Harvard professor David Edwards, designer François Azambourg and biologist Don Ingber have together designed the WikiPearl, a bite-sized morsel of food wrapped in packaging that protects the food, is edible and biodegradable. Made of a "protective electrostatic gel formed by harnessing interactions between natural food particles, nutritive ions and a polysaccharide," this skin is water- and oxygen-impenetrable. Picture credit: treehugger.com … [Read more...]
Thought your home town was too cloudy for solar panels? Think again!
Solar users in Northwest America are proving that solar panels are a good investment. They have found that summer’s long days and lower energy needs enable them to produce more power than they need. In addition, high heat makes photovoltaic solar panels less efficient, so cool days help solar cells produce more energy. And while overcast skies are not as productive as direct sun they make orientation and pitch of solar panels far less important! … [Read more...]
Solar Panels Could Replace Roads!
The Brusaws have developed a modular-panel paving system that's attracted interest from the Federal Highway Administration and General Electric. If their Indiegogo campaign, started this past Earth Day, receives $1 million by the end of May, the Brusaw's company, Solar Roadways, will be able to test its heavy-duty tempered-glass product in parking lots and eventually highways throughout the country! Picture credit: outsideonline.com … [Read more...]
Now here’s a thought…
"Observers at nearly all the recent international conferences tending to the world’s dire challenges regarding environment, economics, and so on, summarize that “civil society is gung-ho for change,” whereas the world’s controlling corporations and governments are dragging their feet. In fact, there is a fear among spokespersons for civil society that decades of their own work may be cancelled out by the comparatively instantaneous actions of … [Read more...]
A special little (low waste) retreat…
Tennessee-based blogger and mother of two boys ModFruGal built this modernist but down-to-earth little house among the trees for less than $1,500. ModFruGal says modestly that she's "not a writer, photographer, or designer… just a gal with a vision who isn’t afraid to get her hands dirty," and that she and her "Crafty Counterpart" husband worked together to build this gorgeous little low waste retreat. The dimensions were chosen to minimize … [Read more...]
Fairphones – repairable, responsible electronics
Smartphones seem to be everywhere these days, and they're fraught with both environmental and social issues - from their use of conflict minerals to poor conditions for the workers who make them. A social enterprise behind a new 'ethical' smartphone, the Fairphone, aims to change that by using conflict-free raw materials for the devices, paying the workers who manufacture them a fair wage, and working to set up e-waste recycling programs for … [Read more...]
The Ethical Treehouse
Building a treehouse that doesn't harm the tree, or restrict its growth often means paying special attention to engineering or using customized components like a Garnier limb. Toronto-based architecture firm Farrow Partnership Architects approaches this problem by hanging their curvaceous treehouse from the tree's upper trunk, rather than nailing to it. Inspired by the "samara," also known as those papery propeller seeds of the maple tree, … [Read more...]
Milan Is Building A Vertical Forest!
Somewhere within the Porta Nuova district of Milan in Italy, two residential towers will be the home of vertical forests that are currently being built. The project is part of the restoration and rehabilitation of the Porta Nuova district. If there’s any way to revive something, it’s by doing it positively and a bunch of trees and shrubs could revitalize even the most dead of places. The building’s design was tested using a massive wind tunnel … [Read more...]
‘Bubbles’ biome in Beijing could let residents breathe clean air
Dubbed Bubbles, Orproject's proposal is series of transparent domes that are made with ETFE plastic, which is economical, flexible and durable. The complex would be heated and cooled by a ground source heat exchange system and its air would be cleaned by solar-powered filters. It's dubious that Beijing's "airpocalypse" would be solved by a single stopgap design, but let's hope that unconventional designs like this will be complemented with … [Read more...]
Do you use your phone too much?
Could you go 10 minutes without it to fund a day of water for a child? If you can put down your phone for just 10 minutes and leave it untouched the whole time, UNICEF Tap Project sponsors will donate enough money to pay for a day's worth of safe water for a child in need. All you have to do is use your phone to navigate to the UNICEF Tap Project, follow the prompts, and then set your phone down for just 10 minutes. The site accesses the … [Read more...]
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