Our second all-digital Genius Guide shows you 99 ways to save energy— and money— at home this summer
By Mark Jannot, Editor-in-ChiefPosted 07.06.2009 at 5:07 pm 10 Comments
Did you know you can cut your water use by 10 gallons a day by switching toilets? That a new washer and dryer could save you almost $150 a year? These are just two of the dozens of tips, tricks, facts and projects packed into the freeGreen Home Guide, the second in our series of digital special issues called Genius Guides, designed to make you an expert on one of the core PopSci topics. You can click through our animated home to see the worst spots for wasting power, air and water.
Trees are great absorbers of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, and inhibitors of climate change -- that's why treehuggers hug them so much. But leave it to humanity to engineer a better tree. A synthetic tree, currently being tested as a prototype, ensnares carbon about 1,000 times faster than a real tree.
The water toilet is truly one of the greatest miracles of modern life, a frothy disappearing act; now you see it… now you don't. But washing human waste away requires huge sewage treatment infrastructures in cities, and extensive home septic systems for rural dwellers. Compost toilets, though in their essence as old as human civilization, have evolved to a point of technological sophistication whereby they tackle the minutiae of composting details to create optimal conditions for recycling human waste.
Take a look at the compost toilet tech out there for the non-flushers among us.
Customizing transportation infrastructure for amphibians
By Lindsey KonkelPosted 04.29.2009 at 1:37 pm 2 Comments
Hara Woltz's clients don't say much -- mostly just ribbit. A landscape architect and biologist at Columbia University, Woltz has undertaken the daunting task of creating road-crossing tunnels for amphibians and reptiles, based on different animals' preferences for different tunnel attributes. Building herpetological crosswalks might seem absurd, but the stakes are high: nearly one-third of the world's amphibian species and many of its reptiles are spiraling toward extinction due to habitat loss and fragmentation from human development.
Earth Day is a big deal here at PopSci. It's a time for admiring our incredible planet, and for giving back-- to the Earth, and to our readers (that means you). We've teamed up with the BBC to bring you a gallery of stunning images from the popular Planet Earth series, video clips (so you can appreciate the full affect), and our most extravagant giveaway yet.
Why are the Japanese so far ahead of us in certain important areas?
By Devanshu PatelPosted 03.12.2009 at 12:03 pm 17 Comments
Remember the last time you had one hand Twittering away on your Blackberry and the other hand locating the nearest Prius dealership on your iPhone's GPS, all the while talking to Best Buy on your Jawbone bluetooth earpiece about your 42-inch HD plasma TV? That was a moment to truly appreciate the staggering speed of technology's march towards progress.
Now imagine you were doing all that while sitting on the toilet. Whoosh, one flush just ended technology's march forward. Why? Because, despite the amalgam of technological advancements in phones, televisions, transportation, and the Internet, the one item we use everyday, multiple times a day - the ubiquitous toilet - has remained in the technological dark ages for centuries here in the U.S.
On the surface, the only thing green about the Super Bowl is the 95,000 square feet of brand new turf (at a cost of $85,000) they require to be brought into the host of the big game (okay, come to think of it, that's not very green at all). But, the NFL is doing what they can to give the appearance of being a neutral event in the decaying of our environment.
Lazy? Shy? Live in a cave? Those might not be positive attributes for the average human, but they sure are good for animals trying to survive in a changing environment. According to a new study in the journal The American Naturalist, beasts that hibernate, burrow, or crawl into holes in things are less likely to be listed as endangered than those that don’t.