3D-printed pod homes for the homeless could cling to NYC buildings

November 22, 2017 by  
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Creative agency Framlab has proposed a type of parasitic architecture for housing New York City’s growing homeless population. Called Homed , the temporary housing solution comprises partly 3D-printed hexagonal pods that use scaffolding to attach to the sides of unused, windowless building facades. The modular units could be easily customized for different uses and transported from site to site. In an estimate by the Coalition for the Homeless , over 61,000 people are sleeping in New York City’s homeless shelters every night, a growing number that Framlab pins in part to the loss of single-room occupancy (SRO) units. In the face of rising real estate costs, Framlab’s Homed proposal to bring back SROs banks on the city’s abundance of “vertical land,” the blank sidewalls of buildings that appear as developments come and go. Using scaffolding to anchor the homes on the sidewalls, Homed’s hexagon-shaped housing modules could form temporary micro-neighborhoods and a type of private and attractive housing that most shelters are unable to provide. Following Homed’s tagline “Creating a Shelter with Dignity,” the tiny pods aim to create “a warm and friendly environment” in a year-round home. Each aluminum-framed pod features interior modules 3D printed from recyclable bioplastics and clad with wood laminate. PMMA smart glass lets in ample natural light, while the layer of thin film diodes provide privacy and can be used to depict artwork or commercial content on the outside. The flexibility of the modules allows a wide array of uses that include sleeping, showering, and socializing. Related: Parasitic pod homes attach to buildings to provide additional housing Framlab notes that Homed isn’t a “single solution to the situation. Rather, it is intended to be an instrument that plays a part in the solution. The massive extent and complexity of the situation requires work on a broad regulatory and policy-making level. But, it is critical that the design community is part of the process.” + Homed Via Dezeen

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3D-printed pod homes for the homeless could cling to NYC buildings

Twin brothers convert organic waste into truly biodegradable plastic

October 27, 2017 by  
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You know plastic waste is a problem. But Jeff and Dane Anderson, twin brothers in California , are trying to do something about it. They started a company, Full Cycle Bioplastics , to make a fully biodegradable plastic . They aren’t the first to do so, but they utilize cheap, readily available organic waste to make their bioplastic . Food waste, dirty paper or cardboard, or agricultural byproducts become compostable plastic in Full Cycle Bioplastics’ process. Jeff Anderson told UPROXX they’re able to utilize any organic waste to create a plastic known as polyhydroxyalkanoate (PHA). “If it ever falls into the ocean , it actually acts as fish food, or bacteria food, and has no toxic effects,” Anderson said in an UPROXX video . Related: Egyptian scientists turn dried shrimp shells into eco-friendly plastic Full Cycle Bioplastics breaks organic waste down into feedstock, given to naturally occurring bacteria that consume the waste and convert it into PHA. The company then dries and processes the PHA into a resin product. Anderson said their bioplastic could be used for bags, to-go containers, utensils, water bottles, or shampoo bottles, to name a few. Dane Anderson said it’s great for the bioplastic to return to them after use, because they can turn it back into plastic again. But it will harmlessly break down in nature if it’s discarded. One reason bioplastics haven’t taken over the world yet is their expense, but the brothers bring down costs through their process. They don’t need land to cultivate crops, nor do they use genetically modified bacteria. We may not be able to totally get rid of plastic – just a glance around where you’re sitting right now will likely reveal several items manufactured with the stuff polluting our planet. But Jeff told UPROXX their bioplastic can serve as a direct replacement – one that’s far better for the earth. + Full Cycle Bioplastics Via UPROXX Images via Full Cycle Bioplastics and screenshot

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Twin brothers convert organic waste into truly biodegradable plastic

Error in sea temperature readings suggests climate change is worse than we thought

October 27, 2017 by  
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We might have been wrong about how dire climate change really is. New research points out methodology to work out sea temperatures may have been based on an error – so millions of years ago, the oceans may have been colder than scientists thought. Study co-author Anders Meibom of the University of Lausanne in Switzerland said, “If we are right, our study challenges decades of paleoclimate research.” Global warming actually might be “an unprecedented event in the last hundred million years,” according to the University of Lausanne , if the study from a team of French and Swiss researchers is correct. 100 million years ago, sea temperatures in the deep ocean and polar ocean’s surface were 15 degrees higher than current temperatures, scientists thought. But that figure may be incorrect – instead, ocean temperatures could have been more stable. That means the warming we’re seeing today is more distressing. Related: Scientists warn CO2 from warming soils could lead to uncontrollable temperature rise The Independent explains scientists used to determine temperatures with the help of foraminifera, or tiny marine organism fossils . The shells of these creatures have more or less of an oxygen isotope based on water temperature, so scientists could estimate water temperature of the past based on the oxygen content of the shells. Sounds fairly straightforward, right? The problem is oxygen amounts in the shells don’t stay constant over time, says this new research, which suggests oxygen content can change without a trace that would clue scientists in on that change. Meibom said in a statement (translated by The Independent), “To revisit the ocean’s paleotemperatures now, we need to carefully quantify this re-equilibration, which has been overlooked for too long. For that, we have to work on other types of marine organisms so that we clearly understand what took place in the sediment over geological time.” The University of Lausanne reports the scientists are already at work on this task. Ocean temperatures are important in our understanding of climate change. Meibom said, “The oceans cover 70 percent of the Earth. They are a key player in the Earth’s climate . We must therefore know the evolution of their temperature over geological time to understand precisely how they behave and thus, to better predict the consequences of the current climate disruption.” Nature Communications published the research online this week. Sylvain Bernard of the Institute of Mineralogy, Materials Physics, and Cosmochemistry in Paris, France is the lead author. + Nature Communications Via the University of Lausanne and The Indepdendent Images via Pixabay and Depositphotos

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Error in sea temperature readings suggests climate change is worse than we thought

Waste Chicken Feathers Make Durable, Biodegradable Plastic

April 5, 2011 by  
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Chicken feathers, as unlikely as it seems, have turned out to be a wonderfully useful material.  Among other things, researchers have found they make for great circuit boards and cheap, efficient storage tanks for hydrogen .  Now it turns out they could also be used to create biodegradable, petroleum-free plastics. Researchers at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln say that the protein keratin in chicken feathers, which is strong and durable, as well as the fact that so many of them end up as unused waste, is what makes them such an appealing material.  When making the plastic, the scientists heat-treated the feathers to clean them and then pulverized them into a fine powder.  They then added chemicals that made the keratin molecules join together into long chains and create a polymer. The resulting plastic was stronger than other bioplastics made of soy beans or starch and it stood up to water.  The material is a thermoplastic which means that heat can be used to mold it into various products and can be melted and remolded many times.  It could be used for plastic plates and cups or even furniture and when those things are no longer usable, the plastic is biodegradable.

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Waste Chicken Feathers Make Durable, Biodegradable Plastic

Families Sue Chiquita for More Than 4,000 Murders in Colombia

April 4, 2011 by  
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Image: Dawn Hucze via flickr Despite some efforts by Chiquita to clean up its act in recent years, its long history of human rights abuses is coming back to haunt the company. Chiquita is being sued by the families of more than 4,000 Colombians murdered by illegal armed groups funded by Chiquita. ..

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Families Sue Chiquita for More Than 4,000 Murders in Colombia

Perfect Plant? 7 Great Uses For Industrial Hemp

April 20, 2010 by  
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Not to overly play into the stereotype of the TreeHugger moniker, but today is 4/20 so a quick review of all the great uses for industrial hemp –you know, that non-psychoactive relative of marijuana that for myriad moronic reasons is more or less illegal* to cultivate in the United States but not work with and sell–seemed apropos. From clothing, to food, to fuel, to a whole host of consumer and building products, not to mention helping in cleaning up soil pollution, it’s only … Read the full story on TreeHugger

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Perfect Plant? 7 Great Uses For Industrial Hemp

Billions and Billions of 3D Glasses: Will Biodegradable Frames Discourage Reuse?

April 10, 2010 by  
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Paper or plastic? Old school 3D glasses. Photo by Hacky via Flickr It is estimated that if the 42.1 million pairs of 3D glasses used at theaters to watch Avatar were laid end-to-end, they would stretch more than 3,987 miles.

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Billions and Billions of 3D Glasses: Will Biodegradable Frames Discourage Reuse?

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