LEGO celebrates Frank Lloyd Wright’s 150th birthday with Guggenheim Museum kit

June 8, 2017 by  
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Visionary architect, Frank Lloyd Wright – who was born on June 8th, 1867 – designed and built over 500 buildings over the course of his lifetime. To celebrate the beloved architect’s 150th birthday, LEGO is releasing 740-piece lego set that lets architecture lovers recreate one of Wright’s most iconic works – NYC’s Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum. The custom lego set is highly detailed, recreating the museum’s beautiful modernist curvaceous facade and even has the building’s eight-story annex tower sitting adjacent to a stretch of NYC’s 5th Avenue Museum Mile, complete with tiny yellow cabs. The kit even includes a scaled replica of the Guggenheim sign, which features Wright’s own architectural lettering. Related: LEGO Announces Model of Frank Lloyd Wright’s Robie House “This accurately detailed Lego model faithfully recreates the curves and distinctive lines that have made this building an architectural icon for the last half-century,” said LEGO. Although the Guggenheim set is a celebration of one of the architect’s most iconic building, it’s not the first time that LEGO has shown the architect some love. Six years ago, the company released a 2,276-piece version of his beautiful Robie House . This isn’t the first time LEGO has released the Guggenheim museum, either, but the previous set was much smaller and less detailed than this newest set. The Guggenheim Museum will also be celebrating the architect with architecture-themed tours and various activities throughout the month of June. + LEGO Via Dezeen Images via LEGO and Wikimedia Commons

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LEGO celebrates Frank Lloyd Wright’s 150th birthday with Guggenheim Museum kit

Trump nominates BP oil spill lawyer as DOJ environmental attorney

June 8, 2017 by  
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Who better to stand for the environment than a lawyer who represented BP after the 2010 Deepwater Horizon tragedy? At least, that appears to be President Donald Trump’s logic. This week he nominated Jeffrey Bossert Clark , who has consistently worked against climate action , for the role of Assistant Attorney General, Environment and Natural Resources at the Department of Justice . Clark is a partner at Kirkland & Ellis in Washington, D.C. Over his career he’s challenged the scientific basis of climate policies , according to InsideClimateNews. His career is littered with work against the environment, not for it. He successfully defended BP after Louisiana parishes challenged the company over their multi-billion settlement of claims over Deepwater Horizon. But representing BP after America’s worst oil spill is just part of it. Related: Trump budget proposes 31% cut to EPA funding Clark represented the United States Chamber of Commerce in lawsuits attacking the government’s power to regulate carbon dioxide emissions . He’s argued in court multiple times it’s inappropriate to form government policies based on scientific consensus given by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change . InsideClimateNews said Clark was prominently involved in challenges from industry to the Environmental Protection Agency’s endangerment finding offering a scientific basis for efforts to regulate greenhouse gases . Natural Resources Defense Council Director of the Climate & Clean Air Program David Doniger said of Clark, “He has a long history of opposing climate action for corporate and ideological clients. I would expect that history would require him to recuse himself from cases as over the Clean Power Plan , where he filed an amicus brief against the rule.” In the George W. Bush administration Clark served as deputy assistant attorney general for the Environment and Natural Resources Division of the Justice Department, from 2001 to 2005. Senate confirmation is required for him to serve in the Trump administration . Via InsideClimateNews Images via Wikimedia Commons ( 1 , 2 )

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Trump nominates BP oil spill lawyer as DOJ environmental attorney

Hawaii becomes the first state to pass a law committing to Paris agreement

June 8, 2017 by  
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Even if the White House doesn’t honor the Paris climate agreement , individual states aren’t taking the short-sighted move lying down. Hawaii just passed a law committing to all of the provisions of the historic accord, making it the first in what we hope will be one of many states to do so. Governor David Ige signed two bills on Tuesday that aim to make Hawaii greener and cleaner. The first will reduce the state’s greenhouse gas emissions to the same levels laid out in the Paris agreement. The second creates a task force that will help clean up Hawaii’s soil and air. Related: Hawaii aims to be the first state to run entirely on renewable energy Ige took a jab at Trump, stating that “climate change is real, regardless of what others may say.” Hawaii is uniquely positioned to feel the effects of climate change before other states will. Ocean acidification and shore loss are already impacting the state, with sea level rise and a shortage of fresh water already seen throughout the state. Via the New York Times images via Flickr and Wikimedia

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Hawaii becomes the first state to pass a law committing to Paris agreement

This $6,800 house was built from recycled bricks in just 5 days

May 1, 2017 by  
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While it may look unassuming at first glance, this house is truly revolutionary. The 430 square foot home is made from LEGO-like recycled plastic bricks, it cost 20,000 pesos ($6,800) to construct, and it was built by team of four people in just five days. While tackling the challenges of transporting materials to build his house in Cundinamarca, Columbia, Fernando Llanos decided to use recycled plastic to get the job done. So he teamed up with architect Óscar Méndez to create Conceptos Plásticos – an innovative system that uses plastic bricks to build homes in remote areas at an affordable cost. To minimize the impact on the environment, the team decided to utilize recycled plastic, despite the fact that new plastic would have been easier to use. “[U]sed (plastic) requires more experimentation,” said Méndez. Related: America’s largest modern timber building pieces together like LEGO To create the plastic bricks , the duo obtains plastic from local recyclers and factories, which is then melted and molded into the necessary shape. The molded plastic bricks have insulation properties, resist combustion, and meet local earthquake-resistance requirements. Since its inception in 2011, the company has increased to 15 employees and recently completed the construction of a temporary shelter for 42 families displaced people in Columbia. The company was recently awarded $300,000 by The Chivas Venture to help it expand to a global scale. + Conceptos Plasticos Via Arch Daily

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This $6,800 house was built from recycled bricks in just 5 days

LEGO Hand Bag turns you into a minifigsorta

October 19, 2016 by  
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The rectangular paper bag is like regular shopping bags in many respects. It’s just the right size for hauling your LEGO store loot, and sturdy enough to stand up on its own. Inside the bag are two handles, placed on opposite long sides of the bag. However, that’s where the similarities end, because the LEGO Hand Bag has one additional amusing feature. Related: LEGO releases set with stay-at-home dad and working mom minifigures When a person is holding the bag by its built-in handles, their (human) hands are covered up by bright yellow plastic hands resembling those of a LEGO minifigure . While the illusion works best when the customer is wearing a long-sleeved shirt or jacket, the promotional bag can make anyone look like they belong in LEGOland or, at the very least, like an extra from the LEGO movie. The kooky bag has been making its way around the internet for the past several days, but there’s still no word of an official response from the folks at LEGO HQ. Surely, they’ve seen it by now, so we can only hope they are deep in discussions over what kind of check to cut for the design duo who created what LEGO’s own advertising department didn’t think to attempt. Via Junho Lee and Hyun Chul Choi Images via Hyun Chul Choi and LEGO

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LEGO Hand Bag turns you into a minifigsorta

10 ingenious Halloween costumes made from recycled junk

October 13, 2016 by  
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When it comes to Halloween, Americans aren’t spooked about buying new costumes or decorations. According to the National Retail Federation , Americans are predicted to spend over $8.4 billon on Halloween goods in 2016 – higher than any year in history. One way to stop contributing to the inevitable waste is to get crafty and make your own costumes out of things you have lying around the house. Here are a ten unique, inspiring costumes made out of recycled junk that are sure to impress on Halloween. 1.Soda Tab Monty Python Black Knight Here’s some brilliant repurposing — the chainmail sleeves on this Black Night rendition of Monty Python and the Holy Grail are made entirely out of discarded soda can tabs. The helmet is made from a garbage can and textured with hot glue. Top that off with some coconut shells and you’ll be as good as gold. RELATED: Trotify Makes Your Bike Sound Like a Galloping Horse 2. Plastic Bag Warrior Princess We’ve all got stock piles of plastic bags, so why not put them to good use? Those with a knack for sewing can make this crafty costume in a cinch. First attach the plastic bag strips to a bodice and hand sew in layers to make the skirt. Using some yarn left over from over knitting projects, build the breastplates and then paint a cardboard sword so you can rock the real warrior look. 3. Walking Game Board If you’re feeling extra nostalgic, try recreating your favorite childhood board game. This costume mimics the Perfection board game using cardboard boxes , old plastic tablecloths, and cut-out shapes. The pop-out game pieces are made with some old sponges, duct tape, and pill bottles. For the full instructions on this particular outfit, check out this past entry from Inhabitat’s Green Halloween Contest. 4. Game of Thrones Illusion Serious Game of Thrones fans will dig this getup. The ode to King Joffrey has a set of false legs, giving the illusion of sitting when the wearer is actually standing and walking inside the throne. This particular illusory costume was made from cardboard boxes, vertical blinds and palm fronds found in a dumpster. The jacket was fashioned out of old fabric, and the fur trim, pants and boots were picked up at a thrift store. The sword was an old prop the creator had on hand. Related: Announcing Inhabitots’ 2016 Halloween Costume Contest! ENTER NOW 5. Claw Machine This clever getup is an ode to those kooky claw machine games . Simply glue recycled boxes together for the body, refashion old spatula handles for the claw, and throw in some old stuffed animals. 6. Couples Tetris Addicted to Tetris ? To fashion a couples costume, simply paint and glue together eight same-sized cardboard boxes. Then cut holes for faces, arms, and for interlocking the boxes. This costume design requires little time or money to pull off, and your friends will love it. 7. Wall-E This version of the beloved waste-collecting Wall-E robot is crafted entirely out of recycled items. The body, eyes and wheels are made from cut cardboard and the pupils were cut from bottoms of plastic bottles. Everything was assembled with a hot glue gun and spray painted to mimic the adorable bot. 8. Trashcan and Recycling Bin Halloween Costume These brother and sister waste and recycling bin outfits are made partly from actual trash. The bodices are made from recycled boxes and some low-VOC paint, while a disk and cardboard depicts the trashcan lid and an old milk jug becomes a recycling top hat. Add some trash and recyclables, and voila! 9. Lego Mini-Figure Zombie This perfectly undead Lego mini-figure zombie costume is made from recycled foam rubber camping mats. After measuring the dimensions of a toy Lego mini-figure in proportion to your own measurements, simply cut out shapes of the camping mats and hot glue the pieces together. Paint on the oozing Lego head and use an auto window tint for visibility. 10. Spider Attack Here’s an ingenious use for old Halloween decor — the spider attack! This works great for a baby costume, but could also be used with multiple spiders for an adult. Make a “swaddle” out of some stretchy white fabric and top it with oversized spider and webbing decorations. Have your own idea for a fabulous costume made from repurposed junk? Submit it into our Green Halloween Costume Contest !

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10 ingenious Halloween costumes made from recycled junk

LEGO builds change through its youngest stakeholders

July 14, 2016 by  
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LEGO: of the children, by the children, for the children — how is LEGO’s No. 1 stakeholder helping create change?

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LEGO builds change through its youngest stakeholders

7 companies to watch in carbon capture and storage

July 14, 2016 by  
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They aim to clean up dirty fuel sources such as coal-fired power plants, while removing carbon already in the atmosphere. Will it work, and will it scale?

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7 companies to watch in carbon capture and storage

New LEGO headquarters in Denmark modeled after its famous toy bricks

July 6, 2016 by  
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LEGO Group plans to add a new headquarters in Denmark , and the global hub will be designed by architect C.F. Møller , also from Denmark. The building itself will be home to a collaborative work (and play) space, according to the company’s mission, while the exterior grounds will consist of a park open to the public. With influence taken straight from the famous toy bricks, Møller’s design will include a LEGO People House, a colorful atrium, and architectural features built right on top of recognizable LEGO elements. The new office complex will be located in Billund, Denmark and will serve as a hub for the company’s global headquarters. To create the design, the architect will take cues from LEGO employees who contributed their input en masse, and the resulting office space will represent the two major aims of the toymaker: work and play. The LEGO People House is an informal space, where employees and visitors “can be physically active and socialize, both during and outside working hours,” according to Claus Flyger Pejstrup, Senior Vice President at the LEGO Group, and responsible for the LEGO Group Headquarters in Denmark. Related: First bricks laid for BIG’s LEGO house in Denmark The LEGO Group employs more than 17,000 people around the world, of which more than 4,000 LEGO® employees of 35 nationalities work in Denmark, spanning product development, marketing, manufacturing, engineering, quality and various other functions. The new building will be the company’s main hub in Billund, spanning 52,000 square meters, and will incorporate energy efficiency features as well as numerous green spaces. “We want a distinct office building that clearly conveys the LEGO values, and which truly expresses the creative, innovative culture of our company,” said Pejstrup. “I am very excited that we can now present our vision for this new building, both to our employees and to the community.” + C.F. Møller + LEGO Group Images via C.F. Møller

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New LEGO headquarters in Denmark modeled after its famous toy bricks

Vermont’s GMO labeling law is finally official

July 6, 2016 by  
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On July 1, a Vermont law requiring food manufacturers to label genetically modified ingredients on food labels officially took effect . It’s the first law of its kind in the country, and it imposes a $1,000 penalty for each day GMO product isn’t labeled. Supporters of the law are concerned that it may not last long if federal legislation overriding its requirements is passed. The US Senate is currently considering an alternative nationwide labelling law that creates massive loopholes for food manufacturers. Instead of requiring a plain English description on the label, the proposed law would allow companies to hide GMO ingredients on a website that could be accessed through a QR code on the product’s packaging. Only consumers with a smartphone and an internet connection would be able to learn what ingredients were in their food — a huge step down from the level of disclosure required in Vermont. To make matters even worse, a wide variety of common GMO foods, including corn products, beet sugar, and soybean oil, might be exempt from the requirement. Since these are the most common GM crops found in the food supply, this would render the law effectively useless . Companies found to be in violation of the law might not even be fined or penalized in any way. Related: Don’t let Monsanto and Whole Foods kill GMO labeling The Senate is set to vote on the new national GMO labeling law this week. That said, the law would still need to pass in the House before it could go to President Obama to be signed. Considering that Congress will be out of session from July 15 until September, that doesn’t leave much time for the bill to pass. It’s unclear whether it will be addressed this session or later in the year. For the moment, Vermont’s law remains on the books. While some large companies like Campbell Soup have already made the switch in labeling in advance, others, like Coca Cola, claim there may be temporary shortages of some products in Vermont while they print new labels. There is a 30-day grace period for companies to correct any GMO labeling violations, which should also give stores time to move some of the older products off their shelves. Via ABC News Images via  Alexis Baden-Mayer  and  Nicolas Raymond

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Vermont’s GMO labeling law is finally official

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