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USING CIGARETTE BUTTS FOR ENERGY STORAGE
With used cigarette butts becoming a significant source of
litter, researchers have found a way to convert the trash to a
high-performing material that could be added to products such
as wind turbines to improve energy storage capacity.
By using a one-step burning technique called pyrolysis,
the cellulose acetate fibers found in cigarette filters can be
converted into a material containing a number of small pores,
which increases its performance as a supercapacitive material. In addition to being
a green solution to the growing problem of cigarette butt waste, the resulting material has also been shown to store more energy than commercially available options
including carbon, graphene, and carbon nanotubes, according to a study published
NATURE SOUNDS BOOST OCCUPANT
Many offices are switching to open layouts, but the new
lack of barriers can lead to an increase in noise pollution
that hampers worker productivity. Researchers from the
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute have found that playing natural sounds such as flowing water in offices can
benefit employee moods and boost speech privacy to
improve workplace productivity.
Current sound masking systems can be complicated and typically include speaker
arrays playing steady-state electronic noise, also known as white noise. The researchers
suspect that the natural sounds could provide even more benefits than the traditional
white noise and could even be used for other applications such as improving the
moods of hospital patients who are stuck in their beds for days or weeks.
STANDING DESKS BENEFIT ACADEMIC ACHIEVEMENT
Desks designed for standing rather than sitting could provide a
great asset for elementary schools looking to combat childhood
obesity, but concerns about suffering academic performance
have prevented many facilities from making the switch. New
research suggests, however, that the use of standing desks could
actually improve educational outcomes.
The researchers from Texas A&M University studied nearly 300
GREEN SEAL REVISES STANDARD FOR COMMERCIAL
children in second through fourth grade, with preliminary results
showing 12% greater on-task engagement in classrooms that use standing desks vs.
traditional sitting desks. This translates to an extra seven minutes per hour of engaged
instruction time. Engagement was measured by behaviors such as participating in
discussion, raising a hand, or answering a question.
Looking to streamline certification requirements, Green Seal has
Services certified under the program will still need to meet standards for environ-
revised its GS- 42 standard that applies to commercial and institutional
cleaning services. While the revisions will reorganize the requirements
to make certification easier to achieve, the general criteria and leadership levels for the
standard have not changed and certified services will not need to meet more require-
ments to maintain their status. The standard has also been refined to reduce the need
for interpretation, and criteria have been consolidated into purchasing, use, maintenance,
training, and communication categories.
mental and health requirements for cleaning operations, cleaning techniques, waste
reduction, and eco-friendly procurement. Learn more about the GS- 42 standard at