Solutions Wanted: Do You Have a Solution That Will Create a Cleaner, Greener World?
Sustainia and a worldwide alliance of companies and organizations have kick-started the Sustainia100 campaign, calling out across the world to help find the most inspiring solutions that are making our planet cleaner, greener and fairer for everyone.
Now in its fifth year, the Sustainia100 campaign has become a leading benchmark for sustainable action and a practical guide for the world's decision makers, investors and influencers. By identifying the top 100 from thousands of submissions, Sustainia will pinpoint the solutions which are readily available, making an impact and have the potential for scale.
Previous years have highlighted innovations that readily demonstrate how hyper-local solutions can be readily adapted to resolve global concerns, such as unpatented solar powered hearing aids developed in Brazil, to bamboo bikes from Ghana. Last year's solutions alone were deployed in 151 counties in total, creating value for people, planet and profit.
“For the past four years, the Sustainia100 has tracked major global trends and paradigm shifts, all through the lens of practical, innovative solutions," Erik Rasmussen, founder of Sustainia, said. "It's emphatically clear to me that a sustainable future is within our grasp. The Sustainable Development Goals set in motion a new and critical timeline, which means we have just 15 years to get it right. We have no time to wait; the world needs your solutions, now."
The submissions window is open until March 2, after which the final 100 solutions will be presented in the Sustainia100 publication, published in summer 2016 and shared with a global network of thinkers, doers, movers and shakers. Anyone can submit a solution, whether they are directly involved or not, simply provided it meets the submissions criteria.
From Fish-Skin Leather to Closed-Loop Baby Wear, Consumers Are Choosing Sustainability
Last year's Sustainia100 2015 publication revealed that sustainable products and services were increasingly becoming the consumer preference, moving from the outside alternative to the affordable and convenient choice. From closed loop baby wear, to 3D printing plastic banks and fish-skin leather, the solutions from last year truly stretched our imaginations towards what is achievable.
Sustainability is something which exists in every part of our lives, which is why the submissions process is open across 10 major sectors, from the traditional to the contemporary. They encompass: buildings, food, fashion, transportation, IT, energy, cities, education, health and resources.
The Sustainia100 advisory board will help vet the submissions in order to highlight the top 100 and includes major global charities and research organizations such as World Wide Fund, Ellen MacArthur Foundation, United Nations World Food Program and Yale University. Later this year, the Sustainia award committee—which is chaired by former governor Arnold Schwarzenegger—will select the single most inspiring solution from the 100 included in the final report.
Inclusion in the Sustainia100 puts you at the center of the global Sustainia network that reaches out to all corners of the world. Your solution can help us reach our sustainable future.
Submit your own solution or tip us off about the ones you've seen in action.
Want to Submit a Solution?
Solutions can be submitted here.
To be selected for the Sustainia100, a solution must excel on the following criteria: be ready and available, have a positive environmental impact, be financially viable, have the ability to improve quality of life and have scalability potential.
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By Aaron W Hunter
A chance discovery of a beautifully preserved fossil in the desert landscape of Morocco has solved one of the great mysteries of biology and paleontology: how starfish evolved their arms.
The Pompeii of palaeontology. Aaron Hunter, Author provided<h2></h2><p>Although starfish might appear very robust animals, they are typically made up of lots of hard parts attached by ligaments and soft tissue which, upon death, quickly degrade. This means we rely on places like the Fezouata formations to provide snapshots of their evolution.</p><p>The starfish fossil record is patchy, especially at the critical time when many of these animal groups first appeared. Sorting out how each of the various types of ancient starfish relate to each other is like putting a puzzle together when many of the parts are missing.</p><h2>The Oldest Starfish</h2><p><em><a href="https://www.biorxiv.org/content/10.1101/216101v1.full.pdf" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Cantabrigiaster</a></em> is the most primitive starfish-like animal to be discovered in the fossil record. It was discovered in 2003, but it has taken over 17 years to work out its true significance.</p><p>What makes <em>Cantabrigiaster</em> unique is that it lacks almost all the characteristics we find in brittle stars and starfish.</p><p>Starfish and brittle stars belong to the family Asterozoa. Their ancestors, the Somasteroids were especially fragile - before <em>Cantabrigiaster</em> we only had a handful of specimens. The celebrated Moroccan paleontologist Mohamed <a href="https://doi.org/10.1016/j.palaeo.2016.06.041" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Ben Moula</a> and his local team was instrumental in discovering <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0031018216302334?via%3Dihub" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">these amazing fossils</a> near the town of Zagora, in Morocco.</p><h2>The Breakthrough</h2><p>Our breakthrough moment came when I compared the arms of <em>Cantabrigiaster</em> with those of modern sea lilles, filter feeders with long feathery arms that tend to be attached to the sea floor by a stem or stalk.</p><p>The striking similarity between these modern filter feeders and the ancient starfish led our team from the University of Cambridge and Harvard University to create a new analysis. We applied a biological model to the features of all the current early Asterozoa fossils in existence, along with a sample of their closest relatives.</p>
Cantabrigiaster is the most primitive starfish-like animal to be discovered in the fossil record. Aaron Hunter, Author provided<p>Our results demonstrate <em>Cantabrigiaster</em> is the most primitive of all the Asterozoa, and most likely evolved from ancient animals called crinoids that lived 250 million years before dinosaurs. The five arms of starfish are a relic left over from these ancestors. In the case of <em>Cantabrigiaster</em>, and its starfish descendants, it evolved by flipping upside-down so its arms are face down on the sediment to feed.</p><p>Although we sampled a relatively small numbers of those ancestors, one of the unexpected outcomes was it provided an idea of how they could be related to each other. Paleontologists studying echinoderms are often lost in detail as all the different groups are so radically different from each other, so it is hard to tell which evolved first.</p>
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