Fukushima in Japan is surrendering to nature

August 10, 2017 by  
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Nature has come for Fukushima . Six years after a nuclear meltdown resulted in a mass exodus of neighboring residents, the Fukushima prefecture is slowly being engulfed by a sea of green. Access to the Fukushima Exclusion Zone is still tightly regulated, but a photographer from Japan’s Asahi Shimbun recently braved the so-called “difficult-to-return zones” this past July, taking pictures with a drone and a helicopter. Returning to a place he lived as a child, Tetsuro Takehana experienced a haunting homecoming. “It was as if time had stopped,” he said. “And yet the grass and trees continue to grow.” Related: Hundreds of radioactive wild boars run amok in Fukushima, Japan The parking lot of a busy shopping mall is now overwhelmed by weeds breaking through the asphalt. Football goalposts, smothered in grass, are all that remain visible of an elementary school playground. Cars are being swallowed up by grass. Time—and life—marches on, with or without us. + Asahi Shimbun Images via YouTube screengrabs

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Fukushima in Japan is surrendering to nature

New lithium-ion battery from Japan could double electric vehicle range

August 10, 2017 by  
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Most electric vehicles can’t yet travel as far as gas-fueled vehicles on one battery charge, but they could edge much closer thanks to a new lithium-ion battery from Japan . The battery technology company GS Yuasa claims their potentially game-changing battery could double the driving range of small EVs, and the company plans to start mass producing them in around three years. Asian publication Nikkei reported the lithium-ion battery will be developed through a joint venture with Mitsubishi Corporation and Mitsubishi Motors under the name Lithium Energy Japan. The batteries could give electric cars the ability to drive further on one charge; for example, the Mitsubishi i-MiEV subcompact can currently travel around 170 kilometers, or around 105 miles, per charge, but with the new battery could drive for 340 kilometers, or around 211 miles. The companies also intend to offer the new battery at prices comparable to those of today’s batteries. Related: Hyundai reportedly working on next-gen solid-state batteries for electric vehicles According to Nikkei, GS Yuasa is the fourth largest supplier of automotive lithium-ion batteries in the world. Nikkei said Japanese companies such as Panasonic have thus far led the field in terms of quality and performance, but need to keep innovating if they want to stay ahead of Chinese and South Korean firms trailing closely behind. Reuters said the announcement of the new battery prompted GS Yuasa’s shares to spike by as much as 15 percent during early trade. The lithium-ion batteries will be manufactured at Mitsubishi Motors’ Shiga Prefecture plant for carmakers in the country and in Europe. GS Yuasa could begin mass producing the battery as soon as 2020. With batteries offering a longer range, electric car owners wouldn’t need to worry quite as much about the current lack of charging infrastructure in many areas of the world. Via Nikkei Asian Review and Reuters Images via Wikimedia Commons ( 1 , 2 )

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New lithium-ion battery from Japan could double electric vehicle range

Brilliant DIY kit lets you grow your own grass-covered armchair

August 25, 2016 by  
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Say hello to a new kind of lawn chair. Studio Nucleo ’s TERRA! kit lets you assemble your own grass-covered armchair in your backyard with its prefabricated cardboard framework. All you need to do is add dirt and watch your outdoor furniture grow. Piergiorgio Robino and Andrea Sanna started Studio Nucleo in 2000 and business was booming until their method of production became unsustainable in 2005. They are back in business now, producing laser cut cardboard that arrives in a flatpack for easy, DIY assembly. The fact that buyers use TERRA! furniture as a living product that requires regular TLC makes the project particularly fascinating. Related: Top 5 pieces of living, growing furniture After assembling the cardboard frame, clay is used as the base material and soil is piled on top. A thin layer of sand and seeds for grass are then sprinkled on top. With daily watering and grooming you should be able to take a seat in your grass armchair in two months. The team’s Kickstarter campaign also lets backers purchase a kid’s sized chair, a sofa, and sofa extensions for a complete backyard sitting area. They say, “The pleasure of TERRA! is not only found in its ‘functionality’. It is also found the in making of your own place to relax, growing a piece of nature, a place where we all can experience the peace.” +Studio Nucleo Via ArchDaily Images via Studio Nucleo

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Brilliant DIY kit lets you grow your own grass-covered armchair

This tiny prefab solution to Finlands housing shortage can pop up in 24 hours

August 25, 2016 by  
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The compact 35-square-meter Kokoon prototype comprises three modules to create a comfortable and light-filled living space. Though the prototype stacks the modules vertically, the flexible design allows for different configurations that can be expanded both vertically and horizontally to fit different sites. A large slanted skylight with wood slats let in filtered natural light on every level. Each module can be customized for different uses; the prototype includes a bathroom, dining area, kitchen, bedroom, storage, and workspace. Related: This Canadian passive house factory was built from its own prefab wood panels Kokoon was created for temporary lodgers in mind, such as students, asylum seekers, and the homeless. The prototype units, assembled off-site in Otaniemi, were built with a laminated veneer lumber frame and clad in spruce. The interior timber panels and furnishings were left untreated. Kokoon is currently on display at the Museum of Finnish Architecture and the Design Museum in Helsinki and will be displayed in various locations across Finland over the next few years. + Kokoon Via ArchDaily Images via Kokoon

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This tiny prefab solution to Finlands housing shortage can pop up in 24 hours

Why is San Francisco spraying toxic pesticides in public parks and playgrounds?

October 19, 2015 by  
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San Francisco resident Victoria Hamman’s beloved pup Barack died a few weeks ago from a horrific case of oral cancer. The dog was very fond of eating the grass in his local dog park, which is maintained by San Francisco Rec and Park. When she realized that the San Francisco parks department was routinely spraying the grass and surrounding areas with an herbicide called glyphosate (also known as Monsanto’s ‘Roundup’) she wondered if there was a connection between her dog’s cancer and this herbicide. Other residents of San Francisco are wondering the same thing, as it is becoming clear to the public that San Francisco is frequently spraying public parks with this popular herbicide, despite the fact that California’s EPA recently classified glyphosate as cancer-causing , following the World Health Organization’s decision to reclassify glyphosate as a likely carcinogen last March, based on research by the IARC (International Agency For Research on Cancer) . So why is a city that touts itself as one of the most environmentally-friendly cities in the world endangering its residents through the use of toxic pesticides? Read the rest of Why is San Francisco spraying toxic pesticides in public parks and playgrounds?

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Why is San Francisco spraying toxic pesticides in public parks and playgrounds?

Luxurious bamboo beach bar and restaurant bolsters spa in Vietnam

October 19, 2015 by  
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Luxurious bamboo beach bar and restaurant bolsters spa in Vietnam

2015 Sukkahville winner Roots is a Jewish Sukkah made from grass

August 14, 2015 by  
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Swedish firm Ulf Mejergren Architects won this year’s Sukkahville , an annual international competition that seeks innovative proposals of the Sukkah, a temporary structure built during the Jewish festival of Sukkot. The winning submission, named Roots, re-imagines the Sukkah as a dynamic form that transforms “from an almost dissolved and chaotic structure to a neat and interlaced arrangement.” The large-scale tree-inspired structure will be made from local grass twisted by hand into ropes and will be installed at the end of September on Nathan Philips Square in downtown Toronto . When the installation is taken down, the grass ropes will be reused as feed for farm animals. + Ulf Mejergren Architects 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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2015 Sukkahville winner Roots is a Jewish Sukkah made from grass

PHOTOS: Europe’s Grass-Lined Green Railways = Good Urban Design

May 6, 2014 by  
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Read the rest of PHOTOS: Europe’s Grass-Lined Green Railways = Good Urban Design Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: european public transportation , grass lined public transportation tracks , green design , green transportation , sustainable transportation , trams on grass , Urban design , urban heat island effect

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PHOTOS: Europe’s Grass-Lined Green Railways = Good Urban Design

Forget Facebook: The All-Electric ‘Grass Printer’ Will Mow a Status Update Into Your Lawn

March 17, 2014 by  
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Mowing the lawn is usually considered a chore, but with a new award-winning device, it could become your new creative outlet. Recently named a 2014 Red Dot Design Award winner, the ‘ Grass Printer ‘ is an automatic electric lawn mower that makes it possible to manicure your yard without getting up from your seat. But we’ve seen intelligent lawn mowers before. The big difference between those other guys and the Grass Printer is the onboard touchscreen that makes it possible to mow graphics into your lawn based on a customized image. Read the rest of Forget Facebook: The All-Electric ‘Grass Printer’ Will Mow a Status Update Into Your Lawn Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: decorate your lawn , electric lawn mower , future lawn mowers , grass printer , Red Dot Design Awards , unusual lawn mowers        

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Forget Facebook: The All-Electric ‘Grass Printer’ Will Mow a Status Update Into Your Lawn

With Mr Lentz’s Wooden Jewelry You Wear Grass and Moss on Your Hand

July 7, 2013 by  
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Love your plants so much that you want to bring them with you wherever you go? Now you can, with Mr. Lentz ’s handcrafted wooden jewelry, which double as planters. Using sustainable-harvested walnut, Mr. Lentz plants a tiny patch of grass or moss in his handmade rings, necklaces and wooden brass knuckles. Check out Lentz’s Etsy store to see all his unique accessories! READ MORE >    Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: accessories , etsy , Fashion , grass , Jewelry , living jewelry , MoSS , moss jewelry , Mr Lentz , Plant Ring , wood jewelry        

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With Mr Lentz’s Wooden Jewelry You Wear Grass and Moss on Your Hand

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