Mealworms Could Help Reduce Styrofoam Waste


Our Thursday green news brings you the latest on green architecture, climate change, energy and communities:

styrofoam, waste

Photo courtesy of CNN

  • Mealworms could help reduce Styrofoam waste: According to a new study recently published in journal Environmental Science and Technology, researchers have discovered that the mealworm can live on a diet of Styrofoam and other types of plastic. As the authors Professor Jun Yang and his doctorate student Yu Yang of Beihang University, and Stanford University engineer Wei-Min Wu explain: “These findings are revolutionary. This is one of the biggest breakthroughs in environmental science in the past 10 years. Inside the mealworm’s gut are microorganisms that are able to biodegrade polyethylene, a common form of plastic.” Their research found that mealworms transformed the plastic they ate into carbon dioxide (CO2), worm biomass and other biodegradable waste. This waste appears safe to be used in soil for plants and even crops. Mr.Wu added: “Being able to find insects that can safely degrade plastic is critical to potential pollution management because other insects such as cockroaches can also consume plastic, but they have not shown biodegradation. These findings could help solve the problem of enormous plastic pollution around the world.”
  • Prefabricated home with a vegetative roof: Florida-based company Green Magic Homes has been developing low impact prefabricated homes by combining building technology with nature. These dome homes are composed of prefabricated vaulted panels manufactured from composite laminate materials, confined laterally by walls in reinforced soil “with a high index of stabilization.” As the authors explain, their design helps prevent UV radiation and climate meteorological effects on the home, and therefore creates an energy-efficient bioclimate that is adaptable to any type of topography. And not only are these homes green and aesthetically very comforting, they can also produce food on green areas covering its dome roofs.

    green architecture, dome homes, eco homes

    Photo courtesy of Green Magic Homes

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