Congrats: A new gifting app that helps to plant trees

Congrats, congrats, congratulations, card, cards, greeting cards, holiday card, holiday cards, video card, gifting app, gifting card, app, apps, eco-friendly app, tree-planting app, tree app, tree planting, planting trees, tree, trees, plant a tree, clearcut, replenishing forests, replanting forests, replanting trees, plant a tree, plant a tree app, tree greeting app, greeting app, smartphone app, smartphone tree app

“Send a smile, save a tree”. That’s the slogan coined by a new gifting app called Congrats, which encourages folks to send heartfelt greetings without harming any trees. Considering that over 300,000 trees were cut down in the USA alone for this year’s holiday greeting cards, an app like this is a great idea for sending great messages while reducing their carbon footprint. To use Congrats, people just record messages on their phones, and then there’s an option to add a cash gift that includes suggestions for how the recipient can spend the money. Each time a video greeting is sent with Giftly, a tree is planted in one of the most deforested regions of the planet. So, not only is this app saving trees from being cut down to make cards, it’s replenishing areas that have already been clear-cut. Happy people, happy forests, happy planet.

+ Congrats App

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Tar Sands Development Financially Unsustainable, Report Shows

tar sands, oil sands, development, economics, environmental, financial, disaster, carbon tracker initiative, CTI, alberta, canada, energy, fossil fuels,

We’ve known for a long time that the Canada’s Tar Sands represent an environmental disaster, both in the present and future, but with a recent drop in North American oil prices it’s looking like they are also becoming somewhat of a financial disaster. Writing in The Ecologist, Gregory McGann posits the present price of oil and the predicted prices going forward won’t be enough to sustain the planned future development in the Tar Sands.

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NASA planning to launch Orion test flight this week as first step towards Mars missions

by , 12/03/14
filed under: green technology, News

NASA Orion 1

NASA plans to launch the first Orion spacecraft this Thursday, in an uncrewed test flight that is the next step on its journey towards a fully fledged mission to Mars. The Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle is designed for deep-space missions, most particularly the asteroid redirect mission in the early 2020s and future missions to Mars. This week’s flight, predicted as 70 percent ‘Go’ under prevailing weather conditions, will feature two Earth orbits. It’s “designed to test many of the riskiest elements of leaving Earth and returning home in the spacecraft” — before NASA puts a crew of astronauts inside!

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VIDEO: Meet Shadow—A Wolf Pup at the San Diego Zoo

Shadow, a wolf pup living at the San Diego Zoo, gets some play time with his caregivers in this “awww”-inspiring video. He’s exploring all kinds of new scents, tastes, and textures, from tree branches and ice cubes to cardboard boxes and fabric toys (with plenty of cuddles for good measure). This little guy was only two months old at the time this video was taken, and he has since become an ambassador for his species at the Wegeforth Bowl at the zoo. In that role, Shadow interacts with the public and helps to teach visitors about how wonderful wolves are, and how vital they are for a healthy ecosystem.

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6 Finalists Revealed in Guggenheim Helsinki Competition

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C.F. Møller Wins Bid to Design the "World's Best City Campus"

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Creative ways to recycle last year's gift wrapping paper and cards for the holidays

by , 12/03/14

holiday gift wrap, diy gift wrap, gift wrap ideas, eco gift wrap, recycling gift wrap, recycled gift wrap, hometalk, repurpose wrapping paperPhoto: GardenTherapy

Giving gifts is wonderful, but the aftermath of crumpled wrapping paper and greeting cards can put a real damper on holiday festivities. Used gift wrap and shopping bags add up to millions of tons of waste in the US – and most of that amount is amassed during the holiday season. Luckily, there are plenty of ways you can gift wisely by putting your repurposing and upcycling skills to the test and DIYing your own wrapping paper to get all the “WOW” while avoiding all the waste. Check out this Hometalk clipboard full of repurposed card and gift wrap ideas for some great ways to stay as green as a Christmas tree this holiday season!

REPURPOSED GIFT WRAP IDEAS >

 

Scientists Create the World's First Enzymes Using Synthetic Biology

by , 12/03/14
filed under: News

Dr Philipp Holliger, disease treatment, XNA, XNAnzymes, MRC, MRC research, artificial enzymes, synthetic enzymes, synthetic DNA, synthetic RNA, Medical Research Council, medical advancements, medical treatment,

Life as we know it is a series of chemical reactions. Whether we are digesting food or making DNA, everything depends on those reactions. Scientists have managed to harness that process by creating enzymes made entirely from synthetic materials – and those molecules can actually trigger chemical reactions in lab tests. The research not only gives us new insight to the origins of life but it could also change the way we make drugs and do diagnostics.

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NYC horse carriage ban saga continues: Mayor de Blasio to propose new ban next week

by , 12/03/14
filed under: Inhabitat NYC

Horse-Carriage

Bill de Blasio faced a lot of neighsayers when he first vowed to get rid of horse-drawn carriages in the city, and now the mayor is poised to follow through on his words. This past weekend, de Blasio met with City Council members to explain new legislation that aims to prohibit all horse-drawn carriages by 2016. Of course, the proposed bill has sparked fury from the 68 officially licensed carriage drivers in the city.

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Did you know NYC's compost is being dumped in landfill?

by , 12/03/14
filed under: Inhabitat NYC

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With a population of about 8.4 million people from all kinds of backgrounds, it’s pretty safe to say that New York City has some of the rankest, foulest garbage in the world — but was it enough to overload an entire waste processing facility? The Inhabitat NYC team was overjoyed back in 2013 when Mayor Bloomberg announced a city-wide composting plan to divert 100,000 tons of food scraps from landfills each year, but now the program may be in jeopardy due to the closing of the facility tasked with processing all of that organic waste. Peninsula Composting Group in Wilmington, DE was shut down in October after a public hearing where hundreds of area residents gathered to file complaints about putrid odors emanating from the plant.

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FR-EE Unveils Dynamic Design for Latin American Art Museum in Miami

by , 12/03/14

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White Arkitekter's Stunning Hotel Extension Blends Swedish Architecture With Japanese Interiors

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VIDEO: How to Winter-Proof Your Home, With Eco-Blogger Starre Vartan

If you’re worried about keeping warm and cozy these next few months, look no further than our video on how to button up your home for the cold season and cut your utility bills while you’re at it! We’ve enlisted the help of green energy expert Steve Schappert to take eco-fashion blogger and author Starre Vartan through a home energy audit and winter weatherization home makeover. Watch the video above to find out where Starre’s home was lacking when it came to energy efficiency, and learn how you can pinpoint and remedy similar problems in your own home.

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ART

Amsterdam's annual Light Festival brightens the city's winter nights

by , 12/03/14
filed under: Art

AetherAndHemera_OnTheWingsOfFreedom06

If you plan on being in Amsterdam between now and January 18th, 2015, you’re in for quite a beautiful sight: the annual Light Festival is underway, and the city is covered in light installations and sculptures of all sizes and colors. Aether & Hemera’s studio has created an installation entitled “On the Wings of Freedom“, which is comprised of thousands of illuminated butterflies that flit about, lighting up their surroundings. The piece represents Amsterdam itself, which is constantly changing and evolving over time. This installation is also interactive: viewers can use their phones to change its hues or patterns, thus taking an active role in beautifying this gorgeous city.

 + Aether & Hemera

Images by Aether & Hemera

The article above was submitted to us by an Inhabitat reader. Want to see your story on Inhabitat? Send us a tip by following this link. Remember to follow our instructions carefully to boost your chances of being chosen for publishing!

 

Celebrate Giving Tuesday TODAY as an antidote to Black Friday and Cyber Monday

charity, giving, Giving Tuesday, philanthropy, worthy causes, social responsibility, donations, Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Thanksgiving

By now, you’ve probably seen videos and photos of Black Friday, where people have beaten each other up and shoved little old ladies aside in order to buy, buy, buy at low, low prices. Cyber Monday is another marketing blitz in which mega-sales occur online so folks can whip out credit cards and buy at a distance, pushing rabid consumerism to an all-time high. Thankfully, Giving Tuesday has come about to counteract the ill effects of the past few days by encouraging people to give to charity instead of spending money on “stuff.”

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Live Out Your Fairytale Fantasy in This Dreamy Treehouse Airbnb in Atlanta

Live Out Your Fairytale Fantasy in This Dreamy Treehouse Airbnb in…

Peter Bahouth, former Greenpeace executive director and current executive director of the U.S. Climate Action Network designed and built the Secluded Intown Treehouse after six months…

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New Silent Wind Tree Turbines Make Energy Production Beautiful

New Silent Wind Tree Turbines Make Energy Production Beautiful

Three years of research have led a team of French engineers to produce their interpretation of wind energy for urban locations. The Wind Tree stands at 26 feet tall, and its branches…

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Contemporary Stave Church Rises like a Pointy Wooden Crown in Norway

Contemporary Stave Church Rises like a Pointy Wooden Crown in Norway

Reiulf Ramstad Arkitekter was awarded the bid to design the Community Church Knarvik in a 2010 design competition. To show respect for the environment, their winning design carefully…

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First Vegan Butcher Shop in the U.S. Set to Open in Minneapolis

First Vegan Butcher Shop in the U.S. Set to Open in Minneapolis

The first vegan butcher shop in the U.S. has just been successfully funded through Kickstarter. The brainchild of dynamic brother-and-sister duo Aubry and Kale Walch, The Herbivorous…

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Sonja Hinrichsen's Amazing Snow Drawings Bring Viewers Closer to Nature

Sonja Hinrichsen's Amazing Snow Drawings Bring Viewers Closer to…

Seen from a bird's-eye view, Sonja Hinrichsen’s snow drawings appear as intricate, swirling patterns that snake around the landscape, creating imagery between rows of trees, roads,…

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