Highlights from the 2014 LA Auto Show

Recycling

Food and drink containers such as these could soon be available in a novel edible form (Ph...

Created by the same man who came up with Le Whif (inhalable chocolate) and Aeroshot (aerosol caffeine boost), portable containers for food and drinks could soon be available in a novel edible form. The project emerged out of an idea put forth by Dr. David Edwards from Harvard University's Wyss Institute. The plastic-free products would be a useful alternative to take-away containers, lunch boxes, and drink bottles, while reducing the environmental concerns often associated with plastic production and recycling.  Read More

The City of London has contracted Renew to tackle the problem of litter caused by discarde...

There are over 30 free newspapers in circulation in London and the thoughtless disposal of them is the cause of an unsightly litter problem on the city's streets. In order to tackle the issue, the City of London has awarded a company called Renew a 21-year contract to run a digital news service via a network of communication pods that double as recycling bins. Each pod is home to two LCD screens displaying up-to-the-minute bulletins tailored for the needs of city business types, interspersed with news from the worlds of entertainment, sport, fashion, travel, technology and the arts.  Read More

The Valve Collection was designed by jewelry creator Eddie Borgo using valve lifters, cran...

Recycling an old car seems like a reasonable idea, but what about recycling it into clothes? Lexus recently challenged four designers to create fashion masterpieces out of a dismantled Lexus CT hybrid as part of an advertising campaign. Photos of models wearing the final products will be pictured in the January 2012 edition Vogue.  Read More

eSolar's 5 MW Sierra SunTower installation covers 20 acres and will provide power 'up to 4...

Recently the Cleantech Group, with the assistance of an advisory panel of corporate executives, sat down to decide upon the third annual Global Cleantech 100: the hundred "most promising and innovative" clean technology companies of 2011. The listed companies span a range of industries, and though solar energy firms, chemical recyclers, LED manufacturers and energy-monitoring software programmers certainly aren't under-represented, many companies in the hundred are defined by a single product or idea. Gizmag scoured the Cleantech 100 to find what we thought were the ten most innovative companies.  Read More

earthCell batteries are designed to be used like disposables, except that users send them ...

If you really want to minimize the amount of toxins that you put into the environment, use rechargeable batteries. Disposable and rechargeable batteries can contain heavy metals such as mercury, lead, and cadmium, and with an estimated 3 billion batteries a year being discarded in the U.S. alone, the sometimes small amounts in each battery can really add up. Using rechargeables greatly reduces the number of batteries entering landfills, but many people don't bother buying them, or the chargers that they require. That's where earthCell batteries come in. They can be used like disposables, except that users send them away for for recharging or recycling when they're dead.  Read More

A recent study has exposed a source of BPA exposure that many people might not expect - th...

Remember not so long ago, when everyone was getting rid of their plastic water bottles and replacing them with metal ones? That's because they contained bisphenol A (BPA), a chemical used in the production of polycarbonate plastic. Several recent studies had linked BPA to a number of health problems, including breast cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and behavioral difficulties. The chemical was also found to be present in baby bottles and tin can linings, but a more recent study has exposed a source of BPA exposure that many people might not expect - thermal cash register receipts.  Read More

A rendering of DARPA's proposed tender satellite, in the process of removing the antenna f...

Satellites are very expensive to put into orbit. This is because the parts that they're built from are costly to make, but also because it requires so much energy to lift their considerable weight off the Earth's surface. It would then follow that satellites would cost less if they could use salvaged parts, and if they were lighter when lifting off from the launch pad. That's where DARPA's proposed Phoenix program comes into play. It would see a purpose-built spacecraft removing usable parts from the plethora of "dead" satellites currently in orbit, then leaving those parts for attachment to newly-arriving satellites.  Read More

AshPoopie dog poop disposal system

Most dog-walkers accept the necessity of cleaning up after their charges, but no one is claiming that it's a pleasurable experience. While we've seen eco-friendly dog waste disposal bags and systems that turn poop into plant fertilizer, we've yet to come across an approach that takes care of both collection and disposal quite like AshPoopie. Still a concept at this stage, the AshPoopie from Israel-based Paulee CleanTech is a kind of portable refuse incinerator crossed with ordinary one-handed pet waste scoop that's designed to turn feces into 100% sterile ash on the spot.  Read More

Dr. Nichola Coleman and Cameron Abercrombie, a final year Chemistry student from the Unive...

While you may feel quite virtuous when you leave all your glass containers out for recycling, you might be surprised to know that much of your colored glass won’t be used. That’s because even though there’s a fairly constant demand for recycled clear glass, glass in colors such as green, brown and blue isn’t all that sought-after, so many recycling centers don’t bother processing it. As a result, waste colored glass is now being stock-piled in some locations, waiting for a use. Thanks to research conducted at the University of Greenwich, however, that glass may soon be used for filtering pollutants out of ground water.  Read More

Tulane associate professor David Mullin (right), postdoctoral fellow Harshad Velankar (cen...

Hopefully, your old newspapers don’t just end up in the landfill. In the future, however, they might not even be used to make more paper – instead they may be the feedstock for a biofuel-producing strain of bacteria. Named “TU-103,” the microorganism was recently discovered by a team of scientists at New Orleans’ Tulane University. It converts cellulose – such as that found in newspapers – into butanol, which can be substituted for gasoline.  Read More

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