• Potential new source of renewable energy found in humidity

    A new type of electrical generator uses bacterial spores to harness the untapped power of evaporating water, according to research conducted at the Wyss Institute of Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University. Its developers foresee electrical generators driven by changes in humidity from sun-warmed ponds and harbors. >> Read the Full Article
  • One state addresses potholes through a new pothole alert system

    As much of the northern hemisphere looks forward to the second half of the winter season, municipalities and regional governments are faced with rudimentary task of repairing potholes. Rutgers University instructor Wansoo Im, no doubt frustrated with the infrastructure meltdown himself, launched an app and website to map the biggest ones in his own home state of New Jersey. Aptly called NJPothole, the website plots potholes on maps to alert motorists (and maybe even municipal departments of... >> Read the Full Article
  • Forest recovery following natural disaster

    Recovering from natural disasters usually means rebuilding infrastructure and reassembling human lives. Yet ecologically sensitive areas need to heal, too, and scientists are pioneering new methods to assess nature's recovery and guide human intervention. The epicenter of China's devastating Wenchuan earthquake in 2008 was in the Wolong Nature Reserve, a globally important valuable biodiversity hotspot and home to the beloved and endangered giant pandas. Not only did the quake devastate... >> Read the Full Article
  • Greener chemical cleanups

    Cleaning up oil spills and metal contaminants in a low-impact, sustainable and inexpensive manner remains a challenge for companies and governments globally. But a group of researchers at UW–Madison is examining alternative materials that can be modified to absorb oil and chemicals. If further developed, the technology may offer a cheaper and "greener" method to absorb oil and heavy metals from water and other surfaces. >> Read the Full Article
  • Free mobile green apps

    Incorporating sound environmental decisions in our daily lives has been made easier with the availability of several green apps for the mobile device. Below is a list of five useful environmental apps that are free and feature discussions and motivators for carbon footprint identification and reduction, climate change, global forest cover, product scoring based upon environmental impact, and environmental actions all aimed at making better choices for sustainable living. >> Read the Full Article
  • COLLEGIATE CORNER: Fossil Fuels vs. Renewable Resources

    Fossil fuels have been the main source of the energy all over the world. They increase the amount of CO2 emissions, and the emission of CO2 is a great cause of global warming in the atmosphere, destroying the atmospheric layers. What can we do to lower the demand of fossil fuels and become more eco friendly with renewable energy resources? The percent of US transportation sector consumption is 95.4% fossil fuels (Article 3), and this shows the reliance of the US on fossil fuels. As the... >> Read the Full Article
  • One-in-five products not complying with energy saving claims

    One in five energy-using products across Europe do not match their energy efficiency claims, according to the Energy Saving Trust. This follows findings from European Commission-funded research which revealed that up to 20 per cent are non-compliant with energy efficiency standards, such as energy labeling. According to estimates, this is leading to around ten per cent of the potential energy savings stated being lost by millions of products across Europe, including ovens, fridges, washing... >> Read the Full Article
  • The first big bite!

    The first top predators to walk on land were not afraid to bite off more than they could chew, a University of Toronto, Mississauga study has found. Graduate student and lead author Kirstin Brink and U of T Biology Professor Robert Reisz suggest that Dimetrodon, a carnivore that walked on land between 298 million and 272 million years ago, was the first terrestrial vertebrate to develop serrated ziphodont teeth. According to the study published in Nature Communications, ziphodont teeth, with... >> Read the Full Article
  • Flood insurance hike temporarily suspended

    As a follow on to last week's article about the agreement by the Senate to initiate debate to delay increases mandated by the Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012, the Senate recently passed (67-32) the Menendez-Isakson Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act which will delay the Biggert-Waters Act until such time as FEMA can complete an affordability study, provide solutions to mitigate their effect and scientifically certify accuracy of the maps used to determine insurance... >> Read the Full Article
  • Building Green

    In a world which faces increasing pressure to reduce carbon emissions, the construction industry must confront demand to adopt modern methods of building which causes less damage to the environment. As a result, there are increasing numbers of alternative materials and methods available, a selection of which are included in this post. While these methods are by no means the only ones available within the industry, the selected materials and methods... >> Read the Full Article