Sustainability is key to space exploration and life on Mars

SpaceX has argued that reusability is the key to making human life inter-planetary (1). Having rockets that are fully and rapidly reusable will not only save costs in terms of space exploration, but it will make the endeavour all the more sustainable. On 21 December 2015, SpaceX achieved the biggest cost reduction in space flight history (2).[…]

The ethics of using smart drugs to boost performance

Using smart drugs to boost performance is not without its ethical issues. While some may claim that it’s cheating to take a substance to outcompete others, others will say that there’s actually a moral imperative to do so in some professions; say, in biomedical research or space exploration, where peak performance can benefit humanity in[…]

Saving money by going veggie

If you have financial worries, then there are many steps you can take to cut back on costs. It’s important to examine your lifestyle and see if anything you consume or do can be reduced or eliminated completely. You may realise that you can save a tonne of money by quitting smoking (1). Or by cutting[…]

A community in Portugal teaches us about the huge potential of permaculture

Permaculture involves using innovative methods to create sustainable ways of living. Its aim is to develop ecologically harmonious, efficient and productive systems that can be used by anyone, anywhere. The potential of permaculture lies in how resources – water, food, energy and shelter – are carefully used. It is possible to achieve a lot by[…]

We may need GMOs to survive on Mars

We may need to get over our knee-jerk reaction to GMO crops, as they may be necessary to survive on Mars. The study of genetically modifying organisms so that they can survive on spaceships and other planets is called ‘space synthetic biology’ (1). The harsh conditions on Mars present many challenges when it comes to[…]

The price of lab-grown meat may need to drop again

The price of lab-grown meat has significantly dropped (1). In fact, the price has dropped 30,000 times in less than four years. In 2013, it cost around $325,000 to make a lab-grown burger (2). Now the cost is $11.36 or $44 a pound (3). However, as impressive as this price drop is, lab-grown meat is still[…]

The psychological effects of space travel

There are many challenges associated with long-duration space travel. There are factors, other than the technological and physiological obstacles, that will determine whether the trip to Mars is a successful one. There are a number of behavioural issues that could affect crew members during the two- or three-year round-trip to Mars (1). The psychological effects[…]

Here’s how home bug farms promote sustainability

One of the great challenges of the 21st century is following a diet that provides us with the many nutrients we need for health, but that is also affordable and sustainable. Home bug farms may help to provide people with exactly these benefits. A government report published in 2011 defined sustainability as:   “A system or[…]

Weekday vegetarian flexitarian

Great conversation opener: ‘I’m a weekday vegetarian flexitarian’. ‘A what?’ Try that, see what response you’ll get. And even better, actually become a weekday vegetarian flexitarian. I think the concept of a weekday vegetarian is easy enough to understand, you’re a vegetarian Monday to Friday, and a carnivore on weekends. ‘Flexitarian’ can be more confusing, cause[…]

Producing sustainable food with aquaponics

Food production is not sustainable (1). Agriculture uses 38% of the world’s total land area and is responsible for 70% of global freshwater consumption. This has prompted some commentators to argue that in order to promote sustainability we need to change how we behave. Other experts are more focused on technological innovations, such as aquaponics.[…]

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