The Goods: Leonardo DiCaprio funds anti-illegal fishing tech – and other stories everyone’s talking about


(Photo: Facebook/Global Fishing Watch)

Leo DC is back to dish out the dollars for the good of the oceans

A new high-tech online platform is fighting illegal fishing across the globe – and you can help out. According to its website, Global Fishing Watch “enables anyone with an internet connection to see fishing activity anywhere in the ocean in near real-time, for free.”

Developed by Oceana, SkyTruth and Google, Global Fishing Watch works via analysing data collected from satellite systems, which allows users – with a bit of effort and thought – to track and monitor over 35,000 fishing vessels.

The aim is for the tool to be used by anyone from journalists to governments to interested citizens, in order to help crack down on the illegal fishing trade – a highly problematic and multibillion dollar industry.

Oh, and did we mention that one of the project’s funding partners is the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation, which reportedly contributed around $6 million of the total $10.3 million costs? We hardly needed reminding, but it’s just another reason to love LDC and his planet-saving ways.



The best way to stop ice melting? The sun

Sweden’s ICEHOTEL is a thing of wonder. Every year it’s painstakingly built and carved from ice, for visitors to stay in and swoon at, before it melts away when temperatures rise. Only to be built again the next year.

But soon there’ll be a permanent icy accommodation option that stays un-melted the whole year round – and, bizarrely, it’s all thanks to the sun.

Yep – as paradoxical as it sounds, the new ICEHOTEL 365 will be solar-powered. Sitting close to the original, in the frosty paradise of Jukkasjärvi, the new hotel will again be built with ice and snow from the river Torne nearby, but thanks to 600 square metres of solar panels keeping the temperature at -5°C, it’ll remain very much intact during the summer. Cool.



(Image: PinPinStudio/icehotel.com)


High-flying, low-lying, green-friendly garbage vacuum

As if the High Line – the park that sits high up in New York, built on a raised stretch of disused rail track – wasn’t smart enough already, someone has come up with a way to make it even better: a giant garbage vacuum cleaner.

It may not sound like the coolest thing, but consider that this pneumatic system (proposed by infrastructure and design firm ClosedLoops) would run underneath the elevated track, wooshing garbage away from the park and separating it into trash and recycling containers, before it gets picked up by rail cars and taken to treatment and waste facilities.

It’s still a proposal at present, but if it gets the green light, ClosedLoops claim that the system could reduce traffic flow and carbon emissions around the park (as there would be less garbage trucks needed), as well as reducing energy costs. That’s the kind of trash talk we like.



(Photo: Wikimedia Commons)

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