Shellworks upcycles leftover lobster shells into biodegradable bioplastics

March 15, 2019 by  
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Four design students from The Royal College of Art and Imperial College have created a biodegradable and recyclable bioplastic using an unusual material — lobster shell waste. In an initiative dubbed Shellworks , the team — Ed Jones, Insiya Jafferjee, Amir Afshar and Andrew Edwards — has developed new manufacturing machines to produce what they believe is a sustainable replacement for single-use plastics. The malleable bioplastic is extremely versatile and can be adjusted in thickness, transparency, flexibility and stiffness to create a variety of biodegradable objects. The critical ingredient in the Shellworks’ bioplastic is chitlin, the world’s second most abundant biopolymer naturally found in the exoskeletons of crustaceans and insects. Rather than purchase chitlin, an expensive material on its own, the team opted to built a custom small-scale extractor as well as three custom manufacturing machines — the Dippy, a heated dip molder to create 3D forms; the Vaccy, a steam-heated vacuum former for making molded packaging; and the Sheety, a sheet-forming device for creating controlled flat sheets — that each take advantage of a specific material property for different applications. Prototypes have ranged from antibacterial blister packaging to self-fertilizing plant pots. Since the beginning, product recyclability has stayed at the forefront of Shellworks’ design objectives. Thus, the team steered clear of additives during experimentation and discovered that they could manipulate the bioplastic’s properties by adjusting the ratios of the base ingredients. The highly versatile and recyclable material can be easily turned from a solid back to the original bioplastic solution or used as a natural, non-polluting fertilizer at the end of its lifecycle. Related: Reebok develops plant-based sneakers made of cotton and corn The Shellworks team said, “By designing scalable manufacturing processes, applications tailored to the material and eco-positive waste streams, we believe we can demonstrate how chitosan bioplastic could become a viable alternative for many of the plastic products we use today.” + Shellworks Images via Shellworks

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Shellworks upcycles leftover lobster shells into biodegradable bioplastics

New Humane Society report shows animal testing labs kill thousands of dogs annually

March 15, 2019 by  
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The Humane Society of the United States just released a report on their investigation into widespread animal testing. The inquiry lasted a little over three months and discovered that tens of thousands of dogs are being killed annually in the name of product testing . The study uncovered laboratories across the United States where scientists are using beagles and hounds to test toxicity levels in drugs, dental implants and pesticides . Over the course of 100 days, one undercover operative recorded almost two dozen animal experiments that featured dogs as the primary subjects. At the end of some of these studies, all of the dogs were terminated while others suffered throughout the trials. Related: Don’t forget to fight for these “less glamorous” endangered species One of the documented experiments involved 36 beagles and was commissioned by Dow AgroSciences. The company was testing pesticide use on the dogs and ordered researchers to force the poor animals to swallow fungicide pills. The study is scheduled to end this coming July, and any of the beagles that survive are going to be killed. Dow has issued a public statement about animal experimentation and confessed that these types of studies are not needed. The U.S. government has also stopped requiring animal testing on human products, so there is really no need for these dogs to be subjected to these terrible experiments. The reality, however, is that animal experiments are more widespread than people realize. “The disturbing findings at this facility are sadly not unique. Experiments are happening at hundreds of laboratories each year throughout the country, with more than 60,000 dogs suffering,” said Kitty Block, president and CEO of the Human Society of the United States. The undercover investigation was undertaken in a Michigan facility called Charles River Laboratories. Animal testing is carried out in similar facilities across the U.S., but also in government buildings, universities and for-profit institutions. Commercial breeders, such as Marshall BioResources, provide the majority of dogs used in animal testing. Apart from Dow, other companies linked in the investigation include Paredox Therapeutics and Above and Beyond NB LLC. By raising awareness about the issue, the Humane Society hopes to put an end to animal testing and find homes for the animals who have survived. Via Human Society of the United States Image via Shutterstock

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New Humane Society report shows animal testing labs kill thousands of dogs annually

New solar-powered machine converts urine into beer

July 27, 2016 by  
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“We call it from sewer to brewer,” say the creators of a solar-powered machine that turns urine into beer . Belgian scientists hope to expand the technology to remote areas needing off-the-grid methods for creating drinkable water , but not before asking festival goers to #peeforscience and a truly unique brew. Ghent University researchers developed the energy-efficient system with developing countries in mind, where solar power is optimal. By collecting urine in a heated tank and passing it through a membrane, clean drinking water is collected, as well as nutrients to be used as fertilizer . This way, both resources can be made readily available to people in need by using what is (no longer) considered a waste product. Related: Urine-powered batteries could provide cheap energy where it’s needed most The team behind the innovation featured it at a 10-day music and theater event, where the pee of thousands of festival goers was turned into 1,000 liters of drinkable water. In true Belgian fashion, the water collected from the event will be brewed into beer . The implications for both crowded, urban sporting and music events and rural areas needing access to clean water are vast. We just have to ask ourselves one question: would you drink it? Via Daily Mail Images via Pexels ( 1 , 2 )

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New solar-powered machine converts urine into beer

Artist advocates worm composting solution to reduce waste and methane emissions

March 30, 2016 by  
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Composting worms are excellent co-habitants that can help us reduce our greenhouse gas output by eating food scraps and waste paper that would otherwise be generating methane in landfills. Local, in-home worms can transform domestic organic waste into a rich, nutritious fertilizer that can be fed to houseplants, food gardens, trees, or lawns. Worms have the potential to play an important role in helping us reduce our greenhouse gas emissions, but their power to repulse us is a barrier. There is a lot of cultural work to do if we are to develop symbiotic relationships with them. Artist Amy Youngs has begun this work by creating a series of artworks designed to help humans get comfortable with having worms as roommates. Read the rest of Artist advocates worm composting solution to reduce waste and methane emissions

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Public Urinals Help Amsterdam Harvest Pee as Fertilizer for Green Roofs

November 22, 2013 by  
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Photo of green roof via Shutterstock The idea of someone sprinkling urine on building rooftops sounds like a major health hazard, but that’s just what Amsterdam’s water utility, Waternet , recently proposed. Though it sounds like a cruel prank, the project is actually part of an effort to find cheap, natural alternatives to traditional fertilizer . In order to flourish, Amsterdam’s many green roof tops need lots of nitrogen, potassium, and phosphorus, substances that some say could become scarce by 2030. Knowing that human urine contains a lot of all three of these nutrients, Waternet recently set up a demonstration project to harvest pee from public urinals. It hopes to process what it gleans into an upcycled fertilizer for public gardens and vegetated rooftops around the city. Read the rest of Public Urinals Help Amsterdam Harvest Pee as Fertilizer for Green Roofs Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: Amsterdam , fertilizer , green roofs , green roofs in Amsterdam , human urine , natural fertilizers , organic fertilizers , peak fertilizer , peak phosphorus , Pee Power , Peecycling , peecycling in Amsterdam , phosphates , phosphorus , public urinals in Amsterdam , recycling urine , urinals , uses for human urine        

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Public Urinals Help Amsterdam Harvest Pee as Fertilizer for Green Roofs

The World’s First Bionic Eye Implant Hits US Market Next Month

November 22, 2013 by  
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The world’s first bionic eye is set to hit the US market next month! The Argus II is a retinal implant that helps restore vision to patients blinded by a degenerative eye disease. The FDA officially approved the device early this year, following successful trials that allowed some patients to read the newspaper or see in color for the first time in years. Read the rest of The World’s First Bionic Eye Implant Hits US Market Next Month Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: bionic eye , blindness , clinical trials , electronic implants , macular degeneration , medical devices , medical technology , optic nerve , retinal implant , retinitis pigementosa , second sight medical products        

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The World’s First Bionic Eye Implant Hits US Market Next Month

Leonardo DiCaprio Donates $3 Million to Double Nepal’s Tiger Population by 2022

November 22, 2013 by  
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The Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation just donated a whopping $3 million to help the World Wildlife Fund double the population of wild tigers in Nepal by 2022. The grant will aid the WWF in working with the Nepalese government to protect and monitor tiger populations and enact stronger anti-poaching controls. The gracious grant is expected to help increase the tiger population from 3,200 to 6,400 in the next nine years – by year of the tiger in the Chinese calendar. Read the rest of Leonardo DiCaprio Donates $3 Million to Double Nepal’s Tiger Population by 2022 Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: “World Wildlife Fund” , eco design , green design , images of Leonardo DiCaprio , Leonardo DiCaprio donates $3million to tiger conservation , Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation , Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation $3 million to tigers , Leonardo DiCaprio saves tigers , Nepal tigers , Save Tigers Now , sustainable design , WWF and Leonardo DiCaprio        

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Leonardo DiCaprio Donates $3 Million to Double Nepal’s Tiger Population by 2022

INTERVIEW: Architect James Cleary on Designing the Kitchen of the Future, Today

November 22, 2013 by  
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James Cleary is a Brooklyn-based architect who has designed many  residential  buildings throughout NYC Over the last century, the design of the kitchen has changed dramatically. Once a service space relegated to the back of the house, today we use kitchens as everything from offices to entertainment spaces to cozy nooks for respite—the kitchen has very much become the heart of the modern home. So what do architects think about when designing this ever-important space? We caught up with Brooklyn-based residential architect James Cleary , of James Cleary Architecture , to talk about how he approaches kitchen design when planning  his residential works . Here, James explains the challenges of creating a “sociable kitchen”, how details such as appliances and materials can transform how we experience our kitchens, and what he envisions the kitchen of the future to look like (flying robots, anyone?!). Keep reading to learn more! Read the rest of INTERVIEW: Architect James Cleary on Designing the Kitchen of the Future, Today Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: amazing homes brooklyn , amazing homes nyc , architect interview , boerum hill condos , brooklyn apartments , brooklyn architect , brooklyn condos , brooklyn green apartments , cobble hill condos , downtown brooklyn housing , eco appliances , eco kitchens , fisker + paykel , Green Real Estate , inhabitat interview , james cleary , james cleary architect , james cleary architecture , kitchen design , leed gold apartments , leed gold condos , modern appliances , modern kitchen design , modern kitchens , nyc apartments , nyc architect , pacific street trio , prime real estate brooklyn , prime real estate nyc        

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INTERVIEW: Architect James Cleary on Designing the Kitchen of the Future, Today

World’s Largest Wind Turbine Drivetrain Testing Facility Opens in Charleston, SC

November 22, 2013 by  
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The world’s largest  wind turbine drivetrain  testing facility and smart grid simulator just officially launched at  The Energy Systems Innovation Center  in Charleston, South Carolina on November 21st. The facility will test the huge drivetrains used in offshore wind farms, while the “grid simulator,” built in a former U.S. Navy warehouse, will be used to assess the impact of wind turbines on the electric grid. Read the rest of World’s Largest Wind Turbine Drivetrain Testing Facility Opens in Charleston, SC Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: Charleston wind turbine testing facility , Clemson Restoration Institute , Clemson University , Duke Energy eGRID , offshore wind farms , SCE&G Energy Innovation Center , us wind power , wind energy grid simulator , wind turbine drivetrain testing facility , wind turbine testing facility , wind turbines        

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World’s Largest Wind Turbine Drivetrain Testing Facility Opens in Charleston, SC

Nature Loo’s Composting Toilet Puts More Distance Between You and Your (Icky) Poo Box

October 30, 2013 by  
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Composting toilets present a very green way of disposing and reusing your poop as a natural fertilizer, but they haven’t been widely implemented. Most people don’t want to sit on top of a box of poop or even see it, and they certainly don’t want to touch it . To remedy this coprophobia , an Australian company named Nature Loo came up with a simple design that puts more distance between you and your waste receptacle. Instead of having a compost chamber just beneath your porcelain throne, Nature Loo’s system installs an additional space up to four feet below the bathroom floor. Read the rest of Nature Loo’s Composting Toilet Puts More Distance Between You and Your (Icky) Poo Box Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: box of poop , Compost your poop , composting , composting chamber , composting toilet , DIY , fertilizer , human waste fertilizer , long distance toilet , natural fertilizer , Nature Loo , reusing your poop        

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