The anaerobic digester might just be the coolest machine you’ve never heard of. The digester is currently being utilized to turn 40% of unusable food from supermarkets into energy. The system is also helping to cut waste by 150 tons a day, thereby reducing grocery stores’ overall environmental footprint.
In a sprawling Compton distribution center that Ralphs shares with its fellow Kroger Co. subsidiary Food 4 Less, organic matter otherwise destined for a landfill is rerouted instead into the facility’s energy grid.
So how does it work?
Once the moldy bread, rotten meat, and discarded fruit and veggies from 359 stores make their way to the center, the anaerobic digester goes to work. The food that is unable to be donated or sold is then dumped into a massive grinder — cardboard and plastic packaging included.
After being ground up, the mass is sent to a pulping machine, which filters out inorganic materials such as glass and metal and mixes in hot wastewater from a nearby dairy creamery to create a sludgy substance. From there, the sludge is transported into a storage tank, and then eventually a 2 million gallon silo. Continue reading
Two electric engineers concerned about climate change have spent the last few years working to make solar roads a reality.
Scott and Julie Brusaw created the first prototype for Solar Roadways in 2010, funded by a grant from the Federal Highway Administration, and this year they’re testing a fully-functional solar parking lot.
So what exactly is a solar road? In theory, a solar road would work the same way as a solar panel in that it would collect the energy from sunlight and generate it as electricity.
There are several components of the solar road that make it even more functional than a regular solar panel. The solar highway will be able to keep roads lit up at night, heat them to melt ice and snow, and power homes and business along the way. Continue reading
Environmental activist and EMA Futures Award Honoree Ian Somerhalder would like to brighten your day with an utlra eco-friendly, long lasting new lightbulb. Somerhalder has partnered with CREE, to promote their newest LED fixture.
Somerhalder talked to the Huffington Post about the bulb and his involvement with CREE.
“They use the saying, which is kind of awesome, ‘the coolest invention since the light bulb.,’ And you know what? It is, man! It uses 84 percent less energy, and Thomas Edison always said something to the effect of, “do it more or do it better.” I mean, it gives a 10 year warranty on a light bulb! 25,000 hours! It’s amazing what they’ve accomplished, so that’s why I’m really excited about this partnership. I really believe in these guys and I’m very fortunate.” Continue reading
The EcoVéa may be the world’s most intelligent shower. The idea behind the EcoVéa is simple – it is designed to recycle and filter the water you use during your shower while simultaneously reducing energy usage and water consumption. Essentially, what you’re left with is a guilt-free long and hot shower.
How does it work? According to its website, EcoVéa continuously analyzes, sorts and treats water during a shower through an innovative, patented system. Dirty water is drained away while clean water is reused after filtering and antibacterial treatment.
The EcoVéa always guarantees its users water that is clean – sometimes even cleaner than the source water from the supply system.
A 10 minute shower uses approximately 25 gallons of water. The EcoVéa will reduce that number to approximately 8 gallons. At the same time, the use of less water means the use of less energy. The EcoVéa allows savings of up to 80% in energy consumption of a hot shower. Continue reading
The age old question brought up by many a reluctant teenager griping about having to do their chores finally has a definitive answer.
A study done by the University of Bonn in Germany found that washing a load of dishes (12 place settings) by hand uses on average 27 gallons of water and 2.5 kilowatt-hours of energy to heat the water — equivalent to running a hair dryer for two and a half hours.
By comparison, an energy-efficient dishwasher uses about 4 gallons of water and 1 kWh of energy per load. Researchers also found that dishwashers cleaned better, as half of the hand-washers failed to reach an “acceptable level” of cleanliness. So yes, the dishwasher is the more eco-friendly way to do the dishes. Teenagers worldwide rejoice.
Follow these simple steps to ensure an even more green dish-washing experience: Continue reading