April 22 is Earth Day, a great time to celebrate all the ways science is helping to make our world greener. Founded in 1970, Earth Day is a movement to fight pollution and promote conservation. Recycling often receives attention on Earth Day. The Environmental Protection Agency says recycling and composting prevented 86.6 million tons of material from being disposed in 2012 (the most recent year listed on their website). But, some people go a step beyond placing their bin at the curb every week. Here’s a list of inventors and scientists who used recycled products to create interesting new products.
Cardboard Bike: Israeli inventor Izhar Gafni captured the imagination of people around the world last year with a bicycle made almost entirely out of cardboard.
Recycled 3D Printer: West African inventor Kodjo Afate Gnikou made a $100 3-D printer from leftover parts scavenged from old scanners, computers and printers.
Water-Recycling Shower: Swedish industrial designer Mehrdad Mahdjoubi created a high-tech purification system that recycles water while you wash.
Plastic Cigarettes: Recycling entrepreneur Tom Szaky collects cigarette butts from volunteers and turns them into plastic.
Barrel Skateboards: Steve Raad and Jeff Dyke recycle old barrels into everything from portable beach chairs to skateboards.
Potato Wood: Professor Andrew Abbott developed a new wood-based product that uses a resin based on starch from completely natural sources, including potatoes.
Coffee Socks: Gihan Amarasiriwardena created odor-fighting socks made of recycled coffee.
Want more “green” science? Celebrate Earth Science Week at MiSci, April 21 – 26 as we study Earth’s biomes, learn about the sun, explore the weather, discover fun ocean facts, enter the world of trees, dig into recycling, and journey into the underground caves. Or, register for our ecology Spring Break camp. We’ll see you here!