For Most States in US, Hybrids Better Choice than EV

climate friendly cars creenshot

Which is better for the environment, an electric car or a hybrid? The answer to that is a lot more complex than it may seem, but the simple answer is that it depends on the state where you live. A new report from Climate Central, A Roadmap to Climate Friendly Cars, states that: “An electric car is only as good for the climate as the electricity used to power it. And in states that rely heavily on fossil fuels like coal and natural gas for their electricity there are many conventional and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles that are better for… read more

The Gun That Creates Living Tissue

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For years, scientists have been able to graft skin tissue to cover up burns, lesions, etc. What they haven’t been able to do, however, is properly grow new skin cells over burnt ones. Behold, the Star Trek-esque future we’re about to enter. A researcher has successfully created a “skin gun” that takes healthy skin cells and grows new skin over dead/burnt tissue. Over a dozen patients so far have successfully been treated by the “gun”, and clinical tests are underway to make this treatment available worldwide. Check out the awesome video below to see the gun in practice. Have a thought?… read more

Visualizing a Breathing Earth

Breathing Earth

Sometimes we get wrapped up in our own little corner of the world, and forget about the Earth as an organism. But this GIF, from data visualization expert John Nelson, uses hi-res satellite imagery of the Earth from NASA to show the seasonal transformations of our world, which could go a long way toward putting things in the proper global context. “Here’s a view looking at one year of seasonal transformations on Earth. Made possible by the tremendous folks of the NASA Visible Earth team, I downloaded the twelve cloud-free satellite imagery mosaics of Earth (“Blue Marble Next Generation”) at… read more

The Miracle Of Life

The Miracle of Life

Nature is a powerful creative force. You’d be hard-pressed to identify any invention greater than the miraculous creation of all life on the planet! Yet in promoting (and conserving) biodiversity, are our priorities the same as those that nature itself might identify if given the opportunity and voice? The term “biodiversity” basically refers to the enormous variety of life on Earth. It is the totality of life-forms, plants and animals and micro-organisms alike. As environmental educators sharing knowledge about biodiversity, we need to communicate the value(s) of biodiversity in its own right. We also need to understand and communicate how different… read more

Redifining the E-Bike

Redifining the E-bike

PG Bikes, the German-based company, have redefined the electric bike. In their words: They should be faster, more exlcusive, better. While we wait for the 2013 models to be released, the two latest designs by PG Bikes, the BlackBlock 2 and BlackTrail 2, defiantly class themselves as the most exclusive and most expensive e-Bikes around. The BlackBlock 2, known as The Cruiser for its modern classic take on a traditional bicycle, combines lifestyle and riding with mobility and reliability. Now available as an all-wheel-drive model with 2 specially designed motors, it can be controlled by a Smartphone app. The new model,… read more

Recycled Containers Bridging the Gap

Amazing Bridge Made From Recycled Containers

Freight companies decommission an estimated 800,000 shipping containers each year, so reusing the sturdy steel boxes makes a lot of sense. We have all seen reused shipping container houses, offices, hotels and all sorts of temporary structures built with them, but there are some mind-blowing ideas that aim to use the boxes for building amazing bridges. A studio currently working on the concept is Tel-Aviv-based Yoav Messer Architects, who recently unveiled a plan for a whopping 525-foot-long Econtainer Bridge made from the ever-lasting corrugated boxes. The project is the winner of an international competition that looks into providing pedestrians, bicycles… read more

Old Electronics Now Sitting Pretty

Chile’s N+ew Fantastic E-Waste Seats

A total of estimated 50 million tons of e-waste is generated globally each year and sadly only 15-20 % of it gets recycled. Technology’s fast pace together with planned obsolescence in objects leave mountains of electronic waste with components that are extremely harmful, if they are not properly managed. But some eco-designers are making good use of this trash, highlighting the problem with cool functional objects. Based in Chile, designer Rodrigo Alonso is busy sorting out unloved CDs, qwerty keyboards, multi-colored cables and motherboards turning them into fantastic e-waste seats. The Latin eco-designer uses (not-so-eco) epoxy resin to “suspend” as… read more

Using Urine to Power Mobile Phones

Using Urine to Power Mobile Phones

In a first for the intersection of mobile phones and bodily fluids, researchers have managed to charge a standard cell phone using a microbial fuel cell (MFC) fed with urine. The scientists, from the University of Bristol and Bristol Robotics Laboratory, built a membrane-less fuel cell demonstrating the viability of a urine-based mobile power source. They were able to generate enough of a charge from their MFC to use the mobile phone for texting, calling, and connecting to the internet. “This is the world’s first demonstration that mobile phone batteries can be directly charged previously considered impossible by a stack… read more

Death by Plastic

Death By Plastic

We are all being poisoned.  Poisoned in silence by our chronic exposure to plastic. Yet very little is being done to prohibit its invasive presence that permeates into every crevice of our lifestyles. While it is easy to assume one could simply eliminate exposure by not buying plastics, it isn’t always that simple. Certainly reducing purchases or use of disposable items is necessary in minimizing waste and health risks. However, where and how we encounter plastics is often out our immediate control. Take water for example. We can avoid drinking water from disposable plastic bottles – and we would be… read more

Natural Flea Repellents

Natural Flea Repellents

We have all spotted them, the small black specks that flit across the house, jumping onto your pet’s hair and your own. Fleas are a major concern amongst pet owners and non-pet owners alike. They are wingless but still can maneuver quite quickly as they are world-class jumpers of the animal kingdom – second only to the froghopper. Even in the winter fleas can nest in your home, where they lay eggs, feed off our pets, and burrow into our hair. Is it any wonder we go great lengths to avoid them? Not so much. But there is the question… read more