6 easy tips to green your Fourth of July

July 4, 2018 by  
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Although the Fourth of July is a wonderful time to celebrate our freedom with friends and family, with all the cups, utensils and fireworks we end up using, it’s also one of our most wasteful holidays! So this year, why not take advantage of our six ideas that will help you green-up your festivities without sacrificing an ounce of fun. In fact, it might surprise you to find that following our tips could actually increase the fun quotient while sparing the planet at the same time. 1. Go meatless for the day Nothing says Independence Day like a backyard barbecue, but the global meat industry has put a terrible strain on the planet. This year, ditch the pork chops and steaks and consider some delicious vegetarian grilling recipes instead. Although forgoing the meat might seem akin to sacrilege, there are so many more creative dishes available that are good for your health and the planet. 2. Use real plates When you have 15 guests coming around, it’s so easy to break out the paper plates to avoid a sink full of dishes. But imagine the waste if every American went this route! If washing your own dishes in a water-saving dishwasher doesn’t sound appealing, it is now possible to purchase biodegradable packaging that won’t clog up the landfill. 3. Use public transportation If you live out in the middle of Iowa, taking a bus or train to your friend’s house might not be possible for you. But most city dwellers certainly do have this option. Using public transportation , or even cycling instead of driving a car, has more than one benefit: not only will you reduce your carbon footprint for the day, but you won’t have to drive home after drinking! Which brings us to our next point… 4. Buy kegs instead of cans and bottles Don’t take this the wrong way — Inhabitat isn’t endorsing national drunkenness, but we are realistic. People have the day off, they’re hanging out with their favorite people… beer will be had. Instead of buying a stack of cans and bottles that use up a lot of unnecessary materials, consider purchasing a keg. This is cheaper, usually, and you’ll have zero waste — especially if you use your own mugs or compostable cups . 5. Cool down with a batch of delicious organic popsicles If drinking beer isn’t your thing, or you’re celebrating the holiday with a handful of screaming young children, consider following our recipes for 30 kinds of delicious organic popsicles . They’re so easy to make and contain none of the junk that store-bought popsicles do. Plus, you won’t produce any waste as a byproduct of enjoying one of our favorite summer treats. 6. Enjoy a sunset with wind- and solar-powered lights Sunset is probably our favorite part of the Fourth of July. Not that we’re excited for the day to end, but the temperature simmers down at last, and the sky fills up with the vibrant colors of fireworks. Make the ambiance last and reduce your energy footprint by using  wind and solar lights . They’re easy to find at IKEA, and they’ll impress the daylights out of your friends and family! Have a happy and green Fourth of July! Images via Nigel Howe , Shutterstock ( 1 , 2 , 3 , 4 ), Inhabitat and IKEA

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6 easy tips to green your Fourth of July

Monsanto will scrap its notorious name after acquisition by Bayer

June 4, 2018 by  
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“Monsanto” is a bad word in environmentalist circles. However, the company name so connected with concerns over glyphosate , the main ingredient in Monsanto’s product Roundup, will vanish following the company’s acquisition by Bayer — a deal described as “a marriage made in hell.” Bayer will retire the 117-year-old brand name Monsanto, The Guardian reported . Bayer said in a statement , “Bayer will remain the company name. Monsanto will no longer be a company name. The acquired products will retain their brand names and become part of the Bayer portfolio.” Related: Bayer’s proposed $66B Monsanto takeover is “a marriage made in hell” Activists say the deal will create the most powerful agribusiness in the world. In 2016, Bayer announced plans to acquire Monsanto, and said in their statement they signed an agreement for $128 per share later that year — which corresponds to a total cost of around $63 billion this year, considering Monsanto’s debt. Bayer chief executive Werner Baumann said, “We aim to deepen our dialogue with society. We will listen to our critics and work together where we find common ground. Agriculture is too important to allow ideological differences to bring process to a standstill. We have to talk to each other. We need to listen to each other. It’s the only way to build bridges.” Campaigners have protested the takeover — Friends of the Earth said it would “increase control over farmers and cut out competitors, and allow it to become the dominant ‘Facebook of farming .’” Friends of the Earth Europe food and farming campaigner Adrian Bebb said Bayer “will become Monsanto in all but name unless it takes drastic measures to distance itself from the US chemical giant’s controversial past. If it continues to peddle dangerous pesticides and unwanted GMOs then it will quickly find itself dealing with the same global resistance that Monsanto did.” + Bayer Via The Guardian Images via Depositphotos

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Monsanto will scrap its notorious name after acquisition by Bayer

9 Green Gift Ideas for Your Friends

April 3, 2017 by  
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You and your friends are dedicated to going green in every aspect of your lives, from recycling and composting to reducing your carbon footprint. So why should gifts be any different? If you’re looking for the best environmentally friendly…

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9 Green Gift Ideas for Your Friends

9 fun things you can do during Earth Hour!

March 25, 2017 by  
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Today at 8:30 pm , WWF’s Earth Hour will begin. Started in 2007 , Earth Hour is a symbolic act to get us thinking about our planet and our impact on it. But more than that, it’s also part of a simple idea to start an environmental resolution — this is not only about one hour in the dark, it’s about creating a brighter future. Even though you’re switching off your lights and electronic appliances for the environment, you don’t have to sit twiddling your thumbs in the dark. There is still a lot you can do without using a watt of electricity. Earth Hour can be as fun as it is good for the planet, and if you’re looking for some entertaining ways to spend it you’re in luck because we’ve rounded up 9 fun activities that are sure to deliver a good time completely off-grid! Candlelight dinner via Shutterstock Have a candle-lit dinner using menus from celebrity chefs Celebrate the hour with your partner, friends or family and have a candlelit dinner with your own tasty dishes based on WWF’s Livewell principles, which has been created for healthy people and a planet with a brilliant future. Get inspired by celebrity chefs who support the Livewell principles . Board Game Pieces and Dices via Shutterstock Invite friends around for a quiz and board games by candlelight WWF’s Earth Hour is all about people coming together to celebrate our world. If you’ve decided to invite friends over, the Earth Hour team has created a fantastic Quiz to download to make the most of the night while the lights remain off. The night sky via Shutterstock Take a wildlife walk or go star-gazing Get closer to nature while doing something for your health and well-being by taking a night walk or going star-gazing. And if you don’t have a telescope, don’t worry. Just darkness, a blanket and hot drinks will be enough for a perfect star-gazing hour. San Antonio Texas River Walk at night via Shutterstock Go for a nightime city walk If you are a “city animal”, why not take a walk around town and see what has switched off in your city? In past years, many landmarks such as the Sydney Opera House, the Tour Eiffel and Big Ben switched off their lights in honor of Earth Hour. This year is sure to find more participants, so be sure to check out what else is happening. Silhouette of biker at sunset via Shutterstock Go for a nighttime bike ride Cycling is not a trend, it’s part of a sustainable lifestyle. Everyday more people decide to leave their car at home and start cycling. And once you’ve started cycling, you can’t stop. So why not go for a ride during the hour? Yoga exercise via Shutterstock Try candle-lit yoga or exercise “Mens sana in corpore sano,” says the famous Latin quotation. WWF’s Earth Hour is a moment for appreciating the brilliant world we all share, and how we need to protect it. Use this time to pursue a more sustainable and healthy lifestyle. Playing the Guitar via Shutterstock Have an unplugged jam session at home Invite your friends over and unplug while you enjoy some in-house music. Children reading via Shutterstock Read a bed time story Light a candle to create a cozy atmosphere, and transform your favorite bedtime story into a fantastic journey of the imagination. Make a green energy resolution WWF has lots of resources to help you be green every day. Check out their resources for making a lifestyle change  and then plan with your family and friends how you will change things up even when it isn’t Earth Hour. + WWF EARTH HOUR 

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9 fun things you can do during Earth Hour!

How to Have an Eco-Friendly Galentine’s Day

February 14, 2017 by  
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Ah, Galentine’s Day. A sacred holiday observed on Feb. 13 by single females and their friends everywhere. And although it may actually be Valentine’s Day, there’s no reason you can’t celebrate Galentine’s Day today or…

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How to Have an Eco-Friendly Galentine’s Day

What Does a Trump Presidency Mean for the Environment?

November 17, 2016 by  
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President-elect Donald Trump has a lot of people worried. Worried about their healthcare, their reproductive rights, and the citizenship of their friends and family. But perhaps the most worrying effect of a Trump presidency is one that could have…

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What Does a Trump Presidency Mean for the Environment?

Friends Use Recycled Cardboard Boxes to Build Amazing Life-Size Pirate Ship!

November 12, 2016 by  
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Three creative eco-artists have built an incredible life-sized pirate ship out of recycled cardboard ! Three Reddit-using friends named Josh, Mikey and Joel made the ghostly ship in just five days for what was probably the best Halloween party ever. Armed with just a hot glue gun and box cutters, the trio masterfully transformed old cardboard boxes into a meticulously detailed vessel fit for Treasure Island. The friends came up with the idea for the ship when planning a “Halloween Party on Treasure Island.”  To prepare for the project, the friends began what they call “trolling”- or stalking the streets for piles of cardboard left at curbsides , waiting for garbage truck pick up. The trio loaded these bounties up in their car and hauled the cardboard to the warehouse-studio where the party took place. Using hot glue and blades, the guys began building up the massive ship. Cardboard planks make up its sides, and circular holes were cut out to serve as portholes. Larger sheets of cardboard were cut to make curly waves licking at the base of the boat, while trimmer remnants added texture to the faux- wood on the side of the boat. A tattered, discarded sail was hung from the ship’s cardboard mast. The intricate piece was crowned with a ghastly figurehead depicting a skeleton witch with wild cardboard hair and a curling cardboard tongue. The incredible project shows what a little creativity can do with material otherwise headed for the garbage. Via Bored Panda

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Friends Use Recycled Cardboard Boxes to Build Amazing Life-Size Pirate Ship!

Crazy SkunkLock makes would-be bike thieves vomit

October 24, 2016 by  
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If you are sick and tired of having your bicycle stolen stolen, then we have just the thing for you. After he and several of his friends lost their bikes to sneaky thieves, inventor Daniel Idzkowski came up with the most bizarre solution. SkunkLock prevents bike theft by releasing a chemical deterrent released when a would-be thief tries to cut through the lock , and it’s noxious enough, nobody would want to stick around. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ba1OLoPIBfY Made with hardened medium-carbon steel , the black and white U-Lock contains a hidden pressurized deterrent that the company says actually induces vomiting in most cases. These noxious chemicals are so strong they “elicit an instinctive response to run away immediately,” according to the company’s Indiegogo page. They say it’s possible a bike might smell if the chemicals are released, but not likely, although they include disinfection instructions with their locks. Related: Engineering Students Create the World’s First Unstealable Bike What chemicals do they use? SkunkLock doesn’t quite disclose that information, saying they prefer to keep their formula a secret so thieves can’t figure out a way around it. They do say on their Indiegogo page that capsaicin compounds may be present in the lock, but that SkunkLock isn’t “strictly a pepper spray product.” While some bike owners may be deterred by the idea of noxious chemicals, SkunkLock assures people their bike lock is safe and legal. The company purposely skewed away from electronic and smart locks, saying electronics can fail or be dismantled. Instead their lock fights back, as per the company slogan. Once the chemicals are released, the company says the structural integrity should still be there but the lock won’t deter against thieves in the unique skunk-like fashion any more. There’s no expiration date on the bike lock, but the company plans to keep improving the technology and hopes SkunkLock owners will buy updated versions in the future. SkunkLock is currently crowdfunding on Indiegogo . A limited number of people can snag a SkunkLock for $99; from there the price goes up to $109 and then to $119. You can check out the campaign here . + SkunkLock + SkunkLock Indiegogo Campaign Images via SkunkLock Facebook and SkunkLock

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Crazy SkunkLock makes would-be bike thieves vomit

New Dutch housing model lets students stay at a senior living home for free

September 23, 2016 by  
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At Humanitas Deventer , an independent living home for seniors in the Netherlands , it’s not uncommon for an 80 or 90-year-old resident to have a 27-year-old neighbor. Students can live at Humanitas Deventer for free. All they have to do in return is spend 30 hours each month being a ” good neighbor .” 27-year-old Patrick Stoffer is a graduate student at Saxion University. He’s one of about five students who live at Humanitas Deventer. During their 30 volunteer hours, the students teach the retirees skills like how to send an email or Skype, or just share a meal and a conversation. Many of the students have formed profound relationships with their elderly neighbors. Related: This nature-filled community is a smart housing solution for Singapore’s aging population “At first I thought I’m just gonna help out a little bit, but you find out that these relationships are deeper than you would expect,” Stoffer said in a video . One of his roommates is 89-year-old Harry, a retiree, whom Stoffer describes as a “joker” who “knows how to handle the ladies.” They’ve become close friends. One new aspect of living at Humanitas Deventer for the students is the closeness to death . Stoffer described how one of his friends in his hall passed away. While he’s had to confront death, he’s learned death is “also part of life.” A lack of affordable housing in other university towns has inspired communities in other areas around the world to adopt intergenerational living models. One similar community is Judson Manor in Cleveland, Ohio, where music students live in a 1920’s luxury hotel converted into a senior home in exchange for playing music for the elderly residents. Urban design student Jurriën Mentink shared his experiences at Humanitas Deventer in this TEDx talk – where do I sign up? + Humanitas Deventer Via AJ+ Images via Humanitas Deventer and Humanitas Deventer Facebook

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New Dutch housing model lets students stay at a senior living home for free

Bayer’s proposed $66B Monsanto takeover renews call for monopoly investigation

September 15, 2016 by  
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With little warning, Germany chemical giant Bayer made a bid to take over U.S.-based Monsanto for $66 billion. Together, the fused companies would create the world’s largest seed and pesticide company, which many argue would equate to a monopoly. The U.S. Department of Justice has already investigated Monsanto’s monopoly over the nationwide market, and the merger will most certainly give the company more influence over agriculture than it has ever had before—a terrifying thought. Monsanto has been the subject of heated debates at all levels, from public meetings in community centers to the federal level. The company’s top-selling product, RoundUp, contains glyphosate as its active ingredient, which has been linked to cancer, respiratory ailments, and autism. Glyphosate is already banned or highly restricted in Europe and other parts of the world, but regulators in the U.S. have failed to act swiftly, in part due to the heavy influence of Monsanto. The pesticide maker has also lobbied widely and even filed lawsuits to block GMO labeling and bury the World Health Organization’s report on glyphosate as a carcinogen . For years, environmentalists and health advocates have been fighting against Monsanto, but the company’s deep pockets have made it an uphill battle. With the Bayer takeover threatening to increase those resources, public concern should be on the rise. Related: Mark Ruffalo confronts Monsanto chief: “You are poisoning people” “The attempted takeover of Monsanto by Bayer is a threat to all Americans,” said Bernie Sanders on Wednesday, decrying the Bayer bid. “These mergers boost the profits of huge corporations and leave Americans paying even higher prices. Not only should this merger be blocked, but the Department of Justice should reopen its investigation of Monsanto’s monopoly over the seed and chemical market.” Bayer’s proposed bid led Friends of the Earth Europe’s senior food and farming campaigner Adrian Bebb to issue sharp criticism . “Bayer’s buyout of Monsanto is a marriage made in hell, which threatens to further lock in industrialized agriculture at the expense of nature, farmers and the wider public,” said Bebb. “While public support for local and greener food continues to boom, this mega corporation will be doing its best to force damaging pesticides and GM seeds into our countryside.” Via The Guardian Images via Mike Mozart , Paul and Cathy/Flickr and Bayer  

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Bayer’s proposed $66B Monsanto takeover renews call for monopoly investigation

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