Re-Purposing Bottles as Glasses

Product branding creates instant recognition. When consumers have a brand lodged in their consciousness, the odds increase that this product that will be selected and purchased. Consumers are drawn to the familiar even if it is now a glass and not a bottle.

Companies spend big bucks developing brand recognition. Beverage companies are no exception.

Green Glass is converting empty, discarded bottles into elegant glassware. They began operation in Johannesburg, South Africa and have established a North American manufacturing facility in Central Wisconsin.

Green Glass recycles glass bottles so that they retain the original image and the consumer can connect with the product. Each glass retains the original shape and contour of the product. This presents shoppers with an image they will immediately recognize.

"They’re functional, so people will pick them up several times a day for years to come," Penrith said. "The glasses also connote a positive corporate commitment to environmental stewardship."

DuPont, BMW, Microsoft, Smith Kline Beecham, Perrier Group of America, John Deere, Wells Fargo, Ford, Minolta, Valpre Spring Water, South African Breweries and Seattle Coffee Co are all Green Glass customers.

No market for recycled glass eh? Green Glass demonstrates that this is not a valid point; they are tapping into an environmental demand to reduce the amount of waste that we send to the landfill, and creating an attractive product while doing so.

Source: Green Glass

Radiation Eating Mushrooms Could be BioFuel

The ruined remains of Chernobyl have become a source of several environmental mysteries. Rapid adaptation of rodents, the swift return of nature and now extremely happy fungi that seem to be feeding on waste radiation.

According to the research of some folks at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Cryptococcus neoformans is converting radiation into fuel for the fungus. This could mean hat fungus is the solution to two of our greatest environmental problems, lack of fuel and too much radioactive waste.

All we need to do is surround our nuclear waste with this radiation-eating fungus and then harvest it every once in a while to produce some kind of bio-fuel. I doubt we have enough radioactive waste to feed enough fungus to run America’s automobile fleet, but that’s hardly something to complain about.

It looks like melanin (the same melanin found in human skin) plays the roll of chlorophyl in this ‘radiosynthesis.’ After taking in the radio waves, the melanin starts off a reaction that allows the fungus to grow. The scientists speculate that the fungus could be used for bio-fuel farms in high-altitude areas with low-light and high-radiation. Or they could be food for astronauts on long-haul, nuclear-powered missions.

In any case, now we know that life will continue even if the light of the sun disappeared, because fungi in Chernobyl will continue to eat left-over radiation for centuries. And isn’t that just the beginning of a wonderful sci-fi novel.

Via Technology Review