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Environment

Compostable electronics could ease the e-waste problem

Some day soon your obsolete gadgets could be as compostable as banana peels and spent coffee grounds. Researchers from the Young Investigator Network at Karlsruhe Institute for Technology (KIT) in Germany are developing printed electronics from natural and compostable materials that could help make a dent in the millions of tons of electronic waste piling up worldwide each year.Read More

Architecture

Compost islands proposed for New York

As with every major city, New York creates a huge amount of waste. Disposing of it requires a variety of environmentally damaging processes, such as landfill and transportation. To try and minimize the impact of waste disposal, Present Architecture has proposed a series of composting islands along the city's waterfront.Read More

L'Uritonnoir puts festival-goers' urine to good use

Festivals can be great fun, but aren't always so friendly to the local environment. Gathering that many people in one place tends to produce a large amount of waste, but it's the human waste that can be the hardest to dispose of cleanly. That's why French design group Faltazi has produced L'Uritonnoir, a portable, composting urinal for large festivals that helps to turn a bale of hay into usable fertilizer.Read More

Environment

Portable pulverizer gives food waste the thrashing of a lifetime

Businesses such as restaurants, grocery stores and farms are known for generating a lot of food waste. Not only can that waste take up space and attract vermin in landfills, but it can also be costly for those businesses to dispose of. That’s why Nevada-based Bokashicycle introduced a new product this week, the Bokashicycle Food Waste Pulverizer. The machine “shreds, rips, bruises and pulverizes” food waste, allowing more of it to fit within a receptacle, and preparing it for easy composting.Read More

Environment

Cheap, simple composting toilet concept receives funding from Gates Foundation

Whatever you call it - lavatory, privy, latrine, crapper, loo or dunny - most of us take the humble toilet for granted. But in many parts of the world the absence of sanitary waste disposal is not just inconvenient, it can cause deadly diseases such as hepatitis, dysentery, trachoma, typhoid and cholera. Enter Marc Deshusses, a Duke University environmental engineer who has envisioned an innovative yet simple waste disposal system designed specifically for Third World countries that can be constructed from everyday items. Now, as part of a broad ranging project funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Deshusses has received $100,000 to perfect and test the system in the laboratory before producing a prototype to field-test in 18 months time.Read More

Good Thinking

Green burial project developing corpse-eating mushrooms

As part of a project aimed at getting people to accept and embrace their own mortality, visual artist Jae Rhim Lee is training mushrooms to decompose human tissue. This doesn't involve cruelly prodding unruly shrooms with electric goads or whipping them into submission, but rather introducing common fungi to the artist's own skin, hair, nail clippings and other body tissue so that they start to digest it. A prototype body suit has been created that's embroidered with spore-infused netting. This would be used in conjunction with a special spore slurry embalming cocktail to break down the body's organic matter and clean out the accumulated toxins, producing a nutrient-rich compost.Read More

Environment

Compostable bikinis take to the catwalk in Miami

Miami Swim 2012 Fashion Week has premiered what may well be the world's very first compostable swimsuits. The two earthy swimsuit creations took center stage during the HauteNatured fashion parade on July 15th and whilst they may be compostable, they'll also do their job in the water, assures sustainable clothing designer, Linda Loudermilk.Read More

Environment

'The Muncher' turns organic waste into compost in less than an hour

A number of cities around the world now sort their municipal trash, diverting organic matter into giant anaerobic composters that turn it into nutrient-rich soil. Such systems can be very expensive, however, and have a large physical footprint. The composting process can take as little as 14 days, or as long as one year. Nevada-based company Ecologico-Logic, however, has created an alternative system, called The Muncher. Not only is it relatively small, but its makers claim that it can convert organic waste into mulched and liquid compost in less than an hour. Read More

Environment

Compostable sneakers make a dirty fashion statement

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

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