The Ocean Cleanup is about to send a giant plastic collector to the Great Pacific Garbage Patch

April 20, 2018 by  
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The  Great Pacific Garbage Patch is growing at an alarming rate — and it’s already three times the size of France . Fortunately, help is on the way: new images show that The Ocean Cleanup  is building an innovative  plastic -scooping system in Alameda, CA, and they’re planning to launch it as early as this summer. There are around 1.8 trillion pieces of plastic junk in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, and The Ocean Cleanup , started by now-23-year-old Boyan Slat , is much closer to deploying its technology to tackle the dilemma. The group’s  Road to the Cleanup timeline reveals that, earlier this month, the crew finished “the first weld of two floater sections” — the official start of the assembly process. Days later, the organization shared another image of what they called great progress. Related: The Ocean Cleanup launches San Francisco base in Pacific trash-busting bid Fast Company reported  that a massive floating tube, around 2,000 feet long, will serve as a U-shaped barrier to help trap plastic. It’s flexible enough to bend with ocean waves and is made of HDPE plastic — the same material that the system aims to collect, according to ABC7 News . A nylon screen attached to the tube will catch plastic beneath the waves — but not fish, as it isn’t a net. Big anchors, a concept unveiled by Slat in a presentation last year , will essentially tether the system not to the seabed, but to a deep water layer. When might we be able to see the system in action? The Road to the Cleanup timeline estimates launch will happen in the middle of this year. The first piece of the system, which is about as long as a football field, will be towed out into the ocean for tests in a few weeks. The piece will be connected to the larger system following the local tow test, and a final test 200 miles offshore will occur after assembly is finished. It will take three weeks for the system to reach the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, and The Ocean Cleanup could get there in August if everything goes as planned. Plastic they gather could be transformed into various  products — clothing, for example — and the Ocean Cleanup could have a shipment of plastic in late fall. + The Ocean Cleanup + Road to the Cleanup Via Fast Company and ABC7 News Images via The Ocean Cleanup

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The Ocean Cleanup is about to send a giant plastic collector to the Great Pacific Garbage Patch

This new 3D-printed house was built by a portable robot in just 48 hours

April 20, 2018 by  
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There are a lot of 3D-printed houses popping up these days, but this is the first time an architect with the renown of Massimiliano Locatelli of CLS Architetti and Arup has tackled one. Built out of a special quick-drying mortar, the 1,076-square-foot house was constructed in just 48 hours. Locatelli envisions 3D printing as the housing of the future – and that his house could be constructed anywhere,”even the moon.” The project, 3D Housing 05 , was built on-site by a portable robot as a way of showing how 3D-printing can reduce construction waste but still create a beautiful space. The house is the first of its kind, because it is 3D-printed, but can be deconstructed and reassembled somewhere else. Like you’d expect from such respected names in architecture, the house is quite stylish. A one-story home with curved walls and four separate spaces built out of 35 modules, the house embraces its 3D-printed roots, with the printing texture adding warmth to the concrete space. The architects used a  Cybe mobile 3D concrete printer and a specific mortar called CyBe MORTAR. The material sets in five minutes, with a dehydration time of 24 hours – compared to the 28 days for traditional concrete. Related: New 3D-printed house can be built in less than a day for just $4,000 “My vision was to integrate new, more organic shapes in the surrounding landscapes or urban architecture…. The challenges are the project’s five key values: creativity, sustainability, flexibility, affordability and rapidity. The opportunity is to be a protagonist of a new revolution in architecture,” Locatelli told Wallpaper* . Arup and CLS Architetti revealed the design at the Salone del Mobile festival in the grand Piazza Cesare Beccaria. + 3D Printed Housing 05 + Arup + CLS Architetti via Treehugger

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This new 3D-printed house was built by a portable robot in just 48 hours

First estimate of plastic entering oceans from rivers yields shocking results

June 7, 2017 by  
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How much plastic do rivers dump into the world’s oceans ? The Ocean Cleanup decided to find out. They conducted what they say is the “first-ever estimate of plastic emissions from rivers” and the results are shocking, as in, between 1.15 and 2.41 million metric tons annually shocking. They say knowing the trash’s origins will help them better deploy their plastic-scooping cleanup arrays. Scientists have known for a long time rivers deposit plastic into oceans, but before this study no one had ever quantified just how much plastic is flowing from rivers, or how much each river contributes, according to The Ocean Cleanup . To answer such questions, researcher Laurent Lebreton of The Ocean Cleanup designed a model drawing from data on waste management , population density, dam locations, hydrography, and topography. Related: Redesigned Ocean Cleanup arrays to start scooping up Pacific garbage patch within a year The researchers found out of 40,760 rivers, a mere 20 contribute two thirds of the plastic input. The plastic also enters oceans more heavily between May and October: three quarters of plastic released makes its way into ocean waters then. The Ocean Cleanup created an interactive map to help visualize the issue. The map tells a user how many kilograms of plastic have entered the oceans just since they started viewing it. You can check it out here . The Ocean Cleanup founder and CEO Boyan Slat said in a statement, “We’re pleased to see how many initiatives have been taken in the past few years to raise awareness of the ocean pollution problem. However, for our work in the deep ocean to succeed in the long run, it’s crucial that governments and other organizations speed up their efforts to mitigate the sources of the problem we aim to resolve. The results of this latest study can assist with those efforts.” The journal Nature Communications published the study online today . Four Ocean Cleanup researchers were joined by one scientist from North Carolina State University and an expert from HKV Consultants in the Netherlands . + The Ocean Cleanup Images via The Ocean Cleanup

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First estimate of plastic entering oceans from rivers yields shocking results

A spectacular staircase draws you into this breathtaking daylit loft in Vienna

June 7, 2017 by  
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This renovated loft in Vienna has a sculptural staircase at its core that appears to support the entire upper floor. Design studio Smartvoll sought to preserve as much of the original space as possible while cultivating a minimalist feel reminiscent of Adolf Loos’s interiors. The renovation of the 3,767-square-foot Loft Panzerhalle introduced an abundance of natural light into the interior. The architects left the ribbon windows on the upper floor intact instead of creating galleries typical in modern loft design . An impressive central staircase sweeps upwards like a concrete sculpture, rounding off the composition. The staircase also divides the room while creating a roof over the kitchen, recesses and elevations. Related: Architects turn a cramped apartment into a gorgeous loft where the owner’s cats can roam freely While concrete dominates the space, semi-transparent materials were used to delineate the guest area and bedroom. All the furniture looks integrated into the construction, celebrating free space and minimalist aesthetics. “We wanted to revitalize the space’s original charm,” said the architects. “Magnanimity and a spatial experience of both storeys were priorities. In all dimensions.” + Smartvoll Architects Via v2com Photos by Tobias Colz/smartvoll

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A spectacular staircase draws you into this breathtaking daylit loft in Vienna

8 teenage inventions that could save the world

January 23, 2017 by  
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Sometimes the brightest ideas come in young packages. Teenagers from around the world demonstrate you don’t need a high school diploma to come up with a life-changing invention . From $13 germ-killing door handles to Braille printers, check out these eight teenage inventions that revolutionize the way we view energy , food, and, of course, the oceans . 14-year-old designs pedal-powered washing machine When assigned with laundry duty after her mother got sick, Remya Jose, a 14-year-old girl from India , designed an ingenious pedal-powered washing machine to save the time of doing laundry by hand in a nearby river. Jose made her clever washing machine with recycled bicycle components, creating an appliance that could greatly assist families who lack access to electricity. Related: 13-year-old Maanasa Mendu invents groundbreaking clean energy device that costs just $5 16-year-olds discover way to increase crop yields for Combating the Global Food Crisis project Garden-loving teenagers Ciara Judge, Émer Hickey, and Sophie Healy-Thow of Ireland won the Google Science Fair 2014 with their Combating the Global Food Crisis project. The 16-year-olds paired a bacteria often found in symbiotic relationships with legumes with crops it doesn’t typically associate with, namely oats and barley. Crops that tested their unique pairing were wildly successful, germinating in about half the time and producing a 74 percent greater drymass yield. Increasing crop yields is vital as the global population grows, and discoveries like this one could greatly impact the way we combat food poverty . 19-year-old invents Ocean Cleanup Array For several years now, Inhabitat has been covering the efforts of The Ocean Cleanup CEO Boyan Slat of the Netherlands , who at 19 years old invented an Ocean Cleanup Array , and we’re continually impressed by his persistence. The Ocean Cleanup recently completed their first aerial reconnaissance mission of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch . The results weren’t pretty – 1,000 large plastic pieces spotted in two hours – but there’s still hope to clean up the mess we’ve made. The Ocean Cleanup won the Katerva Award in 2016 , and feasibility studies indicate one 63-mile array could “remove 42 percent of the Great Pacific garbage patch in only 10 years.” 12-year-old builds inexpensive, working Braille printer 12-year-old Shubham Banerjee of California utilized a Lego Mindstorms EV3 kit and about $5 of hardware from Home Depot to design an innovative Braille printer , the Braigo v1.0, that cost way less than similar devices. Around 285 million people are visually impaired worldwide, according to World Health Organization data, but as Braille printers cost over $2,000 when Banerjee invented his device, his disruptive technology held the potential to change how the blind communicate. He went on to start a company, Braigo Labs , and about three years later, has released an app and web platform and continues to develop his groundbreaking printer (and he’s still in high school.) 17-year-old creates a device that can purify water and produce clean energy simultaneously Millions of people around the world live without electricity or clean water , and 17-year-old Cynthia Sin Nga Lam of Australia decided to tackle both issues at once with her portable H2Pro device. The H2Pro unit harnesses photocatalysis, or using light to speed up a chemical reaction, to sterilize water. As a side bonus, the process also yields hydrogen , which Lam said could be used to produce electricity. 17-year-old designs human waste bioreactor to turn human poo into clean energy When Kenya ‘s Maseno School opened up new dormitories for over 700 students in 2013, the area around the students’ home often smelled because of pit latrines and a defective sewage system, which also polluted local freshwater. High schooler Leroy Mwasaru and four friends came up with a solution: a human waste bioreactor that could transform waste into a clean cooking fuel for the kitchen, which had been using firewood. Today, Mwasaru is the founder of Greenpact , a group aiming to provide biogas solutions to over six million Kenyans who lack access to adequate sanitation and renewable energy . 17-year-old and 18-year-old design $13 germ-killing door handle 17-year-old Sun Ming (Simon) Wong and 18-year-old King Pong (Michael) Li of Hong Kong knew bacteria spreads via handles on doors or shopping carts touched by hundreds of people daily. So they hunted for a material that could kill that bacteria and found an answer in titanium oxide. Instead of simply coating a handle in titanium oxide, though, they added an LED light into a bracket holding the handle to truly activate the compound, which can then annihilate 99.8 percent of germs . Even better, the device only costs around $13, meaning it could be accessible for more people worldwide. 16-year-old utilizes ingredients found in pencils and sunscreen to create pollution-cleansing coating Sunscreen and pencils might not be the first two items you’d go to for answers to clean up pollution , but 16-year-old Samuel Burrow of England utilized two ingredients found in those common items to create a “paint-like coating” that has the power to break down pollutants with the help of light. He mixed titanium dioxide with graphene oxide for a concoction with not one, but several applications, in addition to a surface paint. As a sponge, Burrow’s mixture can purify water, and when combined with sand, it has the potential to filter heavy metals out of water. Just imagine how clean the world could be if all buildings were painted with Burrow’s marvelous mix. Images via Brit + Co ; Ciara Judge, Émer Hickey and Sophie Healy-Thow on Google+ ; The Ocean Cleanup ; Shubham Banerjee ; Google Science Fair ; Innovate Kenya ; Student Society for Science ; and screenshot

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Scientists turn eggshells into eco-friendly data-storage devices

January 23, 2017 by  
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Walk on eggshells? Not these scientists. A team from Guizhou Institute of Technology is working on a way to turn ground-up bits of the breakfast byproduct into a data-storage device that could pave the way for eco-friendlier computers. The device itself uses something called resistive random-access memory , ReRAM for short, a type of non-volatile, high-density yet energy-sipping memory system that could soon supplant your flash drive as a data silo. Instead of storing a charge, like conventional memory does, ReRAM works by creating electrical resistance across a dielectric solid-state material that transmits voltage without conducting it, essentially serving as an insulator. As it turns out, eggshells have a “large resistive-switching memory,” as the scientists noted in the February 2017 issue of Current Applied Physics , where they published their findings. But don’t start sticking eggs in your USB port just yet. To create the device, they first pulverized the shells for hours into an ultra-fine, nanoscale powder, which they then dissolved in solution. Related: Scientists invent the world’s first microchip powered by biological systems The resulting paste, coated onto a substrate, became the electrolyte portion of a memory chip, that is, the part that carries the electrical charge. Whatever they did worked. The eggshell-based device was able to write 100 bits of binary code into its memory before it broke down. It’ll take some tinkering before the device can stack up against materials that can manage billions of cycles, but the promise is there. “This discovery provides for the possibility of an environmentally friendly, low-cost and sustainable material application in the next-generation nonvolatile date storage device,” the scientists said. Egg -citing. Via New Scientist Photos by Kullez and Bruce Guenter

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Scientists turn eggshells into eco-friendly data-storage devices

Ocean Cleanup launches historic first prototype thanks to Dutch backing

June 24, 2016 by  
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Cleaning up our oceans just got one step closer to reality as The Ocean Cleanup just launched the first prototype of a device that will capture floating plastic pollution. After winning the prestigious Katerva Award last month, the project is now starting a year-long test partially funded by the Dutch government. The prototype boom will be towed to 12 and a half miles out in the North Sea today. At 328 feet long, the device is the ” first ocean cleanup system ever tested at sea .” The prototype, which collects trash passively, is made of vulcanized rubber and is powered by ocean currents. Sensors will monitor the boom during the year. Data garnered will assist engineers as they develop a system more resistant to wind and waves. Related: Plastic-scooping Ocean Cleanup project wins prestigious Katerva Award Dutch Environment Minister Sharon Dijksma said in a press release , ” The Ocean Cleanup is an inspiring example of how we can tackle the growing problem of ocean pollution . I hope that with the help of the Dutch government, Boyan’s prototype will turn out to be the successful solution for cleaning up the mid-ocean gyres. This is crucial to prevent permanent damange to the environment and marine life, due to the degradation and fragmentation of plastic waste materials.” The purpose of the test is not necessarily to collect garbage, but to see how the system handles North Sea storms, often more relentless than those out in the Pacific Ocean , where The Ocean Cleanup ultimately hopes to deploy their system. But as a side bonus, some plastic might be scooped up by the prototype. Slat calculated there’s a 30 percent chance the prototype could break during the test, but said whether it breaks or stays intact the test will still be beneficial. He said, “This is a historic day on the path toward clean oceans. A successful outcome of this test should put us on track to deploy the first operational pilot system in late 2017.” + The Ocean Cleanup Via The Guardian Images courtesy of The Ocean Cleanup

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Help the Ocean Cleanup Array Save the World’s Oceans From Plastic Pollution – Donate Now!

September 2, 2014 by  
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Plastic pollution is a global problem – the world’s oceans are filled with millions of tons of plastic particles that choke sea life and release hazardous toxins as they decompose. 19-year-old Boyan Slat has come up with a brilliant solution that could rid the seas of plastic pollution – and it’s proven by a year-long feasibility study – but he needs your help to make it a reality! Boyan’s Ocean Cleanup Array crowdfunding campaign has raised over 1.6 million dollars – but it has just 10 days left to hit its $2 million funding goal – so donate today to help clean the world’s oceans of plastic pollution! DONATE TO CLEAN THE WORLD’S OCEANS! > Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: Boyan Slat , Boyan Slat array , cleaning plastic , cleaning trash , crowd sourcing ocean array , Crowdfunding , crowdfunding ocean array , garbage patch , interview , Ocean Array , ocean cleaning , ocean cleanup , Ocean Cleanup Array , Ocean Plastic , Ocean plastic cleanup , ocean trash cleanup , pacific garbage patch , sea patch , sea plastic , the ocean cleanup

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Help the Ocean Cleanup Array Save the World’s Oceans From Plastic Pollution – Donate Now!

Volkswagen Announces $36,265 Price Tag for 2015 e-Golf Electric Car

September 2, 2014 by  
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Volkswagen just announced the pricing details for its first electric car to be offered in the United States! The 2015 e-Golf will offer a 115 horsepower electric motor and a 24.2 kWh lithium-ion battery – and it’s set to arrive in November with a price tag starting at $36,265 before any federal or state tax credits are applied. Read the rest of Volkswagen Announces $36,265 Price Tag for 2015 e-Golf Electric Car Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: electric car , electric motor , green car , green transportation , volkswagen , vw , VW e-Golf , vw electric car , VW EV , vw golf

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Volkswagen Announces $36,265 Price Tag for 2015 e-Golf Electric Car

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