Sustainability Momentum Sdn Bhd

Billboards: Not Just for Advertising but for Producing Water

The University of Engineering and Technology (Lima, Peru) has teamed up with advertising agency Mayo DraftCFB to showcase the ingenuity of engineering at work by tackling the lack of drinking water availability in the capital due to their desert climate. The billboard harvests water by taking advantage of the high atmospheric humidity, and turns filtered air into drinking water that is stored at the bottom of the billboard with the use of five generators. The billboard has been producing 96 liters of water daily and is probably the greenest billboard around.

Date and Source: February 27, 2013, Smart Planet and Grist Environmental News

Bukit Peringin: The Forest Reserve That Wasn’t

A 145-ha site was discovered at Bukit Peringin forest reserve where trees were felled and hilltops cleared after concerned locals made their complaints known to their local parliament member. The site was simply labelled as “Compartment Seven” with no visible signboard indicating development or use. Site visits carried out by Deputy Agriculture and Agro-based Industry Minister Datuk Mohd Johari Baharum revealed a major environmental degradation. Locals are very concerned that their livelihood would be affected and natural disasters events would be triggered if land clearing of the site is not closely monitored.

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Date and Source: February 25, 2013, New Straits Times

Whales Getting High-Tech Protection

The global population of whales has been at less than 10 percent of their original population and has been progressively thinning in size due to anthropogenic factors. To improve the protection of whales, scientists concluded that they need to better understand these creatures in terms of feeding, breeding and travel patterns. Advancement in technology has now allowed scientists to track whales for up to a year. About 200 tracks from four different species, obtained in different ocean basins, have now given scientist an insight into the life of these gentle giants.

Date and Source: February 24, 2013, The News International

Spray Paint: Answer to Asteroids Collision

Dave Hyland, a Professor of Physics and Astronomy, has now become the most talked about man in aerospace engineering with his theory that spray paint could divert an asteroid. Dave theorized that by using a process called “tribocharging powder dispensing” (in layman terms - spreading a thin layer of paint on an approaching asteroid in high pressure), would alter the way asteroids reflect sunlight. Producing a change in the balance of heating on the surface produces a net force strong enough to shift it from its current orbit. Though, the kind of paint used would not be found at your local hardware store. NASA has engaged in serious talks to further develop a project to test this in space.

Date and Source: February 24, 2013, DNA India

Travelling 100km under a litre of fuel no longer a dream

German carmaker Volkswagen has announced its super-efficient XL1 car model to be unveiled in Geneva and ready for sale this year after 10 years of developing, testing and prototyping. The XL1 has an amazing fuel economy of 0.9 litres per 100 km traveled, electrically-limited top speed of 160km/h and capable of accelerating from 0-100km/h in 12.7 seconds. Apart from that, it is also capable of travelling for 500km though only equipped with a 10 litre fuel tank; while boosting an astonishing total weight of only 795kg without compromising handling, rigidity or safety in the event of a collision.

Date and Source : February 23, 2013, The Malaysian Insider

Largest Climate Change Rally in Washington

More than 35,000 people from across the United States of American rallied through the streets of Washington, marching past the White House, calling for President Obama to take immediate action on climate change. Most were also urging the government to block the construction of the oil pipeline known as Keystone XL. The ‘Forward on Climate’ Rally comes after Obama’s promise to act on climate change in his State of the Union Address, where he gave Congress an ultimatum: “if lawmakers don’t act, I will”.


Date and Source: February 18, 2013,

Mammal’s Urine Provides History of Climate Change

It seems that the layers and layers of dried urine from the Rock Hyrax, a small furry terrestrial mammal which looks like a guinea pig with short ears and tail, can provide scientists with an insight of the Earth’s past climate. The animal’s urine which contains pollen, bits of vegetation and bubbles of air may help scientist understand how the Earth’s climate could change as a result of human-induced global warming. It is reported that one of the urine layers found even stretches back 55,000 years.


Date and Source: February 17, 2013,

France Saves Energy by Banning Lights at Night

From 1st July 2013, the French government will make all non-residential buildings turn off their lights an hour after the last worker leaves or by 1 a.m. each morning. The lights are not allowed to be turned on again until 7 a.m. or just before they open. Shops and offices must turn off non-security and non-emergency exterior and interior lighting (that spills out of the building). Through this initiative, France is expected to save around 2 TWh of energy per year – equivalent to the electricity consumption of 750,000 households.


Date and Source: February 15, 2013,

KL Rivers Becoming Cleaner

Studies are showing that Kuala Lumpur (KL) river basins which were once considered to be ‘polluted’ or ‘dead’ are now becoming cleaner. Under the River of Life (ROL) Project, work is underway to transform the Klang River and other KL rivers into vibrant and liveable waterfronts through river cleaning, river beautification and land development. Rubbish traps have been installed in rivers around KL which have contributed to the reduced pollution of the rivers. Other initiatives include utilisation of retention ponds and construction of River Water Treatment plants.


Date and Source: February 13, 2013, The Star Online

Brazil to Count Every Tree in Amazon

Over the next four years, Brazil will embark on the world’s most extensive forest survey, which aims to truly understand the Amazon Rainforest trees and ultimately help conserve them. Information to be gathered includes the number, height, diameter, and species of trees, along with soil types, biomass carbon stocks, and even local people’s interactions with the forest at each site. This new National Forest Inventory is an assurance of the government’s commitment to further reduce its deforestation.


Date and Source: February 11, 2013, Smart Planet