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Mealworm-Based Codigestion of Persistent Plastics and Food Wastes

The persistence of plastic pollution is a huge challenge globally. Hope for solutions is now possible due to research showing that two of the most persistent plastics - polystyrene and polyethylene undergo rapid microbial degradation in the guts of mealworms. This EVP team has discovered that the process can be further accelerated when mealworms are also food wastes. This project seeks to leverage these discoveries by developing new methods for plastic waste management and resource recovery using insects to degrade plastics.

Water and Energy Connections

Understanding this link is critical to successful management of both resources. As the water sector replaces analog with smart water meters, what can water managers and end-users learn from energy smart metering? What demand responses in one system correlate to responses in the other? What management and behavioral strategies can reduce use of energy and water?

Environmental Behavior Change App

In addition to public health challenges, greenhouse gases from human activities are the most significant driver of climate change. Solutions to both of these challenges will require significant behavior changes. Given both the prevalence of smartphone usage and the sensing capabilities they are equipped with, this project aims to motivate pro-environmental and healthy behavior change by visualizing behavioral goals and their progress on smartphones.

Plant Life Performance

The researchers will highlight plant life particularly vulnerable to extinction, and create a performance piece,Wild Longings, in which audiences are led on an immersive and intimate journey of music, plant sounds and lyrical text exploring the world of plants and the role they play in our lives. The audience will be guided by the score towards various species to examine them in detail.

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