VIDEO: How to Make Delectable Vegan Red Velvet Cupcakes for Your Valentine

Wondering what sweet treats to give your Valentine this Friday? Here’s a delectable recipe that is sure to delight. Follow along as Inhabitots’ pint-sized pastry chef Petey Rojas shows you the easy steps to making his yummy vegan red velvet cupcakes in this adorable video. We promise that your better half will love them—and it wouldn’t hurt to whip up a batch for yourself too!

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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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Watch a little polar bear cub experience snow for the first time

Apparently it’s not just human kids who react adorably the first time they play in the snow. Although polar bears live in icy environs, their young are born in relatively warm dens and only experience real snow once they venture out for the first time. This little guy is catching a glimpse of the snowy world around him, and his reactions are just priceless.

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VIDEO: How to Save Money and Energy With a Programmable Thermostat

If your wallet is already feeling the pinch from your monthly energy bill as we head into the colder months, you’ll be happy to know that you can keep those expenses down using a simple device called a programmable thermostat. We introduced these handy gadgets to you back in October and now we have a fun, informational video that makes it even easier to understand what programmable thermostats do and how they can save the average household about $180* a year. Click the video above to get the full scoop on how programmable thermostats work and what kinds of perks the latest models offer – including the ability to control your home’s temperature from bed, your office or even while you’re on vacation.

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VIDEO: How to install Voltaic solar panels on your car

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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.

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How to find a wolf sanctuary near you and meet some wild wolves!

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Did you know that there are wolves living near you in almost every state in the country? Sadly most of these wolves are not living in the wild, but in wolf sanctuaries, which are conservation organizations set up to protect them and help grow their population enough to be re-introduced to the wild. Wolves once inhabited most of North America, from coast to coast, but as humans spread across the states over the last century, these majestic, intelligent creatures (ancestors of “man’s best friend”) have become nearly extinct. Wolves have died out both due to habitat loss and also due to active human hunting and trapping. Today they can only be found in the wild in Canada, Alaska, Montana, Idaho, Minnesota, Wisconsin and Wyoming, whereas they once lived everywhere. Wolf sanctuaries are trying to help protect highly endangered wolves and reestablish populations in places where they once lived.

I personally had no idea that there was a population of over 20 wolves living near me in New York City until I heard about the New York Wolf Conservation Center from Subaru as part of an “Adventure Roulette” initiative. I recently had the chance to visit this wonderful wolf sanctuary less than an hour from the city, and it was an incredible experience! It was amazing to meet and be able to “speak” with these magnificent, super-intelligent animals. If you howl at them, they’ll even howl back at you! Read on to find out more about these wolf sanctuaries, as well as where you can meet some wolves in your local area. Surprisingly, they are almost everywhere — probably in your backyard too!

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The top 7 Inhabitat videos of 2014 — Which was your favorite to watch?

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This year we had a blast producing some incredible DIY videos and video interviews, and you all seemed to like them! From an amazing DIY edible water bottle to a tour of a wild wolf sanctuary, check out our most-talked-about videos of 2014 and vote for your favorite today!

Note: There is a poll embedded within this post, please visit the site to participate in this post's poll.

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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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Inhabitat's Top 9 Interviews of 2014

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In the past year Inhabitat had the privilege of speaking with a variety of talented designers, architects and thinkers. We chatted with Bianca Bosker about architectural mimicry and Boyan Slat filled us in on his brilliant ocean cleanup array. David Benjamin introduced us to the world’s first mushroom tower and we learned about improving water quality in New York City. The minds behind Maison Durable Portneuf educated us about cold-climate construction and Koen Olthius taught us how to embrace rising sea levels. James Dyson talked to us about using his famous vacuum technology to clean rivers, Elora Hardy taught us about building with bamboo and Yves Behar turned his design eye toward architecture. Which interview was your favorite? Check them out and let us know!

Note: There is a poll embedded within this post, please visit the site to participate in this post's poll.

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INTERVIEW: Yves Behar on Green Design, Data Overload, and His First Foray Into Architecture

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If you’ve ever used a Jawbone, sat in a Sayl, or fired up a SodaStream, then you’re sure to be familiar with the work of industrial design superstar Yves Behar. He’s also the designer behind pioneering projects for social good like the One Laptop Per Child Project, the NYC Condom, and these free VerBien glasses for Mexican students. We recently had a chance to chat with Yves about his favorite projects, the future of green technology, and his first foray into architecture – check out our interview after the break!

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INTERVIEW: We Talk With Prefab Home Architect Toby Long

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We at Inhabitat are bona fide prefab lovers. And while we tout the benefits of the prefab process every day, it’s also important to step back and examine the potential of the prefab market, its opportunities, and how it can be maximized to produce even more sustainable, affordable, and high-quality structures. Toby Long, of CleverHomes, has been one of prefab’s pioneers with the MiniHome and NowHouse. I had a chance to sit down with him and discuss the prefab “movement,” and how he sees it maturing in the future.

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Interview: Ruud Visser transforms old churches and water towers into incredible modern homes

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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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VIDEO: How to Make an Edible Terrarium Snow Globe

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To learn how to make an incredible DIY edible snow globe that will impress all of your friends at your next holiday party, read on….


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This flipped-over giant tortoise gets by with a little help from his friend

We all get into tight spots on occasion, and it’s at times when we’re particularly vulnerable that a helping hand from a friend is much appreciated. This giant Galapagos tortoise at a zoo in Taipei found himself in a bit of a pickle when he rolled over onto his back and couldn’t flip over on his own. Fortunately, his buddy was nearby and was able to help him out.

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VIDEO: Orphaned baby Indonesian orangutan named Rickina

VIDEO: Orphaned baby Indonesian orangutan named Rickina

Did you know that orangutans share 97 percent of our DNA? Like us, they have complex emotions, family bonds, and a love of drawing and music. Rickina is a little orphaned orangutan…

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3D-printed prosthetic legs allow Derby the dog to run for the first time

3D-printed prosthetic legs allow Derby the dog to run for the first…

The popularity of 3D printing has exploded in recent years, and one of the most innovative uses for this technology has been that of prosthetics—for people and animals alike. We've…

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INTERVIEW: Smart Tips on How to Green Your School from Aimee Østensen of the Manhattan Country School

INTERVIEW: Smart Tips on How to Green Your School from Aimee Østensen…

Studies show that sustainable learning environments can be a big advantage for students, improving their well-being, happiness and even their cognitive processes. But how can parents…

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

VIDEO: How to make an electricity-free radiant space heater that heats…

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…

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VIDEO: Wolf Pups Get the Hiccups Too

VIDEO: Wolf Pups Get the Hiccups Too

We have a lot more in common with our furry wolf friends than most people realize, and an annoying little case of the hiccups is no exception. The star of this little video is Nikai; an…

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