Changespotting

Rachael McKinnon rounds up the best the web has to offer

A magnetic way to clean spills

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An iron-rich salt may help clean spills magnetically by attracting away contaminants (right).
An iron-rich salt may help clean spills magnetically by attracting away contaminants (right).

Scientists from the University of Bristol are developing a new type of surfactant that could assist with oil spill clean-ups. The "soap" is made up of iron-rich salts that give it magnetic properties; once it has been used, it can be drawn out of the water with magnets - hopefully without leaving a trace.

SUSTAINABLE CITY

A city called Masdar, in Abu Dhabi, is continuing to attract interest as a manufactured green city and hub of clean technology. The city has been built with some centuries-old sustainable principles in mind, as well as using modern technology and innovations to create a bottom-up sustainable city.

INDOOR COMPOSTING

Here is a compact indoor-composting design that is perfect for growing herbs or small lettuces, and recycling your kitchen scraps. Simply tip them in the top of the Nepenthes - named after a variety of carnivorous plant - and the bacteria inside will process the nutrients into the soil at the bottom.

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