The Zero Waste Countdown Podcast
129. Diamonds From The Air

129. Diamonds From The Air

April 2, 2021
 
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Early in 2021 Elon Musk offered $100M in prize money for new carbon capture technology and there's a company already using carbon capture tech: Aether Diamonds.

 

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Aether Diamonds is taking that captured carbon from the air and turning it into diamonds, which also alleviates the need for massive diamond mine operations and conflict or blood diamonds.

 

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Ryan Shearman is a mechanical engineer turned entrepreneur with a background in material science and over 10 years of professional experience in jewelry and tech. He joins the Zero Waste Countdown to tell us all about his company that makes diamonds from the air.

128. UBQ Materials

128. UBQ Materials

March 28, 2021

 

 

Liat Arad is the VP of Marketing for UBQ Materials, a company that's spent many years developing a patented process to convert unsorted waste -- everything from banana peels to yogurt containers to mixed plastics and paper -- to create a sustainable, plastic alternative that can be used in the production of everyday goods. 

 

 

UBQ just unveiled the use of its material in a new sustainable McDonald's fast food tray, through a partnership with the world's largest McDonald's franchisee, Arcos Dorados. (See coverage of that partnership in Fast Company).  
The company has also struck deals with the State of Virginia and Daimler, among other notable customers.

 

 

 

 

127. Open Source 3D Printing

127. Open Source 3D Printing

March 19, 2021
 
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Joshua M. Pearce, Ph.D., is the Richard Witte Professor of Materials Science & Engineering, Professor of Electrical & Computer Engineering, and Director of the Michigan Tech Open Sustainability Technology (MOST) Lab at Michigan Technological University. He's also the Visiting Professor of Photovoltaics and Nanoengineering at the School of Electrical Engineering at Aalto University, Finland, and the author of Create, Share, and Save Money Using Open-Source Projects.

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His new book is a treasure trove of resources for anyone getting into 3D printing! How is this sustainable? Josh has figured out how to turn waste into high value products by using a plastic shredder for household plastic waste, and then he's built a recyclebot that turns that shredded plastic into filament for 3D printing. 

A 3D printer can also be paired with a portable solar panel and operated anywhere in the world, an exciting implication for places with intermittent or no electrical grid at all.  

126. NYC Fashion Designer Jussara Lee

126. NYC Fashion Designer Jussara Lee

March 14, 2021

Jussara Lee is a longtime fashion designer in New York City who came to New York to study fashion from Brazil and now focuses on fashion sustainability.

Jussara joins the Zero Waste Countdown to talk about overseas labour issues in fashion, organically grown fabrics, natural dying, and what the zero waste scene is like in New York with her friends and zero waste advocates Zero Waste Daniel and Lauren Singer.

125. Sourdough

125. Sourdough

March 6, 2021
 
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Heather MacMillan from Heather's Hearth is a professional sourdough bread maker and educator, hosting sourdough classes around the Ottawa and Barry's Bay area (I took her course at MKC!).

 

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Heather joins the Zero Waste Countdown to talk about the history of sourdough, fermentation, gut health, and lends us some tips and tricks for getting our own sourdough nice and tasty.

 

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Sourdough bread is an important part of my family's zero waste lifestyle, because we keep the loaf in a cupboard upside down on a plate and use it for toast every morning with our own hen's eggs. We don't have to drive into town for bread and eggs, we don't have to buy bread in plastic bags or store the bread in plastic, and we don't have to ingest all those questionable ingredients that are listed on bread from the grocery store.

124. Madawaska Kanu Centre

124. Madawaska Kanu Centre

February 27, 2021
 
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Madawaska Kanu Centre (MKC) west of Ottawa is a sustainable whitewater paddling school and resort, offering guests whitewater experiences, friendly staff, and incredible food.

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Stefi Van Wijk is the third generation to run operations at MKC, and she joins the show to talk about resort sustainability, the special relationship the resort has with the upstream dam, and how whitewater is a powerful way to connect with nature.

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Ronin Nash, pictured above, learned how to whitewater kayak at MKC in 2020 at age 9. He can't wait to go back this summer!

 

123. BC Salmon Farms

123. BC Salmon Farms

February 21, 2021

 

The Canadian federal government recently announced that it would order about 19 salmon farms closed in British Columbia (BC) but without any local community consultation. Farmed salmon is BC's number one agri-food export and provides thousands of tonnes of nutrients to people around the world, so why would they do this?

 

 

Michelle Franze is the Manager of Communications, Partnerships and Community at the BC Salmon Farmers Association (BCSFA) and Co-Founder and Director of BCSFA Youth Council. She joins the ZWC to explain how fish farming works, why it's so sustainable, and the reasons behind the Canadian federal government's ordered shut down.

 

 

 

 

122. Urban Salmon

122. Urban Salmon

February 12, 2021

 

 

Caption: A team led by researchers at the University of Washington Tacoma, UW and Washington State University Puyallup have discovered a chemical that kills coho salmon in urban streams before the fish can spawn. Shown here Edward Kolodziej (left), an associate professor in both the UW Tacoma Division of Sciences & Mathematics and the UW Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering; Jenifer McIntyre (right), an assistant professor at WSU School of the Environment in Puyallup; and Zhenyu Tian (background), a research scientist at the Center for Urban Waters at UW Tacoma, are at Longfellow Creek, an urban creek in the Seattle area. Credit: Mark Stone/University of Washington

 

Coho Salmon have been dying off in urban areas of the Pacific Northwest for years. Scientists have been working hard to figure out why, but have thousands of chemicals to sort through that enter creeks through storm runoff.

 

 

Caption: A team led by researchers at the University of Washington Tacoma, UW and Washington State University Puyallup have discovered a chemical that kills coho salmon in urban streams before the fish can spawn. Shown here Zhenyu Tian (left), a research scientist at the Center for Urban Waters at UW Tacoma; Jenifer McIntyre (right), an assistant professor at WSU School of the Environment in Puyallup; and Edward Kolodziej (right, background), an associate professor in both the UW Tacoma Division of Sciences & Mathematics and the UW Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering, are at Longfellow Creek, an urban creek in the Seattle area. Credit: Mark Stone/University of Washington

 

Edward P. Kolodziej is an Associate Professor at the University of Washington with a Civil and Environmental Engineering background and currently working at the Center for Urban Waters. He was part of a study that isolated the preservative compound 6PPD found in tires as the culprit responsible for killing coho salmon.

 

 

Edward joins the Zero Waste Countdown from Tacoma to tell us all about the study, why salmon are so important to the health of our ecosystems, how the culprit was found, and what we can do going forward to prevent salmon die-offs.

 

 

Caption: A preservative in vehicle tires keeps them from breaking down too quickly. 6PPD reacts with ozone and is transformed into multiple chemicals, including the toxic chemical the researchers found that is responsible for killing coho salmon. Credit: Mark Stone/University of Washington

 

121. Edible Coffee Cups

121. Edible Coffee Cups

February 7, 2021
 
 
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2.7 million takeaway coffee cups are being sent to landfill in Australia each day. Luckily, Catherine Hutchins and Aniyo Rahebi founded a new startup called Good-Edi, making edible takeaway coffee cups to mitigate the problem of coffee cup waste.

 

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The cups are made locally in Melbourne with the goal to one day provide edible cups to all of Australia. The cups are grain-based, vegan, and they take less than two weeks to break down.

 

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120. Water For First Nations

120. Water For First Nations

January 31, 2021

 

 

Jocelyn Burzuik, President and Senior Construction Manager at Sundance Construction, joins the Zero Waste Countdown once again to talk about a very important issue here in Canada that she has lots of personal experience with: clean drinking water for First Nations and remote Canadian communities.

 

When treated water is filtered with chlorine it creates trihalomethanes (THMs), causing problems for northern communities that lead to people bathing in bottled water to avoid rashes, and sometimes people need flights into bigger cities with hospitals for treatment. We also see antibiotics being prescribed to combat H. pylori which leads to antibiotic resistance in our communities.

 

But can't we just drill a well and be good to go? It's not so simple. Even where I live, drilling a well for one family was complicated, problematic, and expensive. Drilling to get enough water for a whole community in the north is much more complicated and expensive when we add in the costs of getting equipment to remote places. UV with ultrasonics could be the answer.

 

Jocelyn discusses identity politics and how the Canadian government divides people up by race, which ends up with some communities not being able to share their federal infrastructure with other communities.

 

 

 

Extra Reading:

 

 

 

https://www.cbc.ca/news/indigenous/attawapiskat-water-quality-emergency-1.5204652

 

https://canadians.org/analysis/attawapiskat-water-crisis-another-failure-federal-government-provide-safe-water-first-nations

 

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/h-pylori/symptoms-causes/syc-20356171

 

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