Day: April 15, 2011

MSU fashion exhibit highlights sustainable formal designs

Read the full story in the Lansing State Journal.

Michigan State University students were given a design challenge: create a dress worthy of the red carpet. The catch? It had to be green.

The gowns didn’t have to be Spartan green, but as environmentally friendly as possible.

Assistant professor Theresa Winge created a rubric to measure how sustainable the students’ dresses were. They were asked to research sustainable design and then recycle, upcycle or repurpose materials.

Algae Could Replace 17% of U.S. Oil Imports

Read the full story from Pacific Northwest National Laboratory.

High oil prices and environmental and economic security concerns have triggered interest in using algae-derived oils as an alternative to fossil fuels. But growing algae — or any other biofuel source — can require a lot of water.

However, a new study shows that being smart about where we grow algae can drastically reduce how much water is needed for algal biofuel. Growing algae for biofuel, while being water-wise, could also help meet congressionally mandated renewable fuel targets by replacing 17 percent of the nation’s imported oil for transportation, according to a paper published in the journal Water Resources Research.

Using Duck Eggs to Track Climate Change

Read the full story from South Dakota State University.

Julie DeJong can’t set foot on the ground of an Oregon marsh to gather duck eggs on a spring day in 1875.

But Charles Bendire did. And thanks to a research project that is the next best thing to time travel, DeJong is measuring the duck eggs in several museum collections — from the Smithsonian Institution, in this case, where Bendire was the first curator of the discipline known as oology, or the study of birds’ eggs. When her project is done, DeJong will have assembled and analyzed a metrics database on perhaps 60,000 duck eggs representing at least 40 species and subspecies of ducks found in North America.

D.C. among ‘greenest’ for buildings

Read the full story in the Washington Post.

The District leads the Washington region in “green” buildings, according to an assessment that examines environmentally friendly building practices.

The report, compiled by the group’s planners and presented Wednesday to the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments, offers the first comprehensive look at how the push to build greener buildings is playing out in communities.

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