Weekly green review: Wireless garden sensors, efficient dryers and help for bees

A A A

A recap of this week's environmental and household developments.

This week the dream of mass producing cheap and organic solar cells took a step closer to reality thanks to a breakthrough by scientists at Rutgers University in New Jersey, USA. The scientists discovered that particles could pass with ease through the organic material rubrene, essentially meaning that this cheap organic material could one day replace expensive silicon alternatives.

Videos of travel and tourism leaders discussing climate change became available to watch on YouTube. The speakers, including President Nasheed of the Maldives and climate change advisor for British Airways Mark Lynas, were attending the Six Senses Eco-Symposium in the Maldives.

A study by scientists from the UK and New Zealand found that encouraging gardeners to plant flowers in order to help restore the bee population could be counterproductive due to the high amounts of chemical weed killer gardeners use. Instead scientists have suggested that the green-fingered use organic weed killer as a ecologically friendly alternative. Recipes for organic weed killer can be found at ehow and weedkiller.org  

Following the October 13 release of the WWF's "Living Planet Report" an interactive graph of countries' ecological footprints has been made available online. The graph allows users to see how their country or residence or origin compares to others across a wide range of ecological criteria. The graph is available at the Global Footprint Network.  

Japanese company DoCoMo announced the development of the DoCoMo Wireless sensor: the device, which is shaped like a four-leaf clover, is designed to advise gardeners on how to get the most from their plants. The wireless sensor gathers information about the soil conditions then transmits it via wifi to a team of experts who then send gardening advice to the user via email.

Appliance company Miele has announced the production of the first commercially available heat pump tumble dryer with a short cycle time. The device, which uses up to 60 percent less energy than other dryers, is designed for use in small businesses such as bed & breakfasts or family run hotels. The energy efficient product will first be launched in Northern Europe early in 2011 before being available in other countries.

 

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Head Chef

£22000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This Garden Centre complex base...

Recruitment Genius: Buyer

£36000 - £38000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Buyer is required to join thi...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £45K: SThree: SThree Group have been well esta...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £45000: SThree: SThree Group have been well es...

Day In a Page

Turkey-Kurdish conflict: Obama's deal with Ankara is a betrayal of Syrian Kurds and may not even weaken Isis

US betrayal of old ally brings limited reward

Since the accord, the Turks have only waged war on Kurds while no US bomber has used Incirlik airbase, says Patrick Cockburn
VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but doubts linger over security

'A gift from Egypt to the rest of the world'

VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but is it really needed?
Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, applauds a man who clearly has more important things on his mind
The male menopause and intimations of mortality

Aches, pains and an inkling of mortality

So the male menopause is real, they say, but what would the Victorians, 'old' at 30, think of that, asks DJ Taylor
Man Booker Prize 2015: Anna Smaill - How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?

'How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?'

Man Booker Prize nominee Anna Smaill on the rise of Kiwi lit
Bettany Hughes interview: The historian on how Socrates would have solved Greece's problems

Bettany Hughes interview

The historian on how Socrates would have solved Greece's problems
Art of the state: Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China

Art of the state

Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China
Mildreds and Vanilla Black have given vegetarian food a makeover in new cookbooks

Vegetarian food gets a makeover

Long-time vegetarian Holly Williams tries to recreate some of the inventive recipes in Mildreds and Vanilla Black's new cookbooks
The haunting of Shirley Jackson: Was the gothic author's life really as bleak as her fiction?

The haunting of Shirley Jackson

Was the gothic author's life really as bleak as her fiction?
Bill Granger recipes: Heading off on holiday? Try out our chef's seaside-inspired dishes...

Bill Granger's seaside-inspired recipes

These dishes are so easy to make, our chef is almost embarrassed to call them recipes
Ashes 2015: Tourists are limp, leaderless and distinctly UnAustralian

Tourists are limp, leaderless and distinctly UnAustralian

A woefully out-of-form Michael Clarke embodies his team's fragile Ashes campaign, says Michael Calvin
Blairites be warned, this could be the moment Labour turns into Syriza

Andrew Grice: Inside Westminster

Blairites be warned, this could be the moment Labour turns into Syriza
HMS Victory: The mystery of Britain's worst naval disaster is finally solved - 271 years later

The mystery of Britain's worst naval disaster is finally solved - 271 years later

Exclusive: David Keys reveals the research that finally explains why HMS Victory went down with the loss of 1,100 lives
Survivors of the Nagasaki atomic bomb attack: Japan must not abandon its post-war pacifism

'I saw people so injured you couldn't tell if they were dead or alive'

Nagasaki survivors on why Japan must not abandon its post-war pacifism
Jon Stewart: The voice of Democrats who felt Obama had failed to deliver on his 'Yes We Can' slogan, and the voter he tried hardest to keep onside

The voter Obama tried hardest to keep onside

Outgoing The Daily Show host, Jon Stewart, became the voice of Democrats who felt the President had failed to deliver on his ‘Yes We Can’ slogan. Tim Walker charts the ups and downs of their 10-year relationship on screen