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Biodegradable

Your iPhone won’t last forever. In fact, long before it wears out, chances are that you’ll trade up to a higher model. The designers at Italian companies Med Computer and Biomood apparently figured that if the cover that you’re using on that phone is bound to become obsolete anyway, why should it last forever? The result is the 100-percent biodegradable iNature soft iPhone cover. Read More

It’s possible that your next laptop computer could contain parts of your present-day notebook ... not your notebook computer, mind you, but your actual notebook. At least, it will if China's PEGA Design and Engineering has anything to say about it. The company’s new Paper PP Alloy, made from a combination of recycled paper and polypropylene, is intended for use in the shells of consumer electronic devices. Read More

Minimalist, "barefoot" shoes have been one of the biggest stories of the footwear industry for several years. Some companies won't be happy until you're essentially wearing a micro-thin sole on your naked feet. The latest step toward that future is the O1M One Moment shoes. Read More
Water is essential to bring along - and drink - during long workouts. Yet cleaning water bottles between uses sometimes doesn't happen. It's hard to get in those long, tall bottles and feel you've gotten all the germs out. The FLEXR Sports Bottle is a new bottle that uses a biodegradable, collapsible liner to ensure the bottle is clean and ready for use. Read More
Web-slinging arachnids already have researchers toiling away looking to replicate the remarkable properties of spider silk. Now spiders, along with their insect and crustacean arthropod cousins, have provided inspiration for a new material that is cheap to produce, biodegradable, and biocompatible. Its creators say the material, dubbed "Shrilk," has the potential to replace plastics in consumer products and could also be used safely in a variety of medical applications, such as suturing wounds or serving as scaffolding for tissue regeneration. Read More
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
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 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
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
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
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