Transparent Solar Cells: Clearly Amazing
Imagine a skyscraper, gleaming with polished glass, that was generating electricity with every square inch of window space. Thanks to these UCLA nanochemists, that is a pretty realistic image.
By impregnating plastic with silver nanowires (atomic-scale conductors) that are small enough to be invisible, and absorbing infrared light while allowing visible light to pass through, these solar cells (right, above) are 70% transparent.
They take a slight hit in efficiency compared to traditional solar, but can be deployed almost anywhere. Within a decade, we could have buildings supplying their own electricity via building materials!
It’s dark because you are trying too hard. Learn to do everything lightly. Yes, feel lightly even though you’re feeling deeply. Just lightly let things happen and lightly cope with them. I was so preposterously serious in those days… Lightly, lightly – it’s the best advice ever given me… So throw away your baggage and go forward. There are quicksands all about you, sucking at your feet, trying to suck you down into fear and self-pity and despair. That’s why you must walk so lightly. Lightly my darling.
Aldous Huxley, Island (via paradoxicalsentiments)
Rent A Green Box provides rent-able containers made from a variety of post-consumer, industrial and recycled trash. They drop off the containers before your move, and then pick them back up afterwards. Genius! If you live in Southern California, you should hit these guys up…I wish we had something like this is NYC!
but you and I now
we can be alright
just hold on to what you know is true
NPR reports on what is inspiring some American’s to consume less meat.
Goodebox is a service that delivers 6-7 carefully selected, high quality and non-toxic beauty products to your door for $16/month. Sounds pretty great right? What’s even better is that now they have teamed up with TerraCycle’s Personal Care and Beauty Brigade to also recycle all the bottles and containers their products come in…
Read more at treehugger.
I really never post things like this on this blog… but if there are two things that I love, it’s good design and the outdoors, so I figured this was worth breaking rank for. Right now, the state of Colorado, where a few of my friends live, is on fire. There’s a gorgeous wilderness there that’s being destroyed, but more importantly, some good folks are losing their possessions.
I should preface this by saying that I believe that wildfires are a natural part of an ecosystem’s process. I have to believe that any disaster that happens in the world is part of the natural order of resetting things to their original factory settings. (Now, fires that are caused by negligence are a different story. I’ll differ to Smokey on that.) I’ve seen a forest that was burned by fire grow back stronger and healthier after a few years, and I believe this is true in our own lives. It’s only after we go through fire and lose some things that we become stronger and more determined than before… usually that comes in the form of a metaphorical fire, but on rare occasions, we are stripped of possessions that we don’t truly need by literal fire, and it’s only then that we see what’s truly important in life.
However, I want to be careful not to be insensitive towards the folks who have gone through hardship in Colorado. I sympathize completely with them, and I don’t want to sound cold by suggesting that what they’re going through is some kind of natural selection. Going through fire is ever easy. People have lost their homes and a lot of their possessions, and a lot of beautiful country is being destroyed. That brings me to why I’m writing this. I got an email last night from someone named Roxanne Hallisey, and she told me about an initiative called Wild Fire Tees, where designers got together and did what they could to help. They design a few tshirts, and they’re selling them to raise money to donate to a Colorado food bank and the Colorado Red Cross.
I don’t believe that buying a tshirt can make a wildfire slow its destruction or change its direction, and a forest fire doesn’t care how much awareness is spreading about it, but a little bit of cash can definitely help those who have lost everything and make the destruction a little less painful.
So, if you dig good design and want to help out some good folks in Colorado… check out Wild Fire Tees. They got a good thing going, help them out.
This is a really great idea. My thoughts go out to all the folks in Colorado…
From Business Insider:
Figures from China’s National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) regarding the impact the 4-year plastic bag ban came out earlier this week, and frankly they’re incredible.
China Daily cites a government official who says the ban has saved 4.8 million tonnes of oil (the equivalent of 6.8 million tonnes of standard coal), not to mention 800,000 tonnes of plastic.
If these figures are true, it’s not only a remarkable success for China’s environmental policy, but also a strike for international effort to ban plastic bags.
Check out the rest of the article here.
- ‘The Plastic Bag Wars’ (Rolling Stone)
- ‘Phase-out of lightweight plastic bags’ (Wikipedia)
- ‘Great Pacific Garbage Patch a bigger worry than tsunami debris’ (Los Angeles Times)
- ‘10 Things You Should Know About the Great Pacific Garbage Patch’ (Greenbang)
(Photo credit: Treehugger)