According to recent studies, humanity is about to use more resources than the Earth can regenerate and it’s happening because of our consumption culture, craving for single-use items, and assumption that nature will always be there to fulfill humans’ ever-growing needs. The truth is that nowadays we need 1.7 Earths in order to satisfy people’s demands for resources. But we only have one.
Nevertheless there are a great number of forward-thinking people that have come up with some mind-blowing ideas to create a better life for our planet and its inhabitants.
Bright Side presents you with a collection of long-lasting inventions that are changing the way humans and nature coexist. And at the end of the article there is a bonus waiting for you!
1. LifeStraw — a device that filters polluted water and turns it into fresh, drinkable water
Lifestraw is a device that is giving millions of people, who are living in poverty, the ability to drink water without being afraid of getting sick because of bacteria. It consists of hollow, fibrous membranes that have microscopic pores that trap contaminants. It is also a great solution for all the adventure seekers who often end up staying in areas with polluted water.
2. A lamp that grows plants
A Mygdal Plantlight is an entirely self-supporting ecosystem. The plants practice photosynthesis the same way they would in nature. You do not need to water it because the water inside evaporates and condenses in a closed cycle, so the plant always stays sufficiently wet. It can be used as a lamp and a plant which is convenient for those who work in windowless rooms.
3. Soccket — a soccer ball that produces energy
Soccket is a portable generator that harnesses and stores energy from play. It is used as a power source in areas where access to resources is limited.
4. Ecoegg — a green alternative to laundry detergent
Ecoegg is a mineral-based system for washing clothes that works without the use of chemicals. The device is kind to the environment, not tested on animals, and made out of recyclable materials wherever possible. It is much longer-lasting than your average powdered detergent and costs less per use.
5. Ooho — water you can eat
Made from seaweed-extract, this packaging is not only sustainable, but also edible. Ooho was created to stand up against the waste that is invading our land and oceans and now serves as a great alternative to plastic packaging.
6. A scarf that filters air pollution
WAIR is an anti-pollution mask that was made to protect people from air pollution, especially in bigger cities. The device has a filter that stops bacteria, gas emissions, allergens, and other tiny particles. The creators recommend changing the filter every month to allow the mask to work properly.
7. The Cora Ball — a device that removes microfibers from laundry
One of the biggest pollution challenges the world is facing today is the microfiber that flows into the ocean every time we use a washing machine. The Cora Ball is a device that removes small plastic particles from laundry during the wash cycle to prevent them from getting into the water system.
8. Piñatex — a natural textile made from pineapple leaf ﬁber
Piñatex is a natural leather alternative made from cellulose fibers extracted from pineapple leaves. The use of pineapple leaf fibers instead of leather has a minimal environmental impact and at the same time it solves the problem of killing animals for leather production.
9. The SALt Lamp — a lamp that runs on water and salt
The SALt Lamp is a device that takes just a glass of water and 2 tablespoons of salt for the lamp to provide enough light for the whole night. And in case there is no salt on hand, it can also run on seawater. The invention is especially helpful in countries where there is no electricity.
10. Trishula — cutlery you can eat!
Trishula is an Indian company that produces edible cutlery made with dough that is made from a mixture of rice, sorghum, and wheat flours. It’s then kneaded with hot water and baked in molds. The products are 100% natural which reduces the effect they have on the environment and improves people’s well-being since the ingredients do not contain chemicals or additives.
11. Dueacca — an eco-friendly tap
Dueacca is a tap system made of 100% recyclable materials in order to decrease the amount of non-recyclable waste. It was created to be used both indoors and outdoors and since it is small in size, it can be placed anywhere it is needed. Each product has a water-saving aerator that limits water flow through the tap, which helps to reduce water usage.
12. BirkSun — a backpack that charges your mobile phone
Humanity uses a lot of the precious energy that our planet provides to us every day, but the amount of this energy is reduced every year. At the same time, the sun gives us an incredible quantity of energy but it is not used as much as it could be. BirkSun is a company that invented solar backpacks that are used to charge devices when there is no access to electricity.
The backpacks are waterproof, durable, and lightweight and the solar panels are not easily damaged. They are used for both remote outdoor activities, like hiking, and urban activities, like commuting around your city.
Bonus: Passionflowermade — living jewelry
Passionflowermade is living jewelry that can be worn for up to 4 weeks. And when it outgrows the ring or bracelet, it can be planted in a pot, which means that it can be a stylish piece of jewelry and an eco-friendly solution at the same time.
Which device is the most helpful for the environment, in your opinion? And which of them would you definitely stand in line to purchase? Diverse opinions help us come up with better solutions, so let us know!
Look at How Much “Game of Thrones” Characters Have Changed Over 8 Seasons
During the summer of 2019, the final season of Game of Thrones aired. The show had gone on for almost 10 years which is a long time not only for the characters but also for the actors who portrayed them.
Bright Side is remembering what characters looked like in the very first episodes of the groundbreaking series and is comparing them to what they look like in the final season of the show.
1. Cersei Lannister
2. Jon Snow
3. Tyrion Lannister
4. Daenerys Targaryen
5. Sansa Stark
6. Arya Stark
7. Jorah Mormont
9. Jaime Lannister
10. Sandor Clegane
11. Brienne of Tarth
12. Samwell Tarly
13. Davos Seaworth
14. Theon Greyjoy
15. Brandon Stark
Did you watch Game of Thrones? Did you enjoy season 8? Tell us in the comment section below.
Baltimore’s ransomware attack, explained – Vox
Thirteen bitcoins are standing between the city of Baltimore and many of the services and processes its citizens rely on after hackers seized thousands of government computers at the start of the month. The ordeal has been going on for two weeks, and there’s no clear end in sight.
Here’s what’s happening: On May 7, hackers digitally seized about 10,000 Baltimore government computers and demanded around $100,000 worth in bitcoins to free them back up. It’s a so-called “ransomware” attack, where hackers deploy malicious software to block access to or take over a computer system until the owner of that system pays a ransom.
Baltimore, like several other cities that have been hit by such attacks over the past two years, is refusing to pay up. As a result, for two weeks, city employees have been locked out of their email accounts and citizens have been unable to access essential services, including websites where they pay their water bills, property taxes, and parking tickets. This is Baltimore’s second ransomware attack in about 15 months: Last year, a separate attack shut down the city’s 911 system for about a day. Baltimore has come under scrutiny for its handling of both attacks.
The ransomware attacks in Baltimore and other local governments across the US demonstrate that as ransomware attacks spread, and as common targets such as hospitals and schools beef up their online systems’ security, there are still plenty targets vulnerable to this kind of hack. It also exemplifies the conundrum that ransomware victims face: pay up and get your access back, or refuse — potentially costing much more in the long run.
What’s going on in Baltimore, briefly explained
Hackers targeted the city of Baltimore on May 7 using a ransomware called RobbinHood, which, as NPR explains, makes it impossible to access a server without a digital key that only the hackers have.
The Baltimore hackers’ ransom note, obtained by the Baltimore Sun, demanded payment of three bitcoins per system to be unlocked, which amounts to 13 bitcoins to unlock all the seized systems. The note threatened to increase the ransom if it wasn’t paid in four days, and said the information would be lost forever if it wasn’t paid in 10 days. Both deadlines have now passed.
“We won’t talk more, all we know is MONEY! Hurry up! Tik Tak, Tik Tak, Tik Tak!” the note said.
The city government is refusing to pay, meaning that the government email systems and payment platforms the attack took down remain offline. The attack has also harmed Baltimore’s property market, because officials weren’t able to access systems needed to complete real estate sales. (The city said transactions resumed on Monday.)
Baltimore Mayor Jack Young, who’s officially been in his office less than a month, said in a statement on Friday that city officials are “well into the restorative process” and have “engaged leading industry cybersecurity experts who are on-site 24-7 working with us.” The FBI is also involved in the investigation.
“Some of the restoration efforts also require that we rebuild certain systems to make sure that when we restore business functions, we are doing so in a secure manner,” Young said. He did not offer a timeline for when all systems will come back online.
The Baltimore City Council president also plans to form a special committee to investigate this latest attack and try to ensure it doesn’t happen again.
A similar attack using RobbinHood hit government computers in Greenville, North Carolina, in April. A spokesperson for Greenville told the Wall Street Journal that the city never wound up paying, and that while its systems aren’t entirely restored, “all of our major technology needs are now being met.”
More than 20 municipalities in the US have been hit by cyberattacks this year alone. And such attacks can be expensive, perhaps especially if targets say they won’t pay. In 2018, hackers demanded that Atlanta pay about $50,000 in bitcoins as part of a ransomware attack. The city refused, and according to a report obtained by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and Channel 2 Action News, the attack wound up costing the city $17 million to fix.
Ransomware attacks aren’t new — but we’re still figuring out how to deal with them
In 2017, a ransomware called WannaCry targeted tens of thousands of computers using Microsoft Windows operating systems in more than 100 countries. Officials in the US and the United Kingdom eventually blamed North Korea for the attack. Also in 2017, corporations in the UK, France, Russia, Israel, and Ukraine experienced ransomware attacks. US hospitals were also targeted.
Here’s how Timothy Lee explained for Vox what was going on and how ransomware had become more prolific:
The basic idea behind ransomware is simple: A criminal hacks into your computer, scrambles your files with unbreakable encryption, and then demands that you pay for the encryption key needed to unscramble the files. If you have important files on your computer, you might be willing to pay a lot to avoid losing them.
Ransomware schemes have become a lot more effective since the invention of Bitcoin in 2009. Conventional payment networks like Visa and Mastercard make it difficult to accept payments without revealing your identity. Bitcoin makes that a lot easier. So the past four years have seen a surge in ransomware schemes striking unsuspecting PC users.
Some ransomware schemes are so sophisticated that they even invest in customer service, helping victims who want to pay their ransoms navigate the complexities of obtaining bitcoins and making bitcoin payments.
Since then, a number of sectors and organizations have made improvements to their security practices to protect against ransomware. But the latest Baltimore attack exemplifies what a whack-a-mole game this is: One area improves its practices and hackers just go looking for another.
Recode and Vox have joined forces to uncover and explain how our digital world is changing — and changing us. Subscribe to Recode podcasts to hear Kara Swisher and Peter Kafka lead the tough conversations the technology industry needs today.
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