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Sustainability

The Bauhaus Barge has 25 square meters of PV panels on its side and top which are said to ...

The soothing sound of canal water gently lapping against wood as you fall into peaceful slumber has got to be one of the best ways to end a relaxing day of leisurely cruising past sights that many Londoners rarely glimpse. Doing so on a vessel that gets the power for its motor, lighting and modern appliances from the Sun, features multi-layer insulation, underfloor heating and a charming wood-burning stove, and is surprisingly bright and roomy inside, seems too good to be true. Meet the Bauhaus Barge, a Dutch-style wide beam houseboat which is all of that and more.  Read More

The Sunflower is a heliostat designed for residential use

Some people have a cool, gloomy room in their house that receives little if any direct sunlight, even though it has a window. Should you be one of those people, and you want to save electricity, perhaps a home heliostat is what you need. Heliostats are motorized mirrored devices that move to compensate for the changing angle of the Sun as it moves across the sky, reflecting its rays onto a fixed target such as a window, photovoltaic panel, or solar oven. While almost all commercially-available heliostats are aimed at industrial users, Massachusetts-based company Wikoda is now offering what it claims is the world's only heliostat designed and priced for residential use.  Read More

A laptop shell made from Paper PP Alloy, a new composite material made from recycled paper...

It’s possible that your next laptop computer could contain parts of your present-day notebook ... not your notebook computer, mind you, but your actual notebook. At least, it will if China's PEGA Design and Engineering has anything to say about it. The company’s new Paper PP Alloy, made from a combination of recycled paper and polypropylene, is intended for use in the shells of consumer electronic devices.  Read More

The chitin found in crab and lobster shells is being used in a process that could lead to ...

Crabs and lobsters ... they're not just for eating, anymore. Chitin, one of the main components of their exoskeletons, has recently found use in things such as self-healing car paint, biologically-compatible transistors, flu virus filters, and a possible replacement for plastic. Now, something else can be added to that list. Researchers from the Vienna University of Technology are developing a technique in which chitin is being used to cheaply produce a currently very-expensive source of antiviral drugs.  Read More

Coffee grounds like these could be used to remove harmful hydrogen sulfide gas from the ai...

Hopefully, you’re not just throwing your used coffee grounds in the garbage ... are you? Not only are they compostable, but they can also be used in robot hands, biofuel engines for cars, warm sports clothing, and as printer ink. Now, it turns out that they have yet another use – a scientist from The City College of New York has discovered that they’re good at soaking up stinky sewer gas.  Read More

Hotel Endemico is a new eco-retreat set on 94 hectares of wilderness, and features a colle...

Hotel Endemico is a new eco-retreat set on 94 hectares (232 acres) of wilderness, and features a collection of 20 low impact "Eco-Lofts" that blend into the surrounding environment. The romantic hideaway is located in Valle de Guadalupe, Baja California, Mexico, and is just a little over an hour's drive from the San Diego/Tijuana border. Designed by San Diego-based architects Gracia Studio, each cabin is set privately along the sloping hillside and is intended to offer simplistic luxury.  Read More

Inventor Lina Fenequito with the Swap-O-Matic

How many times have you heard someone lament “We live in a throw-away society”? Certainly, the world would no doubt be a better place if people threw less items in the garbage, and reused products more. Well, that’s what Brooklyn designer Lina Fenequito is trying to encourage with her Swap-O-Matic vending machine. Instead of dispensing mass-produced snacks with wrappers that end up in landfills, it plunks out second-hand belongings that need a new owner.  Read More

Anatoliy Omelchenko of Triangle Tree is currently prototyping new iBamboo speakers - this ...

Anatoliy Omelchenko of Triangle Tree reports that since launching the iBamboo speaker we featured in June 2011, he has received numerous requests from customers asking if there's anything like it that's made from plastic. Despite being made from a material considered stronger than some plastics and metal, users seem worried that the beautifully simple iPhone amplification device may get damaged if made part of their regular travel kit. Enter the new iBamboo Urban design, which is shaped just like its natural elder but is made from recycled plastic.  Read More

The PODhouse idea was originally conceived to improve the popular holiday adventure experi...

The Swiss design firm ROB GmbH (Robust Outdoor Brands), which created the portable kitchen unit Cuebe, has come up with a simple low-impact housing solution. Named the PODhouse, these prefabricated modules create a great sustainable micro home for the garden, a backyard office or even a secret holiday hideaway. The prototypes have been in development since 2003 and have since been optimized, tested and improved to create this final product now available for purchase.  Read More

A newly-developed magnetic soap could be used to minimize the environmental impact of oil ...

When oil gets spilled in a waterway, clean-up crews will often introduce a solution known as a surfactant. This is a detergent that lessens the surface tension between the water and the overlaying oil slick, causing the oil to form into individual droplets which then sink or get dispersed by wave action. Unfortunately, such detergents aren’t entirely environmentally-friendly themselves, so the use of them on oil spills has been criticized as simply replacing one pollutant with another. Now, however, scientists from the University of Bristol have created a magnetic soap, that could be removed from the water once it had done its job.  Read More

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