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Monday, 2 August 2021
Good morning kwippers. As of Thursday last week, humankind had consumed all of the Earth's natural resources for 2021. Called Earth Overshoot Day, it marks the date when the global population's demand for natural resources exceeds what our planet can regenerate in that year. To calculate Earth Overshoot Day, the international non-profit Global Footprint Network measures the world’s biocapacity (biologically productive land and sea area, such as forests, farmland, and fishing areas) and compares this with our footprint (demand for resources). Learn more about Earth Overshoot Day here and explore the Overshoot Days for different countries here (e.g. US Overshoot Day is 14th March, whereas Indonesia's is 18th December). 

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For all new subscribers to our community, thanks for joining us! Our main goal here is to push sustainability and innovation news stories to the top of the agenda, especially now as our world tries to recover from the pandemic. If you have any feedback or suggestions on what topics you'd like to read about in kwip, please 
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SUSTAINABILITY  

Hungry fungi

While studying the use of fungi in bio-based insulation panels, researchers from Biohm (a bio-manufacturing firm) made a different discovery - one of the fungi ate its way through the plastic sponge intended to seal it in, breaking down and assimilating it like any other food. Biohm is now working to develop the strain to make it an even more efficient digester that could potentially help get rid of plastic waste. As we all know, single-use plastic waste is a vast problem and while things are improving, some types of plastic (such as PET which is widely used for drinks bottles) are notoriously hard to recycle by traditional means. This is where biological methods might come in handy and the Biohm team is testing their hungry fungus on PET and polyurethane. There still remains a question around whether such techniques will be commercially viable, however there is some success in this space already. Carbios, a French company is using an engineered version of an enzyme to break down PET and has partnered with big names such as Nestle to produce the world's first food-grade PET plastic bottles produced entirely from enzymatically recycled plastic. 

INNOVATION

Emoji URLs 

Yat is a platform that lets you buy a URL with emojis in it, with stars like Kesha and Disclosure already using the service to create personalized URLs. Like any URL on the internet, Yats can redirect to another website, or they can function like an organized Linktree. While users could purchase their own domain name that supports emojis and use it instead of a Yat, many people don’t have the technical expertise or time to do so. Instead, they can make a one-time purchase from Yat, which owns the Y.at domain, and the company will provide you with your own y.at link. This convenience, however, comes at a premium. Yat uses an algorithm to determine how to price your emoji combo based on its rarity. Yats with one or two emojis are so expensive that you have to contact the company directly to buy them, but you can easily find a five-emoji identity that’ll only put you out $4. In its open beta phase, Yat claims to have sold almost $20 million worth of emoji identities. Now, as the waitlist to get a Yat ends, Yat is posting some rare emoji identities on OpenSea, the NFT marketplace that recently reached a valuation of $1.5 billion.

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THE LOW DOWN

  • Beach resorts evacuated as wildfires rage across Turkey
  • Uber offers free Rosetta Stone language courses to drivers
  • Indiana tests technology to charge EVs while they move
  • Square to buy Afterpay, a ‘buy now, pay later’ service, for $29 billion
  • Greenland lost enough ice in one day to cover Florida in 2 inches of water

#Showerthoughts

  • As an identical triplet, you are simultaneously one of the rarest and most common people on the planet.
  • Someone out there vividly remembers something you said, which you've completely forgotten.
  • People probably haven't noticed because it's happened so gradually, but there's gotta be a hell of a lot less cigarette butts on city sidewalks than there was 30 years ago.
  • People are quick to point out how messy your car is but not how good you are at not littering.
  • Ninjas cover every part of their body except for their eyes, but the ninja turtles cover nothing but their eyes.

    r/Showerthoughts

#kwipuzzle

I am a fruit. If you take away the first letter of my name I become a crime. Take away the first two letters of my name I become an animal. Take away the first and last letter of my name and I become a form of music. What am I?

Solution

♫ Now playing ♫
Staple It Together - Jack Johnson

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