It's funny how the same study can spark slightly different, even contradictory reactions. Consulting firm Deloitte released a report Monday of consumers' attitudes about household energy costs and climate change. Here's how two publications interpreted the results.Read more
The lowly soybean has found a calling higher than tofu and tamari sauce. It's being used to insulate equipment bringing electricity to millions of homes.
More than 100 utilities are using soy-based oil as a safer, eco-friendly alternative to petroleum coolants in electrical transformers, which convert high-voltage power from a plant to a lower voltage for consumers.
Fires occur nearly every day around the country due to problems with transformers, say proponents of soy oil. On May 2, flames leapt 15 feet above street level through a manhole in Cambridge, Mass, temporarily shutting down Harvard Square.
Soy oil is … Read more
U.S. consumers have the least "green" habits in the world in terms of energy use, transportation, travel, and goods, according to National Geographic and polling firm GlobeScan.
Blame the American appetite for large, two-car, gadget-packed homes located far from work, along with a general disregard for conservation and eco-friendly products, the report says.
The Greendex results, released Wednesday, are based on online surveys taken earlier this year examining the shopping habits and attitudes of 14,000 consumers in 14 countries.
Among Americans' un-green daily habits, 59 percent said they drive alone, and a trifling 5 percent use … Read more
The U.S. Department of Transportation issued a ruling today that will let passengers carry approved methanol fuel cells and up to two spare fuel cartridges in their carry-on bags.
Since fuel cells for phones and other devices won't likely hit the market until next year, the ruling technically doesn't affect anyone. That is, except for people like Peng Lim, CEO of MTI Micro Fuel Cells, who travels the country showing off prototypes of fuel cells for cameras and phones. (Peng's got a great collection of toys. See video here.)
Still, the ruling helps clear the way for the industry and consumer acceptance. … Read more
A sampling of green tech news, from California to Malyasia.The House That Twitters Its Energy Use ? Earth2Tech - Where a house twitters what its meter reads. A great use of Twitter.
Technology Review: A Price Drop for Solar Panels - Check in on the solar price/silicon shortage balance: Travis Bradford of the Prometheus Institute predicts prices for panels to drop in half in the next few years.
Environmental Capital - WSJ.com : Biofuels Backlash: Asian Palm-Oil Producers Shut Plants - On the biofuels blues beat, WSJ reports that Asian biodiesel producers are shelving tens of millions of dollars … Read more
Think of it as the future of today's paper.
The Palo Alto Research Center (PARC) and parent company Xerox are experimenting with a type of paper and a complementary printer that would produce documents that fade away after 16 to 24 hours. A restaurant, for instance, could print its daily specials on a piece of paper, attach the pieces of paper to menus, and then collect the sheets of then-blank paper in the morning to run through the printer again.
How does it work? The paper is coated with photosensitive chemicals that turn dark when hit with UV light. … Read more
It's about time green architects invaded Second Life.
The organizers of the Solar Decathlon are hosting an event in Second Life on Thursday where people can attend a virtual conference and then get a virtual walk-through of a house designed to be powered entirely by the sun.
The Solar Decathlon is a competition sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy to build the most compelling house that runs only on sun power.
High price and a strange color. No, we're not talking about a hairdo. Those are the two factors that have kept light-emitting diodes, or LEDs, from becoming a mainstream light source.
But that might change soon, said Zach Gibler, chief business development officer of Lighting Science Group, which plans to announce distribution deals with major retailers for its LED bulbs that screw into a regular socket.
LED bulbs for household use have already been around for some time, but their success has been limited. The main obstacles have been that they cost more than incandescent lightbulbs and emit a … Read more
A growing body of scientific evidence makes plastics increasingly less attractive to "green" consumers. Hormone-altering substances seep from drinking bottles. Great plastic garbage patches swirl in the ocean. And plastic bits have been found to concentrate poisons at levels a million times higher than in the water. Many people don't even know that most plastic is made from petroleum.
But agriculture giants including Archer Daniels Midland and small companies such as Cereplast are baking plastic from corn, soy, potatoes, and tapioca. Start-ups are even exploring pig urine and carbon dioxide to make plastics. Bioplastics could make up … Read more
Denmark-based Agroplast wants to transform pig urine into plastic dinnerware and household items.
We all have to have dreams, I suppose.
The company has essentially devised a way to better commercialize urea, a compound of carbon, nitrogen, oxygen, and hydrogen, found in urine.
Other animal waste products like manure can be inserted into the system, but pig urine is particularly interesting because it is an environmental hazard, says Peter Tøttrup, a partner at Seed Capital, a Danish venture firm that also helps the government incubate start-ups. We ran into Tøttrup at the coffee urn at the … Read more