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Biodegradable

Flush Puppies are dog waste bags that dissolve when flushed down the toilet

Dog poop bags have become so commonly used, it’s hard to believe there was ever a time that dog-walkers typically let their pooches go Number 2 in parks or on other peoples’ lawns, with no intentions of cleaning it up. While it’s definitely a good thing that such is no longer the case (for the most part, at least), there’s still the small matter of what happens to the bagged excrement once it’s thrown away. Conventional bags keep it sealed inside, perhaps so that future archeologists can marvel at it when digging through our landfills. Even biodegradable bags take a long time to break down under certain conditions, and leave landfills full of untreated feces. Flush Puppies flushable doodie bags, however, reportedly allow dog poop to be flushed down the toilet, so it can be treated in a municipal sewage system.  Read More

Researchers Carlos Diaz (left) and Tzanko Tzanov (right), working on the biodegradable car...

Have you ever wondered what happens to old carpets, after they're thrown away? For the most part, they're incinerated, with only about 20 percent of the material being recycled. Given that over 700 million square meters (837 million square yards) of carpets are produced in Europe every year, with the U.S. reportedly producing ten times that amount, that's a lot of burning floor coverings. Dutch companies Bond Textile Research, Best Wool Carpet, and James wanted to change that, so they commissioned a research team from Spain's Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya (UPC) and Austria's University of Graz to come up with a solution. The result was a new type of wool carpet that is reportedly cheaper and lighter than traditional products, and that can be completely composted when worn out.  Read More

Hair Glasses from Studio Swine

Hair extensions are already big business in the world of fashion – or so I’m reliably informed by those with more fashion sense and hair than yours truly. Now two graduates from London’s Royal College of Art have found another use for people’s jettisoned locks by creating a collection of fashion glasses made from human hair.  Read More

A recent study suggests that the methane gas generated by biodegrading alternatives to tra...

As tons of plastic items continue to take up space in landfills, and the floating Great Pacific Garbage Patch continues to grow, environmentally-conscious consumers are understandably becoming more interested in biodegradable alternatives to traditional plastic. Whether it's because they share these concerns, or are just trying to cash in on an "eco-fad," many companies have responded by producing biodegradable versions of formerly near-eternal plastic products. While biodegradable products are designed to reduce the amount of trash clogging up our waterways and spoiling our parks, at least one scientist believes they may ultimately be doing more harm than good.  Read More

Researchers from the University of Maine have created biodegradable golf balls, made from ...

Golf balls may be small and the ocean may be huge, yet traditional plastic-skinned balls that are whacked into the sea are nonetheless a source of pollution, and a potential hazard to marine life – anyone remember the Seinfeld episode where a whale got one of Kramer's golf balls down its blowhole? It would certainly stand to reason that biodegradable balls would be the logical choice for golfers who want to use the ocean as their driving range, and such balls do already exist. A team from the University of Maine, however, have recently created golf balls made from lobster shells ... and they have a couple of advantages over similar products.  Read More

The Phoenix is a concept car, with a biodegradable body built from rattan and bamboo (Phot...

While the metal bodywork of cars certainly can be melted down and recycled, the process requires a lot of energy, and therefore isn't entirely eco-friendly. Making cars out of easier-to-recycle materials is certainly one approach to the problem, but designers Kenneth Cobonpue and Albrecht Birkner have another idea – cars with sustainably-sourced, biodegradable bodies. To that end, they have created the Phoenix, a full-sized rolling chassis made from rattan and bamboo.  Read More

Meat and bone meal (pictured above) has been used to create partially-biodegrable bioplast...

Creepy as it may sound, for decades one of the key ingredients in cattle feed was meat and bone meal (MBM), made from by-products of – you guessed it – slaughtered cattle. Sheep, farmed deer, elk and bison were also unknowingly eating their own kind. With the onset of the Mad Cow Disease scare in 1997, the U.S. and other countries banned the use of MBM-containing feeds, as it was believed that the disease could spread via the ingestion of infected animals' body parts. That ban has resulted in large quantities of MBM simply ending up in landfills. Now, however, scientists are suggesting that it could be used to make green(ish) plastics.  Read More

The Eco Can is a reusable drink container that is 100 percent biodegradable

While Mother Nature would definitely applaud your use of reusable beverage containers instead of merely recyclable ones (or worst yet, disposable ones), there are some situations in which you don’t want to be toting that coffee flask you bought at Starbucks. When you’re out hiking or biking, for instance, it would be nice to have something that stays sealed when dumped into a bag, and that’s compact enough that it doesn’t take up a lot of space. Really, what would fit the bill nicely is a canned drink, but that’s in a reusable container ... enter the Eco Can. Not only is it reusable, but when the time comes, it’s also 100 percent biodegradable.  Read More

OATS Shoes is launching a line of fully compostable sneakers

People may joke about their dirty old sneakers turning into science projects or mini ecosystems, but once OAT Shoes' compostable sneakers become commercially available within the next several weeks ... let's just say, those same people may no longer be joking when they make those kind of statements. Made using hemp, cork, bio-cotton, certified biodegradable plastics, chlorine-free bleach and other nontoxic materials, the shoes are designed to completely break down when buried in the ground – the first batch will even come with seeds in their tongues, so that wildflowers will sprout up in commemoration of users' planted, expired kicks.  Read More

Fujitsu has announced the world's first biodegradable computer, made from organic plastic ...

Last year, Fujitsu introduced a keyboard where nearly half of the plastic normally used was replaced with biodegradable bio- or wood-based substitutes. The company continues its green crusade this year with the introduction of what's claimed to be the world's first biodegradable computer mouse. The M440 ECO optical mouse sports a PVC-free USB cable and is made from a combination of the same Arboform and Biograde materials used in the keyboard – reducing our dependence on oil-based resources one click at a time..  Read More

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