15 Affordable Green Gifts Under $50

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Want to get your friends and family great green gifts but don’t have a lot to spend? Our 2014 Gifts Under $50 Guide is chock full of interesting, eco-friendly and off-the-beaten path presents everyone will love. From this cool cutter that turns old bottles into glasses to a handmade scarf that doubles as a purse to a handy kit that lets you can your own food at home, check out all of the affordable gift ideas in our guide here.

GIFTS UNDER $50 >

 

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Glumac's pioneering net-zero Shanghai office paves the way to greener buildings in China

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INTERVIEW: Smart Tips on How to Green Your School from Aimee Østensen of the Manhattan Country School

Aimee Arandia Østensen, children’s education, eco education, green education, Aimee Ostensen, Green school, green grade school, eco school New York City, eco-friendly grade school New York City, Manattan Green School, Eco School, green your school, greening education, Manhattan Country School, Manhattan Country School farm, MCS, MCS Farm, MCS Farm Catskills, sustainable education

Studies show that sustainable learning environments can be a big advantage for students, improving their well-being, happiness and even their cognitive processes. But how can parents ensure that their children’s classrooms are as green as they can be? We recently spoke to Aimee Arandia Østensen of the Manhattan Country School about the best ways to implement an eco-friendly curriculum at your child’s school. Read on for her tips here!

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The new male birth control pill could be up to 99% effective!

male contraceptive pill, contraception, male birth control, birth control, justicia gendarussa, male birth control pill, contraceptive pill

Men! The responsibility for whether you have children or not could soon be completely upon you. According to scientists from Airlangga University in Indonesia, a male contraceptive pill derived from the plant Justicia gendarussa is ’99% effective,’ meaning that the responsibility of birth control may soon no longer lie solely with women…not that it should. However, remember guys, Inhabitat believes in safe sex, so please still use protection!

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Wooden Flight House is a mountain home inspired by the prospect of escape

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VIDEO: How to make an electricity-free radiant space heater that heats your home for pennies a day

Would you believe that you can heat your space with a few candles and a couple of flower pots, all for just pennies a day? It might be difficult to imagine, but it’s easy to do, as this video shows in a brilliant step-by-step demonstration. With just a few items that are readily available at your local hardware store, you can create an electricity-free radiant heater that’ll keep a room toasty and comfortable, for less than the cost of a fancy latte. Click through to learn how you can DIY one of these heaters for yourself:

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ART

Kinematope installation turns Parisian railway station into a trippy science fiction world

by , 12/16/14
filed under: Art, gallery, Urban design

A fantastic light installation by artist Pablo Valbuena lit up the Nuit Blanche festival in Paris using light projectors, sounds systems and architecture to create a trippy artificial reality. Valbuena’s 546-yard-long Kinematope installation turned a railway station into a science fiction set that responds to its environment using light and sound that travel from one side to the other at varying speeds

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L.A. Mayor proposes bold earthquake retrofits for thousands of buildings

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Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti just unveiled an unprecedented plan to retrofit LA to deal with what some scientists say could be the next “Big One” – a massive earthquake that could open California’s San Andreas Fault. According to scientists, there’s a 46 percent chance of 7.5 or larger quake in the Southern California area in the next 30 years.

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The end of sitting? RAAAF and Barbara Visser radically reimagine the office

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One in five houses in Australia is using solar energy

Australia Solar, Queensland solar, South Australia solar, solar power, rooftop solar, solar water heater, solar power use, US solar power, percent of homes solar powered, using solar, solar panels, renewable energy, renewable power, solar energy, solar energy Australia, solar energy US

An astonishing one out of every five households in Australia is now relying on solar energy, a new report from the Australian Bureau of Statistic (ABS) reveals. Just 3 years ago only 5 percent of homes used rooftop solar panels or solar water heating, but today a full 19 percent do. To put that into perspective, by most accounts, fewer than .4 percent of homes in the US rely on solar.

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This typographic calendar shows the date using keyboard keys

Harald Geisler, Harald Geisler calendar, Harald Geisler typographic calendar, modern calendar, typographic calendar, typography calendar, wall calendar, wall calendar design, keyboard calendar, keyboard key calendar, typographic wall calendar

Every year for the past 6 years, artist Harald Geisler has been creating a brilliant Typographic Wall Calendar made entirely out of recycled keyboard keys. Geisler uses the exact number of keys to correspond with the year (2,015 keys for 2015) and assembles it in a way that is kind of amazing. According to Geisler, “this typography calendar makes finding dates a fun and creative process. If you read the keys from left to right, they show each day of the year in sequence: JANUARY TUE 01 WED 02 THUR 03 etc.” It’s the perfect way to add a calendar to a room in a way that doesn’t actually scream calendar. The 2015 version is ready to ship and available on Geisler’s website.

+ Harald Geisler

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!

 

 

Traditional earthen cave dwellings in western China draw farmers back to rural settings

SoilHouseCaveRenovation_China_7

In a project that aims to attract China’s farmers back to the rural landscape and address the ecological and social problems that are a result of China’s rapid urbanization, a team of teachers and students from four Chinese universities–Central Academy of Fine Arts, Taiyuan University of Technology, Xi’an Academy of Fine Arts, and Beijing Institute of Fashion Technology–are renovating a number of traditional “soil house caves” in two west China villages; Baishe Village in Sanyuan County, and Hengpo Village in Panyao County. The renovated, folk art-decorated homes feature new additions that improve the quality of life for the inhabitants: they are easily constructed from inexpensive materials; they are naturally well-insulated against noise and changes in temperature; and they are fitted with ecological sanitation and plumbing systems, solar panels, and simple electrical appliances. In December, this highly innovative social design project took home a 2014 Best Design trophy in Taiwan’s Golden Pin Design Award.

+ 2014 Golden Pin Design Award


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!

 

DIY: Recycle last year's Christmas cards into a colorful bunting garland

by , 12/16/14

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How solar friendly is your state? The Freeing the Grid report finds out

by , 12/16/14

freeing the grid, solar power, net metering, interconnection, state utility, lobbies, renewable energy

It’s one thing to make the decision to go solar, but depending on where in the U.S. you live, the ease with which one connects a household rooftop array to the grid—i.e., actually gets it up and running—can vary greatly. Produced by the advocacy groups Vote Solar and the Interstate Renewable Energy Council, Freeing the Grid ranks each of the 50 states based on two key clean energy programs: net metering and interconnection procedures. Now in its eighth year, the report is showing marked improvements in many states, but some troubling stagnation in others.

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Astronauts can sip espresso in space thanks to PSU’s 3D-printed zero gravity cup

by , 12/16/14
filed under: 3d Printing, News

psu, portland state university, microgravity, spacex, coffee, espresso, iss, international space station,, capilliary forces

Astronauts have a pretty rough time living in a microgravity environment. Sure, at first there’s exhilaration at the whole floating experience, but then one has to learn to pee into a vacuum cleaner and season food with liquid salt. And as for a morning espresso with that perfect crema? Well, that was pure fantasy, until a team at Portland State University developed an ingenious 3D-printed cup that lets astronauts sip their morning latte in style. Check out a video of the cup in action below!

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Flou’s Duetto is an elegant and multifunctional upgrade to the classic sofa bed

Flou’s Duetto is an elegant and multifunctional upgrade to the…

The sofa bed is a popular staple piece in many homes because of its versatility, but the transforming piece of furniture often leaves much to be desired in terms of style. Italian…

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World's rarest cetacean could be extinct by 2018 due to illegal gillnetting

World's rarest cetacean could be extinct by 2018 due to illegal…

The vaquita is the rarest, smallest and most endangered cetacean in the world. It's estimated that fewer than 100 of the small porpoises remain in their wild habitat in…

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Studio Gang's LEED Gold-seeking human rights center is a futuristic log cabin

Studio Gang's LEED Gold-seeking human rights center is a futuristic…

Developed as an initiative of Kalamazoo College, the 10,000-square-foot Arcus Center works to teach, promote, and sustain the pursuit of human rights and social justice within an…

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Uber's new uberPOOL feature lets you share rides with strangers

Uber's new uberPOOL feature lets you share rides with strangers

Uber is already one of the most convenient methods to get around NYC, but now the company is hoping to make its service more affordable with a new innovation. Last week, the…

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VIDEO: Wolf Pups Get the Hiccups Too

VIDEO: Wolf Pups Get the Hiccups Too

We have a lot more in common with our furry wolf friends than most people realize, and an annoying little case of the hiccups is no exception. The star of this little video is Nikai; an…

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