#1 Want to know how clean your hotel sheets are? China’s got an app for that
Soon, hotel guests staying in the Chinese city of Wuhan will be able to see how clean their sheets are – no blacklight needed. High-temperature and water-resistant chips will be sewn into hotel linens. These chips will be scannable via QR codes allowing guests to know when, where and how the items were cleaned. Germophobes rejoice!
#2 Northern California got so hot that mussels cooked on the beach
Northern California’s Bodega Bay is super hot right now. Things got so bad after a June heatwave that the bay’s mussels cooked under the midday sun! It may not seem so bad, for a bunch of mussels to cook on a hot day, but these events spell trouble. Mussels are considered a foundation species, so when something is wrong with them, more significant troubles (i.e. climate change) are afoot – think of them as being like the canary in the coal mine.
#3 Air New Zealand is practising ‘Plastic Free July.’
Air New Zealand is looking to double its reduction of single-use plastics – with the aim of removing 55 million plastic items from flights. The airline began a plastic-free initiative at the end of 2018 but will be working even harder this month as it removes plastic water bottles from many services. Plastic-free July will see that over 460,000 bottles do not get used and that carbon emissions will be reduced by 300,000kg! Environmentally-friendly alternatives, like plant-based or recyclable water cups, will be rolled out to services later this year.
#4 NASA successfully uses “green” fuel to power satellite in orbit
As part of NASA’s Green Propellant Infusion Mission (GPIM), the space organisation was able to successfully use “green” fuel to power the thrusters of one of its satellites. The green fuel is the first of its kind to be used in space. Known as AF-M315E, the fuel is made of hydroxyl ammonium nitrate. Even better, unlike its non-green counterpart (which is super toxic), this green fuel is less toxic than caffeine.
#5 New road to link Europe and China
Russian officials have given the go-ahead to build a new highway that will stretch over 2,000km. Beginning near Kazakhstan, this road through Russia will create the shortest land route between mainland Europe and China. The route will help more efficiently move goods between the two destinations. The project is estimated to cost $9.4 billion, and over 80% of the land needed for the route has already been purchased.