Innovate against climate change

(Photo courtesy of Pixabay user PIR04D).(Photo courtesy of Pixabay user PIR04D).

Humans are negatively contributing to environmental pollution and that’s no secret. Neither is the fact that environmental conditions, like climate change, are only getting worse. But with enough innovation and dedication, there’s hope.

Each recyclable has a different impact on the environment. Glass and aluminum can both be recycled infinitely, which means there is no need to continue using natural resources to create these products. These materials also take the longest to decompose out of all the other materials, making their reuse ever so important for bettering the environment.

Alternatives to plastic water bottles are just another way to decrease human impacts on the environment.

One such alternative might be shaping up at McDaniel. Seniors Zach Fortuna, Dustin Miller, and Chloe DePiano recently pitched their idea, Liquid Lens, at the Innovation Challenge. Their idea is to reduce the number of plastic water bottles being used by creating reusable aluminum water bottles with custom skins for each individual bottle. Each bottle would include a QR code so that you can track your water consumption and your refills with an app. The app would also double as a social platform to connect with other users and see who is working to better the environment with you.

The spin that Liquid Lens puts on most reusable bottles is that it’s meant to be recycled after you’re done using it, whether that be one time or 20 times.

This is exactly the type of idea that will help prevent plastic waste by using aluminum instead. You can take the bottle with you to festivals, sporting events, or to class without having to worry about carrying a bottle around the whole time; once you have finished your drink you can simply recycle it and order a new bottle. This idea, like many others, is leading the idea of “reduce, reuse, recycle” in a productive way, not only to impact the environment positively, but also to help save the world.

“Through Liquid Lens we can affect positive change and educate people to reduce, reuse, and recycle to help the environment,” said Fortuna.

Having a bottle that you can not only reuse but also recycle is beneficial because when you recycle it, it can be turned into products other than just bottles. This lowers the natural resources being used to make new products while you are reusing your bottle. To continue the cycle of only using things we already have, there still needs to be constant recycling of materials or we will run out and have to take from the earth.

“Recycling more can have a positive environmental impact, and if we can continue to do this while promoting reusable alternatives, we would be close to achieving true success,” said Fortuna.

Aluminum makes the best and easiest material to recycle because recycling plants don’t have to worry about losing money from the recycling process as they do with other materials. Oftentimes, waste companies don’t want to recycle certain things because they cost more to recycle than to throw them in a landfill or incinerator. This is why using and recycling aluminum bottles will help change the environment for the better more than plastic bottles.

Although Liquid Lens has yet to get up and running, you can still have an impact on lowering the number of plastic water bottles being thrown away. When it comes to disposal, you have multiple options. It is up to you to make the right choice and dispose of it in the best way to help save the world for later generations to come.