May 17, 2020

Green gift ideas for holiday shopping lists

Christmas shopping
dryer balls
5 min
Green shopping
[email protected] By Trevor Gould 1.)Energy Saving TVs Television manufactures have been making a concerted effort to produce energy efficient produ...

By Trevor Gould

1.)  Energy Saving TVs

Television manufactures have been making a concerted effort to produce energy efficient products for some time now. The vast majority of a retailer’s television inventory is generally ENERGY STAR-certified, signifying their commitment to energy efficiency and the environment. Recently released models continue to require less and less power to properly function, which helps both the environment and your wallet. This is paramount because televisions are one of the most widely used electronic devices in a typical household, and being able to cut down on its energy usage is invaluable. 

2.) LED Lights

An easy way to minimize your negative environmental impact simply involves reducing your overall energy consumption. A great way to start is by replacing your traditional light bulbs with LED lighting, which will enhance your bulbs’ efficiency and lifespan while still providing high quality brightness. LED bulbs are also devoid of toxic chemicals and produce virtually zero harmful UV emissions. The technology is experiencing extensive propagation and can be found in more homes every day.  The most remarkable aspect of LED bulbs is how vast of an improvement they are compared to their traditional counterparts.

3.) Solar Water Heaters

Another premier example of the solar panel’s widespread industry proliferation, solar water heaters are superior to their traditional counterparts in virtually every single way. The reliance on solar power boosts their overall efficiency rates, unit lifespan, and reduces the emission of harmful particles. Plus, a solar water heating unit can potentially decrease energy consumption by up to 70 percent and help make that monthly utility bill a little less intimidating.  

4.) Solar Panel Charging Cases

Traditionally, solar panels generate power for homes by absorbing light and channeling it into energy. It was only a matter of time before this concept was effectively applied on a smaller scale to juice up electronics devices. The Voltaic Generator Solar Laptop Charger consists of high-quality solar panels mounted on a waterproof case, utilizing batteries specifically calibrated to efficiently absorb solar power. You can use this convenient solar charging case to power virtually all mainstream electronics. The fact the case looks stylish even with the solar panels is a nice bonus too.

5.) Eco-Friendly Verification Phone Apps

In a consumer market infatuated with eco-friendly products, companies are scrambling to find ways to brand themselves as green. While many businesses contain official third-party certification verifying their green initiatives, plenty of companies are masquerading beneath the eco-friendly umbrella to both improve sales and enhance their image.

Consumer Reports’ free downloadable phone app Eco Label contains lists of certifiably green products and can help shoppers potentially avoid being duped by false advertising. Boasting a seamless and streamlined user interface, Eco Label can help you identify genuine eco-friendly goods while perusing the aisles.      

More eco-friendly Top 10 lists:

Top 10 Energy Efficient Stadiums

Top 10 Sustainable Cities

Top 10 energy efficient states


6.) Green GPS Units

Portable GPS units have been providing drivers with detailed directions, traffic avoidance routes, and road trip statistics for over a decade. However, none of these dedicated devices have really been configured to have your best eco-friendly interests in mind. The Pama Eco Navigator Satellite Navigation System is the sole GPS product on the market dedicated to helping minimize your car’s carbon footprint.

It provides you with the most fuel-efficient routes and a detailed diagnostic of your car’s performance. Additionally, it automatically logs all your routes, allowing you to potentially go back and assess your fuel efficiency for particular drives. In a market inundated with GPS devices, the Eco Navigator Satellite Navigation System’s emphasis on the environment helps it stand out from the crowd.

7.) Solar Speakers

Solar panels haven’t only been utilized to power devices; they’ve also been purposed to help technology become entirely self-sustaining. This innovation is evident in the Etón Rukus wireless speakers, a sleek, contemporary sound system that boasts high-quality auditory punch and is powered primarily by the sun. As expected, the solar panels are seamlessly embedded on the top of the device to allow for maximum light absorption. It’s undeniably cutting edge, and looks cool to boot.  

8.) Green Power Outlets

One of the continuous and inherent problems of traditional power outlets is how they continue to require power even once a device or appliance is turned off. Deemed “vampire power,” it’s a form of energy that negatively effects both the environment and your monthly utilities bill. Eco-friendly outlets allow you to cut off all power to your gadgets with the simple turn of a dial, thus eliminating the vast majority of vampire power and enhancing your energy efficiency in the process. These hyper-efficient outlets are now widely available in retail stores everywhere.

9.) Eco-Friendly Paper Shredders

Documents containing sensitive information and/or personal financial records are obviously confidential, and it’s the need to dispose of said materials that has given birth to the electronic paper shredder industry. Various hand-powered shredders have now emerged and serve as a convenient eco-friendly solution, simply requiring users to twist their hands to activate the shredding mechanism. These green shredders are portable, incredibly easy to use, and represent an easy way to help conserve energy. 

10.) Dryer Balls

A simplistic yet effective concept that has finally begun receiving mainstream recognition, dryer balls are basically large rubber balls with spikes covering the surface. Their purpose is to separate the clothes to facilitate quicker drying and keep them soft. The reusability of the dryer balls renders traditional dryer sheets obsolete, and allows you to save money in the process. Their only real downside is the fact they can be rather noisy at times.  

Author bio: Trevor Gould actively writes about sustainable living, energy consumption and green products.  

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Oct 19, 2020

Itronics successfully tests manganese recovery process

Scott Birch
3 min
Nevada firm aims to become the primary manganese producer in the United States
Nevada firm aims to become the primary manganese producer in the United States...

Itronics - a Nevada-based emerging cleantech materials growth company that manufacturers fertilisers and produces silver - has successfully tested two proprietary processes that recover manganese, with one process recovering manganese, potassium and zinc from paste produced by processing non-rechargeable alkaline batteries. The second recovers manganese via the company’s Rock Kleen Technology.

Manganese, one of the four most important industrial metals and widely used by the steel industry, has been designated by the US Federal Government as a "critical mineral." It is a major component of non-rechargeable alkaline batteries, one of the largest battery categories sold globally.

The use of manganese in EV batteries is increasing as EV battery technology is shifting to use of more nickel and manganese in battery formulations. But according to the US Department of Interior, there is no mine production of manganese in the United States. As such, Itronics is using its Rock Kleen Technology to test metal recoverability from mine tailings obtained from a former silver mine in western Nevada that has a high manganese content. 

In a statement, Itronics says that its Rock Kleen process recovers silver, manganese, zinc, copper, lead and nickel. The company says that it has calculated – based on laboratory test results – that if a Rock Kleen tailings process is put into commercial production, the former mine site would become the only primary manganese producer in the United States.

Itronics adds that it has also tested non-rechargeable alkaline battery paste recovered by a large domestic battery recycling company to determine if it could use one of its hydrometallurgical processes to solubilize the manganese, potassium, and zinc contained in the paste. This testing was successful, and Itronics was able to produce material useable in two of its fertilisers, it says.

"We believe that the chemistry of the two recovery processes would lend itself to electrochemical recovery of the manganese, zinc, and other metals. At this time electrochemical recovery has been tested for zinc and copper,” says Dr John Whitney, Itronics president. 

“Itronics has been reviewing procedures for electrochemical recovery of manganese and plans to move this technology forward when it is appropriate to do so and has acquired electro-winning equipment needed to do that.

"Because of the two described proprietary technologies, Itronics is positioned to become a domestic manganese producer on a large scale to satisfy domestic demand. The actual manganese products have not yet been defined, except for use in the Company's GOLD'n GRO Multi-Nutrient Fertilisers. However, the Company believes that it will be able to produce chemical manganese products as well as electrochemical products," he adds.

Itronics’ research and development plant is located in Reno, about 40 miles west of the Tesla giga-factory. Its planned cleantech materials campus, which will be located approximately 40 miles south of the Tesla factory, would be the location where the manganese products would be produced.

Panasonic is operating one of the world's largest EV battery factories at the Tesla location. However, Tesla and other companies have announced that EV battery technology is shifting to use of nickel-manganese batteries. Itronics is positioned and located to become a Nevada-0based supplier of manganese products for battery manufacturing as its manganese recovery technologies are advanced, the company states.

A long-term objective for Itronics is to become a leading producer of high purity metals, including the U.S. critical metals manganese and tin, using the Company's breakthrough hydrometallurgy, pyrometallurgy, and electrochemical technologies. ‘Additionally, Itronics is strategically positioned with its portfolio of "Zero Waste Energy Saving Technologies" to help solve the recently declared emergency need for domestic production of Critical Minerals from materials located at mine sites,’ the statement continues.

The Company's growth forecast centers upon its 10-year business plan designed to integrate its Zero Waste Energy Saving Technologies and to grow annual sales from $2 million in 2019, to $113 million in 2025.

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