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Sustainable Technologies

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

Topics to Explore

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5 Energy-hungry Appliances

Sure, your hair dryer or toaster sucks up a lot of kilowatt-hours during the short time it's on, but what are the truly big drains on your home energy budget?

5 Things to Consider When Building a Solar-powered Home

While rebates and tax credits have put solar power within reach for many homeowners, it's still an expensive undertaking. How do you make sure you get your money's worth?

How the Aqualim Shower Head Works

A 10-minute shower can seem like nothing on a cold, sleepy morning, but it might cost you 50 gallons of water (or more). Is there a way to limit the volume of water you use?

How Soil Lamps Work

Did you ever make a potato clock as a kid? If so, you already understand the basic principles that make a soil lamp work.

Top 5 Energy-efficient Computers

Energy efficiency is starting to rank right up there with speed and power in terms of desirable attributes for a computer. What are five of the most energy-efficient computers on the market?

How the Horizon H-racer Works

Hydrogen power has been on the drawing board for decades, but it's yet to take off in full-sized cars. Could the tiny H-racer be hydrogen's in with the world of alternative fuels?

How Grid Energy Storage Works

The Northeast Blackout of 2003 left millions without power and cost approximately $6 billion. Experts believe we can avoid future blackouts by storing energy along the U.S. electric grid.

How High-yield Paper Works

We're still a long way from a supposedly paperless age, but companies have come up with some ideas on how to squeeze more from a tree. How does high-yield paper rate among the spectrum of green products available?

How LED Streetlights Work

Why would Los Angeles and Pittsburgh set out to convert a combined 180,000 traditional high-pressure sodium and mercury-vapor street lamps to LED lighting?

How Kill A Watt Works

How much energy does your TV use when it's plugged in all night? How much power is your stereo system draining from the socket monthly? The Kill A Watt and other energy monitors help you find out.

How PlayPump Works

Children love to play, so why not harness the energy of their motion to help support a community. How does the PlayPump convert the push of a merry-go-round into clean water?

How Fastronauts Will Work

Kids are little bundles of energy, but their complex toys usually rely on batteries or wires for power. Could a toy somehow harness that bountiful childhood energy of motion?

How EnviroGrid Works

Sometimes you need to reinforce roads or retain walls without breaking out the concrete and rebar. That's where a simple, ingenious technology comes in.

How Gravity-powered Floor Lamps Will Work

Alternative energy usually means something is mined, refined, collected or grown. But gravity-powered floor lamps rely only on a force of nature -- and the strength of a human being.

How Automatic Solar Panel Cleaning Systems Work

Photovoltaic solar panels are like windows -- they build up a coating of grime that requires a good cleaning from time to time. What's the alternative to climbing the roof with a squeegee and bucket of suds?

Top 10 Eco-friendly Substitutes for Plastic

Without a doubt, plastic is useful. It's also everywhere — filling up landfills and recycling bins. These 10 twists on the common polymer are trying to change that reality.

Top 5 Ways Nature Has Inspired Technology

Some of the newest ideas in technology come from very old ideas -- they're inspired by nature. How do the plants and animals around us give engineers ideas?

5 Green Mobile Apps

Do you find it easy being green? If you're one of the millions of smartphone users out there, these applications will help you make being green even easier.

What are eco-plastics?

Eco-plastic seems like an oxymoron, and it very well may be. What exactly is eco-plastic, and does it really help the environment?

How Living Billboards Work

You probably ignore most billboards, especially those annoying ones that read, "If you lived here, you could be home by now!" But what if that giant ad you drove past were alive?

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