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.
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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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….

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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…

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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…

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“New” inflatable process for building energy efficient concrete dome buildings isn’t so new
general June 7, 2014 posted by Debra Atlas

Viridian Wood – upcycling discarded waste into beautiful hardwood flooring

Tropical hardwood isn’t as easy to come by as it used to be thanks for regulations and more sustainable forest management. Still, there’s a surprising amount of it that’s been wasted and landfilled. Viridian Wood Products discovered a steady supply of these beautiful woods and has turned them into stunning looking hardwood flooring. Their new American Classics line features reclaimed red oak, white oak, and rustic oak solid-plank hardwood flooring. Tropical hardwood is used to stabilize heavy manufactured goods such…

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Viridian Wood – upcycling discarded waste into beautiful hardwood flooring
Eco Friendly May 31, 2014 posted by Debra Atlas

A Wind Turbine designed for the 21st century

When you think of a wind turbine, the massively tall device with huge long rotating blades comes to mind. But the Netherlands-based tech firm The Archimedes has created an unusual styled turbine based around the idea of the nautilus shell. The Liam F1 Urban Wind Turbine is said to have an energy yield that is “80 percent of the maximum that is theoretically feasible.” Conventional turbines produce an average of 20 to 25 percent energy yield, so this claim, if…

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A Wind Turbine designed for the 21st century
nice idea... May 9, 2014 posted by Debra Atlas

Stylish sneakers made from trash

Having recently judged a competition where young people are tasked with being innovative entrepreneurs, it’s clear that many of the today’s youth have creativity and passion spilling out all over the place. Such is the case of three design students at University of London who, as part of their graduate art project, creative colorfully stylish sneakers from garbage. These multi-colored sneakers, pointedly called “Everything You Buy is Rubbish” -are made of plastic debris collected after the three students scoured local…

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Stylish sneakers made from trash
Eco Friendly May 2, 2014 posted by Debra Atlas

The next level of waste recycling – weatherproof flooring made from rice husks

The scope and breadth of waste materials are continually being redefined in the 21st century. Biomass being converted to energy, the growing push for manufacturer take-back programs – the list keeps growing. Now Westech Building Products has announced it will launch its newest product – a new TruGrain porch flooring that’s made with Resysta, a wood-like material manufactured mainly from rice husks. This better-than-wood material is resistant to weather, pests and fungal decay, and is splinter-, swell- and crack free….

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The next level of waste recycling – weatherproof flooring made from rice husks
Eco Friendly April 25, 2014 posted by Debra Atlas

Treat yourself (and guests) to a green outdoor experience

Now that spring is here (even peeking its head out in the frozen eastern reaches of the U.S.), home projects are swirling around in our heads and making it onto “to do” lists.Want to do something in your backyard that gives you and perhaps visitors more space? Studio Shed could be a perfect solution. This American company produces well-designed, prefabricated backyard structures made with recycled, sustainable materials and production techniques. Affordably priced, these single room structures can be used as…

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Treat yourself (and guests) to a green outdoor experience
Eco Friendly April 18, 2014 posted by Debra Atlas

Add to your decor with colorful tiles made from recycled glass

Let’s face it. Home decorating is always about finding the latest and greatest thing that you fall in love with. And if you’re into Made in America, the choices, thankfully, are becoming a big broader. A San Jose, California company called Fireclay Tile makes beautiful glass tiles. Handmade by northern California artisans, they use 100 percent locally sourced recycled glass. It’s all part of the company’s commitment to sustainable manufacturing practices. These lovely tiles are available in 40 colors, with…

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Add to your decor with colorful tiles made from recycled glass
nice idea... April 18, 2014 posted by Debra Atlas

New energy saving woodstove captures and uses heat for water

Winter is still very present in many parts of the world, though there are signs that spring is coming. But a good woodstove is still an important device for heating and improvements are always welcome. Bodart & Gonay, a Belgian fireplace manufacturer, has come up with a great improvement on its Infire 680 woodstove insert. Its innovative boiler technology recovers convection heat and uses it for hot water. Combined together, this new innovative system not only heats your home, it…

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New energy saving woodstove captures and uses heat for water
future tech March 21, 2014 posted by Debra Atlas

Beaming solar power to Earth could become a reality someday

It sounds like something from a Robert Heinlein book but it may well be a glimpse of our renewable energy future. The U.S. Navy says it has an idea that could collect solar energy in space and turn it into solar energy they beam down to Earth. U.S. Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) spacecraft engineer Paul Jaffe has created two prototypes of space solar modules. The “sandwich” design has one side receiving solar energy with a photovoltaic panel; electronics in the…

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Beaming solar power to Earth could become a reality someday
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