RCA Show 2012: VeloPresso, a Human-Powered Coffee Shop


VeloPresso is a “pedal-powered mobile coffee-making machine for off-grid selling of quality espresso and its derivatives with a compact footprint and near-silent ultra-low-carbon human-powered operation – fine coffee, no electricity, no motors, no noise.”

Velopresso. Image © Ivan Coleman, source: www.velopresso.cc

Image © Ivan

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Sustainable Eco Cities: Will Abu Dhabi’s Masdar City Succeed where China’s Dongtan Failed?

Masdar City

Dongtan City Plan (Image: www.worldarchitecturenews.com)

A few years ago, I read about an experimental city in China called DongTan. The idea of Dongtan was that it was designed, from the ground up, to be a model for future sustainable urban design. Twenty other towns in China were planned around the

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Planes, Trains or Automobiles? – Carbon Emissions Compared for Different Forms of Transport

Carbon Emissions Thumbnail

Which forms of transport have the least carbon emissions? I previously wrote about the carbon emissions of travelling from Buenos Aires to London via cargo ship vs. by flying. One of our readers suggested comparing other forms of transport so, hey presto – here’s a chart. And

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Electric Car Top Trumps: A Round up of 44 Electric Vehicles


There has been huge progress in the development of electric vehicles and we are at a point now where electric cars are a feasible alternative to petrol and diesel. The variety of electric vehicles already launched or expected to be launched soon is huge (top speeds vary from 24mph to 208mph!) and I wanted to

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Container Ship or Green Aeroplane?

Repubblica Brasile

Just to let you know, I am about to set off on a 29 day cargo ship voyage from Buenos Aires to London for the purposes of reducing carbon emissions, seeing how far 7,000 miles actually is and generally having a new experience. This means that there won’t be any Designosaur posts until mid May, I’m

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Are Nuclear Power Stations Environmentally Friendly?


The three explosions and a fire (ah – now there’s a second fire) at the Fukushima nuclear plant and the Japanese state of nuclear emergency have already started raising questions about the future of nuclear power. I’ve been wondering recently whether nuclear power is the way forward for us in the UK. It’s a complex and

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Vancouver’s wibbly wobbly recycled olympic medals

Vancouver gold medal

I just noticed that the medals for the recent Winter Olympics in Vancouver were made using recycled electronic waste recovered from circuit boards. Well actually they contained ‘token’ amounts of recycled e-waste (Gold medals contained 1.52% recycled e-waste, Silver medals 0.12% and Bronze medals 1.11%). Whilst this sounds like a pathetically small amount, it is, according

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