Pollution pods, machine learning, fermentation protein-producing microorganisms, Microsoft’s look at algae and fungi for green data centers and more: The Digest’s Top 8 Innovations for the week of November 4th

November 3, 2021 |

#1 Touring “pollution pods” recreate world’s worst air

In the UK, “pollution pods” that mimic the sensation of breathing some of the world’s lowest-quality are being moved around the country to help draw attention to growing pollution impacts as world leaders gather in Glasgow for the highly anticipated COP26 meeting.

First launched in 2017, the exhibit is comprised of five large domes made of bioplastic polyvinyl chloride and reclaimed Norwegian wood. Conditions are recreated through the use of humidifiers, ozone machines, haze generators, and scent diffusers. The faux-foul air recreates the “suffocating haze” of New Delhi, India and the vinegar odor created by São Paulo, Brazil’s ethanol industry. There are also pods recreating the conditions of Beijing, China and London, as well as fifth pod that

mimics the refreshing air quality of Trondheim, Norway, which is considered some of the cleanest air on earth.

Artist Michael Pinsky hopes the “bodily emotive experience” will encourage people to make climate-friendly changes in their lives. “My point was that people are fundamentally quite egocentric,” he tells Fast Company. “The old polar bear on the glaciers makes people sad, but then they get into their four-wheel drive and drive their kids to school.”

More on the story, here.

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