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Kids embrace green design and invention

Article: Kids embrace green design and invention

Green innovation from a major manufacturer or established design house? Hardly news these days, right… everyone in the research and development space seems to be thinking about environmental impact. But the 18 and under demographic is getting in on the fun… and coming up with some intriguing ideas. A couple of items passed through the RSS reader this week that demonstrate kids thinking green… not just in terms of getting the family to recycle, but in the context of creating solutions to challenges both children and adults face.

Green tech finds (10/7/10)

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


Off-grid battery packs for the developing world, a green tech playground, and more… this week’s green tech finds.

  • Making solar cells from wind: Welsh solar cell maker G24 Innovations is preparing for the installation of a wind turbine at its Wentloog Environmental Centre in Cardiff in order to produce its renewable power systems with renewable power (at least partially). (via Treehugger)

  • The off-grid battery pack: Start-up Fenix International rolled out its website and first product this week: the ReadySet, a “a 12-volt lead acid battery designed specifically for frequent charges from a variety of sources, including a solar panel, bicycle generator, the power grid, or eventually hydro and small-wind turbines.” The product is designed for use in areas of the developing world without access to power. See the video above for details. (via CNET Green Tech)

Green tech finds (9/30/10)

Article: Green tech finds (9/30/10)

Solar ivy, French hybrids, and green cheese… your weekly green tech finds.

Are smart grids smart for cities?: Stephen Hammer at Harvard Business Review wonders if smart grid technology is the most efficient way to make our cities more sustainable.
New portal features green tech ready for funding: Looking for a green technology investment opportunity? The US Department of Energy’s new Technology Commercialization Portal features over 200 marketing summaries of technologies ready for investment or licensing. (via Environmental Leader)

Green tech finds (8/19/10)

Article: Green tech finds (8/19/10)

A zero-emissions race around the world, whiskey biofuel, and more… your green tech finds for the week.

Energy efficient motors mean green jobs in Arkansas: Electrocraft, Inc. has announced it will start producing energy efficient electric motors for heating and air conditioning units in its Searcy, Arkansas plant. This means 55 new green jobs for the small town.
Cell phone tech meets data centers: Data centers (aka server farms) suck up a lot of energy. Start-up Smooth-Stone thinks it can cut that power use by applying “low-power cell phone technology to servers…” A number of VCs think they can do it, and have provided $48 million in funding.

The organic golf course: green or greenwash?

Article: The organic golf course: green or greenwash?

US presidents golfing on vacation is hardly news, but President Obama’s choice of a course for his ten days of family time in Martha’s Vineyard this month did make the New York Times… because the Vineyard Golf Club “is thought to be the only completely organic golf course in the United States…”

Green tech finds (6/24/10)

Article: Green tech finds (6/24/10)

Can fish ‘n’ chips help with London’s drought? How much power can you get from a potato? These questions and more answered in this week’s green tech finds.

Keeping your gadgets charged in the great outdoors: Heather Clancy at GreenTech Pastures provides a run-down of her favorite solar-powered chargers.
Cheaper, greener biofuel: That’s the ultimate goal of Professor Scott Banta’s new project to genetically engineer a bacteria that will turn CO2 and ammonia from wastewater into butanol. (via Cleantechnica)

Green tech finds (5/13/10)

Article: Green tech finds (5/13/10)

AbundantWater.org [An Open Source Approach to Clean Drinking Water] from AbundantWater.org on Vimeo.

Cajun-style oil spill clean-up, solar powered iPod speakers, and beer cans that convert to cups… your green tech finds for the week.

  • Low-tech oil clean-up: Louisiana shrimper Alex Pellegrin didn’t wait for others to come up with ideas for cleaning up the massive Gulf of Mexico oil spill. Using shrimp netting and “blue roof” tarp, he designed a prototype for an oil skimmer.

  • Mayans were the OGBs: That’s “Original Green Builders.” Archaeologists, with help from NASA, “…have ‘unearthed’ a complete ancient Mayan city that employed a system of green urban architecture.”
Hiking for the global water crisis

Article: Hiking for the global water crisis

According to Denver-based non-profit Water for People, 884 million people worldwide lack access to clean drinking water, and 6000 people die every day from water-borne illness. That’s a bit overwhelming, but a father-son team from Independence, Missouri has decided to do something about this crisis… by hiking the Appalachian Trail.

Steven Spydell and son Matt began their journey along the 2178-mile trail on April 5th, and are using their hike to raise funds for Water for People. They’ve set a goal of $10,000, but will likely surpass that: a graphic on their Hiking for Water website shows over $9400 dollars raised already… and they’re only into Virginia at this point.

Green tech finds (5/6/10)

Article: Green tech finds (5/6/10)

Seed-laden packing boxes, energy capture from sewage, and the power of pokeberries (pictured above)… your green tech finds for the week.

Electricity to gas: German researchers are experimenting with converting excess power from renewable energy sources into methane. This creates a means for storing this energy in a manner that could be used with existing natural gas infrastructure.
Pokeberries to power: New solar cell technology under development by Wake Forest University’s Center for Nanotechnology and FiberCell, Inc. makes use of dye from pokeberries to increase the cells’ ability to absorb sunlight. (via Calfinder and Smartplanet)

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.)

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.

Oil From Port Arthur Tanker-Barge Collision Stretches Nine Miles

Article: Oil From Port Arthur Tanker-Barge Collision Stretches Nine Miles

Cleanup crews and 27 skimmer boats are working to contain and remove oil from a massive spill that happened when a crude oil tanker and a barge collided Saturday in the Port Arthur Ship Channel.

Green tech finds (1/14/10)

Article: Green tech finds (1/14/10)


We’ve still got a ways to go until Spring, but we do have baseball and beer for you at this week’s green tech finds:

Sundance environmental films: the natural environment

Article: Sundance environmental films: the natural environment

They’re big! They’re ugly! And they might give you warts! They’re cane toads… in 3D! Mark Lewis’ CANE TOADS: THE CONQUEST, which premieres at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival, isn’t your typical nature documentary. This follow-up to 1988′s CANE TOADS: AN UNNATURAL HISTORY portrays the “horror” of an invasive species with a heavy dose of comedy, but still provides a provocative illustration of the ecological damage a non-native “invader” can wreak. Imported to Australia in the 1930s to deal with pests decimating the Queensland sugar crop, cane toads represent “Australia’s most notorious environmental blunder”: they didn’t eat the Greyback Cane Beetles, but did multiply like crazy…

Green tech finds (12/24/09)

Article: Green tech finds (12/24/09)

Because green technology never takes a holiday… here are this week’s finds. Salting away solar power: Nevada Power has announced a 25-year deal to buy solar power from the Crescent Dunes Solar Energy Project, which will be “the nation’s first commercial solar power plant using salt storage to distribute energy after the sun sets…” Satellites…

Huge Alaska Oil Spill Blamed on Ice Plugs

Article: Huge Alaska Oil Spill Blamed on Ice Plugs

Ice plugged an inactive pipeline, causing it to burst, officials said Tuesday in an attempt to explain how 46,000 gallons of crude oil spewed onto the tundra near a BP Exploration processing center at Prudhoe Bay on Alaska’s North Slope

Purdue University Will Test Alternative Fuels for Aircraft

Article: Purdue University Will Test Alternative Fuels for Aircraft

Purdue University will operate a new federally funded facility to test aircraft engines and develop alternative fuels for aircraft in an effort to reduce U.S. reliance on imported oil.

Rain harvesting design: the Waterwall

Article: Rain harvesting design: the Waterwall

If you’re thinking about getting started with rain water harvesting, but aren’t impressed by the aesthetics of the typical rain barrel, fear not: a number of companies out there are creating more pleasing designs that also capture a lot of rain water. Urban Gardens and Home Design Find recently took note of Waterwall’s Fatboy storage tank, which holds 650 gallons of water, saves a ton of space, and doesn’t look like, well, a plastic barrel.

Are we pissing away our water?

Article: Are we pissing away our water?

Yep… so much so that US Environmental Protection Agencies WaterSense program (an ENERGY STAR for water) has addressed the issue by making the flushing urinal the first commercial product for which it’s developed standards. According to the EPA, “Approximately 65 percent of the estimated 12 million urinals in the United States are old and inefficient. While the current federal standard for commercial urinals is 1.0 gallon per flush (gpf ), some older urinals use as much as five times that amount!”

Creative re-use: the Dominican University cistern

Article: Creative re-use: the Dominican University cistern

For 90 years, a 60,000 gallon cistern at River Forest, Illinois’ Dominican University has done its job of collecting rainwater from 1920s-era buildings. That’s great… the problem is that everyone kind of forgot about it. Dan Bulow, the school’s director of building and grounds, told Trib Local’s Patrick Rollens “We knew [the cistern] was there,…

Green tech finds (9/24/09)

Article: Green tech finds (9/24/09)

Yep, it’s that time again… here are this week’s green tech finds.

Fighting the downturn with rooftop windfarms: Co-op and condo building owners are exploring wind and solar energy options as a way to cut building costs during the down economy.
Deep water floating wind turbines go online: Norwegian company Statoil has flipped the switch on the world’s first floating wind turbine. (via EcoGeek)

World's first barge-based wetlands classroom launches in September

Article: World's first barge-based wetlands classroom launches in September

Apparently, “floating environmentalism” isn’t limited to Huck Finn wannabees: on September 14, the Learning Barge, a joint project of the University of Virginia School of Architecture and the Elizabeth River Project, will be christened and opened to the public. Designed as an environmental education center for teaching elementary and middle school students about water and…

Fill your water bottle on the go: TapIt

Article: Fill your water bottle on the go: TapIt

Bottled water contributes to a host of environmental challenges — you know that. But, let’s face it — bottled water is also incredibly convenient, especially if you’re on the go a lot. A refillable bottle is environmentally preferable, but if you’re out and about, and run out of water, you may also find yourself out of luck in terms of refilling it.

Green tech finds (7/17/09)

Article: Green tech finds (7/17/09)

It’s that time again… your weekly green tech finds.

  • The Google of hybrid tech? Toyota’s talking to Mazda about a partnership to share the larger company’s hybrid technology.

  • Want to support your favorite environmental non-profit? Start using social media

Green tech finds (6/25/09)

Article: Green tech finds (6/25/09)

Elephant poop, chicken feathers, and iPhone apps… that’s the stuff of good green tech stories!

Smart water: You’ve heard all about smart electrical grids… now Rotterdam, in partnership with IBM, is working on a smart water management system. (via Fast Company)
Transformers 3 — The Solar Edition? No greenlights on the movie yet, but these cool 6-toys-in-1 solar-powered robots can introduce your kids to the wonders of solar power (via The Fun Times Guide to Living Green and Inhabitots).