If you forgot to celebrate Earth Day this past Sunday, Black Label is giving you until May 31st — from now until then, this online sex toy retailer with a fabulous no-phthalates policy (which stocks only items from our favorite quality manufacturers, like Lelo, Fun Factory, and We-Vibe) says they’re committing to planting a tree for every rechargeable sex toy they sell. They’ve already made their operation 100% carbon neutral by voluntarily purchasing Voluntary Carbon Units (VCU) to offset the greenhouse gas emissions their company produces, but they’ve also partnered with Carbon Neutral to take that a step further:
Ever been out on a hike, a camping trip or just a walk in the neighborhood and been faced with the question “What kind of tree is that?” More often than not, my own answer is “I don’t know.” Leafsnap, a new “electronic field guide” developed by Columbia University, the University of Maryland, and the Smithsonian Institute (which I covered very briefly a few months ago) is designed, in part, to change that answer. Using your iPhone, you can take a picture of a leaf, flower, or fruit from a tree and identify it through comparison with images in the app’s database. Think of it as facial recognition software for the nature lover.
Car parts made from dandelions, “flying” trains, and power-producing toilets… this week’s green tech finds.
A field guide for tree species… on your phone: The new Leafsnap app allows you to identify species of trees simply by taking a picture of a leaf. Users can also share images and locations, making for potentially useful data on tree species. (via Grist and The Guardian)
Car parts made from dandelions: The “milky-white substance that seeps from dandelion roots” may work as a sustainable source of “rubber” for car parts such as cup holders and floor mats. Ford and The Ohio State University are experimenting…
Google Earth’s new “tree view,” state-by-state run-downs on solar power, and LED holiday lights… your green tech finds for the week.
- Energy Star Plus: Paul Smith at Triplepundit profiles Energy Forward, a Northwest-based electronics efficiency standard that claims to exceed Energy Star standards by 30%.
- Missouri a great state for solar? That’s right… as are Arkansas, Mississippi, and Wisconsin. A new study out of Arizona State University ranks the optimal state for solar development based on environmental and economic factors.
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.