5 Essential Eco-Tech Ideas To Consider

September 11, 2018 by  
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For many, technology represents our best hope for radically redesigning … The post 5 Essential Eco-Tech Ideas To Consider appeared first on Earth911.com.

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5 Essential Eco-Tech Ideas To Consider

Trips to Mars coming as soon as next year, says Elon Musk

March 12, 2018 by  
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Elon Musk has predicted that his company SpaceX will be capable of facilitating a successful mission to Mars, from launch to landing and back again, as soon as 2019. “I think we’ll be able to do short flights, up and down flights, some time in the first half of next year,” said Musk at the South by South West (SXSW) festival in Austin , Texas. While Musk’s deadline may seem a bit optimistic, his urgency seems to be guided by pessimism regarding Earth’s future. “There’s likely to be another dark ages… particularly if there’s a third world war,” said Musk, who has made the case that Mars must be colonized to inoculate humanity from destroying itself completely on Earth. “Sometimes my timelines are a little… y’know,” said Musk at SXSW, recognizing that a 2019 departure for a mission to Mars may not be doable. That doesn’t mean that SpaceX won’t try. In the meantime, Musk shared his ideas on how a Mars colony would be organized. “I think most likely the form of government on Mars would be a direct democracy, where people vote directly on issues,” he said. “Everyone votes on every issue and that’s how it goes.” Related: Scientist warns Elon Musk’s Starman could be a bio-threat to Mars Musk also spoke about his concerns regarding artificial intelligence . “AI is far more dangerous than nukes ,” he said. “This is a situation where you have a very serious danger to the public. There needs to be a public body that has insight and oversight so that everyone is delivering AI safely. This is extremely important. Nobody would suggest that we allow anyone to just build nuclear warheads if they want, that would be insane. My point was AI is far more dangerous than nukes. So why do we have no regulatory oversight? It’s insane.” While Musk is concerned with World War III or an AI apocalypse, he is equally energized by the commercial opportunities presented by a Mars colony. Pizza places will be in need on Mars, he said, as will Mars bars. Via MSN Images via Depositphotos (1)

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Trips to Mars coming as soon as next year, says Elon Musk

6 Ideas for an Eco-Friendly Valentine’s Day with Heart

February 7, 2018 by  
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Valentine’s Day has become overrun with consumerism. Nearly disposable gifts … The post 6 Ideas for an Eco-Friendly Valentine’s Day with Heart appeared first on Earth911.com.

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6 Ideas for an Eco-Friendly Valentine’s Day with Heart

6 ways to make your life more "Hygge" – the Danish secret to happiness

December 26, 2017 by  
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Unless you are from Denmark or Norway, the concept of “hygge” (pronounced hoo-gah) was likely foreign to you until the past few years when this idea of “cozying around” began gaining serious traction. In this big, loud, harsh world, many of us desire a return to good company, simple pleasures, and mindfulness in the moment, and hygge embodies these ideas and more. We’re sharing six ways to help you create this restorative state of mind beloved for centuries in Denmark (by way of Norway ). Image © @quizzically_yours 1. Host a low-key and intimate get-together Small hang-outs with friends are an ideal hygge-promoting gathering. Hygge get-togethers aren’t pretentious: think board game night , card night, or a bagel brunch in the comfort of your own home. The focus of these gatherings is on togetherness, not on spending five hours baking fussy hors d’oeuvres or desserts, so they are perfect for throwing together at a moment’s notice and are super potluck-friendly . An event that gets people absorbed in each other’s company and a low-tech activity that encourages them to detach from their phones is definitely high on the hygge scale. Linked to the concept of hygge is an appreciation of the outdoors, and Danes are known for prizing their open-air time from a young age: babies in Denmark and all over Scandinavia even take their naps outside . Take your gathering outdoors (weather permitting) to bring together the best of both worlds: huddling around an outdoor fire pit definitely fits the bill as does taking a dip in a hot tub. Image © Maria via Unsplash 2. Or make your own solo hygge experience Although hygge is often associated with cozy, candlelit get-togethers with dear friends, you can create your own hygge vibe when you are by yourself. Fredagsmys , a word from Denmark’s Nordic neighbor Sweden , is an actual term used for curling up indoors on a Friday night. So watch a movie, sit on the sofa, or make yourself some hot chocolate or tea and relax with a book (perhaps in front of a fire). Hygge is focused on the idea of enjoying and being aware of simple moments and experiences, so everything doesn’t have to be “just so”: partaking in a free flowing  yoga  practice or a nourishing  soup making  session applies. Image © Alisa Anton via Unsplash 3. Create hygge-friendly spaces in your home While it may be tempting to get caught up in the hygge-buying fever and feel the desire to suddenly possess a plethora of knit throws, cushy pillows, an array of scented candles, and more items, there’s no financial obligation required for creating a warm, comfortable, friendly space. Putting your favorite vintage and reclaimed  knickknacks on display creates a sociable, lived-in vibe. Ditto for items picked up during memorable vacations and roadtrips. If you have a home with large open spaces, consider arranging the furniture that you already own in configurations that encourage intimate tête à têtes. Even a small side table or an ottoman can be a place to gather around, set down your mug, or put your feet up. Interior designer Dani Arps for TaskRabbit suggests, “Texture and natural materials always add warmth; think chunky or nubby blankets stored in a mesh basket that sits next to a reclaimed coffee table.” Related: DIY Meditation Temple Built from Salvaged Materials Photo © Aaron Burden via Unsplash 4. Make space for quiet/meditation Mindfulness and gratitude are definitely components of a hygge mentality, and they dovetail nicely with many people’s goals of having a regular meditation practice. If sitting cross-legged and reciting a mantra isn’t your cup of tea, then consider making your cup of tea the meditation itself. Give yourself permission to really savor and enjoy your morning beverage  without feeling the need to check social media. Or take an invigorating walk with your dog by your side, soak in the tub , journal or even make a phone call to a friend or family member who you can’t connect with in person-these all align with the idea of creating a soothing and reflective practice. Since mindfulness is the goal, avoid multitasking while you are doing whatever activity you choose. Image via Inhabitots 5. Make comforting and nourishing food and drink If you were to scan Instagram, many of the images hashtagged with hygge would start to resemble each other: hands around a warm mug of something, a table laid out with humble but hearty fare, like this mushroom quinoa risotto , a bowl of oatmeal, or fruit and nut-studded granola. Another central tenet in Danish culture is spending time with family , so pulling out a favorite recipe that has been shared over generations for a family gathering is a great way to honor tradition (not to mention the fact that commonly beloved food seems to have a way of smoothing over many family riffs). A super hygge-friendly activity: create an intimate  multigenerational family cooking class with a matriarch or patriarch of the family teaching the younger set how to make a traditional family dish. A few other ideas to get you started include apple cider served in apple cups , a homemade vegan nutella-like spread , one pot sun-dried tomato and basil pasta , and a decadent vegan chocolate cake made with veggies . Image © Antonia Bukowska via Unsplash 6. Put hygge concepts to work year-round Although the idea of cozying around a fire or snuggled up on the couch with our favorites makes winter the season most associated with hygge, the concept of hygge can be employed throughout the year. After all, hygge is a mindset for making “ essential and mundane tasks dignified, joyful, and beautiful ”. To that end, going for a midsummer midnight swim, having a backyard BBQ with a few friends, taking a hike in the spring rain, or organizing a pumpkin picking and carving session could all embody this mind/body/soul-nourishing concept. Lead image ©  Worthy of Elegance via Unsplash

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6 ways to make your life more "Hygge" – the Danish secret to happiness

NASA picks two finalists for exciting new robotic mission

December 22, 2017 by  
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NASA is planning a robotic mission for the mid-2020s, and they’ve chosen two finalists for a possible destination. One option could snag a sample from a comet nucleus, which could help us understand the origins of life and the oceans on Earth. The other could fly to Saturn’s moon Titan – which scientists think holds an ingredient for life and also has enough energy resources for a United States-sized colony. Out of 12 submitted proposals, NASA has selected two finalist concepts for their robotic mission slated for sometime in the next decade. One is the Comet Astrobiology Exploration Sample Return (CAESAR), which would attempt to gather a sample from the comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. According to NASA, comets are comprised of “materials from ancient stars, interstellar clouds, and the birth of our solar system .” Obtaining a sample could help us understand how those materials might have played a role in early Earth. Related: Saturn’s biggest moon has enough energy to power a US-sized space colony Option two is a voyage to Titan. NASA could send Dragonfly, a drone-like dual-quadcopter lander, to the ocean world near Saturn to “explore the prebiotic chemistry and habitability of dozens of sites” – some hundreds of miles apart. Dragonfly could conduct seismic studies, image landforms to delve into geological processes, and monitor surface and atmospheric conditions. NASA’s Science Mission Directorate associate administrator Thomas Zurbuchen said in a statement, “This is a giant leap forward in developing our next bold mission of science discovery. These are tantalizing investigations that seek to answer some of the biggest questions in our solar system today.” Cornell University leads the team behind CAESAR, while the John Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory is behind Dragonfly. Both will receive funding through the end of next year to develop the ideas further, and NASA plans to pick one in 2019. Via NASA Images via NASA

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NASA picks two finalists for exciting new robotic mission

Repurposed Furniture Ideas You Have to See

September 22, 2017 by  
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When a passion for repurposing is focused on furniture, the opportunities … The post Repurposed Furniture Ideas You Have to See appeared first on Earth911.com.

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Repurposed Furniture Ideas You Have to See

Zhang Chenxi creates realistic alien creatures that we actually wish existed

August 23, 2017 by  
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When we think of aliens, we usually conjure up images of green-skinned aliens or knobby-fingered creatures like E.T., but one artist let his imagination run wild with a series of 80 digitally-rendered aliens that are probably more realistic – and certainly more appealing – than the sci-fi fantasy. UI/UX designer and 3D artist Zhang Chenxi developed an art series titled “Unknown x Unknown” in which he explored what other forms these intergalactic beings could take – and the results are far from creepy. Zhang Chenxi’s digital illustrations are bursting with color and so much detail you could almost believe these were photographs of deep sea creatures or animals lurking in the Amazon rainforest. The little critters feature bright antennae, soft and squishy tentacles, fungi-like qualities and beads at the tips of their extremities. Some seem inspired by succulents, sea anemone, squids and insects while others are as completely odd as they are mesmerizing. Related: Jill Bliss’ stunning arrangements capture the magical beauty of mushrooms To bring his visions to life, Chenxi used MAXON Cinema 4D , a software program that allows artists to do 3D modeling, animation and graphics rendering. First he sketches his ideas on paper and then works his concept through Cinema 4D before rendering in Octane. He just finished the series of 80 renderings, but you can see his entire collection on Instagram and high-resolution versions on his Behance portfolio . + Zhang Chenxi Via Colossal

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Zhang Chenxi creates realistic alien creatures that we actually wish existed

Vancouver on track to kill wasteful single-use packaging

June 29, 2017 by  
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Vancouver , Canada wants to become a zero-waste city – no easy feat for an area with over 600,000 people. But as part of its Greenest City Action Plan , the city is exploring options to limit single-use packaging, like all those coffee cups, plastic bags and foam take-out containers littering our landfills . This summer they’re launching a pilot program to allow restaurants to fill take-out orders in reusable containers brought by patrons. Vancouver is teaming up with Vancouver Coastal Health to allow retailers and restaurants to fill orders in customer-brought containers. They pointed to container share programs in San Francisco, New York City, and Portland as examples of alternatives to the single-use waste issue in the past. Vancouver Coastal Health will work to ensure food safety and health for the program. Related: Insidious single-use coffee pods banned in German city Mayor Gregor Robertson said in a statement, “Vancouver is on track to be the greenest city in the world by 2020, and taking these next steps to reduce coffee cups, Styrofoam , and plastic bags from our landfills will take our environmental leadership to the next level.” He called for city residents to weigh in on reducing single-use packaging waste. If you live in Vancouver, you can find out about zero waste events or sound off on your ideas here . Even though Vancouver is taking large strides towards becoming a zero waste city, they’ve got a long way to go. According to city officials, 2.6 million coffee cups are tossed into the garbage every single week there, while around two million plastic bags end up in the trash. They also frequently find foam in Vancouver shoreline cleanup projects. But the effort to prioritize a zero waste future is a positive step, as the city encourages its citizens to shift their thinking on waste . Via the City of Vancouver ( 1 , 2 ) Images via Wikimedia Commons and Takahiro Sakamoto on Unsplash

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Vancouver on track to kill wasteful single-use packaging

Ev Williams talks up ‘world positive’ investments

October 30, 2015 by  
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Twitter’s co-founder, CEO of the ideas platform Medium, gravitates to scalable ideas that could have a planetary impact.

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Ev Williams talks up ‘world positive’ investments

7,500 affordable floating homes could help fight London’s crippling housing crisis

September 25, 2015 by  
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These prefab floating houses are meant to populate disused spaces along 50 miles of waterways in London. Complemented by 150 hectares of “bluefield” space in the docklands and marinas, this conceptual design aims to bring 7,500 affordable homes to the British capital. The project was designed in collaboration between Baca Architects and Floating Homes Ltd and is among the 100 shortlisted entries at the New Ideas for Housing competition which addresses Greater London’s housing crisis. Read the rest of 7,500 affordable floating homes could help fight London’s crippling housing crisis

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