Bio-Bubble degrades into plain water

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I love popping the bubbles on plastic excelsior as much as the next chick, but I do always feel a tad guilty that I'm not folding it up like I'm some kind of eco-Martha Stewart intending to reuse it at some later date. Popping it is too enjoyable! And now, with Bio-Bubble, I can pop in peace, since it's made of OBP: Oxo-biodegradable plastic, which is converted by micro-organisms into harmless water. It doesn't just turn into tinier pieces of plastic, it actually gets eaten. Now that's a kind of plastic even George Carlin might have something nice to say about. [GT]

Bio-Bubble

Related stories: Topa verpakking 'clever' packing products | Eco Reuse Labels | Recycled aluminum foil from Natural Collection

January 16, 2007 in Renewables | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

How to save £1250 a month with solar power

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Would you trade a red clay roof for a shiny black one - if it saved you £1250 a month in mains charges?  California homeowners are outfitting their houses with solar panels, getting free power, and pocketing profits from the excess.  One house was using $2500 per month - “I have a whole bunch of fountains and water features and stuff like that,” Felton said - but since spending about £125,000 on a solar system and getting £70,000 back in tax refunds, his accountant estimates he's saved about £250,000.  While California is ideal for generating tons of power, it also demands more because of the year-round need for air-conditioning, so plating a house in Wales with solar is still worth investigating.  [GT]

Plugging Into the Sun

Related stories: DIY Solar Lighting From Baker Environmental | Solar Tube Skylights | DIY Solar - even in Wales!

January 9, 2007 in Renewables | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

2006 roundup #18: Solar panels bust out all over

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This year we saw solar panels hit the high street (and your clothes) and the Nano-matching black Solio from Better Energy Systems. The Solio is a first class gadget charger (to the point where Clinton gave them to delegates at his climate change summit) but this year my favourite solar charger is the Sunlinq, which rolls up like a tiny sleeping bag so you can easily carry it around as power for any gadget you like.  Comes in sheets of 6.5, 12 or 24 panels at about half a kilo per, starting at £85.  (Or you can DIY your own panels.)  [GT]

Original stories: Sharp brings solar panels to Curry's | Back in black - the Solio solar charger | Ethical celebrity sighting: Clinton gives out Solio | 2006 roundup #32: From the Solio to the TREAD | Sunlinq Folding Solar Power Panel | DIY Solar - even in Wales! | Solar Powered Trackable Clothing

December 27, 2006 in Green gadgets, Green News, Renewables | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

2006 roundup #19: We plant the trees that make the whole world sink

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Everybody is planting trees to sequester carbon now: Carbonfund.org would plant one for being linked to; Ecoist plants one every time you buy a bag from them; you can click a Swedish site to save old growth forest there, and so forth.  There's even the Tree-Athalon, where you run 5 kilometers and then plant a tree.  Most notable, there's Treeflight, where you pay £10 extra to have Treeflight offset the carbon from your air travel.  But near the end of the year came a serious and disturbing question: does planting trees really work to offset carbon?  A new study showed it has a good chance of actually making things worse, because it traps heat.  Unsurprisingly, the best solution, as usual, is to stop being bad in the first place.  [GT]

Original stories: Planting trees may do more harm than good | Ecoist: the bag so nice we blogged it twice | Tuesday ecoblog roundup: Tree-athalon, National Eisteddfod, more | Click to save Swedish old growth forest | Make it a Treeflight

December 27, 2006 in Carbon Neutral Living, Green News, Renewables | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

2006 roundup #27: Using Nature to natural effect with Green Cone and Can-o-worms

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I reviewed the Green Cone a few months ago, but basically, it's a solar-powered (in the simplest and lowest-tech sense: it uses black plastic to make the sun get hotter so it reduces the contents into compost more efficiently) cone that you dump any kind of food into.  Dairy, meat, the regular, it doesn't matter.  It does have to be buried partway in the ground, though, so it's not for urbanites (but I'll revisit electric composters later).  The Can-o-worms takes this a step further, being a stack of five worm habitats that you layer organic waste into.  By the time you've laid on the last habitat, the bottom one is full of compost ready to be emptied, and the process continues.  Again, no mains power involved; they both use natural principles that've existed since either the Big Bang or "let there be light" (or your personal equivalent).  [GT]

Original stories: Review: Green Cone solar-powered composter | Can-o-worms

December 25, 2006 in Green News, Plants & gardens, Renewables | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Aluna Tidal-Powered Clock

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To emphasize the renewable resources of ocean currents, the Aluna Tidal Powered Clock display consists of LEDs powered by ocean turbines. A prototype is underway, with intent to establish mirror images of the final in the northern and southern hemispheres. It has three overlapping rings that stand 5 stories high, and span a 45 meter area. The concept is to raise awareness of tidal power, and to remind pedestrians of their modest place in time. (The paradox is that us short people are more likely to occupy larger positions.) [GT]

Aluna Tidal Powered Clock [via Inhabitat]

Related stories: The water and flower power clock | Age of Aquarius | Susumu Suzuki's water powered battery

December 25, 2006 in Renewables | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

2006 roundup #44: Prototyping the future with the water-powered battery

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Green gadget prototypes abounded in 2006, such as Susumu Suzuki's water powered battery (takes but a licking to keep on ticking), the Venturi Eclectic: An "Energy-Autonomous" Vehicle (with a tiny wind turbine mounted on top to harness the resistance generated while you're whizzing around; also with solar panels plastered all over, it's not pretty, but it's got a lot of options) and the prototype yoyo-powered mp3 player (sleep the yo-yo a few times to play your nighttime lullabies).  Trends set in place make it very likely that the world will only get greener; nobody likes to make prototypes and then toss them without making a few million bucks off them first.  [GT]

Original stories: Susumu Suzuki's water powered battery | Venturi Eclectic: An "Energy-Autonomous" Vehicle | Prototype yoyo-powered mp3 player

December 19, 2006 in Green gadgets, Green News, Renewables | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

2006 roundup #50: Sustainable Dance Club

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Even the most frivolous recreational activities are taking a green tint lately, and the Sustainable Dance Club is a prime example.  The lavatories flush with reclaimed water, there are solar panels stuck all over, the vibrations of the dance floor are converted into power, and it's even a co-op so you can buy in if you want to change the way it works.  [GT]

Original story: Sustainable Dance Club

December 18, 2006 in Green News, Renewables | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Clean your paint brush - with your power drill

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Fixed Fee IP is representing what the Sheffield inventor calls the 'paintbrush for life', a new paintbrush that you attach to your power drill in order to fling off the paint, leaving it sparkling clean and ready for the next job.  It's tested especially well with gloss paint, with the result that much less solvent is used and brushes are wasted.  No word on price, but for more information you can write to cleanpaintbrushes@yahoo.co.uk.  [GT]

cleanpaintbrushes@yahoo.co.uk

Related stories: 5 of the best: eco paints | What to do with old paint tins | Make your own eco-friendly paint

November 27, 2006 in Renewables | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

The Hidden Life of Paper and Its Impact on the Environment

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The irony of the New York Times reporting on how much damage overconsumption of paper does to the planet seems not completely lost in The Hidden Life of Paper and Its Impact on the Environment. It is, however, somewhat amusing that they're reporting on Time Magazine's responses. (Though, if being obsessed with Time was good enough for Allen Ginsberg...) There is some good news about companies going over to recycled pulp and identifying the really vile offenders. For example: "Time Inc.’s study found that greenhouse emissions from one of its paper mills accounted for 61 percent of the emissions from Time magazine and 77 percent of In Style’s emissions." Ouch! [GT]

The Hidden Life of Paper and Its Impact on the Environment

Related stories: ViaStone: rock, (inkjet) paper | Elephant poo paper (no, really) | Sheep Poo Paper Christmas Sheepy Cards

November 5, 2006 in Renewables | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack