James Clasper, Virgin

James Clasper


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  • Unknown
  • Virgin
  • TreeHugger

Past articles by James:

How smart platforms for renting clothes help reduce textile waste

However, we’re also wearing the clothes we do buy a lot less. On average, 80 per cent of an American woman’s wardrobe is not worn on a regular basis. And it’s scarcely any better on the other side of the pond. According to a report from the Waste and Resources Action Programme, the average lifespan of a piece of clothing in the UK is less than three-and-a-half years. Other research reckons Brits… → Read More

The app helping Syrian refugees integrate in Turkey

And while smartphones provide a lifeline to the hundreds of thousands of people fleeing conflict and famine in the Middle East and Africa, their role scarcely diminishes once those migrants reach a safe haven. In fact, more than three million Syrian refugees currently live in neighbouring Turkey, and many are expected to end up staying long-term, if not permanently. And though they find… → Read More

How the Moroccan city of Meknes got its sprawling landfill under control

Few, if any, guidebooks will mention the infamous skip. Located five kilometres from the city centre, the Meknes landfill facility receives 185,000 tonnes of waste every year produced by the city’s 650,000 inhabitants. The problem? The site has been operated in an uncontrolled and unregulated way since 2002, and today covers some 25 hectares. Fortunately, since 2014, SITA Atlas – a subsidiary of… → Read More

The low-cost healthcare kit that’s saving lives around the world

Which is why social enterprises such as ayzh are potentially so effective. Its simple mission is to bring simplicity and dignity to women’s health. Founder Zubaida Bai launched it in 2010 to provide health products in low-resource settings. In particular, ayzh (pronounced “eyes”) makes healthcare kits that are customised for the developing world. Low-cost but high-quality, ayzh’s kits are… → Read More

How sustainable rubber tapping improves lives in Southeast Asia

And there’s the rub. Right now, rubber is one of the least sustainable materials out there. According to the Platform on Sustainable Rubber, the near-doubling of land covered by rubber plantations between 1983 and 2012 – driven largely by rising demand for natural latex in China – has led to the significant loss of natural forest habitat, as well as increased greenhouse gas emissions. The… → Read More

How Coca-Cola’s off-grid kiosks provide social and economic development

Interestingly, one company seeking to address these issues is Coca-Cola. The soft-drinks giant has teamed up with public and private sector organisations (including a German company called SOLARKIOSK) to launch Ekocenters – a social enterprise that provides developing communities with general stores selling basic necessities such as clean water, solar power and wireless communication. Coca-Cola… → Read More

How to make electric vehicles more accessible and convenient

No prizes for pointing out that our petrol addiction is harming the planet, endangering our health and threatening our very existence. But there are silver linings in these clouds. Consider this: cars account for around 20 per cent of liquid fuel demand globally, but as electric vehicle ownership rises from 1.2 million in 2015 to an estimated 100 million cars by 2035, it’s reckoned that global… → Read More

How biogas-powered public transport reduces air pollution in Jakarta

A case in point is Jakarta, a mega-city with a population of more than 10 million and where it’s estimated that more than half of all illnesses are caused by the air pollution. However, the Indonesian capital is also home to a potential live-saver. To help transform Jakarta’s congested and high-emissions transport system, the global transportation company Scania has developed a fleet of… → Read More

How naturally sourced, chemical-free, textiles prevent a fashion crime

Consider this remarkable fact: conventional garment dyeing uses more than 8,000 chemicals and pollutes 2,000 liters of water per item. In response, enterprises such as Aura Herbal have turned to the ancient processes of the Indus Valley for inspiration. Instead of using toxic synthetic dyes, the Gujarat-based manufacturer uses naturally sourced ingredients such as indigo, turmeric, madder and… → Read More

How fortified yoghurt is helping fight malnutrition in Bangladesh

Food fortification is attractive because a little of it appears to go a long way. It costs just a few cents per individual per year to add iodine to salt, say, and up to $0.25 for more complex vitamins and minerals. In 2008, a panel of economists at the Copenhagen Consensus determined that it would cost US $347 million a year to provide iodised salt, vitamin A capsules and iron-fortified flour… → Read More

The smart streetlights cutting energy costs and carbon emissions

You don’t have to look far to find similarly illuminating ideas. Take Tvilight, a Dutch company that also uses smart controls to adjust the brightness and energy levels of streetlights. Twilight is a clever combination of hardware and software. The former includes a small intelligent module that includes sensors, wireless communication and a dimmer that can be installed on any streetlight that… → Read More

The Tanzanian tech improving maternal and child health

Specifically, Totohealth runs a messaging platform that sends text messages based on the various stages of pregnancy or a child's age. These timely messages highlight warning signs in a woman’s pregnancy or a child's health, enabling the parents to seek timely care. Thanks to SMS and voice technology, Totohealth helps mothers monitor their pregnancies, keeps parents on track with their… → Read More

Fuel’s gold: the company making biofuel from waste CO2 and sunlight

As well as switching from coal and gas to solar and wind energy, one widely acknowledged solution is to increase the use of biofuels such as ethanol. Yet environmental concerns about biofuel production persist, ranging from energy requirements and carbon emissions levels, to deforestation, soil erosion and the impact on water resources. One paper published in Science in 2008 even argued that… → Read More

Empowering Bolivian youth through food education

In particular, it sets cooking schools up in regions of Bolivia and Colombia that have high rates of poverty and malnutrition. The schools teach the basic principles of nutrition and cooking to at-risk youngsters, empowering them with training and work experience. The students learn not only about food service operations – such as managing cafeterias and catering – but about food production,… → Read More

The US start-up helping indoor farming become a growth industry

What makes indoor farming attractive is its resource-efficiency compared with conventional farming methods. In fact, according to Agrilyst, which creates “intelligent indoor farming platforms”, hydroponics requires about 10 times less land and 20 times less water than conventional farming. The trouble is, indoor farming still gobbles up a lot of energy and resources – which is what makes… → Read More

Bye, bye, battery: could solar energy change the way we power smart devices?

We’ve come a very long way since then. Indeed, the Internet of Things (IoT) has the potential to connect more than 20 billion devices to the internet by 2020. Already, increasing numbers of people are adopting wearable technology such as smart watches to monitor their fitness, or installing smart technology in their homes to better control their use of heating and electricity. Meanwhile, cities… → Read More

Solar system: the sunshine-powered device that makes dirty water safe to drink

“Water and sanitation are fundamental to human development and well-being,” their report added. “They are not just goals in their own right but also critical to the achievement of other development objectives such as adequate nutrition, gender equality, education and the eradication of poverty.” Despite all the gains, then, there’s plenty of work to do. Which is why examples of clean technology… → Read More

A battle cry against fast fashion: the sweatshirt guaranteed to last 30 years

Siegle also says that anyone looking to start shopping smarter should ask themselves if they would wear a prospective item of clothing 30 times. It’s sensible advice – but why stop there? Instead of asking yourself if you would wear an item of clothing 30 times, consider whether you’d consider wearing it for 30 months. Or 30 years. That’s right – imagine a garment designed to last as long as,… → Read More

Not just another brick in the wall: these ones are grown using bacteria

Then there’s BioMASON, which produces bricks that are hardened using microorganisms. Traditionally, clay bricks are hardened in a three-to-four day, energy-intensive firing process that guzzles fossil fuels. In fact, to make some 1.5 trillion bricks every year, the global brick manufacturing industry pumps out about 800 million tons of carbon emissions. (Indeed, the brick and cement industries… → Read More

Flour power: the eco-friendly tortilla chips made from milling crickets

None of this should be surprising, though. Edible insects have long been a part of human diets. And given the fact the global population will hit nine billion by 2050, meaning current food production will need to almost double, we need to find new ways of growing food, and fast. Then there’s the food industry’s environmental footprint. According to the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization… → Read More