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.
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
Eco Friendly March 7, 2014 posted by Debra Atlas

Stylish and sturdy furniture made of cardboard

When it comes to new or stylish furniture, cardboard isn’t your first thought But KARTON is bucking this perception. Karton’s recycled cardboard furniture includes everything from their Paperpedic bed, chests of drawers, TV units, room partitions, even cardboard animals that can be decorated and painted. And, as the video shows, it can stand up to the toughest tests for strength. Made by Stange Design, a German company that’s been designing and producing cardboard furniture for 30 years, each piece of…

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Stylish and sturdy furniture made of cardboard
Eco Friendly February 21, 2014 posted by Debra Atlas

Casa Flotanta makes hillside living like floating on air

Costa Rica is well known for its biodiversity, its rainforests and its growing commitment to sustainability. Now it can boast a unique hillside home that floats among the clouds. Casa Flotanta, built on a steep hillside slope by Benjamin Garcia Saxe Architecture, does what seems impossible. This 300 square meters (3,229 square feet) two-bedroom home is built on large stilts to minimize its environmental impact. It’s constructed mainly from modular units that were built from galvanized steel and finished in…

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Casa Flotanta makes hillside living like floating on air
Eco Friendly February 8, 2014 posted by Debra Atlas

United Airlines to offer recyclable insulated coffee cups

Airlines are expanding their recycling efforts, perhaps to create a “greener” perception for consumers to admire. Although most of them lag far behind in their efforts, United Airlines is moving beyond paper and plastic. They just announced that they’ll introduce recyclable InCycle™ coffee cups to its United Club beverage service this month and on United flights beginning mid-March. Manufactured by Washington-state technology company MicroGREEN, InCycle cups are fully recyclable and are made from up to 50 percent recycled materials. United…

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United Airlines to offer recyclable insulated coffee cups
nice idea... February 8, 2014 posted by Debra Atlas

Londeners enjoy fresh produce grown underground

We’re definitely in the throws of winter – heavy snowstorms and flooding in many parts of the world. This time of year having fresh produce can be problematic. But Londoners have a new alternative. Growing Underground farm is a new 2.5-acre farm located one hundred feet below the streets of London. Located under the Northern Line near Clapham North tube station on property leased from the London Underground. Zero Carbon Food owners Richard Ballard and Steven Dring have partnered with…

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Londeners enjoy fresh produce grown underground
cool tech January 18, 2014 posted by Debra Atlas

Iceberg Harvesting – from scams to innovation

The world’s longest lasting ice shelves are rapidly melting. But there are always enterprising folks who will turn disaster into profitable ventures. Harvesting water from icebergs, once scoffed at as ludicrous, is now a growing industry. But it’s one filled with both scam artists and legitimate businesses. <image:shutterstock>

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Iceberg Harvesting – from scams to innovation
nice idea... December 28, 2013 posted by Debra Atlas

TellSpec tells consumers just what’s in their food

A war is taking place between consumers wanting to know more of what’s in their food and government lobbyists dedicated to making sure that doesn’t happen. The concerns go beyond getting labels on food containing genetically modified ingredients. A new device called TellSpec will let consumers know the details of what’s really in their food. Developed by Isabel Hoffmann with mathematician Stephen Watson, this hand-held scanner will warn you about chemicals, allergens and ingredients you’d rather avoid, help you figure…

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TellSpec tells consumers just what’s in their food
but is it art? December 22, 2013 posted by Debra Atlas

Londoners enjoy Christmas with a uniquely powered Christmas tree

There are a number of effective renewable energy sources, wind and solar perhaps being the best known. But who would have thought that the lowly brussel sprout would be included in that group? The Designworks group has built the world’s first Brussels sprout-powered battery and hooked it up to a set of Christmas tree lights in London. After a survey found that most children in the UK would like to take Brussels sprouts off of the traditional Christmas menu, the…

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Londoners enjoy Christmas with a uniquely powered Christmas tree
hmm..interesting December 20, 2013 posted by Debra Atlas

New venture would replace signs with LED embedded carpet

We’re constantly bombarded with signs offering advertising and directions as we rush about getting from one place to another. A new partnership between lighting giant Royal Phillips and Desso, a high-quality carpeting producer, aims to replace many of these annoying signs with LED-embedded carpet instead. The carpet, which would seem ordinary enough, could when lit display important messages, directions, or other information, similar to an electronic billboard. It would replace the usual signs and notices that appear in high-traffic indoor…

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New venture would replace signs with LED embedded carpet
nice idea... November 22, 2013 posted by Debra Atlas

Boeing’s latest fuel efficient family of planes – the 777X

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fop6Qu2CN0E Fuel efficiency has become increasingly crucial for a struggling airline industry. With rising costs for fuel passed on to disgruntled passengers, airlines are working to create better, faster and more fuel efficient planes. Boeing announced their latest family of airliners – the 777X – at the recent Dubai Airshow. Innovatively designed with folding wing-tips that will increase wingspan, Boeing says it will be both the largest and most efficient twin-engine jet in the world. Its wings are based on…

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Boeing’s latest fuel efficient family of planes – the 777X
cool tech November 1, 2013 posted by Debra Atlas

Immerse-A-Clean wand cleans without toxic chemicals

Every household has an array of cleansers tucked into a cabinet somewhere. Most contain harsh chemicals that we’ve become used to using . But there are greener alternatives. The latest of these is the Immerse-A-Clean wand, by Texas-based GenEon Technologies. This industrial cleaning device can turn regular tap water into an effective sanitizer, glass and all-purpose cleaner, using only electricity and a non-toxic catalyst. This is a compact, portable and battery-powered device that uses a bucket or other container that…

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Immerse-A-Clean wand cleans without toxic chemicals
general October 25, 2013 posted by Debra Atlas

A new system that will recycle shoes

I’ve often thought the Brits had a one-up on we Americans when it comes to green technology. Many innovations have started there – and often they don’t make it across the pond for years, if at all. A great example of this innovative thinking is a newly developed system that will fully recycle the materials of old shoes.   Last week scientists at Loughborough University in the UK announced they had developed and trial tested “the world’s first comprehensive system…

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A new system that will recycle shoes
but is it art? October 18, 2013 posted by Debra Atlas

Concrete tiles add a touch of elegance indoors or out

Among the newer architectural and interior decorating styles, concrete seems to be making headway. We’re not talking about the dull gray or gray-white sidewalk stuff but rather beautifully designed, stylized concrete such as Crips Concrete tiles. Created by designer Levi Fignar, these elegant looking tiles come in a variety of styles and colors. Glassy and reflective, they offer a modern, often delicate-looking finish. And they’ll definitely be a conversation piece. Still, they also provide a look of luxury, even while…

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Concrete tiles add a touch of elegance indoors or out