Weeds get a bad rap. In fact, most municipalities pay a pretty penny to remove unwanted, pervasive plants from neighborhood parks. But would they continue to do so if they knew how incredibly delicious and nutritious many 'weeds' can be? We were recently guided by master forager Wildman Steve Brill through New York's Central Park, where we discovered eight extremely common weeds that are not only delectable, but grow pretty much everywhere. Whether you live in the city or the boonies, you've likely passed by most of these in your neighborhood park, on the side of the road, or right in your backyard. What makes weeds wonderful is their knack for perseverance and survival, without water, fertilizers or any of the things that most commercial crops need to thrive. Knowing how to find food anywhere is a useful skill - and not only if you happen to get lost in the woods. Scroll down for eight common and delicious weeds you perhaps never realized you could eat.
In Australia, there is a fish that has lungs, can walk on dry land, and breathe air, for up to six days. It’s not a new species, but it’s on the move. This has scientists warning that if the reaches the mainland, it could be devastating to native species, who are simply not equipped to share an environment with a super-powered creature such as this.
It’s just one of those things: you’re on vacation in Spain, checking out the beauty of the Cies Islands after a morning of running around capturing the sights on your GoPro. You put your camera down on a wall, when it attracts the attention of a seagull. No biggie, it’s not as though it can eat it, right? But what it can do —and did— is snag the GoPro with its beak and take the camera for a scenic flyover along the coast. As the video shows, the owners of the camera had a moment of panic, but the seagull safely deposited the GoPro back down on solid ground, and left the brief, dizzying, but incredibly cool footage for all to view.
With the arrival of warm weather comes the pleasure of spending time outdoors. Whether it be enjoying the fresh air, the abundance of new greens and herbs or the ability to spend entire days outside, we just can’t get enough. So what could be better than combining them all into one splendid activity which replaces the need to grocery shop or make a trip to the gym? Here at Inhabitat, foraging – finding wild edibles near our house – is one of our favorite pastimes. Foraging is available to anyone with access to nature – whether that is a nearby urban park, your backyard or nearby patch of weeds. We recently set off on a foraging adventure in the urban jungle of New York City to collect wild salad greens in Central Park with NYC’s beloved master forager, “Wildman” Steve Brill. Read on for our recipe to make a delicious, locally foraged salad using common wild greens and herbs that can be found right in your local park.
Green architect and co-author of the pivotal green design handbook Cradle to Cradle, William McDonough is one of the founders of the green design movement and one of the preeminent thought-leaders of our time. His approach to sustainable design spans the entire industry - from large-scale projects (like designing the largest and most ambitious green roof in the world) to developing the most rigorous green product standard available. We recently had the opportunity to speak with Bill at the GreenBuild Conference about his work and the future of green design. We were joined by Howard Williams, VP of Construction Specialties, a leading proponent of safe materials in products, who introduced the company's latest Cradle to Cradle-certified products. The thought-provoking and energetic conversation gave us a taste of how intimately intertwined design is with a product’s real-world impact - read on for our exclusive interview!
In light of all the dire news related to climate change, rising sea levels and the natural disasters which have stricken numerous coastal areas around the world, we here at Inhabitat would like to highlight an interview Inhabitat Editor-in-Chief Jill Fehrenbacher conducted with architect Koen Olthuis of Waterstudio.nl. A studio focused on designing for a future water world, Olthuis has been at the forefront of this once unconventional, yet now timely design vernacular. Olthuis says that despite our civilization’s history of trying to drain and fight against wet landscapes for the past thousand years, our best move for the future would be to “let water in and even make friends with the water.” Read on for the fascinating interview where Olthius describes his what designing for water landscapes worldwide really means.
We’ve showcased numerous bamboo designs over the years, from furniture to entire buildings, but when it comes to combining green building and renewable materials, Ibuku’s incredible bent-bamboo buildings take the cake. The Bali-based bamboo building team already has luxury villas, houses, schools and infrastructure buildings in their portfolio, and is renowned for their dedication to using traditional Indonesian building techniques. We spoke with the firm’s founder and CEO, designer Elora Hardy, about vernacular architecture traditions, her involvement with designing bamboo buildings, and the reasons behind her vocational change from high-end fashion to sustainable architecture
We are huge fans of Swifty Scooters - a range of adult kick scooters that, through innovative design, provides a means for urban mobility while saving time and having fun. The scooters are the brainchild of husband and wife team Jason and Camilla Iftakhar - both of whom are graduates of the Royal College of Art. Jason designs and handcrafts the ultra-slim scooters himself, taking every effort to make them as efficiently as possible. We sat down with him to discuss his background in eco-design, the time and effort that goes into making a scooter, and whether they're best for commuting on the road or the pavement - read on for our interview!
Meet Honey the dog and Kwanza the white lion cub: a pair of best friends at the Darling Downs Zoo in Queensland, Australia. Kwanza’s mum wasn’t producing enough milk for him, so the lovely caregivers at the zoo took him in and have been taking care of him. He’s become best friends with a little dog named Honey, and the two of them romp around the zoo all day, playing together and grooming one another. Kwanza is Queensland’s first white lion, and once he grows up he’ll be introduced to “regular-colored” lionesses so he can become head of pride and build a family of his own.
What if you could power your iPhone from thin air? Making wires redundant was one of Nikola Tesla’s biggest dreams – a dream University of Washington researchers want to fulfill with PoWiFi. Shyam Gollakota and his team recently demonstrated technology at EmTech Digital in San Francisco that harvests ambient ‘backscatter’ radio signals to power battery-free temperature and camera sensors. The technology can also be used to charge nickel–metal hydride and lithium-ion coin-cell batteries at distances of up to 28 feet. In a recent paper describing their work, called Powering the Next Billion Devices with Wi-Fi, the researchers provide a detailed description of how they successfully powered devices over WiFi using existing Wi-Fi chipsets–without reducing the router’s performance. Details after the jump.
Flying bikes have come a long way since Steven Spielberg sent Eliot flying towards the moon in E.T; notably, there are some very real, Hollywood-SFX-free ones in development. Aeroflex’s Hoverbike has so far reached a top speed of 30mph, and a maximum flying height of 15 feet, and now a team from Hungary has developed an all-electric flying bike that just recently achieved its first manned venture. The tricopter vehicle—dubbed Flike—has so far stayed aloft in controlled tests for over a minute, and with lithium-polymer batteries to power the cycle’s six rotors it has the capacity to sustain a 30-40 minute flight.
The deep seas are host to a vast number of extraordinary, completely alien creatures, ranging from the rare and somewhat terrifying Goblin Shark to 18-foot-long sea serpents—and those are just some of the ones we know about. While the oceans cover two-thirds of the planet’s surface, we have only explored some five percent of them, which means that there is almost literally a world of unknown sea creatures out there that we have yet to discover—and these extraordinarily beautiful, yet to be named creatures recently filmed off the coast of Puerto Rico are the most recent to be caught on camera for the first time.
Have you ever thought about how much trash you produce in a day? How about a year? The average person generates 4.3 pounds of waste per day; that’s 1,569 pounds per year. Not a great feeling, huh? That harrowing statistic is what inspired New Yorker Lauren Singer to lead a truly zero-waste lifestyle. Singer produces so little waste that she can fit all of her trash from the past two years in a 16 oz. mason jar and now she’s trying to teach the rest of the world how to do the same.
World-renowned artist Anish Kapoor has created a mysterious vortex of swirling black water on the floor of a disused movie theater in Italy. Located in San Gimignano, Kappoor’s “Decension” whirpool appears to perpetually drain into the unknown, inviting viewers to imagine the space beyond what is seen.
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.