Green tech finds (8/5/10)

Article: Green tech finds (8/5/10)

NASCAR, bicycles, and recycled guns… your green tech finds for the week.

It all started with the bicycle: Trade pub Mechanical Engineering sings praises to the bicycle… not only as an engineering breakthrough for its time, but also as a “platform” for other transportation developments.
NASCAR goes solar: Well, sort of… the Pocono Raceway in Pennsylvania now operates the tenth-largest solar farm in the US (and the biggest of any sports arena in the world).

Green tech finds (7/8/10)

Article: Green tech finds (7/8/10)

Industrial hemp… you can’t smoke it, but, apparently, you can run your car on it. That and more at this week’s green tech finds.

  • Recycle your iPod, buy an iPhone 4: Apparently, that’s what a lot of people are thinking. UK recyclables buyer MoPay has seen a 70% surge in iPod recycling since the release of the new iPhone. (via IT Pro Portal)

  • The solar smart phone: Puma’s new smart phone can run on solar power, and displays how much energy a user is saving when in sun power mode. Unfortunately, it’s only available in Europe right now… (via Springwise)

School fundraising goes green

Article: School fundraising goes green

Though the kids are probably home for the summer at this point, the PTA, band boosters, or other school organization may already be discussing fundraising plans for the coming year. More efforts to get the kids knocking on doors to sell wrapping paper and nasty pizza kits, right?

Fortunately, a number of eco-entrepreneurs have gotten into the fundraising game, and created opportunities for either selling greener products, or leveraging activities like recycling to raise money for school activities and organizations. A few of the companies involved in this niche after the jump.

Michigan siblings upcycling aluminum cans into jewelry

Article: Michigan siblings upcycling aluminum cans into jewelry

Most of your aluminum can likely go into the recycling bin (because we’re certain you don’t just throw them in the trash!). Scott Bertelsmeyer, along with his sisters Sue, Sherry, and Shannon, thought something even more valuable could be done with those recyclables: they could serve as the drivers for economic redevelopment in their hometown of Vassar, Michigan (which, like the rest of the state, suffers from high unemployment: currently 13.7%), while still keeping them out of the landfill. Their company Cangles makes jewelry from the cans… which is now sported by celebs ranging from Paris Hilton to Kelly Rowland to Ian Somerhalder.

Sculpture artists compete to create recycled masterpieces

Article: Sculpture artists compete to create recycled masterpieces

2009 Scrapfest Redux from SUCH Video on Vimeo.

Summer festival season is upon us, and towns and cities large and small are celebrating their history and culture (as well as trying to attract tourist dollars). In 2009, Lansing, Michigan’s Old Town district added a new event to its Summer solstice celebrations Festival of the Moon & Festival of the Sun: Scrapfest. For the two weeks leading up to the midsummer events, twelve teams of artists root through materials at local scrap processing and recycling company Friedland Industries, and create a sculpture from their finds.

What do you do with a public art display when it comes down?

Article: What do you do with a public art display when it comes down?

For New York City-based artist Amy Wilson, the answer to that question was recycle it… into something useful that she could sell.

Wilson was one artist of many participating in the Downtown Alliance’s Re:Construction public art program, which “[recast] construction sites as canvasses for innovative public art and architecture.” Her work, It Takes Time to Turn a Space Around, was located at West Thames Park, and consisted of a 130′ x 5′ digital print on vinyl of original watercolor (her primary medium).

Green tech finds (4/15/10)

Article: Green tech finds (4/15/10)

Your pre-Earth Week green tech finds…

Wind farms and weather: Wind power’s one tool in our arsenal against climate change, but large-scale wind installations can end up creating their own “micro-climates” with unique weather effects. (via Greenopolis)
Greener summer road construction: Doesn’t mean you’ll get around it any faster, but the Missouri Department of Transportation is using warm-mix asphalt for road work (which requires less heat, and thus creates lower carbon emissions) while looking into materials consisting almost entirely of recycled glass.

Walla Walla's green junk yard

Article: Walla Walla's green junk yard

In 1929, Emory Stubblefield opened a salvage yard; in 1944, he moved it to Walla Walla, Washington. Like most junk yards, Stubblefield’s was full of rusting cars, old tires, scrap metal… the typical detritus you’d associate with such a business. Just before Emory’s death at the age of 94 in 2008, he and his children took the business in a new direction: metal and scrap recycling… plus nature habitat.

Green tech finds (4/8/10)

Article: Green tech finds (4/8/10)

Ink-saving fonts, energy-producing homes, and pedal-powered prison television… here are your green tech finds.

  • No package? No pick up…: Sounds like a lead-up to dating advice, but it’s actually the concept behind UPS’ new Smart Pickup service for small and medium-sized businesses. Customers use a tracking service so that drivers only stop to pick up packages when there are some… (via SmartPlanet)

  • The font’s the thing…: Want to save printer ink? Change your font.
Weird green building technology: recycling scraps into dog food

Article: Weird green building technology: recycling scraps into dog food

What do you do with food scraps? OK, some of them probably go into the trash can or garbage disposal, but you may also compost vegetable and fruit peelings and leftovers. If you’re really die-hard, you may even use a bokashi system, which allows you to compost meat and dairy scraps.

Pedal-powered recycling pick-up… and more

Article: Pedal-powered recycling pick-up… and more

Recycling does create energy savings overall, but if you watch those big trucks rolling through your neighborhood on pick-up day, you probably realize that there may be even more efficient ways to handle the collection of these materials. A couple in Northampton, Massachusetts, has found one: pick up those recyclables by bike.

Green tech finds (3/11/10)

Article: 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.)

Recycled jeans for insulation drive: green or greenwash?

Article: Recycled jeans for insulation drive: green or greenwash?

Got some old jeans you don’t wear any more? The Gap’s currently running a recycling drive for used denim in partnership with Cotton, Inc.’s “Cotton. From Blue to Green” campaign. Through March 14th, you can donate those old jeans at participating Gap, GapKids, or babyGap locations, get a discount for a new pair, and know that the old ones will be recycled into “UltraTouch Natural Fiber Insulation for communities in need.” This program has collected tens of thousands of pairs of old jeans since its 2006 inception, and used them for insulating homes in areas affected by Hurricane Katrina.

Green tech finds (3/4/10)

Article: Green tech finds (3/4/10)

Robots, biogas, and a green 7-11… it’s green tech finds time! Solar power from pea plants: Many researchers are looking to the plant world for inspiration for harvesting solar energy more efficiently. Prof. Nathan Nelson of Tel Aviv University is looking at pea plants as a potential source of nano materials that could “…form the…

Green tech finds (2/25/10)

Article: Green tech finds (2/25/10)

Outlet Regulator Video from conor klein on Vimeo.

It’s Thursday… and that means green tech finds! Here’s what we found this week:

  • Princeton calls Kindle experiment a success: In our very first green tech finds post, we took note of Princeton’s plans to experiment with the Amazon Kindle to save paper. The pilot worked on that front… though findings showed the device may still may not be ready to fully supplant paper texts.

  • The beach sand fuel cell rolled out: Bloom Energy received tons of coverage yesterday for its public launch of the “Bloom Box,” a fuel cell system based on “solid oxide ceramic fuel cells.” Developers promise a 50% reduction in CO2 emissions, cheaper electricity, and fuel flexibility with the system.

Aquamantra: A greener bottled water?

Article: Aquamantra: A greener bottled water?

Nothing raises the ire of a good greenie like bottled water, right? You only need to review the Sierra Club’s bottled water facts brochure (or watch a film like FLOW) to recognize the source of that anger: individual plastic bottles of water create costs at all points in their lifecycle, from the pumping of spring water (when that’s the case), to production of bottles, to transportation of the product, and finally to disposal of the empty bottle. These processes impact environmental quality, broad access to fresh water, and even human health… an awful lot of bottled water doesn’t stand up to claims of a cleaner, healthier product.

Recyclemania 2010: Over 600 campuses competing to reduce waste

Article: Recyclemania 2010: Over 600 campuses competing to reduce waste

College students just love a good competition, whether between dorm buildings, campus organizations, or rival schools. You probably remember homecoming float contests, intramural sports, and big games with the cross-state team. Since 2001, Recyclemania has tried to capture that spirit of campus competitiveness, and apply it to reducing waste at colleges and universities.

Green tech finds (2/4/10)

Article: Green tech finds (2/4/10)

Hummer horse carts, cheap(er) wind power, and make-you-own toilet paper machines… this week’s green tech finds.

  • Sony adds to its green cred: The VAIO W Series laptop and Aspen phone both feature power saving and recycled materials. (via

  • Trash to energy in Milwaukee: Developer Alliance Federated Energy announced Project Apollo, a trash-to-syngas project planned for the city’s North Side.

Sundance environmental films: materials, waste, and pollution

Article: Sundance environmental films: materials, waste, and pollution

If you regularly recycle household materials, you’re likely moved by a spirit of doing something good for the environment. For many residents of the developing world, though, “recycling” materials thrown out by others is an act of survival. There’s likely no better place to witness this dynamic than Rio de Janeiro’s Jardim Gramacho, the world’s largest landfill, and photographer Vik Muniz made the landfill, and the catadores that reclaim materials from it, the subject of a series of photographs (shown as a part of his The Beautiful Earth exhibit).

Paper is the new plastic

Article: Paper is the new plastic

The idea is so simple you have to wonder why no one thought of it before. The simplicity, of course, is part of the genius behind these two design proposals for boxing water instead of bottling it. The depressing reality of the post consumer waste that plastic bottles generate is staggering: of the 60 million plastic bottles thrown away each day in the US alone, only 14% get recycled, meaning 86% lay in a land fill for up to 1,000 years. That’s nearly 19 billion bottles a year. Finally, someone is doing something about it.

The green holiday aftermath

Article: The green holiday aftermath

If you’ve looked for suggestions on greening your holiday celebrations, you’ve likely had no trouble finding information on gifts, food, wine… many ideas out there for lowering your impact while still having a great time.

The day after the celebration, though, you’re probably tired, maybe a little (or a lot) hung over, and perhaps cranky… and simply tossing the detritus of the holidays may seem like a really good idea. Nurse the hangover, give yourself some time to wake up, and then put some of these ideas into practice for disposing of the wreckage without undermining all of those earlier green efforts:

Green interior design: Durat

Article: Green interior design: Durat

The Finns are renowned for their design aesthetic: while participating in Finnfacts’ Clean Tech Blogger Tour last week, I spent a lot of time looking at buildings and features, and always noticed the clean, simple, sophisticated sense of design that characterized the built environment. Durat, a 19-year-old Finnish company, attempts to marry that aesthetic with sustainability principles: its polyester-based solid surface materials contain about 30% post-industrial recycled material, and are themselves fully recyclable.

Green tech finds (11/19/09)

Article: Green tech finds (11/19/09)

Want your phone to sound like a woodpecker? Got’cha covered… that and more at this week’s green tech finds.

Scots get paid to recycle: British supermarket chain Tesco has been testing out Tomra recycling machines (which “pays” recyclers with reward points) at one branch in Edinburgh, and is so happy with the results that its expanding its offerings to another store… with more planned.
Research product sustainability right in the store: GoodGuide has released an iPhone app that “…lets you scan bar codes for what the guide calls “impartial” health, environmental, and social responsibility ratings of not only the products you are scanning but their companies, too.” (via CNET Health Tech)

Green tech finds (11/12/09)

Article: Green tech finds (11/12/09)

Recycled bridges, “road trains,” and baby poop power… this week’s green tech finds!

Electric cars: an answer for climate change… right? According to Britain’s Environmental Transport Association, that may be a flawed assumption if the electric grid remains largely c0al-powered. (via AutoBlog Green)
The push-powered snow mover: If you think the available options available for shoveling snow are bad (either shoveling, or snow blowing), check out the Snow Wovel. (via Green Tech Pastures)

Green tech finds (8/20/09)

Article: Green tech finds (8/20/09)

From recycled plastic plywood to giraffe poop in your tank, it’s a green tech-a-palooza… here are this week’s finds:

Don’t have an iPhone? Not to worry… 3rdWhale’s comprehensive green information app is now available for open-source mobile platform Android, and a Blackberry Storm version is on the way.
Don’t want an iPhone? Samsung’s new Reclaim boasts a casing made from 40% bioplastic, outer packaging made from 70% recycled materials, very few nasty chemicals, and a very efficient charger.