Recycle that old (unused) cell phone today on National Phone Recycling Day

old-cell-phonesLet’s face it. Almost everyone has at least one old cell phone stuck in a drawer or cabinet somewhere just gathering dust. A lot of us have a few of them – think small flip phones and other such analog devices. As of last 2015, there were roughly 426 million idle or inactive mobile devices in the U.S. Only 100 million would be recycled.

We hang onto them for no good reason other than we forget about them. But why not do something constructive and recycle them?

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New York City’s Lowline striding forward to becoming reality

The Lowline - a former trolley area that will be transformed into a unique underground park

The Lowline – a former trolley area that will be transformed into a unique underground park

New York City is famous for many things – Radio City Music Hall, the Statue of Liberty and, for those in the know, the High Line. This last is an above-ground park on the city’s West side that stretches from its original 14th to 20th Streets now extends to 30th Street.

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Genetically engineered mosquitoes could create another mosquito population disaster

mosquito-that-carries-zika

Too often science makes a so-called breakthrough and we jump on its results. But also too often, we blindly leap, never considering the potential issues of the larger picture.

And here we are again.

In an article in yesterday’s Sustainable Pulse, genetic engineering company Oxitec, the company clamoring to release GE mosquitoes to deal with the Zika problem, admitted that reducing one mosquito species could likely lead to a population explosion of the Asian Tiger Mosquito.

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Modified wood product aims to save hardwood forests from the axe

 

Australia's famed hardwood tree - the Eucalyptus obliqua - could be spared in favor of 3Wood

Australia’s famed hardwood tree – the Eucalyptus obliqua – could be spared in favor of 3Wood

Waste is a terrible thing, particularly when it comes to the use of hardwood trees. The World Wildlife Fund says that about 46-58 thousand square miles of forest are lost each year. That’s a huge amount of carbon released into the atmosphere from deforestation.

David Lewis, Australia’s Flinders Centre for NanoScale Science & Technology (CNST) Director and co-developer,  says “if you take a big tree, only a small percentage of that becomes hardwood; the rest is chipped and burned.”

But there’s hope on the horizon.

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A Bright Future? Yes, With These Solar Power Technologies

Solar-panels-in-sun-with-blue-skyOver the past decade, the amount of solar power produced in the United States has grown 139,000 percent. The International Energy Agency projects that solar will be the world’s biggest single source of electricity by 2050. Solar power is currently a fraction of one percent of our total energy production.

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New technology effective at filtering ocean plastics without harming sea life

Plastic recovered from our ocean's gyres

Plastic recovered from our ocean’s gyres

The plastic pollution in our oceans is a killing our marine life. Sea birds, seals and other marine animals and mammals are turning up dead with lots of plastic in their stomachs that they mistook for food. The problem is that so much of this plastic is small fragments, making it extremely difficult to simply scoop up and recover.

Of the more than 200 billion pounds of plastic the world produces each year, about 10 percent ends up in the ocean Plastic constitutes 90 percent of all trash floating in the world’s oceans, with estimates that every square mile of the ocean contains 46,000 pieces of floating plastic. In some areas, the amount of plastic outweighs the amount of plankton by a ratio of six to one.

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A growing national trend turns plastic bags into bedding for the homeless

An eighth grader shows how easy it is to turn plastic bags into cushy bed mats for the homeless

An eighth grader shows how easy it is to turn plastic bags into cushy bed mats for the homeless; photo by Debra Atlas

As cities around the country are banning or placing a tax on plastic bags, some people are turning lemons into lemonade. A growing number of church groups and students are turning single use plastic bags into bed mats for the homeless. Continue reading