Utah Startup Launches PowerPot To Bring Electricity To Rural Countries

Sometimes we take things for granted living in a developing world. I for one always have a charged cell phone and at least 8 different wireless charging products so my batteries never die.

Over in some part of Africa 200 million people have a cell phone but many don’t have a way to charge it. Often times people in developing countries walk a mile or more to charge their cell phone.  They pay $2 -$15 for the ability to charge their phones. It’s also been estimated that by the year 2015 that number will double.

There is a startup based in Salt Lake City Utah that is looking to change that. Power Practical has developed a product called the Power Pot which doubles as a cooking device and as a thermoelectric generator. It’s actually designed for cooking over an open flame, which is often times how people in these developing countries do their cooking.

The Power Pot comes equipped with heat resistant cabling that can withstand temperatures of 300 degrees celsius. It also has a silicon coating which makes it dust, mud and dirt resistant, as well as water resistant. With the Power Pot families can cook food while saving up a charge for their cell phone.

Angie Thompson is a school teacher and a field tester for the Power Pot. Thompson reported back that the Power Pot was good for rural life. It was well received and useful during inclement weather.

More after the break
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Utah Startup: EcoScraps Turns Trashed Food Into Compost & Soil

Former Brigham Young University Student Dan Blake had a revolutionary new idea one morning when he couldn’t finish his french toast at an all you can eat buffet breakfast. This simple act of bringing too much food to the table at an all you can eat buffet is one that happens to many of us. For Blake it inspired him to ask the question “what happens to this wasted food”.

Well Blake found out the facts. Americans produced 250 million tons of trash in 2010, with about 34% of that recycled or composted according to the EPA. The EPA estimates that of those 250 million tons, 33 million tons of that was food trash. That’s a  lot of french toast.  Blake took all of this new found knowledge and began dumpster diving.

While most dumpster divers toss the food aside or ignore it all together in hopes of finding that one buried treasure, Blake took as much food waste as he could back to the parking lot of his apartment and composted it himself. He was able to get a university lab to do a soil analysis to find the best combination of nutrients to compost. From there he and his partners dropped out of college and EcoScraps was born.

EcoScraps now takes food waste from grocery stores, and farms and has it hauled to their compost facilities for a discounted tipping fee compared to the dump. EcoScraps then takes the food waste and turns it into compost and potting soil. They sell their compost and potting soil in Utah, Colorado, Arizona and New Mexico.

The company launched in 2010 and became profitable earlier this year. They currently have 25 employees. Right now Blake is finding that, as with regular trash companies, transportation is his biggest expense.

“Transportation is a killer,” Blake told Reuters . “We spend a ton of our time figuring out how to cut down on those costs.”


For more about EcoScraps check out their website here

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Source: Reuters