Lego Saying ‘No’ To Plastic, Invests Millions Into Search For ‘Sustainable’ Material

Read the full story in the Huffington Post.

Goodbye plastic Legos?

The toy company announced this week that it plans to invest 1 billion Danish Krone (or about $150 million) over the next 15 years in a program to develop new “sustainable” materials which will eventually replace the plastic currently used to make its iconic building blocks. Lego also plans to make its packaging more environmentally-friendly.

G-KUP, Vancouver Company, Patents 1st Compostable Coffee Pods

Read the full story in the Huffington Post.

A Vancouver-based company has come up with 100 per cent compostable coffee pods as a solution to uneconomical and incredibly wasteful K-Cups…

G-Kups are held together with a bamboo and sugar cane sleeve, with a biodegradable polymer lining that can withstand boiling water. The Vancouver company patented the invention in February, said Business in Vancouver.

Silent flights: How owls could help make wind turbines and planes quieter

Read the full story from the University of Cambridge.

A newly-designed material, which mimics the wing structure of owls, could help make wind turbines, computer fans and even planes much quieter. Early wind tunnel tests of the coating have shown a substantial reduction in noise without any noticeable effect on aerodynamics.

An investigation into how owls fly and hunt in silence has enabled researchers to develop a prototype coating for wind turbine blades that could significantly reduce the amount of noise they make.

Early tests of the material, which mimics the intricate structure of an owl’s wing, have demonstrated that it could significantly reduce the amount of noise produced by wind turbines and other types of fan blades, such as those in computers or planes. Since wind turbines are heavily braked in order to minimise noise, the addition of this new surface would mean that they could be run at much higher speeds – producing more energy while making less noise. For an average-sized wind farm, this could mean several additional megawatts worth of electricity.

The surface has been developed by researchers at the University of Cambridge, in collaboration with researchers at three institutions in the USA. Their results will be presented today (22 June) at the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) Aeroacoustics Conference in Dallas.

Designed for the Future: Practical Ideas for a Sustainable World

Read the full story at Yale Environment360.

From packing materials made of mushrooms to buildings engineered to cool and power themselves, sustainable design can play a key role in helping people adapt to a changing planet. That’s a central message of the new book Designed for the Future.

Can a carpet factory run like a forest?

Read the full story in GreenBiz.

In her recent Living Future unConference 2015 keynote address, author and biologist Janine Benyus presented the vision of a built environment that is functionally indistinguishable from the “wildland next door” and announced that Interface, the world’s leading carpet tile manufacturer, will be taking on this call to action in a pilot project called “Factory as a Forest.”

Improving Energy Storage with a Cue from Nature

Read the full story from the American Institute of Physics.

Materials melt faster when the lines of heat spread through the cold material like the branches of a tree — and the melting rate can be steadily increased by allowing the tree architecture to freely evolve over time, researchers have discovered. The finding could help improve phase change energy storage systems, which store heat by melting materials like wax or salt, and could play an important role in ensuring a smooth flow of energy from renewable sources like the wind and sun. The researchers report the results in the Journal of Applied Physics, from AIP Publishing.

PCC Natural Markets introduces safer thermal receipt paper

Via PCC Natural Markets. To learn more about the health hazards associated with BPA and BPS coated thermal receipt paper, attend GLRPPR’s webinar on July 28.

You’ll soon notice new receipts at PCC that look a little different — and they are!

The new receipt paper — called Alpha® Free — was developed by Wisconsin-based Appvion, Inc. It is the only phenol-free choice using vitamin C instead as an image developer. It contains no dyes, no bisphenol-A (BPA) or bisphenol-S (BPS), which are common in other receipt papers.

It’s a much safer choice for people, and for contact with food and our environment.

Why is PCC making a change?

Thermal paper coatings using phenols, such as BPA, have come under scrutiny due to potential adverse health effects. Research indicates BPA can be absorbed through contact and is a hormone disruptor. PCC switched to a BPA-free receipt tape in 2010 but now research suggests another phenol in receipt tapes, bisphenol-S (BPS), has similar properties.

Customer and employee safety are very important to our organization. PCC aggressively seeks out products that are formulated with the safest and most sustainable ingredients. This receipt paper uses vitamin C thermal developers approved by the Food and Drug Administration for oral and topical use by animals and humans.

Why are these receipts not two-sided?

This receipt paper is not available in double-sided form due to current patent restrictions. We believe the downside of longer, single-sided receipts is outweighed by the benefits of removing a product containing risky chemical compounds.

Why is the receipt yellow and the print lighter?

The vitamin C-based image developer is naturally yellow in color, giving the paper a yellow hue. The print is lighter because no inks are used. Instead, heat is applied to the coating on the paper (the vitamin C image developer) to produce the images.

The vitamin C-based coating is less reactive to heat than phenol-based options and produces a lighter image. These receipts, however, can be scanned and will keep for five years when stored under normal conditions.