Apple announces plans to make all products from recycled materials

April 20, 2017 by  
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Apple just announced plans to close the loop and make all of its products from recycled materials. We tend not to realize how damaging our electronics are for the environment – from mining materials to the toxic effects when we dump them . Apple starting tackling these problems last year with its  recycling robot , and now the electronics giant wants to only use recycled materials in its devices. Apple recently released its latest environmental report, and in it, the company claims that it is working towards using recycled materials to create its next generation of products. This will happen, in part, by reclaiming and re-using old Apple devices. Obviously they aren’t there yet, but Apple has never been shy when setting goals. Related: Apple just unveiled a blazing fast iPhone recycling robot Apple has been steadily shifting towards renewable resources. Its data centers all run on renewable energy , and it has partnered with or built its own solar and wind farms to generate the energy it needs. The company has also been recycling old devices, which saved Apple over $40 million in gold re-use alone. Via Engadget

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Apple announces plans to make all products from recycled materials

Dissolvable bioplastic bags from Bali are safe enough to drink

January 9, 2017 by  
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Plastic plagues the planet, clogging waterways and the stomachs of unwitting animals, but a new brand of bioplastic bags from Indonesia may offer a solution. Made from cassava root, these bags dissolve in hot water, breaking down into carbon dioxide and water without any toxic residue. Bali -based social enterprise Avani says their bags are biodegradable, compostable, recyclable, and when dissolved, safe enough to drink. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hp06mEgGdbY Many products that are marketed as eco-friendly are not beneficial to the environment . Biodegradable bags sound great, but can often leave toxic residues that make them harmful to marine life and plants. They often don’t degrade as well as claimed, causing death in thousands of sea animals. Avani eco-bags, on the other hand, can be dissolved in hot water almost instantly, soften in cold water, and are naturally converted into carbon dioxide, water and biomass within months. They can even biodegrade in landfills with the help of macro and micro-organisms. Related: Researchers Develop a Way to Make Plastic From Yard Waste Avani also makes other types of eco-friendly packaging products such as coffee cups and takeaway food packaging. They use renewable natural resources and claim that the entire production process is completely sustainable. The bags cost less than existing compostable plastics in the market, and the firm donates a portion of their proceeds to various local non-profit environmental projects. + Avani

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Dissolvable bioplastic bags from Bali are safe enough to drink

7 articles that made us laugh this year

December 31, 2016 by  
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2016 took us to a dark, dark place, and we needed humor more than ever this year to get us through the seemingly endless barrage of pain. From an “Election cycle” bike that repeatedly slaps you in the face to the tiny wall that was erected around Donald Trump’s Hollywood star to the Kardashians’ hilariously sad architecture mixup , read on for the comedic stories that kept us from completely breaking down and throwing in the towel this year. And voice your choice in our end-of-year poll to let us know which one made you LOL the most! [poll id=115]

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7 articles that made us laugh this year

7 articles that made us laugh this year

December 31, 2016 by  
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2016 took us to a dark, dark place, and we needed humor more than ever this year to get us through the seemingly endless barrage of pain. From an “Election cycle” bike that repeatedly slaps you in the face to the tiny wall that was erected around Donald Trump’s Hollywood star to the Kardashians’ hilariously sad architecture mixup , read on for the comedic stories that kept us from completely breaking down and throwing in the towel this year. And voice your choice in our end-of-year poll to let us know which one made you LOL the most! [poll id=115]

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7 articles that made us laugh this year

The top 5 Inhabitat videos of the year

December 31, 2016 by  
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From foraging for mushrooms (and avoiding the poisonous ones) to eating your banana peels instead of throwing them away and touring NYC’s first micro apartment buildings , we had loads of fun bringing you all sorts of videos this year. Check out our top 5 videos of the year below and vote for your favorite. [poll id=118]

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The top 5 Inhabitat videos of the year

The top 5 Inhabitat videos of the year

December 31, 2016 by  
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From foraging for mushrooms (and avoiding the poisonous ones) to eating your banana peels instead of throwing them away and touring NYC’s first micro apartment buildings , we had loads of fun bringing you all sorts of videos this year. Check out our top 5 videos of the year below and vote for your favorite. [poll id=118]

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The top 5 Inhabitat videos of the year

Check out the world’s first lights powered by micro-sphere solar cells

December 9, 2016 by  
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Sphelar Power , makers of the world’s first “micro-sphere” solar cell, have declared “flatness is over” when it comes to solar power generation. The Japan-based company is in the midst of a crowdfunding campaign to back two products : the Sphelar Lantern and the Sphelar Stick. Both are powered by onboard solar cells that integrated right into the product and generate electricity passively when exposed to sunlight. Although the campaign is lagging behind on its fundraising goal, there is still time left to see this project advance to the next phase of production. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0_ATpCFKvIY When Inhabitat first covered Sphelar’s spherical solar cell in 2012, the product was still in its infancy but showed enormous promise. At that time, the rounded solar cells challenged solar industry standards with their unique ability to capture sunlight from all angles simultaneously. Traditional flat solar panels must be angled directly toward the sun for maximum efficiency, but Sphelar’s design eliminates that fussiness. Related: Revolutionary Sphelar spherical solar cells capture sunlight from all directions Sphelar’s new products—a stylish modern lantern and a pocket-sized flashlight—incorporate the multi-directional solar cells and LEDs in new, portable lighting products. The Sphelar Lantern promises a 4-6 hour charging time for full battery capacity, which can power the light source for up to four hours. The Sphelar Stick provides up to four hours of light when fully charged, and can be recharged before the battery is fully drained. As of the time of this report, Sphelar has raised just over $7,000 of its $20,000 goal with six days remaining in the Kickstarter campaign . If the goal is met, the company aims to expand its production. Currently, the Lantern and Stick are only available inside Japan, but Sphelar hopes to broaden its reach and share its multi-directional solar technology with the world, one light at a time. + Sphelar Power on Kickstarter Images via Sphelar Power

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Check out the world’s first lights powered by micro-sphere solar cells

$10 million project to test universal basic income in the US

December 9, 2016 by  
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Could a universal basic income (UBI) be the answer to income inequality in an increasingly automated world? One US group is investing $10 million to find out. The Economic Security Project is a coalition of investors, activists, and technology companies committed to spending the next two years exploring the feasibility of a UBI for US citizens. The work will follow up on previous trials of the UBI , which have shown promising but inconsistent results. (Advocates of the idea claim the programs were under-funded and too short-lived to prove the concept one way or another .) Research has generally shown direct cash transfers to be more helpful than other forms of aid in poor nations, but it’s unclear exactly how matters will play out in a more developed country. Related: Ontario is rolling out a basic income test for citizens living under the poverty line The ESP funds will be used in a variety of ways over the next two years: while there will be some unconditional cash stipends delivered to US citizens, it appears that work will mainly be done through state and local basic income campaigns rather than the organization itself. Some of the funds will also be donated to fund nonprofit research into the best ways to implement UBI and on advocacy efforts to influence political policy. While a universal income may sound like a handout, proponents of the idea believe it will become increasingly necessary as technology advances. One high-profile backer is Elon Musk , who recently told CNBC he believes in the near future, there simply won’t be enough jobs to keep the economy afloat otherwise. But his vision of the future isn’t completely grim: he believes we’ll simply adapt and use our newfound leisure time on more interesting hobbies instead of work. Via The Independent Images via Steven Depolo and Tracy O

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$10 million project to test universal basic income in the US

Ultra-light Sunda camping shelter is a hammock and tent packed in one

October 17, 2016 by  
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Sunda stretches to eight feet four inches long and four feet two inches wide, boasting 35 square feet of livable space, the most of any tent in its category. With enough room for two people, including gear, dogs and kids, the 35-square-feet interior offers a comfortable sit-up height achieved by the flat ridge and attached brow pole. The structure offers an additional 6.25 square feet of dry storage space for gear, and easy access to both tent doors. Related: 100% waterproof Levitat tree tent for three fits in your carry-on luggage The Sunda doesn’t stop at ground level. Inspired by the Sunda Flying Lemur, the tent transforms into a one-person hammock which “glides” among trees. In hammock mode, you can have the mesh hang underneath for a “lounge mode” access, or you can engage the ridgeline and attached mesh above you for “jungle mode”. Kammock recently launched a Kickstarter campaign to further develop the already impressive Sunda Tent Hammock. + Sunda Tent Hammock + Kammock

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Ultra-light Sunda camping shelter is a hammock and tent packed in one

10 smart and cheap things every college dorm room needs

August 31, 2016 by  
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NORDLI Wireless charging furniture Your phone is at 5% and you’re tossing everything out of your backpack trying to find your charger, which seems to have sprouted legs and strolled away. Sound familiar? IKEA is putting an end to vanishing phone chargers with their wireless charging NORDLI furniture . It works like this: set down your phone on your table or night stand. Pick up your phone once it has enough juice to for you to Snap your roommate doing that weird thing again. Repeat. RIGGAD LED work lamp with wireless charging If you already have your nightstand sitch squared away, but you still want that groovy wireless charging, check out the RIGGAD LED work lamp . Not only does it have energy-efficient LED bulbs, but you can also set your phone on the lamp’s base and it will charge right up. So you can get your study on while your phone is getting juiced up. BEKANT sit/stand desk It’s easy to get lost in that 20-page term paper and not realize that the hours have disappeared – that is, until you stand up to stretch and find that you are permanently hunched over like Quasimodo. The IKEA BEKANT desk can shift between sitting and standing height (22 – 48-inches) so that you can find the perfect position. It even comes with a cord management net to keep everything in place. TVINGEN shower curtain You might not realize how much water is rushing down the drain when you take a shower, but 2 gallons vanish every – single – minute that you stand there singing along with Spotify. That’s why we love this TVINGEN shower curtain . Not only does it look good, but the graphic reminds you that you are using up a lot of water, so keep it quick. BLAVIK LED mirror/lamp It’s the little things that you miss when you are living la vida dorm. Privacy. Mom’s home cooking. A well-lit space to apply makeup or shave your face. The BLAVIK LED mirror/lamp can fix one of those problems for you. It installs without the need for drilling and runs on batteries, so you can put it wherever you need good lighting and a mirror. Sadly, it can’t make even the most basic spaghetti. LYCKSELE sofa/bed This isn’t your mother’s futon. The LYCKSELE sofa/bed has a durable quilted slipcover that can be easily laundered should beer pong get out of hand. And it’s just the right size to turn even the tiniest dorm room into a cozy space to hang (or sleep) no matter how crazy things get. DOFTKLINT comforter set This 100% cotton DOFTKLINT comforter set looks as good as it feels. We love the colorful print and you’ll love the snaps that hold everything in place, so you can spend your time studying, not shifting your duvet around. FAVREN Shower caddy Trust us: it may not seem like much, but when you are trudging down the hall trying to juggle your shampoo, conditioner, soap, razor, tower, face wash, wash towel, toothbrush and toothpaste (forget the necessities like a shower radio and your phone), you’re going to wish you had a shower caddy. This one is perfect because it has lots of compartments to keep you totally organized. IKEA PS 2014 storage combo Bamboo, how we love thee, let us count the ways: First, there’s the warm, textured look that takes any space up a notch. Then there’s that durability that can withstand even the rowdiest crowd. And don’t forget the sustainability. The IKEA PS 2014 storage shelf combines all that is amazing about bamboo with the perfect look and dimensions to hold absolutely everything you need in your dorm. MARSLEV rug When you start to pack for dorm life, floor coverings are probably the last thing on your mind. But trust us, a good rug will not only protect your feet, but it will take your dorm space from generic box to “feels like home” in an instant. The MARSLEV rug has a woven jute design that we can’t get enough of. + IKEA

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10 smart and cheap things every college dorm room needs

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