| Last Updated:: 12/09/2017



An eco-label for the airline industry?

Air travel plays a vital role in today's life because it makes remote destinations accessible and short getaways possible. Despite its benefits, air transportation contributes heavily to climate change. Behavioral change is seen as a key driver in mitigating the environmental impacts of air travel. One way to encourage behavioral change is to use eco-labels. This study explores how an eco-label could be developed for the airline industry to function as a potential driver for behavioral change. 12 interviews with airline industry experts were conducted and thematically analyzed. Empirical results were then combined with prior research and the following five criteria essential for the development of an airline eco-label were identified: credibility, comparability, clarity, transparency and participation. Out of these five criteria, participation seemed to be the most challenging to realize. Based on these criteria, this paper could be understood as a first step towards the introduction of an industry-wide eco-labelling scheme for the airline industry that could help reduce the environmental impacts of aviation through behavioral change.

Eco-friendly rubber could make the tire industry cleaner

A team of researchers of the University of Minnesota, has invented a new technology to produce automobile tires from trees and grasses in a process that could shift the tire production industry toward using renewable resources found right in our backyards. Conventional car tires are viewed as environmentally unfriendly because they are predominately made from fossil fuels. The car tires produced from biomass that includes trees and grasses would be identical to existing car tires with the same chemical makeup, colour, shape, and performance. Paul Dauenhauer a lead researcher of the study said, "This research could have a major impact on the multi-billion dollar automobile tires industry."It is published in the journal ACS Catalysis.

Cellulose an environment-friendly fibre

Cellulose is produced from pine and fir and can be a future environment-friendly textile fibre as per study, done by a student at Karlstad University in Sweden. This study has a focus on generating new knowledge of sulfite technology. The study addresses crucial aspects of pulp production based on cheaper raw material for cellulose production. The research results are useful in the manufacturing of even better sulfite pulp and in the long term new sulfite mills may be established. The study shows that different raw materials can be mixed but result shows the cellulose of the highest quality. The possibility to produce profitable by-products such as ethanol also makes the manufacturing process more sustainable for the benefit of society as well as the environment.

Plastic-eating worms help wage war on plastics

Plastic bags which can take between 100 and 400 years to degrade in landfill sites. The larvae of wax moths are sold as delicious snacks for chub, carp and catfish but their appetite for plastic can be used to reduce waste. A scientist and amateur beekeeper has found that wax-worms have a taste for more than wax. With such a voracious appetite for plastic, the worms can be put to good use, the scientists reasoned. Each year, the average person uses more than 200 plastic bags which can take years to degrade in landfill sites. Paolo Bombelli, a biochemist at Cambridge who took part in the study, said the finding could lead to a solution to the plastic waste mounting up in waterways, oceans and landfills.

Low-cost solar cells using the humble Jamun

A common Indian summer fruit is making news for all the right reasons. Scientists at IIT Roorkee have discovered that jamun can be used to create more efficient solar cells and that too, at decreased costs. Researchers used naturally occurring pigment found in jamun as an inexpensive photosensitizer for Dye Sensitised Solar Cells (DSSCs) or Gratzel cells. They extracted dyes from jamun using ethanol and also used fresh plums and black currant, along with mixed berry juices which contain pigments that give characteristic color to jamun. The mixture was then centrifuged and decanted. The extracted colored pigment called anthocyanin was used as a sensitizer. Lead researcher Soumitra Satapathi, assistant professor at Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Roorkee, said: “Natural pigments are way economical in comparison to regular Ruthenium-based pigments and scientists are optimizing to improve the efficiency. The increasing pressure on fossil fuels and concern of global warming has inspired continuous search for alternate energy.” The research was published in the Journal of Photovoltaics.

Device that generates power from polluted air with sunlight

A new device shows promise in purifying polluted air, while at the same time producing hydrogen, which can be stored for use as a clean energy source. A team of researchers from two Belgian schools, the University of Antwerp and KU Leuven, have discovered a process that can be used to address two disparate yet related issues - the need for air pollution mitigation and cleaner energy sources - with nanomaterials and sunlight. It might be quite some time before the process and materials are sufficiently optimized to be put into use on an industrial scale, but the researchers' progress speaks to a future where air pollution becomes a potential energy source instead of an energy sink and major health concern. The paper is available in the journal ChemSusChem.

Climate-friendly alternative technologies used for refrigeration and air-conditioning

A roadshow took place to showcase climate-friendly alternative technologies used for refrigeration and air-conditioning. It is hosted by the Environment Ministry in Agra. It is post the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol. Around 197 nations, including India, had struck a legally-binding deal after intense negotiations in the Rawandan capital Kigali to phase down hydrofluorocarbons which are ozone depleting compounds. The roadshow showcased current refrigeration and air conditioning equipment designed to be more energy efficient, having a double benefit of saving money for consumers and with a much lower impact on the environment.

ISRO tests eco-friendly technology

A feather is added to its already-embellished hat, Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) is working hard to bring India closer to its all-electric car dream by 2030. The high energy lithium-ion batteries that ISRO developed for use on spacecrafts, the Indian space agency is now transferring the technology to the Indian automobile industry. These batteries will be used to manufacture solar hybrid electric cars in India. The demonstration was conducted using a recycled Maruti Suzuki Omni. The car was designed and developed with in-house expertise at the Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC).

Eco-friendly version of microbeads for use in bathroom products

Engineers from the University of Bath's Centre for Sustainable Chemical Technologies have developed a biodegradable, renewable alternative type of bead. Such microbeads are robust enough to remain stable in a body wash, but can be broken down by organisms at the sewage treatment works, or in the environment over a short period of time. The plastic beads are due to be banned as they are too small to be removed by sewage filtration systems, meaning they end up in rivers and oceans where they are ingested by birds, fish and other marine life. These beads used in the cosmetics industry are often made of polyethylene or polypropylene, which are cheap and easy to make and take hundreds of years to break down in the environment. The new invented microbeads are from cellulose, which is not only from a renewable source, but also biodegrades into harmless sugars.

SoyFoliate an environmentally friendly alternative to plastic microbeads

A team of four Purdue graduates have developed SoyFoliate, a soy-microbead technology that could serve as an alternative to the recently banned plastic microbeads often found in cosmetic and personal care products. The team has founded a company of the same name to further develop and commercialize the product. It is an environmentally friendly alternative to plastic microbeadsthat have been banned in the United States. SoyFoliate aims to license the technology to personal care companies.

 

“Our environmentally friendly soy microbeads are a highly marketable alternative to use in personal care products,” Lewis said. “We look forward to developing a finalized formulation and product and partnering with both producers and companies who will want to use it in their products.” Technology used by SoyFoliate is licensed through the Purdue Research Foundation Office of Technology Commercialization. The company is a member of the Purdue startup class of 2017.

Recycle cigarette butts: Turn them into the road surface

It is estimated that about 1.2 million metric tonnes of cigarette butts end up as waste annually, with no thought given to recycle them. But an enterprising engineering researcher from RMIT University in Melbourne, Australia- Abbas Mohajerani- has found an interesting way to turn them into something useful. However, in order to turn the cigarette butts into a useful material, researchers encapsulated the waste with paraffin wax and then bitumen, the sticky black petroleum-based part of roadways which is usually called asphalt. This technique fully trapped the chemicals to prevent leaching, Mohajerani said in an announcement from the university. Then the researchers mixed the coated cigarette butts with hot asphalt mix to create different samples. Researchers at RMIT University expect that the number of cigarettes produced and butts discarded worldwide will increase by more than 50% by 2025 due to increases in global population.

Nontoxic way of generating portable power

Researchers from MIT have come up with the new source of power for generating electricity, which harnesses heat and uses no metals or toxic materials. The batteries that power the devices of modern life, from smartphones and computers to electric cars, are mostly made of toxic materials such as lithium that can be difficult to dispose of and have limited global supplies. A wire made from tiny cylinders of carbon known as carbon nanotubes can produce an electrical current when it is progressively heated from one end to the other, for example by coating it with a combustible material and then lighting one end to let it burn like a fuse. The device is powerful enough to power simple electronic devices such as an LED light. The results were published in the journal Energy & Environmental Science.

Eco-friendly A320 Neo airbusr

Eco-friendly A320 Neo built by European aircraft significantly reduces the impact on the environment and led the way to a more sustainable mode of flying. It is 15% more fuel efficient than the exiting versions of A320. These improvements will result in 20% fuel savings per seat compared with current engine option (CEO) aircraft by 2020, along with two tonnes more payload, up to 500 nautical miles additional range, lower operating costs, and reductions in engine noise and emissions. IndiGo airline of India is the first airline among Asian airlines to have inducted the latest aircraft from Airbus.

Environmentally friendly polymer

Singapore based A*STAR Institute of Chemical Engineering Sciences and Institute of Materials Research and Engineering have created a safe, polymer-based, coating which inhibit the surface buildup of bacterial and marine organisms. Marine fouling badly damages ships, seawater filtration systems, and harbour installations, and leads to expensive and time-consuming repairs. It also corrodes ship hulls which increases their fuel consumption. It has proven destructive for high-performance devices specific to the maritime industry, such as underwater communication equipment and buoy sensors. These polymers prevent microorganisms from sticking to surfaces and, where there is contact, facilitate their detachment. Low-adhesive polymers form hydration layers on coated surfaces act as potential antifouling agents. The study is published in the Journal of Polymer Science Part A: Polymer Chemistry.

Eco-friendly battery overcomes problems of lithium ion batteries

Shenzhen Institutes of Advanced Technology of the Chinese Academy of Sciences has developed an environmentally friendly, low-cost battery that overcomes many of the problems of lithium ion batteries. It offers considerably reduced weight, volume, and fabrication cost, as well as higher energy density, compared to conventional lithium ion batteries. Lithium ion batteries are commonly used in portable electronic devices, electric vehicles and renewable energy systems and its disposal creates environmental problems. According to the research team the successful commercialization of this battery has great potential to significantly enhance the performance of portable electronic devices, electric vehicles, and renewable energy systems. The results have been published in Advanced Energy Materials.

Ecofriendly graphene by using mango leaves and potatoes

By using extracts of mango leaf and potato, researchers have converted graphene oxide into reduced graphene oxide sheets. It shows excellent thermal stability and electrical conductivity. This is an eco-friendly way to synthesise reduced graphene oxide, which is potentially useful for fabricating electronic devices. Present techniques for producing reduced graphene oxide sheets require harmful synthetic chemicals that contaminate graphene sheets and may induce irreversible aggregation.

 

The researchers separately added extracts of mango leaf and potato to graphene oxide solutions. The plant polyphenols increased the negative charge density of the graphene sheets by partially removing oxygen-containing functional groups from the graphene oxide. The negative charges repulsed each other, preventing aggregation and facilitating dispersion of the graphene sheets in water. The plant polyphenols imparted stability to the graphene sheets so that they could withstand high temperatures. In addition, the graphene sheets exhibited a higher electrical conductivity than graphene oxide,suggesting that they could be used in devices.

Software helps anyone construct eco-friendly homes, offices, hotels and more

The EDGE (Excellence in Design for Greater Efficiencies), a technology helps developers in Indian cities build green. An easy-to-use software application is created by the International Finance Corporation (IFC) to design green buildings in rapidly growing economies. It is basically a certification system that requires buildings to demonstrate 20% reduction in operational energy use, water use, and embodied energy of materials. Users have to fill in simple details about the measures they plan to take to construct a green building and the software gives suggestions on how a building can be made more sustainable and environment-friendly. EDGE was launched in July last year, and IFC’s goal in India is to achieve 20% new constructions as per the EDGE standards, within the next six years.

Adoption of eco-friendly LED lighting

According to a paper on efficient light-source technologies in the Journal of Industrial Ecology, the transition to LED lighting till 2050 will result in the reduction in energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions. There would be an increase in lighting illumination simultaneously. Metal depletion for manufacturing the LED systems, however, will increase till 2030 and then reduce. Artificial lighting is essential to a modern lifestyle. Lighting is one of the largest electrical end uses, accounting for 17% of global electricity consumption. The transition to LED lighting has a positive environmental and economic impact.

Solar Power – an alternative and cheap energy

According to the International Renewable Energy Agency the amount of electricity generated using solar panels stands to expand as much as six-fold by 2030. The cost of production will fall below competing natural gas and coal-fired plants. A report by Abu Dhabi-based industry group said that photovoltaic technology could account for 8% to 13% of global electricity produced in 2030. The average cost of electricity from a photovoltaic system is forecast to plunge as much as 59% by 2025, making solar the cheapest form of power generation. Bloomberg New Energy Finance also forecasts growth in solar photovoltaic reaching 15% of total electricity output by 2040. As of 2015, the average cost of electricity from a utility-scale solar photovoltaic system was 13 cents per kilowatt hour. That’s more than coal and gas-fired plants that averaged 5 cents to 10 cents per kilowatt hour. The world’s cheapest solar tariff is in Dubai.

Environmentally-Friendly Countries

According to the Environmental Protection Index, the list of the world’s most environmentally-friendly countries is a lot more surprising than you might think. The top five countries are all European. United State of America didn’t make the cut and stands 26th. Every single country in the top 20 is trending up as far as their EPI rankings are concerned. That means that progress is the key factor in developing a world full of renewable energy and emission free technology. Finland tops the list and Somalia is the last. India stands 141st out of 180 countries. Each year, Yale’s Environmental Performance Index (EPI) ranks the top-performing countries for the environment, based on how well they’ve fared at protecting human health and vulnerable ecosystems. The EPI creates index by giving each country a score out of 100 that is based on a number of specific metrics. The individual scores are averaged for each country to create the rankings.

Ocean-energy technologies harvest renewable energy from the sea

Ocean-energy technologies — which harvest renewable energy from the sea — will have a significant role to play in a future low-carbon society. A recent life-cycle analysis of different ocean-energy devices has found that life-cycle environmental impacts are caused mainly by the materials used in the mooring, foundations and structures. Improving the efficiency and lifespan of the devices, as well as improving mooring and foundations and deploying devices further out at sea, will help to further reduce the life-cycle environmental impact of ocean-energy systems, according to the study.

Use of Food Additive for Eco-Friendly Plastic Solar Cells

A team of researchers from North Carolina State University and the Chinese Academy of Sciences have successfully created an environmental friendly semi-printed plastic solar cell without toxic halogen solvents by using a food additive. Instead of using halogens, the scientists replaced it with o-methylanisole (o-MA), which is known to be a flavour additive in food and is nontoxic. Currently, halogen-containing solvents are used in manufacturing plastic solar cells. These solar cells have a high market demand due to its flexibility, transparency and affordability. The research team explored the idea of using a nontoxic solvent that would yield the same efficiency as solar cells printed from halogen solvents. The team hopes that this newly discovered technology in solar energy could "pave the way for printing solar cells in ambient air." The study is published in the journal Chemistry of Materials.

Retro-electric: making petrol-guzzling cars eco-friendly

Big breakthroughs in battery technology have raised hopes the electric car can transform the auto industry and set us free from fossil fuel dependence. Utah-based company EV Wilderness takes the husks of worn-out classic models and gives them a brand new lease of life. An estimated 30,000 old petrol cars have been given a new lease of life by small businesses and amateurs around the world.
  Since manufacturing new cars is energy-intensive and polluting, these specialists believe transforming old, petrol-guzzling cars into clean, green electric vehicles can play an important part in reducing carbon emissions. “The process of building a new car is costly, in terms of energy and greenhouse gas emissions, so we have to take advantage of all those cars that are close to the end of their life, restore and electrify them,” explains Roland Schaumann, co-founder of Ian Motion.

Solar highway in France

World’s first “solar highway” in France, a road paved with solar panels providing enough energy to power the street lights of the small Normandy town of Tourouvre. The one-kilometre “Wattway” covered with 2,800 square metres (30,000 square feet) of resin-coated solar panels was hooked up to the local power grid. France could become energy independent by paving only a quarter of its million kilometres of roads with . The idea, which is also under exploration in Germany, the Netherlands and the US, is that roadways are occupied by cars only around 20% of the time, providing vast expanses of surface to soak up the sun’s rays.

Eco-friendly transport a bamboo bicycle

To develop environment friendly ways to travel, bicycles seem to be the most efficient means of transportation when it comes to cutting down on pollution. Vijay Sharma, a carpenter’s son who has built India’s first ever bicycle made completely out of bamboo. He credits this innovation to time spent in his father’s carpentry workshop as a child. The frame of the bicycle is made entirely out of bamboo instead of metal and hemp fibre was used to keep the structure together instead of glass or carbon fibre. Using bamboo saves both time and energy spent for mining aluminium and moulding it to make frames and it also has a zero carbon footprint. It’s a natural tube which is tensile and strong, as it also makes for a good shock absorber and is light weight.

India leads Spain, UK in wind energy generation

Renewable energy is an area that is expected to take off in India, thanks to the ambitious mission stated by the Ministry of New and Renewable energy. It states, “24×7 affordable environment friendly power for all by 2019.” The government also plans to generate around 40% of its power from non-fossil fuels by 2030. India’s total solar capacity is 10GW and the government plans to take it to 17GW by 31 March 2017. Due to hot weather in majority of the Indian landscape, India is in a position of advantage as far as generating solar energy.

Eco-friendly bio-plastics using green algae

A research team from Marine Biomaterials Research Center, Korea has developed a technology to manufacture eco-friendly bio-plastics using green algae in the ocean for the first time in the world. They succeeded in environmentally friendly producing a carboxylic acid, a material used to manufacture high-performance engineering plastics using fat and fatty acid that can be easily extracted from green algae or microalgae. The research team expects that the new technology can be used to manufacture high-performance engineering plastics that are used in electronic equipment, parts of clocks and watches, structural materials for aircrafts. It is published in ACS Catalysis and Scientific Reports.

Environment-friendly hydrophobic coating made with salt particles

A team of researchers with the Department of Mechanical Engineering at Pohang University of Science and Technology (POSTECH) has developed the super-hydrophobic layer using commercially available salt particles, poly dimethyl siloxane (PDMS) and water. They have found a cost-effective and environmentally friendly method, which are used in anti-icing, anti-sticking and self-cleaning applications. Scientists have attempted to apply the lotus effect—the process where water droplets along with any dirt particles on the surface roll off a leaf—to other surfaces by simulating similar micro- and nanoscopic surface architectures in the past, but applying a super-hydrophobic layer requires complicated procedures with exorbitant equipment costs and harsh chemicals, making a stain repellent fabric or self-cleaning building difficult to implement. The study was published in Applied Surface Science.

Eco-friendly low-cost hybrid cars

Maruti Suzuki and its parent Suzuki Motor are working to develop low-cost hybrid compact cars as they prepare to maintain their stronghold in the Indian market with eco-friendly vehicles expected gain traction. Terming development of smaller cars with hybrid technology as "as an area of big interest" for both the firm and parent Suzuki, Maruti Suzuki India Chairman R C Bhargava said they were trying to exploit the space for small cars with green technology as big companies like Toyota are currently focusing on bigger ones.

How retail food establishments can develop a food waste reduction plan?

Amid mounting food waste, a guidebook to help retail food establishments minimise waste across the supply chain was developed by National Environment Agency (NEA) and the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority of Singapore. It provides a step-by-step guide on how retail food establishments can develop a food waste reduction plan tailored to their needs. Tips include using smart technologies for planning and inventory management. Information on food waste treatment and recycling options are also provided. The e-book is available at www.nea.gov.sg/FWMGR

Environmentally-friendly graphene textiles

A new method for producing conductive cotton fabrics using graphene-based inks opens up new possibilities for flexible and wearable electronics, without the use of expensive and toxic processing steps. Wearable, textiles-based electronics present new possibilities for flexible circuits, healthcare and environment monitoring, energy conversion, and many others. Researchers at the Cambridge Graphene Centre (CGC) at the University of Cambridge, working in collaboration with scientists at Jiangnan University, China, have devised a method for depositing graphene-based inks onto cotton to produce a conductive textile. The work, published in the journal Carbon, demonstrates a wearable motion sensor based on the conductive cotton.

Environmentally friendly way to generate hydropower

Hydropower provides 85% of the world’s renewable electricity. The basics of hydropower have not changed much in 120 years. But now scientists and engineers are taking a fresh look at hydropower to try to make it more environmentally friendly. Recent studies suggest reservoirs created by hydroelectric dams are a significant source of greenhouse gas emissions. The U.S. Department of Energy is among those working to make hydropower better for the environment. A 2015 study in the journal Aquatic Sciences estimated at least 3,700 major new hydroelectric dams are proposed or under construction worldwide, most in developing countries. The voluntary standards were created as a road map to make new hydropower more environmentally benign and less harmful to local communities, which are often displaced or compromised by large projects.

Eco-friendly and affordable membrane adsorb oils spillse

Researchers from Egypt and Saudi Arabia have developed a simple way to manufacture an eco-friendly and affordable membrane that can efficiently adsorb oils spills from sea or waste water. The membrane can recover quickly and easily for reuse — it can be applied at least 10 times with the same efficiency. The study tested the mechanical properties of the three membranes, including their ability to hold back water and adsorb three kinds of petroleum substances of different densities: toluene, kerosene and hydraulic fluids. This study is published in Marine Pollution Bulletin.

American Humane Certified labels

There are labels on some common brands of meat, poultry and eggs in the supermarket. And while you may expect this “humane” label to mean that the animals were able to move around freely, go outdoors, and engage in their natural behaviors, the standards behind this label don't always guarantee this. Learn more about the American Humane label..

Recycling Technologies turns plastic into fuel

Insurgent technology from the Swindon-based company enables the capacity for uninterrupted processing of large volumes, in what it describes as “the greenest and cheapest decipherments yet for end-of-life plastic”. The low uproar processing has no negative impact on any nearby communities, making the equipment a far numerous preferable option compared to what currently operates in some in the ballpark of where truck traffic pushes up pollution levels. The faction has been designed specifically to overturn conventional recycling service mock-ups by doing the work on the spot in depots. Inside each machine plastics are turned into the new oil called Plaxx. It is a clean substitute for fossil-based heavy fuel oil.

Environmentally-friendly soy air filter

Washington State University researchers have developed a soy-based air filter that can capture toxic chemicals, such as carbon monoxide and formaldehyde, which current air filters can't. Typical air filters, which are usually made of micron-sized fibers of synthetic plastics, physically filter the small particles but aren't able to chemically capture gaseous molecules. A new air filtering material uses natural, purified soy protein and bacterial cellulose -- an organic compound produced by bacteria. Soy captures nearly all pollutants. The soy protein and cellulose are cost effective and already used in numerous applications, such as adhesives, plastic products, tissue regeneration materials and wound dressings.

 

It is published in the journal Composites Science and Technology.

Paper waste converted into eco-friendly aerogel

A research team from the National University of Singapore’s (NUS) Faculty of Engineering has achieved by successfully converting paper waste into green cellulose aerogels that are non-toxic, ultralight, flexible, extremely strong and water repellent. The global production of paper is expected to increase to 500 million tonnes by 2020. The large amount of paper-related waste generated annually causes destruction of forestation and environmental pollution, and the enormous waste is also difficult to dispose. They are four times more effective than commercial oil sorbents, says Dr Duong. Coated with Trimethoxymethylsilane (MTMS), the aerogels are water repellent and are capable of absorbing oil from the water -- up to 90 times their dry weight, making them up to four times more effective than commercial oil sorbents. Furthermore, they can be “squeezed” to recover over 99 per cent of the crude oil absorbed.

How to turn Agricultural Waste into Green Products?

A new synthetic bio-pathway that turns agricultural waste into “green products” has been created by researchers at the University of Minnesota. Using food to turn into non-food products has always been controversial because it affects supply and prices but researchers claim that through their method, this process can be done more efficiently. Researchers have engineered a new synthetic bio-pathway that can more efficiently and cost-effectively turn agricultural waste, like corn stover and orange peels, into a variety of useful products ranging from spandex to chicken feed. “The pathway we developed was sustainable so it is better for the environment. This study is also one of the few examples of artificial metabolic pathways constructed so far,” Zhang a researcher in the National Science Foundation’s Center for Sustainable Polymers based at the University of Minnesota added. The research paper is entitled “Engineering nonphosphorylative metabolism to generate lignocellulose-derived products and is published in the journal Nature Chemical Biology.

Online Shopping might not be as Green as We thought

Online shopping may be the answer to helping the environment. After all, people don’t use their cars just to go to the mall, polluting the environment on way. However a new study by researchers in the Delaware Center for Transportation provides insight into the impacts of home shopping on vehicle operations and greenhouse gas emissions. The researchers analysed a survey of online shopping behaviour and took note of the travel time, delay, speed, and greenhouse gas productions. They found that trucks emit high amounts of greenhouse gases to transport products. The findings also show that online shopping influenced the use of lands, including the number and size of stores with parking spaces. e-stores require less space and use less energy but the online shopping puts more delivery trucks on the roads, which translates into more wear-and-tear on pavements and increased environmental pollution through the emission of fine particulate matter from diesel engines. The research paper is entitled “Impacts of Home Shopping on Vehicle Operations and Greenhouse Gas Emissions,” and published in the International Journal of Sustainable Development and World Ecology.

Engineers developed environmentally sustainable and resource-friendly cooling method

Researchers from Saarland University focus on systems that use shape memory materials, also known as ‘metal muscles’ or ‘artificial muscles’. They are developing a new method of cooling in which heat and cold are transferred using 'muscles' made from a nickel-titanium alloy. Researchers have demonstrated that this type of cooling works and that it can be used in practice. They used a model system to determine how to optimize the efficiency of the cooling process, examining such factors as how strongly the material has to be elongated or bent in order to achieve a certain cooling performance, or whether the process is more effective when carried out slowly or more rapidly. A thermal imaging camera was deployed to analyse precisely how the heating and cooling stages proceed. The team is currently fine tuning the process to optimize its efficiency

Cardboard, tape and a pencil for producing energy

A small device made from everyday materials can generate enough energy to power several diodes. A team from EPFL (Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne) in Switzerland, working with researchers from the University of Tokyo, used these materials to make an 8 cm - 2 device that can generate a considerable power. This is a simple, eco-friendly and inexpensive system that can operate a remote micro- sensor or system. This type of system is quite promising since it can be constructed with everyday items. Research on the use of static electricity to generate energy, dubbed ‘TENG’ (triboelectric nanogenerator), began in 2012. This proposed TENG shows robust output power when pressed by fingers demonstrating its use as energy harvester based on low-cost, commodity materials such as paper, Teflon and graphite. This paper system could represent the next step, since it would remove the need for conventional batteries.

Microsoft’s underwater data center an Eco Friendly Cloud Computing Alternative

Microsoft is embarking on a deep sea adventure by placing data centers at the bottom of the ocean in a bid to save money — and the environment. Its vision is to see self-contain data centers placed hundreds of feet below sea level removing the biggest cost of running these operations on land — air conditioning. Using the naturally cold environments of the ocean, Microsoft hopes to help continue to boost the adoption of cloud computing by businesses around the globe. The benefit of launching data centers off the coast would be improved latency, the speed at which data travels between its source and destination. “Half of the world’s population lives within 200km of the ocean so placing datacenter offshore increases the proximity of the datacenter to the population dramatically reducing latency and providing better responsiveness,” Microsoft said.

Eco friendly vending cart for street vendors

A scientist Dr. Sridhar B.S. from the Department of Food Engineering in CFTRI designed the solar-powered vending cart for street vendors. The cart comprises an electro mobile unit, equipped with solar powered rechargeable batteries, plug-in hybrid technology comprising Peltier systems for hot and cold beverages (four dispenser units) and an in-built waste disposal unit. The solar panels can be installed on the roof of the cart for harnessing energy. Dr. Sridhar said the energy-efficient cart helps street food vendors prepare hygienic beverages reducing air pollution. Also, the energy harnessed all through the day illuminates the cart. “Many vending units don’t keep the streets clean and safe for their customers and provide them friendly service. Thus there is a need to develop innovative ways and practices for keeping the streets clean and safe while establishing a secure livelihood for vendors,” the scientist explained. The cart comes with a controller that monitors and controls temperature, battery power, user-interface panels (for automatic dispensing) and other system parameters.

Eco-friendly food vending cart with waste disposal and solar power generation

A food vending cart “Innokart” developed by students of Jamia Millia Islamia has provision for waste disposal and solar power generation. There are two sections for waste disposal – dry and wet. Solar panel will be on the rooftop. Some space is also kept free for advertisement. “The product is an economical food vending cart that provides proper storage, shelter and hygiene. The cart promises to transform street food selling in India for the better,” said Mini S Thomas, Honorary Director, Jamia’s Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (CIE).

Eco-friendly cryptocurrency EDRCoin

Blockchain has launched its first decentralized eco-friendly cryptocurrency EDRCoin. It is based on USA-Dollar rate and can be used for transaction of goods and services across the world. The futuristic currency is aimed to change the world of money for better. It is based on the US-Dollar rate, 1EDRC is equal to $1, and can be used for internet shopping, virtual game payments and for the transaction of goods and services in any country. Its eco-friendly operations are carried in collaboration with independent private farms situated in different parts of the globe. 7% of the income generated from EDRC system would be utilized for the restoration of mangrove forests in Asia and the development of new solar panels. EDRC mining is ongoing and would supposedly complete by 31st December, 2017, with the release of around 22 million coins. EDRCoins will be available for trading shortly on every popular exchange platform. Blockchain provides data on recent transactions, mined blocks in the blockchain, charts on the Bitcoin economy, and statistics and resources for developers.

Innovative environmentally-friendly edible spoons

Edible spoons are made up of millets, rice, and wheat with different flavors such as garlic, ginger, mint, and lemon. Bakey’s Food has been replacing wasteful plastic cutlery with delicious, edible spoons. Being edible, manufacture of these products is restricted by the regulations laid under Food Safety and Standards Act. These will be strictly adhered to apart from ISO 22000. Company also customized the size and shapes. It can also be created with a prior notice of 3 months to create drawings, dyes and moulds as specified. Additionally flavours and colours using vegetable pulp can be made with additional costs. The company, Bakeys Foods Private Limited was established in 2010 in Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh, as an alternative to disposable plastic/wood cutlery and bamboo chopsticks.

Algae-based water bottle breaks down when it’s empty

Icelandic product design student Ari Jónsson developed a biodegradable drinking bottleby mixing red algae powder with water. He added agar powder to water, that forms a jelly-like material. After experimenting to find the right proportions, Jónsson slowly heated the substance before pouring it into a bottle-shaped mould that had been kept in the freezer. He rotated the mould while submerged in a bucket of ice-cold water, until the liquid inside has taken the shape of the bottle. It was then placed in a refrigerator for a few minutes before the agar bottle was extracted from the mould. As long as the bottle is full of water, it will keep its shape, but as soon as it is empty – it will begin to decompose. The best part is that the bottle is edible. "You could even bite the bottle," adds Jonsson.

To promote its recycling mission, Apple launches eco-friendly iOS wallpapers

To help promote Apple’s ongoing Renew programme, three new iOS 9 wallpapers are launched to fulfill its mission. It encourages users to recycle their old Apple devices. It is designed by graphic artist Anthony Burrill, the wallpapers are entitled “Nature in Balance,” “Nature in Harmony,” and “Nature in Us,” and are downloadable. According to Apple, each wallpaper is, “inspired by nature and people coming together to help the planet.”

A rapid expansion in the number of eco-labels: Why so?

The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) has been analysing environmental labels for more than 15 years. In this video, OECD Policy Analyst Andrew Prag discusses some of the issues relevant to eco-labels around the world.

Restaurants should reduce packaging footprint, increase recycling

New innovations in technology and general awareness of the sustainability movement resulted in an emphasis on the social-responsibility aspect of re-use, recycling and reducing food waste. Sustainability, reducing packaging waste and the increased use of recycling become more important to restaurant customers. Tampa-based FusionPrep is combating waste. Its cloud-based system enables restaurants to store, update and communicate recipes, builds, training documents, photos and videos, and the info simultaneously to all of their kitchens online, saving paper. Eco-Products, based in Boulder, Colorado, are another company focused on sustainability solutions. Its products are relative to traditional counterparts, gentler on the environment because they require fewer virgin resources to produce, and make diversion from landfills an option upon disposal.

Low cost and environment-friendly Internet

The latest technology of data transmission comes underway. It is called Li-Fi – a faster, low cost, and environment-friendly internet system. It uses LED lights as a means of data transmission. It is invented by Prof Harald Haas from the University of Edinburgh, Li-Fi, or light fidelity, transfers data over the visual spectrum rather than via radio waves. Scientists have trialed the technology outside of a lab for the first time and found that they can transmit data at 1GB per second, which is 100 times faster than Wi-Fi. The main benefit is the low cost and another benefit is the faster data transmission. It is more secured since light cannot pass through walls, so intercepting data is impossible in closed rooms. It is also environment-friendly at the same time because it only requires minimal hardware, and light transmission is much safer than radio signals.

Solutions to ‘confusing’ Green labelled products

The European Commission is trying to find a solution to the complexity of products’ environmental performance, to address consumer concerns about the products they buy, as well as to help EU companies minimise the cost of green labelling frameworks. Today, EU companies wishing to indicate the environmental performance of their products, face a number of hindrances mainly due to the wide range of existing labels. Consumers are also confused by the stream of incomparable and diverse environmental information they receive when they purchase green products.

Urban indicators for sustainable cities

Urban sustainability indicators are tools that allow city planners, city managers and policymakers to gauge the socio-economic and environmental impact of, for example, current urban designs, infrastructures, policies, waste disposal systems, pollution and access to services by citizens. They allow for the diagnosis of problems and pressures, and thus the identification of areas that would profit from being addressed through good governance and science-based responses. They also allow cities to monitor the success and impact of sustainability interventions. This report published by Science for Environment Policy, aims to provide local government actors and stakeholders with a concise guide to the best currently available indicator tools for sustainable cities, focusing on the environmental dimension.

Legume protein-based films and coatings: An eco-friendly approach

There is a growing urgency to develop novel products of natural origin and other innovative technologies that could help to reduce the widespread dependence on fossil fuels. Environmentally-friendly bio-composites made up of bio-fibres and bio-plastics are new materials in the 21st century with a huge potential to solve environmental problems and the uncertainty in the supply of crude oil. Chemical and multifunctional properties, legumes provide society with various services such as: a source of products to feed humans and animals, fibres, biomass, bio-fuels and chemical products. The films/composites and coatings based on legume proteins would allow the packaging to be disposed of in composting plants or used to produce biogas.

Extract gold from e-waste in environmentally friendly way

Scientists have discovered a new financially viable and environmentally friendly way to recover and recycle gold from electronic waste, an approach that could revolutionise the industry and be a veritable gold mine. The common practice of mining for gold creates environmental issues because it requires large amounts of sodium cyanide. Recycling gold from electronic scraps like computer chips and circuits involves processes that are costly and have environmental implications. With lower toxicity, cheaper cost and quicker extraction, researchers have discovered an approach that could revolutionise the industry and be a veritable gold mine. “We’ve found a simple, cheap and environmentally benign solution that extracts gold in seconds, and can be recycled and reused,” said Stephen Foley , professor at the University of Saskatchewan in Canada.

Synthesis of nano-zinc oxide from plant wastes

Researchers in Faculty of Agriculture, Isfahan University of Technology have synthesized nano-zinc oxide from plant wastes. Re-use of the waste to produce environment-friendly products, improves the performance efficiency of the raw material, and eliminates the unused waste. Production of nano-ZnO through the processing of the plants waste is environment-friendly, since it uses organic components. The produced nano-ZnO is a raw material in different industries such as porcelain glazing, rubber, shoe, ceramic and tile industry, production of clothing and cosmetics, and pharmaceuticals.

Nickel produces environmentally safe hydrogen

Researchers of Nanyang Technological University have discovered a novel way of intensifying the efficacy of molybdenum disulphide (MoS2) catalysts, an important aspect of hydrogen economy. In simpler terms, this invention could potentially help in trimming down the consumption of fossil fuels and reducing carbon footprints. According to the study, more environmentally safe hydrogen could be produced by simply altering the amount of nickel in MoS2 catalysts. It is considered a breakthrough in the nanostructure research segment as past attempts at MoS2 alterations have all failed. Scientists are also in pursuit of new ways to develop effective electrocatalysts capable of creating oxygen from water under varying pH conditions. The study published in Science Advances.

Environmentally benign nanobullet to battle bacteria

Researchers from North Carolina State University have developed an effective and environmentally benign method to combat bacteria by engineering nanoscale particles. These particles add the antimicrobial potency of silver to a core of lignin, a ubiquitous substance found in all plant cells. The findings introduce ideas for better, greener and safer nanotechnology and could lead to enhanced efficiency of antimicrobial products used in agriculture and personal care. The results demonstrate that the application of green chemistry principles may allow the synthesis of nanoparticles with biodegradable cores that have higher antimicrobial activity and smaller environmental impact than metallic silver nanoparticles. This study is published in Nature Nanotechnology.

Researchers at the University of New South Wales in Australia discovered an ultra-low density and corrosion-resistant magnesium-lithium alloy which is essential in the production of lighter automobiles and aeroplanes in the near future. The newly discovered alloy, which could pave the way for the mass production of stainless magnesium, weighs 30% lighter than regular magnesium and can be as light as aluminium. The team is now studying the molecular composition of the alloy and carbonate-rich film to better understand how the corrosion process is averted. The research was published in the journal Nature Materials.

Grazing produces environmentally friendly N2 gas

A new research into soil processes shows that over half the nitrogen applied to grazed grassland soils in temperate regions was lost as environmentally benign dinitrogen (N2) gas. Grazing is associated with low nitrogen use efficiency, which means that, typically, only 15% to 30% of the nitrogen applied is captured in farm produce. The remainder of the nitrogen is either stored in the soil or lost to water or the atmosphere. Of particular concern is the loss of nitrous oxide (N2O), which is a powerful greenhouse gas responsible for approximately a third of greenhouse gas emissions in Ireland. The research has found that grazed grassland soils account for 57% of the nitrogen applied in the form of cow urine to soil. The source of these benign emissions is a little known process called code nitrification. By contrast, emissions of the potent greenhouse gas nitrous oxide (N2O), accounted for merely 0.7% of the applied nitrogen.

US researchers propose eco-friendly strategy to extract deep sea resources

Researchers from the Center for Ocean Solutions in the US and co-authors from various global institutions have proposed a new strategy to extract deep sea resources without damaging the environment. In the proposal, the group aims to inform upcoming discussions by the International Seabed Authority (ISA) in setting the groundwork for the protection of the deep sea environment and regulation of deep sea mining. According to the researchers, the seabed authority has granted 26 mining exploration contracts covering more than one million square kilometers of seabed since 2001. As part of its strategic plans to protect deep-seabed habitats and manage mining impacts, the ISA needs to take a precautionary approach, and establishing networks of MPAs prior to granting of additional large claim areas for deep seabed mining.

Do Asia’s consumers care about ‘eco friendly’ over price and texture?

It’s nothing new to say that Asia's consumers prioritize price and texture when choosing and indeed remaining loyal to a beauty brand. However, shoppers are becoming less passive towards eco-friendly products, increasingly prioritizing greener formulations and packaging concepts.

Upcycled battery keep smartphones planet friendly

A crowdfunded reusable smartphone battery, Better Re, is made by a team in Korea that could help solve the massive global problem of e-waste. Smartphones are a huge contributor to this global problem. Lithium-ion batteries are toxic, and contaminate the water and land when they are disposed of improperly. Better Re has an infinite lifespan and expandable capacity with USB ports to charge tablet or other device. “For a sustainable society and environment, it is crucial to reuse tons of batteries being discarded and neglected every year,” said Kiyong Shin, CEO and founder of Enlighten, which makes the pack. “We aim to solve this environmental issue with Better Re.”

Using algae for making Environment friendly steel

Tata Steel along with Swansea University, UK working towards the environment friendly steel making using algae to test how steelworks algae can combat climate change. “The collaboration known as ACCOMPLISH (Algal Carbon Capture and Biomass-Linked Supply Chain) is a unique pilot which is part of a wider Swansea University project, EnAlgae,” Tata Steel said in a statement. Based at the Port Talbot steelworks, the project is analysing the capacity for natural algae to use carbon dioxide as a nutrient for growth, it said, adding, “The project contributes to Tata Steel’s commitment to reducing unavoidable carbon dioxide emissions from manufacturing operations.” The company said the ACCOMPLISH project may grow, joining a series of initiatives which will add to the strong track record of Tata Steel in improving the environmental impact of steel-making.

Solutions to ‘confusing’ Green labelled products

The European Commission is trying to find a solution to the complexity of products’ environmental performance, to address consumer concerns about the products they buy, as well as to help EU companies minimise the cost of green labelling frameworks. The European Commission issued a recommendation suggesting the use of the Product Environmental Footprint method in member states’ policies, in order to measure and communicate the potential environmental impact of a product. Its main objective is to come up with a harmonized methodology for each food product category, reflecting the various parameters that affect the environmental footprint.

Eco-Friendly labs are contributing to a greener world

Science labs are stepping up in an effort to contribute to a greener world. In an effort to be more eco-friendly labs are gravitating toward projects that help the environment as well as participating in research activities that are less impactful. An eco-friendly lab doesn’t waste energy; in fact, reducing energy waste is a top priority. Laboratories are notorious for their energy usage. “It’s a very energy-intensive space,” says Jamie Bermis, the Faculty of Arts and Sciences Green Program Coordinator at Harvard. Overall, there are countless reasons your lab should go green. It will lower costs, and it’s an exceptional way to give back to the earth and your community. Even little changes make a world of difference, so consider auditing your greenness and implementing some changes today.

Biodegradable bodies for more eco-friendly robots

Scientists from the Italian Institute of Technology are developing ‘smart materials’ that could lead to robots that will decompose like a human body once they've reached the end of their life-span. The researchers say their 'smart materials' could eventually replace conventional plastic which is made from petroleum, a fossil fuel, and contributes to climate change. Bio-plastics are made from plant material, but are more energy-intensive to produce. Athanassiou’s team have developed a way to create bio-plastic from food waste, and so hope to mitigate the additional energy required by using resources that would normally go to waste. In particular, robotics could be an important application for their research, according to Athanassiou.

Environment-friendly water-proof surfaces

Scientists of Rice University in US have created a new low-cost, non-toxic material that mimics the lotus leaf to repel water droplets, an advance that could help create environment-friendly water-proof surfaces. The super hydro-phobic nano-material can be applied to a variety of surfaces via spray- or spin-coating. Even with varied coating techniques and curing temperatures, the material retained its qualities, the researchers said. Potential applications include friction-reducing coatings for marine applications where there is international agreement in trying to keep water safe from such potentially dangerous additives as fluorocarbons.

Compare and choose energy efficient appliances through app

On the occasion of the National Energy Conservation Day, Ministry of Power has launched an app to help consumers compare and choose energy efficient appliances available in the market. The mobile application will allow consumers to instantly compare personalised energy savings across all products of a specific class and thus enable them to choose more efficient products available in the market.

Eco-friendly electricity generation with a "solar flow battery"

Scientists built a solar flow battery that uses an eco-friendly, compatible solvent and needs a lower applied voltage to recharge the battery. Energy generation from a solar flow battery is more cost-effective, eco-friendly, and can achieve energy savings up to 20% compared to conventional lithium-iodine batteries. Solar flow batteries make renewable solar energy more practical for keeping the lights on and appliances running with stand-alone electricity generation and storage. Solar energy is harvested and stored as chemical energy during the charging process. When it is time to recharge the battery, the amount of energy needed to is lower than conventional lithium-iodine batteries because dye molecules, exposed to the sun, donate electrons to the recharging process.

Yahoo and the Fortune 500 run by green power

Over the last decade, large companies increasingly have set sustainability targets. Over all 43% of Fortune 500 companies have goals to reduce their carbon footprint, reduce their energy use or power a portion of their operations with renewable energy. This report on Fortune 500 commitments is intended to inform companies, investors, the electric power sector, and state and federal policymakers on trends and preferences among large corporate renewable energy buyers. It is also intended to encourage companies in and out of the Fortune 500 to understand the value of setting renewable energy, energy efficiency and greenhouse emissions reduction commitments. It covers both energy efficiency and renewable energy as the primary means of achieving GHG reductions. The report gives greater consideration to the rationales, approaches, and barriers to renewable energy procurement than to energy efficiency

Eco-friendly nano-pesticide

A nanotechnology harnessed by researchers of Iran to manufacture a type of pesticide that kills pests without affecting the environment. The photodegradable and biocompatible pesticide uses nanotechnology to boost performance thus decreasing the amount of required pesticide and its adverse impact on the environment. The Imidacloprid – a type of insecticide is produced by direct encapsulation of liner polymers. This insecticides act upon central nervous system of insects. It was found that there was a significant decrease in the required dosage of pesticide and environmental hazards when tested on a mulberry leaf moth. These can be applied to ornamental plants, tobacco, pistachios and cotton.

Climate Choice meal concept for restaurants based on carbon footprinting

Restaurants can influence consumer food choices by offering climate-friendly meals on their menus, a recent study concludes. In a trial at Finnish restaurants, customers and staff were receptive to selecting meals based on the carbon footprints of their ingredients. Appearance, taste and healthiness were priority factors in consumers’ choices. The research highlights the importance of planning communication strategies and the need for a carbon footprint food database. The researchers say that carbon footprint databases should be created and incorporated with a restaurant’s IT system, which already provides the nutritional value of their recipes. Nevertheless, restaurants would still have to determine the origin and production method of ingredients to design truly climate-friendly meals. In order for customers to take note, climate-friendly food should become a long-term concept in restaurants, rather than the focus of short-term campaigns.

Greener Alternatives may be a myth

A new study by researchers of University of Toronto revealed that green alternatives to vehicles, home heating and cooling, and other choices could be either good or bad for the environment, depending on where they are used. They have developed a new threshold for determining how eco-friendly products are under specific conditions. Electrical generation in a region must generate one gigawatt hour (Gwh) of power while producing less than 600 tons of carbon dioxide, in order for electrification to pay off. Australia, China and India are all nations with averages over this threshold because of consumption of coal in these nations. Coal generates about 1,000 tons of greenhouse gases (carbon equivalent) for every GWh of power produced. Natural gas comes in right at the 600 tons/GWh mark, while nuclear and hydropower produce almost no carbon emissions. The study found that Canada was one of the nations with the lowest carbon use for each unit of energy production under 200 tons/GWh. Study revealed that devices sold as eco-friendly have significantly different impacts on the environment, depending on where they were used. The analysis of the role of electrical generation methods on supposedly eco-friendly products was published in the journal Nature Climate Change.

Biodegradable coffee cups with seeds grow into trees when thrown away

An inventive eco friendly company called based in California has designed a coffee cup that is not only biodegradable, but even has seeds in its walls so that it can be planted and grown! The seeds are embedded in the walls of cups based on their locations. The cup is compost certified and able to biodegrade within 180 days leaving the seeds and cups itself to turn into nutrients for other plants to enjoy. The consumer drinks their coffee from the coffee shop. If they choose to take the cup with them, they can plant it or to return them to be planted by the company.

Produce methane in environment friendly way

How to produce methane in environment friendly way? New research by scientists of Stanford University in the understanding of how methanogens obtain electrons from solid surfaces, which will help produce renewable bio-fuels and chemicals. The findings will help scientists design electrodes for microbial factories that produce methane gas and other compounds. The main aim is to create large bioreactors where microbes convert atmospheric carbon dioxide and clean electricity from solar, wind or nuclear power into renewable fuels and other valuable chemicals. The study also provided new insights on microbially influenced corrosion, a biological process that threatens the long-term stability of structures made of iron and steel.

Eco-friendly computer chips made from wood

A team of University of Wisconsin-Madison researchers in collaboration with researchers in the Madison-based U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Products Laboratory (FPL) have developed new kind biodegradable computer chips made from wood. These portable electronics are made of non-renewable, non-biodegradable and potentially toxic materials. Researcher demonstrated the feasibility of replacing the substrate, or support layer, of a computer chip, with cellulose nanofibril (CNF), a flexible, biodegradable material made from wood. The advantage of CNF over other polymers is that it is a bio-based material while other polymers are petroleum-based polymers. Bio-based materials are sustainable, bio-compatible and biodegradable. The team leader electrical and computer engineering professor Zhenqiang "Jack" Ma says "Now the chips are so safe you can put them in the forest and fungus will degrade it. They become as safe as fertilizer."

Perovskite crystals could make efficient solar cells

Researchers of King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) have found that cells made from perovskite crystals are almost as good at transforming energy from sunlight into electricity as the most established solar cell materials — with an efficiency of about 20%. They have developed a fabrication method for large crystals of halide perovskites — organometals that are cheaper and more efficient than silicon. The crystals grown using this procedure are large and of high quality. Perovskite solar cells promise to bridge the gap between high efficiency and cost-effective photovoltaic technologies,” says Osman Bakr, a materials scientist at the KAUST.

Eco friendly, termite resistant alternative to particleboard

A team of students won two awards at an international design competition from the University of California, Riverside’s Bourns College of Engineering for making eco friendly products. They have made material composed of rice husks that they created as a less costly, more environmentally friendly and termite resistant alternative to particleboard. The rice husks, which contain termite-resistant silica, replace woodchips found in traditional particleboard. Environmentally friendly materials to bind the particleboard were used instead of the traditionally used glues, which contain formaldehyde that are known to emit harmful gases into the air. It costs about $18 which is less than particleboard sheets sell for about $25. The team, called Husk-to-Home, won two awards for their innovation.

Grow plants without soil

New gel is invented by a team of Vittal Mallya Scientific Research Foundation that helps plants survive without soil. They only need water once a month. The team is inspired by National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s (NASA) research on indoor air pollution control where scientists have developed a gel which is capable of sustaining plant growth without soil. “The product is called as Eco Wonder Gel that helps to grow ornamental indoor plants in an aesthetic and creative way. Wonder Gel is a blend of carbohydrates and select micronutrients with their controlled release to plant. The ingredients in general are compatible with plant growth. Ornamental plants with limited water requirement and relaxed metabolism are ideally matched with the Wonder Gel. It releases vitamins and minerals directly to the plant’s root system, which will increase the life span of your plants, making them healthier and more vibrant,” said Dr Anil Kush, chief scientist.

Ebay, Skype and Kindle for promoting sustainable behavior

According to a recent study by the WSP Group, a U.K. environmental consultancy firm Ebay, Skype and Kindle are best apps for promoting sustainable behavior. WSP devised a subjective scoring system to rank the top 20 apps that “bring sustainability to everyday lives.” It scored the apps on three metrics: popularity (gauged by the number of downloads), “stickability” (essentially its shelf life, determined by its average app rating, functionality and user comments) and environmental impact. The highest ranking was reserved for apps where green living is the core purpose of the app. Areas of sustainability that were considered included waste reduction, fuel consumption reduction, recycling, and promotion of the ‘sharing economy’, amongst others. Andy Porter, head of digital at WSP, said: “What we learnt from this study is that the most sustainable apps are not necessarily the greenest ones, but rather the most popular programmes are part of our day to day living and which enhance, not impede, citizens’ lifestyle choices. Helping people make money, save money, and live a richer life will always be the approach which has widest appeal, and this shows through in our study.”

Eco-design an approach to know the environmental impacts of a product

Eco-design aims to produce the most sustainable products and manufacturing processes with the lowest environmental impact. It is an approach that considers the environmental impacts of a product during its entire life-cycle, from the choice of materials and manufacturing method, through to its eventual means of disposal or reuse. The researchers found the impacts of eco-designed products fell significantly when user guidelines were included in the eco-design. This study believes that communicating maintenance procedures to consumers should form part of the eco-design process. This study assessed how eco-design could improve the environmental impact of two common non- energy-related products (ErPs): a kitchen knife and a women’s jacket. The researchers designed these two products using eco-design principles. For both products, significant improvements in environmental impact stemmed from communicating greener maintenance procedures to consumers. The findings highlight the role of the consumer in the environmental impact of products.

Used cigarette butts store energy

Scientists from South Korea have converted cigarette butts into a high-performing material that could be integrated into computers, handheld devices, electrical vehicles and wind turbines to store energy. It will offer a solution to growing environmental problem researchers said and demonstrated that the cellulose acetate fibres found in most cigarette filters could be transformed into a carbon-based material using a simple, one-step burning technique called pyrolysis. The resulting material contained a number of tiny pores, increasing its performance as a supercapacitive material. The material stored more electrical energy than commercially available carbon, graphene and carbon nanotubes. This study is published in the journal Nanotechnology

Smart Power Technologies with an emphasis on environmental sensitive issues

Growing awareness among people and businesses for deployment of environment friendly products in order to reduce carbon emission is expected to boost the demand for smart power technology devices. Growing energy need across the world due to increasing population, high requirement for energy efficient products and reduction of cost of operations due to usage of renewable resources for smart power generation are some of the factors, which are projected to accelerate the growth of smart power technologies across the world. In order to outperform competitors, key players in global smart technologies market focuses on product innovation and introduction of new enhance products. The study delivers insight into the smart power technologies market. The report is a compilation of first-hand information, qualitative and quantitative assessment by industry analysts, inputs from industry experts and industry participants across the value chain.

Sustainability Standard for Household Cooking Appliances

The first voluntary sustainability standard for household cooking products is launched by the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers (AHAM), CSA Group, and UL Environment. They have released AHAM 7004-2015/CSA SPE-7004-15/UL 7004-15, Sustainability Standard for household cooking appliances. This standard is based on a lifecycle approach for identifying the environmental impacts of household cooking appliances in five key areas-materials, manufacturing and operations, energy consumption during use, end-of-life, and innovation. This standard is the fourth in a family of product sustainability standards under development by AHAM, CSA Group, and UL Environment. It is intended for use by manufacturers, governments, retailers, and others to identify environmentally preferable products. The cooking products covered are convection, non-convection and steam products such as ranges, built-in cook tops and ovens.

Nissan Leaf goes glow-in-the-dark with organic ingredients

Nissan has introduced the car that glows in the dark. They chose its highly-popular Leaf electric car to integrate the new technology. This is due to the UV absorbing paint used to cover the car’s exterior, a new concept that promotes the benefits of charging EVs (electric vehicles) with solar power panels. The organic paint used in the new Leaf EV absorbs the sun rays during the day and emits a blue glow in the dark for up to 10 hours. Starpath a special type of paint is first of its kind used in a production vehicle. The paint uses organic ingredients and is not threat to environment. The paint lasts over two-and-a-half decade or so. Besides its lasting endurance, it will also help owners spot their cars easily in dark parking lot and also stay visible to others on pitch dark roads.

Spinach juice reduces graphene oxide to eco friendly graphene nanosheets

Researchers have reduced graphene oxide (GO) to graphene nanosheets by using spinach juice. These nanosheets can soak industrial dyes- methylene blue and malachite green - which are carcinogenic. These ecofriendly nanosheets are useful in removing harmful dyes from industrial effluents. The researchers found that 20 mg of reduced graphene sheets could completely remove methylene blue and malachite green from separate solutions that contained the dyes at a concentration of five parts per million. In addition, the graphene sheets could mop up free radicals suggesting that they could potentially be used as industrial antioxidants, says lead author D. Suresh. Researchers have suggested environment friendly, economical and facile reduction method for the efficient reduction of GO.

Eco friendly biodegradable plastics from vegetable waste

Global plastic production is increasing every year. However, the waste generated can be devastating to ecosystems. Researchers investigated the possibilities of using agricultural vegetable waste as an alternative to plastics. Using vegetable waste to produce bioplastics can provide sustainable alternatives to non-biodegradable plastic, new research has found. The biodegradable plastic developed for this study, produced using parsley and spinach stems, cocoa pod husks and rice hulls, have a range of mechanical properties comparable to conventional plastics which are used for products from carrier bags to kitchenware and computer components. Researchers also examined how well these bioplastics would degrade in the environment. They found that when soaked in water for a week all types of bioplastic swell and begin to fragment. After a month they had disintegrated completely. They conclude that these materials could play an important role in replacing conventional plastics and reducing harmful non-biodegradable waste from polluting ecosystems.

Biodegradable Plastics may not be Environmentally Friendly: A Myth

For years it was told that plastics harm the environment and recycling was the best way to protect the environment. It has also been told that adding certain ingredients to plastic would make it biodegradable and much safer for disposal in landfills and other traditional methods. A new study suggests that additive in biodegradable plastics do not work as the manufacturers claim. The researchers at Michigan State University (MSU) found that plastics labeled as biodegradable did not seem to break down any faster than those which did not contain the additives. Professor Rafael Auras a lead investigator said “There was no difference between the plastics mixed with the additives we tested and the ones without.” A study in Arizona discovered that even after years of being buried underground, items like chicken bones, grass, and carrots seemed to remain intact. It stands to reason that if natural items take a long time to break down in soil, then plastics and other synthetic materials would take even longer. Biodegradable plastics appear to be a myth used to market products to an environmentally conscious society. Instead of waiting for the large corporations to save the environment it is better to recycle as much as possible.

Eco-design for flat screen of TVs and computer monitors

Flat screen televisions and computer monitors should be designed so they can be quickly dismantled for recycling, a recent study says. The researchers calculated that in order to ensure the recycling process remains economically viable; it must be possible to disassemble small screens in less than 11 minutes. Good design could lower the costs of recycling and enable near-total recovery of precious metals from the waste screens. For this study, researchers investigate practical recommendations for the eco-design of electronic flat screen displays to make them easier to recycle and to improve resource efficiency. Manual dismantling is an important part of the complex recycling pre-processing phase as it allows over 90% of the precious metals in waste flat screens to be recovered. To encourage better design, the EU’s Ecolabel could be awarded to flat screens with short dismantling times, the researchers suggest. The researchers conclude that manual dismantling is essential and resource efficient; however, they do not propose full manual dismantling of the whole device, but for integration of selective dismantling with mechanical treatments.

Waste products into renewable energy

Conversion of different types of waste in to renewable energy is becoming popular with researchers. They are coming up with new ways to make it more efficient, as land become scarcer to accommodate mounting waste. A German research organisation now believes it has perfected a system called a “biobattery” for turning a vast range of waste into energy. Scientists from the Fraunhofer Institute for Environmental, Energy and Safety Technology (UMSICHT) have now succeeded in considerably improving the efficiency of biogas plants. The biobattery process developed by them not only supplies electricity and heat but also high quality products such as gas, oil and vegetable carbon. These can be utilized as required, for example to produce electricity, as marine or aviation fuel, as an admixture for fuels or as a fertilizer. If further processed they even provide basic substances for the chemical industries. The biobattery is modular and consists of a pool of environmentally-friendly technologies such as biogas plants, thermal storage, carburettors and engines to produce electricity.

Placebo Effect from “Environmentally Friendly” Labeling

People tend to idealise eco-labeled products, but can eco-labeling have consequences for performance? To address this question, a research team of University of Gävle headed by Patrik Sörqvist asked 48 university students to undertake a colour discrimination task adjacent to a desktop lamp that was either labeled “environmentally friendly” or “conventional” although they were identical. “Environmentally friendly” labeled light of the lamp was rated as more comfortable. This could be a kind of placebo effect, wrote the authors, since it could be that “the eco-label effect on performance is caused by expectation processes whereby the participants’ belief in the superiority of environmentally friendly light sources facilitates performance.” In other words, people expect the “green” lamp to give them better light much like they expect the sugar pill to give them better health.

Ecofriendly rope for cultivating seaweed

Researchers have synthesized an ecofriendly rope that can be used to cultivate seaweed in seawater. They produced the rope from polysaccharides isolated from seaweeds. The rope materials could also potentially be used for producing items such as household bowls, hollow tubes and earring studs. To replace plastics the scientists used three seaweeds- Gracilaria dura, Gelidiella acerosa and Kappaphycus alvarezii. They found that the materials made using polysaccharides derived from Gracilaria dura showed the highest mechanical strength. They shaped the materials into ropes and tested their ability to cultivate seaweeds by using the ropes to tie fragments of seaweed and monitoring the growth of the seaweed in open seawater. They found that the weight of the seaweed increased from 100 grams to 400 grams in 45 days. “The rope materials are flexible, twistable, foldable and knittable, suggesting that they could be used for multiple purposes,” says lead researcher Ramavatar Meena.

Eco-friendly hydrogen cars a reality

U.S. scientists have found a way to use discarded corn husks and stalks to make cheap hydrogen fuel that doesn’t pollute the environment like fossil fuels. Researchers at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University have found that 100% of the sugar stored in corn stalks and husks – a by-product of farming – can be converted into hydrogen gas, which can be used to power vehicles. Earlier it was possible to convert between 30 and 60% of the plant’s sugars into hydrogen using either fermenting microbes or industrial catalysts. study is funded by Shell Oil. The researchers mixed the raw biomass with a watery solution containing a cocktail of ten enzymes that turned the plant sugars xylose and glucose into hydrogen and carbon dioxide. Producing pure hydrogen gas from crop waste and biomass is seen as one of the most important goals of the green economy because of the need to produce clean alternatives to petrol.

Environment-friendly plastic for car parts

Made from plant -derived materials, Mazda Motor Corporation has developed a bio-based engineering plastic suitable for exterior car parts. This new plastic reduces petroleum use and with it CO2 emissions also. Bio plastics can be dyed easily so it does not require painting. It also reduces emission of volatile organic compounds. Mazda said it has now succeeded in making a material suitable for both interior and exterior parts. This bioplastic will be first used for interior parts on the all-new Mazda MX-5, to be launched in 2015, before finding its way into exterior components of other production models.

India’s confidence in green, bio-based products ranks high

According to the DuPont Green Living Survey: India, majority of Indian consumers are familiar with green products. They have strong belief that green products are good for environment and feel that bio-based constituents increase the desirability of a product. The DuPont, US based science and engineering company commissioned and conducted this nationwide survey by TNS Global with the objective of better understanding the awareness and attitudes of Indian consumers toward green and bio-based products. This survey was third such study conducted by company. The first was in North America (the US and Canada) and the second in China. The research took place in 12 major Indian cities with 1,270 respondents giving face-to-face interviews. Indian consumers have confidence in green products being better for the environment. The confidence level is 85% higher than other countries surveyed by DuPont in previous years. Previous studies showed China with 70% confidence, Canada with 65% and the US with 60%. For additional information, please read the report .

Eco-friendly battery made of seeds and pine resin

With alfalfa (lucerne seed) and pine resin and a clever recycling strategy, Uppsala researchers have now come up with an eco-friendly battery. Researchers have developed a whole new battery concept. The battery is based on recovery and renewable biological material with an energy content corresponding to that of current lithium-ion batteries. Components of the battery are made of renewable organic biomaterials from alfalfa and pine resin, and can be recycled with a low energy input and non-hazardous chemicals, such as ethanol and water. It delivers as much as 99% of the energy output when compared with the original. With future modifications, this figure can very probably become even higher, say the researchers.

Food labels can reduce environmental impacts of livestock

Consumers are willing to pay little more for meat products if labeled for environmentally friendly production practice, such as water conservation. This study was done by College of Agricultural, Human & Natural Resource Sciences, Washington State University. The study. shows that meat packers and retailers can play a key role in creating incentives for water-saving livestock production with labels that appeal to consumer values. They found that by paying 10% more for environmentally labeled meat products, consumers could bring about huge water savings in livestock production. It is estimated that 76 to 129 billion gallons of water could be saved annually. Growing grass more efficiently through strategic irrigation, fertilization and grazing strategies can significantly improve yield and save water but adds to producer cost. The livestock industry wants to demonstrate improvements in sustainability with consumer cooperation and willingness to pay a little more.

Apple Patent Reveals Eco-friendly Flame Retardant Material

Apple is investigating new halogen free, flame-retardant materials for use in its devices. According to Apple, only about 12% of plastics currently contain flame retardants. An increased use of such materials would improve the safety of electrical wiring and electronic devices, and help reduce the number of fires caused by electronic devices as a result. Halogenated flame retardants have been found to be effective in many plastics, but these are increasingly regulated as a result of environmental concerns. Apple has patented a material that would possess similar fire-retardant qualities, while also not being damaging to the environment. As per Apple, the material could be used in devices including the iMac, MacBook Pro, iPhone, and iPad.

Replace and reduce harmful greenhouse gases with climate-friendly alternatives

U. S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has proposed to prohibit the use of certain chemicals with safer, more climate-friendly alternatives. These chemicals significantly contribute to climate change. EPA also aimed at reducing emissions of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), a class of potent greenhouse gases (GHG), under President Obama's Climate Action Plan. This action is expected to reduce GHG by up to 42 million tonnes of carbon dioxide by 2020. It is equal to the carbon dioxide emissions from the annual electricity use of more than five million homes. This proposed action would change the status of certain high-global warming potential (GWP) HFCs that were previously listed as acceptable under the Significant New Alternatives Policy (SNAP) Program to be unacceptable in specific end-uses based on information showing that other alternatives are available for the same uses that pose lower risk overall to human health or the climate.

Plastic into petrol and diesel

Used plastic shopping bags can be converted into petroleum products that serve a multitude of purposes. A research team at the Illinois Sustainable Technology Center has successfully converted plastic shopping bags into diesel, natural gas and other useful petroleum products. The conversion produces significantly more energy than it requires and results in transportation fuels – diesel, for example – that can be blended with existing ultra-low-sulfur diesels and biodiesels. Other products, such as natural gas, naphtha (a solvent), gasoline, waxes and lubricating oils such as engine oil and hydraulic oil also can be obtained from shopping bags. Brajendra Kumar Sharma, a senior research scientist at the Illinois Sustainable Technology Center led the research. He said it involved a process called pyrolysis which is essentially heating the bags in an oxygen-free chamber. A report of the new study appears in the journal Fuel Processing Technology.

Eco-Friendly Products Drives the Global Biodegradable Polymers Market

A biodegradable polymer can be totally disintegrated by naturally occurring microorganisms such as bacteria, fungi, and algae into smaller units (monomers) and subsequently transformed into water, methane, biomass, inorganic compounds, carbon dioxide, and humus in a specified time. According to research report titled “Biodegradable Polymers: A Global Strategic Business Report” by Global Industry Analysts, Europe represents the largest market followed by the U.S. Asia-Pacific represents the fastest growing market. Rapidly depleting landfill capacity, gas and fossil fuel dependence, growing need to inhibit greenhouse gas emissions, strong regulations in terms of certification and commercialization of new polymers, and increasing consumer attention towards sustainable practices represent key drivers of growth in these developed markets. Get more details about this comprehensive market research report.

Jet Fuel from Tobacco

The companies Boeing, South African Airways and SkyNRG are working together to make biofuel derived from a new breed of tobacco plant seed oil. Biofuels are made from renewable sources like algae, agricultural waste, camelina, jatropha plants and wood and work like fossil fuels. Fuel is an airline’s single biggest expense and finding alternatives to it is a main motive for the airline industries. The International Air Transport Association estimates biofuels can cut the industry’s overall carbon footprint by 80%. South Africa has pledged to reduce its carbon emissions by 34% by 2020 and 42% by 2025. The tobacco strain, called Solaris, being used for the fuel is produced by SkyNRG, a sustainable fuel company. The companies expect the tobacco seed biofuel to be produced in the next few years.

Recycling old Lead Batteries into Solar cell

Scientists at Massachusetts Institute of Technology have invented what could become the ultimate in green energy- a solar panel made out of hazardous waste old lead batteries. It is based on a recent development in solar cells that makes use of a compound called perovskite — specifically, organolead halide perovskite. This technology has rapidly progressed from initial experiments to a point where its efficiency is nearly competitive with that of other types of solar cells. These perovskite-based photovoltaic cells have achieved power-conversion efficiency of more than 19%, which is close to that of many commercial silicon-based solar cells. The scientists have spell out a multi-step process that will give the lead from all those batteries a second life. The researchers estimated that a single car battery could produce enough solar panels to provide electric power for 30 households. This research paper published in the journal Energy and Environmental Science.

Ecofriendly mercury sensor

To improve public health researchers have invented a sensitive sensor that can detect minute traces of mercury in water. The sensor is based on natural-polymer-modified gold nanoparticles. Existing mercury sensors require complex and expensive instruments. It is a simple, cost-effective and ecofriendly mercury sensor. The researchers synthesised gold nanoparticles by using carboxymethylagarose, an Indian seaweed-derived natural polymer. The nanoparticles exhibited a blue appearance when exposed to a solution containing mercury ions. On increasing the mercury concentration, the colour of the solution changed to light purple and then to dark orange. Mercury if eaten in sufficiently large quantities, mercury-contaminated food can cause neurological disorders in humans. This sensor will help in monitoring mercury concentrations in the environment, water and foodstuffs. This study offers a sustainable and eco-friendly route for selective detection of mercury in aqueous solution and may find potential application towards water purification.

Greener car driving is encouraged by feedback, says Dutch study

Energy conservation results in environmental (reduced emissions) and financial (reduced costs) savings. The study investigated the effects of using either environmental or financial feedback in the context of eco-driving. The researchers of University of Groningen, Netherlands found that ongoing advances in technologyare making it easier for consumers to receive feedback on their energy use. Participants in experimental groups were informed about either the environmental or financial savings realized by adopting the behaviours. Results indicated that, unlike commonly assumed, environmental savings are considered more worthwhile than commensurate financial savings.

Environmentally green products seen as inferior, study finds

People are less likely to buy an environmentally green product because they think it is inferior, a new study reveals. According to a new study in the Journal of Consumer Research, consumers are more likely to purchase a product if they think helping the environment is not the intended purpose of a product improvement. Dr George Newman from Yale University's School of management, the study author, said: "When a company makes a product that is better for the environment, consumers are actually less likely to purchase it if the environmental benefit is perceived as intentional rather than the result of some other effort. “Companies improving a basic product feature (making something more environmentally friendly or better tasting) should either position the improvement as unintended or emphasize that the primary goal is improving the quality of the product. On the other hand, companies looking to advertise their fair trade or sustainable production practices or their donations to charity can advertise those actions without worrying that it will affect perceptions of their products,” the authors conclude.

Congestion schemes have positive spillover effect on green behaviour

Congestion schemes can encourage people to adopt environmentally friendly behaviours more generally, a new study suggests. This paper reports an examination of a spillover effect from a real-world intervention policy of traffic congestion charging that impacted various pro-environmental behaviors. Researchers from the University of Tsukuba who surveyed car owners after the introduction of a congestion scheme in Stockholm found that after its introduction nearly half of people surveyed adopted greener behaviours such as conserving energy and water. These results suggest environmental policy measures may play an important role in raising awareness of environmental issues more generally. They also suggest that because some people were forced by the congestion payment to consider the cost-benefit balance of driving, they may have extended that thinking to other contexts.

Green Toilets

Indian Railways (IR) is looking into the problem to help address open defecation in a sustainable manner. The technology for the toilets is developed by IR in collaboration with Defence Research and Development Organisation (IR-DRDO). Indian Railways is looking to eliminate direct discharge toilet systems from all passenger coaches by the end of 2022. The ten year plan proposes replacing these direct discharge toilets systems with environmental-friendly bio-toilets. The design and technology being used in the bio-toilets are entirely indigenous. The bacteria being put into six chambers will eat up everything.

Cheaper and More Eco-Friendly Spray-On Solar

Spray-on solar cells take less energy to make and can be put on everything from jeans to cars. Scientists at the University of Sheffield in the UK have created a spray-on solar cell that uses perovskite as the light-absorbing layer. Perovskite solar cells, considered one of the major scientific breakthroughs of recent years, could be made available in a spray can. The researchers had previously used the same spray-painting method to produce organic solar cells, but they say that replacing organic compounds with perovskite as the light-absorbing layer has led to significant efficiency gains. Spray-painting perovskite can streamline the manufacturing process, making it easier to scale production, and also wastes little material. Solar power is becoming an increasingly important component of the world-wide renewables energy market and continues to grow at a remarkable rate despite the difficult economic environment.

Eco-friendly fertilisers could cut food cost

Scientists are developing a way to squeeze the last vestiges of value from renewable energy processes by combining their waste products to produce eco-friendly fertilisers that could help slow food price rises. The researchers of Environment Centre at the University of Lancaster, say their fertiliser would help to slow the rise in food prices. They believe it would work worldwide. The three-year project has received more than $1.4 million in funding from the United Kingdom’s Natural Environment Research Council. The project aims to produce a sustainable, environmentally-friendlier source of soil conditioner and crop fertilizer. The study says this could make these forms of renewable energy − which could meet more than 15% of UK energy demand Lancaster team by 2020 − more appealing to investors, as at the moment ash has to be expensively dumped in landfills.

Verifying Environmental Sustainability in the Electronics Marketplace

Selecting an appropriate strategy for verifying product environmental sustainability has become an increasingly complicated process for manufacturers in the electronics marketplace. This UL white paper provides details on the sustainability verification options available to electronics manufacturers. Beginning with an overview of the market for sustainable electronic products, the paper then identifies the spectrum of product sustainability concerns. It then discusses various verification pathways available to manufacturers, and the role of sustainability standards in that process. The paper concludes with some considerations for electronics manufacturers seeking to demonstrate their commitment to sustainable practices.

Cars made of tomatoes

Researchers at both Ford and Heinz are currently investigating the application of tomato fibres in developing composite materials for use in car parts. The Heinz/Ford partnership will use byproducts from the manufacturing process of Heinz tomato ketchup. The byproducts -tomato peels, stems and seeds – will use to make the wiring brackets or storage bins in a Ford car. The research is in very early stage. The research will help in reducing environmental foot print. This research is a part of Ford’s global sustainability strategy. It will help in innovating in cellulose fiber-reinforced console components and soy foam seat cushions and head restraints.

Misguiding “Natural Label”

US based Consumer Reports Food Safety and Sustainability Center and the undersigned submit the petition under 5 U.S.C. 553(e)) and 7 CFR 1.28 and 9 CFR 392 to request the Secretary of Agriculture to issue an interpretive rule prohibiting the “natural” label on meat and poultry products. Consumers are being misled by the “natural” label. Consumer Reports National Research Center has conducted a survey at national level. Its survey results show that consumers are misled by the “natural” label as it is currently used on meat and poultry. Sixty-eight percent of consumers think that animals raised for meat and poultry sold as “natural” were not given artificial growth hormones, and 60% believe no antibiotics or other drugs were used. This is not the case, and shows consumers are currently misled. Consumers expect the “natural” claim to go beyond the absence of artificial ingredients and minimal processing, and to include how the animal was raised. Now it is time for the regulatory body to address the misleading nature of the “natural” claim and ensure that it comports with the expectations that consumers have had for years.

Chemical footprint for environmental assessment

"Chemical footprint" is the measure by number and mass of chemicals of high concern, as determined by hazard level, in products and supply chains. Researchers from the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre developed a measure of ‘chemical footprint’ to assess the environmental impacts of the toxic chemicals released by the production and consumption of goods. They developed methodology for assessing the chemical footprint, coupling a life cycle-based approach with methodologies developed in other contexts, such as ecological risk assessment (ERA) and sustainability science. The study highlights a number of issues that must be resolved to further develop the chemical footprint concept.

Eco-friendly actions may improve green behaviour

EU study finds that reminding people of their earlier eco-friendly activities encourage them to improve green behaviour. EU study looking into whether information campaigns about energy use reduce consumption found that overall, this type of campaign was effective and participants reduced their energy use by an average of 7.4 %. The research also showed that when individuals are informed about their own energy use and given advice on how to lower their consumption, they reduced it on average by 13.5 %. Furthermore, when provided with comparisons with their peers’ energy use; consumption was reduced by 11.5 %. The results showed that those who already regarded themselves as environmentally-friendly individuals were also more likely to feel a moral obligation and were there fore more likely to indicate that they would use green energy.

Sustainable transport use

A new study on commuting highlighted the factors influencing people’s decisions about how they travel. In this study, researchers used data from 112 European cities with populations of between 100 000 to 500 000 to examine factors influencing how people travel to work. Key findings include: cycling rates increase with the length of a city’s bicycle network and public transport use rises with a city’s population and GDP per capita. Based on the findings, the researchers propose policy measures for reducing the number of car journeys.

Milk Proteins as Eco-friendly Flame Retardant protects fabric from fire

Many of the compounds used as flame retardants in upholstered furniture and plastics have harmful effects on the human health and environment. Jenny Alongi of Polytechnic University of Turin, in Italy and her team have found that caseins-proteins found in milk-could be a nontoxic alternative. They have published their findings in the journal Industrial & Engineering Chemistry Research. Bovine milk has been tested on polyester and polyester-cotton fabrics as a potential “green” flame retardant. They investigated the proteins as flame retardants because of their high phosphorus content.They coated fabric samples (cotton, polyester, and a blend of 65% polyester and 35% cotton) with caseins powder mixed with distil water and put these to a battery of flammability tests. The results were encouraging: In cotton- and polyester-only fabrics treated with caseins, flames extinguished themselves, leaving 86% of the cotton and 77% of the po lyester unburned. The cotton-polyester blend (65% cotton-35% polyester) burned completely but took 60% more time to do so than the untreated material.

A Smartphone App helps Consumers to choose more Environmentally-Friendly Protein-Rich Products

Now consumers can choose more environmentally-friendly protein-rich products, namely meat, vegetarian alternatives, eggs and dairy products through a smartphone app. In this study, the researchers describe their lifecycle impact approach used to calculate sustainability scores. The mission of this study is to update and expand the current Vleeswijzer such that the consumer will be able to make informed purchasing decisions amongst various meat, dairy, eggs, and alternative products, in terms of the environmental and animal welfare performance of those products.

Asia-Pacific Forum on Sustainable Development

The Asia-Pacific Civil Society Forum on Sustainable Development has been convened by UN ESCAP in collaboration with civil society partners to enable civil society organizations from different sectors and countries to come together and explore common ground and actions, develop common messages for the Asia-Pacific Forum on Sustainable Development (APFSD) on issues including means of implementation for just and transformative development agenda, and coordinate strategies for more effective participation in the post-2015 process. Civil society groups from Asia and the Pacific met in Bangkok from May 15-17, 2014 to develop regional recommendations on just and sustainable development for action at the Asia Pacific Forum on Sustainable Development. The forum has also discussed the establishment of the Regional CSO Engagement Mechanism for sustainable development in Asia-Pacific. On the issues of the agenda for the APFSD, civil society offers the recommendations.

Handmade Paper

Handmade papers are made of natural, recyclable, renewable and bio degradable materials. These materials contain fibers that give the paper substance and help it to hold together. The texture is an attractive feature of handmade paper. Fibers from bamboo, silk and cotton waste are used to create decorative papers. The process is eco-friendly and non-polluting.

Innovative CO2 recovery plant for brewing industry

A Danish company is in the process of patenting an innovative carbon-dioxide scrubbing technology that could produce environmental and financial benefits for the brewing industry. The technology was developed in 2006 by Union Engineering, based in Fredericia, eastern Denmark, and has been tested at full-scale in collaboration with brewers Carlsberg as part of a project supported by the Eco-Innovation Initiative of the European Union Entrepreneurship and Innovation Programme. The ECO2Brew technology is not only designed to operate 100% water-free, but the expectations are also to achieve substantial reductions in power consumptions and a significant higher recovery rate which generates excess CO2 to be used in the soft-drink bottling line.

Improvement in Green Behaviour at Community level through Social Marketing

To reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, community-level movement is getting emphasis (GHG). This initiative in the UK has used social marketing techniques to encourage participants to reduce their GHGs. On average, participants reduced their emissions footprint by 2 tonnes every year. Based on the initiative, this study proposes a framework to guide future community engagement.

De-mystify the labels on your favourite products

There are variety of labels exist to certify whether a product is environmentally friendly and it’s often unclear what they really mean. Well-intentioned consumers need to know where and how their product was raised, how much of their waste is dumped in a landfill, and whether, not only products but their production methods are sustainable. It is important to know which claims are trusted and which are not. US based Consumers Union, the nonprofit organistion, has launched a web based initiative GreenerChoices.org to inform, engage, and empower consumers about environmentally-friendly products and practices. It helps you to decode the term on every day product label. GreenerChoices.org offers an accessible, reliable, and practical source of information on buying “greener” products that have minimal environmental impact and meet personal needs. You can search by product, category, or certifier, and easily compare labels using our report cards.

Eco-friendly Polyurethane Foams

Environment friendly high density foam products are created by General Plastics. These are flexible, rigid, and self skinning polyurethane foams and includes renewable material resources. These are used in the aerospace, marine, defense, nuclear and other industries. These are utilized in utilized in tooling and mold making; for protection of radioactive or explosive materials; as composite core and prototyping material; and as a wood substitute for sculptures, dimensional signs and displays. Tacoma, Washington- based General Plastics Manufacturing Company is a leading innovator in the plastic industry for more than 70 years and manufactures flame-retardant, high-density rigid and flexible polyurethane foam products. Know more about Polyurethane foam.

Electric Vehicles- Are they eco-friendly?

Electric vehicles (EVs) are seen as an important part of cutting emissions and reducing global warming. EVs produce no exhaust gases in operation. So they are seen as the more eco friendly than to conventional gas fueled cars. While no gas emission is a big plus but often other factors contributing to the overall environmental impact are ignored like manufacture, usage and disposal of the batteries used to store the electrical energy and sources of power used to charge them. The outlook is not as rosy when one looks at the operation of an electric vehicle.

Stopping carbon dioxide emissions may not prevent future global warming

A new study says that even if global carbon dioxide emission comes to a sudden halt, the residual carbon dioxide in the atmosphere would continue to contribute to global warming for centuries. The research is based on a climate simulation in which an Earth, loaded with 1,800 billion tons of carbon in the atmosphere, suddenly stopped taking on new carbon dioxide emissions. This study is done by Princeton University and published in the journal Nature Climate Change. The study suggests that it might take a lot less carbon than previously thought to reach the global temperature scientists deem unsafe.

Are you Eco-friendly?

Now days, terms like Going Green and Eco-Friendly have become buzz words on talk shows, commercials, and product packaging. The term Eco-friendly has been used for so many different products and practices. By understanding the true meaning of eco-friendly, you can implement the practices that will lead to healthier living for the earth and its inhabitants- Plants, Animals, and Human.

Future of Solar Power

Energy Business Review (EBR) has awarded Energy Innovation Award 2013 to New Energy Technology for its Solar Window technology. SolarWindow™ generates clean electricity on see-through glass windows, by making use of the energy of natural sunlight and artificial sources such as fluorescent and LED lighting typically installed in offices, schools, and commercial buildings. It utilises an organic solar array composed of a series of ultra-small solar cells measuring less than ¼ the size of a grain of rice each. They are fabricated using environmentally-friendly hydrogen-carbon based materials, and successfully produce electricity.

How to Choose the Right Eco-Label for Your Brand

Ms. Jacquelyn Ottman the foremost expert on green marketing has narrated steps and suggestions for adopting an eco-label certification to highlight sustainable practices within business. Eco labels are an excellent way to boost consumers’ confidence. It enhances the credibility for green marketing claims. The numbers of new eco label programmes are growing rapidly with little quality control and targeting environmentally conscious consumers. They are not without risk. Author advises to business industries to choose eco-labels with simple and clear messages to consumers. But how? Read her blog…….

Carbon Footprint

A carbon footprint is an estimate of the climate change impact of activity – such as making a product, living a lifestyle, or running a company. It is calculated by estimating not only CO2 emission of the activities but also any emissions of other green house gases and other types of climate impacts as well. All these activities are added together and expressed in terms of carbon dioxide equivalents (CO2e). It is the amount of carbon dioxide that would create the same amount of warming. Carbon Footprint – A cause of Global Warming...

Environmentally friendly cement is stronger than ordinary cement

Research from the Niels Bohr Institute shows that cement made with waste ash from sugar production is stronger than ordinary cement. The research shows that the ash helps to bind water in the cement so that it is stronger, can withstand higher pressure and crumbles less. At the same time, energy is saved and pollution from cement production is reduced. The results are published in the scientific journal, Scientific Reports.

E-Waste: How to save environment

E-waste is a popular, informal name for electronic products that is near or at the end of their "useful life." E-waste includes worn cell phones, dead computers, broken gadgets, spent batteries and lamps, old TVs, DVD players, functioning but outdated cameras, game consoles, and phones and accessories. According to the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), “e-waste is one of the fastest growing waste streams in developed as well as in developing countries, generating up to 50 million tons annually with only a 10% recycling rate”. "E-waste" means toxic materials and substances which are harmful not only to the environment even to the health of human being.

Green Buildings

According to the US Green Building Council, "Generally, green homes are healthier, more comfortable, more durable, and more energy efficient and have a much smaller environmental footprint than conventional homes." Green building incorporates design, construction and operational practices that significantly reduce or eliminate the negative impact of development on the environment and people. Green buildings are energy efficient, resource efficient and environmentally responsible. "Green buildings" build to save the environment.

Eco-friendly Concrete

The construction industry is a major contributor to greenhouse gases. Just how green and environmentally responsible your concrete depends largely on what goes into the mix. Portland cement, which constitutes about 12% of most concrete, is highly energy-intensive to produce. You can reduce this environmental liability by using an appropriate mix. Use an "environmentally-friendly building"material.

Green Packaging

Environmental responsibility is a part of everyday business and consumer life. The increasing focus on healthier living, stainable/green products, natural products and protecting our environment is generating demand for functional products and packaging that reduce the burden our ecosystem. As a result of this positive trend, industry leaders, creative brand owners and savvy retailers are looking to more sustainable alternatives to help support their brand’s environmental profile and corporate sustainability goals. Switch to "green" facade to get the facts.

Greenwashing: An unjustified appropriation of environmental virtue by Corporate

Greenwashing is the practice of making an unsubstantiated or misleading claim about the environmental benefits of a product, service, technology, or company practice. It creates a pro- environmental image of a company than it really is. It can also be used to differentiate a company's products or services from its competitors by promising more efficient use of resources or by being more environmentally friendly. It is always best to look behind the "green" facade to get the facts.

Eco Sanitation- To protect human health and the environment

Ecological sanitation, also known as ecosan or eco-san, is a sanitation process that uses human waste and domestic wastewater as resources to be recovered, treated (where necessary), and reused, instead of as waste. Unlike most traditional sanitation methods, ecological sanitation processes human waste, sometimes animal waste, and organic kitchen waste to recover nutrients generally for the purpose of growing crops that would otherwise be discarded. It is based on the systematic implementation of reuse and recycling of nutrients and water. But How?

Eco–friendly Paints: Lead-free Paints

The environmental impact of paint is diverse. Conventional painting materials and processes may be unsafe and have harmful effects on the environment, including those from the use of lead and other additives. Eco-friendly and green buildings are becoming popular and also construction products like paints. The options for consumers have moved beyond the realms of colour range and finish. Paints are now environment-friendly, odour free, fragrant and much more. Know about an ecofriendly, lead free paints.

Green Jobs: Environmentally friendly positions and Green collar workers

You must have heard of white-collar workers or blue-collar workers either sitting behind office desk or doing manual labour respectively. Today, there is a new trend in the job market for those who are concerned with environment. These jobs are not as easily defined as white- or blue-collar jobs, because they can range from manual to managerial, but they all have the common goal of improving the quality of our environment by reducing waste and pollution. Are you "going green?"

Green Plastics: the new science of bio-plastic

Can Plastics Go Green? Yes, because Scientists wanted to make plastics more environment friendly than traditional plastic composed of polymer manufactured in factories. Eco friendly plastics are Bio-plastics because it is made up of plants – sugarcane, corn etc and bio-degradable. It is also "green" because it uses renewable sources such as corn. Would you like to know more about green plastics?

Green Electronics: The Good, the Bad, and the Better

Electronic devices are now a part of our day to day life specially as they get smaller to tiny. We use these as a tool to communicate. Being green with these electronics does not make us environment friendly. Greening our electronics means to know what technology to get, how to use it best, and what to do with it when it is of no use. Greenpeace, an environmental NGO has launched a Guide to Greener Electronics to inform consumers about the industries doing the most to mitigate the environmental impact of their products. To know how please read.

Green Computing

Green Computing/Green Technology is the use of computers in environmentally friendly way. It refers to environmentally sustainable computing or IT. It includes designing, manufacturing, using, and disposing of computers, servers, and associated subsystems—such as monitors, printers, storage devices, and networking and communications systems — efficiently and effectively with minimal or no impact on the environment. Know how to use computers in a smarter and eco-friendly way.

Universal Mobile Phone Chargers to Reduce E-Waste

All mobile users have a common complaint of no universal charger. It's not only a hassle for cell phone owners, but it is a problem for e-waste as the chargers become useless when the corresponding cell phones are tossed aside for newer models. Environmentally responsible solution for a universal charger is a need of hour. It will make life easier for consumers, reduce waste and benefit businesses. It will help reduce the growing e-waste that is accumulating around the globe with discarded chargers from a user when he opts for a new device.

Want to Save the Environment- Change your Food Habit

A change in our food habits makes not only better heath but better environment where we live. There are many ways to make eco changes in the lifestyle and making change in our food buying habits is a great start. Even the small changes to how and what to buy can contribute to an overall change that will save the environment. Better to make green our eating habits. Eat all we care for, but choose foods that save the environment..

Celebrate Eco friendly Festivals

Everybody is fond of festivities. The nature and approach towards the celebration of these festivals have changed with times. Sometimes celebrations are detrimental to environment. To curb such activities and save our environment we have to promote environmental awareness, environmentally friendly ideas and products. So celebrate festival in an eco-friendly way.

Eco design

Eco design is a strategic design management process with special consideration for the environmental impacts during life cycle of the product i.e., packaging, products, processes, services, organizations, and systems. To understand our ecological foot-print on the earth, we need to understand that each stage in product production has an ecological impact.

Home Decors: Go the Greener Way

Home is a place where we come back and relax. So, we take care of minute aspects to design and decorate it to make it a “home”, our home. So think green even for home décor. Understanding a few elements for a green home décor may help. To know more...

Organic Clothing

Choosing organic clothing feels right, not just for our skin, but also for our conscience. It is not just good for the environment but make use of sustainable practices. Organic clothing is one way that manufacturers meet the growing interest in "eco-fashion." To know more...

Sustainable Shopping: Make your buying choices environmentally

Sustainable shopping tips to help you remember what to look out for when you’re making a purchase decision. Shop sustainably your choice can make a difference. To know more...

World Environment Day 5th June 2012

On world Environment Day Centre was invited to attend the seminars and earth fair organized in Ahmedabad

  • Seminar on "Sustainable E-Waste Management" jointly organized by CII-Young Indians, GPCB, and AMC. Participants were from corporates, college students, municipal corporations, and NGOs. Learn More

  • Students at Café Natrani organized the Earthy Fair - the first eco fair. People from across the city have displayed their organic foods, organic clothing, handmade products, organic cosmetics, eco-friendly tees, handmade jewelry, and hand painted products. We interacted with people and informed about the eco-mark and products identified by CPCB for eco labeling.

    Encouraged the organizers to approach CERC in the future as venue for such activities.

  • Attended a presentation by Prof. Ir. Anupam Singh of PDPU at Civil Engineers Association on Green Economy. Had to save the day at the end of 1.5 hrs as he was totally off track for students who came from the Govt. Polytechnic and were following a course in the Automotive dept. Explained and encouraged the students to look at alternative fuel, conversion of parts to eco materials, LCA, etc. by providing links and interesting tit bits on what's happening around the world on the subject. Students and the association were encouraged to come to CERC for more interactivity.

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