Sustainable Technologies

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

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From the chemicals that pollute and the massive use of water, the traditional method of dyeing blue jeans is an environmental disaster. Nanoparticles made from wood pulp might be the answer to the problem.

By Jesslyn Shields

Purdue University researchers have developed an ultra-white paint that reflects more than 98 percent of sunlight and could reduce the need for energy-consuming air conditioning.

By Patrick J. Kiger

Kernza is a wheat-like grain that doesn't have to be replanted each year, making it the ideal crop to aid in the fight against climate change and help to feed the world.

By Patrick J. Kiger

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In Africa's Ivory Coast, a group of women saw a need and came together to collect plastic for recycling into bricks to build schools.

By Michelle Konstantinovsky

A new technology can speed the purification of water using sunlight, potentially providing clean water to billions of people.

By Jim Marion

There are seven different numbers you might see on a plastic container. And each number has its own meaning.

By Melanie Radzicki McManus

The forward momentum on recycling has stalled in the U.S. and other countries, but some experts say there's still potential for growth.

By Patrick J. Kiger

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Cockroaches are taking a big bite out of a Chinese city's trash problem.

By Loraine Fick

Urine is so much more valuable than we think. Soon, we might be building houses with pee bricks.

By Jesslyn Shields

While green roofs make sense in a lot of ways, requiring their installation isn't as simple as it might seem.

By Patrick J. Kiger

While plastic such as Styrofoam may be cheap and convenient to use, it contributes to costly health issues and is an inconvenient pollutant that takes up to 500 years to biodegrade.

By Carrie Tatro

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Wine pomace — the portion of grapes left over from winemaking — has a variety of uses, from fertilizer to a nutrition-enhancing ingredient in foods.

By Patrick J. Kiger

Fog harvesting has been going on in some form since ancient times, but scientists have been refining the method so people living in some of the most arid climates can have water.

By Mark Mancini

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

By Patrick J. Kiger

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

By Kate Kershner

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Drones and other unmanned flying machines are going green.

By Chris Opfer

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?

By Nicholas Gerbis

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.

By Patrick J. Kiger

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.

By Patrick J. Kiger

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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.

By Robert Lamb

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?

By Julia Layton

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.

By Nathan Chandler

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.

By Robert Lamb

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LED light bulbs have taken over the market. But what are their pros and cons?

By Francisco Guzman

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?

By Maria Trimarchi