Nike, Circular Economy Firm Miniwiz Develop Sustainable Packaging from Trash

Read the full story in Environmental Leader.

Nike has developed new sustainable packaging for its shoes, working in collaboration with Arthur Huang, the CEO and founder of Taiwanese firm Miniwiz, which recycles consumer and industrial waste into new products.

The lightweight packaging is made entirely of post-consumer materials such as milk and orange juice containers, and morning coffee lids. The box is produced from a single process Polypropylene with no added chemicals. The modular design allows it to be used as a stackable, interlocking component of a product display or storage system, Nike says.

How Maker Mindsets Can Be An Easy Fit For Rural Schools

Read the full story from KQED.

The maker movement has expanded greatly in recent years and much of the attention has focused on cities with high population density and large well-funded school districts. In rural districts, teachers are also developing maker projects to help students gain the benefits that come from hands-on experiences, while better understanding the needs of their communities.

Take for instance the work being done by Brock Hamill at Corvallis High School in Montana. The students in his science class construct air sensors and analyze data in a way that helps address a problem unique to their community. Air pollution poses a problem for that region of Montana because of nearby forest fires and, in the winter, use of wood-burning stoves.

​Turning food waste into tires

Read the full story from The Ohio State University.

Tomorrow’s tires could come from the farm as much as the factory.

Researchers at The Ohio State University have discovered that food waste can partially replace the petroleum-based filler that has been used in manufacturing tires for more than a century.

In tests, rubber made with the new fillers exceeds industrial standards for performance, which may ultimately open up new applications for rubber.

First 100 Percent Recyclable Carpet: A Sign of Hope In a Wasteful Industry

Read the full story at Triple Pundit.

Mohawk’s new Airo line is the first to meet the long-stated, lofty recycling goals of one of America’s most wasteful industries. Whether it will herald a shift toward a circular economy for carpets, though, remains to be seen.

Sustainable Innovation: What’s Good for the World Can Be Good for Business

Read the full story at Spend Matters.

It is the responsibility of science- and technology-based companies to work with customers and partners around the world to not only help solve their product challenges, but their environmental ones as well. When working environments are positively changed, it encourages ambition and innovation and results in increased certainty, reliability and new revenue streams from additional product lines.

Sustainable ceramics without a kiln

Read the full story at Phys.org.

The manufacture of cement, bricks, bathroom tiles and porcelain crockery normally requires a great deal of heat: a kiln is used to fire the ceramic materials at temperatures well in excess of 1,000°C. Now, material scientists from ETH Zurich have developed what seems at first glance to be an astonishingly simple method of manufacture that works at room temperature. The scientists used a calcium carbonate nanopowder as the starting material and instead of firing it, they added a small amount of water and then compacted it.

Full research article: Bouville F, Studart AR: Geologically-inspired strong bulk ceramics made with water at room temperature. Nature Communications, 28 February 2017, DOI: 10.1038/ncomms14655

It Just Got A Lot Harder To Toss Your Old Ikea Couch

Read the full story from Fast Company.

Millions of people around the world own Ikea couches because they’re cheap and relatively well-designed. That also makes them more disposable. When it’s time to move or redecorate, many of us would rather toss our old couches than get them reupholstered.

That’s something the Swedish interior design company Bemz is trying to change. The 12-year-old company makes custom slipcovers for Ikea couches and chairs. The aim? To keep furniture out of landfills while also giving consumers a way to change the look of their living space.