Highlights from the 2014 LA Auto Show

Environmentally-friendly

Gizmag's Top 10 off-grid homes

We're big fans of off-grid homes here at Gizmag – and for good reason: an off-grid home frees the owner from the vagaries of unscrupulous energy giants, can potentially help reduce impact on the environment, and offers a greater self-sufficiency. Join us as we shine a light on 10 of our favorites.  Read More

Silkworms chowing down on one of their favorite foods – mulberry leaves  (Photo: Shutterst...

Like most other fabrics, silk is colored with dye. Unfortunately, the dyeing process results in wastewater laden with toxins. Now, however, scientists from the National Chemical Laboratory in India are developing an alternative. They're feeding dye to silkworms, which in turn are producing pre-colored silk fibers.  Read More

A Denimite wallet, with a band made from a recycled bicycle inner tube

As evidenced by our friend carbon fiber, composite materials get a big boost in strength when fibers are part of the recipe. Examples include composites made with plastic, wood pulp, and flax fibers. Husband-and-wife design team Jen Carlson and Josh Shear have taken this concept to a funky new level, by using shredded old blue jeans to create a denim fiber composite known as Denimite.  Read More

Orbital Systems is developing a new household shower that recycles any water that goes dow...

A Swedish technology company called Orbital Systems is tackling the issue of water conservation with a new household shower that purifies any water that goes down the drain and sends it back to the shower head. By the company's estimations, its closed-loop system could retain over 90 percent of the water and 80 percent of the energy consumed by an ordinary shower.  Read More

Scientists have had success at capturing rare earth elements diluted in industrial wastewa...

Rare earth elements are an integral part of many of today's electronic devices, serving as magnets, catalysts and superconductors. Unfortunately, these minerals are also ... well, rare, and thus very pricey. Recently, however, scientists discovered that some of them can be reclaimed from industrial wastewater, instead of being mined from the earth.  Read More

The Immerse-A-Clean wand is said to be much more portable than existing 'bleach generators...

Janitors and other people who do large-scale cleaning certainly don't have an easy job. Among other things, they have to lug around heavy bottles of bleach or other cleansers, then risk the harmful effects of those products when using them. Texas-based GenEon Technologies, however, is now offering an alternative. The company's Immerse-A-Clean wand can reportedly turn regular tap water into an effective sanitizer, glass- and general-purpose cleaner, using nothing other than electricity and a non-toxic catalyst.  Read More

Gizmag presents a look at five of our favorite passively-cooled homes

Home air-conditioning offers near-instant relief from hot weather but is both expensive and resource-heavy to run. Gizmag picks five of our current favorite passively-cooled homes that are environmentally responsible to keep comfortably cool, and – perhaps just as importantly – very desirable to live in.  Read More

Following the success of it spnKiX motorized skates, Acton, Inc. recently revealed a new e...

Last year, Acton, Inc. made quite an impression with its spnKiX motorized skates, and it looks like the company has even more personal vehicles in the works. Recently the company revealed a new electric motorbike called the M Scooter, which the company claims can fold up into about half its size for easier storage. Besides being a more compact and eco-friendly form of transport, Acton estimates that its electric scooter will cost less than US$0.10 per day to drive under normal use.  Read More

An artist's impression of California's new high-speed train

When people grumble about how they think the US isn’t as technologically advanced as it should be, they like to bring up bullet trains – Europe and Asia have them, so why doesn’t America? Well, it’s getting one. Work is starting this summer on a high-speed rail line running from San Francisco to Los Angeles, that will carry a passenger train traveling at over 200 mph (322 km/h).  Read More

Prof. Edward Cocking, developer of the N-Fix system

Synthetic crop fertilizers are a huge source of pollution. This is particularly true when they’re washed from fields (or leach out of them) and enter our waterways. Unfortunately, most commercial crops need the fertilizer, because it provides the nitrogen that they require to survive. Now, however, a scientist at the University of Nottingham has developed what he claims is an environmentally-friendly process, that allows virtually any type of plant to obtain naturally-occurring nitrogen directly from the atmosphere.  Read More

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