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Environment

— Environment

CubeTube indoor photovoltaic electrical generator collects energy from light fixtures

Although great strides have been made recently to make offices more energy efficient, fluorescent office lighting is still great cause for concern. Installing controllers which automatically switch off lighting when no movement is detected is one method of saving energy but Solaroad Technologies proposes recycling otherwise wasted light energy by placing cylindrical photovoltaic harvesting and storage devices on top of workstation cubicle walls. Read More
— Environment

Home Core all-in-one toilet aims to save H2O

Integrating the toilet bowl, basin, mirror and a vanity table into one, the Home Core concept has a storage tank that can be used to flush the toilet with water saved from the hand-washing basin. The water pressure on the unit can also be controlled to four different levels to help conserve potable water. Some might see it as taking the idea of all-in-one a step too far, but we think this unit would be great aboard high-end campervans, yachts, even aircraft, where space is at a premium and fresh water can be scarce. Read More
— Environment

Cleaner, cheaper fuel from orange peels and newspaper

While it may not quite be the Mr. Fusion energy reactor Doc Brown uses to convert household scraps into power for his time-traveling DeLorean, scientists have found a way to turn discarded fruit peels, newspapers and other waste products into cheap fuel to power the world’s vehicles. Its developer says the new approach is greener and less expensive than the current methods available to run vehicles on cleaner fuel and is part of his goal to relegate gasoline to a secondary fuel. Read More
— Environment

Winter Olympics gets a touch of greenery

When Vancouver won the competition to host the 2010 Olympic & Paralympic Winter Games thoughts immediately turned to construction, and one of the most awe-inspiring initiatives has to be the redesign of the Vancouver Convention and Exhibition Center (VCAEC). Currently hosting the international broadcasting and media hub for the Winter Olympics, this waterfront building is not only beautiful and functional but is environmentally sustainable, boasting a green electricity program, a seawater heating and cooling system and the largest "living roof" in Canada populated with 40,000 plants and grasses. Read More
— Environment

World’s biggest wind turbine to take a spin in Norway

The world’s biggest wind turbine will be constructed in Norway. The prototype turbine will stand 162 meters (533 feet) tall and feature a rotor diameter of 145 meters (475 feet). It is expected to be capable of generating 10-megawatts – enough to power 2,000 homes. The turbine will be tested on land in Øygarden in Hordaland County, Norway, for two years but is intended for offshore placement, where the winds are stronger and more consistent, and the concerns of ruined views and vibrations are removed. Read More
— Environment

Power up your mobile devices using solar, AC or USB with iCharge DX and Lite

As great as advances in mobile technology have been in recent years, many mobile devices still suffer from unsatisfactory battery life. Japanese company, Links International, has created the iCharge in two versions - the standard DX and the smaller Lite - solar solutions to your mobile power woes. Actually, the devices are three-way charging system, capable of solar, AC, and USB charging. Read More
— Environment

Energy-generating sOccket soccer ball scores a goal in off-grid villages

What kid doesn’t like kicking around a soccer ball? Imagine if this fun activity could also provide enough energy to power something useful in a modest off-grid African village, like a reliable light to cook by or an emergency mobile phone. The sOccket is a prototype soccer ball that captures kinetic energy when it is kicked or thrown, stores it in an internal battery and makes that energy available for a myriad of small but useful purposes. In other words, it’s a fun, portable energy-harvesting power source that is designed to take a kicking. Read More
— Environment

Mason bees fly to the rescue of failing orchards

Many readers would already be familiar with Colony Collapse Disorder and the mysterious worldwide disappearance of honeybees. Everything from mites to viruses to electromagnetic radiation are suspected as its cause and it is potentially disastrous for crops that rely on the bees for pollination. Well, on a small scale at least, help is on the way - some fruit growers in North America are now turning to the indigenous mason bee as an orchard-pollinator. Not only are mason bees not affected by CCD, but they're better at pollinating than honeybees, you need less of them, and they have a more laidback personality, meaning less of those nasty stings. Read More
— Environment

Wattbox: Habit-learning device to lower energy bills

The adage “less is more” rings true when discussing energy usage - as energy costs rise, using less saves you more money each year. And studies have shown that householders who know how much energy they use on a daily basis tend to use significantly less. A new device called the Wattbox - a smart control unit for central heating and hot water heaters that learns householders' energy habits and provide immediate feedback on consumption - could deliver home energy savings of up to 20 percent without compromising comfort say UK researchers. A great feature of the Wattbox is that it is retrofittable, meaning it’s suitable for all houses, not just new ones. Read More
— Environment

Vapur - the reusable, flexible water bottle

Personally, I’m not a fan of bottled water. Firstly, tap water in many parts of the world is safe, tastes fine, and it's free. Then there's the waste that bottled water causes – an enormous amount of energy is consumed in manufacture and most bottles end up in landfill. So when I see a product like the Vapur, I instantly warm to it. It’s a flexible, reusable water container that rolls up like a tube of toothpaste when it's empty to fit in your pocket, purse or backpack – then in the dishwasher, not in the trash. Read More
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