DiscoverThe Disruptive Environmentalist
The Disruptive Environmentalist

The Disruptive Environmentalist

Author: Rob Wreglesworth

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Seeking new solutions to big environmental problems: An exploratory podcast shining a light on innovators and thought leaders taking direct actions to tackle environmental issues.


19 Episodes
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Biomimicry is the process of looking to nature for ideas and inspiration on how we can solve human problems and design things that better fit in with life on earth. Taking advantage of 3.8 million years of evolution to give us a ‘jump start’ on research and development.In this interview, I speak to Megan Shuknecht who is from the Biomimicry Institute, an organisation set up to promote the use of the principles of biomimicry in design and innovation. As Megan will explain, they do this by hosting design challenges, with a launchpad for new businesses and even an award-winning free tool (AskNature.org) which anyone can access to get inspiration from the natural world.For more information on The Biomimicry Institute head to: https://www.biomimicry.orgAnd for AskNature: www.asknature.org
With the issue of climate change seeming so vast with so many factors influencing our carbon emissions, many people have started to focus on what they can do as an individual. Because at least we have control over that.In this episode, I speak to Roger Tyers, an academic working on climate change at the University of Southampton (UK) who is leading by example by pledging to stop flying. But with research based in China, how do you get halfway around the world without leaving the ground? I ask how this journey was, how he planned it, what it was like and what it cost. We also spoke about the wider issue of flying, why it is so cheap? Finding fulfillment in flying less often and we also touch on his research as well. Follow Roger on Twitter: @RogerTyersUK and Instagram: doctorchoochoo If you want to sign the pledge head to: https://www.flightfree.co.uk/ in the UK or in the wider world check out https://noflyclimatesci.org/
This episode focusses on the environmental problems caused by agriculture and I speak with the co-founder of a The Small Robot Company who aim to tackle many of those problems by approaching farming in a completely different way.We speak about the environmental problems caused by past and current intensive agricultural practices, how the small robots work and why that is positive for the environment, integration with internet of things technology, what to do with new spared land/ obsolete farm buildings and how they plan on stopping them getting stolen.
The first vertical forest in the world was designed by Italian architect Stefano Boeri in Milan, completed in 2014. The Bosco Verticale towers are residential apartment blocks, one of which is over 100m high. But most strikingly they are both covered from top to bottom in vegetation. 800 trees, 4,500 shrubs and 15,000 plants make up this urban jungle. The equivalent of 20,000 square metres of forest.Natural vegetation provides many benefits for the environment from CO2 absorption, reducing the effects of harmful pollutants, cooling, flood prevention the list goes on. So with over half the world’s population now live in cities could this provide a potential solution to making our cities greener?
Apparently electric flying cars will be appearing very soon, with some big names such as Uber and Boeing currently developing them. Some newspaper headlines have said they could solve our greenhouse gas and pollution woes….this seems like a bold claim that I think needs further investigation, so in this episode I speak to Akshat Kasliwal from the University of Michigan was part of a team that published a paper recently titled: Role of flying cars in sustainable mobility.In the interview, we discuss how they might fit into current and future transport systems and take a closer look at the potential environmental benefits
This week we are talking about the blockchain. Could the technology behind Bitcoin help us tackle some of the worlds biggest environmental problems? In this interview I speak to Pete Howson a Lecturer in International Development and Nottingham Trent University who has published papers on this very subject.We speak about how the technology works, how that might be applied to environmental problems and the potential pros and cons. We also talk about the issues of setting up environmental markets and how we need to stop thinking with a traditional capitalist mindset if we are truly to get to the root of what is causes some of the issues. To follow Pete's work and for more info go to www.crytonature.orgOr you can follow him on Twitter @peterjhowson
Today I take a deeper look into the human psychology behind climate change. Is there any way we can change tactics to convince the denialists?…..or are there more important battles we should be fighting first? I interview Dan Rubin PsyD, a clinical psychologist from Portland, US.We speak about this topic of communicating better, the rise of individualism and ‘peak entertainment’, mindfulnesses and how anyone can apply their job or skill to become a climate change activist.For more of Dan's work relating to climate change you can follow him on Twitter: @DanRubin13 or check out his articles:https://medium.com/s/story/how-to-have-a-useful-conversation-about-climate-change-in-11-steps-d4bbd4135e35https://medium.com/@danrubinpsyd/everyone-an-activist-25f68fe6d448
It is now pretty common knowledge that cutting down on meat consumption is one of the best things we can do individually for the environment…. but globally we just keep eating more of it. So is there another way we can greatly reduce this impact and without going vegan?Today's interviewee is Shir Friedman from clean meat company SuperMeat, based in Israel. They are one of the leaders in this growing industry and with a focus on poultry currently, they are getting closer and closer to a final product. In this interview, I ask about the process, how big meat producers feel about this disruptive idea and how it might go down with vegans.
The computer games industry is now estimated to be worth over $100 billion. But could this ultimate disruptive industry help us save the planet?In this episode, I speak to Dr Umran Ali a computer games professor and self-confessed ‘digital native’ from the University of Salford (UK), about how we can potentially use games to educate and inspire around environmental issues.
Most of us want to cut down on the amount of bottled water we buy, but why is it so hard to find anywhere to fill bottles in our cities.?This episode's guest is part of a volunteer group called Water for London who are campaigning for more water fountains in stations and public places across the capital. Justine is also a sustainability blogger so we start with bottled water but end up chatting about all sorts; from waste to palm oil to minimalism.
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