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From muumuu to Miu Miu: Turning thrift-store rejects into cute couture (SLIDESHOW)

Owens calls her Refashionista project "more than a little nutty." The concept is ambitious, yes, but it's crazier that she managed to turn this emerald number around at 5 a.m. so she could wear it to her job at the S.C. Arts Commission.

Jillian Owens dyes, snips, and sews landfill-bound secondhand clothing deemed too ugly or damaged to sell. The envy-worthy results are donated to a charity shop, where the proceeds go to a women’s shelter. Get inspired by her remakes -- and head to her blog for a look at the process.

Read more: Living

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Rio grand: Scenes from the Earth Summit [SLIDESHOW]

Ascom Riotur

The Earth Summit in Rio may be over, but just like spring break, the triumphs, tragedies, and terrible judgment calls will live on in memory. Here are some of our favorite moments captured in all their photographic glory. For more of Grist’s Earth Summit coverage, click here.

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A professional forager shares her secrets [SLIDESHOW]

A tour participant takes a deep whiff of dainty dames rocket, an edible flower that knocks any boring green salad up a notch with splashy colors resembling a Mardi Gras parade.

Tama Matsuoka Wong doesn’t just frolic in her New Jersey forest, she eats it. A group of New Yorkers recently visited this delicious patch of land to learn about how a weed becomes a delicacy and to celebrate Wong's new book Foraged Flavor. Read the whole story here.

Read more: Food

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Trash talk: A visual tour through the e-waste recycling process

The top of the shredder actually emits a bright light. It's nice to think of it as iPod heaven.

Like carnival goldfish, electronics seem to have a life span of about a week before they're flushed into the junk drawer. But there's a better way: We visit an e-waste collection center and recycling facility to follow deceased gadgets as they go through the stages of reincarnation. (Try that with a goldfish.)

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Beautiful people on bikes! (Procrastination, anyone?) [SLIDESHOW]

He was drawn to the curve of her … handlebars. Also, her butt.

Trying to get some work done? Banish the thought. It's National Bike Month, it's spring, and these lovely people obviously need company.

Read more: Biking

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Street people: In San Francisco, humans reclaim the right-of-way [SLIDESHOW]

The bicycle is more than just a means of transportation in San Francisco — it's part of a joie de vivre. In a city with over 10,000 bike coalition members and even more Burning Man hibernators, biking takes on an elevated status.

In San Francisco over the last few years, residents have transformed parking spots into community spaces, closed off stretches of a neighborhood’s streets to auto traffic, and otherwise reclaimed the streets for humans. Everyone is invited. All you need to be is carless, ageless, and marvelous.

Read more: Cities

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Thinking inside the big box: Seven brilliant uses for abandoned chain stores [SLIDESHOW]

Finding a use for 40,000 to 200,000 square feet of space is one of the biggest challenges of reusing box stores, says Christensen. Here, the community of Lebanon, Mo., turned an old Kmart into a county library, cafe, and Route 66 museum.

There are two kinds of people: Those who look at abandoned big box stores littering the American landscape and see senseless blight -- and those who see an opportunity to create something new. Here are some examples of the latter, many of them from Julia Christensen's book, Big Box Reuse.

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Hot tram! Old trolleys are the new classic cars [SLIDESHOW]

After a brief streetcar revival in the ’80s, San Francisco brought them back in earnest in 2000. The city bought streetcars from around the nation and world -- pictured on the left is a 1920s model from Italy, on the right is a 1948 streetcar from Baltimore.

After nearly going extinct in the ’60s, vintage streetcars are returning to the rails in downtowns from Philly to San Francisco. These electric-powered trams are so painstakingly restored, they make classic T-Bird owners look like chumps. Here's what it looks like when mass transit goes retro.

Read more: Transportation

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Suburbs, Jetsons style: MoMA remaps America [SLIDESHOW]

This concept for suburban Keizer, Ore., called Nature City, includes a massive “compost hill” that harvests methane from yard waste, creates compost, and warms the swimming pools on top.

Sky gardens! Vertical neighborhoods! "Recombinant" houses that can be taken apart and reassembled! They're all here, in a new show at the Museum of Modern Art called Foreclosed: Rehousing the American Dream, in which teams of architects, ecologists, and landscape designers reimagined suburbia.

Read more: Cities

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Breaking Through Concrete [SLIDESHOW]

Students milking a goat in the barn that they helped build at the Catherine Ferguson Academy in Detroit, Mich.

For their new book, Breaking Through Concrete: Building an Urban Farm Revival, brothers David and Michael Hanson and crew traveled the nation visiting and documenting urban farms. Read more about the tour here.

Read more: Food, Urban Agriculture