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Environment

The future of music festival tenting has arrived. Well, not actually arrived as such. Let me start again. The concept of music festival tenting for the future has arrived. Following on from the foot pump powered mobile phone charger announced earlier this month, telecommunications giant Orange is using its regular slot at the UK's most talked about music festival to announce its vision of ultra-comfortable camping for lovers of all things live and musical... and solar power is just the beginning. Read More
We recently looked at problems with a last resort solution to counteract global warming by artificially shading the Earth from sunlight by injecting sulphur or small, reflective particles into the upper atmosphere. Now a new study from the Carnegie Institution has thrown further doubt on the effectiveness of such a proposal. Although it may lower the planet’s temperature by a couple of degrees, it would do little to stop the acidification of the world’s oceans that threatens coral reefs and other marine life. Read More
Has affordable, practical home wind power generation become a reality? The Honeywell Windgate wind turbine from EarthTronics looks like it could be a contender. Developers EarthTronics and Honeywell Corp hope the Windgate wind turbine will help meet the energy needs of homeowners and businesses, even if they are not located in prime “windy” areas. EarthTronics says the 6-foot wide, 95-pound Windgate can start to spin in breezes as low as 2mph and can create more power with less wind than other types of wind turbines. Read More
Merci Design has developed a line of children’s play furniture made from 100% recycled paper pulp, the same material used to produce egg cartons. Tamago, meaning ‘egg’ in Japanese, consists of seven different pieces, designed to be utilized by the child in whatever way they choose. Read More
It’s no secret that mercury is a dirty word in environmental circles, and more of the big guns of electronics are starting to take note. Apple's MacBook Pro now features a mercury-free backlight display, and Fuji has released its eco-friendly EnviroMax batteries. This week Sony has strengthened its enviro-credibility by announcing a line of mercury-free alkaline button batteries. Read More
Hywind, the 2.3MW floating offshore wind turbine being developed by Norwegian oil and gas company StatoilHydro, Siemens and Technip has now been installed and moored to the seabed off the coast of Norway. Once cables to the mainland grid have been laid, the wind turbine prototype will undergo a two year pilot which will provide valuable knowledge on how to perfect the technology and hopefully one day enable floating wind turbines to become a financially viable alternative to other energy sources. Read More
Given some of the intriguing and unusual eco-friendly resort concepts we've seen of late, a luxury hotel in the shape of an enormous drop of water that's designed to convert air into drinking water with the assistance of solar power should come as no surprise. Read More
We all know we should turn off appliances at the wall to reduce fire risk as well as our carbon emissions, but the truth is most of us can't be bothered or think to flick the switch. The eco-switch could be the answer: it’s a simple and inexpensive energy-saving device that lets you relocate the power point switch to a more convenient spot where you can turn multiple appliances on and off – with the flick of a single switch. Read More
Every child learns early on that moist sand is the key to building a sturdy sandcastle. Now researchers at Durham University have studied this principle so it can be better applied to an ancient eco-friendly building technique of using rammed earth. Read More
New encapsulant technology from DuPont promises long-term protection for solar cells, the most sensitive part of photovoltaic modules. The DuPont PV5200 Series and DuPont PV5300 Series encapsulant sheets will also reduce the cost per watt and increase reliability and durability of the modules, allowing manufacturers to deliver better performing, cost-effective solar power. Read More
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