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Four Green Technologies That Could Change The World

Four Green Technologies That Could Change The World

Homemade cleaning supplies and eco-friendly bath mats are all well and good, but are these products really revolutionary enough to change the world?

With climate change and a world water crisis becoming more serious everyday, it’s good to know that inventors, designers, and scientists are all working toward green technologies that could really make a big impact- if we use them.

Here are some of the most interesting new ideas with the potential to change our lives in the next decade. Leave a comment tell us whether you think they’re the answer to some pressing ecological questions, or just sustainable fantasy…

Jet Fuel From Salt Water

The U.S. Military is one of the largest consumers of fossil fuels in the entire world, and they’re also responsible for the giant carbon footprint as a result. According to a recent report from Natural News, however, the Navy is investigating a method for transforming ocean water into jet fuel as a way to maintain U.S. military superiority even in the face of dwindling global oil supplies.

From NewScientist.com:

“The process involves extracting carbon dioxide dissolved in the water and combining it with hydrogen – obtained by splitting water molecules using electricity – to make a hydrocarbon fuel.

CO2‘s abundance, combined with concerns about global warming, make it an attractive potential feedstock, said Dorner, a Naval Research Laboratory chemist in Washington DC and first author of a new paper on the technique, says that CO2 is rarely used in the Fischer-Tropsch process because of its chemical stability.”

Petroleum-Free Plastic Made from Smart Mud

Plastic waste is abundant in countries around the globe, and causing a significant environmental problem thanks to its toxic nature and the thousands of years that it takes to break down naturally. Now researchers at the University of Tokyo, Japan, think they may have come up with an alternative for producing plastic that will eliminate the need for foreign oil and decrease environmental impact.

Nature, an international weekly journal of science reports that, “water and clay (2–3 per cent by mass), when mixed with a very small proportion (<0.4 per cent by mass) of organic components, quickly form a transparent hydrogel. This material can be moulded into shape-persistent, free-standing objects owing to its exceptionally great mechanical strength, and rapidly and completely self-heals when damaged.”

Crop Protection Without Pesticides

Desperate for a way to effectively combat the attack of insects and other pests that were invading their fields and destroying millions of dollars worth of crops, farmers greeted the development of chemical pesticides with supportive enthusiasm.

Now pesticide manufacturers are desperately scrambling to create stronger pesticides, as insects quickly learn to adapt and develop resistances to the previous formula.

“The son of an Auschwitz concentration camp survivor who built window screens following the war, Avi Klayman built upon his father’s trade to develop an advanced screening technique that would protect plants from deadly pests without the use of pesticides. His invention saved Israeli’s tomato crop from ruin following the white fly infestation of the late 1980s” (Natural News).

Since the protype, Klayman has since developed seven different varieties of highly specialized agri-nets, designed with micro-fibers construction to catch even the smallest insects (e.g. thrips), featuring photo-selective technology, making them suitable for everything from vegetables and flowers in greenhouses, to fruit trees and open field crops.

Street Lights Powered With Trash

Street lighting uses up to 5 percent of national energy in some nations – 38 percent of the total energy used in lighting (Global Change). Especially in large cities like New York or Los Angeles, street lights are absolutely necessary, and the task of replacing each light post with an energy efficient bulb is daunting. But what if the street lights could be designed to multi-task?

“Designer Haneum Lee has developed a promising new idea for lighting nighttime city streets by using discarded items as a power source for the Gaon Street Light – a lamppost powered completely by garbage.

The street lamp features a trash can at its base, which is intended for use by foot traffic. As pedestrians toss their garbage into the can, it’s automatically composted. The methane from the compost is then used to power the lamp. (Greenopolis).”

Of course a method for sorting compostables from trash that is toxic has yet to be worked out.

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Image copyright Yanko Design © 2010

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111 comments

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8:16PM PDT on Jul 29, 2010

These are great ideas.. and there are many going around. I believe that the great minds among us, in Science primarily, as Business is too self promoting and money-driven, will come up with solutions for the mess we are in eventually... just as they came up with great stuff that caused our troubles to begin with. I do believe this and when they do.. business will run with it. The challenge for us will become making sure that these discoveries are used properly and not overpriced, set aside for the wealthy and powerful or used for the wrong purposes. This is the real danger we facehttp://www.eluxuryc-mall.com/

8:15PM PDT on Jul 29, 2010

The main culprit in this tragedy is the prevalence of unsustainable farming practices.kauf ed hardy The use of hybrid seeds to increase output and the planting of trees as monoculture crops in full sun rather than tending them in their native rainforest habitat has led to soil erosion and unhealthy trees that live a third as long as healthy ones and require pesticides and chemical fertilizers. As soil is depleted, farmers cut down more rainforest to plant these higher yield, short-lived cacao trees, leading to further degradation of natural habitat for short-term gain. It also leads to further intensification of the effects of climate change and a decrease in rain fall. It's a losing proposition for everyone in the medium and long terms.chanel

7:39AM PDT on Apr 11, 2010

thank you

9:03AM PDT on Mar 28, 2010

well it always sounds good but will it work and at what cost.

5:26PM PDT on Mar 27, 2010

I think the only one that is questionable is the final one powering street lights from methane.
Will a small garbage bin like that produce enough methane to power a single light? I doubt it. Plus then there is the question of how you get all the garbage bins to be used enough to keep the light powered.

Its much better and much more efficient to do it on a large scale.

11:21AM PST on Mar 12, 2010

These are great ideas.. and there are many going around. I believe that the great minds among us, in Science primarily, as Business is too self promoting and money-driven, will come up with solutions for the mess we are in eventually... just as they came up with great stuff that caused our troubles to begin with. I do believe this and when they do.. business will run with it. The challenge for us will become making sure that these discoveries are used properly and not overpriced, set aside for the wealthy and powerful or used for the wrong purposes. This is the real danger we face... not just the death of this planet but the use of our fears of this happening against us.

9:42AM PST on Feb 21, 2010

V nice ideas, if they can be implemented in a cost effective way... that is the question...

10:11AM PST on Feb 18, 2010

Certainly love the idea of trash can size organic waste disposal units that capture methane and produce electricity!

12:31PM PST on Feb 16, 2010

Sorry for the possible double post, nearly all my posts seem to be disappearing all the time, makes posting comments very frustrating... Anyway, all these seem like great ideas, hope they´ll be succesful.

12:26PM PST on Feb 16, 2010

These all sound like great ideas, hope they´ll be succesful!

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