Agar Agar Bioplastics: Latest Trends, Advances, and Applications for Sustainable Fashion and Interior Design

Agar Agar Bioplastics: Latest Trends, Advances, and Applications for Sustainable Fashion and Interior Design

Agar Agar Bioplastics: Latest Trends, Advances, and Applications for Sustainable Fashion and Interior Design

Introduction:

Agar agar, a gelatinous substance derived from red algae, has emerged as a promising alternative to traditional petroleum-based plastics. Its biocompatibility, touch-screen compatibility, and biodegradability make it an attractive option for sustainable fashion and interior design. At Mashua Project, we’ve been researching and developing Agar agar bioplastics, and we’re excited to share the latest trends, advances, and applications in this field.

Improving Mechanical Properties:

Strength, stiffness, and toughness are crucial mechanical properties for Agar agar bioplastics to become suitable for a wider range of applications.
Researchers at the University of Washington (UW) have made significant progress in this area by optimizing the microstructure and bonding within the bioplastics through careful control of processing conditions. Incorporating reinforcing agents like nanocellulose and nano clay has resulted in stronger and stiffer Agar agar bioplastics.

It was also found that the best bioplastic blend was with agar: chitosan ratio of 52%: 13%, which resulted in properties like tensile strength, elongation, moisture content, and water vapor transmission rate.

Furthermore, Agar-based nanocomposite films reinforced with Ag-Cu alloy nanoparticles exhibit antibacterial activity, making them useful for food preservation.

Addressing Water Sensitivity:

Water sensitivity is a common issue with Agar agar bioplastics, which can compromise their performance in certain environments. Researchers are exploring strategies to address this, such as the addition of hydrophobic compounds or the development of multilayer structures that can protect the Agar agar bioplastic from moisture. By making the bioplastics more water-resistant, their potential use cases can expand to include outdoor applications and products exposed to high humidity or precipitation.

Agar Agar Bioplastics with Coffee Waste:

Triglycerides extracted from coffee waste using a green chemistry approach are promising candidates for producing bioplastics. The incorporation of coffee grounds into pectin matrices for bioplastic composites can be optimized through UV curing, which improves mechanical properties such as elasticity and tensile strength. Spent coffee grounds in thermoplastic starch blends improve UV resistance, radical scavenging activity, thermal stability, and elastic modulus without affecting tensile strength.Exploring

New Applications:

Agar agar bioplastics have the potential to be used in fire-resistant plastics, thanks to the unique properties of the algae-derived compound.
This could open opportunities in industries like data centres, where traditional plastics pose a fire risk. Additionally, the biocompatibility of Agar agar bioplastics makes them a promising candidate for medical applications, such as sutures, implants, and tissue engineering scaffolds.

Next Steps:

To further drive innovation and engagement in the Agar agar bioplastics space, Mashua Project is excited to announce our upcoming Agar Agar Bioplastics Workshop. This hands-on event will provide our community of bio-makers with the opportunity to learn from experts, experiment with the latest formulations, and share their own insights and creations.
By fostering collaboration and user-generated content, we can continue to push the boundaries of what’s possible with Agar agar bioplastics.Stay tuned for more details on the workshop and be sure to follow us on social media for the latest updates on Agar agar bioplastics research and development.
Together, we can contribute to the growing body of knowledge around these fascinating biomaterials and promote comprehensive wellbeing in the fashion and interior design industries.Keywords: Agar agar, bioplastics, wellbeing, comprehensive wellbeing, sustainable fashion, interior design, nanocellulose, nano clay, copper silver nanoparticles, hydrophobic compounds, coffee waste, fire-resistant plastics, medical applications.

ed settings.

Agar agar Bioplastics’ Research Process by Mashua Project

#agar agar-agar-biotextiles, #bioplastics, #biomaterials, #regenerativedesign, #biotextiles #biofactory, #bioloom,  #bioplasticos, #algae #coffee #waste

Senior Dental Care for Holistic Well-being

Senior Dental Care for Holistic Well-being

Senior Dental Care for Holistic Well-being

As we navigate the silver economy, prioritizing seniors’ well-being takes center stage. This blog unveils the synergy between innovative dental care habits, technology-based solutions, and the overarching impact on seniors’ vitality. Delve into “The Power of Senior Dental Care: Beyond Toothbrushes” as we explore the transformative role of self-care practices tailored to our aging population.

Telehealth Revolutionizing Dental Care for Seniors

Embracing the silver economy involves adopting cutting-edge solutions like Dental Telehealth. Defined by the World Health Organization as the use of technology to provide healthcare services remotely, tele dentistry emerges as a game-changer. Our exploration begins with insights from a PubMed article, for vulnerable populations and cost-effective oral health services for seniors.

Photo by cottonbro studio

Dental Irrigators: Eco-friendly Innovations for Senior Oral Health

Traditional toothbrushes remain vital, yet the silver economy thrives on innovation. Enter dental irrigators, eco-friendly tools that transcend conventional dental care. Discover how these devices, especially battery-free alternatives, offer seniors thorough plaque removal, reducing risks associated with gum disease, cavities, and even Electrocardiovascular Diseases (ECDs).

Photo of Battery and electricity free dental irrigators by Amazon.

Explore the detailed advantages of dental irrigators: ease of use, accessibility to challenging areas, and their gentle yet efficient cleaning. Witness how integrating these tools into seniors’ self-care routines significantly enhances oral health, contributing to an elevated quality of life.

Photo by RDN Stock Project

Benefits of Proper Dental Care for Seniors: A Comprehensive Overview

1. Oral Health Maintenance: Seniors thriving in the silver economy reap the rewards of maintaining optimal oral health—preventing gum disease, cavities, and ensuring comfortable oral function.

2. Prevention of Dental Pain: Prioritize seniors’ daily comfort by reducing the risk of dental pain through proper oral care, minimizing the need for invasive treatments.

3. Boosted Self-Esteem: A healthy smile becomes a cornerstone of seniors’ self-esteem, fostering a positive outlook on life and contributing to overall well-being.

4. Improved Nutrition: The silver economy flourishes when seniors can maintain healthy teeth, enabling them to consume a diverse and balanced diet, fundamental for overall nutrition.

Correlation Between Dental Diseases and Systemic Health Issues

Dental diseases ripple beyond oral health, impacting seniors’ overall well-being. Explore the interconnectedness:

1. Cardiovascular Diseases: Uncover the link between gum disease and cardiovascular issues, supported by reputable sources such as Colgate and Harvard Health.

2. Diabetes: Navigate the intricate relationship between poorly managed dental health, blood sugar control, and the bidirectional link with diabetes.

3. Respiratory Infections: Understand how untreated bacterial infections in the mouth can lead to respiratory infections, particularly in seniors with compromised immune systems.

4. Osteoporosis: Uncover the impact of osteoporosis on the jawbone and its potential consequences for senior dental health.

5. Alzheimer’s Disease: Explore evolving studies suggesting a potential connection between oral health and cognitive decline, emphasizing the importance of dental care for seniors.

Conclusion:

Therefore, this exploration reaffirms that proper dental care is a cornerstone of senior well-being, transcending oral health to prevent a spectrum of systemic issues. Regular check-ups and robust oral hygiene practices are pivotal in nurturing the silver economy, ensuring seniors thrive in holistic health.

Regenerative Design and Concept

Regenerative Design and Concept

Regenerative Design and Concept

Every regenerative product or service is born from a process of analysis and identification of the type of solution that we intend to offer. Many times, we have stalled along the way, have it not happened to you? What do we do at that time? To help you, I have made a compilation of 10 key aspects to take in consideration, when developing a product or service under a regenerative concept.

1. What’s the problem? What issue have you identified? For example: Excessive consumption of plastics, loss of marine biodiversity, pollution of rivers, etc.

notebook beside the iphone on table
Photo by picjumbo.com on Pexels.com

2. What solution can you offer? What kind of solution will you offer with your product or service? What type of regenerative impact are you delivering (social, cultural, environmental, or economic)? Who are the main stakeholders?, being our Planet and Society, the main participants.

3. Who are your clients? Who will be your clients? Here, you must describe in detail the characteristics of your Buyer Persona (Profile of your Target Customer). What are their interests, their concerns? What places do they frequent? What kind of digital tools do they use to choose a product or service, which influencers or references in Regenerative Fashion do they admire?

4. Who are your competitors? With the current globalization, we currently compete with global brands, therefore, the competitive advantage must be closely connected to the regenerative value proposal that you offer. In this link, you can find some key tools to be able to carry out the evaluation of your competition. Take in consideration that a good start will be looking for market research reports like Statista, OMS, World Economic Forum among others related to our now days digital ecosystems.

water swimming competition pool
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Remember that in addition to evaluating what fraction of the market they lead, you must analyze how they are managing their strategic, operational and support processes.

“Design creates culture. Culture shapes values. Values determine the future.”

— Robert L. Peters, designer and author

5. Strategy of the Regenerative Product or Service: Here it is important to carry out an evaluation of the environment with a SWOT Analysis (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats), PESTEL (political, economic, social, technological, ecological and legal environment, Porter Force Analysis, analysis of organizational capabilities the 7s and define if we choose to compete in an environment of high competition (RED) or BLUE ocean scenarios (minimal or no competition).

6. Define Key Processes: in the fashion sector are Research and Development, Concept and Storytelling of the product or service, but very essential is prototyping where we can quickly design, manufacture, and test the level of success of the new product or service and in addition to its final cost. One quote that resumes this part is: “Design creates culture. Culture shapes values. Values determine the future.” — Robert L. Peters, designer and author.

7. Design and Concept: At this stage of the development of the concept and idea, agile and systematic ideation tools such as Brainstorming and Mind Maps come into play, as for the product development phase, tools such as Design Thinking, Design Tools such as Rhinoceros, Adobe XD, Sketch, Fusion 360 and others. Also type of digital technology that will be used for its fabrication such as laser cutting and engraving, 3D printing, milling, embroidery and digital fabric are used for prototyping and final manufacturing.

Agar agar Bioplastic Research by Mashua Project at Factory 103.

Finally, once the prototype has been validated, the production and marketing of the product proceeds. It should be noted that in this last part the marketing channels are today online, and marketing goes hand in hand with the development of a Digital Marketing strategy.

8. Selection of Technologies and Materials: This process is key because it will define the level of quality and alignment of the final product or service with the needs of the consumer. On the other hand, it will define the level of environmental, social, and cultural impact of the same. In this process, we will ask ourselves the following questions: Is the final product compostable? Is it biodegradable? What is the average lifetime of the product? What is the carbon footprint of your production? Estimated production time? Machine Hours, Man Hours; etc.

“Every great design begins with an even better story.” 

– Lorinda Mamo, designer

9. Costing, Financing and Production: After carrying out a detailed costing of the materials, labor, marketing and distribution expenses, production and administration, the correct thing to do is to carry out an economic and financial analysis of the product or service generated under 3 scenarios: the optimist, conservative and pessimist. Very important, define the percentage that can be financed with own resources and the percentage that will have to be financed by incubators, financial entities or subsidized by the State, if applicable.

10. Control and Monitoring: Here we analyze the results through an analysis of financial indicators, sales, production, quality, sustainability, social responsibility and very important the results of the surveys of our clients, because in the end it is about to determine whether our value proposition is meaningful to our customers and why.

It should be noted that aspects 1 to 6 generally correspond to the strategic processes during the generation of products and services, and that processes 6 to 10 correspond to the operational and support ones.

Conclusion, if you are in the process of developing a new product or service, the starting point is the problem or “pain point” identified (the need) and once the proposed solution has been validated through the prototyping process, you will be able to make your proposal of value is scalable through the development of steps 7 to 10. Another aspect to consider is that not all tools work for all projects, so the journey consists of identifying which ones really complement and will accompany you on your journey as a creator, researcher, bio manufacturer or/and entrepreneur.

#regenerativeconcept, #design, #regenerativesolutions,#design,#art,#creativity,#processes,#fabrication, #productmanagement

10 Things to know about Agar Agar Bioplastics

10 Things to know about Agar Agar Bioplastics

10 Things to know about Agar Agar Bioplastics

The main (bio)material we used for our latest  Bio Uncu Maker is based on Agar agar, a gelatinous substance made with an extract of red algae abundant on the Pacific coast of Peru and Chile.

Did you know that this biomaterial is biocompatible with human skin? And the fact that this considerably reduces the probability of an allergic reaction occurring?

Another amazing fact is that Agar agar bioplastics affect touch capacitive screens! Amazing, right?!

Our research and development process began with the generation of the biomaterial, which brought us many lessons learned that we want to share with our future bio makers:

  • Tip 1: Agar agar’s Powder form dissolves faster and more evenly

Agar is available in three different formats (bars, granules, and powder). Because agar needs to be heated to 90°C to dissolve properly in liquid, the powdered form is easiest to work with. If you are using bars or flakes, we suggest you break them into a powder first, using a coffee or spice grinder. The powder form dissolves faster and more evenly.

Source: https://pacificharvest.co.nz/seaweed-blog/how-to-use-agar/
  • Tip 2: Start with a basic recipe and then try different combinations of Agar agar, Glycerine and Distilled water.

Checkout some online cooking recipes books. Ones that I can truly recommend are the following: The Secrets of Bioplastics by Clara Davis and Bioplastic Cook Book by Anastasia Pistofidou.

An additional thing to know is that a bioplastic made with Agar agar may ‘sweat’ when in humid weather. To prevent this, you may add a little bit of corn starch (corn flour) with Agar agar into the liquid that you are cooking it in.

There are many recipes, but you start your journey with those ingredients that you can find in your community or closest ecosystem, but also keep in mind what type of possible applications of your new biomaterial you can explore and validate further.

  • Tip 3: Check Ph of liquids vehicle and natural dyes

If you’re going to add some natural dyes, the best way to include them in your recipe is to add them at the end of the cooking process. In addition, it is very important that you monitor the level of pH of the liquid solution because Agar agar is sensible to acid pH levels and to the concentration of Calcium in the solution. Therefore for all your liquid ingredients make sure you always use filtered water.

Take in consideration that some natural colors can be thermosensitive (Spiruline and beet for example), therefore you must add them at the very end of your cooking process to prevent any fading.

  • Tip 4: Documentation and Registration of your Bioplastic Journey

This is key for documenting all the lessons learned during your bio-making journey. Excel sheets can help at the beginning for effectively following up a sample’s progress. Don’t forget to include photos. All the morphological transformations will be key for identifying each resulting biomaterial’s possible applications: rugosity, transparency, brightness, flexibility, hardness and density.

Biomaterial Follow Up Chart by Mashua Project
  • Tip 5: Natural dyes preparation

Colour’s selection depends on the concept of your bio project. But here you can find some very useful guidelines for preparing your natural dyes. For example, for our Bio Uncu project we decided to go for an Andean Palette of Colours made with Purple Corn and Annatto.

  • Tip 6: Bubbling control and heating

Having in mind Agar agar bioplastics cool quickly, it is very important to control bubbling before pouring the mixture into the molds. You can stir the bubbles with a spoon or pass the hot mixture through a colander. If you want to remove them in a professional manner, there is specialized equipment for it called Vacuum Bubble Removers.

Another very important method is by controlling the temperature of your preparation, just make sure it does not exceed the 90-95 Celsius degrees.

  • Tip 7: Surfaces of molds

Ideal surfaces for Agar agar bioplastics are glass, textiles with high thread counts of 250 or more and high-density textiles. It will depend on the type of transparency and texture you would like to accomplish.

  • Tip 8: Cooking Time and Volume

Cooking time will depend on the volume of your mixture. For samples between 300ml to 500ml the cooking time over moderate heat is approximately 30min and for volumes greater than 500ml the ideal cooking time is 40 to 45min. Do not forget to control the temperature and shake the mixture continuously to avoid the formation of lumps.

Biotextiles Research by Mashua Project. Location Factory103.
  • Tip 9: How to make an Agar agar bioplastic stronger

Researchers at Tuskegee University in Alabama found that adding nanoparticles made of eggshells to bioplastic increases the strength and flexibility of the material, potentially making it more attractive for use in the packaging industry.

You may experiment with adding other additives (fibers, organic waste; etc) that will make your samples more tough and resistant.

  • Tip 10: The drying and testing process

Agar agar bioplastics shrink a lot in size and thickness over time, and if left in a mold where it’s connected to wooden edges, will form cracks in the center. So, make sure to cut the agar free from the edges of the mold after the first 24 hours of setting.

Wait and dry, typically 2-4 days before you remove your samples from the mold. The morphologic and biomechanical tests of your samples must be done after the second week though.

One very important thing is to let the samples dry in a well ventilated, insulated and dry environment to prevent the samples from mold.

Agar gar Biomaterial Research Progress by Mashua Project.
Bioplastic Progress
Agar agar Bioplastic’s Samples by Mashua Project.

I hope these tips will be useful for you as a good starting point for your journey as future bio makers!

#agar, #bioplastics, #biocompatible, #regenerativedesign, #biotextiles, #microorganisms, #biouncu, #inkatextiles, #biotocapus, #biofactory, #bioloom, #digitalfabrication, #bioplasticos, #algae

Source: Bioplastic Cookbook for Ritual Healing from Petrochemical Landscapes by Tiare Ribeaux

Regenerative and Sustainable Design: What’s the Difference?

Regenerative and Sustainable Design: What’s the Difference?

Regenerative and Sustainable Design:

What’s the Difference?

Is sustainable design enough nowadays, is it a part of the solution? Or a part of the main misconception problem?

While a Sustainable Design seeks to reduce negative impacts of the environment, and the health and safety of building occupants, thereby improving building performance. The basic objectives of sustainability are to reduce consumption of non-renewable resources, minimise waste, and create healthy, productive environments. Its main approach is to eliminate and reduce potential negative impacts in the future of society and the environment.

On the other hand a Regenerative Design has a systemic approach, in other words is a process-oriented whole systems approach to design

Algae at Costa Brava in Catalunya.

The term “regenerative” describes processes that restore, renew or revitalise their own sources of energy and materials (ecosystems). Regenerative design uses whole systems thinking to create resilient and equitable systems that integrate the needs of society with the integrity of nature.

Designers use systems thinking, applied permaculture design principles, and community development processes to design human and ecological systems. The development of regenerative design has been influenced by approaches found in biomimicry, biophilic design, ecological economics, circular economics. As well as social movements such as permaculture, transition and the new economy. Regenerative Design can also refer to the process of designing systems such as restorative justice, rewilding and regenerative agriculture.

Therefore, any technical, social and perceptual innovation can be achieved by applying a Regenerative Design approach, because it is more integral and responds to our nowadays needs which not only look for eliminating and reducing negative impacts, but for restoring all existing damages too.

person in black jacket sitting near lake
Regenerative Tourism at Millpu’s Natural Pools in Ayacucho Peru. Photo by Alex Azabache on Pexels.com

A new generation of designers are applying ecologically inspired design to fashion and beauty, agriculture, architecture, community planning, cities, enterprises, economics and ecosystem regeneration. They use the resilient models observed in systems ecology in their design process and recognise that ecosystems are resilient largely because they operate enclosed loop systems. Great examples are: The Principles of Bio design, Biomimicry and Circular Economy Principles. Using this model regenerative design seeks feedback at every stage of the design process. Feedback loops are an integral to regenerative systems.

Do you want some examples of Regenerative Design? Here are some applied into different sectors:

Calguerxo, an example of a Regenerative Home Renovation Project.

Patagonia, an example of a Regenerative Casual Sportswear Fashion Brand.

Conscious Travel, a great example of Regenerative Tourism Consultancy.

vation, a result of a  co-creation project where designers propose projects with food scraps using artisanal techniques and digital fabrication. They collaborate with agents from Poblenou’s neighbourhood in Barcelona to promote a local circular economy ecosystem.

Biodegradable Coat made with Organic Waste and Bioplastics at Remix El Barrio 2020.

So, which other regenerative brands, initiatives or projects do you know?

References

Authors:

  • Carol Sanford, author of The Regenerative Business and director of Carol Sanford Institute.
  • World Economic Forum: Regenerative business: a roadmap for rapid change. 
What is Regenerative Tourism? How is connected with Regenerative Fashion?

What is Regenerative Tourism? How is connected with Regenerative Fashion?

What is Regenerative Tourism? How is connected with Regenerative Fashion?

It is always good to disconnect, unlearn to continue learning, reconnect with nature, but above all to observe and respect her, because she is the best teacher.

Tourism has been one of the sectors most affected by the current Pandemic, but you know what? Regenerative Tourism (Textile Routes, Gastronomic Routes, Yoga and Meditation Retreats, Rural and Community Tourism for example) can be the key to economic reactivation with a positive and exponential impact.

Do you know what is Regenerative Tourism? How can we get together tourism and fashion for developing a Regeneerative Tourism Experience?

1. According the New York Times article called: “Move Over, Sustainable Travel. Regenerative Travel Has Arrived” Regenerative Travel/Tourism is “leaving a place better than you found it.”

2. Sustainable Tourism aims to counterbalance the social and environmental impacts associated with travel. But any Regenerative Tourism Initiative aims for socio-economic, cultural and environmental wellfare.

3. Regenerative Tourism is a group of economic or recreational activities that we do in a Regenerative Fashion.

4. Regenerative Fashion Experiences are part of a regenerative culture, where ancestral good practices of farming, weaving, embroidery, pottery, painting, dying among other artistic expressions are learned, respected and preserved, while its ecosystem of development is well maintained and culturally, socially, economically and environmentally regenerated.

Regenerative Tourism is a group of economic or recreational activities that we do in a Regenerative Fashion.

– – Mashua Project

5- Three characteristics of a Regenerative Tourism Experience will be:

  • Awareness Tour Groups must be managed properly to make sure that Regenerative Awareness is guaranteed.
  • Educational and Collab Experiences, instead of visiting attractions in a certain natural area, make sure all stakeholders involved (authorities, tour operators, communities, tourists and others) understand the importance of preserving and regenerating those natural areas by generating activities where tourist are introduced into the best ancestral practices of farming, arts and crafts, medicine and why not cooking.
  • Effective, clear and concise Waste Management, Eco Efficiency and HSE Procedures.

So, Tell Us, how can you start a Regenerative Toursim Initiative in your community? How can we monitor a Regenerative Fashion Innovation Impact then?

Sources:
– What is regenerative tourism? And how should we deliver it? https://bit.ly/3ijkbav
– In Bali, locals are turning from tourism to seaweed farming | UpLink https://bit.ly/3wJ4JJL

#regenerativelifestyle,#regenerativedesign,#regenerativetourism,#sustainableliving#regenerativeecosystems#costabrava,#catalunyaexperience

Excursion organized by Plan B to the medieval towns of the Emporda in Catalonia

#regenerativetravel#nature,#regenerativelifestyle,#ruraltourism,#permaculture,#biophilictourism,#emporda,#catalunya ,#regenerativedesign#turismolocal

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