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Grist List: Look what we found.


Robot jellyfish will use water for fuel, spy on you

A team working out of Virginia Tech and the University of Texas at Dallas is building a robotic jellyfish that mimics the real thing. Here it is in action:

The robot gets its power from hydrogen and oxygenate, which reacts with platinum to create heat, driving the jellyfish's "muscles." One day, the jellyfish won't even need to come with a separate fuel source, Discovery News reports:


Behold H&M’s new green collection

H&M's business model -- selling cheap clothes that either disintegrate or fall out of fashion quickly -- doesn't exactly fit into the "buy less stuff" model of sustainability. But they're still trying to sell eco-consciousness, in the form of "bonded recycled polyester," which usually serves as jacket lining, apparently.

This one's probably the cutest of the bunch, but we are afraid of what "bonded recycled polyester" feels like up close.

Thanks to pressure from groups like Greenpeace, the company is working to pollute less and recycle more. Check out a few of the dresses from the 2012 H&M Conscious "Glamour" collection but before you click buy, ask yourself is "Would I buy this nonsense at all if it didn't have an eco-friendly halo around it?"

Read more: Living


Human wings: The green answer to air travel

Forget subways, trains, and bikes -- those are old hat compared to what we’re about to tell you. Meet the new green form of transportation: strapping on human bird wings and flying through the air with the greatest of ease.


Critical List: Tariffs for imported Chinese solar panels; Obama to visit solar facility

The Department of Commerce announced that China was selling solar panels at unfairly low prices in the U.S. and that it would slap tariffs on them.

Obama's on an "all-of-the-above" energy tour today: He'll stop at a solar facility and at oil and gas fields.

The New York Times reported Sunday that the U.S. Department of Agriculture would require environmental reviews of properties with oil and gas leases before issuing mortgages to them, but now the secretary of ag is saying that the department will do nothing of the sort.

The National Bike Summit is underway. Go with other bikers to harangue your congressperson about public transportation funding!

Read more: Uncategorized


Watch out for radioactive tissue boxes

Radiation is an effective treatment for some serious illnesses, but it's not generally applied to the common cold -- unless you bought a metal tissue box from Bed Bath & Beyond. In January, the retailer recalled tissue boxes from 200 stores because they had been contaminated by radioactive metal.


Pig ears and donkey butts: 5 foods that could save the world

Photo by Laura Billings.

Andrew Zimmern, host of the Travel Channel’s Bizarre Foods, eats some pretty strange dishes. Now, he wants you to do the same in the name of saving the world:

You can change the world one plate at a time. If we can take better advantage of the global pantry and eat from a wider variety of choices we would do more to combat food poverty, our damaged food production system, obesity and other systemic health and wellness issues than any one single act I can imagine. Here are some suggestions, but be creative. It works.

Here are the five foods he suggests we all start stuffing our faces with:


Renewable hydropower could supply all of Africa’s electricity

In Africa, 587 million people go without electricity -- only about two-fifths of the continent's population has access to a regular supply. But according to a new United Nations report, hydropower -- a form of renewable energy -- could supply all of Africa's electricity needs.

Right now, only about 32 percent of the continent's energy comes from hydropower, but there's vast potential for growth. Africa is only using about 5 percent of its hydropower potential.

There are two main obstacles to tapping into this resource: money (not enough of it) and the need for cooperation. Rivers make great international borders, which is not exactly convenient for countries who want to build large dams. They have to come to an agreement with other governments in order to move forward.

Read more: Climate & Energy


Soon, your toilet could heat your apartment building

Now you can dump energy waste just by, well, taking a massive dump. Green tech company OriginOil is working on a project that uses toilet wastewater as a way to heat apartment buildings.

OriginOil, a start-up based in Los Angeles, CA., has begun a pilot of its urban algae farm concept at the La Défense complex near Paris. Wastewater from buildings nourishes algae growth; algae is processed to make heat. The company is attempting to prove that integrating algae production into large building complexes will help bring them closer to net zero.


Energy monitoring device lets dad bust up rager from 500 miles away

If this were a movie, hardware and software developer David Rowe would look like a sitting duck for teen shenanigans -- I mean, we don’t know the dude, but we’re pretty sure he’s a dweeby dad (or as close as you can get in Australia). The man describes himself as “kind of a power geek” -- and he is talking about home energy use, not imperialism. But in fact, Rowe’s power geekiness has now translated into powerful hardass parenting: He busted up his daughter's New Year's bash from 500 miles away, thanks to his home energy monitoring device.

Over New Year's, Rowe was traveling in the Melbourne area, an eight-and-a-half-hour drive from home. His 16-year-old daughter was staying with friends. The vacant house piqued Rowe's energy geek curiosity: How would it perform with no one in it? So he fired up his energy-monitoring device and took a look.

Read more: Green Home


Need a ride? Check out London’s mobile bike library

Photo by London Bicycle Library.

A bus and a library make most people think of boring days locked inside a school -- unless that bus holds an AWESOME mobile bike library! Meet London’s Bicycle Library: This roving bike provider lets Londoners “check out” a bike, just as they might check out a book from a public library (although the bike library requires a small deposit, too).

The librarians provide on-site expertise to teach you about the art and science of bicycles. There’s even a bicycle matchmaking service where a librarian can match you with your true love on two wheels. Given that you can choose from folding, MiniVelo, "fixies" (Fix Gear Single Speed), Ladies Coaster, Mens Coaster, cargo, and electric bicycles, there’s no excuse for not finding something that works for you.