Archivio per la categoria ‘Ecology’

Margherita: The Sustainable Italian Lamp

27 Gennaio 2015 Nessun commento

Sustainable design firm Izmade releases lamp with an eco-friendly production process and modern design


Margherita, sustainable lamp, creative, design, Izmade, Torino, lampada sostenibile


Izmade, a sustainable design collective from Turin, Italy, released their Margherita lamp this December for international production. The Margherita lamp is one of many products from Izmade’s line of sustainable furniture and home accessories.

“The Margherita lamp embodies our entire self-made, sustainable philosophy here at Izmade”, said Izmade’s founders. “Every day Turin alone over 15,000 tomato cans are used by restaurants and thrown away. Instead of leaving this problem untouched in our community, we saw it as an opportunity to create something innovative and beautiful, while simultaneously helping the environment.”

Izmade, Margherita, colors, sustainable lamp

The Izmade design philosophy aims to bridge the gap between environmentally friendly materials and passionate design. They aim to showcase and enhance the original features of the recycled materials while creating something aesthetically pleasing and functional for the home. This unique design process allows even the most commonplace materials to become something remarkable.


To kick off Margherita’s debut, Izmade is hosting a crowdfunding campaign through the website Indiegogo. All contributions will help Izmade meet minimum order quantities for the local Italian beech tree plywood and soybean adhesive necessary to make the lamp. Using these materials will allow Izmade to continue its commitment to truly environmentally conscious design, even as they expand production of the lamp to a larger audience.

Currently, the Margherita lamp is available exclusively on Izmade’s crowdfunding page. The campaign allows interested customers to donate an amount of their choosing in return for a product or other gift from Izmade. The Margherita lamp is available at a special early-bird price of 47€ through the Indiegogo site, but contributors also have the chance to receive other items from the Izmade line.

For more information about Margherita, visit the Indiegogo crowdfunding page at:
About Izmade
Izmade, teamBorn in 2012, Izmade is a sustainable design collective from Turin, Italy that specializes in the field of self-made eco-design furniture and home accessories. Izmade’s products are the result of a marriage between a traditional approach to conceptual design and an artisanal, self-made approach to production. Our design process is centered around environmental sustainability and the enhancement of a material’s original features to create something new and beautiful.

This mission is defined by our three areas of focus: use of recycled materials; industrial waste and byproducts; and innovative, certificated materials.

Floating fish farms roam the ocean

16 Dicembre 2013 Nessun commento


The world’s demand for a large supply of marine fish has put the marine ecosystems in danger due to overfishing. The solution to produce marine fish on the scale required by global demand is to practice mariculture in the open oceans, far away from the shores.

Mariculture is the cultivation of marine fish in the open ocean, for example farming of marine fish. Marine fish farming has important advantages because it diminishes the exploitation of wild stocks, supports the coastal industry and produces very healthy fish.

Founded in 2011 by Neil Sims and Michael Bullock, Kamachi Farms is working on producing open-ocean fish in an environmentally responsible manner. To do so they created the Velella Project, a free drifting oceanic fish cage that can be tracked by GPS and has minimal impact on the marine environment. This fish cage is a net pen structure made of brass, measuring 132 cubic feet. It drifts in the oceans at about 3 miles deep with no impact to wild stocks. It’s the Kamachi Farms solution to producing thousands of pounds of marine fish such as tuna, grouper and kamachi in clean ocean water without hurting the environment.

By Andrew Krauss

Source: Inventright

Orange oil tires are good for you

14 Novembre 2013 Nessun commento










You already know that oranges are good for your health, but did you know they are also good for the environment and for your wallet? As it turns out, now you can purchase eco-friendly tires made with a renewable resource in their composition: orange oil directly extracted from orange peel.

Orange oil tires use orange oil as a replacement for part of the petroleum commonly used to manufacture tires. Such process reduces the amount of petroleum used to make tires. In addition it enhances tire grip and diminishes rolling resistance; two crucial components for a high performance tire. Less rolling resistance gives you better fuel efficiency.


By Andrew Krauss

Source: InventRight

Coca-Cola goes green with environmentally friendly bottle

24 Ottobre 2013 Nessun commento

They’re only available in Argentina at the moment, but any success will surely spread the concept of Green Coke to the global marketplace. Marketed as Coca-Cola Life, the plastic bottles are made from 30 percent plant-based plastic and they are fully recyclable. With its 108 calories per 600 ml bottle, the drink itself sits somewhere between Diet Coke (0 calories) and classic Coke (250 calories) thanks to its partial use of the sweetener stevia alongside sugar.



A massive change is in the design, too. Gone is the iconic red background carrying the white script logo; it is replaced by a new green tone to drive home the environmental message they’re trying to convey. It’s debatable how much the colour green signifies such issues anymore, though. We still use green petrol pumps for our unleaded petrol, even though leaded petrol is no longer available – and unleaded petrol is not exactly endorsed by Friends of the Earth. However, Coke’s push for environmentally friendly packaging could have a huge impact on the already troublesome amount of plastic littering the planet.

The biggest risk perceived by anyone who knows the history of Coke is a repeat of the 1985 New Coke affair, which proved to be a watershed moment not only in Coca-Cola’s history, but in the way changes are implemented (or foisted upon customers in this case). To summarise, the Coca-Cola Company thought after 99 years of the same recipe it was time for a change to reflect modern tastes. The public hated the decision and bombarded Coca-Cola offices with complaints and boycotted the new product. In popular retellings, two details are often left out of the run-up to the change. First, Coke had been losing market share for 15 years and so, the company reasoned, some change was required to refresh the brand. Second, there was much research into the new recipe, and the results of extensive blind tests had shown conclusively it was preferred over the old.

So what went wrong? The fact Coke was 99 years old probably played a major role in the story. It had survived two world wars and predated the admission of the state of Nebraska into the USA, so there was a sense of public ownership of the drink (even though the recipe was secret and the company private). That it wasn’t even allowed to reach the centenary rankled with some. Overall it was seen as an example of meddlesome corporates sticking their fingers into American culture for no particular reason.

Oddly enough, the protests started to get the company air time. Pressure groups were started with names like “The Society for the Preservation of The Real Thing”. Protestors picketed the company’s offices with placards which, to modern eyes, would look suspiciously like some kind of viral marketing ploy initiated by the company itself: “We want the real thing”; “Our children will never know refreshment”. Within a couple of months the Coca-Cola Company had got the message and were producing their old-style cola, branded Classic Coke, which they sold alongside New Coke, giving their customers a choice they probably would have appreciated in the first place. New Coke hardly stood a chance, and it was discontinued soon after.

Coca Cola is at the changes again, though this time in keeping with the need to be environmentally friendly. In Colombia, a supposedly green initiative is being tried by the company – bottles made entirely of ice. Water is poured into silicone bottle-shaped moulds and it’s frozen. The bottles aren’t sealed, though. They are sent to vendors empty and they fill them with cola just as you’d get cola in a glass at a bar.

You do have to question the green credentials of a product that requires energy to keep it frozen. In all likelihood (and judging by the almost identical coverage it’s getting over multiple news outlets), it’s more of a PR and marketing exercise, altough it does cut down on the need to use the plastics which are clogging landfills across the globe.

It’s impossible to understate the importance of making our bottled drinks greener. According to a Cultureist statistics, 30 billion plastic bottles go into landfills in the US alone, and three times as much water is required to produce one bottle as the capacity of the bottle itself. Although much plastic is now recyclable, it is generally not biodegradable, which means the stuff that goes into landfill will still be recognisably bottle-like in hundred of years, and fragments will survive for thousands, putting potentially toxic chemicals into water supplies and getting into the food chain.

Of course, this isn’t just Coca-Cola’s fault – it’s a global problem, and like it or not, the ultimate responsibility lies with the buying public. Given the choice, many of us will choose the greener option, all other things being equal. The problem is all else is not equal. If Company A goes green but you prefer the produce of their competitor Company B, you’re probably marginally less likely to bother too much about Company B’s green credentials. The more scientists research plastics, the more “natural” alternatives we find. Starches are a good place to start, but all manner of proteins, cellulose, vegetable oils, triglycerides, and bacterial polyesters have been found to contain the polymers essential to the production of plastics. Not only are they biodegradable over short periods of time, they generally require much less energy to produce than traditional plastics (much of which comes from oil) and their raw materials can often be grown locally.

The Coca-Cola Company naturally has to tread a careful path between commercial viability and fulfilling any green aims, so it makes sense to launch Life in a single market and maintain the original product alongside it. Even if the beverage itself proves to be a flop, they’ll have gained much experience in the production of these new greener bottles to go global with them – which hopefully wouldn’t cause anything like the 1985 backlash.


By Alex Morris

Source: AllBusiness

Solar Impulse plane starts bid to cross US

3 Maggio 2013 Nessun commento

A plane powered only by the Sun has set off from San Francisco on the first leg of a bid to cross the US with no fuel.

The Solar Impulse craft will stop in Phoenix, Dallas, St Louis, Washington DC and New York in the coming weeks.

The team’s plane has the same wingspan as an Airbus A340 but weighs only as much as an average car.

It has already made a day-and-night flight lasting more than 26 hours, and the team aims to eventually circumnavigate the globe in 2015.

The plane took off from Moffett Field on the edge of San Francisco Bay at 06:12 local time (13:12 GMT). It should take about 19 hours to complete the first leg of the American crossing to Phoenix.

The craft’s wings and stabiliser are covered with nearly 12,000 solar cells, which in daylight hours charge an array of lithium-ion batteries in gondolas that hang below the wing.

Together, these provide power to the plane’s four electric motors and allow flight in daylight and night conditions.

The HB-SIA craft is being piloted by Bertrand Piccard, a co-founder of the effort, who is perhaps best known for being the first person to circumnavigate the globe in a hot-air balloon, in 1999.

The trans-America bid is the first attempt of its kind with a zero-fuel aircraft.

Together with co-founder and entrepreneur Andre Borschberg, the pair of Swiss pilots have racked up a number of world records and milestones in recent years.

The first night flight of a solar-powered craft in 2010 was followed by a first international flight in 2011, and first inter-continental flight in 2012.

The two will share the job of flying the plane between each of the stops of the tour.

The launch on Friday is to serve as the start of the pair’s Clean Generation Initiative, an effort to encourage policy-makers and businesses to develop and adopt sustainable energy technologies.

“We want to show that with clean technologies, a passionate team and a far-reaching pioneering vision, one can achieve the impossible,” Dr Piccard said at the announcement of the mission in March.



College designers compete for top solar home crown

28 Settembre 2012 Nessun commento

– Teams from across the globe will soon learn whether their green designs will take top prize at Solar Decathlon Europe 2012 — a competition that challenges collegiate designers to build houses powered exclusively by the sun.


Fold, a house designed by students from the Technical University of Denmark, has walls and a ceiling with adjustable angles to maximize its solar panels’ exposure to the sun.


But beyond their use of photovoltaic panels, these sustainable homes of the future will also be judged on overall design, construction quality and the level of innovation.

The 19 small houses that run solely on solar power were built over two weeks in September at Villa Solar in Madrid, Spain, and provide an architectural spectacle that the public can tour for free.

Teams from Europe, China, Japan, Brazil and Egypt, designed these houses to produce minimal waste throughout the structures’ life cycle.

The lighting, heating and cooling must be fully functional in each house, as do any household appliances inside them, like televisions and ovens. Plumbing is the only component not set up in these showcase homes.

During their final days on display, the houses accumulate points through a series of 10 mini-contests, each measuring specific parameters like architecture, engineering, energy efficiency and market viability. The team with the most points after the final judging wins.

With two more contests to go, a French team’s house, “Canopea,” is leading the pack, followed by a Spanish team’s “Patio 2.12” and an Italian team’s house, called “Med in Italy.”

Ecolar, a team from Germany, is in fourth place right now but its team member, Jakob Winter, says just completing the house the way they had conceptualized it is gratifying enough.

“The most rewarding thing is the feedback of the visitors,” he said. “So many people have come to me after the tour to say what a wonderful building it is, and the atmosphere inside the house. We’re just very happy because we feel the same inside our house.”

Feedback is important for a team like Ecolar, which is one of the teams that already has concrete plans to take its prototype to the market.

“We already have several inquiries from all around the world of people who would very much like to purchase an Ecolar home,” Winter said.

Ecolar won the award for having the best engineering. It is a prefabricated modular home, meaning that they have designed several structures that can all be pieced together in a broader system.

The team enhanced the house’s “passive” temperature regulation to save energy, which meant using hemp in its walls, ceiling and floor for better insulation, and installing clay plates on the ceiling to absorb heat. Like several of the other houses, Ecolar uses vertical, semi-transparent solar panels on the house’s façade, which lets in natural light while helping to supply energy.

Sustainable materials were taken into consideration for most entrants. A team from RWTH Aachen University in Germany, which designed the Counter Entropy House, found several innovative ways to incorporate items normally thought of as unusable: melted CDs were used to build plastic panels for the house’s facade, and salvaged beams and wood from the university’s stadium also served as building material. The house was also designed so that all of its parts can be easily separated for recycling.

Amid the boxy structures, one house, designed by the team from the Technical University of Denmark, took an unusual yet striking shape. The house is called Fold, which looks lopsided with slanted walls and a slanted roof. The angles are meant to be adjustable, depending on where the house is built, to maximize the solar panels’ exposure to the sun.

Like many other of the entrants, Fold produces more energy than it consumes, which means the excess power can be sent through the grid for other uses. At Villa Solar, the prototype houses’ overall surplus energy powers event spaces.

The competition was spun off from the original Solar Decathlon held biannually by the U.S. Department of Energy in Washington, D.C., and is the result of an agreement between the U.S. and Spain, which is hosting the European edition for the second time.


By Vanessa Ko
Source: //

Inventor Steve Katsaros Brings Light To Off-Grid Communites

7 Settembre 2012 Nessun commento

steve katsaros

Inventor Steve Katsaros created Nokero, a solar light bulb designed to provide light to 1.6 billion people in the world that lack access to electricity.


Launched in June of 2010, the Nokero bulb combines the best in solar and LED technology to create a superior, yet affordable, solar light. It’s made to last. The clear globe is made from the same shatter-resistant polycarbonate used in car headlights, and its high-temperature battery ensures it will charge efficiently even in the world’s hottest weather.

Steve Katsaros ecological lamp light no kerosene


Nokero has the potential to be a powerful tool to government and non-governmental organizations to bring disaster


relief in times of calamity, such as earthquakes, hurricanes and other natural disasters, when light is often needed most.


Nokero can be used in the home as well. It can be hung on an outdoor patio, soaking up light during the day and providing soothing light in the evening. It can also be used in classroom education, camping, in backyards, or in any ways in which traditional lighting is currently employed.

 kenya nokero

Steve Katsaros founded Nokero (short for No Kerosene) in June 2010, a for-profit company that designs affordable solar technology solutions expressly for poor, off-grid communities around the world. Katsaros’ goal has been to develop safe, affordable and environmentally friendly technology that eliminates the need for harmful and polluting fuels.