Some MIT engineering students were given an assignment to prototype something based on the concept of “reduce, reuse, recycle.” Seven 18-student teams teams were formed and came up with some pretty cool stuff. One team made a solar powered bin that detects and separates recyclables dropped into it. Another found a way to separate the oil from used oil filters before dumping them, using it for lubricant — maybe for another team’s pedal-powered shea nut crusher. My personal favorite is the battery-less remote control – pulling a trigger on it powers it for a couple hours, so you’ll never have to lick the contacts and spin the batteries to get another 15 minutes of use out of those three-year-old AAs. The course website is here, for the full sordid story.