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Environmentally-friendly

Worms produce pre-colored silk after eating dyed leaves

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
— Good Thinking

Denimite repurposes blue jeans into a "green" material

By - December 2, 2013 3 Pictures
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
— Around The Home

Orbital Systems' recycling shower claims to conserve 90% of its water

By - November 25, 2013 5 Pictures
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

New process recycles rare earth elements from wastewater

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
— Around The Home

Immerse-A-Clean wand creates a cleanser from tap water

By - October 23, 2013 1 Picture
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
— Urban Transport

Acton teases the collapsible electric M Scooter

By - September 26, 2013 10 Pictures
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

California to get America's fastest high-speed rail line

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
— Science

N-Fix tech could drastically reduce agricultural fertilizer use

By - July 26, 2013 1 Picture
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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