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Organic

New York based electrical engineer and designer Scott Amron has come up with an idea that could transform the way industries label fruit and vegetables. You may not pay much attention to that fruit sticker on your apple or orange - though it's often frustrating to remove - and it usually just ends up in the trash. However, Amron is a man who has put considerable thought into that sticker, creating the Fruitwash label. Just as the name suggests, the new label dissolves into organic fruit soap that helps remove water-resistant wax, pesticides and fungicides. Read More
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
The results of three recent studies have found that children exposed to organophosphates (OPs) in the womb have a lower IQ at seven years than those that have not. Indoor use of two OPs (chlorpyrifos and diazinon) known to be neurotoxicants have been phased out over the past decade because of health risks, however they are still approved for use in agricultural pesticides and are widely used on food crops. Increasingly scientists are finding that prenatal exposure to pesticides may lead to later health impacts. Read More
Having chickens and vegetables in your backyard is great for self-sustainability, but what if I want both in a small space? Seattle-based architect turned-self-starter Traci Fontyn has the solution in the form of the Kippen House; a modular chicken coop with a rooftop vegetable garden that creates a looped ecosystem to benefit both your home-grown veggies and eggs. Read More
Research has already shown that at the nanoscale, chemistry is different and the same is apparently true for light, which Engineers at Stanford University say behaves differently at scales of around a nanometer. By creating solar cells thinner than the wavelengths of light the engineers say it is possible to trap the photons inside the solar cell for longer, increasing the chance they can get absorbed, thereby increasing the efficiency of the solar cell. In this way, they calculate that by properly configuring the thicknesses of several thin layers of films, an organic polymer thin film could absorb as much as 10 times more energy from sunlight than predicted by conventional theory. Read More
There’s no arguing that batteries are an essential element of today’s electronics landscape. Without them our mobile devices would be a lot less mobile and we might still be crank starting our cars. The explosion in mobile electronic devices enabled by batteries and miniaturization has a major downside in the form of discarded batteries, the majority of which contain toxic heavy metals. Chemists have now discovered a new way to pass electrons back and forth between two molecules that could see the development of organic batteries that are lightweight and work without the need for toxic heavy metals. Read More
Traditional environmental enemies food packaging and other disposable plastic items could soon be composted at home along with organic waste and not collected for landfill thanks to a new sugar-based polymer being developed at Imperial College London. The degradable polymer is made from sugars known as lignocellulosic biomass, which come from non-food crops like fast-growing trees and grasses, or renewable biomass from agricultural or food waste. Read More
There are many ways to transport a baby these days - from baby slings to strollers and clever travel solutions. One baby carrier that has stood the test of time is the Baby Bjorn – a Swedish-designed, hands-free baby carrier that has been used for toting tots since 1973. The Baby Bjorn company has continued to move with the times by releasing a range of baby products made from organically-grown cotton. Read More
Houseplants are not only aesthetically pleasing, giving a touch of color to otherwise drab offices or houses, they also combat indoor air pollution, particularly with their ability to remove volatile organic compounds (VOCs) from the air. These compounds are gases or vapors emitted by solids and liquids that may have adverse short- and long-term health effects on humans. But in addition to giving off oxygen and sucking out harmful VOCs, a new study has shown that some indoor plants actually release VOCs into the environment. Read More
Researchers have found a way of sandwiching organic molecules between silicon and metal that could allow the creation of electronic switches made from individual molecules. Using molecules as switches carries the promise of even smaller electronic components that can be produced cheaply in huge numbers, perform faster than their larger silicon brethren, and use only a fraction of their energy. Read More
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