social responsibility

$130 Duron Solar System Powers Rural Indian Homes

$130 Duron Solar System Powers Rural Indian Homes

If you only made between $400 and $4,000 a year in income and didn't have easy access to electricity, what would you do? For many rural Indians, the answer is the Duron, a $130 solar home power system

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Inhabitat Joins the Treecycling Fun at NYC’s Annual Mulchfest

Inhabitat Joins the Treecycling Fun at NYC’s Annual Mulchfest

This past weekend the New York City Parks Department hosted their annual Mulchfest, providing New Yorkers with an easy, eco-friendly way to dispose of their holiday trees. With over 80 chipping or

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SOLAR EAR: Affordable Sun-Powered Hearing Aids

SOLAR EAR: Affordable Sun-Powered Hearing Aids

For anyone unfamiliar with hearing aids, know that they require a great deal of two things: money and batteries. Luckily, one humanitarian project aims to make the medical devices much cheaper and more

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Project H’s Design Revolution Road Show Hits The Road!

Project H’s Design Revolution Road Show Hits The Road!

On February 1st, design nonprofit Project H Design (run by Inhabitat's own Emily Pilloton), will hit the road for a 25-school, 75-day, 6300-mile tour and exhibition showcasing design for social impact!

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HeroRATS Trained to Sniff Out Landmines

HeroRATS Trained to Sniff Out Landmines

Most people view rats as nothing more than pests, but one organization regards the critters as heroes. APOPO, an African-based non-profit, trains African Giant Pouched Rats to sniff out unexploded

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Discarded Electronics Are Poisoning African Children!

Discarded Electronics Are Poisoning African Children!

If you've ever wondered where that computer, refrigerator or TV you threw away ended up, you may not like the answer. A recent expose on ABC.com reveals the dirty secret behind electronic wastes: many

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Incredible ‘Garbage City’ Rises Outside of Cairo

Incredible ‘Garbage City’ Rises Outside of Cairo

This unbelievable city piled high with trash is a real place called Garbage City, outside of Cairo in Egypt. It's populated by a community of workers called Zabbaleen, who personally collect, sort, reuse,

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Scientists Create Bacteria that Glows to Reveal Land Mines

Scientists Create Bacteria that Glows to Reveal Land Mines

Land mines are currently strewn throughout 87 of the world's countries, and each year they cause 15,000-20,000 new casualties, the vast majority of which are inflicted upon civilians. Sifting through

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Beyond LEED: Living Building Challenge 2.0 Certification Unveiled

Beyond LEED: Living Building Challenge 2.0 Certification Unveiled

This week the International Living Building Institute released its new green building standard to the public at Greenbuild 2009. Version 2.0 expands on its already impressive focus to now cover social

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India’s Barefoot Solar Engineers Are Building a Brighter Future

India’s Barefoot Solar Engineers Are Building a Brighter Future

Throughout India there are many rural villages that are completely removed from the grid. With no source of power for cooking, light, and heating they currently must rely on firewood, kerosene or diesel

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MOVIE REVIEW: The Yes Men Fix the World

MOVIE REVIEW: The Yes Men Fix the World

Spoiler alert: The Yes Men do actually fix the world-- but only on paper. For years this two-man team has been pranking conferences, newscasts, and exhibitions by posing as representatives of the world's

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Savior Bud Device Produces Drinking Water from Tree Leaves

Savior Bud Device Produces Drinking Water from Tree Leaves

Drinking water is all around us -- if we know where to look. The Giving Tree-inspired Savior Bud designed by Seol Ah Sun and Kim Hyo Jin is a portable device that attaches to tree leaves and slowly

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Habitat for Humanity and PG&E Support Green Neighborhood in Oakland, CA

Habitat for Humanity and PG&E Support Green Neighborhood in Oakland, CA

Recently we took the trip to Oakland, CA to visit a Habitat for Humanity East Bay Project of particular interest for its pairing of energy-efficient homes with families in need of housing. What was once

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Sustainable Tower “Peels” the Costa Rican City Skyline

Sustainable Tower “Peels” the Costa Rican City Skyline

Driven by a progressive environmental strategy that will exploit sustainable energy design, Spanish-based firm Moho Arquitectura’s design for a mixed-use tower in San Jose will become a new benchmark

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Canstruction: Incredible Sculptures Made From Canned Food

Canstruction: Incredible Sculptures Made From Canned Food

Bridging the gap between good design and giving back to the community, Canstruction, the annual international design/build competition where architects, engineers, designers, and students compete to

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IS IT GREEN?: Wal-Mart’s Sustainability Index

IS IT GREEN?: Wal-Mart’s Sustainability Index

Green labels abound for seafood, coffee, fair-trade, organic products and more, but we have yet to come across one unifying label that allows us to compare apples to oranges in terms of sustainability.

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Bridge Homeless Shelter Cuts Neighborhood Crime by 18%

Bridge Homeless Shelter Cuts Neighborhood Crime by 18%

So much of the green design that we see here at Inhabitat is efficient and looks cool in renderings, but the human aspect of sustainability, and the real value of our built environment is too often a

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Australian Town Bans Bottled Water

Australian Town Bans Bottled Water

The small Australian town of Bundanoon just set a new standard for sustainability by voting to do what no community has ever done before: ban bottled water! The measure was founded over concerns about

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Carrotmob Promotes Eco-Friendly Business Practices

Carrotmob Promotes Eco-Friendly Business Practices

Taking a step beyond the certified- green-label: what if you had a personal agreement with a business that the money you spent would go towards sustainability?  “If people really vote with their

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SXSW FILM: Garbage Dreams

SXSW FILM: Garbage Dreams

Garbage Dreams, which premiered earlier this month at the South by Southwest film festival, is a documentary that offers an intimate look at Mokattam, a suburb of Cairo known for its poor residents who

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Ceramic Water Filters Win IWA Award for Cambodia

Ceramic Water Filters Win IWA Award for Cambodia

As populations in developing nations increase alongside global pollution and the spread of water-borne illnesses, the need for clean and efficient water filtration has never been more urgent. Recently,

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PLAY PUMP: Merry-Go-Round Water Pump!

PLAY PUMP: Merry-Go-Round Water Pump!

We all know kids have boundless amounts of energy and a need to play - so why not channel some of that energy into much needed rural infrastructure? That was the brilliant idea behind the PlayPump: a

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12-Year-Old Whiz Kid Makes Homeless Shelter from Trash

12-Year-Old Whiz Kid Makes Homeless Shelter from Trash

We're big fans of Buckminster Fuller's legacy of uber-efficient domes here at Inhabitat, so imagine our excitement when we heard that 12-year old whiz kid Max Wallack recently developed a sturdy geodesic

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Project H builds their first Learning Landscape in Uganda

Project H builds their first Learning Landscape in Uganda

Design nonprofit Project H has completed the construction of their first Learning Landscape, a playground that teaches elementary math concepts using ten interactive games. Built from reclaimed tires in a

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Wall House: Durable $5000 Home Made from Recycled Paper

Wall House: Durable $5000 Home Made from Recycled Paper

The Wall AG recently unveiled a remarkable prefabricated house that is made from recycled paper and can be built for less than $5000. Constructed from an innovative cellulose-based material, the Universal

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Student Invents Solar-Powered Fridge for Developing Countries

Student Invents Solar-Powered Fridge for Developing Countries

Proving once again that the best ideas are often the simplest, 21-year-old student/inventor/entrepreneur Emily Cummins has designed a brilliant portable solar-powered refrigerator that works based upon

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Sustainable and Recyclable Housing Made From Loofahs

Sustainable and Recyclable Housing Made From Loofahs

In Paraguay, forested areas have been reduced to less than 10% of the country, which means that wood is scarcely available as a building material. Additionally, 300,000 families do not have adequate

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Kids in Malawi Make Toys From Junk

Kids in Malawi Make Toys From Junk

toy car made from an old milk carton If the souring economy's got you down this holiday season, here's something that will help put things in perspective and remind you how lucky you really are. In

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An Alternative to Holiday Consumerism – Buy Nothing!

An Alternative to Holiday Consumerism – Buy Nothing!

We love the holiday season and definitely love scouring the web for fabulous eco-friendly gifts, but sometimes we get overwhelmed. With the economy in its lousy state and the fact that we're trying to be

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Zumos: Innovative Textiles from Guatemala

Zumos: Innovative Textiles from Guatemala

High-quality and low-volume is the MO of textile product line, Zumos. In producing what they call “pocket products”: scarves, ties, tablerunners and document carriers that all feature a

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