Decision time? Check out our latest product comparisons

Waste

Scientists have succeeded in converting plant waste to gasoline (Photo: Shutterstock)

By now, most people have at least a passing knowledge of biodiesel – it's diesel fuel made from plant or animal oils, as opposed to the more traditional and less eco-friendly petroleum. While it's a good choice for people with diesel-powered vehicles, those of us with gas-burning cars haven't been able to get in on the action ... although that may be about to change.  Read More

An inbuilt sensor notifies the organization that it's time for a pickup (Photo: SFGoodwill...

Goodwill of San Francisco has launched a smart donation bin called goBin that aims to make donating old clothes and other textiles a snap. Instead of having to make a regular trip to a Goodwill store, the bin will allow residents of apartment towers to donate their stuff from the comfort of their buildings. Developed in collaboration with the global product strategy firm, Frog Design, the high-tech textile-recycling bin is expected to help the city's environmental department reach its goal of making San Francisco a zero waste city by 2020.  Read More

This artificial muscle-driven heart pumps human urine and will be used to power the Ecobot...

It's strange to wrap one's mind around the idea of human pee powered robots, but that's exactly what a group of UK researchers are attempting to create. Mimicking the human heart, their latest innovation is a heart pump with artificial muscles that aims to deliver human urine to their latest generation of Ecobots – a self-sustaining robot that runs on all manner of waste matter collected from its environment.  Read More

Vancouver's cigarette butts are being used to manufacture shipping pallets, among other th...

What can you say about cigarette butts? They instantly make wherever they are look seedy, they don't biodegrade, plus they're highly toxic to aquatic organisms. It turns out, however, that they are good for something. The City of Vancouver and TerraCycle Canada launched a first-of-its-kind pilot program this Tuesday, in which the butts will be collected for recycling.  Read More

A couple of social trash box robots, on display in Tokyo at IREX 2013

Wouldn't it be great if we had robotic garbage cans that could move around on their own and pick up litter? Well, engineers from the Interaction and Communications Design Lab at Japan's Toyohashi University of Technology are part-way there. Their bots, however, ask people to pick up the trash for them.  Read More

An unlikely tool for sewage treatment (Photo: Stuart Pilbrow)

A team of Taiwanese researchers is to demonstrate a method of treating sewage using old optical disks such as CDs. The disks are used as a platform to grow minuscule nanorods of zinc oxide, a known photocatalyst capable of breaking down organic matter. By spinning the disks, sewage water spreads into a thin layer through which light can pass, exciting the nanorods into action.  Read More

The WaterBean portable water filter

It's a given that recycling waste products is a good thing. It's certainly better than sending our trash to landfill where it will sit rotting (or not, in the case of non-biodegradable waste) for decades to come. However, even better than recycling is to not create the waste in the first place. Bottled water is now big business, and more popular than ever before, but bottled water guzzles energy and creates waste that really doesn't need to be created. WaterBean offers one possible solution to the problem.  Read More

Rice University graduate student Oara Neumann, left, and scientist Naomi Halas with their ...

Last year, researchers at Rice University revealed a new way to convert solar energy directly into steam using light-absorbing nanoparticles. At that time, the technology had already been used to create a solar steam-powered autoclave for sterilizing medical and dental equipment and the project had been awarded a grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to turn the technology to the task of sanitizing human waste. The researchers have now put both applications to the test.  Read More

Soylent: the future of food?

There's a romance to food. It's one of life's great sensory and social pleasures. But a lot of us don't eat healthily, and a lot of us don't enjoy the process of preparing food, especially when we're eating alone. Furthermore, the way we eat today is incredibly wasteful throughout the entire production and consumption process, to the point where it actively damages our bodies and our planet. Enter Soylent: a food engineered to efficiently deliver 100 percent of the healthy body's needs with minimal waste, junk food-beating convenience and a very low cost, or, as the inventors put it, "creating an efficient form of fuel for humanity for the first time in history." Food has always been sexy, and this sounds about as exciting as artificial insemination. But when you check out the details, this ambitious plan actually makes a lot of sense.  Read More

The Glad Company recently experimented with a combination tent and garbage bag, known as t...

Outdoor music festivals are notorious for a lot of things, one of the biggest being the amount of garbage left behind by the concert-goers. In an effort to get music fans to clean up after themselves, while also providing them with half-decent temporary shelter, the Glad Company recently experimented with a combination tent/big garbage bag, known as the Glad Tent.  Read More

Looking for something? Search our 29,158 articles