How To Build A Hand Cranked Mobile Phone Charger Out Of A Drill, Wooden Spoon And Mixing Beater.

Hand Cranked and MacGyver'd Emergency Mobile Phone ChargerSimple? Sort of.
MacGyver? Definitely.

If your power is out and you’re not sure when it’s coming back, maybe following the instructions and collecting the required materials (wooden spoon, drill, string, aluminum foil etc.) to “Make an Emergency Phone Charger – MacGyver Style!” isn’t that crazy. [Instructables via Neatorama]


Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestmail

Solarclave Sterilizes Medical Equipment In Remote Areas Using Sunlight.

Solarclave from MIT's Little Devices groupIn hospitals, an autoclave is an electric-powered device that is used to sterilize medical equipment and supplies. The Solarclave, designed by MIT’s Little Devices group, is an autoclave that is solar-powered and can be used cheaply and repaired easily by remote clinics in developing countries. Here’s a description of the Solarclave from the Little Devices group:

“With a bucket, a pressure cooker, and 140 pocket-sized mirrors, IIH researchers have invented a device that uses sunshine to sterilize surgical tools. Solarclave provides reliable surgical sterilization for rural clinics outside of the grid – enabling healthcare workers to provide basic, life-saving services for patients.”

And here’s how it works (SmartPlanet):

“Under a clear sky, the system takes 45 to 60 minutes to heat up to a sterilizing temperature (250 degrees Fahrenheit) and then 20 minutes to carry out the sterilization cycle.”

The final design of the Solarclave was modified based on feedback from rural users in Nicaragua. [SmartPlanet]

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestmail

Republican Mayor Of Lancaster CA Wants To Require Solar Panels On Every New Home.

Solar Lancaster
Mayor of Lancaster California R. Rex ParrisWhat the what – Republican Mayor wants solar panels on every new home? It’s true. R. Rex Parris, the Mayor of Lancaster California, wants to institute a new requirement that all new homes built after January 1, 2014 must include solar panels. From Greentech:

“The purpose of the solar energy system standards is to encourage investment in solar energy on all parcels in the city, while providing guidelines for the installation of those systems that are consistent with the architectural and building standards of the City. It is further intended to provide standards and procedures for builders of new homes to install solar energy systems in an effort to achieve greater usage of alternative energy.”

Those damn treehugging Republicans! Why can’t they stay out of renewable energy and stick to advocating fossil fuels so it’s easier to paint them as the enemy? I think this quote from Mayor Parris answers that question:

“[Mayor Parris noted that Lancaster is] one of the most conservative Republican districts in the country. But Republicans are smart,” he said. “When you show them a solution, they will take it.”

So it’s smart to move to solar; it doesn’t have to be green. [Greentech]

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestmail

Power An LED Lamp By Kicking The Energy-Harnessing SOCCKET Soccer Ball.

SOCCKET energy-harnessing soccer ball
SOCCKET in play.The SOCCKET from Uncharted Play, Inc. is a soccer ball that self-charges when people play with it. Thirty minutes of kicking the SOCCKET around will store enough power to run an LED lamp for 3 hours. It’s on Kickstarter looking for funding. According to CNET, if they’re successful on Kickstarter, Uncharted play will introduce a USB version. Who knows, maybe they’ll one day be able to produce SOCCKETs in quantity and follow the “One for One” model developed by Toms Shoes. [CNET]


Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestmail

Waste Solution For Not-Recycling Houston: One Trash Bin For All Waste.

Landfill
Laura Spanjian - City of Houston Sustainability DirectorHow do you get a city with a low 14% recycling rate and no enforceable recycling laws to start separating their trash and divert it from landfills?

You don’t…. you bring in some garbage sorting technology and let it do the work. The City of Houston knew it would be tough to educate and motivate their residents to separate their trash so they went out and found companies that process it for them. Spearheading the effort is Laura Spanjian, Houston’s sustainability director. From Fast Co.Exist:

“Spanjian’s dream system combines many of these technologies: It would take everyone’s trash in one bin and send it to a facility that pulls out every piece of recyclable material and separates out food waste. Recyclable commodities would be sold, and food waste would be turned into compost or put in an anaerobic digester to power facilities or trucks. Another portion of the waste would be turned into gasoline.”

Brilliant – put all the trash in one bin and let the specialized machines sort it. Much better than the alternative of sending all of the trash to landfills.

Here are some of the companies Ms. Spanjian found that can divert and reuse/recycle Houston’s trash:

“One company cited by Spanjian, Organic Energy Corporation, offers a one-bin waste sorting solution. A company called BHS operates a material recovery facility in San Jose, California–but it doesn’t deal with food waste. ZeroWaste can take care of that; the company operates anaerobic digesters to deal with food waste in the city. And CRI Catalyst Company–a Houston-based company–offers a technology that turn biomass into gasoline or diesel.”

Not all cities are like San Francisco – which diverts 80% of their trash from landfills. If Ms. Spanjian’s model is successful, other low recycling rate cities can copy and implement a scaled version of her system. Dog wags tail. [Fast Co.Exist]

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestmail

Wee-Wee Is Partially Powering A Float At Carnival In Rio. Power To The PEE-ple!

Electric Pee float at Carnival in Rio
Power to the pee-pleThis will only take a second.

Poopcycle, you’ve got competition. During this year’s Carnival in Rio, the AfroReggae float is going to be partially powered by pee-pee / urine / wiz. From JWT Brazil:

“JWT Brazil and NGO AfroReggae teamed up this year to do something about it. The result is the ‘Electric Pee’ project — a unique urinal designed to generate electric energy from urine. Using a process similar to a hydroelectric power plant, which uses flowing water to generate energy, the energy created from each use will help generate power for AfroReggae’s float at Carnival.”

Told you it wouldn’t take long to relieve ourselves of this story. [JWT via Treehugger]

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestmail