green stories

While Santa heads back to the North Pole after the holidays, the world's holiday lights head to processing centers in a recycling zone in Shijiao, China. And it's not just a few strands; the region handles roughly 20 million pounds of discarded lights annually in a recycling process that readies the raw materials to be reborn into as many new products as possible.
It's common to see houses with solar panels on the roof harvesting energy to power household electricity, and if lucky the electrical grid. Now, a team from the University of Notre Dame is swinging back around on the idea of solar paint, and using semi-conducting particles to produce energy. This paint would be cheap enough to cover your entire house and turn it into a massive solar powered generator.
Remember that plastic made from fruit? Scratch that. A team of researchers at the University of Florida might well be on their way to cutting our dependence on valuable natural resources to create plastic. Instead of using food carbohydrates or petroleum, new plastics can be made with discarded plant wastes. Yes, that's leaves, grass and petals.
There are currently two problems with driving a car in a city: 1) all those cars generate a load of pollution and 2) it's hard to fit lots of cars on a street during rush hour. The Vieria concept car designed by Gunwoong Kim and Suji Kim for the Michelin Challenge Design competition solves both those issues with its front pollution-sucking intake and shiftable scissor-like wheel and axle system. After ingesting all that dirty air, the all-electric Vieria even goes one further — it emits clean air out of its rear outtake, similar to the YeZ concept car. How's that for eco-friendly?