In the old days, if you wanted a solar panel, you had to buy one of those giant clunky things that were not only pricey, but also a real pain in the you-know-what to install. But times have changed, thanks to companies like Voltaic Systems who are leading the charge with a new generation of affordable, durable, and portable solar panels. When they heard that I was converting my Ford Transit Connect XL into a self-sufficient live and work eco-mobile, Voltaic generously donated a pair of 17-watt solar panels, along with accompanying V72 batteries, that I can use to charge my cell phone and laptop far from any electrical outlet. I decided to pop them on the roof of my van and turn my van into a lean, green live-work machine. And the best part? I didn’t have to drill a single hole in my van to install them.
In 1836, Swedish mycologist Elias Fries called the chanterelle “one of the most important and best edible mushrooms.” They are also incredibly nutritious – in addition to containing vitamin C and potassium, chanterelles are among the richest known sources of vitamin D. As ubiquitous as it is delicious, the golden chanterelle occurs all over the globe – from North America to Europe, Asia and Africa. Nevertheless, the meaty, funnel-shaped mushroom has a wild spirit that resists domestication, so if you’d like to savor its distinctive flavor, you’ll probably have to find it yourself – which is part of its wonderful charm! We recently stumbled across some chanterelles while hiking in Yellowwood State Forest just outside of Bloomington, Indiana. We picked a few, sautéed them, and ate them with our camp-cooked pasta, and liked them so much, we went back a couple of days later for more. Watch our video or hit the jump to find out how you can find your own chanterelles, which false species to avoid, and how to cook them up for a special treat you won’t soon forget.
Do you remember eating Fruit Roll-Ups and Fruit by the Foot as a kid? They were some of the most coveted lunch snacks, but they were also packed with sugar and other artificial ingredients. In fact, did you know that Strawberry Fruit by the Foot contained no actual strawberries? If you want to feed your kids (or yourself) real fruit in the same fun-to-eat format but without the unhealthy additives, here's an easy DIY way to make your own homemade fruit leather with just one ingredient - actual fruit! Read on for the simple video tutorial.
Many of us are completely unaware of the delicious edible plants that surround us, especially in urban environments, but did you know that there are a multitude of tasty plant species right in your own neighborhood park? No matter where you live, foraging is a free, fun culinary activity which requires only a keen eye, some plastic bags and a sense of adventure! It’s easier than one might think to uncover nutritious natural edibles, from medicinal herbs, to edible flowers, brain-boosting nuts and exotic salads. We followed NYC’s famed foraging experts Wildman Steve Brill and his daughter Violet Brill to discover six abundant and delicious plants nestled within the urban forestry of Prospect Park, right in the heart of Brooklyn, New York. Watch the video and read on to learn how to identify these forageable plants, from field garlic and ginkgo biloba to black walnuts and sassafras. Some of them could even be growing in your own backyard!
You can learn more about foraging for these delectable plants (and many more) with Wildman Steve Brill’s new Master Foraging App, now available for iPhone, iPad, and Android systems.
BKLYN Designs 2015 is fast approaching, and if you’ve never attended this exciting furniture show, see what it’s all about in our video with the Inhabitat editors showcasing their favorite green designs from the show. From reclaimed wood sofas to a poker table made out of recycled materials, check out the very best of BKLYN Designs – and don’t forget to see who’s in at the end of the clip.
BKLYN Designs, NYC’s annual exhibition of Brooklyn-made furniture, is fast approaching, but if you can’t wait for the show to start, here’s a little treat. Take a look back at our fun behind-the-scenes video about the awards we gave away at the show a few years back and how we came to a final consensus about the winners.
If you're one of the hardcore DIYers out there looking into building your own home, be sure to pick up Housing Reclaimed: Sustainable Homes for Next to Nothing by Jessica Kellner. As editor at Natural Home & Garden Magazine, Kellner has come across her fair share of beautiful and sustainable homes and now she expands on how a number of people around the country have built their houses without debt despite the economic hardships of the last few years. While it may seem daunting to design an energy efficient house, source sustainable and reclaimed materials and finally build it, Kellner provides a slew of tips and ideas on how to tackle this challenge for practically nothing down. Read on for our interview with Kellner about sustainable housing and her inspiration for this book.
You’ve all heard the tired mantras about changing your lightbulbs and recycling at home in order to save the planet – are you yawning yet? Many consumers think that going green is a gesture of self-sacrifice that often comes at great expense and inconvenience – but nothing could be further from the truth. What many don’t realize is that going green is not really about doing something good “for the planet” but is instead about improving your own quality of life through making your environment safer and healthier. And one of the easiest places to start leading a greener and healthier life is in the home.
Some people collect stamps, other people collect cats. Summer Rayne Oakes collects plants – in a big way! The Brooklyn-based model/activist/botanist has transformed her apartment into a veritable greenhouse filled with over 200 living specimens (it sort of resembles the page in Where the Wild Things Are where Max’s room turns into a forest). Check out our gallery for a glimpse inside Summer’s abode, and find out how she got started creating her cool, new vertical garden.
With a collection of catalogs that some say is even more widely distributed than the Bible, IKEA is one of the most influential brands in the world. The Swedish furniture company's universal appeal and established customer base give it a powerful platform to spread its numerous sustainability initiatives to a global audience, but it has also been criticized for its sometimes shoddily constructed wares and promotion of a "fast furniture" mentality. We recently spoke with Steve Howard, IKEA's Chief Sustainability Officer, to see how the global brand reconciles these two conflicting approaches and what its next green steps will be.
Tokyo’s underground bicycle storage system looks more like an elaborate mechanism from a sci-fi movie than a parking lot for cycles. Put into motion with a single push of a button, the Eco Cycle Anti-Seismic Underground Bicycle Park, built by Japanese engineering firm Giken Seisakusho Co. LTD is just seven meters wide, but it’s deep enough to store 144 bicycles. The system provides the city’s bike users with an efficient parking solution that ensures complete safety for cycles.
Did you know that Feng Shui practitioners were some of the first environmentalists in the world? Many people are unaware that the basis of Feng Shui is synonymous with green design, as its essence is centered around mastering a connection with the natural world. So, when exactly does a green home become a sanctuary? We had the opportunity to review Feng Shui expert and LEED accredited Architect Anjie Cho‘s latest book for a true how-to on the subject: 108 Ways to Create Holistic Spaces: Feng Shui and Green Design for Healing Organic Homes. Read on for our review, and a glimpse inside this practical, DIY guide to creating a truly holistic space.
Recently, VICE headed to South Korea to explore the incredible mission to resurrect the woolly mammoth. Host Ben Makuch and his team spoke to researchers at the Sooam Biotech Research Foundation, where scientists are working to bring back the extinct mammal. When asked why, the director of the project, said, “not to play God, but I believe we are obligated to bring it back as humans.” Check out all the entire story, including how the Russian mafia got involved, at VICE’s Motherboard channel.
If you love plants but don’t have much outdoor space to indulge your green thumb, you might feel a bit bummed about all the things you can’t grow indoors. Fortunately, there are plenty of things that you can grow inside, and citrus fruits fall into that category. Lemon trees in particular are easy to grow, and they can fill your home with gorgeous scent as well as beauty. It’s also super fun and rewarding to grow your own baby plant from seed – click the link below learn how to grow a lemon tree from Inhabitots’ resident Kinder-Gardener Petey!