Bees are often thought of as picnic pests or adorable mascots but, in reality, they are unsung heroes, contributing to mankind’s survival in many different ways. Seventy of the top 100 food crops – the equivalent of 90% of the world’s nutrition – rely on pollination by bees. Besides crops, approximately 90% of wild plants need animal-mediated pollination of some form to reproduce. One single bee colony can pollinate 300 million flowers each day. The economic benefits derived from bees are estimated to be at €265 billion in Europe and $156 billion in the USA. These economic values don’t even account for the fact that artificial pollination is impossible for many plant species, making their true value priceless. And yet we are losing this priceless contributor to our ecosystem. Continue reading…
Barely 100 years ago, tigers roamed an expansive territory ranging from Siberia to the southern islands of Indonesia. Now, there are only a few scattered regions which they call home. From a peak population of over 100,000 tigers, the population dropped precipitously to just 3,200 in 2010. Their lack of a future seemed assured until the 2010 Global Tiger Initiative met in Russia. Continue reading…
The gorgeous Terrace Beach Resort has been a customer of Dispenser Amenities for many years. Owned and operated by Beverly Hills 90210 and Call Me Fitz television and film star Jason Priestley and his family, the resort is located along the spectacular British Columbia coastline. Terrace Beach Resort has all the amenities of a luxurious urban resort paired with the secluded splendor of being located deep in the rustic Canadian countryside. It is has won many accolades including a place on the 2015 TripAdvisor Hall of Fame and was recommended by The New York Times. Continue reading…
One Green Planet’s Plastic Graphics
One Green Planet has created a series of beautiful graphics displaying the obscene amount of plastic that we use each day. From containers to microbeads to cutlery, we have become a society utterly dependant on plastic and it’s killing our planet. While the best defence against this threat is to simply reduce our plastic usage, there have been some incredible advances in repurposing and recycling the existing plastic in our oceans and landfills.
Algae-Based Water Bottles
Ari Jónsson from Iceland has invented a water bottle that is created from common algae. The key ingredient is agar powder, a jelly-like substance that is derived from algae. While it has been commonly used in cuisine for centuries, its use as a plastic substitute is very novel. Ari Jónsson’s water bottle is entirely biodegradable and will stay solid while it is filled with liquid, but will rapidly decompose once empty. Indeed, one can even eat the bottle when they are finished with it. However, since agar powder is a mild laxative, that approach is not recommended! The entire process of creating the bottle can be found here.
Mealworms that Live Off of Plastic
A fascinating leap forward in our fight against plastic pollution came from Stanford University. Stanford researchers discovered that mealworms (the larval stage of darkling beetles) are capable of digesting Styrofoam and polystyrene. While a small number of other species are known to be able to decompose polystyrene, Styrofoam was previously deemed impervious. The study was led by Wei-Min Wu and is the first of its kind to provide detailed evidence of bacterial degradation of plastic in an animal’s gut.
The mealworms that subsisted on a plastic diet were as healthy as mealworms on ordinary diets, and their waste could be used as soil for crops. The next step, Wei-Min Wu claims, is to find a marine equivalent to help combat the plastic pollution in our oceans.
Biodegradable Beverage Rings
Saltwater Brewery in conjunction with We Believers ad agency have teamed up to create edible, biodegradable beverage rings for their six-packs of beer. While edible, they are not appetizing and the taste resembles cardboard. These beverage rings cleverly utilize what was already freely available to brewers: wheat and barley left over from the brewing process. This way the manufacturing process makes use of all three ‘R’s. The team at Saltwater Brewery is hoping to partner with other microbreweries to streamline the manufacturing process and reduce the cost per six-pack to 10-15¢. This would be competitive with existing plastic versions.
Canadian Students Advance Way of Ridding the Great Lakes of Microbeads
A group of grade 11 and 12 students from Gordon Graydon Memorial Secondary School in Mississauga, Ontario have found a way to filter the ubiquitous “microbeads” from the Great Lakes. Common in an array of products from body washes to toothpastes, the microbeads are too small to be picked up by standard filtration systems. These students developed a system that uses electrical charges to apply a negative charge to tiny plastic pollutants that make it to the final stage of sewage treatment. Then, as the water flows outward, it passes an above-water positively-charged grid that attracts the pollutants before they enter the sea. This is a similar system to existing filters for air and smoke pollution.
The group’s project has been approved by Samsung’s Solve for Tomorrow contest, and vouched for by academic professors. They now say they are ready for real-world testing.
To say it’s a long way from our Head Office in London, Canada to the Nouvata Parc Hotel is an understatement. We were contacted last year by the Hotel’s Manager, Emmanuelle Masson, to possibly supply Dispensers and Shower Liquids for the property. That’s a contact like we have every day. But this was a bit different! The hotel is in Noumea, New Caledonia, a French Territory located 8,360 miles from London… nearly ¾ of the distance around the earth.
A few years back, while on a cruise to New Zealand, we visited New Caledonia, a beautiful island off the east coast of Australia known for having the world’s second largest barrier reef. The lagoon-protected area bounded by the reef measures 24,000 square kilometers (nearly 10,000 square miles) of spectacularly beautiful, clear, turquoise waters, teaming with underwater life. Although we did go snorkeling or diving, we did visit the amazing Aquarium of the Lagoon, located in Noumea, which was a stunning representation of that life. Simply magnificent!
With 300 rooms, Nouvata Parc Hotel made the decision to stop throwing away thousands of plastic amenity bottles every month. “Being so attached to the sea, I needed our property to stop the plastic waste assault on this fragile, beautiful eco-system on our doorstep” said Ms. Masson. “It is essential that we protect it!”
Dispenser Amenities Asia Sales Manager, Miranda Lee, helped Ms. Masson with samples sent from our office in Taiwan, (just 4436 miles from the property) and the hotel selected two-chamber iQon white Dispensers and WAVE™ Body Wash and Conditioning Shampoo. The shipment was placed in a container and began a weeks-long journey from Taiwan to Nouvata Parc Hotel.
We recently shipped another order to the property which will add iQon Dispensers to even more rooms and replenish the liquids. ‘Going the distance’ to serve our customers around the world now has a whole new meaning!