Breakthrough solar panel-battery hybrid captures and stores energy from the sun

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What if future solar cells can capture and store solar energy at the same time? Researchers at Kogakuin University in Japan strive to do just. Their translucent lithium-ion battery-solar panel recharges itself when exposed to sunlight, fusing battery storage with renewable energy generation. This elegant design could finally trump the problem of securing effective and affordable storage.

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Proposed 200-foot bridge over Hwy 101 could lead California wildlife to safety

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As human development expands, wildlife habitats diminish. There’s no way around it. There are, however, ways to mitigate our imposition on nature and help provide safe pathways for wildlife to travel between desired locations. A proposal announced Wednesday calls for a land bridge over the 101 highway near Los Angeles, in Agoura Hills, that could help save the lives of countless bobcats, mountain lions, and other wildlife. It’s an ambitious project both in scale and cost, but would it keep wildlife safe?

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LAST CHANCE: Score a $749 Naturepedic organic twin mattress in our Back to School Giveaway!

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Where did summer go? As the kids start heading back to school, everyone is feeling stressed and excited, so one of the most important things parents can do is to ensure they are getting a good night’s rest. One major thing that can prevent healthy, restorative sleep is a bad mattress. Nowadays, conventional mattresses are chock-full of harmful toxins that prevent us from sleeping well, not to mention make us sick. Did you know that most standard, non-organic mattresses contain threatening levels of synthetic flame retardants laced with VOCs (volatile organic compounds)? These toxic off-gassing chemicals easily collect in dust, remain circulating throughout your home for years, and are correlated with a myriad of health issues, including allergies, asthma, hormone disruption, endocrine problems and in some cases, cancer. Fortunately, there are safe mattresses on the market that are supportive, made with natural materials, and comparable in price to conventional ones.

And if you’re in the market for an organic mattress right now, you’re in luck. Thanks to Naturepedic, you could win a brand new, 2 in 1 Organic Ultra cotton twin mattress just in time for the new school year. Naturepedic’s beds are made with the finest certified organic cotton, and pass all Federal flammability standards without the need for flame retardants. If you’re a parent, student, or know someone deserving of this precious gift, enter to win below!

HOW TO ENTER:

1. Leave a comment below telling us why you want to win a Naturepedic 2 in 1 Organic Ultra cotton mattress, and what you love most about the mattress.

DEADLINE: Friday, Sept 4th, 11:59 PM EST

Giveaway only open to residents of U.S. and Canada.

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Crazy Flintstone House is on sale for $4.2 million in the San Francisco Bay Area

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New ultra-green yoga mats are made from algae harvested from streams

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It’s hard not to wonder, when you’re sweating in Down Dog or kicking back in Savasana, exactly what toxic nasties may be leaching into your skin from your yoga mat. Two green-minded companies, Algix and Effekt, have created a new yoga mat made from an unlikely and earth-friendly source: algae. The companies have developed a flexible foam made from algae harvested from waste streams in the US and Asia. The algae is renewable, GMO-free, doesn’t require pesticides and is not useable as a food source.

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The US government is trying to take down egg-free mayo

by , 09/04/15

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A group appointed by the U.S. government tried to destroy a Silicon Valley start-up after concluding that the plant-based food company was “a crisis and major threat to the future” of the $5.5-bn-a-year egg industry in the U.S. A series of emails obtained under the Freedom of Information Act shows the American Egg Board (AEB), a US department official, and egg industry executives working together to bring down Hampton Creek who make vegan mayo, plant-based egg replacer and other egg-free products.

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ART

Gigantic straw dinosaurs take over Japanese fields

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Tiny workplace on wheels can make each day at the office different!

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Humans have killed nearly half the trees on earth so far

humans killing trees, decline of forests, tree density, number of trees on earth, cutting down all the trees, how many trees are we killing, humans have eliminated half the trees

This is the kind of news that makes us groan. A new study of arboreal density around the globe indicates humans are directly responsible for killing almost half the trees on the planet. This latest report confirms the devastation we already knew, but in a very real way, since this study is the first of its kind to be derived from actual data, giving us a more accurate picture of the Earth’s forests than ever before.

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Olafur Eliasson launches a gorgeous and affordable handheld solar phone charger

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GIVEAWAY: Win a Voltaic solar backpack in Inhabitat's Back to School Contest (worth $330)!

Voltaic, Voltaic backpacks, Voltaic Off-Grid Solar backpack, Voltaic Converter Solar backpack, green giveaways, green contests, green back to school contests, eco-friendly back to school giveaway, eco-contests, back to school giveaway, solar-powered backpack, solar-charging backpack, alternative energy, renewable energy, solar-powered bags, solar-charging bags, Inhabitat giveaway, Inhabitat back to school contest

It’s hard to believe, but fall is nearly upon us and a new semester will be in full swing sooner than we know it. Where did summer go? If you’re heading off to school, Inhabitat is here to help you hit the books with a lighter footprint – and in this year’s Back to School Contest we’re giving you the chance to win a Voltaic solar-power backpack to keep your phone and other gadgets charged all day! No more running out of juice between classes, and having to search for a power outlet. Our GRAND PRIZE WINNER will receive a $199 OffGrid 6W Solar Backpack, packed with 6 Watts of solar energy to power your phone, tablet, and USB devices anytime, anywhere. And our two RUNNER UP WINNERS will snag a $129 Converter Solar Backpack that will power you through a full day of classes. Read on to learn how to enter!

HOW TO ENTER:

1. SIGN UP FOR THE INHABITAT NEWSLETTER HERE > We’ll be announcing the winners in our weekly newsletter, so you’ll need to receive it to find out if you won!

2. LEAVE A COMMENT BELOW telling us why you need a Voltaic Solar Backpack. The deadline for this giveaway is September 11, 2015. We’ll choose the comments we like best and announce the winners in our newsletter, so make sure you’re signed up!

DEADLINE IS 11:50 PM SEPT 11

Giveaway only open to residents of U.S. and Canada.

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Crazy 54-propeller super drone lifts off with a man aboard

by , 09/03/15
filed under: DIY, Innovation, News
YouTube Preview Image

When is a drone not just a drone? When it is 54-propeller flying machine with a man aboard. A YouTube video uploaded by a British man who goes by his username gasturbine101 shows the drone-esque flying machine carrying a fully-grown male passenger as it lifts several feet off the ground and wobbles around in the air. This crazy flying machine is being called a “manned super drone” by its creators, who have also given it the more affectionate name “The Swarm” to the colony of tiny drones that keep it airborne.

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Tiny wedge-shaped writer’s cottage is the ultimate creative retreat in Norway

by , 09/03/15

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ART

World’s largest outdoor mural completed in just four days

by , 09/03/15
filed under: Art, carousel showcase, Gallery

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California passes sweeping ban on rhino horns, elephant ivory to protect endangered animals

by , 09/03/15
filed under: Animals, Conservation, News, Policy

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Lawmakers in California passed a bill yesterday outlawing the sale of nearly all ivory and rhinoceros horn products in the state. This move is an attempt to reduce elephant and rhino poaching, which is threatening both species with extinction. The ban gives current owners of ivory products until next summer to sell the items, before facing hefty fines and jail time.

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Scientists have finally invented ice cream that doesn't melt

Scientists have finally invented ice cream that doesn't melt

If there's one product that we can all agree is begging to be improved upon, it's ice cream. Sure, there have been forays into weird new flavours like bacon goat cheese and jalapeño…

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Chris the overgrown sheep spared certain death by celebrity Aussie shearer Ian Elkins

Chris the overgrown sheep spared certain death by celebrity Aussie…

Wild sheep shed their wool each year, but Merino sheep have been bred specifically to keep on growing until they're shorn - so we can use their wool. The now-famous Chris, a sheep in…

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Is it real? Redditor claims to show first glimpse of futuristic Hyperloop test track

Is it real? Redditor claims to show first glimpse of futuristic…

One bold Reddit user claims to have captured a photo of a high-speed Hyperloop test track being built outside of Los Angeles at SpaceX headquarters in Hawthorne, California. The post,…

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SHIFT_DESIGN installs a beautiful vertical garden at Urban Outfitters’ Philadelphia headquarters

SHIFT_DESIGN installs a beautiful vertical garden at Urban…

Design firm SHIFT_DESIGN recently installed a beautiful living wall for Urban Outfitters’ headquarters at the Philadelphia Navy Wall. The vertical garden is the latest collaboration…

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GustaVino is a 3D-printed wine holder that can be endlessly customized for any space

GustaVino is a 3D-printed wine holder that can be endlessly customized…

GustaVino is a stylish and versatile Gaudi inspired modular wine rack made from renewable materials that can be reproduced in any 3d printer. The light organic form was inspired by…

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