Tag Archives: renewable

Partners in Green

Although not the first of it’s kind, this carbon-dioxide absorbing billboard does mark a first for the Philippines, a country that doesn’t have the greatest environmental track record. Created as a collaboration between Coca-Cola Philippines and the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), the Fukien Tea Plant Billboard helps alleviate air pollution in the surrounding area. The Fukien Tea plants, embedded in over 3000 discarded Coca-cola bottles are each capable of absorbing up to 13 pounds of carbon dioxide in a year.

So that’s all great, but where does Coca-cola come into all of this? More and more, corporations are pouring time, money and resources into their CSR ambitions. Are we naive enought to believe that billboards like this one are conceived purely for the good of the planet? Of course not, but as a tool for improving brand image, it will certainly make the head honchos at Coca-cola sleep a little better. From WWF’s point of view, they’re able to clean up pollution and promote their agenda with all the power and might of the Coca-cola marketing arm.

In future, we think that we can expect to see more of these mutually beneficial campaigns, where advertising can serve the aims of two very different organisations, to the advantage of both.

(source: www.digitaljournal.com)

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The appliances of the future

Electrolux Design Lab held a competition, asking 1,300 industrial designers to come up with the electrical appliances of the future. On the brief, they stated that by 2050, a person, on average, would only have 35.2 square meters to occupy. Let’s face it,  that’s not a lot of space. It scares us a little bit. So the appliance had to be designed not only to be uber high-tech and potentially eco-friendly, but also to be very small.

Here are a few of our favourite ones:

Michael Edenius’ Clean Closet

Not only does it easily store and browse your clothes, it also cleans them using molecular technology. This is the end of water wastes and polluting detergent, hooray! We’re just a bit concerned about its size. It is definitely not taking much space, conforming to the requirements of the brief. But that also means that it doesn’t leave much space for the clothes themselves!


Matthew Gilbride’s Kitchen Elements

It’s an all in one kitchen, literally. These shelves are simply magical. They work as a fridge, a cooker, and… well, shelves. The best part? No doors and no wires, and they could even be solar powered. The whole white and minimal look will definitely appeal to the Apple fans.


Nicolas Hubert – External Refrigerator

At first view, it doesn’t really look like it would save any space. It’s pretty much the same size as current fridges. But it’s actually meant to be fixed outside a window. The sliding door makes it easy to access. It’s also good because it means at winter, it won’t need to run on power, and during summer, the heat generated can just draft away.

Ahi Andy Mohsen’s Eco Celaner – portable Dishwasher

It is, for sure, very portable. But most importantly, just like the Clean Closet, it is water-free, as it uses ultrasonic waves. What’s even better, it turns the food into reusable waste. Eco-friendly. Period.

We are so impressed by the ideas that have come out of this competition. Especially as we like when people focus on more than just looks, which tends to be the case far too often at the moment. Check out the other finalists on the website: there’s a virtual kitchen, a gooey fridge, a micro induction heater and a very strange washing machine.

(Source: Wired)

Who wants to live in a straw house?

A straw house sounds like a stupid idea in any modern, wet and windy country like the UK. However, a housing company in Leeds disagrees.

This construction is called the Balehaus, and it has been designed and constructed by the University of Bath’s Centre for Innovative Construction Materials. We have to admit it looks pretty awesome.

More to the point however, it’s actually remarkably sturdy. It’s been tested in winds of 120mph and doesn’t move, has survived flooding (although some of the lower bales did have to be replaced at very low cost) and even set on fire at temperatures of up to 1000°C – for 2 hours. Its designers reckon it’s easily got a 100-year lifespan. Now we reckon that’s pretty impressive for something which is essentially constructed out of straw bales and a bit of hemp and wood pannelling.

However that’s not all. Of course the house is extremely energy efficient to construct, since all the materials are completely renewable. Construction costs are also very low as transport and heavy lifting are significantly reduced. And energy bills are reduced by around 80%, with the walls being excellent insulators. And you can get all this for between £60,000 (for a flat) and £160,000 (for a 4-bedroomed house), which is ridiculously cheap – even for Leeds. We’re pretty much sold…

(source: Treehugger)

Recycled island

We’ve always been a fan of crazy architecture and schemes. This is however probably the oddest we have come across yet.

This multicoloured monstrosity is a representation of a scheme by the appropriately named Whim Architects from the Netherlands – to collect all the plastic floating around in the sea and turn it into an island. An island the size of Hawaii.

So it’s a little terrifying that there is enough plastic in the sea to do this in the first place. That aside, we love the execution. The idea would be to have beaches, housing made from recycled plastic, farms fertilised with human waste, seaweed grown for biofuels, and power harvested from the sun and sea. Essentially, you take a whole pile of waste and turn it into a green, self-sufficient community.

The plan is to float this thing somewhere between San Fransisco and the current Hawaii – precisely the middle of nowhere. We reckon it should be towed around for people to jump on as their real island chains (The Maldives, etc) sink under the waves.

(via Inhabitat)

Energy-free Living

Renewable energy technologies are of course one of our big areas of interest, but nevertheless we find them slightly frustrating sometimes. For all the continual advancements, it often seems that little is actually put in place. Well the Aussie government are actually going a bit further.

In a pseudo-Big Brother type scheme, they are offering one family the chance to live rent, water and electricity bill-free, with an electric car, in a specially designed eco-house. In return, they have to update the world on their experiences via the media, websites and blogging. The idea is to test-run this kind of house for wider application. As such, applicants should have some experience of online communities, an interest in sustainable living… and a good sense of humour for when it all goes wrong.

The house itself will have:

rooftop solar photovoltaic panels, a 2kWBlueGen fuel cell converting natural gas into electricity, an electric car, OLED TV, state‐of‐the‐art lighting solutions (controlled plasma, CFL, LED). The Newington Smart Home will also be fitted with a HAN, or Home Area Network, such that lighting and household appliances can be remotely controlled by an iPhone. And there is much more besides.

And if we’re honest we don’t know what half of that stuff is. But anyway – the idea of trialling such a house for wider application had us very interested. Watch this space, and we’ll probably be following these guys when the scheme gets started.

(source: Tree Hugger)

Paper Laptop

We’re always interested in new recyclable or renewable products. A recyclable laptop is however something we weren’t expecting to see. However, here is the first suggestion that this kind of thing might be possible.

Paper laptop

Designer Je Sung Park (who I always thought was a Manchester Utd footballer) has decided its time for a disposable laptop, much like the disposable camera and disposable mobile phone. And he’s made the casing from recycled paper, to make sure it could be easily replaced if it got damaged (or wet) and of course the whole thing could be re-recycled at the end.

recyclelaptop2

So this probably needs quite a lot of work yet to become reality, or even vaguely feasible, but we love the thinking.

paper laptop 3

(source: Trendhunter)