Environment

November 20, 2015

Cellulose Wet-Spinning

This technology is still in its infancy, but it could eventually divert many thousands of tonnes of clothing waste from global landfills. In a nutshell, used and worn cotton fabric is ‘dissolved to make cellulose solution’ through an environmentally-friendly process called wet-spinning, and new knitted fabrics are created (Science Daily, 2015). The beauty of this […]

Environment, Miscellaneous

Taimen, Tigers, and Trees

The taimen, native to the rivers in Russia’s Far East, is the world’s largest species of salmon. A typical taimen can weigh in at nearly 200 pounds. Amur leopards, Siberian tigers, and the Blakiston fish-owl are also native to Russia’s Far East. What connects these diverse species is the endangerment they’re all facing as a […]

Environment, Miscellaneous

Scents and Insensibility

Fragranced ‘green’ products – even those purporting to be ‘all natural’, ‘non-toxic’ or ‘organic’ – may have hidden dangers you’re not aware of. A study by Dr. Anne Steinemann, Professor of Civil Engineering at Melbourne School of Engineering, found that a similar amount of carcinogenic hazardous air pollutants was emitted from fragranced products marketed as […]

Environment, Miscellaneous
October 22, 2015

Cutting Edge

Cross-discipline technological advancements are on the rise. The integration of art, science and the environment is inspiring the creation of products that are both efficient and planet-friendly. A recent collaboration involves art students and scientists from the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor (livescience.com). Using the ancient Japanese paper cutting art of Kirigami, the team […]

Environment, Miscellaneous

A Use for Sludge?

Here’s an example of turning lemons into lemonade: scientists in Malaysia working on finding alternate disposal options for sludge (dried sewage), have discovered that it may be a viable alternative for cement in concrete production (Science Daily, Aug 28, 2015). The process first involves burning and drying ‘wet sludge cake’ to create a powder. This […]

Environment, Miscellaneous

The Buzz on Bees

It’s official. Honey bees overwhelmingly prefer caffeinated nectar to non-caffeinated nectar (Science Daily, Oct. 15, 2015). Researchers have discovered that bees forage more at caffeinated feeder sites, and they return again and again – even after the site runs dry, and even when there are abundant non-caffeinated feeder sites nearby. Previous studies have shown that […]

Environment, Miscellaneous

Phytoremediation

There are some interesting findings from a University of Montreal research team studying contaminated soil rehabilitation – phytoremediation. While the process of remediating or reclaiming contaminated soil by planting ‘highly chemical-tolerant plants’ has become more widespread in recent years, the big news is the discovery that plants growing in contaminated soil have adapted their RNA […]

Environment, Miscellaneous
May 22, 2015

Biomimicry

  Sometimes the simplest and most natural ideas make the most sense. Biomimicry, as explained by biologist Janine Benyus, involves borrowing simple yet ingenious ideas from the natural world to solve urban problems. For example, Lotusan, a new paint that allows buildings to self-clean with rainwater, was inspired by lotus plants. Scientists noticed that even […]

Environment
April 21, 2015

Accelerated Reforestation

Deforestation, whether through the purposeful culling of forests for agricultural purposes and logging endeavours or the accidental destruction of forests through fires and overgrazing, remains one of the world’s most pressing problems and perhaps the biggest driver of climate change. National Geographic describes deforestation as a ‘modern-day plague’ and notes that at the current rate […]

Environment
March 21, 2015

A Concrete Idea

What would we do without concrete? It’s the most used construction material in the world (Science Daily, 2014). However, producing it generates up to 1/10th of the construction industry’s greenhouse gas emissions. A team from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology spent five years studying concrete in an effort to find a way to reduce emissions. […]

Environment