Computing/Consumer electronics

App aims to broaden the ‘eEcosphere’ for consumers and business

Read the full story at GreenBiz.

Can millennials and social networking really lead us to a sustainable future?

One startup is betting its business model on “yes.” eEcosphere aims to help users discover, adopt and share actionable ideas to build a more sustainable lifestyle — providing personally tailored tips and local resources to improve their everyday decisions. The company, which launched the iOS version of its application last month, targets millennials, is co-led by one and offers a practical solution for the conscious, connected generation searching for a sense of meaningful action.

The objective? To transform the idea of “being sustainable” from a destination into a lens for evaluating one’s current lifestyle, and through which opportunities to make simple yet meaningful behavior changes become apparent — not to mention fun and collaborative. Along the way, it aims to create new opportunities for companies to evolve more personal, valuable relationships with their younger customers.

Battery groups introduce model recycling bill

Read the full story in Recycling Today.

The Corp. for Battery Recycling (CBR), the National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA), the Rechargeable Battery Association (PRBA) and Call2Recycle have unveiled what the four groups are calling a model bill for battery recycling.

The four groups say that for the first time battery interest groups have joined forces to take shared responsibility for the collection and recycling of all used primary, or single-use, batteries and rechargeable batteries. The model bill only covers consumer batteries.

The groups introduced the model bill at the Product Stewardship Institute’s National Batteries Stewardship Dialogue Meeting, June 11-12 in Hartford, Connecticut…

The model bill can be accessed at www.call2recycle.org/wp-content/uploads/Model_All_Battery_Bill.pdf.

For Ideas on How to Live Greener, Think Mobile

Read the full story in the New York Times.

Smartphones and tablets may not seem to be designed with the environment in mind, being made of complex layers of plastics, metals and electronics, with chemical batteries. But apps may help you adopt environmentally sensible habits in your daily life.

Video: REEcycle: Renewing the Rarities that Drive Our Lives

Rare earth elements are some of the most expensive and essential ingredients for many clean ‪energy‬ products such as ‪wind‬ turbines, thin film ‪solar‬ cells and batteries for electric vehicles. The student startup, REEcycle, from the University of Houston swept this year’s National Clean Energy Business Plan Competition, taking home all three awards for its innovative method of reclaiming rare earth elements from magnets in electronics. Watch REEcycle’s video below to learn how the ability to recycle rare earth elements is essential to keep up with the increasing demand for clean energy products: http://goo.gl/cQekNu.

To learn more about the winning team and the National Clean Energy Business Plan Competition: http://go.usa.gov/8Sdz

How to make electronics trade groups drive sustainability

Read the full story at GreenBiz.

Industry associations exist for nearly every industry and career, from paint manufacturing to pet sitters, coffee production to crane operators and explosives engineers to culinary engineers.

If you work in the electronics hardware industry and your goal is to further corporate environmental sustainability, which industry associations will give you the most effective methods and tools for reducing environmental impacts? How can you drive forward the associations that fall short of sustainability leadership?

WISER for Android 3.1 Released

WISER for Android 3.1 is now available.   Here’s a look at what’s new in this release:

  •  WISER’s Help Identify Chemical capability is now available on the Android platform. Identify and validate an unknown chemical based on the following criteria:
    • physical properties of the substance gathered by observation or sensors
    • signs and symptoms of victims of exposure
    • the ability to categorize a substance, such as a substance used in a meth lab or a flammable substance
    • hazard values from NFPA 704 placards
    • transportation identification, including DOT placards, type of road trailer, and type of rail car
  • Use WISER’s protective distance mapping feature on your Android device. Visualize the areas likely to be affected during the first 30 minutes after a substance is spilled or released on a live map. The Department of Transportation’s Emergency Response Guidebook serves as the source of WISER’s protective distance data.

WISER for Android can be downloaded and installed directly from the Google Play Store:
https://market.android.com/details?id=gov.nih.nlm.wiser

Coming Soon

Look for these exciting additions in the coming months:

  • WISER for iOS and WISER for Android 4.5, which adds chemical reactivity, triage procedures, and WISER’s full set of radiological tools to these mobile platforms
  • WISER 4.6, which will add many new substances to WISER and update much of WISER’s backend data, including its HSDB (Hazardous Substances Data Bank) substance data

International Hazardous Materials Response Teams Conference

Look for us at the upcoming International Hazardous Materials Response Teams Conference that takes place from May 29th - June 1 at the Hilton Baltimore in Baltimore, Maryland.  Visit the National Library of Medicine booth and join us at the following session:

308: Craft Your App – Make WISER More Robust   

Learn about the latest improvements to WISER/CHEMM including additions of new substances, feature/capability equivalence across devices, etc. Bring your devices – we will run through scenarios together and see if you’re getting all the information you need quickly and efficiently. Help us to make this tool into something you really need.

Webinar: Endangered Elements: Critical Materials in the Supply Chain

Date: Thursday, June 19, 2014 @ 2-3 pm ET
Fee: Free to Attend
Download Slides: Available the day of broadcast
Register at http://acswebinars.org/endangered-elements

The periodic table of elements is under siege. Modern materials use an ever-increasing number of elements, and some supplies are running short. This is presenting a number of supply chain risks: demand shocks due to new uses, supply uncertainties because of geographically concentrated production and geo-political risks, and reliance on co-production. Tune in to this special broadcast LIVE from the ACS Green Chemistry and Engineering Conference to discover how chemists are working to tackle these problems and  showcase how innovators are creating chemistries that can be resilient and conflict-free.

What You Will Learn

  • Why is “running out” of mineral resources less of a problem than the costs and environmental consequences of mineral production?
  • current state of critical element dependency in the chemical industry; how we depend on metals in ways we don’t necessarily think of
  • where critical elements end up after they are used or spent, focusing on recovery and recycling throughout the global supply chain
  • And much more…

About the Speakers

  • Paul Chirik is the Edward S. Sanford Professor of Chemistry at Princeton University, having joined the department in 2011. Previously he was the Peter J. Debye Professor of Chemistry at Cornell. Chirik earned his B. S. in Chemistry at Virginia Tech and Ph. D. at Caltech. His research group is interested in developing sustainable methods for chemical synthesis.
  • Roderick G. Eggert is Professor of Economics and Business at the Colorado School of Mines, where he has taught since 1986.  He also is Deputy Director of the Critical Materials Institute (CMI), an Energy Innovation Hub created in 2013 by the U.S. Department of Energy to accelerate innovation in energy materials. He has lectured extensively on the economics of rare earths and other critical elements and has testified on this topic before committees of the European Parliament, the U.S. House of Representatives, and the U.S. Senate.
  • Dr. Avtar Matharu is Deputy Director of the Green Chemistry Centre and Scientific Leader for Renewable Materials Technology Platform. His background is synthetic organic chemistry relevant to design, synthesis and characterisation of functional materials such as liquid crystals and ultra-high capacity optical data storage media. His research now focuses on technological innovations in green and sustainability chemistry.

This app will help you buy stores’ leftover food for cheap

Read the full story at Grist.

Food waste seems to be the hot-button issue du jour, which is fantastic seeing that Americans trash 33 million tons of food annually. First there was an app to pawn off your leftovers and then a new certification for restaurants that give their extra grub to those in need.

Now there’s PareUp, an app in the works that will help you buy surplus food from grocery stores and restaurants at a discount. Supermarkets and restaurants will put their excess food inventory into PareUp along with a price and time of availability. Then shoppers using PareUp can see what’s up for grabs and go pick it up.