Eco-designer turns landfill waste into ‘plasma rock’ — a sustainable, all-purpose material

Landfill waste is given a second life by blasting it with plasma hotter than the sun. Now that’s a project we love!

You shouldn’t forget about recycling bathroom items

When home recycling is concerned, the kitchen reigns supreme. Here is where most of the waste gets disposed and where all the recycling bins can be found, but there’s another important center filled with recyclable items in your home: the bathroom. Research shows that even among families that are consistent recyclers, only 20% of Americans recycle bathroom items. It’s not

Give ugly veggies and fruits a second chance – they’re just as tasty

According to the United Nations, 20 to 40 percent of fresh food is thrown away by farmers because they don’t look as appetizing as they should to sell. Besides looking a bit crooked, twisted or shrugged, these fruits and vegetables are perfectly edible and taste no different than the perfectly shaped ones you’re always on the lookout for in the supermarket.

The App that could fight food waste

According to the EPA, Americans waste some 30-40 percent of all the food they use. Even not considering the poorest areas such as Africa or SE Asia where food is almost a luxury, there are 50 million Americans who don’t have daily access to adequate food; reducing food waste could improve and save countless lives. Food waste is a huge problem

Giant 500 km wide ocean whirlpools affect climate

Giant whirlpools or mesoscale eddies, as described in scientific literature, can grow between 100 km and 500 km in diameter, forming around islands where ocean currents become disrupted. These whirlpools carry immense amounts of water and heat, but up until now they’ve been largely ignored in climate models. A novel research, however, found that energy dispersed by the giant eddies shouldn’t

Silly Putty ingredient helps improve batteries

When you think about Silly Putty toys, the last thing that comes to mind is high-tech. A group of researchers, however, used a novel trick to incorporate  an ingredient in Silly Putty to improve lithium-ion battery life between charges by three times the industry standard. For what’s it worth, Silly Putty is actually one of the most fascinating man-made materials. One

West Antarctic Ice Sheet collapse is irreversible; to cause 10 feet sea level rise

The  West Antarctic Ice Sheet , a massive system of glaciers, is collapsing as a result of glacier melting (global warming). The process is most likely irreversible and cause a global sea lever rise of at least 10 feet, a pair of independent studies conclude. A warmer planet gives way to rising oceans Previously, the two-mile-thick (3.2 kilometers) glacier system was

3D printer used to build 10 homes in one day in China

Say what you will, but the Chinese are clearly the fastest builders in the world, though sometimes quick haste makes to waste. A while ago, I wrote about how a Chinese company wants to build the tallest skyscraper in the world in just 90 days. Really crazy stuff, but now another Chinese company, with many years of experience working with

Condensing towers could make water from thin air in the driest places on Earth

The Namib desert is one of the vastest and driest deserts in the world. There is little water to be found here, so the few critters calling the desert home had to learn to adapt in order to survive. One particular beetle species stands out through the ingenuity with which it manages to quench its thirst – it doesn’t need

Toyota confirms confirms fuel cell launch for 2015; zero local emissions and 500-mile range

Toyota has officially announced that it will launch a hydrogen fuel cell-powered car in 2015, but said sales volumes would be limited. The company announced they will use a high-density fuel stack which will have the potential to cover 500 miles on a single fuel tank. The technology will take a while to be implemented and accepted by the public, says European president,

This sealed bottle garden hasn’t been opened since 1972 – still doing just fine

It’s 1960, a nice Sunday, Easter day. David Latimer decides to do something special to mark this day, and he starts a bottle garden in his ten gallon carboy. He poured in some compost, a quarter pint of water and then, carefully added some spiderwort seedling (Tradescantia) using a piece of water. He then placed the bottle garden by a sun-filled

Middle school student shows the US government could save $400 million by switching fonts

How important are details, when it comes to saving money? Any accountant will tell you: really important. A middle school student in Pittsburg thought the same thing – he discovered that the government could save $400 million dollars just by change the typeface it uses. Inspired by a school project on saving ink, he calculated that his school could reduce

Solar powered toilet locks greenhouse gases and increases crop yields

One of the 16 teams involved in a collaborative project funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation that aims to help some of the 2.5 billion people around the world lacking safe and sustainable sanitation recently unveiled their innovative design: a solar-powered toilet that treats solid waste by effectively carbonizing it. The concentrated solar power delivers high energy in

Why Energy Conservation is Important

Although Americans hear on a regular basis about how their energy use affects the environment and how the country is facing an energy crisis as energy resources fail to meet up with consumer demand, many simply don’t understand what it means to consume energy. When you plug the toaster in to toast your bagel every morning, you may just assume

Growing the World’s Tallest Vertical Garden in Sydney

Patrick Blanc is a French botanist, typically wrongly credited as the inventor of the vertical garden (aka. Green Wall, Botanical Brick), a title which belongs to Professor Stanley Hart White at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign (1938). Still, Patrick Blanc is certainly modern innovator of the green wall – a wall, either free-standing or part of a building, that is

Seattle plans for a city park with edible plants – free for anyone and everyone

Forget meadows. Forget grass. Forget sterile, monotone parks with no plant diversity. Seattle’s vision of an urban oasis is becoming more and more a reality: a seven-acre plot of land will be covered with hundreds of different kinds of edible plants: walnut and chestnut trees, blueberry and raspberry shrubs, apples, pears, yuzu citrus, guava, persimmons, honeyberries, herbs, and many, many

First fully 3-D printed house looks incredible

Possibly the most exciting technological innovation of the decade, in terms of the impact it’s projected to have, 3-D printing never seems ceasing to amaze us with its unrivaled potential. We’ve seen 3-D printed titanium jaw bones for implants, nanoscale F-1 cars, an ear or live tissue by 3-D printing of stem cells. A number of architecture firms are now competing

A word on plastic and reusable bags

A while ago, I was telling you about the big garbage island in the middle of the Pacific ocean, and why you should use and reuse canvas bags instead of going for the plastic bags. But here are some quick facts about reusing bags. An average reusable bag requires the same amount of energy as an estimated 28 traditional plastic

Biochar stoves could save millions of lives, improve soil and air quality

Open-fire stoves represent the biggest domestic environmental threat today, killing 3.5 million people a year—more deaths than caused by malaria and HIV/AIDS combined. But now, cookstoves that produce biochar could provide a viable alternative, saving millions of lives and giving a boost to local agriculture. Cookstoves are common in many parts of the world, from Europe (mostly Eastern Europe) to

Small changes in your bathroom bring big benefits to the environment – and why Cameron diaz advocates urinating outside or in the shower

Usually, whenever celebrities advocate some cooky thing that supposedly does a whole lot of good, it’s just a cooky thing. But Cameron Diaz is really on to something here. Every flush takes somewhere between 4 and 10 liters of water – and most of the time, that’s not really necessary; huge water quantities are wasted this way, and if you