2030 goals: Mattel aims for 100% recycled and recyclable toys

December 27, 2019 by  
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Firm behind Barbie, Hot Wheels and Fisher-Price plans to launch first toy made from and packaged in green materials in early 2020.

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2030 goals: Mattel aims for 100% recycled and recyclable toys

Biomega unveils an affordable, lightweight electric car inspired by minimalism

December 5, 2018 by  
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Known for its electric bike designs , Danish firm Biomega is now branching out into the electric car sector. The company has just unveiled its first electric car , called the SIN. Designed for urban environments, the SIN is a low-cost, lightweight electric car that runs on a 14kWh battery pack and is estimated to go up to 100 miles on a single charge. The SIN’s minimalist appearance was inspired by Scandinavian design principles of creating more with less. The body of the  electric car is comprised of modular carbon fiber to reduce its weight and enable optimal battery consumption. Stripped back to provide more space, the interior is made up of perforated mesh seats and an aluminum crossbeam that supports the steering wheel, which is connected to the car’s “info-tainment” tablet. An extra-wide windshield that extends over the roof of the car and transparent side doors were designed specifically to maximize the road views. Related: Biomega’s Boston folding bike: world’s first theft-proof bicycle? As far as power goes, the car runs on four independent engines powered by the main 14kWh battery , which is located under the floor. According to Biomega, the SIN can go from 0 to 60 miles per hour in approximately 13 seconds and can reach a top speed of 80 miles per hour. More importantly for drivers, the battery is estimated to let the car run up to 100 miles on a single charge. Biomega founder Jens Martin Skibsted explained that after years of designing high-tech electric bikes, an electric car was the logical next step for the company. “We’ve been focused on urban mobility since the 1990s,” Skibsted said. “Biomega has always been about creating a paradigm shift in the way society imagines transportation . We feel that we are in an extremely strong position to design an electric vehicle (EV) that represents the frontier of the new mobility.” Recently unveiled at the Shanghai CIEE trade fair, the SIN, which is expected to come with a $20,000 price tag, is due to hit the market sometime between 2021-2023. + Biomega Via Dezeen Images via Biomega

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Biomega unveils an affordable, lightweight electric car inspired by minimalism

Dutch designer creates leather alternative from palm leaves

December 5, 2018 by  
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The leather industry has taken a beating from conscientious consumers for decades, and for a variety of reasons. Firstly, the chemicals used in leather processing are toxic to humans and the environment. Animal advocates are also vocal about protecting the animals used to produce leather. So opponents of leather are always seeking alternatives. One Dutch designer, Tjeerd Veenhoven, is doing his part by developing leather look-alike rugs from palm leaves, called palm leather. Rather than relying on the resource-consuming practice of raising cattle, Veenhoven sources his materials from some of the 80 million trees currently growing naturally, creating a sustainable option to traditional leather. Related: A former leather tannery is transformed into an apartment trio in Lisbon Curiosity launched the invention when Veenhoven became intrigued by the pattern and texture of the palm leaf and asked a friend in India to send him some to experiment with. Although naturally brittle, he found that with glycerin, water and a few other materials he could soften the palm and give it better pliable qualities. Veenhoven’s motivation stems from the belief that producing less meat sources both for food and materials will benefit the planet through the reduction of required resources and the increase in plant systems that are more sustainable. Because of this belief, the processing of palm leather aims to use minimal water compared to cotton or leather and uses no harmful chemicals. In fact, all ingredients could be consumed by humans and are safe to return to nature. Bouncing around from his initial production in Holland, the manufacturing moved to India and then to the Dominican Republic where they are produced now with an emphasis on green initiatives. Related: Nike calls “Flyleather” its most sustainable leather material yet The rugs are assembled with small strips of the palm leather pressed together and mounted to a woven base, which can be produced in a variety of colors to suit different decor needs. The future of palm leather looks promising as other industries begin to notice it and the company focuses on other products that can be made with it. For example, car manufacturers striving to replace leather seats with a vegan option are eager to consider palm leather as an alternative. + Studio Tjeerd Veenhoven Via Dezeen Images via Tjeerd Veenhoven    

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Turn any bike into an e-bike with UrbanX’s drop-in wheel

March 20, 2017 by  
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Are you intrigued by electric bicycles but already own a regular bike? UrbanX created a drop-in wheel that can turn almost any old bicycle into a cool e-bike. The wheel only takes around one minute to install and boasts an impressive range of 30 miles on a single charge. The UrbanX bike wheel simplifies e-bikes: add their wheel and you’re good to go. The product adds an additional 15 pounds to a bike, which isn’t as heavy or clunky as some electric bikes can be. The company behind the product offers the wheel in six sizes; they say it will fit 99 percent of bikes. Their compact battery charges in an hour and a half. Related: Juicer electric bikes bridge dorky environmentalism and cool-guy style https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/934648866/urbanx-convert-any-bike-to-an-electric-bike-in-60/description The company offers a 240 watt motor and a 350 watt motor. The 240W motor’s top speed is 15 miles per hour (mph) while the 350W motor’s top speed is 20mph. Bikers can also pedal as normal; UrbanX includes a three level pedal assist system that can be switched via an app. UrbanX says their product “works smarter, not harder by using an algorithm to ensure 100 percent of motor output is utilized to power your ride.” They came up with their patent-pending Sinus Algorithm Controlling System to boost the battery and motor’s efficiency. UrbanX isn’t the first company to come out with such a product; GeoOrbital also recently unveiled a bike wheel that converts bicycles into e-bikes within 60 seconds. The look of the two wheels are quite different, and UrbanX’s 240W motor wheel is much less expensive than GeoOrbital’s wheel. To help bring their product to market, UrbanX also turned to crowdfunding . With over 30 days to go, they’ve raised more than double their initial goal of $50,000 on Kickstarter . The limited early bird prices for the tires start at $299. UrbanX ambitiously says they’ll be delivering the wheels this summer. Via TreeHugger Images via UrbanX Electric Wheel Facebook

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Turn any bike into an e-bike with UrbanX’s drop-in wheel

The Urban Glider Lets You Zip Through Town on Just One Wheel

September 8, 2014 by  
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Forget about getting around town on four wheels, three or even two – now you only need one, thanks to the Urban Glider ! Designed by Austin Marhold, this tiny electric unicycle weighs just 24 pounds and it fits between your shins. It’s designed to be intuitive to ride, lightweight, and portable. Read the rest of The Urban Glider Lets You Zip Through Town on Just One Wheel Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: austin marhold , battery-powered unicycle , powered unicycle , self-balancing unicycle , unicycle , urban glider , urban transportation

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This Fish is Driving His Very Own Aquarium on Wheels (Sort Of)

February 11, 2014 by  
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As household pets go, it’s probably fair to say that the lives of fish are among the least active, and the creatures can rarely be described as adventurous. Even their homes are a term synonymous with being couped up. But thanks to the wonderful folks at Studio diip , at least one goldfish has a new lease on life. The little aquatic vertebrate is free to drive his own motorized aquarium around, getting the stimulation and exercise missing from the lives of so many household fish. Hit the jump to watch the video! Read the rest of This Fish is Driving His Very Own Aquarium on Wheels (Sort Of) Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: animal health , Animals , aquarium , ardunio , autonomous driving , fish , fish car , fish health , fish on wheels , goldfish , imaging technology , robot car , self-driving car , studio diip        

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Beautiful Foothills House Showcases Passive Solar Design in the New Zealand Countryside

February 11, 2014 by  
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Read the rest of Beautiful Foothills House Showcases Passive Solar Design in the New Zealand Countryside Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: “sustainable architecture” , angled roof , foothills house , glazed walls , interior courtyard , New Zealand , passive solar , rainwater collection , Stratchan Group Architects , thermal mass , Waikato landscape , Whangamarino Wetlands        

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Beautiful Foothills House Showcases Passive Solar Design in the New Zealand Countryside

INFOGRAPHIC: One Day All Wheels Will Be Square

December 6, 2013 by  
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You’ve probably heard the idiom “you can’t reinvent the wheel.” Well, it might be time to kick that phrase out of our cultural lexicon thanks to a number of enterprising minds. This new infographic from the team at Wish.co.uk highlights two examples of square wheels that actually work better than circular ones – the Shark Wheel and the Square-Wheeled Bike. Check out the full “One Day All Wheels Will Be Square” infographic after the break! The article above was submitted to us by an Inhabitat reader. Want to see your story on Inhabitat ? Send us a tip by following this link . Remember to follow our instructions carefully to boost your chances of being chosen for publishing! Read the rest of INFOGRAPHIC: One Day All Wheels Will Be Square Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: green design , green transportation , infographic , one day all wheels will be square , shark wheel , square wheeled bike , Square Wheels , sustainable design , wheels        

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Innovative Roaming Town Square Engages Local London Community

September 6, 2013 by  
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Although most citizen-savvy cities these days recognize that community public space is as much a civic right as it is a priority, some small communities unfortunately find themselves lacking the resources to create vibrant public areas for residents. One such community is the small London suburb of Cricklewood, which has found itself with minimal public areas for citizens to enjoy within their own local community. This lack of  proper civic engagement options propelled the local Cricklewood Improvement Programme to seek assistance to improve the neighborhood. They successfully obtained a £1.67 million investment that will focus on restructuring the small and rather inhospitable area. As part of the restructuring plan (led by Gort Scott Architects ), a civic design agency, Spacemakers , has developed the Town Square on Wheels, a roaming, human-powered, pop-up public space that allows small communities to utilize whatever limited areas they do have for public use. Read the rest of Innovative Roaming Town Square Engages Local London Community Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: Civic Design , Cricklewood , Gort Scott Architects , London boroughs , Spacemakers , Tom James , Town Square on Wheels        

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Loopwheel Reinvents the Bike Wheel With a Suspension System Built Into the Rims

May 3, 2013 by  
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A UK company called Jelly Products just unveiled the Loopwheel – a safe, beautiful bike wheel with a built-in suspension system that could revolutionize the compact bicycle industry. The Loopwheel is compatible with just about any small-frame bicycle and has already busted through its Kickstarter goal – so it may be headed to a bike shop near you very soon. Read the rest of Loopwheel Reinvents the Bike Wheel With a Suspension System Built Into the Rims Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: alternative transportation , bike commuting , bike design , bikes , compact bikes , folding bikes , Loopwheels , tires , UK , wheels        

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Loopwheel Reinvents the Bike Wheel With a Suspension System Built Into the Rims

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