Finland and Japan in Space Race to Launch Wooden Satellite, Award-Winning Wooden Skyscraper Design,, Recycle Old Clothes Into New While You Wait!

by | May 18, 2021 | Podcasts, The Climate Daily

Finland and Japan in Space race to launch wooden satellite, plus an award-winning wooden skyscraper design., and recycle old clothes into new, while you wait!



Earlier this year, The Climate Daily reported on a Japanese research team working to create an operational satellite made from wood. Well it looks like a group from Finland may beat them to the punch!

UPM Plywood, Arctic Astronautics and Huld announced a joint mission to launch the first ever wooden satellite, the WISA Woodsat. It’s a nanosatellite based on the Kitsat educational MODEL. The satellite measures roughly 10 x 10 x 10 cm and weighs ABOUT two pounds The mission is to gather data on the behavior and durability of plywood over an extended period in the harsh temperatures, vacuum and radiation of Space in order to assess the potential of wood materials in space structures.

And why do wood satellites matter to us? Well as Ari VOOTILANEN, UPM Plywood space project manager said, “UPM’s mission as a company is to create a future beyond fossil fuels.” In other words, Houston, we may have a solution.

A suite of on-board sensors, including two cameras will be used to monitor the specially coated WISA®-Birch plywood. One of these cameras is situated on a deployable boom for exterior imaging. The space materials laboratory of the European Space Agency will also provide a novel sensor suite for the mission. And all of this will be powered by nine small solar cells.

 WISA WOODSATTM, into Earth’s orbit by the end of 2021.

DEEPER DIVE: WISA WoodSAT, Interesting Engineering



Building tall buildings out of wood instead of steel offers a lot of benefits, most notably that it considerably cuts the carbon footprint of new construction.  But the properties of wood mean that 100%-wood buildings have a height limit,  which limits wood as a feasible construction material.

However, a prototype from Toronto-based architecture firm Dialog gets around that by combining mass timber (solid wood panels nailed or glued together, the basis for tall wood buildings) with steel and concrete, plus solar-panel lined walls and an in-building algae bioreactor, resulting in a 105-story skyscraper that would have no carbon footprint.

Craig Applegath, Dialog’s founder, says they were inspired to create the prototype because of the “ticking time bomb of climate change,” plus the fact that wood stores carbon and, when sustainably harvested, is better for the environment than steel or concrete. 

The prototype includes solar panels on three facades to generate 25% of the building’s electricity. A natural gas system provides the rest of the heat and power, but an algae bioreactor eats those carbon emissions, for a tall building that produces zero operational carbon. 

Does this matter to us? Yes. As long as people gather in vertical cities, innovative building techniques in the era of climate change will become paramount. That’s why Dialog’s Wooden Skyscraper is a winner of Fast Company’s 2021 World Changing Ideas Awards. 

DEEPER DIVE: FastCo. DialogDesign, Canadian Architect



To be an evangelical Christian in the climate change space can be lonely. It’s well documented that most evangelicals are Republican in their politics and many churches are influenced by the Republican party, and that Republicans as a group haven’t quite come around to embracing reality yet.

That’s why A Rocha, an evangelical Christian organization dedicated to restoring people and places through biodiversity conservation, education and creation care founded, Love Your Place. Love Your Place is an online community designed to connect members with resources and a community that cares about conservation—rooted in solid science and sound theology.

Love Your Place also created a series of courses designed to help evangelicals reconcile climate change with their biblical upbringings and apply the same toward positive climate change action. Those courses include the Climate Change Course, exploring the intersection between Christian faith and climate change consequences and actions; the Habitat Course—teaching evangelicals about personal, pollinator bird and coral reef habitats. There’s even a Plastics Course—teaching folks how to change their plastic habits, and other courses worthy of non-evangelicals too.

Climate change is a dynamic reality that impacts us all. Its wide-reaching consequences call us to action, as individuals and communities. If it’s worth its salt, the Love Your Place Climate Change course will help anybody willing to explore their faith or spirituality how to answer the question: Why and how does our what we believe move us to act on climate change?

DEEPER DIVE: Love Your Place, A Rocha



Imagine dropping off a worn-out T-shirt and watching as a machine shreds and recycles it into a new garment. Cool, right? The machine, called Looop, developed by Hong Kong Research Institute of Textiles and Apparel in collaboration with the nonprofit H&M Foundation, cleans and shreds old fabric, spins it into yarn, and then knits it into a new product that the customer can pick up the next day.

“To fight climate change, we need to change fashion,” reads a statement on the fashion retailer’s website. Indeed, analysis from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency suggests that fashion waste may make up as much as 5% of landfill capacity, while also producing 10% of the nation’s total methane emissions.

Customers use an app to choose the type of new garment they want—from a knit shirt to a baby blanket—and then leave the old clothing with attendants. The machine sterilizes the old clothing with ozone, then shreds it into smaller pieces that are filtered to remove dirt. Depending on how worn the old garment is, technicians might mix in new material to make the final product stronger.

The strands of fiber are combined and spun together into threads that the machine can use to knit the new product, for a fee of around $17.

DEEPER DIVE: FastCo., H&M, YouTube, Good News Network