Grist List

Renewable Energy

Spray-on solar windows use teeny tiny solar cells to capture energy

If the Internet has taught us anything, it is that everything is better when it is smaller. Kittens are better than cats. Cake pops are better than cakes. LEGO models of anything are pretty great, even if the full-sized version is pretty iffy (say, a meth lab). Thus: Solar panels? Good. Teeny tiny solar cells? BETTER. Solar cells so tiny they can be sprayed onto windows? SO COOL.

Biking

These adorable kids are earning bikes by helping their community

The Rails to Trails Conservancy’s Earn-a-Bike program lets these Baltimore youths spend four weeks learning about bike maintenance, healthy eating, and caring for the Earth and their community — and at the end of it, they get a certificate and a bike. It’s a win all around: The kids get their own bicycles, the community benefits from their newfound civic engagement, and Republicans have minor heart attacks about Socialist brainwashing. Yay!

Biking

These light-up armbands make awesome turn signals for cyclists

As a responsible cyclist who does not want to die, I wear a helmet. The other night, I donned one of those reflective orange vests. (Do not laugh, please.) And I try, really I do, to hold out my arms and signal when and where I plan on turning. I do not like doing it, though, because I feel I am going to lose my balance and because I don’t think that drivers notice half the time anyway. Especially not at night. Lifehacker has turned up a wonderful DIY solution to this problem: bright, wearable turn signals.

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