plastic

MIDWAY: Where your plastic ends up

MIDWAY: Where your plastic ends up

MIDWAY : trailer : a film by Chris Jordan from Midway on Vimeo.

If you stayed awake in high school history class, you may remember that the Midway Atoll was a site of perhaps the most important battle in the Pacific during World War II. But if you had to provide any other information about Midway, you’d probably need to do a quick Wikipedia search (I know I did – and I loved high school history). The island group’s central location in the Pacific Ocean means that it’s also in the middle of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, and, thus, a great place to take a look at the costs of our wasteful ways.

Green tech finds: the power-free kitchen appliances edition

Green tech finds: the power-free kitchen appliances edition

Refrigerate and cook food without electricity? We’ve got finds this week that get you pretty close, along with mushrooms that eat plastic, and plans to reuse dirty diapers (really!).

The DIY, electricity-free refrigerator: Ever heard of a zeer pot? This very old concept for keeping food chilled only requires two clay flower pots, and some sand and water to build yourself. (via @dothegreenthing)

And then cook that food without power: Well, not exactly, but with a lot less power. The Wonderbag keeps food cooking after the heat’s turned off, and was originally designed for very poor people who couldn’t afford much fuel. (via Inhabitat)

Method's "Ocean Plastic:" green or greenwash?

Method's "Ocean Plastic:" green or greenwash?

The idea of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch – a massive island of plastic garbage swirling around in the ocean – has captured the imagination of both die-hard greenies and concerned citizens alike. Our visions aren’t quite in line with reality (it’s more of a “soup” than an island), but we’ve generally got it right on the massive part: it may be twice the size of the continental United States. So when the home cleaning products brand Method announced the launch of “a bottle made out of plastic collected from the North Pacific Gyre” (aka the Great Pacific Garbage Patch), those of us in the green media jumped at the notion of a company making an effort to clean up this mess. As it turns out, we probably should’ve looked just a bit closer before we leaped (he wrote sheepishly).

Green tech finds, 9/22/11

Green tech finds, 9/22/11

Roads that charge your electric car, biofuel from orange peels, and sucking CO2 out of the air – your green tech finds for the week.

Look out, Volt! The plug-in Prius is here: Car hackers have been converting the Toyota Prius into a plug-in hybrid (like the Chevy Volt) for years. The Japanese automaker has finally gotten in on the trend and released a plug-in version of its popular hybrid for the 2012 model year. That’s it above. (via Greenwala)

Charge your electric car while driving it: The concept of “electrified roadways” that could charge electric vehicles while they’re moving has been around for decades, and Japanese researchers may have now come up with a viable model. “Electrified metal plates are buried under roads, which ‘up-convert’ energy via a radio frequency to a steel belt inside a car’s tires, as well as to a plate sitting above the tire.” (via smartplanet and @greenamericatv)

Green tech finds (11/4/10)

Green tech finds (11/4/10)

Lots of electric vehicle news this week, plus mushroom plastics and watching watersheds with your iPhone… this week’s green tech finds.

  • Sun-powered transportation… in the Sunshine State: Sarasota-area beachside community Pelican Bay will be using solar-powered trams to move people around the development. (via Cleantechnica)

  • GE making massive EV purchase: General Electric will not only make components for electric vehicles, but plans to become the largest single purchaser of them.

The Plastiki sets sail…

The Plastiki sets sail…

David de Rothschild, host of Sundance Channel’s ECO-TRIP, is no stranger to adventure: he’s traveled to both poles, and was part of a team that broke the record for crossing the Greenland ice cap. On Saturday, he set off on another adventure: de Rothschild and crew sailed out of San Francisco on the Plastiki, a 60 ft. catamaran built primarily from recycled plastics (including 12,000 bottles).

Green tech finds (3/11/10)

Green tech finds (3/11/10)


Homes wired for electric vehicles, artificial islands, and floating power plants… here are your green tech finds for this week.

  • Dell’s new Optiplex — most efficient desktop ever? According to Jaymi Heimbach at Treehugger, the new 980 model is, as it features a 90% efficient power supply, meets ENERGY STAR 5.0 standards, and has earned an EPEAT Gold rating.

  • No more downcycling for plastic? That’s what researchers at IBM and Stanford claim their new development in plastic production does: the material can be continuously recycled. See the video above… (via Green Inc.)

Green tech finds (12/10/09)

Green tech finds (12/10/09)

Another week, another group of green tech finds. First, a few more from Finland:

Jen Boynton at TriplePundit discusses four game-changing technologies you’ve never heard of…
Ian Thomson at Cleantechies gives his opinion of Tekes, Finland’s government agency for funding R&D and start-ups… I had a different take on this organization at sustainablog.

What does 1 second of bottled water consumption look like?

What does 1 second of bottled water consumption look like?

Design firm MSLK notes that we American consume 1500 plastic bottles of water every second. Great statistic… but does it create a particularly vivid image for you of the levels of bottled water consumption? If not, no worries: MSLK has that covered. Their new art installation Watershed integrates 1500 empty water bottles with “signs with facts about the dangers of this rate of consumption and what the public can do to make a change.”

Bottled water: can it ever be green?

Bottled water: can it ever be green?

Still have bottled water as a regular item on the grocery list? Or just pick up the occasional bottle when you’re out? It’s so convenient…

As you probably know, that convenience comes at an environmental and social price: documentaries such as FLOW and Thirst, organizations such as the Sierra Club and Environmental Defense Fund, and even a few of us lowly bloggers, have reported on the costs created by water’s transformation from a freely-available resource to a multi-billion dollar commodity. That bottle of water you buy now contributes to the world’s third-largest industry.

The island of misfit toys

The island of misfit toys

photo by: hyperscholar When it comes to breaking up with an old, used, or dysfunctional sex toy, dumping it at the dump isn’t the most environmentally friendly thing you can do. A lot of toys are made of plastics and PVC, which never really go away, so tossing it (and its batteries) in your trash-can,…