Bee Saving Paper — You Guessed It! — Saves Bees Globally

Unable to resist our sweet stripey friends — and of course, the danger to our food resource brought about by the dwindling of their populations — different sectors have already been participating in bee saving initiatives. There is the UK’s ban on harmful pesticides. There is the transformation of empty lots into bee farms by a group of Detroit locals. Recently, there is free ice cream from food company Häagen-Dazs to promote the bee saving advocacy.

The latest to join the hive is a Polish startup company that created a biodegradable paper from energy-rich glucose that may feed bees. Not only is it definitely usable for us humans because the material isn’t sticky at all, Bee Saving Paper is very nutritious and delicious for our pollinator friends.

The material is made by dissolving a special kind of sugar into water, making a paste that beekeepers use to nourish their hives during the winter. According to the paper startup’s website, only 0.5 kilograms of the substance is enough to feed several thousand bees.

The paper is also made with honey plant seeds, which means that once the bee eats up all the glucose, the paper’s biodegradation will grow another “rest stop” for bees in its place.

Now you might ask: why would any creature want to eat paper? What could make it seem sumptuous? Well, the designers have also come up with a solution to make the Bee Saving Paper look yummy.

Since bees see fields of flowers as circles of colored light on the ultraviolet spectrum, the engineers used water-based UV paint to cover the paper with colored circles that are only visible — and attractive — to bees.

Since last year, the startup has already successfully executed its first field test. They helped out a Polish beekeeper whose bee farm populations were rapidly decreasing. Now, the company aims to promote their bee saving products to large brands and businesses that need paper. Which could be every business out there, really.

[A]ny business or manufacturing company using paper can start making their products out of materials that are environmentally friendly and nourishing to pollinators — from paper bags to parking tickets and picnic plates.

I can’t imagine how exciting it would be to do everyday chores. Shop with a paper bag, read food labels printed on paper, drink from a paper cup, write love letters on paper… do pretty much everything as a bee saving hero!

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Bike Path Is Made Of Reprocessed Toilet Paper

As one of the world’s most in-demand resources, paper has a massive carbon footprint. Because of the waste it creates, many are recycling or seeking paper alternatives. Startup MOO produces business cards made with fabric waste, while Paper Saver is a no-new-paper journal. Now, a Dutch province is recycling tons of toilet paper into a 1km bike path for cyclists.

The bicycle path uses what’s called tertiary cellulose, extracted from waste streams, says Erik Pijlman, director at KNN Cellulose, one of the partners on the project. “We take the cellulose out of these streams and once again make it into a [raw material],”

But not to worry — you won’t be seeing any remnants of used tissues on the bike path. The process includes sifting paper fibers, which are then cleaned, sterilized, bleached, and dried. To say the technique is doing fine is an understatement — it’s taking over Dutch roads.

“What we did is not only create technology and prove that it works, but we also have a market that is willing to take in the material,” Pijlman says. “And that’s really the next step in this kind of development.”

The fiber can also be used in creating filters, biofuel, and textiles, among other things. Of course, while in theory it’s useful in creating other products, we’ll keep it away from direct human contact. No one wants a stinky pillow case.

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Paper Batteries Are A New Source Of Energy

Engineers are always on the hunt for more efficient ways to power the humble double-A battery. So far, industry geniuses have tried unusual mediums such as air and even spit. Yet the search is far from over–as electronics innovator Juan Pablo Esquivel is testing a paper battery.

“We develop small, nontoxic, inexpensive fuel cells and batteries that don’t need to be recycled and could be thrown away with no ecological impact,” he explains.

The petite power cell will charge disposable devices and microelectronics. And no–we’re not talking Hot Wheels. Esquivel aims to make pregnancy, glucose, and and disease tests cheaper and more accessible.

“Esquivel is like Cristiano Ronaldo, and, like Ronaldo, he’s playing for an excellent team. That’s why he gets results,” jokes Antonio Martínez, a professor at the Polytechnic University of Madrid.

With single-use devices hitting the bins before they lose charge, landfills could use a little less lithium.

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Donut Franchise To Ditch Styrofoam Cups

When determined joggers aren’t plucking trash off running paths, coffee-goers are investing in reusable to-go cups. Yet plastic pollution persists around the globe, inspiring other groups to make initiatives. Playing its part in a more eco-friendly society is dessert colossus Dunkin’ Donuts. The popular brand is hacking its disposable foam cups by 2020 for a sustainable substitute — but the process hasn’t been easy.

“Transitioning 9,000 restaurants from our iconic foam coffee cup is a big decision that has implications for our franchisees’ bottom line and the guest experience, and we did not want to take it lightly,” the company said.

Deciding against a polypropylene cup, Dunkin’ Donuts is trying out double-walled paper. It’s far superior in terms of recyclability and how easily it’ll biodegrade, and a total hit with sustainable forestry standards.

“With more than 9,000 Dunkin’ Donuts restaurants in the U.S. alone, our decision to eliminate foam cups is significant for both our brand and our industry,” [said] Karen Raskopf, Chief Communications and Sustainability Officer.

Lucky for us kids, the material will still, apparently, keep drinks piping hot. No one wants to sip on a cold Americano.

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Paper Flashlight Is Cheap And Futuristic

Some inventions, such as this makeshift space camera, are a testament to the ingenuity of the human mind. Others, like the Hyperface, are somewhat trivial but fascinating nonetheless. Is this paper flashlight just as clever? You decide.

Paper Torch is made from a sheet of heavy duty, water-resistant paper that’s typically used on election ballots. [Studio] Nendo then printed a circuit board using metallic ink from AgIC directly onto the paper and glued an LED bulb and two button-sized batteries to it. Electricity flows from the batteries to the bulb through the printed pattern.

If you still aren’t impressed, light intensity changes depending on how tightly you grip the device. Also, rolling either half of the paper inwards allows you to choose between two tints of light. Sweet! But is it more than a party trick?

Nendo sees potential applications for disaster relief and emergencies since the product is compact, does not require complex manufacturing, and is inexpensive to produce.

Aside from eliminating the use of plastic altogether, Paper Torch doesn’t use wire circuitry. With that being said, I’m pretty sure, if anything, we aren’t short on visionaries.

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Business Cards Are Made From Recycled Fabric

While HP insists printing paper is saving trees, skeptics may think otherwise. In fact, most eco-conscious brands will choose to recycle, like the notebook that reuses paper. MOO is nothing different, producing business cards from recycled fabric.

These cards are made from 100 percent cotton fabric, which comes exclusively from T-shirt offcuts; in other words, it’s the unwanted material that’s left over after a shirt is cut from a roll. Turning this fabric waste into paper diverts it from landfill and creates a wonderfully textured, smooth yet tough paper that takes any kind of ink.

This method is traditional and equally as sustainable but unbeknownst to many. For the project, MOO teamed up with Mohawk, a family-run paper mill.

“Taking a bold stance on the environment, Mohawk became the first U.S. paper mill to match [all] of its electricity with renewable wind power and the first U.S. premium paper mill to shift toward carbon neutral production.”

The fashion industry is highly polluting — why not turn their trash into the aesthetic they hoped for?

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Eco-Friendly Notebook Reuses Paper

The paper-producing industry is always looking for ways to become more sustainable. Several groups produce books with 100% recycled paper. Other companies, like HP, educate consumers on the true impact of printing. Paper Saver, however, is taking it one step further with a notebook that uses no new paper whatsoever. 

The Paper Saver Notebook is a basic faux leather cover with a stainless steel binding, nylon bookmark, and elastic. It comes with no paper inside – because that’s where you put your extra sheets.

While the Paper Saver Notebook is essentially a sleeve, the idea itself proves to be efficient and practical.

It’s a clever concept with potential to make one feel slightly less guilty about the fact that 50 percent of paper used in North American offices ends up as garbage, and that a whopping 27 percent of waste in landfills is paper products. Rather than using yet more resources on recycling and shipping, it makes sense to extend the lifespan of paper that’s already been made.

If you’re a stickler for unused paper, you can download lined and graphed sheets on the Paper Saver website. The Paper Saver ships worldwide–does this mean old college handouts will finally be put to good use?

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