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Red LEDs to Grow Lettuce

by Justin Thomas •

Apparently red LEDs are 60% more efficient than fluorescent light when growing vegetables hydroponically. According to IEEE Spectrum Online: Of all the colors of the rainbow, red is lettuce’s favorite. Chlorophyll, the electrochemical engine of photosynthesis, runs on red photons. So if you are growing the vegetable indoors in a factory, why waste energy on colors you don’t need?

(Partially) Biodegradeable DVD Player by Sony

by Justin Thomas •

The Sony DVP-NS955 DVD player, recently released in the UK, has 50% vegetable-based plastic parts. The parts are made of a biopolymer called polylactic acid (PLA). The biopolymer was created by Cargill/Dow, and they have been criticized for using GMO (genetically modified) corn to create the biopolymer, because GMO crops could potentially have devastating effects on the earth’s biodiversity.

5

Toshiba Develops One Minute Rechargable Lithium-Ion Battery

by Justin Thomas •

Toshiba who have developed a high energy density lithium-Ion battery that recharge 80% of its capacity in one minute. This is sixty times faster than typical lithium-ion batteries (which among other applications are commonly used in cellphones).

2

24-Hour Kitchen Composter

by Justin Thomas •

These composters efficiently break down and digest organic food waste by means of a proprietary “Composting Bio Mix” containing a blend of food digesting microbes and yeast cells which also act to suppress odors while they work. Sharp claims that they reduce kitchen was by 92% in 24 hours. The composters are only available in Japan. Link: Sharp’s Press Release …

5

New Solar Tiles Introduced

by Justin Thomas •

Kyocera has introduced a new solar roof tile. The solar tile is designed so that it blends in with standard roof tiles. These are not the first solar tiles on the market (see this previous post), but it is the first time a large corporation has introduced them. Kyocera calls the solar tiles “MyGen Meridian”. The company says the tiles …

7

100% Corn-Based Packaging Now In Use

by Justin Thomas •

Cargill Dow’s innovative line of 100% corn-based bioplastic “NatureWorks Packaging” is now being used by a number of food companies to package fresh produce and salads. Dow Chemicals, a partner in the Cargill Dow company, has a questionable environmental and ethical track record. However, the Natureworks product is making breakthroughs for bioplastic into the food packaging marketplace. Del Monte Fresh …

MetaEfficient In the News: LA Times Review

by Justin Thomas •

We’re in the news again, with a recent review from the Los Angeles Times: The Reactual Institute, which tries to highlight ecologically sound products, sets a lofty goal on the home page of Meta-Efficient, billing it as a “guide to the most efficient things in the world.” That means products are reviewed based on how well they meet consumer needs …

1

Best and Worst: Personal Care Products

by Justin Thomas •

The Environmental Working Group has produced a list of the Best and Worst Personal Care Products. They have a huge Searchable Product Guide of harmful chemicals found in personal care products. The report is extensive and very well organized. You can search by ingredient, product name or product category.