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... December 2, 2016 posted by Debra Atlas

Vixole – a customizable “smart” sneaker

Fashion and sneakers have been a bonded pair for a while. But customizing a super cool shoe for yourself ? Definitely a cool idea. Vixole is the first customizable “smart” sneaker. Launched on Indegogo, it’s clearly a winner, standing at 516% of it’s intended goal with some time yet to go. These amazingly innovative sneakers have a built-in flexible monochrome LED display on the back of each shoe. Personalize your sneakers by choosing from choices and photos you upload from…

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Vixole – a customizable “smart” sneaker
cool tech September 23, 2016 posted by Debra Atlas

Researchers create self-cleaning system for solar panels

As the price of solar panels continue to fall, more folks are embracing this renewable energy source. But those who jumped onboard a few years ago have learned that, over time, dirt, pollution and bird droppings can reduce the effectiveness of their solar panels as much as 35 percent! What to do? Recently a research team and some students from the University of Washington’s Department of Electrical Engineering invented an innovative process called Aquapel. Not to be confused with the…

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Researchers create self-cleaning system for solar panels
Gadgets September 2, 2016 posted by Debra Atlas

NatureZap – the 21st century way to kill weeds without chemicals

As summer gives way to Fall, backyard gardeners know that weeds are still a pesky problem. If you’re hesitant about using toxic chemical products to rid your yard or garden of them, there’s a healthier and safer alternative. <iframe width=”640″ height=”360″ src=”https://www.youtube.com/embed/JbSa4wx4FJQ” frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen></iframe> NatureZap is a battery-powered device that uses light and heat to kill weeds. Using high intensity infrared, red and blue light, it disrupts the growth of weeds, killing the root, the leaves and the root crown….

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NatureZap – the 21st century way to kill weeds without chemicals
music July 29, 2016 posted by Debra Atlas

Years – tree ring player gives a concert that sounds ridiculously interesting

Do you remember learning that you can tell the age of a tree by looking at its rings? Tree rings tell us so much – what the climate was during certain periods of its growth, as well as other circumstances it experienced during the tree’s lifetime. But now a German engineer / artist has created a record player that captures the “music” of the trees. This unusual device “translates” the texture and color variations of a cross-section of a tree…

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Years – tree ring player gives a concert that sounds ridiculously interesting

Quebec company’s innovative technology means polystyrene (styrofoam) can be recycled

We’re all familiar with that white chunky packaging that’s snug around all our electronics. But styrofoam or polystyrene is very difficult to recycle, with few exceptions. Polystyvert, a company in Quebec, has developed a process that not only makes polystyrene recyclable but enhances its “green” factor. Founded in 2011, the company provides expanded polystyrene (EPS) containers they call concentrators for on-site collection at the business sites where the polystyrene is. Once filled with up to 66o pounds of EPS, the…

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<thrive_headline click tho-post-52965 tho-test-40>Quebec company’s innovative technology means polystyrene (styrofoam) can be recycled</thrive_headline>
Awesome June 25, 2016 posted by Debra Atlas

Watley – the computer that cleans water, creates electricity and delivers the web

Most of us take having the internet, electricity and clean water for granted. Yet in many parts of the world, war, climate change, poverty or lack of resources can make all three scarce, costly or difficult to get. The clean technology start-up Watley is working to provide all these things to those who need them. The Watley Machine is a solar-powered computer that can purify up to 1,320 gallons (5,000 liters) of water a day and generate enough electricity with…

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Watley – the computer that cleans water, creates electricity and delivers the web
Eco Friendly June 10, 2016 posted by Debra Atlas

Innovative bricks made from recycled waste

Two recent architectural grad students in the Netherlands are using recycled waste as a building material . Their start-up StoneCycling has created WasteBasedBricks, made from the waste from nearby glass, ceramics and insulation factories.The company also sometimes uses rejected clay from traditional brick factories, along with demolition waste. There are a number of green benefits to using this type of recycled building material. It not only saves waste from ending up in a landfill, Manufacturing WasteBasedBricks also produces significantly less…

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Innovative bricks made from recycled waste
nice idea... March 25, 2016 posted by Debra Atlas

Lifepack – a cool solar powered, anti-theft backpack

Solar technology – a cheap, easy way to charge your favorite electronics – is now part of a cool backpack called Lifepack. Lifepack is meant reinvent the mobile office -a perfect choice for consumers with on-the-go lifestyles. Lifepack features a great anti-theft 6mm stainless steel integrated lock with customizable combination that easily wraps around table and chair legs, a Solarbank USB charger (compatible with any USB device) capable of charging an iPhone 6 up to 12 times, Bluetooth speakers (powered…

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Lifepack – a cool solar powered, anti-theft backpack
Awesome March 12, 2016 posted by Debra Atlas

Garden Tower 2 – grow healthy food in a small space with ease

For home gardeners, the Garden Tower 2, created by the Garden Tower Project, answers the question of to how to grow a large garden with limited backyard space. This self-contained vertical garden lets you grow around 50 plants in just 4 square feet. Its creators describe it as a vertical compost system within a soil system. <iframe width=”640″ height=”360″ src=”https://www.youtube.com/embed/MLAm0BltP3w” frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen></iframe> The central vermicomposting column lets you to turn kitchen scraps into nutrient-rich organic fertilizer.Finished compost can be used…

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Garden Tower 2 – grow healthy food in a small space with ease
nice idea... March 4, 2016 posted by Debra Atlas

WaterDrop will help save wasted shower water for use elsewhere

Let’s face it. We waste a lot of water. Whether it’s waiting for it to heat up so we can wash dishes or at showertime, that’s an average of 3 to 6 liters (.79 to over 1.5 gallons) just for a daily shower! With drought a serious problem across the globe, the Spanish company esferic’s WaterDrop is a simple solution. Funded through Kickstarter last year, the WaterDrop – a tote bag with its own reinforced handle – is made of…

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WaterDrop will help save wasted shower water for use elsewhere
Eco Friendly February 27, 2016 posted by Debra Atlas

Biodegradable coffee cups that give you seeds to plant trees too!

As more consumers make the shift to greener lifestyles, products that are clearly landfill fodder stand out. Single use coffee pods are a good example. Americans consume 400 million cups of coffee every day. That’s over 146 billion cups annually. The company Reduce, Reuse Grow’s new biodegradable coffee cup aims to educate consumers and change their coffee brewing habits. Not only is this a better solution that trying to find ways to recycle single use coffee pods – which often…

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Biodegradable coffee cups that give you seeds to plant trees too!
Eco Friendly February 12, 2016 posted by Debra Atlas

Fashionable watches combine a little retro and eco-friendly fashion

We’ve gotten used to living in a digital world, but maybe it’s time for a little retro combined with natural beauty. That’s what Analog Watch Co.’s beautiful timepieces offer. Made from wood and stone, these use wood from off-cut lumber, straps made from genuine leather, and recyclable packaging. And they’re also naturally 80 percent biodegradable. A small independent businesses based in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Analog’s watches draw inspiration from Nature – leaves, trees, rocks, trickling water falls, even crickets at night.They’re…

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Fashionable watches combine a little retro and eco-friendly fashion
Awesome January 29, 2016 posted by Debra Atlas

Aerofloat’s innovative technology lets houseboats clean their greywater

Clean water is a precious commodity. Rigorous restrictions mean cleaning greywater is becoming more imperative. Australian family-owned and run Aerofloat™ Pty Ltd. is making a big splash with this. Aerofloat designs, manufactures and installs simple, affordable systems that treat industrial wastewater and greywater using Dissolved Air Flotation (DAF) principles. Its patented system is compact and mechanically simple. DAF systems normally utilize a chemical coagulant mixed with the wastewater, causing the pollutants to bind together. Air is added to the treated…

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Aerofloat’s innovative technology lets houseboats clean their greywater
nice idea... January 22, 2016 posted by Debra Atlas

Matador creates two new pocket outdoor gear essentials

Whether you’re in work, fun or workout mode, the right kind of gear makes all the difference. You may already be familiar with Matador and their durable products. But for those work-out mavens and those of us who want a comfortable way to enjoy the outdoors, they’ve created two new cool, easily-portable products – Matador Pocket Blankets and Droplet Keychain Wet Bags. Available in regular and mini sizes, the Pocket Blanket’s lightweight material is equally at home on sand, grass…

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Matador creates two new pocket outdoor gear essentials
Bizarre January 14, 2016 posted by Debra Atlas

Could there be dragons in our future – and do we really want them around?

Graphuc by by Baltasar Vischi, flickr Just because you CAN do something doesn’t mean you should. That truism stands with the recent announcement that scientists just might consider using a targeted gene-editing system known as CRISPR-CAS9 (a new genome editing tool) to create real dragons in our lifetime. Seriously? An essay in The American Journal of Bioethics penned by co-authors Professors Hank T Greely, director of the Centre for Law and the Biosciences at Stanford Law School, and R Alta…

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Could there be dragons in our future – and do we really want them around?