Author Archives: Debra Atlas

Full Name: Debra Atlas Website:
Info: Debra Atlas is a freelance environmental writer and eco-enthusiast based in Northern California, and is the Red Ferret’s Ecological Editor. Debra looks for the upside of eco-change - what’s positive, making a difference. She hunts down those interesting things cooked up by creative minds, especially if they’re strange and eccentric.
hmm..interesting December 20, 2014 posted by Debra Atlas

Ocean Spiral – a 21st century underwater city

With the world population slated to reach 9 billion people, housing becomes a real problem. But Japanese construction firm Shimizu Corp has an innovative idea to solve this. Ocean Spiral is planned as an eco-friendly underwater city that would house 5,000 people and be powered by the sea bed. An artist’s rendering shows the futuristic structure divided into three sections. A floating sphere – the “Blue Garden” – will be 500 meters (approx. 1,640 feet) in diameter. It will lie…

Read More
Ocean Spiral – a 21st century underwater city
Awesome December 5, 2014 posted by Debra Atlas

New York’s underground Lowline park creates solar innovation

Turning a long-abandoned trolley terminal into an underground park is a daunting task. But this dream is on its way to becoming a reality. The Lowline – inspired by the success of New York’s elevated High Line – was first unveiled as the Delancey Underground Project in 2011. The renamed project has been steadily attracting funds and supporters. As proof-of-concept, a full-scale model was built and proudly displayed. And $155,000 US has already raised to test the innovative solar technology…

Read More
New York’s underground Lowline park creates solar innovation
but is it art? November 14, 2014 posted by Debra Atlas

This “tree” lets you charge your cell and gives you wi-fi too

Technology keeps giving us more unusual and amazing ways to stay connected. Israeli renewables company Sologic has created the eTree – a solar-panel “tree” that’s part social enterprise, environmental / ecological sculpture, public space and free wi-fi provider. If that’s not enough, the eTree provides a drinking fountain for humans and pets, shade with a bench for rest and relaxation, and it lights up for nighttime enjoyment. Created for residential and urban areas such as courtyards, schools, universities and parks,…

Read More
This “tree” lets you charge your cell and gives you wi-fi too
Awesome November 7, 2014 posted by Debra Atlas

The Quadrofoil – it’s not a fantasy any more

Ever dreamed of flying over the water in a 21st century personal watercraft? Dream no more. The Quadrofoil – the stuff of our imaginations for years – is finally here. This sleek looking, all electric watercraft fully charges in 2 hours. With a top speed of 24 knots. it has a range of up to 54 nautical miles. Powered by industry standard batteries with an integrated battery management system, it can “fly” for up to 100 km on a single…

Read More
The Quadrofoil – it’s not a fantasy any more
Eco Friendly October 25, 2014 posted by Debra Atlas

Recycled Denim is for more than just comfy jeans

Old jeans are taking on new lives. Creative minds have used them to make purses, furniture and insulation. Now the Oregon-based company TorZo has created a good looking surfacing product made from 80 percent post industrial recycled denim scraps. “Denim” utilizes a nontoxic acrylic resin infusion process to penetrate the denim board. This produces a hard, durable product that’s resistant to scratches and abrasions. Measuring 2 feet. wide, 4 feet. long and 1/2-inch thick (including a plywood backer board), the…

Read More
Recycled Denim is for more than just comfy jeans
nice idea... October 10, 2014 posted by Debra Atlas

Dancing Traffic Light gets more people to stop

Traffic lights are boring. But this past summer in Lisbon, Portugal, a new phenomena helped pedestrians stay safer and have fun too. The Dancing Traffic Light was created by the Smart Company, the same firm that brought us the Smart Car. This light was part of an ad campaign by Smart called #WhatAreYouFor as in For More Safety. This innovative light has been configured to mimic dance moves from passersby. Pedestrians are encouraged to enter a nearby booth, select music…

Read More
Dancing Traffic Light gets more people to stop
nice idea... October 4, 2014 posted by Debra Atlas

San Francisco baseball park now features its own growing garden

Gardens are springing up all over the plac -rooftop gardens in New York City and large urban gardens in \cities such as Chicago and Portland. Growing your own fresh veggies has become a national pastime. Now baseball has jumped into the act. The San Francisco Giants now have a 4,320 square-foot vegetable garden behind the outfield wall in center field in AT&T Park, their professional baseball stadium. This is a first for baseball. The space where The Garden is located…

Read More
San Francisco baseball park now features its own growing garden
Eco Friendly September 27, 2014 posted by Debra Atlas

BarkClad – handsome wood siding that’s easy on the environment

Sustainability is fast becoming a standard in the construction industry. Consumers often favor using FSC certified products. BarkClad, a wood siding product that’s Made in the USA, repurposes the bark from trees that have already been cut, utilizing what would have gone to waste. This high quality natural product takes carefully hand-peeled Tulip Poplar bark that’s hand cut on-site from trees that have been sustainably harvested for the furniture and plywood industries. This distinctive and beautiful bark siding is found…

Read More
BarkClad – handsome wood siding that’s easy on the environment
nice idea... September 6, 2014 posted by Debra Atlas

Engineering college students create smog-eating roof tile

Competition runners up or honorable mentions might just have brilliant ideas that could change the world. This past May,engineering students from the University of California Riverside received an honorable mention award for phase two of an Environmental Protection Agency student design competition for their creation of a roof tile paint that eats smog emissions equivalent to that of a car driven 11,000 miles per year. Tiles with and without the smog-eating paint This roof coating is a paint made from…

Read More
Engineering college students create smog-eating roof tile
Eco Friendly August 16, 2014 posted by Debra Atlas

Nu-wool- the innovative home insulation made from recycled newsprint

  As consumer continue to demand more green products, creative minds in the construction industry keep coming up with mew and innovative products. One of these is Nu-Wool Premium Cellulose Insulation, a spray-in-place product made from at least 85 percent recycled newsprint and a borate formulation for fire resistance. Cellulose takes less energy to produce and transport, meaning that fewer emissions are released in making it. This product has an R-value of 3.8 inches, meaning its resistance to fire is…

Read More
Nu-wool- the innovative home insulation made from recycled newsprint
Eco Friendly July 25, 2014 posted by Debra Atlas

Nu-wool – the innovative home insulation made from recycled newsprint

  As consumer continue to demand more green products, creative minds in the construction industry keep coming up with mew and innovative products. One of these is Nu-Wool Premium Cellulose Insulation, a spray-in-place product made from at least 85 percent recycled newsprint and a borate formulation for fire resistance. Cellulose takes less energy to produce and transport, meaning that fewer emissions are released in making it. This product has an R-value of 3.8 inches, meaning its resistance to fire is…

Read More
Nu-wool – the innovative home insulation made from recycled newsprint
Eco Friendly July 19, 2014 posted by Debra Atlas

Southwest Airlines upcycles its used leather seats

Upcycling – turning used products that would have ended up in the landfill into new products – is becoming more mainstream. Now it’s Southwest Airlines that’s jumped onboard. It’s new LUV Seat: Repurpose with Purpose sustainability program will turn 43 acres of used leather seat coverings into useful new products. After going more eco-friendly by replacing many of its fleet’s interior leather products with more lightweight materials- which reduced each plane’s weight by 600 pounds – the airline was stuck…

Read More
Southwest Airlines upcycles its used leather seats
nice idea... July 11, 2014 posted by Debra Atlas

The latest way to recycle – turning fishnets into skateboards

Plastic waste has become a HUGE global problem, particularly in our oceans. It’s become a scourge for marine and wildlife. Once useful fishnets are now being discarded and amount to 10% of the oceans’ plastic waste. Bureo Skateboards is trying to change this. Based in Chile, this skate company recycles discarded fishnets into stylish plastic skateboards. Started by “three crazy gringos”, they’ve created The Minnow. This product utilizes very little plastic (by weight) but has a real value to it….

Read More
The latest way to recycle – turning fishnets into skateboards
nice idea... June 20, 2014 posted by Debra Atlas

Lento – the smoke alarm that looks great and saves lives too

We all know what smoke alarms look like – those round ugly devices that we stick up high on a wall or ceiling. Now Finnish designer Paola Suhonen has added some whimsy to this lifesaving tool. Lento from Jalo Helsinki, is a photovoltaic smoke detector that resembles an attractive insect or art deco and features cutting-edge technology. Its entire surface acts as as a test button, so there are no push buttons. Also the external casing acts as a “press…

Read More
Lento – the smoke alarm that looks great and saves lives too
hmm..interesting June 13, 2014 posted by Debra Atlas

“New” inflatable process for building energy efficient concrete dome buildings isn’t so new

Most of us have little to no experience seeing or living in a concrete dome building. Yet they were first introduced as “bubble houses” in the 1940’s by Wallace Neff. The idea became popular and remarkable dome houses were built around the world, although few of the original ones still remain. It seems that history is repeating itself. A team at the Vienna University of Technology has created a system that allows concrete shell structures for a domed building to…

Read More
“New” inflatable process for building energy efficient concrete dome buildings isn’t so new