ORGANIZATION NAME: Hivemind
SUMMARY: HiveMind leverages powerful bioremediation modalities to remedy denuded, toxic, and radioactive sites. Our platform is low-tech, but exponentially effective, scalable to global scope, and two orders of magnitude less expensive than conventional methods. It’s also congruent with indigenous cultures such as the Navajo Way of Beauty.
PROBLEM SPACE: “Since the Manhattan Project, over four million tons of uranium have been extracted from Navajo Lands. That ore was worth over one trillion dollars though almost none of the benefits went to the Navajo. The methods used were crude, low yielding, and dangerous to the workers, their families and communities. Defunct mines are still radioactive and stunting, maiming and killing people, including children. The Center for Disease Control reports that 27% of Navajo babies show uranium in their urine. The mines emit 10-20 times the background radiation and are situated near homes, schools, and community centers.
Conventional mitigation methods developed during the Cold War are an elaborate shell game that has run out of shells. That outdated system removes millions of metric tons of soil as the earth is scraped to the bedrock. That soil is shipped to another site either a poorer community or a deep geological repository. It’s unjust to ship radioactive soil to another poor communities and the repositories are either closed or leaking.
The problem of pollution and toxins doesn’t just effect the Navajo, but is a worldwide crisis. The World Health Organization estimates that one in eight deaths is caused by air pollution.”
SOLUTION: HiveMind utilizes a wide array of natural biological agents, technologies and partners to remedy even the most challenging environmental problems.
HiveMind synthesizes much of the work done in bioremediation in the Chernobyl disaster in1986, the petrochemical damage from Operation Desert Storm in 1990-1991, the San Francisco Bay oil spill of 2007, and the Fukushima Daiichi disaster in 2011.
We propose a trial to prove that bioremediation will lessen radioactivity on three defunct uranium mines using pollinators, mushroom mycelium, and native seeds and plants in harmony with the Beauty Way. We will fence in the red zone of radioactivity and spread a foot deep level of wood chips impregnated with forty types of mushroom mycelium that thrive on radioactive isotopes, heavy metals, and persistent organic compounds.
When the mushroom sprouts we will harvest using HAZMAT protocols and send the now radioactive mushrooms to an incinerator licensed to handle radioactive materials.
The outer yellow zone is often denuded of life and we will place a foot of organic hummus and plant native seeds. We will also add pollinators including honeybees, native bees, and bat houses. The end result is only several grams of radioactive waste per site instead of several metric tons.”
UPDATE (2018): Since entering the Fuller Challenge we have been hired by Shell Oil to help them meet their goal of cutting their carbon footprint in half by 2025.
~That’s a reduction of 104,880,000 metric tons of CO2e annually from 2018-2025.
~ For comparison, the average automobile emits 5 metric tons of CO2e each year, the average British citizen 10 metric tons, and the average American 20 metric tons.
~ So that’s the equivalent of drawing down the CO2e emissions of 20,977,600 cars, 10,488,800 British citizens, or 5,244,000 Americans every single year.
The first phase will consist of mycelium inoculated green roofs on Shell’s gas stations through the U.K. and if that’s successful they will expand the program globally.
CONTACT: [email protected]