Grist List

Cities

Singapore’s giant supertrees: The ultimate vertical gardens

Singapore is in the middle of a project that looks like a Miyazaki movie come to life. The city’s 18 “supertrees” do everything that normal trees do, only better. They will stretch up to 164 feet tall, grow 200 species of flowers, ferns, and epiphytes, collect solar energy, harvest rainwater, and work as a natural cooling system. Oh, and one of them has a bistro at its summit.

Energy Efficiency

In India, solar-powered ATMs use as much energy as a lightbulb

In urban America, getting money out of the bank means walking a block to the ATM. In rural India, the nearest bank branch might be a day’s journey away. But now a company called Vortex Engineering is using solar power to bring convenient banking to out-of-the-way villages. The key: The company’s ATMs are energy efficient. Vortex calls them the “world’s lowest power consuming ATMs,” and they use just 10 percent of the energy of other banking machines, according to Yale e360. It adds up to about the same amount of energy as a lightbulb. That low energy overheads means that …

Urban Agriculture

Texas college turns football field into awesome urban farm

If your football team can’t hack it on the field, perhaps they can grow some kick-ass kale. At least that’s the sentiment from Dallas’ Paul Quinn College. After the university cut its football program, President Michael Sorrell decided to transform the unused field into a working farm. The WE Over Me Farm, which covers 57,000 square feet, was a response to the lack of healthy food options in the economically depressed area. Highland Hills, the neighborhood where Paul Quinn is located, is a designated food desert.

Critical List: Snow comes in April this year; Obama campaign seeks environmentalists

New York and Pennsylvania are getting hit with an April blizzard. The United States and Britain are going to collaborate on offshore wind development. Lithium air batteries could extend an electric vehicle’s battery life by a factor of 10 … if anyone could figure out how to make one.

Solar Power

India flips the switch on world’s largest solar power plant

The power plant has a field of solar panels the size of Lower Manhattan.

Living

The dumbest green bikinis

As the world heats up, it will be increasingly important to have itty-bitty swimsuits to wear (under your voluminous poncho, of course, once the ozone layer crumbles and turns sunlight to poison). So what swimwear best prepares you for an apocalyptic climate-altered future, while simultaneously being low-impact and sustainable? Whatever, that’s a boring question; here is the swimwear that does it WORST. 1. Solar bikini

Animals

8-year-old environmentalist raises $250 in 12 hours after friends’ parents call her ‘stupid’ for caring

Reddit is the internet in microcosm — it showcases a lot of gross boneheaded stuff, gives space and succor to every flavor of perversion and bigotry, and is simultaneously full of interesting information, funny quips, and the occasional moment of grace. This story is one of those. Last night, Redditor nervousbreakdown19 wrote that her conscientious daughter Winter had asked for Nature Conservancy donations in lieu of gifts for her eighth birthday, and been mocked to her face by her friends’ jerkhole parents. Instead of crumbling under not-even-peer-pressure, though, Winter decided to set up a fundraising page with the kid-friendly site …

Climate & Energy

Let’s replace Earth Day with Destroy the Earth Day

If you're like us, you're totally burned out on all the absurd, disingenuous ways that marketers are trying to connect their wares to Earth Day. Perhaps part of the problem is that no one really knows what they're talking about when they say they want to “save the Earth.”

Pollution

Surreal, weirdly beautiful photo of planetary destruction seen from space

Some things that look awful up close can look kind of beautiful from space. Like this enormous open-pit copper mine in northern Chile.

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