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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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?

By Julia Layton

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?

By Julia Layton

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?

By Julia Layton

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

By Julia Layton

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?

By Maria Trimarchi

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.

By Susan L. Nasr

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?

By Jacob Silverman

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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?

By Jacob Silverman

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.

By Julia Layton

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?

By Stephanie Watson

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.

By Julia Layton

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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.

By Julia Layton

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?

By Maria Trimarchi

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.

By Maria Trimarchi, Patrick J. Kiger & Vicki M. Giuggio

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?

By Jonathan Strickland

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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.

By Jonathan Strickland

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

By Julia Layton

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?

By Robert Lamb