Electronic waste is a huge environmental problem, causing harm to the planet and human health because of the toxic materials used. While this situation is unlikely to change in the near future, there has been research on using materials that biodegrade. More recently, scientists have demonstrated a new route to creating biodegradable electronics by using organic components in screen displays.Read More
The US Department of Energy’s Solar Decathlon has been run and won for 2015. It’s a nationwide contest between collegiate teams to see who can build the most attractive, cost-effective and efficient solar home. Fourteen teams duked it out for this year’s competition, and the winning team from the Stevens Institute of Technology drew inspiration from Hurricane Sandy to create a sustainable, solar coastal home that opens up for entertaining in summertime but locks down to resist severe weather damage in the winter – and uses some 90 percent less energy than a typical home.Read More
How to improve food systems by looking to nature for design solutions – this was the brief given to entrants in the Biomimicry Institute’s Global Design Challenge, which announced its finalists this week. The selection committee has drawn up a list of eight teams, each of which has been invited to prototype its solution in an accelerator program that will award US$100,000 to the winner.
A new farm-to-table community, said to be the first in California, has opened in the city of Davis. The Cannery is made up of more than 500 energy-efficient homes, open spaces and trails surrounded and fed by a 7.4-ac (3-ha) working farm.Read More
With the exceptions of wood and bamboo, bicycle frames usually aren't made from sustainable resources. And although some programs do exist, we generally don't think of old bike frames getting recycled. Italian design studio Eurocompositi is setting out to change that, however, with its 3D-printed Bhulk mountain bike frame.Read More
A community space, garden and kitchen in the King's Cross area of London is feeding its customers with food grown in skips (aka dumpsters). The Skip Garden is designed to be easily moved around unused development spaces. It is built with recycled materials and employs organic farming techniques.Read More
A Welsh university claims to have built the UK’s first smart low-carbon energy-positive house. The Solcer House was built by Cardiff University’s Solcer Project, part of the LCRI Programme (Low Carbon Research Institute). It was designed as a prototype with off-the-shelf technologies to show how low-carbon targets could be met.Read More
An Austrian company is building trailer homes that are designed not only to be compact, but with self-sufficiency in mind, too. Wohnwagon's trailers provide 25 sq m (269 sq ft) of living space and have their own off-grid electricity, water and waste systems. They can also be used as offices, guest rooms or cafes.Read More
An organization in which Paypal founder Peter Thiel is an investor is aiming to build a floating city-state by 2020. The Seasteading Institute says semi-independent floating cities would provide an opportunity to try out new modes of government and could also tackle a number of other problems.Read More
Motivated by the grim reality of agricultural vulnerabilities to climate change and the growing recognition of the health and productivity benefits of plants in the workplace, Chris Wilkins spent almost a decade developing a PodPlants – a portable, lightweight, modular vertical garden with a unique design and watering system.
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