Recycling Mystery: Is Bubble Wrap Recyclable?

June 23, 2017 by  
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I remember one of the most fun parts of unwrapping packages as a kid was seeing how many bubbles I could pop in the protective plastic packaging. I obviously wasn’t too concerned about reusing this material, let alone whether it could be recycled….

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Recycling Mystery: Is Bubble Wrap Recyclable?

Make Your Own Natural Bee Repellent

June 20, 2017 by  
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Note: This post contains affiliate links, which helps fund our Recycling Directory, the most comprehensive in North America. Now that the season of picnics and barbecues is officially here, your thoughts may also go to typical summer pests. The…

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Make Your Own Natural Bee Repellent

Make Waves with a Natural Swimming Pool

June 16, 2017 by  
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After 30-plus years of swimming in chlorinated pools, I can tell you that I’m sick and tired of red eyes, dried-out skin, green hair and bleached swimsuits. I’m ready for a change, and that change just may be a natural swimming pool (NSP). These…

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Make Waves with a Natural Swimming Pool

The Best Eco-Friendly Home Decor Materials

June 12, 2017 by  
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To truly express a sustainable lifestyle, one must begin in the home. Modern eco-friendly home decor materials are widely available and varied enough in color, texture and purpose to offer fashionable options for any individual style, and the…

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The Best Eco-Friendly Home Decor Materials

World’s Smallest Garden lets you recycle old bottles into adorable hydroponic gardens

June 7, 2017 by  
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You can always recycle an old wine bottle , but what if you could transform it into a tiny garden instead? Urban Leaf empowers people to grow food at home through the World’s Smallest Garden, and upcycle used bottles into planters. It takes minutes to put together one of the mini gardens, which can grow greens and herbs year-round – and you can snag one on the cheap right now on Kickstarter . The World’s Smallest Garden is comprised of a 3D-printed cylindrical device, or plug, that fits right into the neck of an old bottle. The plastic used in the product is biodegradable . Users fill the bottle with water, insert the device filled with soil and seeds, and sit back and let the plants grow. Plants can draw on that initial water source for a month, and then users can add water as needed. Related: Build your own indoor garden with modular LEGO-like blocks Dill, lettuce, bok choy, and basil are just a few of the plants that can be grown with the World’s Smallest Garden. Users will be able to start harvesting the plants after around four to six weeks. The team designed the garden with the idea that plants would grow just in the bottle, although co-founder Robert Elliott told Inhabitat it should work to move a plant into a planter since hydroponically grown plants typically transplant well. They’ve been able to grow herbs like mint and parsley for five months in bottles, and even grew dwarf tomatoes to fruit in a World’s Smallest Garden. Elliott and Nathan Littlewood started Urban Leaf to work towards a better food system. On their website they say they believe growing food in urban areas solves many of the issues with the modern food industry , allowing for less waste, less packaging, and shorter supply chains. But many people living in cities don’t have a lot of space to grow gardens, an obstacle Urban Leaf overcomes with the World’s Smallest Garden. Elliott told Inhabitat, “The design process for the World’s Smallest Garden was an effort to create the most minimal product that still effectively grew plants. We started with a ‘bells and whistles’ prototype and removed lights, pumps, multiple substrates, nutrient packets, and even the reservoir. Brown or green glass bottles are a natural fit for a reservoir (they block harmful red/blue light while allowing you to see in) and most people just throw them away! By selling just the essential component to turn existing waste into a hydroponic reservoir we save customers money and reduce our manufacturing and shipping environmental impact.” Urban Leaf is currently crowdfunding on Kickstarter . You can get a single pack that comes with three plugs and seeds for $15. Check out the Kickstarter here . + Urban Leaf Images courtesy of Urban Leaf

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World’s Smallest Garden lets you recycle old bottles into adorable hydroponic gardens

‘Instantly rechargeable’ battery spells bad news for gas-guzzling cars

June 7, 2017 by  
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Charging an electric car remains an obstacle for some people, especially in areas lacking charging infrastructure. But new battery technology developed by researchers at Purdue University could change that completely. They’ve designed an instantly rechargeable battery that could allow electric vehicles to be charged in roughly the same amount of time it takes to fill up a car with gasoline today. The researchers designed a flow battery system, which in itself isn’t unique, but the Purdue scientists removed battery membranes, something they say no one else has done. Membranes in batteries break down over time, so the new battery technology allows for a longer lifespan and cuts costs. This rechargeable battery could be a game changer for electric cars. Related: New battery concept could give electric vehicles a 621-mile range Drawing on the Purdue energy storage technology, electric car owners would pull up to a station and fill up their cars with not gas, but fluid electrolytes. The spent battery fluids could be gathered and recharged at a solar or wind farm . Earth, atmospheric, and planetary science professor John Cushman said in a statement, “Instead of refining petroleum, the refiners would reprocess spent electrolytes and instead of dispensing gas, the fueling stations would dispense a water and ethanol or methanol solution as fluid electrolytes to power vehicles…It is believed that our technology could be nearly ‘drop-in’ ready for most of the underground piping system, rail and truck delivery system, gas stations and refineries.” They say their instantly rechargeable method is affordable, safe, and environmentally friendly. Cushman recently presented their findings at the International Society for Porous Media 9th International Conference in the Netherlands. With two other Purdue researchers, he started a company, IFBattery, to commercialize their technology. Cushman said they are seeking financing to develop large-scale prototypes, and from there they’ll look for manufacturing partners. Via Purdue University Images via Purdue University and Håkan Dahlström on Flickr

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‘Instantly rechargeable’ battery spells bad news for gas-guzzling cars

How Clean Must Your Recyclables Be?

May 25, 2017 by  
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If you’ve taken up recycling, you’re already helping to make the world a greener place. But there are some essential tricks of the trade. A very common concern in the recycling realm is knowing how clean recyclables must be before you throw them in…

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How Clean Must Your Recyclables Be?

4 Ways to Kill Weeds the All-Natural Way

May 4, 2017 by  
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If you’re an avid gardener, you know just how toxic weed killers can be. Sure, they’ll knock out garden pests, but they may also hurt carefully tended flowers and vegetables and may be harmful to children and pets. Organic gardening is popular for…

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4 Ways to Kill Weeds the All-Natural Way

Earth Day Home Makeover: 5 Eco-Chic Design Ideas

April 14, 2017 by  
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As a former interior designer, I can confirm that beauty and sustainability are not mutually exclusive. Here are five eco-chic design ideas to cultivate a healthier home. I hope this Earth Day serves as a catalyst for positive change — both in your…

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Earth Day Home Makeover: 5 Eco-Chic Design Ideas

Green Your Garden: 10 Water-Conscious Design Tips

April 11, 2017 by  
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Note: This post contains affiliate links, which helps fund our Recycling Directory, the most comprehensive in North America. How green does your garden grow? If your yard requires an abundance of water to maintain that brightly colored curb appeal,…

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Green Your Garden: 10 Water-Conscious Design Tips

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