Here's a new format for this newsletter
What do you think about it?
For the past few weeks, I’ve been feeling that I can pack more information for you in this newsletter. The idea is to still keep it digestible and promote the solutions that are being implemented across the world.
So here’s me experimenting with a new format
This week at a glance-
How’s this French startup making the construction industry greener?
If you don’t feel like reading the entire edition, you can directly jump to different sections.
Why do we keep hearing about 1.5°C?
Whenever you see 1.5°C(2.7°F) or 2°C (3.6 °F), do these questions come to your mind?
Why’s that a big deal?
Why does this number keep coming up?
What would happen if the planet heats up by that much?
Don’t we see that temperature difference every day?
Then why are we stressing so much about that?
Well, you’re not alone. It does seem pretty underwhelming.
So let me break it down for you.
The first thing that we need to understand is that this is the average temperature rise across the world. There would be places where the temperature rise would be much higher than this.
Like in a human body, the temperature rise of 1.5°C or 2.7°F could become a cause of concern, the same goes for the planet.
I am sure you’d agree the difference between 100°F and 102.7°F is HUGE!
Every °C/°F of temperature rise matters.
We started hearing about 1.5°C or 2°C temperature rise when the COP21 summit happened in Paris in 2015.
The agreement mentioned that countries should work together to limit the global average temperature rise( see- global average temperature) to well below 2 °C (3.6 °F) above preindustrial levels.
It also suggested that countries should push for a more ambitious goal: 1.5°C(2.7°F)
What are preindustrial levels, you may ask?
Well, the period between 1850-1900 is known as preindustrial times.
So compared to the average global temperature during that period, the average global temperature now shouldn’t be more than 2°C (3.6 °F).
We are on the path to hitting 1.5°C(2.7°F) by 2040- maybe sooner.
And 2°C (3.6 °F) by 2075- again, maybe sooner.
Now, what would happen if it increases by 1.5°C(2.7°F) or 2 °C (3.6 °F) as compared to preindustrial levels?
Each time the Earth heats up an extra half degree, the effects aren’t uniform across the planet.
Some regions, such as the Arctic, will heat up two to three times faster.
The Mediterranean and Middle East regions could see a 9 percent drop in water availability at 1.5 degrees of warming. This could go up to 17 percent at 2 degrees.
1 billion people could face heat stress, a potentially fatal combination of heat and humidity. Extreme heat events would become very frequent.
What would have occurred once per decade in a climate without human influence, would happen 4.1 times a decade at 1.5°C of warming. It would occur 5.6 times at 2°C.
Habitat losses would occur for polar bears, whales, seals and sea birds. Tropics would experience the biggest increase in the number of “highly unusual” hot days.
So what do we need to do? Or can we do something about it?
I hope there was a simple answer but there isn’t.
But if I have to keep it short- Our emissions need to go down.
By half in this decade, another half in the next one and become 0 by 2050.
That’s as simple as I could keep it.
I hope this helped you better understand the problem.
This startup is adding value to garbage
Just like our lives…Our trash has also become complicated. Pick up anything at your home and it would most likely be a combination of many things- paper, plastic, or aluminum. Although we are expected to segregate our waste, we practically cannot separate these layers. As we cannot decompose or recycle them, they end up in landfills.
We got to do something…In India, less than 15% of municipal waste is being processed or treated. Mainly because we cannot segregate it effectively. TrashCon is on its way to ensure that every bit of waste is turned into value. Their state-of-art patented technology - TrashBot, automatically segregates waste into biodegradable and non-biodegradable components.
Once the mixed bag of waste is on a conveyor belt, it is opened by their bag-breaking system
The trash is then shredded and using an air blower, separated into dry and wet waste.
Non Biodegradable waste like plastic, paper and aluminum is separated from the biodegradable waste
Valuable products…The biodegradable waste is processed into manure and biogas. Plastics, multi-layered and other non-recyclable components are sterilized and recycled into sheets using their proprietary technology. They call them WoW Boards. These are a replacement for wooden boards made from trees and can be used to create home furnishing goods.
Here’s a great explainer video (3.5 mins)
This startup is making the construction industry greener
Most polluting industry…Building and construction industry is responsible for ~40% of all the carbon emissions in the world. 1/4th of it comes from materials and construction processes. So to cut down these emissions, we need, well…better materials and improved processes. 🤷🏽
Get rid of the archaic processes… French startup Vestack builds modular buildings using biosourced materials. It has developed a digital design tool that simplifies and reduces the design time of a project. It assembles a lot of housing components in its own production facility, which is then assembled quickly into a unit.
Faster construction, improved supply chain & reduced pollution.
Carbon footprint comes down by 3x- no need to pack and ship material to the construction site.
All this without an increase in the cost for real estate companies and landowners.
These modules come together to form a unit and different units are stacked to form a building-
🙋Trivia of the week
We are talking about an item that you would have at your place too.
This was created by accident in the 1870s by an American printer named Robert Gair.
Mr. Gair was making paper bags in his shop when he accidentally cut a paper box where it was only meant to be creased.
And this led to the creation of this item that has revolutionized how we transport our goods.
Which invention are we talking about here?
The answer to last week’s trivia is Egypt.
Podcasts I have been listening to this week
Our dishwasher is not working for a while so I get a lot of time to listen to some amazing podcasts while doing the dishes.
You could listen to them even if you are not doing the dishes😛
Did you enjoy this format or you preferred the old one? Or maybe a combination of the 2?
Would love to hear your thoughts on it.
Thanks for reading today’s edition and have a great weekend😊