+
True
United Technologies

If you live near an airport or have driven by one, you may have noticed something: Planes are pretty loud.


That's gotta get old. Image via iStock.


There are 87,000 flights in the sky on any given day in the United States. That's a lot of air travel. What does that mean for the people on the ground looking up?

For the millions of people who live in communities surrounding airports, plane noise from takeoff and landing is part of their everyday life.

It's a constant noise that can be frustrating and take a toll on the mind and body.

According to a study in the NIH's Environmental Health Perspectives journal, the impact of noise exposure goes beyond hearing impairment and can also negatively affect blood pressure, stress levels, and sleep.

Noise isn't the only concern with all the air traffic. The environment feels it, too.

Similar to other transportation vehicles, airplanes release many pollutants into the air. With the industry's growth in size comes more noise and pollution.


Air traffic worldwide. GIF via pinyponsi_cgr/YouTube.

This may seem like it only affects people living near airports, but with air travel demand expected to double in the next 20 years, the demand for flights and airports to host them is only going to increase.

For many people, traveling less isn't an option. So innovators have come up with some more realistic solutions for the environmental and noise pollution problems.

What about a plane that's 100% powered by solar energy?

Solar Impulse 2, changing the aviation game. Image via Steve Jurvetson/Flickr.

There's one out there now! It's called the Solar Impulse 2, and instead of using jet fuel, it generates electricity from the solar panels on its 236-foot wingspan. Incredible.

It's going to be a while before any of us step foot on a plane operated in this capacity, but the fact that clean energy is part of the conversation — and is working — is huge.

Or, for instance, a plane engine that's 75% quieter.

PurePower Geared TurboFan Engine. Image by Pratt & Whitney, used with permission.

The company, Pratt & Whitney, has spent the last two decades developing a new engine for airplanes called the PurePower Geared Turbofan engine, which entered into commercial service January 2016. Their goal was to make an engine that is quieter and more sustainable for the Earth, and so far they’re delivering.

Their new engine reduces the plane's noise footprint by 75%, which means a whopping 500,000 fewer people can hear the aircraft taking off compared to a typical plane without it.

That's a lot of lives no longer interrupted by the sound of a plane overhead. And because of that, airports could potentially extend runway hours to allow for more service.

Technologies for better air traffic control make airplanes way more efficient.

The Federal Aviation Administration has been working on modernizing the nation's air traffic control system through what it calls NextGen. Instead of relying on old-school radar-based tracking for air traffic control, the NextGen technology uses more satellite procedures.

According to The Dallas Morning News:

"This technology promises GPS-based tracking as well as new data sharing and communication tools that will allow for more efficient flight paths, better navigation through inclement weather and quicker taxiing times on takeoff and landing.

That increased efficiency translates to fuel and cost savings for airlines, fewer delays for passengers and less air and noise pollution."

The coalition ASCENT is all about reducing the environmental impact of aviation.

The group, made up of 16 leading U.S. research universities and over 60 private-sector stakeholders, is figuring out how to reduce noise, improve air quality, and reduce the climate impact of aviation today.

Through research, ASCENT (the Aviation Sustainability Center) is rethinking the technology, operations, planning, and sustainability within the industry. It's quite a big job.

There is no one single solution to overcome the noise and environmental impact of the planes in our sky.

But it is encouraging to see how much more we know now, and how companies are realizing that more sustainable and greener operations aren't just good for the world, but good for their bottom line.

Flights are cheaper and more accessible than ever before. We should be able to fly to our destinations without harming the Earth — and the people in our path.

Photo: Jason DeCrow for United Nations Foundation

Honorees, speakers and guests on stage at We the Peoples

True

Some people say that while change is inevitable, progress is a choice. In other words, it’s a purposeful act—like when American media mogul and philanthropist Ted Turner established the United Nations Foundation 25 years ago.

Keep ReadingShow less

Delivering packages AND safety.

This article first appeared on 6.15.22.

Amazon delivery drivers don’t have the easiest job in the world. Sitting through traffic, working in extreme temperatures, hauling boxes … not exactly a fun time. So when a driver goes out of their way to be extra considerate—people notice.

One delivery driver has gone viral for the way she delivered a little bit of safety education, along with some lighthearted advice. The TikTok video of the encounter, which now has more than 4 million views, was shared by Jessica Huseman, who had only recently moved into her new house.

The clip shows the doorbell cam recording of the driver approaching the house. As the delivery driver makes it to the front door, she sings, ”Hello … I hope your Monday’s going well. You have no markers on your house that says what number you are.”

From there, the driver’s song quickly changes tune, going from funny jest to helpful PSA.

Keep ReadingShow less
True

Innovation is awesome, right? I mean, it gave us the internet!

However, there is always a price to pay for modernization, and in this case, it’s in the form of digital eye strain, a group of vision problems that can pop up after as little as two hours of looking at a screen. Some of the symptoms are tired and/or dry eyes, headaches, blurred vision, and neck and shoulder pain1. Ouch!

Keep ReadingShow less
via Reddit

This article originally appeared on 07.10.21


When Michael Todd started his freshman year at MLK prep school in Memphis, Tennessee two years ago, he only had one outfit to wear to school. High school kids can be incredibly cruel and Michael was mocked for three weeks for wearing the same clothes every day.

"I really don't have clothes at home," he told KTVI. "My mom can't buy clothes for me because I'm growing too fast."


Keep ReadingShow less
Joy

Guy forgot to change his address in his Chipotle app and it resulted in the sweetest exchange

"Take it with you bro" turned into a tear-jerking story of human connection.

Shahid Davis told a delivery driver to keep his meal and the result was a sweet moment of human connection.

This article first appeared on 3.3.22.

Sometimes the silliest of mistakes can result in the sweetest of coincidences.

Shahid Davis had ordered dinner from the Chipotle app and was checking on the map to see how far away the driver was when he realized that the driver was half a continent away. Davis had been staying at a hotel in Iowa the last time he ordered, and he forgot to go back and change the delivery address to his home in Hagerstown, Maryland. He contacted Chipotle, but the customer service person told him they couldn't do anything since it was already out for delivery.

So when the delivery person texted Davis to let him know they were there, he explained what happened.

"I'm here with your order," the person texted.

"Take it with you bro and enjoy the lunch," Davis responded. "I forgot to change my address and I currently in Maryland."

Keep ReadingShow less

Chris Hemsworth and daughter.

This article originally appeared on 08.27.18


In addition to being the star of Marvel franchise "Thor," actor Chris Hemsworth is also a father-of-three? And it turns out, he's pretty much the coolest dad ever.

In a clip from a 2015 interview on "The Ellen DeGeneres Show," Hemsworth shared an interesting conversation he had with his 4-year-old daughter India.

Keep ReadingShow less