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This Painter Can Even Make Toxic Sludge Look Beautiful

If you didn't think anything beautiful could come from toxic waste, well, think again. Ohio University art professor John Sabraw and civil engineer Guy Riefler have joined forces and devised a method for extracting iron oxide metals from industrial waste. The extracts can then be turned into vibrant pigments and used… » 3/01/15 7:00pm 3/01/15 7:00pm

Our Chemicals Are Falling On Remote Parts of Antarctica In Snow

You probably haven't heard of "cyclic volatile methylsiloxanes," but you've almost certainly rubbed them into your skin. They're widely used in lotions and cosmetics to create that smooth, satisfying feel. And now scientists are finding—to their surprise—these chemicals in remote parts of Antarctica. » 2/26/15 5:00pm 2/26/15 5:00pm

Four Ideas to Fix Beijing's Smog Airpocalypse, And One That Will Work 

The worst smog of the year so far swept into Beijing this week, coating the city in a grainy, deep grey murk on par with what the city endured in 2013, pictured above (though you'll see it's popping up again today). China is trying, hard, to get its air quality problem under control, and is considering some seriously… » 1/15/15 1:35pm 1/15/15 1:35pm

Wearable Air Quality Sensors Could Help Us All Breathe Easier

Imagine if you could locate the healthiest route for your afternoon jog, the fresh airiest one that would keep you from breathing the pollutants that cars barf out into the atmosphere. It might change every day as these pollutants move around. But you'd be ready, because you'd be wearing an air quality sensor. » 12/12/14 4:35pm 12/12/14 4:35pm

Some of Canada's Lakes Are Turning Into Jelly Thanks to Acid Rain

It's a real bummer to hear that 150 years of industrialization wrecked the Earth so bad that it'll take thousands to recover. It's a much bigger bummer to see the situation in real life. That's exactly what's happening in a large number of Canada's lakes, which are turning into jelly thanks to acid rain. » 11/19/14 11:53am 11/19/14 11:53am

This Algae Farm Eats Pollution From the Highway Below It

A highway overpass is the last place most of us would think to install a farm. But algae, that wonderful little ecological miracle, is different. Since it consumes sunlight and CO2 and spits out oxygen, places with high emissions are actually the perfect growing area. Which is why this overpass in Switzerland has its… » 10/31/14 10:51am 10/31/14 10:51am

Thousands of Lego Pieces Have Been Washing Up On This Beach Since 1997

On the quaint coast of Cornwall, near the town of Perranporth, there's a beach that's constantly covered in Lego. Tiny flippers, little plastic dragons, a brick here and there—these pieces have been washing ashore since a shipping accident in 1997 sent 4.8 million pieces into the sea nearby. And one-by-one, out they… » 7/21/14 10:48am 7/21/14 10:48am

Watch Plastic Ocean Junk Become a Pair of Wild Multi-Colored Sneakers

That our poor oceans are overflowing with our disgusting floating garbage is not news, but we keep on keeping on disposing of a crazy amount of non-biodegradable trashola—and lightly worn wardrobes. Your Shoes Are Rubbish represents one small step towards increasing awareness of the massive problem; these kicks were… » 6/26/14 7:30pm 6/26/14 7:30pm

Why Those Little Plastic Microbeads in Your Soap Are So Bad

This week, Illinois became the first state in the country to ban exfoliating plastic beads. Good for Illinois. Plastic microbeads have been running off by the billions into the Great Lakes and the oceans, causing huge amounts of environmental damage. Yet most consumers didn't even realize they existed. » 6/15/14 10:46am 6/15/14 10:46am

How Leather Is Slowly Killing the People and Places That Make It

Though we may consider ourselves intellectually and technologically superior to our cave-dwelling ancestors, we still adorn our bodies, transports, and homes with the skin of conquered animals. But unlike the wholly organic methods used by our forebears, the modern leather industry is simultaneously killing the local… » 6/03/14 4:23pm 6/03/14 4:23pm