In an effort to address the harmful effects of mass production and electronic waste in our societies today, my project focuses on sustainable DIY electronics. DIY projects are one way to reduce our consumption of products and lower our footprint on environmental damage. DIY projects often use materials you've already purchased or are immediately available and producing these projects often doesn't require the resources used in a large scale industry. However many DIY projects, especially DIY electronics, are not sustainable or environmentally friendly.
For my final project, I attempted to build a biodegradable PCB (Printed Circuit Board) using banana fibers and wheat gluten according to a process described by researchers in the Jyothy Institute of Technology of Bangaluru (1). According to their research and experiments, this combination of materials gave results up to the standards required for PCB while being a sustainable alternative. Banana fiber is one of the strongest naturally occurring fibers (2).
My inspiration for my final project was to build something with biodegradable electronic components and thus have a sustainable electronic device. DIY projects are a powerful way to reduce consumption and be more self-sufficient while working towards a sustainable future. However, for us that make DIY electronic projects, our options are only working with toxic and damaging electronics. These components hurt our bodies and environment as they contain toxic levels of lead and other compounds which are released into the air, land, and water (1).
While dealing with ideas of noise pollution in the ocean I came across a couple of interesting articles revolving around sound and water. The first is a recent development where Stanford scientists successfully created the loudest possible sound in water (1). This was a sound that reached over 270 decibels! The reason that this is the loudest sound possible is that at this high of amplitude, the pressure breaks down the medium of water itself and it instantly vaporizes. Previously the loudest sound made was in air, which could only reach around 194 decibels.
This morning I saw an article in Scientific American about micro plastics and was interested to explore them further and their potential affect on our health (1). This article was based on a study in a remote area in France about how micro plastics fall from and travel through our atmosphere. It found that even in these remote regions, micro and nono-plastics are polluting the air. It found that these particles had “blown in on the wind from at least 100 kilometers away and likely much farther”.
Since we discussed a bit about the surface level of the Chinese Zodiac in relation with Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), I thought I would briefly research and educate myself about the subject a little more from a scientific perspective. It is a subject I have heard a lot about along with homeopathy from all over the world, but had never spent time to lookup any research into it. TCM is a holistic approach to medicine utilizing various practices beyond the actual application of medicine via herbs, minerals, and various other sources.