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Environmentally-friendly

Unwanted toilets may soon have new life, as a component of cement  (Photo: Shutterstock)

An international team of researchers has discovered a potential new use for discarded toilets, along with other ceramic waste such as basins, stoneware and bricks. It turns out that they can be made into a more eco-friendly form of cement.  Read More

Park Passive House is Seattle's first certified Passive House (Photo: Aaron Leitz)

Well, it could theoretically be heated by a hairdryer, at least. While that attention-grabbing headline needn't be taken too literally (it appears to refer to the equivalent energy required for heating), in Park Passive House, NK Architects has produced an energy-efficient and attractive modern family home. It also happens to be Seattle's first certified Passive House, and so will hopefully provide inspiration for more similarly efficient homes to be built in its wake.  Read More

The Quiet Treehouse is currently installed at this year's Ideal Home Show in Earl's Court,...

Luxury treehouse manufacturer Blue Forest has teamed up with noise abatement specialist Quiet Mark and UK retailer John Lewis to produce the Quiet Treehouse. Constructed for this year's Ideal Home Show, the cosy retreat packed with noise-reduction technology and low-noise home appliances. Once the show is over, it will be installed in the Chestnut Tree House Children’s Hospice, West Sussex.  Read More

Samples of Fraunhofer's wood foam insulation

Insulating your home may help the environment by lowering your energy usage, but unfortunately the petroleum-based foam that's typically used as insulation isn't all that eco-friendly itself. Researchers at Germany's Fraunhofer Institute for Wood Research, however, have developed a reportedly greener alternative that they claim works just as well – it's foam made from wood.  Read More

Don't throw those eggshells away – they could be made into ceramics (Photo: Shutterstock)

According to the US Department of Agriculture, every year approximately 455,000 tons (412,769 tonnes) of discarded eggshells must be transported and disposed of in the US alone. Now, however, scientists at the University of Aveiro in Portugal have developed a method of using such eggshell waste in the production of ceramic goods.  Read More

The PPlanter in use, by a person and a bamboo plant

If you live in a big city, then there are doubtless alleyways or alcoves you know of that always smell like pee. While it might help to install public urinals in these places, doing so involves a lot of work and expense. Porta Potties are one alternative, although Oakland, California-based Hyphae Design Laboratory has developed a more eco-friendly solution known as the PPlanter. It's a self-contained modular system, that uses bamboo to process the pee.  Read More

The UK-based Limpley Stoke Eco House has been designed from scratch with sustainability in...

British architectural firm Hewitt Studios LLP recently completed work on the 400 sq m (4,305 sq ft) UK-based Limpley Stoke Eco-House. Designed with a focus on sustainability and energy efficiency, the futuristic home features more green technology than you can shake a (sustainably-sourced) stick at, including rainwater collection, passive ventilation, solar power, and an EV charging point.  Read More

Scientists have succeeded in converting plant waste to gasoline (Photo: Shutterstock)

By now, most people have at least a passing knowledge of biodiesel – it's diesel fuel made from plant or animal oils, as opposed to the more traditional and less eco-friendly petroleum. While it's a good choice for people with diesel-powered vehicles, those of us with gas-burning cars haven't been able to get in on the action ... although that may be about to change.  Read More

Stefanie Kring studies zooplankton gathered from wastewater lagoons

With dwindling non-renewable fuel sources creating an enormous energy challenge, the search is on to develop sustainable, renewable types of energy such as solar, wind and biofuel. One of the recent developments in this field comes from New York's Clarkson University, where new findings suggest that small organisms found in wastewater treatment lagoons could be used as biofuel feedstock.  Read More

The Ekobrew Elite is a reusable alternative to Keurig's single-use K-Cups

Some people sure like their Keurig coffee brewers, although the things are a major steps backwards, environmentally-speaking – for every cup of java that's made, another coffee mix-containing "K-Cup" is used and disposed of. Ekobrew's Stainless Steel Elite K-Cup, however, can be refilled with ground coffee and used over and over.  Read More

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