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Archive for April, 2013

Sustainable Fashion

By Anny on April 29th, 2013

Sustainable fashion is a collective term for an Eco-friendly and ethical form of fashion design which can involve using organic materials, decrease or omit chemical usage, not using animal product, generating a lesser carbon footprint and also creating an ethical business process.  The idea behind sustainable fashion is to create a safer, healthier and naturally derived range of apparel. Let’s take a brief look into a few fibers which are being widely used in Eco-friendly and organic clothing ranges.

1)      Jute: Jute is the second most widely cultivated textile crop after cotton and has been traditionally used for bags and sacks. Newer varieties of jute are being widely used in apparels, furnishings etc. Jute fiber is strong, durable, bio-degradable and is sound and heat insulating

2)      Flax: Flax fibers are soft and lustrous  and are used for delicate clothing needs. Flax is generally less elastics  then cotton but is stronger.

Sustainable  Fashion

3)      Hemp: Hemp fiber was traditionally used in making ship canvas. It has a texture similar to linen and is now being widely used in clothing ranges as well as for packaging sacks.

4)      Bamboo: Not many of us are familiar with the fact that a fiber can be extracted from the Bamboo shoots which has natural anti-microbial qualities. It’s now being used in clothing as the unique fiber allows the skin to breathe through the fabric there by reducing perspiration.

5)      Ramie: Ramie is one the oldest fiber crops and has been used since the ages to make coarse fibers. It’s very strong and cloth made from Ramie doesn’t wrinkle much and is lustrous. It usually is  blended with other fibers such as cotton, wool etc.

6)      Abaca: Abaca is a variety of the banana plant and is mainly found in Philippines. It’s used in making handicrafts and also a variety of paper which is used in tea bags. Abaca has been recently used in making regular apparel too.

7)      Kapok: Kapok is also called as Java cotton and is a fiber which is derived from the seed pods of the plant. It extremely light-weight then cotton and can support up to 30 times it weight. It very fragile and cannot be spun and is mainly used for stuffing and for special king of clothing required for diving.

Sustainable  Fashion

We also see the term organic cotton being widely used nowadays. It means cotton which has been cultivated without the use of harmful fertilizers and pesticides, and consequently   does not cause any pollution to the environment

Plugless Power Vehicle Charging System for Electronic Cars

By Anny on April 27th, 2013

Electric vehicles are fast becoming an alternative to fuel powered vehicles as they are non-polluting and cost efficient.  However, they require a wired charger which needs to be connected to the vehicle while charging. Often this is not quite feasible as your packing space might not have a socket nearby. To overcome such choke points in using electric powered vehicles, Evatran Inc which is a Virginia based technology company has introduced a revolutionary device that can charge your vehicle wireless using the principal of electromagnetic induction. It safe, convenient and hands-free and allows you to charge your vehicle anywhere.

Plugless Power Vehicle Charging System for Electronic Cars

Here’s how it works: The device needs a floor mounted parking pod along with a separate adapter unit in the vehicle. The parking pad uses the electric current to create a magnetic field which is received by the adapter in the vehicle. This is again converted into a current which charges the vehicle. The parking ad is floor mounted and is controlled by a separate power control module. Also included is an indicator which guides the user in aligning the vehicle correctly and displays the charging status. The system automatically gets activated once the vehicle is in the correct slot and shuts off whenit’s fully charged. You also have an option to turn off the charging and move your vehicle after sometime and can also use a normal cord based charger.

It currently supports the Chevrolet Volt ad the Nissan Leaf models. The model is yet to be released and is estimated to cost around $3000 along with installation by their team of professionals. A pre-launch unit was also installed in Google headquarters in March 2011.The device can be installed in your home, office as well as in commercial establishments.  It can also be used by fleet owners who would need to regularly charge their vehicles.

To know more, just access www.pluglesspower.com

Logitech K750- Light Powered Wireless Keyboard

By Anny on April 25th, 2013

Logitech is a renowned name in computer consumables and its latest addition the Logitech K750 solar powered keyboard is a must have for every gadget enthusiast.  The K750 suits Windows based operating systems while its counterpart the K760 is designed for Macs, iPad and iPhones. Both the keyboards are solar powered and can also charge from a normal light in the room or even from the monitor lamination. The device is super sleek with  a thickness of just 1/3 inches and comes with a long range wireless connection of 2.4gHz.

Logitech Wireless Solar Keyboard K750

The PVC free construction is also made from fully recyclable materials and the design process leaves a minimal carbon footprint. One full charge allows you to use the keyboard for up to 3 months in total darkness . You can place it in the sun for optimum charge, else the indoor light including the monitor would be sufficient to charge it. Smooth, comfortable and fluid keystrokes make you effortlessly use the keyboard.

The built-in Unifying receiver also allows you to add a compatible mouse, keyboard etc-  by using the same tiny received plugged-in to the USB port. It’s quite a good choice if you are looking for a wireless keyboard as it eliminates the need for a battery charger and is powered by light.

The package comes with the keyboard, unifying receiver a, wireless extender and a handy cleaning cloth. You can buy it from leading retailers and can also purchase it from their website or from Amazon at the below link.

http://www.amazon.com/Logitech-Wireless-Solar-Keyboard-K750/dp/B004MF11MU

iZen Bamboo Bluetooth Keyboard

By Anny on April 23rd, 2013

Bamboo accessories are fast becoming a fashion trend as the raw material can be easily sourced and used in multiple ways. One such electronic consumable application of bamboo is the Bamboo Bluetooth keyboard from iZen.  The use of bamboo does away with plastic panel which often end up in landfills or is incarcerated. Not only does this reduce the pollution associated with using plastics, but also reduces the carbon footprint for the product manufacturing cycle as the basic raw material is naturally available.

iZen Bamboo Bluetooth Keyboard

The device is a wireless keyboard and uses Bluetooth technology to communicate with the computer. It can be used for normal computers, Apple iPad’s, iPhones and Android tablets with Bluetooth protocol. It entirely built with bamboo which includes the case and keys and is both attractive as well as Eco-friendly. The device has a built in rechargeable lithium-ion battery and charges with a USB 2.0 cable  which is included in the package. It works well with Mac as well as Windows powered computers and comes in Mac styled keyboard layout along with multimedia keys. The product just weighs 1.1lbs and can be purchased online  from http://www.izenbamboo.com/. It costs $9.

Do also check out their other utility product ranges made from Bamboo which include a sleek iPhone case, an Ipad Sleeve, a desktop Bamboo keyboard with mouse and many more. Using Bamboo is an Eco-friendly alternative to plastic and also looks unique and stylish too.

iZen Bamboo is a Colorado based company which uses Bamboo in all its featured product and contributes 1% of its profits to environmental organizations worldwide.  Bamboo grows much faster than regular trees and does not require any special soil, fertilizers or pesticides and can be used for diverse applications.

iBamboo Speaker

By Anny on April 21st, 2013

We are all familiar with Bamboo shoots which are now being used in diverse ways such as for handicrafts, textiles (yes… Bamboo Fiber), interiors etc.  You would quire be surprised to check out this mind-blogging  innovation of Bamboo-that is by using  them as a natural amplifies your iPhone speakers.  The device is called the iBamboo speaker and uses the inherent amplification features of Bamboo to give you a clear pitch from your iPhone speaker.

iBamboo Speaker

Bamboo shots were traditionally used as pipes and also in music instruments such as Flutes etc.-  as the shoot provides a perfect way to transmit sound by reducing the noise  and streamlining  the sound waves. Here in the iBamboo speaker, a natural Bamboo shoot is cut in the middle to allow your iPhone to slide through the space. When you turn  on your iPhone speaker, the sound from the speaker amplifies the sound by the natural resonance of the bamboo and gives you a clear and amplified tone.The device is Eco-friendly and 100% biodegradable and is quite an unique application of using bamboo. You can carry the speaker along with you and can use it whenever you want to. The best part is that it doesn’t require any electricity or charging and is quite compact to use. It’s made for Phone 5, 4 and 4S models and comes in two color-natural bamboo and black. This awesome natural innovation suits personal uses and also makes a perfect gift for this holiday season.

The device is priced a $29.0 and comes in a burlap bag and a gift box. It’s shipped from Brooklyn USA and can be purchased from their website at the below link.

Link: http://ibamboospeaker.com/

Clean Attitude-The eStore for Eco-Friendly Baby, Body Care and Household products from Bio Spectra

By Anny on April 19th, 2013

Bio Spectra” is a Canadian company devoted to producing Eco-friendly personal care products for domestic use. All their products are made from 100% natural ingredients for a safer and healthier planet. The range has been certified with by the “Eco Logo” certification from the Canadian government for maintaining the highest standards in Eco-friendly product manufacturing cycles. The range is also backed by a focus on tree plantation so as to offset any greenhouse emission during the process, making the product range carbon-neutral. All their products are free from toxic chemicals ingredients and are completely safe for domestic use. Their ranges of products are sold worldwide under the” Attitude” label and can also be purchased from their website (CleanAttitude.com). You can check out the list of stores by country from their site.

Clean Attitude

The range is free from Ethylated ingredients commonly found in personal care products which are deemed to be carcinogenic. These products are often added in low dilutions which are shown as harmless for humans.  However, the International Agency for Research on Cancer does classify products having 1,4-dioxane and ethylene oxide as carcinogenic and hence are harmful for users. The “Attitude “range is certified to be safe from such ingredients and the results are also verified by an independent laboratory. You can buy with a complete trust that the products are safe for you as well as for the environment

The Attitude range has products for Babies which include diapers, fabric care products, lotions, shampoos as well as handy wipes. These are made from natural ingredients which are 100% safe for your baby. Household products include dish, fabric and hand care products, surface clears and purifiers.  You can also shop from a broad category of personal care products which include soaps, body care lotions, conditioners, deodorants etc.

Biopolymers – Ingeo

By Anny on April 17th, 2013

Biopolymers are polymers derived from natural sources. One such example is Ingeo, which is derived from sugars produced by plants during the cycle of photosynthesis. Plants convert air, water, nutrients from soil in presence of light to starch, which is the basic constituent of all fruits and vegetables. In an initial stage, Ingeo has been made from corn sugar, but can also be made from any natural sugar source.

Biopolymers- Ingeo

It involves synthesizing this sugar into a resin, which is then converted in to fiber and can be used for garments, personal care, appliances and as a bio packaging material. This makes it a natural plastic, which is derived from 100% natural sources, and does not pollute the environment as its biodegradable, Ingeo uses less energy while being produced, which mean lesser emission of greenhouse gases.

Research is in progress to harness other sources of natural sugars, such as from cellulose, agricultural waste, and other plant sources. The carbon footprint during the manufacture of Ingeo is estimated to be 60% less than that from ordinary PET synthesis, and hence is Eco-friendly. This natural polymer can be used just as normal plastic resin in the manufacture of consumer goods, containers, films, cartons, apparel, textiles, electronics etc.

Let’s look in detail as to how this is done.

Firstly, natural sugar is obtained from plant sources, and is converted into lactic acid by special Microorganisms, which alter the chemical structure of sugar.This lactic acid molecules then link with each other to form long chains, similar to ester chains in normal plastics. This long chains are called Ingeo Polylactide polymer chains, and are converted into pellets. This pellets form the starting point of its wide usage, and they can be molded into different shaped and sizes to create a versatile range of
products.

Now let us look at one more aspect of using plastics-which is disposing plastic wastes. Conventional plastic goods are often burnt or end up in landfills which does pollute air and soil. They are also recycled and produced into new goods. With Ingeo, you can safely dispose the used plastics gods, as they arebiodegradable, and do not pollute the environment. They also do not release toxic gases and can beeasily incarcerated. Also, disposable utensils made from Ingeo can always be safely composted, which isone advantage over using normal plastics for disposable foodstuffs.

Ingeo can be made from natural sources, and do not require any genetically modified crops. They can be synthesized from natural plant sugars such as wheat, sugar beet, sugarcane etc. Also, the current usage of corn for making Ingeo is only 0.05% of the total corn production, and hence does not affect the food cycle.

For more details on Ingeo, please access their site at www.naturalworksllc.com. You can also buy Ingeo pellets online, and can also find manufactures who use Ingeo for their product ranges.

Bio Plastics

By Anny on April 15th, 2013

We all use plastics in our daily life in a vast number of ways such as in household appliances, wrappers, containers etc. One advantage of plastics is that it can be easily manufactured and molded into a variety of shapes and sizes.  Discarded plastics container scan again be recycled and made into a new product. However, most of the left-over and discarded plastic waste often ends up in a landfill or is incarcerated which gives a lot of noxious fumes that pollute the atmosphere.

Bio Plastics

Plastic waste has been deemed to be one of the most polluting of all waste materials as it synthetic nature does not allow it to degrade into the soil. There has been a focus on alternatives to using plastics, and one such alternate is the usage of bio-plastics-which are derived from biological sources and are degradable.

Bio plastics are commonly made from natural substances such as corn, vegetable fats etc. They are two different broad applications in using bio-plastics. One is to create a bio-degradable form of plastic which easily disintegrates and does not cause environmental pollution. The other is to create plastic polymers from a natural source-thereby decreasing our dependence on petrochemicals and chemical sources of plastics.

Some examples of bio plastics are as below.

PLA – Derived fromcane sugar .It can be made into foils, molds, cups and bottles. PLA can be easily processed and is similar to conventional plastics.

Cellulose based plastics-derivedfrom common cellulose. Ex-Cellulose acetate

Thermoplastic Starch: This is one of the most widely used bio-plastic and is derived from natural starch and similar substances. They are often blended with other variety of bio-plastics and have diverse uses.

Bio Plastics

Renewable polyethylene: PET is one the most widely used variety of plastics, and also is one of the most polluting materials in recent times. Ethanol derived from natural sources can be made into PET, as ethanol is one of the building blocks of PET. Natural ethanol can be derived from a large number of sources such as sugarcane, corn etc. Sourcing the basic material from a natural source would significantly decrease the amount of pollution and the carbon footprint in making commercial ethanol.

AirDye – An Revolution in Fabric Dyeing

By Anny on April 13th, 2013

We all line in a colorful and vibrant world, with our clothing and interiors designed in a myriad of colors. The fact that almost all of the fabrics need to be dyed with the appropriate colors is something we all would quite agree with. As we get to become more conscious of our environment, there has been a spurt in the usage of natural fabrics and dyes. However, as we move towards optimizing our daily activities and reducing our dependence on natural resources and prevent over-usage wherever possible, let’s ponder to how much water would dyeing a fabric consume?

Air Dye – An Revolution in Fabric Dyeing

On an average, each fabric goes through several stages of dyeing, with an estimated 5-15 gallons of water required to dye a regular fabric with a single color. Considering the fact that water is scarcely available in our planet, with a vast majority of people without access to drinking water, it would quite be useful if we have a mechanism by which we can reduce the water consumption in dyeing of fabrics, or omit it all together. One such relevant way of saving water is by the revolutionary AirDye technology which eliminates the need for water while dyeing fabrics.

Going by an example from the water saver calculator on their site, a regular tee-shirt would cost 7.75 gallons of water when dried using traditional dyeing methods.

 

Air Dye is a technology from Colorep®, Inc. which is a California based company dealing with sustainable technologies for human life. The technology used air instead of water to apply dye on a surface, which can be a fabric or interiors. This does not damage the fabric and color etches into the fabric as good as any conventional form of dyeing. It also reduces waste and consumes up to 85% lesser energy when compared to conventional dyeing methods. It is already in use by brands as varied as Patagonia, Hunter Douglas, Julie Apple as well as renowned fashion house Costello Tagliapietra. Air Dye technology also suits print to order fabric dyeing and can be an asset to the fashion and apparel industry.

Air Dye – An Revolution in Fabric Dyeing

To know more, access the below link.

http://airdye.com/

Peat- Alternative Energy Source

By Anny on April 11th, 2013

In our quest to educate our readers on alternate forms of energy which one day can solve most of our energy crisis, we bring across a lesser known form of natural fuel-Peat. Peat is a collective term for natural vegetation which has been incompletely decomposed into the soil and remains as a layer above the soil. It usually forms in wetlands where the insufficient oxygen does not allow a complete disintegration of the natural vegetation. Peat is used a fuel in some parts of the world where it’s densely available. It consists of partially decayed shrubs, lichens and other form of weeds which form a solid mass after accumulating water. It’s considered as a fossil fuel as peat deposits are not renewable in the same ratio as they are being consumed.

Peat- Alternative Energy Source

An estimated 3% of the land area in the world is said to be covered with different forms of peat, which can yield about 8 Billion Tera joules of energy. Large peat deposits are found in Europe, North America, New Zealand and Russia. Under some conditions, peat slowly turns into lignite coal over a period of time. However, it takes about a year for a single millimeter of peat deposit to accumulate above the soil.

In some countries such as Ireland and England, Peat is converted into a fuel after drying. This fuel is used for cooking and for domestic heating. Peat briquettes are also sold in some parts of Ireland and are also used in power generation. Refined peat is also added to the soil to improve its moisture retention abilities. Energy from using peat as a fuel accounts for about 6.2% of Finland’s annual energy production

However, Peat generates more carbon dioxide than coal and its use is also limited to areas where it’s freely available when compared to other sources of fuel.

Russia has been traditionally using peat as an energy source and now accounts for about 17% of the world’s peat production out of which 20% is used to generate power. The Shatura power station is one of the largest peat powered power station where 11% of the fuel used comes from peat.

Peat deposits rarely tend to catch fire causing widespread damage to the local environment. A massive peat deposit caught fire in Russia in 2010 due to a heat wave causing widespread destruction of habitation apart from releasing a thick smoke blanket of gases over Moscow.