January 16, 2007

Nice one, M&S

PSFK: Marks & Spencer Goes Green. 'M&S also aims to stop sending waste to landfill sites by that date, increase the amount of food sourced locally and regionally, increase the use of recycled materials and end the need for consumers to throw away any of its products or packaging.'

Really got to commend Marks & Spencer for this move. It doesn't matter if this is a marketing-driven idea, as long as it is genuinely implemented, and they minimise the need to use carbon offsetting to achieve their goals of being carbon neutral. It definitely seems like an ambitious but thorough attempt to cover a lot of green issues including energy consumption, recycling and carbon mileage.

I may even be forced to take a closer look at their range of men's "slacks" and underwear just so they get the consumer vote from me...

January 05, 2007

Vertical gardens

PSFK: Vertical Gardens. 'He conducts studies in tropical areas, primarily on "understory" plants which receive minimal sunlight beneath the rainforest canopy, and can thus be presumed to grow in humid indoor areas where sunlight is limited.'

I love the attention that's given to making tropical plants thrive with little maintenance in such high-tech environments. Do you think this is what Babylon was like? Only with less glass?

January 04, 2007

Biodegradable plant pots

Cool Hunting: EcoForms. 'For an eco-friendly alternative to plastic with a no-frills look, EcoForms are made from compressed grain husks with natural, water-soluble binding agents. No pollutants are used in the manufacturing process, all byproducts are recycled and at the end of their five-year lifespan, EcoForms will biodegrade completely.'

Not sure what stops them breaking down BEFORE the end of their 5 year life span, ending in a pulpy mess of plant and grain, but it's a cool idea. Not that I feel like I throw many plant pots away.

Wind efficiencies

Stormblade Turbine is More Efficient, Quietly Neighbor-Friendly - Gizmodo. 'The prototype operates quietly in wind speeds from 7mph to 120mph, twice the range of conventional wind turbines, plus it's a lot smaller and easier to maintain. Install two of them next to each other and they'll look like a pair of eyes peering into the wind.'

Weird looking, but quiet and efficient. Like having a 747 bolted onto your roof.

December 07, 2006

PC power consumption

Although it basically just tweaks the existing Windows XP power setting I like the emphasis of this local cooling app on energy consumption. It lets you set when your monitor, hard drive etc shut down, and keeps a little 'feel good' score of how much energy you've saved when you do.

November 21, 2006

Sun jar made from a solar powered outdoor light

DIY sun jar - Lifehacker

November 19, 2006

Random bits

I'm finally getting around to posting some random stuff that's been sitting in my inbox for a while, most of which is on the environment and energy reduction. Including...

Paper made from sheeps poo.
Shoes made from all kinds of recycled stuff.
A new award for the worst, most innaccessible plastic packaging.
The first zero energy home for less then $200k (produces as much energy as it consumes).
A solar light that you hang outside during the day and bring inside at night.

Energy 'black boxes' that allow you to log your use of electricity in the home, visualizing it in a bunch of useful ways.
Personal carbon trading (to be honest, I'm not sure carbon trading is that much of a solution, since it just moves the problem of harmful emissions around in many cases, rather then encouraging energy saving, but it's better then nothing).