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Waste

Original Unverpackt is aiming to become Germany's first waste-free supermarket

When it comes to sustainability, you might know Germany best for its renewable energy ambitions and efforts to reduce carbon pollution. While these initiatives have been largely driven by government and researchers, a team of budding entrepreneurs is looking to get in on the action, too. Aiming to open this (northern summer), Original Unverpackt will be Germany's first package-free supermarket.  Read More

One of the modified nanocellulose sponges soaks up oil (red) while repelling water (blue)

As the Deepwater Horizon incident showed us, oil spills can be huge environmental disasters. That said, there are also considerable challenges in dealing with the waste products generated by the forestry and agriculture industries. Now, scientists from Switzerland's Empa research group have come up with a method of addressing the one problem with the other – they've developed sponges made from cellulose waste, that can soak up 50 times their own weight in oil.  Read More

Fumo is an interactive smoking pole which rewards smokers for disposing of their cigarette...

Cigarette butts are a major source of litter, certainly rivaling chewing gum as a menace on public streets. This problem is being tackled in some countries by fines being issued to the culprits, but that only helps the situation if someone is caught in the act and then learns from their mistake – which isn't guaranteed. Dutch/Turkish design company Ioglo thinks it has a better solution in the form of Fumo, which uses an audiovisual show to reward smokers for their cigarette butts.  Read More

Unwanted toilets may soon have new life, as a component of cement  (Photo: Shutterstock)

An international team of researchers has discovered a potential new use for discarded toilets, along with other ceramic waste such as basins, stoneware and bricks. It turns out that they can be made into a more eco-friendly form of cement.  Read More

The University of Colorado's solar toilet

A toilet project that addresses environmental and health concerns was unveiled in Delhi, India this month. Around 2.5 billion people in the world lack proper sanitation, and it’s with those people in mind that a team at the University of Colorado Boulder has designed a self-contained, solar-powered, waterless toilet. It was made possible with a grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.  Read More

Present Architecture has proposed a network of composting, green space islands for New Yor...

As with every major city, New York creates a huge amount of waste. Disposing of it requires a variety of environmentally damaging processes, such as landfill and transportation. To try and minimize the impact of waste disposal, Present Architecture has proposed a series of composting islands along the city's waterfront.  Read More

The closed-system Blue Diversion toilet is designed for off-grid use

Two years ago, an off-grid closed-system toilet known as the Diversion won an award at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation's "Reinventing the Toilet" fair. Created by the Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology (Eawag) and now called the Blue Diversion, it recently also won the title of Most Innovative Project (Europe/West Asia), as bestowed by the International Water Association. So, what makes it so special? Well, for one thing, the same water that flushes it is subsequently used in its hand-washing sink.  Read More

Iota was designed as a final-year project at the UK's University of Huddersfield

It took thousands of years for the humble toilet to evolve into the model we use today, but there's always room for improvement. With this in mind, Gareth Humphreys and Elliott Whiteley produced the Iota: a folding toilet concept that's smaller and more efficient than the typical loo.  Read More

Don't throw those eggshells away – they could be made into ceramics (Photo: Shutterstock)

According to the US Department of Agriculture, every year approximately 455,000 tons (412,769 tonnes) of discarded eggshells must be transported and disposed of in the US alone. Now, however, scientists at the University of Aveiro in Portugal have developed a method of using such eggshell waste in the production of ceramic goods.  Read More

'If we can't comprehend the issue then we don't feel anything, therefore we don't act. I'm...

Around the world there are hundreds of millions of discarded mobile phones lying around in drawers and boxes, displaced by the bigger screen or better camera of the latest version. But truth be told, even if we were talking about hundreds of billions it would be unlikely to elicit a much different response, because ridiculously big numbers are ridiculously big numbers, right? Seattle-based photographer and activist Chris Jordan is on a mission to make these measures of consumerism manifest through visual art and, as he explained to Gizmag, bridge the disconnect between our mass consumption and its largely invisible consequences.  Read More

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