Sustainability Momentum Sdn Bhd

Hamilton Declaration: 5 Countries’ Effort to Protect Sargasso Sea

Photo Credit: National Geographic

Bermuda, US, the Azores, Monaco and UK were recently engaged in a new international agreement to promote conservation of the Sargasso Sea and have signed a non-binding agreement called the Hamilton Declaration. The Sargasso Sea is named after the sargassum seaweed that floats in massive amounts there. A haven with rich biodiversity, leatherback sea turtles, humpback whales and Bluefin tuna may be seen at the Sargasso Sea. Currently, awareness of the importance of the Sargasso Sea has been raised and a Sargasso Sea Committee will be formed from the recent meeting in Hamilton.


Date & Source: March 14, 2014, National Geographic

Goodbye Batteries, Hello to Water-Powered Clock

Photo Credit: Bedol

Bedol has developed a unique clock that is designed to use the positive and negative ions found in plain tap water to generate electricity for its operations. This water-powered clock can maintain perfect time without calibration for at least six months with only one filling of tap water. With 4 different colours to choose from in the shape of a water droplet, these clocks could help save money and reduce the eco-footprint.


Date & Source: March 13, 2014, Treehugger

Future Windows Could Become PV Panels

Photo Credit: Click Green

Scientists from Vienna University of Technology have successfully pioneered ultra-thin solar panels that could turn windows into photovoltaic panels for generating electricity, whilst still allowing light to penetrate into the building. Tungsten diselenide, the new material found by Thomas Mueller and his partners, can be arranged in ultrathin layers and has better electronic properties than graphene. Although 95 percent of the light just passes through the window, a tenth of the remaining 5 percent absorbed by the material is converted into electricity. In fact, these skinny solar cells can also be stacked together to increase the amount of light absorbed. 


Date & Source: March 10, 2014, Click Green

New Gases Found Depleting Ozone Layer

Photo Credit: NASA

Scientists from University of East Anglia have discovered four new human-made gases in the atmosphere which are contributing to ozone depletion. This new research shows that more than 74,000 tonnes of three new chlorofluorocarbons (CFSs) and one new hydrochlorofluorocarbon (HCFC) have been emitted into the atmosphere. Measurements taken by comparing current air samples and air trapped in polar snow proved that all four gases have been released recently. However, the emission sources of these gases are yet to be investigated. Potential sources for the release of these gases include chemicals used in insecticide production and cleaning of electronic components.


Date & Source: March 9, 2014, Science Daily

Black Carbon from India Accounts for 30% of Himalayan Glacial Melt

Photo Credit: Shutterstock 

The International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) has claimed that black carbon (also known as soot) which originates from India’s atmosphere is most likely responsible for about 30% of the glacial melt in Himalayan region. According to report, black carbon in the atmosphere deposited on the snow or ice in Himalayas tends to darken and reduce reflectivity of snow surface, which results in glacial melt due to increased surface heat absorption. Studies also suggest that black carbon could be one of the reasons behind alteration of rainfall patterns and changing of monsoon behaviour.


Date & Source: March 6, 2014; climate news network

Bioplastics from Shrimp Shell and Wood Wastes

Photo Credit: 2.0 Isgcp

Researchers from Harvard’s Wyss Institute have recently announced the development of a new type of bioplastic made from the derivatives of shrimp shells and wood ‘flour’. This alternative method of bioplastic production utilises shrimp shells and wood wastes by mixing the chitosan (polymer derived from shrimp shells) with wood ‘flour’ (by-product of wood processing). This new discovery is a promising alternative to conventional plastics as it not only utilises waste resources, but is said to be able to break down into beneficial components in the soil after two weeks.


Date & Source: March 4, 2014; treehugger

YaHijau Malaysia to Promote Eco-friendly Lifestyles

Photo Credit: The Star Online

A green foundation, Yayasan Hijau (YaHijau) Malaysia, was introduced by the Malaysian government recently as an effort to encourage the adoption of eco-friendly lifestyles amongst Malaysians. This foundation was launched under Budget 2014 and is the first initiative to call for 5% reduction of utility usage in governmental departments’ and organisations’ daily operations. Under the same foundation, companies that adopt eco-friendly practices and green technology-based operations will receive tax rebates.


Date & Source: March 2, 2014; The Star Online

Oil Spills Can Last Decades

oil spill
Photo Credit: National Geographic

Researchers have discovered that oil from the Exxon Valdez spill in 1989 still lingers around the Gulf of Alaska and could remain ensconced under boulders for decades to come. The oil still retains most of its chemical compounds, similar to when it was sampled soon after the spill. Mussels that were collected from the area also had low levels of oil in their tissues. The presence of the oil after 25 years and its effects are grounds for scientists to conduct long-term monitoring research for similar cases, in order to minimize the impacts of oil spills to wildlife and the environment.


Date & Source: March 1, 2014, National Geographic

Herbs to Produce Pesticide?

Photo Credit: VietnamNet

A self-created herb pesticide has been introduced by a farmer in Vietnam as an environmentally friendly solution to manage pest problems. The farmer, Le Van Dao, claims that he has been using the herb pesticide for eight years since he first discovered it in 2006. Dao created his own “recipe” of herb pesticide by using alcohol to soak more than 10 varieties of herbs, such as alpinia, garlic or ginger for half a year, and then mixing it with water when preparing to spray over crops. Experts from the Provincial Science and Technology Department of Vietnam will be researching the effects of this cost-effective pesticide. If the pesticide’s effects are verified, Dao will even be given a patent for his invention.


Date & Source: February 28, 2014; VietnamNet

Marina Bay Sands - the First Resort in Southeast Asia to Receive ISO 20121

marina bay
Photo Credit: Marina Bay Sands

One of the Singapore’s well-known integrated resort, Marina Bay Sands, has recently been certified with ISO 20121 Sustainable Events Management System certification. The ISO 20121 is a voluntary international standards certification which is designed for the event industry to manage events via sustainable approaches. The Sands offers a series of sustainable event planning services by helping event planners to meet ‘green’ goals, such as the ‘Green Harvest Menu’ which offers food and beverages with shorter food miles. Will a Malaysian resort be the next venue in the region to obtain ISO 20121 certification?


Date & Source: February 28, 2014;