How Earth Day began and how it helps the planet

April 17, 2017 by  
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Earth Day is April 22nd, and to get prepared for the big day, here are a few Earth Day facts that you may not know. Founded by United States Senator Gaylord Nelson as an environmental teach-in, the first ever Earth Day was held on April 22nd, 1970. Earth Day not only marks the beginnings of moving toward a more sustainable world, it’s a time to come together and contemplate our global environmental situation, as well as participate in community and global “green” activities. Read on to find out all about this important eco-holiday . Earth Day is one of the most widely celebrated environmental events across the globe. The first Earth Day was focused on protesting an oil spill off the coast of California, but today, the focus is on increasing awareness of the planet and all the issues around its health, from fracking and water pollution to rainforest depletion and animal extinctions. More than 20 million people and thousands of local schools and communities participated in the first Earth Day of United States that took place on 22 April 1970, and one of the results of that first celebration was the creation of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Clean Air Act. It became an international event in 1971, when UN’s Secretary-General U Thant spoke about it at a Peace Bell Ceremony at the United Nations in New York City. On that first celebration, NYC’s mayor shut down Fifth Avenue for use on Earth Day, and allowed it to be celebrated in Central Park. Today, over 1 billion people celebrate Earth Day around the world. Earth Day is celebrated in 192 countries. This day is a time dedicated to increasing awareness about the Earth, its issues and its problems, and people in different countries take action that will benefit their region the most. For example: On Earth Day 2011, the Earth Day Network planted 28 million trees in Afghanistan. On Earth Day 2012, more than 100 thousand people in China rode their bikes to save fuel and reduce CO2 emissions from motor vehicles. In Panama, in honor of Earth Day, they planted 100 species of endangered orchids to prevent their extinction. In 2014, NASA participated in Earth Day with the agency’s #GlobalSelfie event , asking people to take a photo of themselves outside and post it to social media using the hashtag #GlobalSelfie. We can all use Earth Day as a time to reflect on our personal impact on the environment. Simply implementing something that promotes sustainability, such as a weekly recycling regimen, can truly make a difference. Let’s use today as a starting point for great change, and make every day an Earth Day. + Vangel The article above was submitted to us by an Inhabitat reader. Want to see your story on Inhabitat ? Send us a tip by following this link. Remember to follow our instructions carefully to boost your chances of being chosen for publishing!

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How Earth Day began and how it helps the planet

For the first time, climate change has caused a river to completely reroute

April 17, 2017 by  
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For the first time on record, climate change has completely changed the route of a river. In a shift that researchers called “geologically instantaneous,” a river in Canada’s Yukon territory shifted from draining into the Bering Sea to draining into the Pacific Ocean below Alaska. What makes this particularly concerning is that while shifting rivers aren’t unheard of in the Earth’s history, never before to our knowledge has a river rerouted so quickly, causing an enormous impact on the surrounding environment. The Kaskawulsh glacier in Canada has been rapidly melting. That influx of meltwater choked out the Slims River, depriving the downstream Kluane Lake of water and causing it to drop rapidly. The water shifted to the Alsek River, which empties into the Pacific Ocean south of Alaska, where the ocean water will now see a rapid influx of freshwater. The shift began in 2016 when the melting water burst through an ice dam, depriving Slims River of its glacial water source. Now, the Kluane Lake level is dropping rapidly, which will put stress on the environment around the lake and could completely alter the geology of the area. Related: Scientists warn rapidly-melting glacier in West Antarctica could cause serious global havoc Scientists determined that this shift was driven by human-caused climate change after they looked at the Kaskawulsh glacier and calculated that there was only a minuscule chance of it retreating in a stable climate. They also believe that it is unlikely that the Slims River will return to its previous water levels. The researchers published their findings in the journal Nature Geoscience . Via The Washington Post images via Nature Geoscience, Murray Foubister and Nat Wilson

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For the first time, climate change has caused a river to completely reroute

These ageless retro bikes fight against planned obsolescence

October 25, 2016 by  
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Looking for an electric bike with a timeless, retro look? Vintage Electric Bikes has you covered. The company is dedicated to handcrafting gorgeous and distinctive bikes that stand the test of time and fight back against planned obsolescence. Lead designer and founder Andrew Davidge writes , “I am determined to only manufacture products that can be passed down through generations to come.” Vintage Electric’s e-bikes come in three distinct models , retailing between $4995 and $6995. They can reach a racing speed of 36 MPH and have a range of 35 miles when used at legal street speeds (20 MPH). When plugged in, the battery takes only two hours to fully recharge, making them perfect for running errands or commuting to work. While the Cruz and Tracker models are clearly designed with city travel in mind, the limited edition Scrambler will appeal to those with a desire to go offroad. Related: Tempus launches stylish e-bikes modeled after vintage café racers While the specs of each model differ, it just takes a quick glance to see that these frames are made of highly durable materials like chromoly steel and hydroformed aluminum. Even the tires are made to stand the test of time with a Kevlar lining woven inside – yes, the same material used in bullet-proof vests can be used to prevent an ill-timed flat. The bikes can be ordered online at Vintage Electric’s website, or purchased from a local dealer if you just can’t wait or would like to take one for a test drive. + Vintage Electric Bikes

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These ageless retro bikes fight against planned obsolescence

German man sets new world record for heaviest bike

September 7, 2016 by  
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There’s a Guinness World Record for numerous strange and far-out feats, including one for the heaviest rideable bicycle . Frank Dose from Schacht-Audorf in Germany just broke that record. Using largely recycled materials, he constructed a massive bike that weighs 1.08 metric tons, and then showed he could actually ride it. Dose decided to go for building the bike on a dare. He’d designed a bike made of scrap metal to ride at a festival, but a friend said the design probably wouldn’t work. Dose decided to prove his friend wrong. He gathered scrap steel and fertilizer spreader tires to create the giant bicycle. Related: Innovative Swedish cyclist designed an all-weather bike that looks like a car The tires weighing ” hundreds of kilograms ” add tremendous heft to the bike. Their diameter is a whopping 1.53 meters, or around five feet. The cost of the bike was weighty too: Dose estimates he spent $4,700. On September 3, Dose demonstrated he could indeed ride the bike. 5,000 people showed up to watch him ride more than 100 meters, or around 328 feet, the minimum distance Guinness World Records will accept to declare the bike rideable. Although the bike only moved at a lumbering five kilometers per hour, Dose says riding the bike is actually pretty easy. Olaf Kuchenbecker of the Rekord-Institut für Deutschland (Record-Institute for Germany) was also on hand to measure the bike. It will likely be a few months before Guinness World Records officially confirms Dose broke the record, but chances are good they will. Jeff Peeters of Belgium recently set the previous record announced in March, but his bike (albeit still massive) weighs just 860 kilograms, around 200 kilograms less than Dose’s heavy bicycle. Dose’s wife Astrid is his biggest fan. She said, “I think his bike is sensational. I am proud and pleased that he has done it.” Via Oddity Central Images via screenshot

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German man sets new world record for heaviest bike

Video captures vandals toppling 18-million-year-old sandstone formation in Oregon

September 7, 2016 by  
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An iconic sandstone formation on the Oregon coast known as “the duckbill” is no more, after a group of vandals forced the rocks to topple, leaving behind a devastated pile of rubble . The giant rock, known as “The Duckbill” measured up to 10 feet across, and was a sought-after destination just beyond the safety fence in Cape Kiwanda State Natural Area in Oregon’s Tillamook County. At first, park officials thought that the formation had fallen on its own, but video captured by a witness later revealed the extent of this terrible loss. After discovering the formation had toppled, Oregon State Parks posted on Facebook on Sept. 1 warning visitors to the area that “the rubble serves as a sobering reminder of the ever present dangers of our fragile coastal rocks and cliffs.” They did not know, at that time, that it was intentionally knocked over by a group of ne’er-do-wells. That detail wasn’t known until authorities discovered that David Kalas posted a video of the vandalism act on Twitter. Kalas, who was not directly involved in the destruction, shot video of the group on Aug. 29 and then approached them with questions. Related: Actress Vanessa Hudgens is under investigation for defacing natural landmarks on Valentine’s Day Kalas told the local Fox News affiliate about his confrontation with the vandals immediately after the destructive act. They told him, reportedly, that they decided to topple the giant sandstone because one of their friends had broken his leg after falling off the rock, in a misguided effort to protect other park-goers from harm. Understandably, Kalas didn’t really buy that story, saying it “frustrated [him] because nobody forced them to climb on top of the rock.” The naturally formed sandstone tower was an iconic part of the Oregon coastline, and had become a significant location for many people over the years. Despite its location behind a safety fence, many people climbed atop the rock to take pictures of important life events. “People got married on top of the rock, got their engagement photos on top of the rock,” Kalas told Fox News. “They can’t share that moment any more with their future children or their grandchildren or anyone like that, it will always just now be a memory,” he added. Oregon State Parks posted an update  on Sept. 6, explaining that the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department is working closely with the Oregon State Police to determine the best course of action. The vandals, who have not yet been identified publicly, face a maximum penalty in the form of a $435 fine. Via Treehugger Images via David Kalas , Oregon State Parks and Thomas Shahan/Flickr

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Video captures vandals toppling 18-million-year-old sandstone formation in Oregon

Cost-effective modern home sports an outdoor climbing wall that reaches the roof

September 7, 2016 by  
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To comply with the site’s limited buildable area and the client’s programmatic demands, the architects designed the Cache Creek Residence with an “upside-down version of a traditional house diagram.” While most homes place the living areas on the ground floor and the private rooms above, the two-story Cache Creek Residence places the open kitchen, living, and dining area, as well as the master bedroom on the second floor. The two guest bedrooms, gear storage, and utility areas are located on the lower level. Large glazed openings frame views of the Snow King Ski Area and bring in natural light to illuminate the high-ceilinged interior. Related: The SkyHouse Features a 50-Foot Climbing Wall and 80-Foot Spiraling Slide in This NYC Penthouse The Cache Creek Residence’s boxy form is clad in black corrugated metal , a material chosen for its durability, texture, and low cost. Galvanized steel-clad projections and large protruding decks on the south and east sides add interest and depth to the building. A climbing wall on the north elevation with multicolored holds spans the full height of the home and provides access to the roof. “The interior is characterized by high ceilings and generous glazing, which allows for constant daylight,” write the architects. “Economical finish selections let materials speak for themselves: concrete floors, quartz stone countertops and IKEA cabinetry, complete the interior expression.” + Carney Logan Burke Via Dezeen Images via Carney Logan Burke

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Cost-effective modern home sports an outdoor climbing wall that reaches the roof

Declutter your life with Lift, the ultimate multi-use bike hook

June 30, 2016 by  
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Simple and modern, Lift is a new multi-purpose bike hook that can be used for so much more than hanging your wheels. The smart storage system is strong enough to stow your bike and accessible enough to store everyday items. Its notched wooden dowel makes it easy to hang a bag, jacket or scarf, while the durable powder-coated steel arm does the heavy lifting for bikes or ladders. A CNC-milled baltic birch base secures it snugly to the wall and the final product is topped with ethically-sourced synthetic leather. You can check out this beautifully made, handy design on Kickstarter . + Lift The article above was submitted to us by an Inhabitat reader. Want to see your story on Inhabitat ? Send us a tip by following this link . Remember to follow our instructions carefully to boost your chances of being chosen for publishing!

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Declutter your life with Lift, the ultimate multi-use bike hook

Beach Bikes lets you customize your perfect ride

December 31, 2015 by  
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Didn’t get the bike you dreamed of for Christmas? Even though some areas of the country are covered in piles of snow, now is the perfect time to start planning your summer adventures. Beach Bikes lets you buy your dream cruiser from the comfort of home and you can customize your new bike to your heart’s content with their easy-to-use website . They’ll even help you assemble it via video chat. We had the opportunity to try out one of their bikes and their great customer service – read on to see what we thought. Read the rest of Beach Bikes lets you customize your perfect ride

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Beach Bikes lets you customize your perfect ride

Fortified’s “Invincible” bicycle is guaranteed theft-proof

December 4, 2015 by  
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Bike theft is a big problem – the FBI estimates that $350 million worth of bicycles are stolen each year . Fortunately, there’s a solution. Fortified Bicycle just launched an “Invincible” bike with a theft-proof guarantee, and if someone does manage to steal it, they’ll ship you a new bike within 24 hours. Fortified’s Invincible bike starts at $399 on Kickstarter today . Read the rest of Fortified’s “Invincible” bicycle is guaranteed theft-proof

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Fortified’s “Invincible” bicycle is guaranteed theft-proof

Chinese scientists want to use a nuclear-powered vacuum to turn space junk into fuel

December 4, 2015 by  
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A team of Chinese researchers believes they have developed a solution to the problem of ‘space junk.’ Picture a giant space vacuum cleaner, not entirely unlike the one pictured in the 1987 classic film Spaceballs , that could capture errant space garbage and break it down into fuel. The resulting fuel would then be used to propel the cleaning craft so it could continue to collect more garbage. This is the latest in a series of attempts to clean up the smaller bits of discarded satellites, rocket parts, and other broken things floating around in space. Read the rest of Chinese scientists want to use a nuclear-powered vacuum to turn space junk into fuel

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Chinese scientists want to use a nuclear-powered vacuum to turn space junk into fuel

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