Biochar Quiets Microbes & Some Plant Pathogens

Synthetic biologists at Rice probe biochar’s impact on microbial signaling In the first study of its kind, Rice University scientists have used synthetic biology to study how a popular soil amendment called “biochar” can interfere with the chemical signals that some microbes use to communicate. The class of compounds studied includes those used by some plant pathogens to coordinate their attacks. Biochar is charcoal that is produced — typically from waste wood, manure or leaves — for use as a…

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E-Waste Report

The following news report concerning the ineffectiveness of e-waste bans is disturbing. The challenge of understanding and safely managing e-waste worldwide is something that need to be responsibly addressed by everybody who is part of the supply chain, from designers to manufacturers and consumers. State e-waste disposal bans have been largely ineffective INDIANAPOLIS, Sept. 10, 2013 — One of the first analyses of laws banning disposal of electronic waste (e-waste) in municipal landfills has found that state e-waste recycling bans…

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First Uses of New Solar Energy Technology: Killing Germs on Medical and Dental Instruments

Prototypes of the devices, which need no electricity or fuel, were the topic of one of the keynote addresses at the opening of the 246th National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society (ACS), the world’s largest scientific society. The meeting, which features almost 7,000 reports on new advances in science and other topics, continues through Thursday in the Indiana Convention Center and downtown hotels.

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Green Cleaning in Action: Dry Ice Blasting and Environmentally Friendly Mold Removal

Over the past few years we have a long list of companies, technologies, or products that are worth knowing about. Unfortunately, they sometimes get buried too deeply in our archives so we provide fresh information for readers.

Our current technology of interest is dry ice blasting, a method for removing mold and preventing potential health-related illnesses. Carl Bennett provided this post last February.

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Extraordinary Solar Light Now Available for Off-Grid Victims of Energy Poverty

This is a low-priced ($39.00) and sustainable light that some 25 percent of the world’s population – living off the grid – needs. Why? So dangerous kerosene lamps can be relegated to museums only. The following mission statement comes from WakaWaka designers and manufacturer of what the company contends is the “most efficient solar lamp in the world.” The solar-powered light can provide 16 hours of light from a single day of sunlight.

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Sustainable Innovations: Cranfield Experts Help Develop Solar Cooker

The development of sustainable tools that utilize renewable energy is critical as we advance into the 21st century. We still need to meet the challenges of providing clean energy. Read the following story from Cranfield University about a solar stove developed by COMSATS Institute of Information Technology, Islamabad. A solar cooker able to harness the sun’s energy to cook food and purify water has been developed by Cranfield University and COMSATS Institute of Information Technology, Islamabad. The cooker will significantly improve…

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Papaya-Clay Combo Could Cut Water Purification Costs in Developing Countries

Emmanuel Unuabonah and colleagues explain that almost 1 billion people in developing countries lack access to reliable supplies of clean water for drinking, cooking and other key uses. One health problem resulting from that shortage involves exposure to heavy metals such as lead, cadmium and mercury, released from industrial sources into the water. Technology exists for removing those metals from drinking water, but often is too costly in developing countries. So these scientists looked for a more affordable and sustainable water treatment adsorbent.

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Simple Methods May Help Bring Clean Water To Developing Countries

Inadequate waste disposal methods, contaminated water sources and the lack of awareness about proper hand-washing all contribute to the spread of waterborne disease. The pervasive threats in developing countries are bacteria and organisms that are commonly found in human or animal waste, which can contaminate water supplies when waste disposal areas are too close to drinking water sources. People who have ingested water contaminated with harmful organisms usually experience nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, dehydration – and in extreme cases, or in the very young – death.

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EU Restricts Bee-Harming Insecticides

[repostus]European Union Restricts Bee-Harming Insecticides (via Environment News Service) BRUSSELS, Belgium, April 29, 2013 (ENS) – The European Commission will restrict the use of three neonicotinoid insecticides harmful to bees, imposing the world’s first continental ban on the popular chemicals. The proposal restricts the use of three neonicotinoids – clothianidin, imidacloprid…

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Reducing Waste of Food: Key Element in Feeding Billions More People

Families can be key players in a revolution needed to feed the world, and could save money by helping to cut food losses now occurring from field to fork to trash bin, an expert said here today. He described that often-invisible waste in food — 4 out of every 10 pounds produced in the United States alone — and the challenges of feeding a global population of 9 billion in a keynote talk at the 245th National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society, the world’s largest scientific society.

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Constructive Healing Through Soothing Environments

Studies show that gardens — both in and outside medical facilities — soothe patients. It isn’t much of a leap to see that gardens with walkways, benches and the gentle hum of falling water would have similar effects in other public facilities. However, medical research also shows that water features, especially indoors, must be properly constructed and maintained or they may cause infectious illnesses. This need for safety has inspired innovation by design service companies like Orlando, FL-based BluWorld, a supplier of indoor landscaping…

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Well Water Contamination And Safe Drinking Conditions

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 15 million U.S. households regularly depend on private ground water wells. Although this water can be safe for the most part, minor maintenance neglect can result in major problems. If even just a small amount of polluted ground water is consumed, it could lead to illness and other health complications. Seepage is the number one cause of groundwater pollution and can come from a number of different sources. These sources…

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New Urbanism: America’s 10 Most Walkable Cities

Rather than drive, think about walking more. A number of advocate groups celebrate a newfound urbanism developing throughout popular US cities. The following cities usher in a new-defined sense of urban living, enticing inhabitants to walk about more often.

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First Mobile App for Green Chemistry Fosters Sustainable Manufacturing of Medicines

Sean Ekins, Alex M. Clark and Antony Williams point out that the companies that manufacture medicines, electronics components and hundreds of other consumer products have a commitment to work in a sustainable fashion without damaging the environment. That’s the heart of “green chemistry,” often defined as “the utilization of a set of principles that reduces or eliminates the use or generation of hazardous substances in the design, manufacture and application of chemical products.”

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Product News: Controlling Road Dust On Commercial and Home Construction Sites

It’s happened to everyone. You’re walking down the street and see the “Pardon Our Dust” sign just as you’re enveloped in a dust cloud. It’s annoying sure, but that dust runoff causes far more problems than a slight inconvenience on your way to work. Dust pollution from commercial and home construction sites is a major environmental problem, and we need to do something to control it.

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It’s Time to Learn About Village Aquaponics

Here is a company providing a sustainable food producing system that more people in the world need to understand: aquaponics, the science of raising vegetables and fish in a closed re-circulating system. ECOLIFE is offering the ECO-Cycle aquaponics kit to all potential aquaponics gardeners for a reasonable price of $195.

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