Could chopsticks idea help save the planet?

Wednesday 5 September 2001

A new design of chopstick which could save vast numbers of trees from the axe and a pioneering way of creating electricity through road traffic noise are just two of the ideas vying for the St Andrews Prize.

A joint project between the University of St Andrews and Conoco, the Prize is seeking innovative but practical solutions to some of the world’s most challenging environmental problems.

Retired forestry worker Robert Simpson, born in England but based in Japan, claims that massive numbers of trees are destroyed each year to provide chopsticks. He believes that used aluminium cans could be melted down into tubes and, at the end of the tube, a grip would hold a 2″ piece of wood inserted for use when eating and disposed of afterwards. Mr Simpson claims that, as well as saving trees from unnecessary destruction, his idea would lead to a significant reduction in the weight of household rubbish, saving towns and cities money.

Meanwhile, Lee Moore, a geophysical data processing consultant based in Colorado, is interested in the possibility of generating enough electricity to supply the national grid through road traffic noise. Mr Moore is designing an apparatus to test the concept, based on using the build- up of seismic waves to generate power. If implemented, he believes the system would create a non-polluting source of electrical energy from the re-use of a polluting type of energy, the petrol engine.

Individuals or groups from all walks of life and any part of the world are invited to participate in the 2002 St Andrews Prize. The winner will receive $25,000 and the support of an elite network of renowned environmental experts. Two runners up will receive $5,000. To date, the Prize has generated the best response since its launch in 1999.

No entry forms are required. All entrants have to do is submit an outline proposal on a single sheet of A4 paper by 30 October 2001. A selection of entrants will then be asked to elaborate on their ideas with a fuller submission in January 2002. Three shortlisted finalists will be invited to the University of St Andrews in May 2002 to present their submissions to the Prize Panel, a distinguished group consisting of environmentalists, scientists and industrialists. After two days of presentations and debates, the Panel will select the winner.

Further information on the Prize can be viewed at or from The St Andrews Prize Office, University of St Andrews, St Salvator’s College, St Andrews, Fife KY16 9AL, Scotland, Tel 01334 462161, Fax: 01334 462590, email [email protected].


NOTE TO EDITORS – Further information/contact details for the above entrants can be obtained by phoning Claire Grainger or Gayle Cook on 01334 462529, 07730 415 015 or 07900 050 103.

Issued by Beattie Media on behalf of the University of St Andrews For more information please contact Claire Grainger on 01334 462530, 07730 415 015 or email [email protected] Ref: prize2002.entries/standrews/chg/6se p2001


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