Sustainable Technologies

Sustainable technologies work to reduce waste while maintaining efficiency. Learn about new ways to reduce your environmental impact in this section.


In Colorado, a recycling robot uses artificial intelligence to sort through discarded cartons more efficiently.

And they're ready to help you do it, whether it's just you, your school, your company or your neighborhood.

Drones and other unmanned flying machines are going green.

We live in an age when DIY has taken on exciting, nerve-wracking connotations. Add in some knowledge and some money from crowdfunding sites like Kickstarter, and you have a recipe for a transformed world. Will glow-in-the-dark plants be a part of it?

As far back as 1500 B.C.E., people were trying to purify water to make it drinkable. And we're still at it. Today inventors use tools as simple as clay and as sophisticated as carbon nanotubes to bring clean water to the world.

Imagine a different kind of light bulb, one that lasted as long as a fluorescent bulb, but without the buzz, as energy-efficient as a CFL but with a more pleasing light. Meet the FIPEL bulb.

We live in a universe of clocks. The technology may not sound as dependable as your cell phone alarm clock, but humans have turned to water-powered clocks for more than three and a half millennia.

Electronics use a lot of juice. So what's an environmentally responsible citizen to do? Going solar might just be the answer.

There is no accepted standard of what makes a "green" gadget. With that in mind, here are five devices that do not use any energy at all or that find novel ways to rethink a common gadget while also making environmental improvements.

If you're like most folks, you spend a few hours a day on the computer. What changes can you make to save power without compromising the way your work?

When you take a shower, the hot water moves quickly from the showerhead down the drain. What if you could reclaim that wasted heat to warm up new water?

If you turn off the lights in your computer room, you'll probably see the glowing eyes of vampire electronics peering back at you. A smart power strip can help you cut down on how much energy they waste.

While you shouldn't expect to find a "flying electric" option at the airport anytime soon, electrically powered aircraft not only exist, but the technology continues to evolve at an encouraging rate.

While many of us are phasing out our incandescents for CFLs one bulb at a time, there might be a third contender on the market soon enough. LEDs are making the shift from your headlights to your bedside lamps.

Solar air conditioners take advantage of the sun at its brightest and use its energy to cool you during the hottest part of the day. What are we waiting for?

What if your net power usage was zero? Some homes combine energy efficiency with their own power plants to end up consuming no energy at all.

Imagine finishing off a nice cup of morning coffee and then, instead of throwing the grounds into the trash, pouring them into a cartridge where they become printer ink.

Green technology is always better, right? Not so fast. Find out five of the biggest misconceptions about green technology.

As the symbol of innovation, the incandescent light bulb is not very innovative. Luckily, there's a new type of light bulb -- a greener one -- that stands poised to replace Edison's most famous invention as the icon of ideation.

If you drive a compressed natural gas vehicle, you'll soon learn that fill-up stations are few and far between. Is there an alternative way to gas up these alternative-fuel vehicles?

Is the remote control dead again? Or does the flashlight need another eight new batteries? The wind might just be able to save you a trip to buy new AAs.

If you've ever used a solar-powered calculator, you've experienced the power of thin-film solar cells. But can spray-on solar panels take that technology one step further?

When you get that gas or electric bill at the end of the month, you may swear off long, hot showers. But if your resolution always seems to cool after a few days, you might be a good candidate for a solar water heater.

Just look at any office printer for a pile of mistakes -- accidentally printed e-mails, multiple copies, practically blank pages. What are some tips (and tricks) for cutting back on your paper, ink and spending?

Bicycling has the potential to improve our environment, health and happiness in a big way. These five points will make you want to pump up your tires and get your bike rolling again.