Innovations

The Environmental Help Desk features environmental innovations that help your business reduce both costs and environmental impacts.

Jul
29
2013
Covet thy neighbor’s water bill: It’s good for the planet

  What do you spend on your water bill every month? How much water do you use? How much does your neighbor use? Would knowing how much water your neighbor uses affect your water bill? WaterSmart Software thinks so. The San Francisco based company attempts to change consumers’ relationship with …

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Shannon recently completed a master’s degree in Religious Studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Her research focuses on the religious dimensions of social and environmental justice movements in the twentieth-century American South. Before moving to North Carolina, Shannon...
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May
16
2013
Forget rooftops, Solar Roadways installs solar panels under highways and roads

According to the U.S. Department of the Interior, there are more than 4 million miles of highways and streets across the United States.  Solar Roadways is using those highway miles to its advantage by introducing the first prototype in the United States of a solar panel that can be installed beneath …

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Amanda is a graduate of the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, where she received her master's degree in Journalism and Mass Communication, specializing in Public Relations. She received her bachelor's degree from Virginia Tech, where she majored in Environmental Policy and Planning and...
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May
14
2013
Wilmington’s Green Airport

When you think of Wilmington, the city’s vibrant film industry and its charming downtown’s proximity to the ocean may come to mind. Wilmington also has a delicious and sustainable local food scene, and now one of the latest Certified Green Plus employers: the very sustainable Wilmington International Airport (ILM). Below …

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Chris has spent over 20 years helping communities utilize sustainability, social entrepreneurship, and philanthropy as catalysts for economic growth. Chris serves as Executive Director of the Institute for Sustainable Development and the Green Plus™ -- a program dedicated to helping America's...
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Apr
26
2013
Photo Credit: Triangle Tree

Even for the most environmentally conscious of us, it’s easy to be tempted by the convenience of disposable utensils. But even under the most ideal conditions, a plastic spoon would take at least 20 years to decompose; these conditions virtually never happen though, putting the more realistic time of decomposition …

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Drew Nitschke is a first-year graduate student at Duke University's Nicholas School of the Environment, working towards degree in Environmental Economics and Policy. He is especially interested in sustainability and how it relates to business of all sizes. He graduated from UCLA in June 2012 after...
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Apr
18
2013
Photo Credit: Arup

With all the recent interest in algae as a potential power source, there hasn’t been much tangible to show for all the research that has been put into it – up until now. Through a collaboration between international design firm Arup, Germany-based Strategic Science Consultants, and Austrian architectural firm Splitterwerk, …

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Drew Nitschke is a first-year graduate student at Duke University's Nicholas School of the Environment, working towards degree in Environmental Economics and Policy. He is especially interested in sustainability and how it relates to business of all sizes. He graduated from UCLA in June 2012 after...
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Apr
11
2013
Filabot Looks to Close the Loop on 3-D Printing

  It seems like almost everyday brings about another news story detailing the increasing possibilities of 3-D printing. What these articles don’t usually include is the high cost of the ‘ink’ – plastic filament – that these printers use, with a kilogram spool of the plastic reaching prices of $40 …

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Drew Nitschke is a first-year graduate student at Duke University's Nicholas School of the Environment, working towards degree in Environmental Economics and Policy. He is especially interested in sustainability and how it relates to business of all sizes. He graduated from UCLA in June 2012 after...
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Apr
4
2013
Photo Credit: UTEC

Water scarcity is emerging as one of the most pressing global issues, but it also represents an incredible opportunity for problem-solving innovation. One such example is found outside of Lima, Peru, where total rainfall is virtually zero and humidity can reach up to 98 percent, resulting in a shortage of …

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Drew Nitschke is a first-year graduate student at Duke University's Nicholas School of the Environment, working towards degree in Environmental Economics and Policy. He is especially interested in sustainability and how it relates to business of all sizes. He graduated from UCLA in June 2012 after...
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Apr
3
2013
Farmigo bring the farmers’ market to your fingertips

As farmers’ markets become increasingly popular around the country, locally grown fruits and vegetables are easier for consumers to obtain than ever. But as with everything else, there can always be too much of a good thing, even with farmers’ markets. With so many opportunities to sell their produce, the …

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Drew Nitschke is a first-year graduate student at Duke University's Nicholas School of the Environment, working towards degree in Environmental Economics and Policy. He is especially interested in sustainability and how it relates to business of all sizes. He graduated from UCLA in June 2012 after...
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Mar
28
2013
First Ever Solar-Powered Plane to Fly Across the US

With the American public’s excitement for the prospects of solar power seemingly fading, two men have decided to do their best to recapture the nation’s imagination – by flying across the country in the world’s first solar-powered plane. The plane, known as The Solar Impulse, is the creation of Andre …

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Drew Nitschke is a first-year graduate student at Duke University's Nicholas School of the Environment, working towards degree in Environmental Economics and Policy. He is especially interested in sustainability and how it relates to business of all sizes. He graduated from UCLA in June 2012 after...
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Mar
21
2013
New Removable Toner Erases Wasteful Printing

Despite the countless predictions of offices around the world moving towards eliminating the use of paper in favor of digital alternatives, anyone who has ever stepped into an office knows that this isn’t the case. Printing is pervasive as ever, which has led to some companies to rethink these demands …

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Drew Nitschke is a first-year graduate student at Duke University's Nicholas School of the Environment, working towards degree in Environmental Economics and Policy. He is especially interested in sustainability and how it relates to business of all sizes. He graduated from UCLA in June 2012 after...
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