At the Core of Sustainable Electronics

Read the full post at Environmental Leader.

There’s rightfully much ado about the climate — from extreme weather events, severe droughts and water crises to fossil fuels and the race to renewables. However, there’s far too little talk about electronics and their role in environmental ecosystems.

Serving up plant-based plastics

Read the full story in Plastics News.

The ownership of Stillwater, Minn., mold maker and manufacturer VistaTek LLC created an independent company to manufacture plates, bowls and other items from plant-based plastics.

Called SelfEco, the company produces various food service items — plates, bowls, cups, cutlery — and other supplies that are compostable in commercial composting facilities. The company will introduce a new line of home and garden products this month at Cultivate’15, a horticulture show in Columbus, Ohio.

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.”