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.

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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.

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16 Tech-tastic Green Gifts for Gadget Geeks

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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.

GREEN GIFTS FOR GADGET GEEKS >

 

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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20 Creative DIY Gifts You Can Make Yourself

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Making your own DIY gifts this holiday season is a smart way to ensure that your gift will be one-of-a-kind, and it doesn’t hurt that it’ll probably save you some cash too. We’ve rounded up a list of cool and creative homemade presents for the 2014 holiday season from tricked out terrariums to make-it-yourself lip balm to custom cat pillows. Check out our DIY Gift Guide to see them all!

+ DIY GIFT IDEAS

 

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.

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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

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

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

by , 12/12/14

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

Freeform furniture, flat pack furniture, glue-less furniture, bolt-less furniture, laser cut furniture, 3D puzzle furniture, reader submission, Freeform, Freeform Buildings, furniture, green furniture, plywood furniture

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 furniture is made by laser cutting sheets of plywood which are then assembled like a 3D puzzle that fits so precisely there is no need to glue or bolt the joints. The result is a piece of furniture that is extraordinarily comfortable and gorgeous to look at.

+ Freeform Furniture

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!

 

 

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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Mandala Homes bring traditional yurt living into the 21st century

  We've featured yurts from Mandala Homes here on Inhabitat before, and their latest creation has raised the bar to new heights. Prefabricated in B.C., Canada, Mandala…

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Green Climate Fund promises paradigm shift in clean energy funding

Green Climate Fund promises paradigm shift in clean energy funding

Here's good news for tackling climate change: the Green Climate Fund has announced it will only invest in energy projects that depart from “business as usual” and have a major…

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Top 6 cabins for a green retreat this winter

Top 6 cabins for a green retreat this winter

Intrinsik Architecture's Montana Modern Prefab Cabin This 800-square-foot prefabricated cabin, located 8,600 feet above Paradise Valley, Montana is a smart, efficient, and sustainable…

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Inhabitat Green Holiday Gift Guide: Gifts for Older Kids

Inhabitat Green Holiday Gift Guide: Gifts for Older Kids

Scratching your head over what to get the older kids on your list this holiday? Look no further than our hip, thoughtfully curated guide to the gifts that will make the standard issue…

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