Skip to content Skip to site navigation

Green Home

Comments

Pre-fab yurt is the FEMA trailer of our post-optimism future

Homelessness, extreme weather, civil unrest -- the 21st century is going to give us a lot of reasons to house people as cheaply as possible. So hobbyist Malcom White came up with a way to create a 118-square-foot "yurt" that can be prefabricated and then transported via flatbed truck to wherever it's needed. Total cost? $300 to $400, or one quarter-ounce gold dubloon once the United States of America has atomized into regional duchies all paying tribute to whichever Paul is president/king in 2018.

Read more: Cities, Green Home, Living

Comments

Decor that helps you feel good about your power source

These adhesive decals stick to any flat surface and are even PVC-free! Why opt for green energy if you can't remind yourself and your guests about it every time you turn on the light? I'm serious. h/t CleanTechnica

Comments

There’s never been a better time to build a hobbit house

If you're anything like me, i.e. friends with dozens of nerds, your Twitter stream was aflame with talk of the Hobbit trailer last night. I'm psyched about it! It's the only Tolkien book I read, and will therefore probably be the only one of the movies I can stay awake through. Anyway, hobbits are cool now, so this is an excellent time to start building your sustainable hobbit home!  The one below, which we wrote about in October, looks like it could come straight off the movie set: But in fact, it was put together for just $5,000 by a …

Read more: Green Home, Living

Comments

Critical List: Congress does everything it can to screw the environment; fabric cleaned by sunlight

Congress voted to put sanctions on Iran, which would make it harder for Iran to sell oil, but potentially make oil sales more profitable for the regime overall. After all the work that the anti-Keystone coalition did, Republicans are trying to tack a measure to approve the pipeline onto a bill that extends the payroll tax cut. The White House is saying the president "would reject a proposal that tried to mandate approval of the Keystone project" but won't say the V-E-T-O word. Oh, ALSO. Congress could defund the program that would implement the phaseout of incandescent bulbs. AUGH, CONGRESS. …

Comments

Palestinians can’t get statehood, but at least they’ve got these zero-emissions schools

Yeah, it kinda sucks to be a Palestinian these days, what with the failed peace talks and everyone but you having an Arab Spring. That doesn't mean your non-state state isn't making progress, though: Just check out the plans for this zero-emissions school. The United Nations Relief and Works Agency is going to roll out 20 of them, all designed by the world-famous Mario Cucinella Architects. "[T]he school will support 800 students and use rainwater, geothermal, and solar systems instead of [municipal] water and energy grids," reports Sun Joo Kim at SmartPlanet. All of the schools will be built from …

Read more: Cities, Green Home, Living

Comments

A magical meter and friendly competition help one community dial back energy use

The Island Energy Dashboard gives residents a real-time look at how much electricity they're sucking from the grid. When Puget Sound Energy announced plans to build a new substation to meet rising electricity demand on Bainbridge Island, Wash., in 2009, it apparently didn't know who it was dealing with. Bainbridge is a well-to-do suburb of Seattle (a 35-minute ferry ride will drop you right in downtown), and home to more than a few techies, computer programmers, and folks who have letterhead with lots of fancy degrees in front of their names. Eric Rehm, a software-engineer-turned-marine-biologist, says that "a mosh pit …

Comments

What are we made of? One word: Plastics

This story originally appeared in Urbanite. In What's Gotten Into Us? Staying Healthy in a Toxic World, McKay Jenkins sounds an alarm on the chemicals that we unknowingly ingest and inhale daily.Photo: J.M. GiordanoAfter the discovery of a tumor near his hip, McKay Jenkins, married, father of two, began investigating the manufacturing and consumer use of synthetic chemicals, particularly those in everyday products such as plastic bottles, cosmetics, toys, carpets, and cell phones. His search eventually lead to a book, published by Random House in April, called What's Gotten Into Us? Staying Healthy in a Toxic World. Jenkins, a professor …

Read more: Green Home, Living, Pollution

Comments

Samsung’s new Zombocalypse-proof appliances

Samsung's new line of energy-efficient, even solar-powered appliances that are robust in the face of power fluctuations and outages were built for Africa (that’s why they’re called “Built for Africa”), but they have “catastrophist stocking stuffer” written all over them. And Samsung knows it -- how else can we explain their promo shots? This girl is like "hey, power's out because of peak coal, but whatever, I'm just hanging out on this ad-hoc mesh network, IMing with my friends in Taiwan about the spot price of palm oil, 'sup." As part of the company's new "Built for Africa [and also …

Comments

Fleeced again: How microplastic causes macro problems for the ocean

On Black Friday, outdoor retailer Patagonia took out a full-page ad in The New York Times asking readers to "buy less and to reflect before you spend a dime." Beside a photo of their iconic fleece jacket, the headline read: "Don't Buy This Jacket." And, while their message about retail consumption undoubtedly made a splash, there may be yet another reason to take a pass on that cozy, modern outerware. Besides Patagonia's confession that the process of creating the R2® Jacket leaves behind "two-thirds of its weight in waste" on its way to their Reno warehouse -- it turns out …

Comments

Ask Umbra: Which Christmas tree is the greenest?

Send your question to Umbra! Q. Dear Umbra, Which is greener -- real Christmas trees or fake? I know you answered this question in the past, but I wonder if there's any new data? Ginger C. Littleton, Colo. All this tree needs is a little love.A. Dearest Ginger, Of the many wonderful and cherished traditions we honor this time of year, just one has earned a secure place in my heart: the Great Christmas Tree Smackdown. The short answer is, live trees are greener. The longer answer is, entire industries are waging battle over this question, the greenness of any …

Read more: Green Home, Living