Take a look at some of our outstanding projects from the last year...
UC Irvine Digital Waste Bins
A digital waste bin that displays the amount of trash thrown in and how much Co2 emissions it is equivalent to. The goal of the project is to raise awareness about carbon emissions and bring attention to the different types of trash cans so waste can be dumped properly.
CSU LB Solar Water Filter
Solar water filter was designed to be a COTS (commercial off the shelf) water filter that could be deployed in disaster situations instead of using bottled water. These filters could be kept in disaster-prone areas and/or be shipped from one disaster site to the next.
UC Berkeley Floating Wetland
This project will be working with the parks department in order to plan, construct and implement man made wetlands ("Floating Islands") on lake Temescal in Oakland. In the last year alone, all of the lakes within a 30 mile radius of Berkeley have had toxic algae blooms at least once. Non-toxic algae blooms create sheets of algae inches thick that block sunlight from reaching plants in the water, along with not allowing the water to be oxygenated (fish need oxygen). This effectively creates dead-zones in the water where nothing can live! These blooms can also spontaneously turn toxic and release a neurotoxin, which has already killed multiple dogs in the area! These blooms are created by the perfect storm of lots of sunlight, fertilizer in the water and not enough rain. Essentially, we will be creating an engineered "floating wetland" made out of recycled plastic bottles, burlap, etc. that uses plants to clean water and provide habitat for birds, fish, and other wildlife.
The purpose of this project is to aid a 3rd world community in Mexico using sustainable technologies while preserving its cultural values. Subprojects include the Casa del Pueblo, Solar PV System, Solar Hot Water, and Storm Water Draining.
Outcomes of the project have been building a community house in the village of Ek’Balam, Mexico, installing a solar PV system for the house, and implementing solar water heaters for houses in the village. People in the community have been able to gain hot water, sustainably house volunteers in the village, and learn about sustainable technologies. We have learned that there is always room for improvement in designs and planning for international trips is a very necessary process to get work done.
U Pitt STORM
STORM stands for Students Taking On Runoff Management. This project aims at tackling the combined sewer overflow that Pittsburgh, along with many other cities, faces. The main route taken is to design and implement green infrastructure in and around Pitt’s community. In 2014, a rain garden was planted in a community space. The rain garden was not upkept for several years, so STORM revamped this year in determination to revitalize the old rain garden as well as build new rain gardens in other in-need areas.
University of British Columbia Campus Biodiesel
The campus biodiesel project seeks to produce biodiesel from waste cooking oil produced on UBC campus. Cooking oil can be collected from the dining halls of first year residence, in partnership with UBC food services. ESW has access to use a reactor system in the Chemical and Biological Engineering building with the capacity to produce 60 L batches. There is also a fuel dispensing system in the equipment yard of the building. The goal of the project is to produce batches of biodiesel with reliable quality to be used by diesel powered vehicles in fleet services.