environment


And no, I don’t just mean by recycling their coke cans! I still don’t like science much, but this story’s pretty cool:

Teen Finds Way to Decompose Plastic Bags in Just 3 Months!

by Kenny Luna, North Babylon, NY

turtle-plastic-bag-photo.jpg

If ordinary plastic bags would rot away like banana peels there’s no doubt a host of environmental problems would be solved, the fate of the turtle above included. And one 11th grader from Canada set out to make that dream come true as part of his school science project. A wildly successful endeavor he figures will make them decompose in just 3 months.

But how did this extraordinary young scientist named Daniel Burd pull it off?

Well, he decided the fact that they do, eventually, decompose after 1,000 years on their own meant there must be something out there causing it, and postulated that it might well be naturally occurring microorganisms behind it.

So he set about with the good old-fashioned scientific method as his guide, searching for the microorganisms, rarely found in nature, that actually do make plastic decompose.

Ultimately, he identified two strains of bacteria that work together to pull it off, with Sphingomonas serving as the primary decomposer with help from Pseudomonas.

And according to Burd, industrial application should be easy, “All you need is a fermenter . . . your growth medium, your microbes and your plastic bags.”

As many folks know, the simplest solutions are usually the ones that work best. And this kid has clearly come up with a potentially world changing idea.

So congrats from all of us here at TreeHugger, where we are inspired by your creativity!

See also:

The TH Interview with America’s Top Young Scientist of the Year!

So, if you use this think, are you cycling or walking or running? How often do you need to change the tires? Very cool!

Get the Best of Both Worlds with The Walking Bike

walking-bike-recycling-shoes.jpg

TreeHugger loves promoting walking and bicycling, so, of course, we love the Walking Bike. And if the human-powered transportation angle wasn’t enough, there’s some pretty serious shoe recycling going on here, too. As our pals at Gizmodo say, “it’s quite possible the greatest invention ever.” Hit the jump to see someone riding (or should we say “walking”) this thing. Hmm. Maybe we’ll stick to just one or the other. ::Arkitip via

I am getting my driver’s license soon, but I won’t have access to a car very often.  I take the bus or walk most places, and I know my way around here pretty well.  But how cool will it be to google your bus route or your train route in bigger cities!  Maybe this will help more people to use mass transit and spend less time in their cars burning up fuel and the planet.

Google Public Transit Officially Launches

via EcoGeek.org by Billy Shih on 10/7/07

We’ve reported on Google Transit in the past but now it is official. Transit works like Google Maps, but instead of driving directions, it lets you know how you can get where you’re going without a car. Type in your start and end points plus date and time and it gives you where to walk, what bus to take and when. It even is integrated into Google Maps, meaning if you search for directions using Maps, just click “Take Public Transit” and it will switch to Transit mode, showing you the next 3 upcoming bus departures. I typed in my daily busing commute and it found the same exact route.

Currently it works for various areas in 9 states and even in China and Japan. Wish I had this when I was in China! This is great for current bus riders and getting new people to take the bus. Although my hometown of Seattle already has something like this, this will only help spread the word that transit can be just as easy (and a heck of a lot cheaper) than driving.

Google Transit

Via TechCrunch