Photokina 2014 highlights

Environmentally-friendly

The Tricycle House opens like an accordion to offer more space

The idea of living life on the road in an RV can be appealing. Unfortunately, most RV’s aren’t very environmentally friendly, nor are they self-sufficient. However, the Tricycle House isn’t like most RV’s, as it relies on pedal power to move between destinations, and boasts several pieces of clever folding furniture to provide those much-needed home comforts.  Read More

French Architecture Studio AtelierD has designed a pavilion for both bees and humans (Phot...

Bees are having a tough time at the moment, and it’s largely down to their relationship with us humans. Not only are they combating pollutants affecting the quality and color of their honey, but studies are also linking pesticide use to what is known as Colony Collapse Disorder. French architecture studio AtelierD has designed a pavilion for both bees and humans alike, that whimsically hopes to redress the delicate balance between the two species.  Read More

The MOVEO folding electric scooter

When you hear the term “folding electric scooter,” you likely think of a stand-up scooter along the lines of the Zümaround or the MyWay Compact. At best, you might picture something with a bicycle-style saddle and seatpost, such as the Voltitude. MOVEO, however, features a full traditional seat that’s mounted directly on the chassis. Although the scooter isn’t in production yet, it hopefully will be by next year.  Read More

The Short Circuit appliances should be available for purchase later this year

In recent years, repairing and upgrading electronics has largely given way to a trend of disposable gadgets which fill up landfills – especially with regard to home appliances like coffee makers and toasters. However, French designer Gaspard Tiné-Berès proposes to repair and re-use discarded and damaged appliances, with readily available reclaimed materials providing the necessary components, and the bodies constructed from cork.  Read More

Scientists are developing eco-friendly composite materials containing peat fiber and beet ...

What do hemp, mushrooms, milk and straw have in common? They’re just a few of the things that have been used to create “green” composite materials, in which most or all of the usual petroleum by-products are replaced by more environmentally-friendly substances. Now, thanks to two separate studies, it looks like peat and beets can be added to that list.  Read More

The world's first car-carrying electric ferry is scheduled to begin operations in Norway, ...

Presently, the Norwegian villages of Lavik and Oppedal are linked by a ferry that burns about a million liters (264,172 US gallons) of diesel a year, emitting 570 tonnes (628 tons) of carbon dioxide and 15 tonnes (16.5 tons) of nitrogen oxides. That’s about to change, however, as it’s slated to be replaced by what is claimed to be the world’s first all-electric car-carrying ferry. Developed by Siemens and Norwegian shipyard Fjellstrand, the vessel can recharge its batteries in just ten minutes.  Read More

The Optisort battery-sorting machine

While it’s definitely important to keep the heavy metals in discarded batteries out of the environment, the sorting of all of the different types of batteries that arrive at a recycling depot could no doubt get extremely tedious. It’s the type of job that often goes to a machine. Well, such a machine has been invented. Called the Optisort, it can recognize about 2,000 types of batteries, and is currently being used to sort one third of those recycled in the UK.  Read More

Onion and garlic waste might be utilized to mop-up heavy metal pollutants (Photo: Shutters...

They may taste great on a pizza, but could onions and garlic be used to help clean up hazardous heavy metals? Research conducted at GGS Indraprastha University in Delhi, India, suggests this is indeed the case.  Read More

One of the test hulls, which had the electrochemical paint applied in select areas

Marine biofouling is the process in which organisms such as barnacles problematically colonize underwater surfaces. When it happens to the hulls of ships, the vessels become less hydrodynamic, having to burn more fuel in order to move through the water. Although hulls can be coated with paint that kills the offending organisms, that paint also releases toxic substances into the surrounding water. Now, however, scientists from Germany’s Fraunhofer Institute for Mechanics of Materials have developed a more environmentally-friendly paint, that uses electrolysis to control biofouling.  Read More

The warm mix truck laying the new asphalt mix at one of the trial locations in Vancouver

According to the Economist Intelligence Unit's latest Global Liveability Report, the beautiful city of Vancouver in Canada is a pretty decent place to live, ranking third in the world. Its environmental footprint is currently unsustainable, though, prompting officials to hatch an ambitious plan to have Vancouver crowned the greenest city in the world by 2020. Helping things along nicely is a new warm mix paving process that makes use of the kind of waste plastic placed in blue household recycling boxes by conscientious citizens, reducing greenhouse gases and improving air quality along the way.  Read More

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