BOOK REVIEW: Anjie Cho's 108 Ways to Create Holistic Spaces

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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.

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6 delicious plants you can forage in your local urban park — VIDEO

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.

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Maya Pedal transforms old bikes into pedal-powered water pumps, blenders, and more

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We’ve seen some incredible innovations in bicycle technology lately, from self-charging components such as the Copenhagen Wheel to designer fixies by Diesel. But what happens to these and all other bikes when their owners move on? That’s where Guatemalan NGO Maya Pedal comes in: they transform donated bicycles into pedal-powered machines including water pumps, blenders and tile makers for use where electricity is too expensive or inaccessible. We say more (pedal) power to you, Maya Pedal! Check out the video by Makeshift to learn more about this brilliant innovation.

+ Maya Pedal

+ Makeshift

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Kenyan teenager converts his school's poop into safe, clean energy

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In early January 2013, Kenya’s oldest English-language school, the Maseno School, opened new dormitories for 720 students, and it had a couple of problems. Pit latrines and a faulty sewage system inevitably left foul odors and polluted local freshwater sources, while the kitchen used firewood for cooking fuel—unhealthy for cooks and the environment alike. High school senior, Leroy Mwasaru, now 17, and four of his friends had an idea: to harvest poop and other waste and turn it into a safe, clean and eco-friendly source of cooking fuel. Check out this video courtesy of Makeshift, and read on past the jump to learn more about the project!

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Green Building in Cold Climates: Inhabitat Interview with Bernat and Kate of Maison Durable Portneuf

Maison Durable Portneuf, Biomur, Kate Alvo

We’ve seen many examples of how well green buildings can work in temperate and warm climates, but what about the harsher conditions that can lash homes in rural Quebec? Inhabitat recently had the opportunity to interview Bernat Ferragut and Kate Alvo of Maison Durable Portneuf about the innovative techniques they used to create their eco-friendly, sustainable, elegant home in the woods of Portneuf, Quebec, and how they can help others do the same.

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New 'Merchants of Doubt' film to unmask scientific "liars for hire" today

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You’ve been lied to. For decades hack scientists, corporate shills, and disingenuous politicians have lied about topics that impact the health and well-being of our planet and its people. The new documentary, Merchants of Doubt, debuts today and is well-positioned to be a long-awaited strike back against perpetrators of propaganda and misinformaton campaigns aimed at the American people. Not just another climate documentary, Merchants of Doubt seeks to tear the mask off the shady ‘liars for hire’ responsible for trying to convince the American public that tobacco use is safe, coal isn’t polluting our air, and that the climate isn’t changing.

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VIDEO: Google's new California headquarters is a greenhouse utopia by BIG and Heatherwick

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Earlier in the week, we brought you news that Heatherwick Studio and BIG are collaborating on the design of Google’s new Mountain View campus. And now, Google has just published a video in which the two architecture stars discuss their plans for the upcoming Googleplex, and give a sneak peek at renderings for and models of what looks to be a stunning biosphere-filled utopia for the Silicon Valley giant.

Click here to view the embedded video.

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Anti-pollution documentary goes viral in China, gaining over 155 million hits in one day

by , 03/06/15

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Millions have viewed a stark, simple 104-minute documentary by Chinese journalist and mother Chai Jing since she uploaded it to popular video-sharing site Youku last week. Titled “Under the Dome,” the documentary captures the filmmaker’s experience as a concerned parent living among the dense smog of Beijing, and investigates the sources of the devastating pollution. The documentary quickly gripped China, receiving over 20 million views by Monday morning, and prompting an outpouring of concerned comments and shared outrage in a nation where the media is strictly controlled. As of the time of writing, the video has been viewed more than 155 million times.

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INTERVIEW: Becky Northey and Peter “Pook” Cook on the Tree Shaping Art of Pooktre

by , 03/06/15
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INTERVIEW: Architect David Hertz on how to build with old planes

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INTERVIEW: Bamboo builder, and Ibuku Founder Elora Hardy on Creating Incredible Green Buildings with Bamboo

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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

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How to Grow Your Own Lemon Tree from a Seed

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!

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VIDEO: How to make an electricity-free radiant space heater that heats your home for pennies a day

Would you believe that you can heat your space with a few candles and a couple of flower pots, all for just pennies a day? It might be difficult to imagine, but it’s easy to do, as this video shows in a brilliant step-by-step demonstration. With just a few items that are readily available at your local hardware store, you can create an electricity-free radiant heater that’ll keep a room toasty and comfortable, for less than the cost of a fancy latte. Click through to learn how you can DIY one of these heaters for yourself:

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The ingenious duvet cover trick that will change your life (VIDEO)

by , 02/23/15
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VIDEO: Original Copies Author Bianca Bosker on Architectural Mimicry in China

We’ve been fascinated with the concept of duplitecture—the practice of cloning entire buildings—ever since we discovered that Chinese developers were knocking off European architectural icons and, in some cases, even entire towns in the Chinese countryside. Duplitecture expert Bianca Bosker recently published a new book on the subject; Original Copies: Architectural Mimicry in China. We recently had the chance to pick the author’s brain about how and why this trend has spread so prolifically across China in particular. From Chinese clones of the Eiffel Tower to the White House, the country has produced nearly exact duplicates of numerous famous structures from around the world—but why? Check out our interview with Bosker as she answers that question and others about what these copycat buildings signify in terms of China’s culture, and how they are perceived by the rest of the globe.

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