Shrinking Lake Mead reveals surprising treasures as Southwest drought deepens

lake mead, lake mead water levels, california drought, nevada, southwest drought, lake mead national park, hoover dam

Although the drought is a scary nightmare for many throughout the Southwest, and the once mighty Lake Mead is no longer so mighty, a strange benefit of the receding waters is bringing tourists to the area in increasing numbers. Why? Because the lower water levels have revealed some curious surprises, including a ghost town and a B-29 bomber long-submerged below the Lake’s once roaring waters.

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LEED Gold Riverhouse's double glass curtain-wall provides drama as well as energy savings

by , 07/06/15
filed under: Inhabitat NYC

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Infographic Shows Surprising Trends in Summer Energy Use Across the United States

summer energy consumption trends, infographic, summer, united states, energy use, energy efficiency, green design, sustainable design, conservation, save on energy, air conditioning, power use

It’s no secret that households across the US blast the AC when the summer heat sets in, leading to high electricity loads – but did you know that renewable energy production peaks during the hottest months of the year, while power derived from fossil fuels bottoms out? This great infographic by SaveOnEnergy.com shows many more figures about summer energy use that may surprise you – check out the full pic after the break!

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Solar-powered Stella Lux family car generates more energy than it uses

stella lux, stella, solar-powered family car, solar-powered car, world solar challenge, solar team eindhoven, energy positive car, zero fuel car

Most of the super efficient green cars on the market aren’t really designed for regular folks. In fact, some of the vehicles with the highest fuel economy are only made to hold one person: the driver. Those contraptions can move right over to the slow lane, though, because a Dutch team of solar engineering students has developed a family-friendly green car that actually generates more energy than it uses.

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Crazy home carved into a coastal cliff has a swimming pool roof

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Plans for world’s first self-sufficient floating city advance to next phase

floating city project, seasteading, the seasteading institute, self-sufficient community, self-sufficient floating community, floating cities, floating residential communities, world's first floating city, floating city plans

The Seasteading Institute is on target to launch the world’s first floating city by 2020. The Floating City Project is set to have political autonomy, although the concept involves an integrated relationship with a “host nation.” The self-sufficient floating community is planned to have residences, tourism, aquaculture, a business park, a research institute, and a power plant to sell energy and clean water back to the host nation.

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Passive solar beach house is a contemporary take on the Australian beach shack

by , 07/06/15

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'From Piss to Pilsner' recycles urine to make beer

green design, eco design, sustainable design, Roskilde Festival, pee recycling, urine beer, beer cycling, Danish Agriculture and Food Council, beer making, fertilizer

An estimated 100,000 visitors to the Roskilde Festival in Denmark this summer had the unusual opportunity to recycle their urine into beer. “From Piss to Pilsner” hopes to ignite a new movement called beercycling, transforming 25,000 liters of festivalgoers’ pee into kegs of frothy beer. The collected urine will be used to fertilize beer’s building block–barley.

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Urban farmers in São Paulo are growing food in unexpected places

urban farming, Brazil, São Paulo, vacant lots, NGO, Cities Without Hunger, greenhouses, school gardens, local food, urban gardening, slums, NGO, Cities without Hunger, overpopulation, food scarcity,

São Paulo, the most populous city in the Americas, is growing food in unexpected places to feed a burgeoning population. Almost 12 million people reside within the city limits of Brazil’s capital, while the greater São Paulo area is home to more than 20 million. This swelling growth presents great economic challenges that require creative solutions. Which is why the local NGO Cities without Hunger is working with residents to promote urban farming through school gardens, community gardens, greenhouses, and even under electricity pylons.

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New proposal calls for NYC commercial food vendors to separate organic waste to keep it out of dumps

by , 07/06/15
filed under: Inhabitat NYC

Food Waste

Mayor de Blasio recently introduced a proposal that would require all commercial-sized food establishments, vendors, manufacturers, and wholesalers to separate organic waste material. As part of the mayor’s One NYC Plan, the ambitious initiative would drastically reduce the amount of food scraps and other organic materials, which currently make up one third of the city’s commercial waste. Instead of being shipped to landfills, the organic waste would be converted into compost or used as feedstock for producing clean renewable energy through anaerobic digestion.

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Unbelievable miniature Japanese village will astound you with its attention to detail

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The 70-second video above is completely enchanting and serene. Gentle instrumental music accompanies the visuals and the video begins with scenes of everyday life in a quiet village in rural Japan: browning leaves piled up along the roadsides, food waiting to be prepped in the kitchen, a kettle suspended over a firepit, a wooded garden. It’s hard to believe that each of the five scenes featured in the video were created artificially – in miniature – just for this video, but they were. London’s GetNewDesign digital media firm produced the elaborate models as well as the carefully crafted video for this unique branding campaign for the food and culture of Japan.

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Industrious Manhattan man drives to work in homemade electric vehicles made of old car parts

by , 07/06/15
filed under: Inhabitat NYC

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Lithium battery technology breakthrough could totally change solar power

24M, renewable energy, energy storage, battery

Though the obstacles to a clean energy economy are largely political, one particular technological challenge to this goal is the expense and capacity of storage batteries. The sun may shine strongly on a home rooftop, but if there is nowhere to store this energy until peak-demand in the evening, the system is not effective. However, technology may be catching up to demand. While the Tesla Powerwall hopes to be part of the solution, a new method of manufacturing lithium batteries, pioneered by MIT researchers and Cambridge-based company 24M, may cut production costs in half and open up enormous opportunities for renewable energy.

 

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BOOK REVIEW: Designed for the Future: 80 Practical Ideas for a Sustainable World

Inhabitat book review, book review, Designed for the future, Jared Green, Designed for the future by Jared Green, Designed for the Future: 80 Practical Ideas for a Sustainable World, Designed for the Future: 80 Practical Ideas for a Sustainable World by Jared Green, sustainability, sustainable future, bjarke ingels,

Climate change, air pollution, and water scarcity—these are just a handful of reasons why you may be worried for Earth’s future. But all hope is not lost, at least that’s the attitude of writer and editor Jared Green, whose recent book explores 80 thought-provoking ideas changing our world for the better. In ‘Designed for the Future: 80 Practical Ideas for a Sustainable World,’ Green speaks with 80 influential global leaders, from Bjarke Ingels to Diana Balmori, to ask the question: What gives you hope that a sustainable future is possible? The result is an eclectic collection of inspiring tales that will resonate with everyone from the uninitiated student to the veteran community activist.

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Colorful community center was built from recycled materials from the London Olympics

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Adidas unveils new sneaker prototype made from reclaimed ocean trash

Adidas unveils new sneaker prototype made from reclaimed ocean trash

Adidas has just partnered up with Parley for the Oceans to create the world's first sneaker made from reclaimed ocean trash. The prototype design features sneaker uppers made from yarns…

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We're giving away a queen-sized organic cotton mattress worth $679!

We're giving away a queen-sized organic cotton mattress worth $679!

My Green Mattress founder Tim Masters was first drawn to the business not for financial reasons, but as a worried parent. Soon after Tim and his wife Cindy's second daughter Emily was…

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Germany plans to shut down coal-fired plants to reach climate goal

Germany plans to shut down coal-fired plants to reach climate goal

Pushing forward on its lofty climate goals for the year 2020, Germany announced Thursday that it plans to shut down some polluting coal-fired plants across the country. The plants,…

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Las Vegas Extreme Sports Park Combines Wakeboarding, Organic Food and Repurposed Shipping Containers

Las Vegas Extreme Sports Park Combines Wakeboarding, Organic Food and…

Los Angeles-based M-Rad design studio has proposed an extreme sports park for Las Vegas as a way to draw people outside.

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Ergonomically-Correct 'Wellbeing Toilet' Helps You Poop the Right Way

Ergonomically-Correct 'Wellbeing Toilet' Helps You Poop the Right Way

The toilet, ubiquitous as it is, hasn't changed much in design or function since indoor plumbing became a thing. In honor of World Toilet Day, plumbing and drain specialists Dyno-Rod…

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