TAG: Waste

Greener Trash Bags

Greener Trash Bags

We sometimes have to buy merchandise that we probably would rather not, due to the price or its environmental hazard factor. One item that usually fails in both categories is trash bags. This is one example of something most would rather not spend money on. In addition to negative environmental effects, they are normally expensive for an object that is just going to be thrown out. Some varieties also may be thin and inferior, so they have to be doubled up on which adds to the waste. Even though the evils of the made from plastic bag have been preached for some time,… read more

Interesting Eco Art Fashion

Interesting Eco Art Fashion

Katell Gélébart is an eco designer who creates eye-catching fashions from cast off materials and garbage. An award winning artist and environmentalist, she uses recycling as a medium for her designs, making a mark in the fashion world without creating excess waste or using industrialized processes. Noting the sheer carelessness of things that are made only to be discarded, like food packaging, she has formed and sewed them into wearable art like trenchcoats, jackets, dresses and sturdy, neat looking carry-alls. Along with thrown out packaging, she repurposes items like rags, old clothing, towels, and even items like parachutes and inner… read more

Bicycle Chains Upcycled Into Chandeliers

Bicycle Chandelier

A few years back, a multidisciplinary artist had a particular inspiration for integrating unusually recycled materials with her designs. Carolina Fontoura Alzaga created spectacular chandeliers from old bicycle chains, rims and other parts for an artistic undertaking called the Connect Series. The materials to create the vision were salvaged from numerous local bike shops and junkyards, blending the ideas of waste and art form. The chains were all manually cleaned of their greasy residues and finishes were not typically applied to the final products. In developing the series, the concept of the chandelier was recreated, no longer clinging to the… read more

Easy Ways to Green up Your Workspace

Easy Ways to Green Up Your Workspace

Beyond unplugging office equipment when you are not using it, thinking of ways to increase the green factor in your work area can conserve resources and energy. Lighting is an important part of the workspace. The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) stated that lighting accounts for around 20-50% of all electricity use. Incorporating solar powered lighting into your working or reading area is a great idea. Instead of conventional lighting, adding solar lamps, which gather power during the day then work like regular lamps at night, is an uncomplicated way to enhance environmental friendliness at your desk. Making use… read more

Food Waste Hurts Us All

Throwing It Away

Food waste has been gaining a lot of attention in the news, and statistics showing staggering amounts of food that is thrown out sparks a practical interest in how to save food and money from going to waste. One report featured by ABC News showcased the food practices of an average family of 4 and found that they typically threw away approximately 25% of their total monthly grocery bill, around the equivalent of 13 pounds of discarded food. That is a substantial amount to be thrown out, and when figuring that this is the norm for most families, it adds up… read more

The Footprint of Our Food

Food Footprint

Behind neatly packaged foods are hidden costs. Retail foods come at a high price compared to local operations. Not merely a hollowing of your pocket; but a cost to your health, as well as the public’s safety, time and resources. Many products begin on commercial farms, as plants that are treated with pesticides. Pesticides are used to keep produce attractive and pest free. Unfortunately, some pesticides are absorbed by plants and can’t be removed by simply washing fresh produce. This is a major health concern. Once in factories, many items are packed in airtight bags and placed in oversized containers…. read more

Try Composting Indoors

Real_Compost

Although an item may possess the ability to biodegrade, that does not ensure that it will. It is the environment that will either enable or prevent the bio-degradation of any object. Grapes and corncobs in decent shape have been found in landfills decades after they were thrown out. Whether or not an object is natural, the anaerobic environment of landfills are clearly not suited for the natural breakdown of organic waste. This is what makes composting important not only for the health of your garden, but as a measure of waste reduction. Even if you don’t own a yard, there… read more

Polycrack Process Turns Waste Plastic into Fuel

Ways With Waste

In a factory in Mumbai, India, a prototype reactor is using a new process to turn waste plastic into fuel, which could potentially solve two problems at once. Plastic waste is a menace to the environment, but it could be used in the near future as the feedstock for fuel production, along with just about any other kind of waste, including motor oil, tires, and municipal solid waste. Nitin Bondal and Raghuvendra Rao, at Sustainable Technologies & Environmental Projects (STEP), have developed a reactor and process that heats waste materials in the presence of a catalyst, which breaks down the… read more

Restaurant Cups: Half Empty or Half Full?

Restaurant Cups: Half Empty or Half Full?

Many restaurants still offer one use beverage containers. Although this may create some apprehension in customers who would prefer not to toss out, sometimes you don’t have the choice. Restaurants alone generate tons of waste. Included in this is packaging from things like cups, in which billions are produced each year. Styrofoam provides one case where toss away convenience has lent to devastating problems. This substance does not break down, and left to sit in landfills can cause environmental and health problems. Though Styrofoam is still continuing to be phased out by laws and regulations, the U.S. still produces enough… read more

New Process Transforms Waste Sulfur into Plastic

Credit: Jared Griebel/ Pyun lab, University of Arizona department of chemistry and biochemistry.

Research into methods for integrating the large amounts of waste sulfur generated in fossil fuel production into making better batteries has led to a new lightweight plastic that could improve electric car energy storage. A team of researchers, led by Jeffrey Pyun of the University of Arizona, has developed a new chemical process that takes cheap abundant sulfur and turns it into a versatile lightweight plastic that can be used to make the next generation of lithium-sulfur (Li-S) batteries. “We’ve developed a new, simple and useful chemical process to convert sulfur into a useful plastic.” – Jeffrey Pyun According to… read more