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Ideas

Bright ideas for improving the world


Easily Reduce Building Energy Use

Written by , on November 16, 2013

According to the US Department of Energy, on average office buildings are empty for about 72% of the time and 55% of their total electricity use occurs during this time. Half of this wasted electricity is used for heating, ventillation and air conditioning. Another 25% is consumed by lighting. The remaing 25% is "plug loads" […]  Read more »

Tiny Electric Car Has Removable Battery

Written by , on September 30, 2013

One of the problems with electric cars is how to charge the battery if you have to park in the street or your destination doesn't have a a suitable charging point. The Itaian manufacturer Estrima has solved the problem in its tiny Birò electric car by making the batterey removable, so that it can be […]  Read more »

Convert Telephone Booths to EV Charging Points

Written by , on September 15, 2013

A recent New York City competition produced a poposal to turn phone booths into electric vehicle charging points.. While the demand for public phones is declining rapidly, the need for vehicle charging stations in uban locations is increasing. It had been expected that electric vehicles would be most popular in locations close to urban centres […]  Read more »

Ship Design Uses Hull as Sail

Written by , on September 12, 2013

The Norwegian speed sailor and inventor, Terje Lade, has developed a new concept for a ship in which the hull acts as a giant sail. He estimated that the "Vindskip" would have fuel savings of 60% and emissions reductions of 80% compared to current cargo ships. (Image: Lade AS) The Vindskip would have natural-gas fired […]  Read more »

Online Market for Waste Materials

Written by , on June 12, 2013

A new website, Harvestmap (Oogstkaart in Dutch) at http://www.oogstkaart.nl is an online marketplace for industrial-scale redundant and second hand materials. Harvestmap/Oogstkaart allows companies or individuals to list their supply of materials, components or even buildings to potential users. All materials, ranging from small quantities to continuous flows of industrial leftovers are represented. Participation allows you […]  Read more »

Mushrooms from Coffee

Written by , on June 6, 2013

98.8% of the coffee biomass is wasted in the process of making a cup of coffee. One group in the Netherlands is determined to make use of the waste. GRO Holland is recycling coffee grounds as a growth substrate for mushrooms. Waste grounds are collected from a network of cafes, mixed with oyster mushroom spores, […]  Read more »

Storing Offshore Wind Energy

Written by , on April 30, 2013

Researchers at MIT have proposed a method of storing the energy generated by offshore wind farms using concrete tanks on the seafloor under the wind turbines Their concept is to place spherical concrete tanks, about 25 metres in diameter, on the seafloor under floating wind turbines. The concrete tanks would serve both as anchors to […]  Read more »

Food Footsteps from a Rooftop Greenhouse

Written by , on April 17, 2013

Green walls and roof gardens have become extremely fashionable. One New York supermarket is taking the idea two steps further. Rather than just plant any greenery on the roof, Whole Foods is partnering with Gotham Greens to construct an 1,860 square metre greenhouse on its roof. As well as the usual benefits of a green […]  Read more »

Reversing Desertification with Holistic Farming

Written by , on March 8, 2013

Large areas of grasslands in the United States, Canada, Mexico, China, Australia, Africa, Pakistan, Afghanistan and many other countries are turning into barren deserts. An estimated one-third of the Earth’s surface is covered with grasslands that are facing the threat of desertification.  Allan Savory, a Zimbabwean biologist who has been working on this problem since […]  Read more »

A Billboard That Produces Drinking Water

Written by , on February 25, 2013

Peru's capital, Lima, has very high humidity but hardly any rain. Engineers from the University of Engineering and Technology have taken advantage of the high humidity to build a billboard which gathers the water through reverse osmosis and purifies it to give clean drinking water.  Read more »