Historic UN climate change deal requires every nation to cut emissions—but will it be enough?

by , 12/14/14

climate change, Lima Accord, UN, United Nations, COP21, global warming, Lima climate change, climate change agreement, climate change deal, emissions, cutting carbon emissions, greenhouse gases, greenhouse gas emissions

Early this Sunday, UN representatives from around the world reached the first-ever climate change agreement that commits all 196 nations to cut greenhouse gas emissions. Unprecedented in its inclusion of developing nations, the historic agreement was reached after long talks that ran 30 hours in overtime at the Lima climate conference. This diplomatic breakthrough however, is already under heavy fire by disappointed activists who call it “very weak.” Climate scientists also warn that the proposed carbon cuts will not be nearly enough to slow dangerous rates of warming.

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Renzo Piano's Tiny Diogene Hut is an Off-Grid Shelter for One Person

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Whole Foods Shows Customers the Bleak Future of Produce Without Bees

green design, eco design, sustainable design, Whole Foods, Xerces, University Heights Whole Foods, Bee population, bee pollinated food, bee pollination

The decline in bee populations has been all the buzz lately, which led Whole Foods Market to team up with the Xerces Society to show us what a world—or at least, produce section—without bees would look like. The University Heights, Rhode Island store removed all foods that are reliant upon the important pollinators, and it leaves a pretty slim selection; 52% of the produce department’s offerings would be pulled from shelves without bees around to help.

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Nguyễn Hùng Cường Creates Strikingly Realistic Origami Animals

by , 12/14/14
filed under: Art, Sustainable Materials

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15 Compassionate and Vegan Gift Ideas

Gifts for Vegans Header

‘Tis the season of light, love, and goodwill to all, and those wishes certainly extend to our animal cousins. Gifts that are cruelty-free and ethically made are true symbols of peace, and those that benefit others are even more exceptional. Vegan gifts can be enjoyed by anyone on your shopping list — not just those who specifically follow a vegan lifestyle — and your recipient’s holiday might be just a bit brighter if they know that the present they received also helped another in need. Check out our list of vegan, compassionate gift ideas and help spread gentleness to all.



Pope Francis urges shoppers to be socially responsible with their holiday purchases

by , 12/14/14
filed under: Ecouterre

Pope Francis, modern day slavery, holiday shopping season, social responsibility, socially responsible shopping, human trafficking, exploitation, moral shopping, moral consumerism, consumerism, socially responsible consumerism
Photo by Giulio Napolitano/Shutterstock

It’s mid-December, which means it is peak season for the holiday shopping frenzy. But before you finish checking off those gifts on your lists, there is one important message that Pope Francis hopes you’ll keep in mind—that “purchasing is always a moral—and not simply an economic—act”. In a speech to be delivered at the start of the New Year, the Pope urges all of us to be socially responsible with our purchases and to be aware that many modern-day products are still created through exploitation and slavery. Your money, however, need not help fund those businesses. Click through to read more of Pope Francis’ speech.



1,300 MPG Student-Designed Ultra-Light Car Runs on a Tiny Lawnmower Engine

BYU Supermileage car, SAE Supermileage Competition, BYU fuel-efficient vehicle, fuel-efficient car, green transportation, ultra-light car, fuel efficiency

Students at Brigham Young University in Utah have designed a car that can travel the distance from Utah to Michigan on a single gallon of fuel. The fish-shaped car—which weighs less than 100 pounds and gets an astounding 1,300 miles per gallon—will participate at this year’s SAE Supermileage Competition, an annual contest that challenges students to create the most fuel-efficient vehicle in North America.

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HOW TO: Make delicious vegan potato and zucchini latkes

by , 12/13/14

latke recipes, latke, potato latke, zucchini recipe, zucchini and potato latkes, vegan latke recipe, how to make vegan latkes, inhabitots, inhabitot recipes

Hungry? These vegan potato and zucchini latkes are just the thing to hit the spot. While the greasy fried version is a Hanukkah tradition, this version is so healthy you can dig in all year ’round without the guilt. Serve along with some applesauce and vegan sour cream and you have the perfect meal.



16 Tech-tastic Green Gifts for Gadget Geeks


With the ubiquity of smartphone technology and tablets, there’s really a little bit of gadget geek in every person on your holiday gift shopping list. Whether your loved ones’ wider interests lie in music, photography, gardening or cycling, we’ve got you covered for green gadget gift ideas for the upcoming season. From a reusable cardboard smartphone amplifier at just $10 – perfect for the office Secret Santa or hard-to-buy-for teenagers – to a splurge on an electric bicycle that will knock somebody’s socks off, there’s something on the list for every budget too. Click through to see them all.



Win A Kinkajou Glass Bottle Cutter to make your own crafty holiday gifts!

Kinkajou, Kinkajou Bottle Cutter, win a kinkajou bottle cutter, kinkajou contest, bottle cutter contest, Bottlecutting.com, How to cut glass bottles, how to cut glass, glass bottle cutter, wine bottle cutter, beer bottle cutter, soda bottle cutter, upcycled bottles, how to upcycle a bottle, recycled wine and beer bottles, recycled bottle glasses, wine bottle glasses, recycled gifts, eco-friendly holiday gifts

Have you ever seen some of the beautiful recycled glass bottle designs we’ve featured on Inhabitat.com and wondered if you might be able to make your own? Now you too can make stunning and chic upcycled glass vases, drinking glasses, lamps, hydroponic planters, and candle holders with the Kinkajou Glass Bottle Cutter. If you’d like to give one a spin, you’re in luck – we’re giving away a complete Kinkajou kit worth $100. It comes with a Kinkajou Bottle Cutter, a bottle finishing kit, and everything you need to turn a bottle into a beautiful Firefly pendant light. All you have to do to enter is:

1. Sign up for the Inhabitat newsletter
(because we’ll be announcing the winner there)

2. Leave a comment below telling us what you would make with a Kinkajou Bottle Cutter.
(extra points for creativity and inspiration!)

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This lingerie used to be a Christmas tree

Sophie Young, Sophie Young lingerie, recycled materials, recycled christmas tree, recycled pine tree, pine tree material, christmas tree material, recycled christmas, green lingerie, natural lingerie, ecouterre

We’ve heard of a lot of ways to recycle old Christmas trees, but lingerie? French designer Sophie Young is turning pine needles from old trees into gorgeous underwear. The lingerie is described as being as soft as any other pair, despite having been a prickly pine tree in a past life, and each piece is so gorgeous that you might forget where it came from.



What's the deal with this green cat?

by , 12/13/14
filed under: Animals, Interviews, Video

Don’t adjust your color balance, because that cat is actually green. The people of Varna, Bulgaria have been mystified by an oddly-hued cat that’s been strolling around the neighborhood, but the mystery of the emerald feline has finally been solved. The cat has been sleeping on a pile of powdered paint cans, taking on more of the bright color every time it takes a nap.

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Greenpeace activists face criminal charges after damaging Peru's heritage Nazca site

Greenpeace activists have been known to take strong steps to get their message across, but this latest stunt—aimed at garnering attention during the UN climate talks in Lima—may have caused irrevocable damage to one of Peru’s most sacred sites. In fact, this massive eco-blunder has earned them criminal charges from the Peruvian Government. The Nazca lines, created between 1,500 and 2,000 years ago, earned this site a UNESCO World Heritage designation over 20 years ago. The area is so fragile, and so very sacred, that presidents and high-ranking officials have been forbidden from setting foot anywhere near it – so one can only imagine the public outcry about the disrespect that Greenpeace has shown by trespassing here.

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Stunning Moroccan tent installation contrasts with Nouvel's famous Institute du Monde Arabe in Paris

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Dutch studios RAAAF and Studio Frank Havermans build ominous futuristic mobile shelter in the name of peace

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Habitat Horticulture completes largest indoor living wall in California

Habitat Horticulture completes largest indoor living wall in…

Designed by Habitat Horticulture's David Brenner, the Foundry Square III's lush green space spans two living walls. The first wall comprises 1,426 square feet of monochromatic greenery…

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This light-filled Taiwanese home goes with the breezy flow to ward off the tropical heat

This light-filled Taiwanese home goes with the breezy flow to ward off…

A major challenge of the renovation project for architect Fang Wei's team was how to capitalize on the lushly vegetated city views to the site's west without opening the home to the…

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MenoMenoPiu Architects design tiny capsule hotels with stunning views of the Parisian waterfront

MenoMenoPiu Architects design tiny capsule hotels with stunning views…

MenoMenoPiu Architects' design for the EauBERGE Paris Capsule Hotel was inspired by the structure and shapes of the bookseller huts along the Paris riverfront as well as the…

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This flat-pack, laser-cut furniture assembles without glue or bolts

This flat-pack, laser-cut furniture assembles without glue or bolts

Freedom furniture is revolutionizing the way we make furniture. The company starts with computerized modeling to create shapes that work seamlessly with the human body. The flat-pack…

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23 pollinating species in Britain have gone extinct over the last 150 years

23 pollinating species in Britain have gone extinct over the last 150…

It would appear that pollinators in Britain have been declining for a lot longer than researchers realized. Contrary to the belief that local bees and wasps only began to go extinct…

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