’s brains to protect the planet. Matthew McConaughey literally hacked time to rescue the human race in Interstellar — and when a giant supernatural marshmallow man wreaked havoc in New York City, it was the proton packs invented by Bill Murray and his fellow Ghostbusters that saved us from a squishy, sugary demise.

Basically, scientists are superheroes — and it’s not just in the movies when they’ve got our back.


This doctor uses plastic bottles to save babies from Pneumonia

“It was my first night as an intern and three children died before my eyes. I felt so helpless that I cried.”

In 1996, Dr Mohammod Jobayer Chisti was working in the paediatric department of the Sylhet Medical College Hospital in Bangladesh. That evening he made a promise that he would do something to stop children dying from pneumonia.

About 920,000 babies and small children die from the disease each year, mostly in South Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa.

After two decades of research, Dr Chisti has now come up with a low-cost device with the potential to save thousands of babies’ lives.

Culture Planet

Mapping air pollution

Curious about the pollution levels in your neighborhood? Soon you’ll have the data at your fingertips, thanks to a partnership between Google and the San Francisco-based startup Aclima. The duo have announced plans to install Aclima’s internet-connected air quality sensors into the global fleet of Google Street View vehicles in order to create a map of air pollution levels around the world.

Culture Planet

Indonesian children get new view of marine life with free goggles

Indonesia’s maritime affairs minister is giving children in coastal communities a new view of marine ecology — literally.

Minister Susi Pudjiastuti, a passionate snorkeler who has been known to detonate illegal fishing boats to send a message, is giving out free goggles to kids in the archipelago’s remote coastal regions so they can learn to appreciate underwater life firsthand.



Lego launches first sustainable bricks

LEGO botanical elements such as leaves, bushes and trees will be made from plant-based plastic sourced from sugarcane in the future and will appear in LEGO boxes already in 2018.

Production has started on a range of sustainable LEGO elements made from plant-based plastic sourced from sugarcane. The new sustainable LEGO ‘botanical’ elements will come in varieties including leaves, bushes and trees.

Culture Planet

Channel Islands’ conservationists gather to discuss how to protect the environment

The Inter-Island Environment Meeting (IIEM) took place this week and saw politicians and NGOs discuss ‘Environmental Partnership’ with conservationists.

The meeting saw ecological, conservation and environmental advocates share their projects.

The hope is that some of the projects will transfer from one island to the others and help protect the future of the Channel Islands’ environment.

Culture Planet Wellbeing

Google teams up with UN to fight water loss

Google and the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) are teaming up to help track and prevent the loss of the world’s water, the organizations announced Tuesday.

The tech company will combine over three decades of geospatial and map data to show how human activity has impacted global ecosystems and use this information to help countries manage future losses. The initiative will allow governments, NGOs, and the public to track the world’s progress toward achieving the environment-related Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) through an online platform that will launch in October.


Bournemouth University helps the environment

Bournemouth University has revealed an employee engagement scheme has enabled it to avoid more than 500kg of disposable coffee cup waste and reduce its carbon emissions by more than 400 tonnes over an eight-month period.

The JUMP behaviour change scheme was introduced to all 2,000 university employees earlier this year after a successful six-month pilot in 2017. It rewards staff for taking part in activities that support one or more of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) – such as travelling sustainably, minimising their plastic waste output and reducing their water use.

Culture Equality

Homeless men set up social enterprise

Mark Mutlow and Grant Jones, currently residents with Threshold Housing Link, are already supplying three varieties of fruit juice to early adopters among Swindon’s Businesses Against Homelessness. The project is proving so successful, they hope to expand into a shop at the Brunel Centre.

It started at Culvery Court, Threshold’s emergency hostel for homeless men. Threshold funding, along with donations of fruit and vegetables donated by local shops, were used to make healthy juices for residents each morning, to make sure they had a nutritious start to the day. Now Mark is hoping to develop the juicing operation into a business – called Fresh Health and Wellness Juices.

Equality Wellbeing

Helping those with disabilities

Many people with disabilities in the world’s poorest countries are unable to attend school or find work. Barriers such as stigma or a lack of support prevent them from realising their full potential.

Community projects, supported by UK aid, attempt to tackle these barriers by investing in, and improving, the lives of those living with disabilities.

Meet the people whose lives have changed through these programmes.