Architect team weaves the Mississippi River's only waterfall into Minneapolis' urban fabric

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Enter your innovative solutions to extreme weather disasters and you could win $25,000

by , 12/05/14
filed under: Design Competitions

rare, competition, climate change, solution search, solution search competition, extreme weather, oyster beds, weather-related disaster preparedness, natural disasters,

Extreme weather claims hundreds of lives and costs billions of dollars in damage in the U.S. every year. Despite these catastrophes, local communities across the nation have persevered thanks to innovative solutions that reduce their risk to weather-related disasters. To spread those life-saving solutions across America, Solution Search launched Reducing Our Risk: Innovation for Disaster Preparation, a competition that will award $25,000 to the most innovative campaigns. Whether the approach uses natural resources like oyster beds or takes the form of experimental farming technologies, all proven and tested techniques in weather-related disaster preparedness are welcome. Applications must be submitted by January 16, 2015.

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Atkins' H2 low carbon building is an "ecological sandwich" in China

TEDA H2 Building, China,  low-carbon building, sustainable building, carbon footprint, green certificates, LEED certificate, CASBEE, BREEAM, renewable energy, solar panels, solar power, rainwater harvesting, HVAC, smart facade

The newly opened TEDA H2 Building in China is the world-first low-carbon building that has been accredited with four green building certificates: the US LEED (Gold), Chinese 3-Star, Japanese CASBEE (S Class) and the British BREEAM (Very Good). Designed by Atkins, the building incorporates a variety of green building initiatives, including simple techniques such as rainwater harvesting to relatively complex photovoltaic systems for solar energy.

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INTERVIEW: Elea Robinson, Founding Faculty at New Amsterdam School, On Growing A Green School

by , 12/05/14
filed under: Inhabitat NYC

Elea Robinson Interview, New Amsterdam School Teacher, Waldorf School Teacher, Waldorf Kindergarten

It’s likely that the vast majority of us had a similar elementary school experience: rote memorization, gross cafeteria “mystery food”, long days spent sitting at our desks, filling out worksheets, anxiously awaiting the few precious minutes outside that were allotted to us at recess and lunch breaks. Fortunately, times have changed, and both parents and educators alike are aware of how important it is for children to spend time out in nature, and to receive a more holistic education. We had the opportunity to interview Waldorf Kindergarten Teacher Elea Robinson, founding faculty of the New Amsterdam Waldorf School to find out how environmental awareness and a nature-based education can help to nurture our children’s minds and bodies, and create a greener future for everyone.

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Giant tulip-shaped solar plant to bring reliable energy to Ethiopia

Hybrid energy, solar energy, solar power, concentrated solar power, concentrated solar energy, solar thermal power, thermal power, thermal power plant, solar power plant, AORA, AORA Tulip, AORA Tulip power plant, Tulip power plant, Tulip solar plant, Tulip solar, AORA energy, Tulip energy

Development in rural African communities is often limited by lack of access to reliable power – hospitals, schools and businesses all require a steady source of electricity in order to function. The government of Ethiopia just announced plans to address this need using the AORA Solar-Hybrid system. The AORA system is ingenious because it is modular and uses less water than other systems, but perhaps best of all, the concentrated solar tower looks like a gorgeous energy-generating tulip high in the sky.

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Spanish architects SelgasCano chosen to design the 15th annual Serpentine Pavilion

by , 12/04/14
filed under: Architecture, News

Portrait Courtesy of the architects

2015 will mark the 15th anniversary of the Serpentine Pavilion commission; one of the most famous architectural and design honors on the planet. Many of the world’s most renowned architects have created a temporary summer pavilion for the Serpentine Gallery – and it has just been announced that next year’s pavilion will be designed by Spanish architects SelgasCano. Known for their playful design and love of color, the award-winning studio, comprised of José Selgas and Lucía Cano, draws upon forms and textures found in nature to create buildings that bridge the gap between architecture and the natural world.

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Mont-de-Marsan's timber-slatted volumes float out from a grassy hillside in France

by , 12/04/14

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New solar-powered invention can make sea water drinkable

by , 12/04/14
filed under: clean tech, News, Solar Power

desolenator, desalination, solar power, drinking water, crisis, filter, water, solar-powered desalination, water issues, clean water, solar water

The world is rapidly reaching global water crisis mode with nearly one billion people lacking access to clean potable water. But a new solar-powered invention by award-winning British company Desolenator can turn seawater into drinking water – and may turn this dire situation around in a hurry.

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Petition: stop Smithfield from feeding ractopamine to pigs, cattle and turkeys

by , 12/04/14
filed under: Animals, News, Sustainable Food

Raptopamine petition 1

Smithfield is one of the biggest meat production companies in the world, and in the U.S. it feeds pigs, cattle and turkeys the growth-promoting drug ractopamine. However, ractopamine is not used in 160 other countries because of the risks it poses to public health and animal welfare as it unnaturally accelerates weight gain in animals raised for meat. Robyn O’Brien has begun a petition on Change.org requesting that Smithfield stop feeding ractopamine to animals intended for consumption in the U.S. Read on for details.

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Timber kindergarten sports a zigzag roofline to mirror the Swedish dune landscape

by , 12/04/14

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World is overlooking climate change effects of eating meat, says new report

meat eating report

A new report reveals most consumers aren’t aware that the meat and livestock industry is a bigger source of global carbon emissions than transport — and that’s even when air travel and shipping are included in the transport figures! However, the report, titled Livestock — Climate Change’s Forgotten Sectoralso found that consumers were more willing to reduce their meat consumption once they better understood the impacts, giving hope that awareness campaigns could work towards reducing the meat and dairy industries’ contribution to global warming.

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INFOGRAPHIC: What is driving deforestation and what can you do about it?

logging deforestation, mining deforestation, dam deforestation, stopping deforestation, how to stop deforestation, smart purchasing, conservation, smart shopping, environmental issues, climate change, Jarrimber, Jarrimber Infographic, Deforestation, Deforestation infographic,

Every year 33 million acres of forest are lost to deforestation as forests are cut down to make room for agriculture, to build roads, for mining and logging operations and to build hydroelectric dams. At that rate, the world’s rain forests could be gone in just 100 years. So what can we do about it? Furniture crafter Jarrimber has made an infographic with answers to your deforestation questions, so that hopefully someday we can halt or even reverse deforestation’s devastating progress.

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Whitetail Woods Regional Park Gets Three New Elevated Camper Cabins

Whitetail Woods Cabins, HGA, whitetail woods regional park, modern cabins, camper cabins, minnesota

As part of the grand opening for the new 456-acre park in Dakota County, Minnesota, Whitetail Woods Regional Park also opened three, architect-designed camper cabins. Elevated above the ground and nestled in the trees, these cabins sleep up to six people and offer a unique camping experience. Minneapolis-based firm HGA came up with the plan for the wooden cabins with an aim for them to become coveted spots to rent and enjoy the forest. Looks like it’s time to make our reservations.

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Giraffes are in danger of extinction—help save them!

Giraffes may not be the first animals to come to mind when we think about endangered species, but it might not be long before these majestic creatures disappear from the face of the earth. Thanks to a combination of poaching and habitat loss, giraffe populations have dwindled by nearly 50 percent over the last 10 years, and even the newly defined species may face extinction. The good news is that we can help: there are many organizations dedicated to protecting and saving these gentle, graceful animals, who are loving parents and form strong family bonds; they’ve even been known to kill lions in defense of their calves! They also like to play tag with ostriches, as the baby giraffe in the video demonstrates.

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Kenyan student convert's school's poop into safe, clean fuel

by , 12/04/14
filed under: News, Renewable Energy

kenya, biogas, renewable energy, hwb, human waste bioreactor, poo power, clean fuel, cooking fuel, africa

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. So, as Grist reports, Leroy Mwasaru, now 17, and four of his friends had an idea: to harvest poo and other waste and turn it into a safe, clean and eco-friendly source of cooking fuel.

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Japanese man invents 3D-printed gardens that can grow in any shape

Japanese man invents 3D-printed gardens that can grow in any shape

The list of things that can be 3D printed keeps growing and growing, and Yuichiro Takeuchi recently added gardens to the tally. The computer scientist at the Sony Computer Science…

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How the U.S. can drastically reduce its carbon emissions for 1% of its GDP

How the U.S. can drastically reduce its carbon emissions for 1% of its…

The Deep Decarbonization Pathways Project (DDPP) just released a preliminary, technical report that shows how the United States can cut its greenhouse gas emissions to 80 percent of…

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Desert Cities: a sustainable way to live in the Middle East

Desert Cities: a sustainable way to live in the Middle East

The genesis of Desert Cities began by rethinking the concept of a line, which can act as both a border as well as a connection between two points. These lines create a network between a…

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INFOGRAPHIC: Spruce up your home with these upcycled DIY urban gardening ideas

INFOGRAPHIC: Spruce up your home with these upcycled DIY urban…

If you live in a tiny apartment where owning even a few potted plants make your place feel cluttered, you'll love these DIY plant organizers that let you save green while growing green.…

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Keeping Austin weird: 100 brains go missing from the University of Texas

Keeping Austin weird: 100 brains go missing from the University of…

In what sounds like a plot to a shlocky horror film, 100 brains have gone missing from the University of Texas at Austin. The brains, one of which belong to clock tower sniper Charles…

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