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Manmade Surplus Programs

Finding new uses for recycled, second-hand, surplus or damaged manufactured goods and materials.

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Natural Abundance Programs

Discovering uses for renewable resources found abundantly in nature.

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How a high school program is preserving seeds of the past for future generations

Posted on Tuesday, May 3rd, 2016

When researchers in Scotland needed seeds to grow Bere, a very old barley variety once cultivated for thousands of years in highlands, they looked across the Atlantic to a midcoast Maine high school. With more than 800 varieties in its seed bank, the Medomak Valley High School Heirloom Seed Project …

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Scientists Turn Florida’s Rotten Tomatoes Into Clean Energy

Posted on Tuesday, May 3rd, 2016

Tomatoes are useful for a lot of things — mixing into salads, adding nutritional value to cheeseburgers, lobbing at struggling standup comics, and even making plastic for car parts. But a team of scientists at the South Dakota School of Mines & Technology has come up with a powerful new …

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This Adorable Tiny Car Is Actually A Bike

Posted on Tuesday, May 3rd, 2016

After he got tired of biking to work in Sweden’s cold, wet winters, engineer Mikael Kjellman decided to redesign his bicycle. He took inspiration from fabric-covered bike trailers made for children—and decided to make an adult version, which ended up looking like a tiny car. Like a kid’s trailer, Kjellman’s …

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To Rid the Oceans of Plastic Pollution, Company Develops Plastic Fishing

Posted on Friday, April 29th, 2016

The inspiring and innovative crew of a small company, Plastic Whale, in The Netherlands, is making cleaning up plastics its daily mission and confronting the massive global problem of plastic pollution. This Dutch company organizes Amsterdam sight-seeing and plastic fishing tours and corporate events via the city’s extensive canal system, …

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A Floating Food Forest Prepares to Sets Sail in New York City

Posted on Friday, April 29th, 2016

Half public art project, half tourist destination, a floating food forest called Swale is set to launch along the New York City waterfront in June. Unlike the Beacon Food Forest in Seattle, Clifton Park Food Forest in Baltimore, and other similar efforts located in public parks or public land, Swale is …

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Heliofloat is a flexible, football-field-sized solar panel that floats in the ocean

Posted on Thursday, April 28th, 2016

Offshore wind farms are growing in popularity as energy providers look for different ways of harvesting power from the sun without using valuable land resources. One unique idea being developed by engineers at Vienna University of Technology (TU Wien) is a floating platform called a Heliofloat that would function as …

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Inside The High-Tech Farm Growing Kale In An Old Paintball Arena

Posted on Tuesday, April 26th, 2016

A rendering of Aerofarms’ new headquarters in Newark, New Jersey, which it says will be the largest indoor vertical farm in the world. David Rosenberg is trying to build an agricultural empire out of an old paintball arena in a blighted urban neighborhood about 45 minutes outside Manhattan. Needless to …

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Cheesemakers Are Using Production Waste To Make Electricity

Posted on Tuesday, April 26th, 2016

The French are stylishly tackling food waste with a picturesque new power plant, high in the Alps, that converts cheese waste to electricity. Located in the quaint Alpine town of Albertville, the plant will use Beaufort cheese whey—a liquid produced during the cheesemaking process that often winds up in the …

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Styrofoam-eating mealworms might help reduce plastic waste

Posted on Friday, April 22nd, 2016

Plastic, long considered nonbiodegradable and one of the biggest contributors to global pollution, might have met its match: The small, brownish, squirmy mealworm. Researchers have learned that the mealworm can live on a diet of Styrofoam and other types of plastic. Inside the mealworm’s gut are microorganisms that are able …

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This off-grid coffee trailer might be coming to an event near you

Posted on Friday, April 22nd, 2016

Meet Mike and Tabi. For years they’ve had a dream of owning a local coffee shop. Mike began working as a barista and Tabi as a stylist in the film world. After drinking too many mediocre (at best) cups of coffee on set they saw the need to bring these …

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