Tagged With eco-friendly

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The synthetic compounds (PFCs) that help the fabrics used in rain jackets repel moisture have an unfortunate downside: They don't naturally break down and are far from environmentally-friendly. It's kind of the ugly secret of the performance wear world, but Columbia has finally come up with an eco-friendly waterproof alternative.

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It's the last thing you want to find floating on your backyard pool, but a Mississippi-based company called Bloom has developed a way to turn algae, that green slimy goo that makes it unpleasant to swim in a lake, into eco-friendly foam for use in yoga mats, sandals or luggage.

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Once the use of toxic mercury in household batteries was eliminated a couple of decades ago, it finally became safe to just toss dead AAs in the trash. But if deep down you actually felt guilty about not being able to recycle them, Energizer's here to help your conscious with its new EcoAdvanced AAs made with four per cent recycled battery material.

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It might seem like LED bulbs are only for early-adopters hoping to cut down their monthly Con Ed power bill, but come Sunday, the energy-efficient lighting alternative will take centre stage at one of the greatest spectacles on Earth. This will actually be the first Super Bowl to be entirely lit by LED bulbs.

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If when you think of electric vehicles you picture tiny lightweight cars designed to maximise their battery life, BYD Motors is about to blow your mind. At the recent 2014 American Public Transportation Association Expo in Houston, the company revealed a new articulated bus that it's claiming is the world's largest battery electric vehicle — unless the new Chevy Volt can accommodate 120 passengers.

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It's estimated that over 130 million wooden chopsticks are produced every day, and most are destined to end up in the bin after just one use. Sure, wood breaks down a lot better than plastic, but a couple of engineers from Barcelona have a better idea. They're producing chopsticks made from rice husks — an unwanted by-product of rice production.

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A product's packaging is usually nothing but the last obstacle between you and a shiny new gadget, but often there's as much thought that goes into the design of a cardboard box as the device inside. For instance, LG put a remarkable amount of design effort into the box its OLED TVs ship in, and most consumers will never even notice.

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Products like the SodaStream let you make your own carbonated beverages at home without the need for yet another plastic bottle to be recycled. But the number of bottled Cokes bought around the world every day is still staggering, so to encourage consumers to upcycle those plastic containers, Coca-Cola created 16 different replacement caps giving them new uses.

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As far as large corporations go, IKEA genuinely strives to be as environmentally responsible as it can. It stopped selling incandescent bulbs in its stores ages ago, there's not a plastic bag to be found, it's wholeheartedly embraced solar power for its buildings and many products, and soon it will be officially selling an IKEA-branded electric bike.

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Nothing puts a strain on your local power grid like a hot, humid summer day. In many cities rolling blackouts are needed to cope with the strain, so it makes sense that companies would start developing smarter cooling devices. Quirky's Aros air conditioner is leading the charge, but this smarter oscillating fan is pretty clever too.

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Because solar panels are designed to accumulate as much light from the sun as possible, they're typically very dark in colour. It makes them more efficient, but also kind of an eyesore, minimising their adoption. So researchers at the University of Michigan have developed what they believe to be the world's first semi-transparent, coloured solar panels.