If you’re listening to this broadcast, the chances are you can get clean drinking water right from your kitchen sink. But much of the world’s population does not have that luxury. In rural sub-Saharan Africa, the World Health Organization estimates that only about half of the population has access to clean water, and only 23% have access to hygienic sanitation facilities. The burden of this problem falls disproportionately on women and girls who literally carry the water for their communities. Our guest this week on Sea Change Radio is Gemma Bulos, the Executive Director and co-founder of an organization that works to solve the problem by empowering women as technicians and community leaders who build and sustain water-access technology. Bulos explains how the Global Women’s Water Initiative builds capacity, the connection between water access and girls’ education, and the story of how she arrived at this world-changing work.
Many people living in Pacific nations, like Vanuatu, Indonesia, and the Philippines, struggle to find adequate shelter, a challenge compounded by the elevated risk of structure-destroying cyclones. Meanwhile, miles off their coasts, plastic waste floats in the ocean, contaminating the marine food chain and threatening the world’s largest ecosystem. Our guest this week is Nev Hyman, an avid surfer who saw these two seemingly unrelated problems and devised a solution. His company, Nev House, uses recycled plastic to build low-cost, fire- and cyclone-resistant, solar- and water sanitation-equipped houses for people living in developing nations. He tells us about how Nev House partners with charities to actualize their business model, how he feels the emergency shelter system should be streamlined, and how this small company will upcycle 3 million tons of plastic waste over the next four years.
Is the biofuel craze of a few years ago really dead? This week’s guest on Sea Change Radio, Pat Gruber, thinks not. While plummeting oil prices may have flattened the appeal of biofuel in the auto industry, the air travel industry’s interest appears to be just taking off. Gruber’s company, Gevo, provided the fuel for the first corn-powered commercial passenger flight in U.S. history this month. We discuss his company’s technology, the competitive bio jetfuel landscape, and what feedstocks are likely to be used to power future flights. Then we dig into the Sea Change Radio archives to hear from longtime airline industry analyst Bob McAdoo. He breaks down airline pricing models that often leave travelers flummoxed.
It’s summertime, time to make your camping reservations. Oops, should have done that three months ago! This week’s guest on Sea Change Radio, Alyssa Ravasio, noticed that there was a lot of private land that would be perfect for camping, while public campsites were consistently overbooked and too often unavailable. So she started something called Hipcamp which is sort of an Airbnb meets Expedia for campers. Ravasio tells us more about the company’s business model, how they hope to make it easier for more of us to appreciate nature and how her site can be a welcome new source of income for rural property owners.