Without any sort of approval from my girlfriend, I bought a 1984 diesel Mercedes-Benz through eBay. Two years later, the vehicle has provided me with nearly 10,000 miles of service on waste vegetable oil (WVO). The fuel may technically be free, but it has not come without a price. Here's how I converted my car, affectionately known as "Chance," to a veggie-oil roadster, and some of the hard-learned lessons I picked up along the way.
We here at PopSci enjoy our green dreams for future buildings as much as any other geek. So imagine the excitement when Beijing-based MAD Ltd. unveiled its solar eco-skin design for the Taichung Convention Center in Taiwan.
The landmark building design aims to meld future tech with natural shapes that evoke mountains dotted with crater-like openings. We can only hope that a recovering post-apocalyptic landscape would look so pleasing.
The Sahara, as well as other deserts around the world, is growing, in a process called desertification that ends up displacing people and crops. The situation has become drastic in a number of sub-Saharan countries. One suggestion from architect Magnus Larsson at the recent TED Global conference suggests constructing a massive wall, 3,700 miles long -- built from the sand itself. The trick would be to use bacterial labor to build it.
Pre-fab panels instead of a wood frame save cash and energy
By John B. CarnettPosted 07.17.2009 at 2:15 pm 35 Comments
John B. Carnett, PopSci's staff photographer, is using the latest green technology to build his dream home. Follow his progress in his monthly magazine column (the first of which you're reading now) and on the Green Dream blog.
In the past 20 years, I've lived in some pretty weird places — a leaky loft, a sailboat, an old carriage house that I rehabbed myself. Makeshift bachelor pads were fine until I found myself with a wife and two small boys.
A team at Harvard decided to reinvestigate the potential for windpower around the globe, and found their new results to be significantly different than previous studies. According to the new study, we're capable of someday producing 40 times more power via wind than we currently consume overall.
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.