VIDEO: THE LED BULB CHALLENGE - We Upgrade 5 Designer Lamps at ICFF With Low-Energy LED Bulbs

By now, we hope that most of you know that swapping incandescent bulbs with LED bulbs saves money and energy, but there’s still a lingering misconception that LED bulbs emit a cold, bluish light that is just not as warm or attractive as the old filament-filled bulbs we grew up with. To dispel this fallacy, we sought out a group of people with a critical eye for light bulb color and ambiance – lighting designers on the show floor of the International Contemporary Furniture Fair at New York Design Week. These meticulous designers take light warmth and quality very seriously (that is their job after all), so we couldn’t think of anyone better suited to give an honest opinion about the latest generation of high-tech LED light bulbs. Watch our video above to see how we retrofitted five gorgeous designer lamps with new Philips LED light bulbs – and in the process saved $1,732.86 in energy costs and won over some designer converts to the future of LED lighting.

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Feds launch pollinator task force to protect butterflies and bees from further population decline

by , 05/21/15

bee colony collapse disorder, bees dying, pollinators, neonicotinoids, pesticides, pollinator habitat, US Federal Government, EPA, US Pollinator Task Force, bee decline

The federal government has unleashed its new action plan to save honeybees, butterflies, and other pollinators currently at risk. While the plan, created by the U.S. Pollinator Task Force, makes some positive strides towards renewing pollinator habitats, it falls short of banning the pesticides which have been linked to bee decline.

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Shigeru Ban transforms 90,000 eye shadow containers into a glittering wave at the Venice Biennale

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Japanese home uses wooden material stronger than steel to combat natural disasters

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ART

SpaceX retro travel posters make Mars look like the ultimate vacation destination

by , 05/21/15

spacex, elon musk, mars, mars exploration, traveling to mars, humans on mars, mars travel posters, spacex public domain, mars colonization and tourism association

Elon Musk started SpaceX to get to Mars. Simple as that. That elusive red planet holds a lot of allure for the man who wants to help us all ditch the power grid. SpaceX, and certainly Musk himself, wants to get the public fired up about the possibility of humans on Mars, so they’ve created a series of travel posters, reminiscent of something peeled from the wall of a 1950s travel agency. Destination? Mars!

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8 transforming, double-duty furniture designs spotted at ICFF 2015

Resource Furniture Kali Theater,

The International Contemporary Furniture Fair opened its doors this past Saturday at New York’s Javits Center, inviting design fans to delve into 165,000 net square feet of home furnishing goodness. Known for being New York Design Week‘s heaviest hitter, the show has grown even larger this year with an entire additional floor of exhibitors. Inhabitat hit the ICFF scene this weekend, and one of the design trends that stood out to us was an even more pronounced presence of multi-purpose, transforming furniture. From chairs that charge your phone to entertainment systems that slide out into beds, read on for our top double-duty furniture picks.

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George Clooney and Anderson Cooper help kick off World Trade Center Observatory

by , 05/21/15
filed under: Inhabitat NYC

One World Trade Center Observatory

It looks like the opening of the much-anticipated observatory at One World Trade Center is going to be a star-studded affair. Not only will Mayor de Blasio be on hand to open the new WTC attraction, he will also be sharing the spotlight with none other than George Clooney and Anderson Cooper.

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Thieves are stealing Prius batteries to sell on the black market

by , 05/21/15
filed under: Electric Cars, green car, News

toyota prius, prius battery, prius theft, battery theft, san francisco prius, sacramento prius, hybrid car

Last week an article in the New York Times highlighted an unfortunate trend which has some hybrid owners trading in their Prius for a straight-forward fuel-efficient gasoline-powered vehicle. The reasoning these drivers provided? The current low cost of gas, combined with anxiety about the cost of replacing the Prius’ 120 lb, $3000 battery. However, used, functional batteries go for under $1000 on Craigslist, which has caused some rather mechanically-savvy thieves to go around stealing the batteries from peoples’ Prii for sale on the black market.

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Zero-waste Nomad Chair challenges unsustainable “throwaway” culture

Nomad Chair, We Do Wood, Nomad Chair by Sebastian Jorgensen , zero waste chair, moso bamboo, sustainable chair, Roorkhee chair, reader submitted content

We Do Wood designer Sebastian Jorgensen developed the zero waste Nomad Chair in protest against unsustainable overproduction in the furniture industry. Designed with high-quality and sustainable parts such as certified moso bamboo, the Nomad Chair is a modern interpretation of the classic Roorkhee chair. True to its name, the sturdy and lightweight Nomad Chair is highly portable and can be assembled or disassembled in a matter of seconds. Jorgensen took to Kickstarter to crowdfund the Nomad Chair and successfully reached his US $25,000 goal – and there’s still a limited number of chairs available for purchase at early bird prices.

+ Nomad Chair Kickstarter


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Peak number of coal plants are shutting down in 2015, ushering in a greener era

coal, coal plant, coal pollution, smoke stack

In 2014, 39 percent of American electricity was generated by burning coal – down from 52.8 percent from 1997. Though the fuel source has steadily declined from its late 20th century peak due to competition with other energy sources and increased enforcement of environmental safety measures, the coal industry still maintains great economic and political power. However Big Coal may face its biggest challenge yet as the EPA implements new regulations governing greenhouse gas emissions. As a result, coal plants are shutting down at an impressive rate.

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ART

Digitally fabricated wooden vases by Zaha Hadid and Gareth Neal mimic handcrafting techniques

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Quonochontaug House is a daylit vacation home in Rhode Island that uses light as sculpture

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LYCS Architecture unveils nature-filled urban high-rise in Hangzhou

by , 05/21/15

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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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Pipeline spills up to 105,000 gallons of oil along Santa Barbara coast

oil spill, oil slick, environmental disaster, santa barbara oil, refugio state beach oil, oil pipeline crack, channel islands national marine sanctuary, sea life oil, california oil, california energy, california wildlife

Rescue crews are working to contain a four-mile wide oil slick in Santa Barbara, California after a cracked pipeline spilled up to 105,000 gallons of oil into the area’s pristine waters. The area lies within the Santa Barbara Channel and features the popular Rufugio State Beach, which is now coated with tar. While the scope of the damage is not yet fully known, eyewitness reports suggest that sea lions and other marine animals have been caught up in the crude.

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This building in Venice is covered in 1,000 used car tires

This building in Venice is covered in 1,000 used car tires

The exterior of Israel's pavilion at this year's Venice Art Biennale is covered 1,000 used car tires. Artist Tsibi Geva had the tires imported from Israel and tied together to create a…

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It's raining millions of spiders in Australia

It's raining millions of spiders in Australia

First they show up looking like shooting stars, but as they come closer, it's clear that they're some kind of UFO. Then, by the time they're really close up—perhaps too close—you…

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You can sleep like a floating astronaut in this Slovenian hotel

You can sleep like a floating astronaut in this Slovenian hotel

Visitors of the Cultural Center of European Space Technologies (KSEVT) in rural Slovenia can now experience of being and astronaut and sleep in a way that mimics zero-gravity…

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Solartab is a tablet case with built-in solar charging

Solartab is a tablet case with built-in solar charging

The Solartab is unlike any other power bank or solar charger. The Solartab’s unique built-in cover that works as a stand for the solar panel, so you can angle the panel in three…

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Japan's zoos and aquariums pledge to stop buying dolphins captured in cruel Taiji dolphin hunts

Japan's zoos and aquariums pledge to stop buying dolphins captured in…

Japan’s zoos and aquariums have publicly committed to ending their relationship with the cruel practice of dolphin drive hunts in Taiji, Japan. This move comes out of a vote amongst…

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