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Solar Roads: Are We There Yet?

If you know anything about electric vehicles, you know that storing electrical energy (batteries) has been the Achilles heel of the electric car dream for decades. Could solar roads be the solution? But maybe the problem has a solution that also solves other long-term environmental negatives associated with asphalt infrastructure.

If you examine some of the R&D and innovation going on in the auto industry, you will see a convergence of thought on this topic. For example, so called "wireless charging" is coming on strong. It's a way of recharging electric vehicles, and may expand to charging vehicles intermittently as they travel down the road, allowing them to carry much less battery weight.

A natural progression from wireless charging is to put the actual energy source closer to the chargers--and photovoltaic technology could be a great way to do this. If PV panels can be built to be durable, replaceable and affordable, they could actually "become" the road.

That's exactly what a company called Solar Roadways is working on. Now into their second prototype, they're creating a mom and pop version of solar roadways that is clever and cool.
One of the best things about solar road technology is that it could be built with modular components, with power lines and communications cables underneath or next to it. Consider the advantages.


Restaurants should provide allergy information

All eateries, from restaurants to snack bars, should let their customers know by the end of 2014, what ingredients they use that may trigger allergic reactions. That is the result of an EU regulation.

It is not yet clear how entrepreneurs have to do it exactly but "placards on the wall will certainly not be sufficient”, says the Ministry of Health in response to a message from BNR. Food manufacturers have been putting more allergy information on their supermarket products.


Greener Funerals: make an eco-exit

Death isn't the best thing for the environment. Cremation sends more than 6.8 million tons of carbon emissions into the atmosphere every year, caskets take a long time to biodegrade and burial leads to methane emission (the second most prevalent greenhouse gas).

But environmentally-friendly burial options are becoming more usual. Wicker and cardboard coffins can replace traditional wood, natural fibers are used for clothing, a burial plot in a natural setting and dry ice is used rather than formaldehyde.

New legislation in Britain requires reductions in the mercury content of plastics and treatments used in coffins since 2010. Green burial services keep popping up around the globe to curb post-mortem emissions as green funerals attempt to be eco-friendly at every stage.


New App with CSRHub Sustainability Ratings

Empower your next trip to the grocery store by using Ethical Barcode’s new app. It lets you uncover what you’re truly supporting when you shop.

Scan barcodes quickly at the grocery store to find out instantly which companies really share your values on child labor, animal testing, deforestation and other ethical issues. The app uses the newly updated CSRHub Specification for REST Access (CSRA) API to power CSRHub ratings into the app, allowing you to make an ethical decision before you buy.


Amazing brick machine rolls out roads like carpet

Building new roads can be an arduous and back-breaking task but thanks to a Dutch inventor, paving is now as simple as rolling out a carpet. The amazing device, named Tiger-Stone, can create an instant road wherever it travels, laying out bricks next to one another to create perfect paving.

While the process may look magical, the secret behind the invention lies in a smartly-designed gravity-based system. The worker just has to load the bricks manually from a hopper into the Tiger-Stone and from there gravity causes them to slide together, in a sheet of paving, onto the ground.

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