Category Archives: innovate

Paperflops for summer

Mentioned at  Green Diary, these earth-friendly flip-flops are made from paper flops shoesrecycled newspapers with the addition of re-purposed coconut shells, palm tree roots and recycled rubber.

The newspaper  supports the feet and the straps, base and sole are made of the sustainable re-purposed materials.

The re-purposed materials give durability, water resistance and a good grip, 1 kg of newspaper is recycled for each pair, and for an even happier result a project is afoot (Mrs Green did not initially intend that pun) to create employment opportunities by making Paperflops for disabled and underprivileged people in Yogjakarta, Indonesia.

Building with plasic bottles

exterior plastic bottles schoolVolunteers built a school in San Pablo in the Philippines  out of thousands of recycled plastic bottles.

The bottles were filled with liquefied adobe and steel bars and then cemented into place. interior plastic bottle schoolThe result is claimed to be three times stronger than concrete.

Read more about it at GreenMuze . Hugitforward has more information here about the how, why and where of bottle schools, and more  useful information here.

A bucket with a cover grows trees in arid places

water pot for growing treesPieter Hoff won Popular Science magazine’s award for Popular Science magazine’s award for the 2010 Best of What’s New Innovation of the Year (the picture is theirs).

The cover on the bucket has 2 holes in it so it can catch water from rain or condensation once a sapling or seeds are planted in it. There is a wick that drips enough water onto the plant to allow it to survive in this micro-climate while it grows tap-roots deep enough to find moisture. It will also last for about 10 years so can be used at least 10 times to establish a new tree. They’ve been extensively tested over the past few years.

The Guardian has an interview with the inventor here and here is a lovely gallery from the official Groasis Webite. Details of various projects are here. Mrs Green will be keeping an eye on this.

Wetland-filtered swimming pools

The Green Power House  has been experimenting for over a year with a “wetland” filtering system for a swimming pool. I went to investigate it yesterday.  Remarkable. The pool water is crywetland-pool-1-150x150stal-clear. It smells like a pristine  mountain pool.

Mrs Green understands the process as follows: The water overflows into a section of the pool (planted with reeds and similar plants),  from where it’s pumped into a swampy area planted with typical wetland plants. Water from this section seeps into another (also planted) shallow pool, from where it’s pumped back into the pool via a cascading water feature.  One did, after seeing the result, ponder the efficacy of wetlands and how misunderstood is the necessity of preserving them.

One also immediately wanted to dive into this beautiful pool but restrained oneself at the thought of possibly being firmly escorted off the property.

Solar-power from windows?

solar-power-from-windowsThe U.S. Department of Energy’s Los Alamos National Laboratory and Brookhaven National Laboratory have developed a transparent film that could potentially generate power by transforming windows into solar panels.

Imagine every window of your house generating power. Now – imagine every window of every office building and skyscraper doing the same.

The Green Tech Gazette has an article about it here, and the Los Alamos National Laboratory website has more information here.