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VivoBarefoot Molded (not Moldy) Shoes from Algae

Have you ever stepped onto a beach or walked down to your favorite lake and—ugh—it was covered with algae? Yuck, you probably thought, I’m not stepping in that! Well, VivoBarefoot has come up with a solution.

VivoBarefoot has teamed up with Bloom Foam, a company in Mississippi that takes the slimy algal biomass from fresh water sources that are at high risk of algal bloom, and makes stuff from it. They already have accolades from World Champion surfer, Kelly Slater, for surfing traction pads.

Bloom not only makes the world a cleaner place by removing all that unwanted algae, it replaces petroleum-based materials with its new technology. They claim that one pair of VivoBarefoot Ultra III amphibious adventure shoes will return fifty-seven gallons of clean water to a habitat, and reduce forty balloons-worth of carbon dioxide (CO2) from the atmosphere. Well, that claim is for a pair of men’s size 42. I assume if you have smaller feet you will have a smaller environmental impact. Still, pretty impressive.

High School Student Wins Awards for Algae Research

Rose Rasty, a junior at George C. Marshall High School in McLean, Virginia, has won awards for her project titled “Optimizing Oil Spill Remediation Using Ferrofluid and Algae.” It all started when she was looking into harmful algae blooms and stumbled across articles about how algae can break down hydrocarbons in oil. Then she investigated using a magnet with ferrofluid and decided to try combining the two seemingly completely diverse remedies to see if they would clean up oil spills. It worked!

For her excellent work, Rose Rasty won the McLean Area Branch of the American Association of University Women (AAUW) 2017 STEM Excellence Award, third place in Environmental Management in the Governor’s Awards, as well as the Stockholm Junior Water Prize. Congratulations, Rose!