Scientists at the American University have found a way of using spinach as a catalyst for fuel cells. When spinach is converted from its leafy, edible form into carbon nanosheets, it acts as a catalyst for an oxygen reduction reaction in fuel cells and metal-air batteries. Most of the time, carbon-based catalysts fail to outperform platinum. However, lightly-salted spinach leaves that were blended, freeze-dried, and heat-treated into layers of nanosheets were more efficient than platinum fuel cells.
The jeans company Levi's has launched a program named “Buy Back” which seeks to buy back used jeans from its customers. The second-hand jeans are then resold by Levi's on its own online marketplace. Customers who make use of this service receive a voucher worth $15 to $25 for their worn clothing. For vintage jeans they are even credited with $30 to $35. What's more, Levi's has launched a collection made up of upcycled denim. According to the company, this will save approximately 80% of the CO2 emissions and 700 grams of waste compared to buying a new pair of jeans.
The US supermarket chain Kroger has partnered with the ghost kitchen company ClusterTruck during the Covid-19 pandemic in order to install ghost kitchens at stores in Indianapolis and Columbus. The ghost kitchens, where food is prepared for pick-up or delivery only, are being given a space of 100 square metres in the supermarkets. Customers can choose from an online menu of 80 meals and then have the food delivered to their home. Supermarket customers also get the chance to take some freshly prepared food home with them after their shopping.
The US supermarket chain Kroger has opened a Twitter account called “Chefbot” that suggests recipes to users based on photos of their fridges' contents. According to the commissioned digital agency 360i, “Chefbot” uses AI to detect a total of 2,000 foods that are kept in fridges. Users who wish to avoid food waste or want some inspiration are invited to take a photo of the inside of the fridge and tweet it. The bot will detect up to three food items in the photo and will then suggest a matching recipe from a collection of 20,000 recipes.
Amazon has launched an AR app called “Amazon Augmented Reality” which enables some fun interaction with Amazon shipping boxes. When customers point their smartphone at the QR codes on the boxes, various different experiences are activated. For example, users get to colour in a pumpkin on a box for Halloween and then animate it using AR. The pumpkin then jumps virtually out of the box, can have filters added to it and replaces the user's head in selfie mode. What's more, users can animate the Amazon logo or convert the shipping box into a blue car.