Photokina 2014 highlights

Sustainability

A new study by Swiss research group Empa found that some biofuels, especially the ones mad...

The controversial debate over the sustainability of biofuels has been reignited by new research from Swiss-based research institute Empa. While the study maintains that biofuels can be sustainable depending on certain conditions and the technology involved, the findings suggest that only a few are more environmentally friendly than gasoline.  Read More

The final concept art for Washit - a combined shower and washing machine - shows both dome...

Water is a precious resource and in places like Australia and the U.K., the onset of summer coincides with restrictions on water use – hosepipes for watering gardens are banned, and showers are recommended over baths. But even taking a shower uses a fair amount of water, which all ends up down the drain. The same goes for doing laundry. If only there was a way to combine the two into one unified unit. There is, or at least there could be in the future. Four university students in Turkey have collectively designed Washit, a concept shower and washing machine combo that's capable of cleaning you and your clothes simultaneously.  Read More

Budapest University students have created an innovative solar-powered prefab home for the ...

On the eve of the opening of the European Solar Decathlon, a team from the Budapest University of Technology and Economics is ready to present its innovative solar-powered prefab home, which produces twice the amount of energy than it consumes. The Solar Decathlon Europe is an international competition among universities which promotes research in the development of energy-effective and light-structured residential buildings that only use solar energy. This year the prestigious competition is being hosted in Madrid, Spain and will see a selection of university entries from across Europe, including Germany, Denmark, Spain, France, Hungary, Italy, The Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, The United Kingdom and Romania, and four more from China, Japan, Brazil and Egypt.  Read More

New York mayor Michael Bloomberg has announced a competition for an innovative micro apart...

Here at Gizmag we love some of the micro homes we’ve seen, from the Tiny Leaf House on wheels to the Finnish micro house, and that’s not mentioning the London one room apartment turned into a two-story luxury home! It looks like we’re not the only ones, with New York’s mayor Michael Bloomberg catching the tiny home fever and announcing a competition for an innovative micro apartment model.  Read More

Portuguese designer Gabriela Gomes has created a portable shelter prototype that somewhat ...

Portuguese designer Gabriela Gomes has created an interesting mix of art and architecture with this portable shelter installation. The cloud-like "Shelter ByGG" has been designed do provoke sustainability at its core, using 100 percent non-polluting and recycled materials such as cork and solar roof panels to supply the module with energy.  Read More

Bridgestone is exploring Russian dandelion as a source of rubber for tires

Taraxacum officinale, or dandelion, the herb used for tea and salads, is an excellent liver tonic and diuretic. But there’s another variety of dandelion known as Russian dandelion, aka Taraxacum kok-saghyz, which Bridgestone Americas is researching as raw material to make high-quality rubber for car tires. After preliminary tests, the company said it will continue to assess the material at its technical laboratories in Akron and Tokyo in coming months, and will follow that with larger-scale testing in 2014.  Read More

Eco Wave Power has revealed the construction and testing of a medium-scale version of its ...

Eco Wave Power has reported the completion of a medium-scale version of its Wind Clapper and Power Wing wave energy generation system. The company has released a video showing the system in action and is currently undertaking testing and evaluation before work begins on the construction of the first commercial scale EWP wave power plant.  Read More

The Ekó House takes its inspiration from the Tupi-Guarani, one of the largest indigenous g...

For its entry in the 2012 Solar Decathlon Europe, a group of Brazilian architects, designers, students and researchers has taken its cues from the native Tupi-Guarani people, one of the largest aboriginal nations in Brazil. Called Ekó House, the project scales up Ikea’s self-assembling concept and combines it with solar power, rain collection, natural lighting, a dry toilet and a system to turn sewage into garden fertilizer.  Read More

Xavier Chevrin recently began a journey through Africa in an electric Citroën Berlingo to ...

Xavier Chevrin is no stranger to extended EV adventures. In 2008, he rode an electric scooter between Paris, France and Almaty in Kazakhstan, and two years later he set the record for the longest distance traveled in an electric vehicle by taking a Venturi-powered electric Citroën Berlingo van from Shanghai in China to Paris, notching up some 13,400 km (8,326 miles) in the process – but costing less than 200 dollars for the whole trip. Now he's set off on an African adventure that will take him from Nairobi to Johannesburg – a distance of around 4,800 km (just short of 3,000 miles) – in about six weeks, charging the vehicle as he stops to chat with locals along the way.  Read More

The doughnut-shaped Pulpop MP3 speaker from Balance Wu Design is made from recycled paper ...

Unfortunately, when it comes to sharing digital music with friends, there aren't too many eco-friendly portable speaker options available for the discerning green consumer. When such things do make an appearance, they tend to be acoustic docks made from materials like bamboo (think iBamboo) that simply boost the source audio in a similar way to using an old-fashioned horn speaker, or otherwise get their power from renewable resources (as with the SoliCharger or Rukus, for instance). The Pulpop MP3 speaker designed by Balance Wu and Chin Yang takes a slight diversion from such norms. It's made from recycled paper pulp and uses of vibration speaker technology to amplify the source audio through the surface on which it stands and the hollow space inside the doughnut.  Read More

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