Vote For Your Favorite Inhabitots Green Halloween Costume!

by , 11/05/13

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Halloween may be over – but the Inhabitots Green Halloween Costume Contest is just heating up! This year’s contest features over 40 incredible kids costumes – from an amazing Ghostbusters stroller car to an adorable baby grandma and the littlest Vincent van Gogh. Click on over to Inhabitots to see them all – and make sure to vote for your favorites!

VOTE FOR YOUR FAVORITE HALLOWEEN COSTUME >

 

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Vote for Your Favorite Green Halloween Costume Contest Finalist!

by , 11/04/13

green halloween, costume contest, inhabitat green halloween contest, kilo glow, glow in the dark bicycle, pure fix cycles, bike, bicycle, green transportation, diy costume contest, costume contest, diy halloween costume, diy, green design, sustainable design, costume crafting, bike contest, bicycle contest

Heads up trick or treaters! Our Green Halloween Costume Contest drew dozens of creepy, clever and incredibly crafted DIY costumes from across the states – and now that the candy corn is gone it’s time to vote for your favorite! It’s up to you to choose a grand prize winner to receive a Kilo Glow-in-the-dark bicycle (worth $399) from Pure Fix Cycles – will it be this retro-tastic Tetris costume, this spot-on Simpsons family ensemble, or one of our other 18 finalists? Head on over to our Green Halloween Costume Contest and vote for your favorite today!

VOTE FOR YOUR FAVORITE DIY COSTUME >

 

HOW TO: Make Your Own Delicious Hard Apple Cider In 6 Easy Steps

by , 11/04/13
filed under: DIY, Features, Sustainable Food

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The Biomimicry Manual: What can Parasites Teach us About Zombies?

by , 11/03/13

biomimicry, halloween, zombies, zombie apocalypse, parasites, host-parasite manipulation, crazy cat lady, schizophrenia, Toxoplasmodia gondii, dopamine

Halloween is tomorrow, and this young girl’s fancies are turning to, what else? Zombies! Yes, we all secretly worry about the coming zombie apocalypse, though not enough to assemble the disaster-preparedness kits that we are actually supposed to have. But zombies aren’t real, right? Aside from The Joker’s laughing gas, mass hypnotism, or watching too much Fox TV, there’s no scientific mechanism for turning people into puppets. Or is there? Let’s find out in today’s special Hallows’ Eve entry of The Biomimicry Manual.

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Enter Your Kiddie Costumes in the 2013 Inhabitots Green Halloween Contest!

by , 11/01/13

Green Halloween, Inhabitots, Green Halloween costumes, halloween costume contest, cute kid photo contest, eco halloween costumes, green costumes, environmentally sustainable costumes, natural costumes

CALLING ALL COSTUME CRAFTING GREEN PARENTS!

Hey, Inhabiparents! It’s that time of year again and we’ve just launched our annual Inhabitots Green Halloween Costume Contest! We’re looking for the cutest kiddos who have gotten all decked out in the most impressive homemade, upcycled, or repurposed eco-friendly Halloween costumes. This year we are awarding over $300 in fabulous prizes to the costumes that we find the most captivating — and better yet, there will be TWO grand prize winners! So take a few snaps of your little ones in their most spooktacular costumes and enter them today for a chance to win some sweet schwag!

ENTER THE CONTEST HERE >

 

10 Vegan Halloween Treats to Make for a Spooktacular Soiree

by , 10/31/13

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6 Eco Burial Options for a Green Afterlife

by , 10/31/13

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DIY: How to Brew Kombucha at Home

by , 10/28/13
filed under: DIY, Features, Sustainable Food

Kombucha tea, kombucha starter, kombucha SCOBY, SCOBY, kombucha mother, SCOBYs, tea, antioxidant, mother culture, mushroom tea, fermented tea, fermented

The first time I heard about kombucha was when a friend of mine sent me a picture of a strange, somewhat bubbly liquid that had a slimy film on top of it. I asked if she was planning to put any of that in her mouth, and she reassured me that it wasn’t just delicious, it was loaded with health benefits. It took months before I was prepared to try it, but it turns out that it really is quite fabulous, and it’s also easy to make at home—you need just a few simple ingredients, and enough patience to let things ferment for a couple of weeks.

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The Biomimicry Manual: What can Vultures Teach Us About Sterilization and Specialization?

by , 10/27/13

biomimicry, turkey vulture, feeding guild, ecological niche, scavenger adaptations, teratorn, california condor

Did you know a coven of vultures swirling overhead is called a ‘kettle?’ I love that. It makes me think of a fortune teller’s black magic tea-leaves, steeping in her stove-top cauldron. And of course, we all know what this fortune says. Vultures are the harbinger of death, eagerly awaiting the last painful breath of unlucky desert travelers. They are known as opportunists and cowards, picking at the soft entrails of others’ misfortune, gleeful at their bleach-bone fate. If you’re like me, your thoughts turn instantly to ambulance-chasers and divorce lawyers. The ancient Mayans didn’t see them that way, though. To them, the vulture was a god: human in body, with a naked kingly head. He brought their earthly messages skyward to the other gods, a divine liaison between heaven and earth. Today, this exquisitely-adapted carrion specialist has many things to tell us, if we choose to listen. Tune your ears to today’s entry of The Biomimicry Manual, and maybe you will agree.

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DIY: All-Natural Creams and Salves for Cold-Battered Hands

by , 10/26/13
filed under: DIY, Features, How To

skin cream, hand cream, hand salve, salve, cream, DIY, calendula, wintergreen, cinnamon, arnica, cayenne, olive oil, coconut oil, beeswax, carnauba wax, vegan, essential oils

I know that most people aren’t quite ready to say the “w” word just yet, but that season of sleet and snow will be upon many of us in a few short weeks, and it’s better to be prepared in advance, right? Just as we try to ensure that our faces, lips, and eyes are protected from harsh weather, it’s important to pay attention to our hands as well: dry, cracked, aching paws aren’t fun to deal with, especially if you spend your day typing or doing any fine-detail work. Here are a few DIY creams and salves that you can create at home:

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New Website Chairish Lets You Shop for Pre-Owned Designer Furnishings Online

by , 10/23/13

Inhabitat's Clean Green Collection For Chairish

Who doesn’t love that incredible feeling of discovery when you stumble across an amazing, one-of-a-kind vintage furniture piece at an incredible price at a flea market? I remember finding a pair of red Eero Saarinen executive chairs for $50 at a garage sale in San Francisco, and 15 years later I still treasure those babies like they’re my children. For a time (around the turn of the millennium), eBay and Craigslist were my go-to places for finding vintage designer pieces online, but the glut of professional sellers (and scammers) that have flooded those websites over the past decade means it is pretty hard to trust the buying or selling process on those sites anymore. Happily, a brand new website called ‘Chairish’ has just launched to rescue us vintage design aficionados. Like the younger, hipper love child of eBay meets Design Within Reach, the cutely named Chairish is a carefully curated online consignment marketplace for design obsessed people to buy and sell exceptional pre-owned home furnishings.

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HOW TO: Protect Your Plants Over the Winter

by , 10/22/13
filed under: Features, Gardening

winter garden, trees, tree protection, burlap wrapped trees, mulch, mulching, tree mulch, cloche, greenhouse, protect plants during winter, growing during winter, how to keep plants alive during winter

Frozen leaf image via Shutterstock

Here in the northern hemisphere, nights are growing chillier, and it’s not unusual to wake up to a light frost clinging to car windshields and lingering garden plants. Sure, the mercury might rise when midday’s temperatures hit “balmy” levels, but that’ll change in the very near future. Those of us who are cultivating plants to last through the colder months, or have young trees that are vulnerable to severe weather, would do well to ensure that these little wonders are protected against winter’s bite.

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The Biomimicry Manual: How Do Beavers Create Business Opportunity?

by , 10/21/13

biomimicry, keystone species, ecosystem engineers, lichen, mycelium fungus, mycorrhizae, elephants, stromatolites, rainforest, coral reefs, upcycle

I’m fascinated by creatures that create new ways of life for others. Ecologists talk about ‘keystone species,’ ones which support entire ecosystems, like the central stone in a renaissance archway. Pull it away, and the whole arch falls. But I like to go beyond the edge-of-your-seat ‘Jenga’ approach, and think about ‘ecosystem engineers’: category-busters that create new opportunities for everyone. The beaver is one of those. Beavers build lodges (domed shelters made of woven branches and grass, plastered together like adobe) and they also build log dams to raise the water level around the lodge, hiding the entries to their home safely underwater. When beavers are around, a wetland is nine times more likely to have pooling water, and in times of drought, these waterways have 60% more water in them. Where there are beavers, there is a greater abundance and diversity of songbirds, frogs, salamanders, dragonflies, and fish. Put simply, beavers make ponds, and ponds support life. There are other ecosystem engineers out there; fig trees, coral reefs, elephants, and fungus, for example. In each of these species, a radical innovation brought them success and changed the world forever, not just for themselves, but for everyone else as well. People do it too. But are we creating more life with our innovation? More opportunities? More value? Read today’s entry of The Biomimicry Manual, and find out!

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Inhabitat Test-Drives the New BMW 328D Diesel Wagon

by , 10/18/13


BMW 328D Diesel Sedan, Jill Fehrenbacher, New York City , testdrive, test drive, test-drive, diesel car, biodiesel, bio-diesel, clean diesel, green diesel, east river, Long Island City, Queens, Greenpoint, Inhabitat test drive, green car

When BMW first approached me about test-driving their brand new clean diesel wagon, the 328D, my first response was “huh?” My only experience with diesel up until this point was getting stuck behind black-smoke-belching diesel 18 wheelers on the highway, and riding around in smog-filled diesel “Tuk-Tuks” (3 wheel taxis) in Nepal. But when I learned more about diesel, and read up on the 328D, I was impressed. Diesel engines are 20-40% more efficient than gasoline engines, meaning you can drive a lot farther on one tank of fuel. BMW’s 328D has the über-efficiency of a typical diesel engine, but is much cleaner than yesteryear’s diesel, with 14% less CO2 emissions than a typical gasoline engine and a highway MPG rating that is better than a Prius at 45mpg! The most impressive thing is that you can drive 675 miles on a single tank of fuel.

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An Exploration in Diesel, Courtesy of BMW

by , 10/12/13


BMW328D Hits the Lower East Side, BMW 328D, BMW 328 diesel, BMW 3 series, diesel car, diesel engine, diesel beamer, lower east side, essex street, New york, manhattan, lower manhattan, canal street, hester street

I’m excited to announce that this week I will be test-driving a BMW 328D and reporting back to you, dear readers, on the experience. When BMW first approached me and offered me their new diesel sedan to test-drive, I was a little confused. Knowing virtually nothing about diesel, except the mental image in my head of giant 18 wheeler diesel freight trucks spewing sooty black smoke, I wondered why would a green-car enthusiast like myself would be interested in diesel. Then I started wikipediaing…

Turns out that diesel is highly efficient, much more so than traditional gasoline.

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How 7 Smart Technologies are Tackling New World Problems

How 7 Smart Technologies are Tackling New World Problems

3D Printing 3D printing lets anyone make just about anything from nick nacks to full-size rooms. While the novelty is certainly there, 3D printing is also a technology that's…

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Team Texas' Solar Decathlon ADAPT House Takes Advantage of El Paso's Abundant Sunlight

Team Texas' Solar Decathlon ADAPT House Takes Advantage of El Paso's…

The Texas student team created ADAPT with the belief that a home is not just a location or state of mind but a place where the heart is.  The house was designed with desert living in…

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DIY: Make Your Own Artisan Soap Bar from Repurposed Scraps

DIY: Make Your Own Artisan Soap Bar from Repurposed Scraps

STEP 1: Gather all your materials. You'll need just soap bits, a plastic bottle, a grater, a cutting tool, and a pan for melting. STEP 2: Cut the bottom off of the plastic…

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