Scientists create revolutionary ultra-white paint inspired by beetles

March 27, 2018 by  
Filed under Green

Comments Off on Scientists create revolutionary ultra-white paint inspired by beetles

Researchers have unveiled what could be the whitest natural substance, composed of cellulose and inspired by the  Cyphocilus beetle native to Southeast Asia . The material, which has yet to be named, is lightweight, thin, and has the ability to effectively scatter light, resulting in an exceptionally bright white color. The coating is also edible and non-toxic and could change how we use paint. The secret to the coating’s success is its insect inspiration, whose thin chitlin scales are formed in a dense light-reflecting mat that causes the beetle to appear vibrantly white. In a new study published in  Advanced Materials , scientists at the University of Cambridge and Aalto University in Finland explain how they used fine strands of cellulose , or cellulose nanofibrils, to create a scale-like membrane through a process known as mechanical defibrillation. At only a few millionths of a meter, the subsequent membrane is one of the thinnest materials ever created that is capable of appearing white. “What is cool is that with a really low amount of material, you can achieve a high intensity of reflection and whiteness,” Cambridge University researcher Dr. Silvia Vignolini told Hyperallergic . “You don’t need to have thick material to have get 100% white, 100% reflection.” Related: Praying mantises wearing tiny glasses help researchers discover new type of 3D vision At the moment, the coating is still somewhat weak. However, researchers hope to develop a more hardy version for wider applications. “Ideally we would like to make a powder that can be readily used and applied directly as you would do with a standard pigment,” explained Vignolini. When this pigment is mixed with an organic solvent, it would then enable for the quick, one-layer application of white paint to most surfaces. The coating’s cellulose composition makes it an ideal replacement for other white products, most of which contain unsustainable materials such as titanium dioxide and zinc oxide. Importantly, the ultra-white powder will likely be quite inexpensive. Via Hyperallergic Images via Olimpia Onelli/University of Cambridge

Read the original:
Scientists create revolutionary ultra-white paint inspired by beetles

Four living trees grow through this dreamy treehouse retreat in Montana

March 27, 2018 by  
Filed under Eco, Green

Comments Off on Four living trees grow through this dreamy treehouse retreat in Montana

Many of us can remember having a childhood treehouse, but Montana Treehouse Retreat owners Kati and Daren Robison have taken this idea one step further. Nestled on seven acres of private woods near Glacier National Park in Montana, this two-story cabin has four living trees growing through it—two through the decks and two through the interior. Although spacious enough to accommodate a group of up to five people, the Montana Treehouse Retreat is also a perfect romantic getaway for two. The treehouse’s grand entrance takes the form of a spiral staircase that winds around a giant Douglas fir tree . This unique stairway provides access to 500 square feet of living space, with two outside deck ares, a full kitchen, dishwasher, and three padded benches that double as sleeping quarters. The first floor also has a full bathroom with a full-sized shower and sink. Related: The Treebox is an amazing modern home set high up in the treetops On the second floor, the master suite loft has a queen mattress, private bathroom, and a sliding glass door that leads out to the second-story deck. Here, guests can relax and enjoy a glass of wine or cup of coffee, all while taking in the secluded forest setting. The cabin also offers a private wooded space with a campfire ring, walking trails, and cross-country ski trails for the winter months. Whether inside the cabin or out, visitors to the Montana Treehouse Retreat can experience a dwelling that harmonizes with nature in a unique and innovative way. + Montana Treehouse Retreat Via Uncrate    

Read the rest here: 
Four living trees grow through this dreamy treehouse retreat in Montana

White Roofs Could Save a Year’s Worth of Global CO2 Emissions

July 25, 2011 by  
Filed under Eco, Eco Tech

Comments Off on White Roofs Could Save a Year’s Worth of Global CO2 Emissions

An infographic created by the White Roof Project , an initiative that wants to help cover the world’s black roofs with white paint , illustrates some impressive statistics about the power of white roofs , including the fact that the transition from black to white roofs could prevent the emission of 24 billion metric tons of CO2, the same amount of CO2 emitted globally in 2010. The project says that if we covered just 5 percent of roofs with white paint per year, we’d be done by 2030. White roofs can reflect 85 percent of sunlight compare to 20 percent for black roofs and buildings with white roofs stay up to 35 degrees cooler, which means less electricity required for cooling the buildings.  In large cities, white roofs also curb the heat island effect, cooling the city as a whole. In addition to the emissions savings, white roofs could save 14 power plants’ worth of energy in 11 large cities, save $5 billion in energy costs in the U.S., reduce smog, blackout risk and heart-related deaths and Bill Clinton has said it’s the quickest, cheapest thing we can do.  So, what are we waiting for? If you live in NYC, you can volunteer for the White Roof Project or adopt a building.  The project plans to cover the roofs of an entire East Village block in white paint this August.  You can view the entire infographic here . via GOOD

Continued here: 
White Roofs Could Save a Year’s Worth of Global CO2 Emissions

Energy Star Now Labeling "Most Efficient"

July 22, 2011 by  
Filed under Eco, Eco Tech, Green

Comments Off on Energy Star Now Labeling "Most Efficient"

The Energy Star program has been working on making its qualifications stricter , but across all the appliances there are still many bearing the label that aren’t really that much of an improvement over other models.  To make it clearer which appliances are really the best of the best, Energy Star will now identify the top tier appliances with a “Most Efficient” label. The new label will apply to just 5 percent of Energy Star washing machines, heating and cooling equipment, televisions and refrigerators/freezers.  The EPA may add more categories of appliances later this year. To give you an idea of what the new label means, for refrigerators/freezers to earn the “Most Efficient” title, they have to be 30 percent more efficient than standard models, while TVs will have to be about 80 percent more efficient that standard models.  Out of the existing 1,800 refrigerators and freezers that are Energy Star certified, only 15 qualify for the new label, while only 18 out of the 1,400 Energy Star TVs qualify. While the Energy Star label should carry more weight than it does, it’s still a good that the most efficient appliances are being properly identified and hopefully the new label will inspire more competition from companies to create even more efficient products. via Greenbiz

Go here to read the rest: 
Energy Star Now Labeling "Most Efficient"

Bad Behavior has blocked 746 access attempts in the last 7 days.