Solar Relief is providing emergency housing and solar power to communities in need

June 22, 2016 by  
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Solar Relief has developed a Portable Power Supply product that can operate a range of electrical appliances using clean energy. Inventor Trent Small lived through Cyclone Yasi and felt the effects of not having access to mains power for a number of days, so he decided to create a system that could provide reliable, clean energy in case of emergency . Solar Relief also provides Safe Houses, powered by the Portable Supply unit, to give people an eco-friendly, safe, strong space that can be deployed anywhere globally. A portable, non reflective, flexible solar panel is sold as an accessory to the housing units and Portable Supply Unit and could be used by campers and people living off the grid, in addition to those needing emergency relief. Solar Relief has recently been to Fiji after Cyclone Winston devastated the country and through the help of organizations such as Rotary and QLD Master Builders Foundation , they have been able to provide PPS units to schools and villages which would not have access to power for in the foreseeable future. https://youtu.be/F0vXD_yYqEs + Solar Relief

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Solar Relief is providing emergency housing and solar power to communities in need

Super 73 is the perfect bike-motorcycle hybrid for your urban commute

June 20, 2016 by  
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Super 73 is a clever ebike that fills the gap between the bike and the motorcycle. The best selling motor vehicle ever is the is a 49cc motorcycle, called the Honda Super Cub. It has out sold any car, and is used as the primary form of transportation to this day in many developing countries throughout the world. Super 73 fits in that same niche, but with a bunch of super handy details that make it the perfect way to get around your own town . The bike has 1000 watts of power packed into a stylish Californian design that includes a cup holder, bottle opener, USB charging port, removable lithium battery and illuminated rear and headlights. It can go over 25 mph, has powerful disc brakes, wide tires to let it tackle any terrain and can charge fully in just 4 hours. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dzEKG9SK9ys + Super 73 on Kickstarter

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Super 73 is the perfect bike-motorcycle hybrid for your urban commute

3 simple life hacks to keep cool and save energy this summer

June 16, 2016 by  
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The weather for summer 2016 is forecast to be 3 percent higher than the last decade’s average. As temperatures start to soar, so do energy bills. Cranking up the air conditioner or blasting fans all hours of the day may help cool things down, but it isn’t very good for the environment, or your wallet. Air conditioner use results in the release of an estimated 100 million tons of carbon dioxide a year, according to Energy Saver. We’ve got 3 super simple tips to help you reduce your energy consumption that won’t make you completely change the way you live. When it comes to staying cool this summer, a few small changes can make a big difference in energy conservation .   Summer and ice cream go hand-in-hand. The average U.S. consumer eats nearly 22 pounds of ice cream every year with the demand for it rising with the temperature. It’s nice to think there’s no such thing as having too much and it turns out energy conservation analysts agree. The more that’s packed in the freezer, the better it is for energy costs. There’s now a good excuse to stock up on sweet treats or take time to meal plan for the week ahead. All for the sake of saving energy. Nothing feels better after a long run or a sweat-worthy workout than a cold shower to revitalize the body and feel refreshed. A cold shower is good for the skin, circulatory system, and overall wellness. Bonus: it helps cut energy costs. By giving the water heater a bit of break on hot, summer days and keeping shower time short, both a person’s body and energy budget can reap the benefits. Contrary to popular belief, laundry temperatures don’t have to be on the hottest setting to get clothes clean. Water heating makes up 18 percent of a home’s energy use, which translates to higher expenses month-over-month. Cold water is gentler on fabrics and works just as well to get stains out. Turn the dial to the cold setting to see savings on the energy bill. Simple life hacks are the perfect solution for people who want to reduce their energy spend without fully compromising their lifestyles. It’s best to identify a few areas which may be easier to cut back first before charging full-fledged into an energy-saving overhaul. It doesn’t take too much effort to practice conservation and reduce costs. Summer is a great time to implement changes that will have a positive impact on the months ahead. Saving energy in small ways adds up to permanently changing energy conservation for the better. Lead image via Shutterstock

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3 simple life hacks to keep cool and save energy this summer

Plantereo is a self-watering planter that can be converted into a terrarium

June 16, 2016 by  
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When Pratt student Richenna King moved from the sunny Philippines to an apartment in Brooklyn to study Industrial Design, she longed for the expansive garden space she had back home. It is a common challenge among city-dwelling gardening enthusiasts to grow their plants in confined living spaces. With the help of her creative partner, Vic Sison, they developed Plantereo , an intelligently designed and easy-to-use self-watering planter made of satin glazed ceramic and glass. By stacking the ceramic pot on top of the glass holder and filling it with water, your plant will sustain itself for up to five days without watering. Invert the glass holder onto the ceramic pot, and Plantereo instantly transforms into a warm and humid terrarium — great for sprouting seeds and growing plants like Venus Flytraps and miniature ferns. Plantereo’s crowdfunding campaign is currently live on Kickstarter . + Plantereo

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Plantereo is a self-watering planter that can be converted into a terrarium

Giant green pyramid rises in Paris – the AccorHotels Arena

June 16, 2016 by  
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The renovated arena has the capacity of 20,300 seats for large events, as well as smaller, more intimate performances for around 7,000 spectators. It will boast new amenities such as a large esplanade with a terrace , a large lobby, along with several additional spaces for dining and entertainment. Related: Populous Unveils Futuristic Honeycomb-Shaped Leeds Arena The new Arena AccorHotels confirmed its place in the top 5 global venues, rivaling some of the world’s largest indoor facilities, such as Madison Square Garden in New York, the Staples Center in Los Angeles, the O2 Arena in London and the Mercedes-Benz Arena in Berlin. + DVVD + Populous Via v2com Photos by Sergio Grazia

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Giant green pyramid rises in Paris – the AccorHotels Arena

Stunning bamboo speakers marry Vietnamese tradition and modern technology

June 16, 2016 by  
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The centuries-old tradition of coiling and carving bamboo is unique to Vietnam . Craftsmen shape the material by hand to form shells. Multiple layers of varnish are then applied to create a natural finish. The resulting design merges traditional manufacturing techniques with modern technology-the spherical shell lets sound resonate acoustically, a Bluetooth connection offers flexibility, while the integrated potentiometer allows precise volume control. Related: Beautiful Speakers Made from Sustainable Bamboo and Leather The speakers are made by Bruno Chandon, an engineer who loves innovation and sustainability. He received a chance to combine these two interests when he met Chung, a rural craftsman skilled in working with bamboo. With the help of French product designer Marie Hautecoeur, he designed this remarkable speaker, which he then equipped with the best possible drivers, amps, and other components. + Hazang Bamboo Bluetooth Speakers + Hazang Kickstarter

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Stunning bamboo speakers marry Vietnamese tradition and modern technology

Proximity Button is an affordable way to protect people living with dementia

June 3, 2016 by  
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After having watched her own mother care for people with dementia for over 15 years, Natalie Price wanted to create a device that would keep people living with dementia safer. To that end, she is launching an Indiegogo campaign to manufacture the Proximity Button. The device is the first of its kind in the dementia market, and uses innovative technology to provide carers with an affordable solution to protect people living with dementia from wandering. The smart Button sensor, worn by a person with dementia, connects to a carer’s iPhone or Android device and alerts them when the wearer wanders too far. The Proximity Button is not a tracking device, and therefore does not rely on expensive technology. James Ashwell, Founder of Unforgettable.org, said, “There are a few tracking products available in the market, but they use expensive technology. I’m excited about Proximity because it’s unlike other products out there; it’s a simple solution to help keep people safer at a much more affordable price point.” + Proximity Button

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Proximity Button is an affordable way to protect people living with dementia

Smart birdhouses called TreeWiFi give free WiFi when the air quality improves

May 31, 2016 by  
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An Amsterdam based start-up called TreeWiFi builds birdhouses that measure air pollution and that make the levels of pollution visible through an LED status light. Air quality data is sent to a server where it is analyzed and made public for everyone to see. When the server detects an improvement in air quality, it allows the birdhouse to share it’s internet connection with everyone in the street. Users that connect to the network get tips & tricks on how to improve air quality locally before going online. Because the units are extremely cheap compared to regular government owned air quality measuring stations, TreeWiFi can be deployed by the hundreds or thousands, generating valuable data about an urban environment. The project started with a grant from the Awesome Foundation Amsterdam in March 2016, since then the team has grown from founder and designer Joris Lam to five in total. TreeWiFi is now looking to raise €6.500  to further support the development of the prototype and to be able to build five units that they can place in the city of Amsterdam for testing. So far the reactions have been positive from both citizens and press, due to the project’s fun and relatable approach to a subject otherwise hard to bring attention to. In the near future, founder Joris Lam hopes to install at least 500 units in the city of Amsterdam, or other European cities who want to tackle air pollution by gaining insight and raising awareness. + Support TreeWifi

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Smart birdhouses called TreeWiFi give free WiFi when the air quality improves

Multi-use Box Hyperactive sofa can be transformed to suit any space

May 26, 2016 by  
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The Hannabi Urban Nomad Box Hyperactive sofa system is a transforming sofa designed with first-time home buyers, those who move often or those who live in small spaces in mind. Urban Nomad allows for easy variability particularly if living space is at a premium. The four basic elements can be used for sleeping, lounging, having meals on and more – all with the size of a little couch. The mobile back-rest provides stable support while the two sides allow for multiple positions. The Urban Nomad is not just flexible, it is also very high quality, made with traditional hardwood frames, high quality raw materials and durable textiles therefore, the sofa system is perfectly suitable for the smallest members of the family and for the four-legged-friends. + Hannabi

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Multi-use Box Hyperactive sofa can be transformed to suit any space

Paris encourages residents to play active environmental role with 1000 Buildings Plan

May 20, 2016 by  
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In 2007, the city of Paris stood on the frontline in the fight against climate change as it introduced its Climate and Energy Action Plan. The aim was to achieve by 2020, a 25% reduction in greenhouse emissions and energy consumption throughout the territory compared to 2004. With housing currently accounting for a third of the energy consumption in Paris, this task represents a serious challenge for the city. In order to rise up to it, the council has launched the “Let’s eco-renovate Paris: 1000 Buildings Plan”, a project that mobilizes residents to get involved. To meet it’s environmental goals, major projects were implemented in Paris, including the production of renewable energy, the increase of urban green spaces , the development of active forms of mobility and the thermal rehabilitation of homes. “Paris moves and adapts to climatic, environmental and social challenges. In the continuation of its Climate and Energy Action Plan, the City of Paris has launched an exceptional program for a period of 5 years to support the energetic and environmental renovation of Parisian apartment buildings.” says Anne Hidalgo, Mayor of Paris. As the name suggests, this initiative will support 1000 Parisian privately-owned buildings. Residents can participate from May to October 2016. All co-owners who wish to implement a comprehensive renovation plan for their building are eligible. Related: Paris redesigns its famous squares to make them pedestrian and bike friendly The selected projects will receive free administrative, technical and financial support towards energy-saving, pro-environmental building renovations. With the personalized counseling of a specialized eco-renovation advisor, co-owners will be able to study, define and implement their project as effectively as possible. The areas of intervention are flexible. Renovation works may include, for instance, the revegetation of urban roofs, the installation of efficient heating systems or double-glazed windows, or the thermal insulation of facades, walls, attics, roofs. Not only do these refurbishments enable residents to reduce their energy consumption and consequently save money on their energy bills, it also represents a wonderful opportunity for them to improve their living environment and comfort levels. In a wider context, the project also contributes to the establishment of a healthier city for all. The plan has already proven to be successful as a co-owner of 19th arrondissement of Paris explains, “Our building of 81 apartments was built in 1959. It was not insulated and energy bills were becoming too high for all its occupants. After achieving our energy audit, we received personalized support from an eco-renovation consultant mandated by the City of Paris. It allowed us to define a renovation program for our building and the revegetation of our courtyard while benefiting from a 37% financial aid. With these renovations, we reduced our energy consumption by 44% and most of all, we are enjoying much more comfortable apartments!” With its 1000 Buildings Plan, Paris moves one step ahead towards restoring the broken link between the capital and nature. While providing Parisians with a better living environment, it also lays new foundations for urban progress that are sure to be applied, in the near future, throughout the entire metropolitan area. Article by Machinery Zone

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