Posts Tagged ‘eco’

A “funky, eco-friendly” shop in Providence, Small Point Café, serves wooden cutlery that can be recycled. The only problem is that if you do takeout and want to use the recycling bin at work, wood is not accepted.

Here’s an idea that could solve the problem of takeout-cutlery waste once and for all: utensils you can eat.

Brittany Levine Beckman writes at Mashable, “Tired of seeing mountains of plastic cutlery polluting India’s landfills, Narayana Peesapaty had an idea: What if you could eat your disposable spoon rather than toss it?

“Peesapaty, a researcher and agriculture consultant from Hyderabad, India, developed an edible spoon made of millet, rice and wheat flours, in 2010. Now, after selling 1.5 million spoons for his company Bakeys, he wants to reach even more eaters. Peesapaty knows that means he has to cut the cost of his products to compete with cheaper plastic counterparts. …

“Bakeys plans to use its successful Kickstarter campaign to improve production and expand the product line. Its ‘edible lunch spoon,’ which can last 20 minutes in hot liquid, comes in a variety of flavors: sugar, ginger-cinnamon, ginger-garlic, cumin, celery, black pepper, mint-ginger and carrot-beetroot. The spoons have a shelf life of two to three years.

” ‘You can eat it up. If you don’t want to eat it, you can throw it. It decomposes within four to five days,’ Peesapaty said in a promotional video that has been shared millions of times since posting on March 16. …

” ‘Plastic is very cheap, true. But I can make it as cheap,’ Peesapaty remarks confidently. ‘I can with volumes, and once I get the volumes, I [can go to] the farmers directly and start procuring raw material directly from the farmers, in which case my spoons will be as cheap as the plastic spoons.’ ”

More. Learn how to get a supply of your own.

Photo: Mashable
Edible cutlery is already reducing plastic waste and benefiting the environment.

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Back in June, Jane Devlin tweeted a link to a story on a curious “urban algae canopy” designed for EXPO 2015 in Milan.

Ross Brooks wrote at Inhabitat, “The Urban Algae Canopy by ecoLogic Studio is a piece of bio-digital architecture that combines micro-algal cultures and real time digital cultivation protocols. To be displayed at Expo Milano 2015, the structure is able to control the flow of energy, water and carbon dioxide based on weather patterns, visitors’ movements, and other environmental variables. It’s the first of its kind in the world, and … will be able to produce the oxygen equivalent of four hectares of woodland, along with nearly 330 pounds of biomass per day.” More at Inhabitat.

DOMUSweb adds that Claudia Pasquero and Marco Poletto of ecoLogicStudio “proposed a new vision of future bio-digital architecture powered by microalgae organisms as part of the Future Food District project, curated by Carlo Ratti Associati at the central crossroads of the EXPO site. …

“The flows of energy, water and CO2 are … regulated to respond and adjust  to weather patterns and visitors’ movements.  As the sun shines more intensively, algae would photosynthesise and grow, thus reducing the transparency of the canopy and increasing its shading potential.” More from DOMUS.

Photo: ecoLogicStudio
Urban Algae Canopy

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Not long ago, I listened to a certain “Living on Earth” radio broadcast with amazement. A woman was explaining how she made up her mind to live without plastics. She did not make the effort sound easy, but she did make me think of ways I might cut back.

The “Living on Earth” account begins,”We live in a plastic-filled world. It’s used in almost everything, from cars to chewing gum to prescription drug bottles. Five years ago, Beth Terry decided to stop consuming plastic and she’s survived to tell the tale. Host Bruce Gellerman talks with Terry about her new book, ‘Plastic Free: How I Kicked the Plastic Habit and How You Can Too.’ ”

Terry tells the host, “Five years ago, almost to the day, I stumbled across an article about the plastic pollution problem in the ocean. And what completely blew my mind, and broke my heart, was this photo I saw of a dead albatross chick on Midway Island, thousands of miles from civilization — halfway between the United States and Japan. And it was just the carcass; it was full of plastic pieces. Like the plastic that I used on an everyday basis — things like bottle caps, things that didn’t come from the middle of the Pacific Ocean — they came from us. I just had to change. …

“I didn’t commit to stop using the plastic I already had, first of all, and I don’t recommend that anybody go through their house and purge the plastic and throw it away, because that’s just so wasteful, I think. But when my computer broke and it couldn’t be fixed — my first step is always to try and fix things and make them last as long as possible — but, when it couldn’t be fixed, I looked on Craig’s List and I found a secondhand computer.”

My own worry about plastics is how unstable the components are and how chemicals may escape into the air we breathe and the water we drink. When plastics are heated, as in a microwave, they can be dangerous. Please use ceramic containers for warming food in your — er — plastic microwave.

Read more of Terry’s alternatives to buying new plastics at “Living on Earth.”

Photograph: Beth Terry, with the plastic she collected in the first half of 2007.

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