The Simple Luxury of Having a Toilet

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Our Thursday green news bring you the latest on green architecture, climate change, energy and communities:sanitation, kid's health

  • The simple luxury of having a toilet: November 19th is celebrated as the World Toilet Day. Almost a century ago, Mahatma Gandhi said: “Sanitation is more important than independence.” And still today, about one person out of three doesn’t have an access to a safe and clean toilet. That is 2.5 billion people including children living in bad sanitation conditions, and suffering illnesses as a direct result of that. For example diarrhoeal disease is the second most common cause of death of young children in developing countries (killing more than HIV/AIDS, malaria and measles combined) shockingly resulting in one death every twenty seconds.
  • Music can enhance performance of solar panels: Scientists from the Imperial College London in collaboration with a team from Queen Mary University have recently discovered that performance of solar panels can be significantly increased with exposure to certain sounds or music. Previous research has already shown that by applying pressure to certain materials, we can “excite the voltage”, a phenomena known as the piezoelectric effect. The new study was recently published in the journal Advanced Materials and indicates that music and sounds pitched at around ambient noise level could significantly increase the output of specially designed solar panels.
  • 3 major retailers focus on safe chemicals: Target, Wal-Mart and Whole Foods Market are the top three retail giants focusing on providing safer chemicals in their products. Since their recent announcement of new chemical policy, they’ve already moved well beyond their regulations to reduce the chemical footprint of personal care and household cleaning products sold in their stores. Moreover, their initiatives are now forcing manufacturers to use safer chemicals, to learn more about the chemicals they use as well as to know who are their direct suppliers and to commit to continuous improvement leading to greener chemistry of their products.
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