The Surprising Green Lining at 2017 NAIAS

January 10, 2017 by  
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For an EcoGeek, there were many surprises at the 2017 edition of the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS). We’ve been watching the emphasis on green cars decline for a number of years. Some of that is in the mainstreaming of more efficient vehicles, with increased fuel efficiency standards, greater numbers of hybrid vehicles, and alternative fuels. But nothing brought home how far things have come quite so much as this year’s show. Last year, we thought , “the days of green cars being featured at the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) seem to be over.” Where the “green” cars were once a niche item that were typically highlighted with special displays. This year, green is so mainstream that the 2017 Green Car of the Year is also the North American Car of the Year for 2017. Those awards, along with Motor Trend Car of the Year, all went to the Chevrolet Bolt. And there are many companies with multiple electric drive vehicles. Toyota, Ford, GM, and BMW each have a variety of options available. Some are all electric drive. Some are gas/electric hybrids. Some are smaller, shorter range commuter cars, while others are readily capable of long range trips. It is no longer the case that, if you want an electric drive vehicle, your selection is limited to the one model that a company offers. There are choices, and not just between this manufacturer or that one, but a variety within a company. Even Fiat Chrysler, which has in past years seemingly paid no attention whatsoever to eco-mindedness, has a hybrid Pacifica minivan, which offers an 83 MPGe rating. At this point, it seems that the automotive manufacturers don’t feel a strong need to keep pushing the market to accept electric vehicles or to get them to understand the benefits. That has been established with consumers, and it is now a matter of finding the right vehicles to meet the demand that they have fostered. What is exciting for us as EcoGeeks is that the pursuit of transformative technology continues. The lower level of the show has been an unpredictable sideline to the main floor show. In some years it has been almost like a ghost town. In others, it has offered a driving track with sometimes many different vehicles available to test drive. This year, the lower level was packed with dozens of different booths ranging from second-tier manufacturers (who make components and systems for the automakers), autonomous vehicle technologies, two different folding electric scooters, university racing and design programs, and a row full of developers of automotive- and transportation-related apps and services. As has been the case in previous years, hydrogen-fueled vehicles caught our eye as the next wave to watch in the transformation of the market. The joke about hydrogen fueled vehicles has long been that “Hydrogen powered vehicles are always 20 years in the future.” But now, after several years, that 20 years is starting to feel like it might be inching a bit closer. Where electric vehicles were a decade ago, hydrogen vehicles are today. They are something that some companies are dedicating some of their floor space to displaying. Toyota and Honda both have available hydrogen vehicles on display, and are selling hydrogen vehicles to consumers. In addition, GM, in conjunction with the US Army, has a fuel cell powered Colorado variant on display on the lower level as an investigational next-generation HMMV replacement which is slated for field trials later this year. Completely unrelated to attending the auto show, but perhaps a telling sign, while driving home on the highway on Sunday night, I passed a tanker truck carrying a load of liquid hydrogen. Perhaps it’s the shape of things to come.

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The Surprising Green Lining at 2017 NAIAS

This zany two-person tent looks like a Star Trek shuttlecraft

May 31, 2016 by  
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Thanks to the latest creation by geek gear designer Dave Delisle , Trekkies can now set up camp and star gaze in true Star Trek style. The Star Trek Shuttlecraft Tent is a two-person tent shaped just like the actual shuttlecraft in the show. Oh, and the carrying case? When not in use, it splits apart to become the craft’s thrusters. Collaborating with The North Face, the design team created the shuttlecraft tent to be a compact replica of the Federation shuttle from the iconic series, although, unfortunately, it isn’t able to travel through the galaxy just yet. True trekkies will recognize the small, but authentic touches such as the entrance at the back, just like the true shuttlecraft. Related: Handmade Star Trek Coffee Table Looks Just Like the USS Enterprise The tent is a perfect gift for the trekkie in your life. And for all of you who are thinking that most Star Trek fans don’t, well, trek, Delisle would like to remind you that Star Trek V began with Kirk, Spock, and McCoy camping in the great outdoors . + Dave Delisle Via My Modern Met  

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This zany two-person tent looks like a Star Trek shuttlecraft

Green Grocery: How To Shop To Support The Environment

May 12, 2016 by  
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When my husband and I started working at an independently owned natural foods store in 2012, we never imagined that we would soon be running the show. Last year the owner decided to sell the store and chose Ryan (my husband) to take over her role,…

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Green Grocery: How To Shop To Support The Environment

Heard at VERGE: Highlights from the stage

October 28, 2015 by  
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Missing the show? No fear. Here’s a recap of quotes and tweets from San Jose.

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Heard at VERGE: Highlights from the stage

Runway Redux: Zero Waste Fashion Recycles Plastics

October 2, 2015 by  
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Plastic has never looked so good! Kicking off the plastics industry’s huge trade show, the NPE 2015, from March 23-27 in Orlando, Florida, was the Pursuing Zero Waste Fashion Show. But these were no ordinary runway styles — all the fashions the…

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Runway Redux: Zero Waste Fashion Recycles Plastics

20 awesome green designs spotted at BKLYN Designs 2015

May 6, 2015 by  
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HELLO BROOKLYN! Inhabitat is reporting live today from BKLYN Designs, one of our favorite New York Design Week events. The “locally grown, internationally known” showcase of Brooklyn-made and designed furniture kicked off this morning in a massive new location with lots to see and do from design eye candy and seminars and workshops, to food trucks and a fun playground for the little ones. The Inhabitat team has been criss-crossing the floor of the Brooklyn Expo Center handpicking the coolest green offerings at the show. Step inside our gallery to see what we’ve found so far, and don’t forget to put your design detective skills to the test by joining our Inhabifinds Scavenger Hunt for a chance to win some cool prizes like a $100 gift pack from By Brooklyn and a vase based on your own face from Fahz! Read the rest of 20 awesome green designs spotted at BKLYN Designs 2015 Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: BKLYN Designs , bklyn designs 2015 , brooklyn design , Brooklyn designers , brooklyn goods , eco design , furniture made in brooklyn , goods made in brooklyn , green design , green home furnishings , made in brooklyn , nyc design , sustainable design

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20 awesome green designs spotted at BKLYN Designs 2015

The Hottest Green Designs from Wanted Design 2014!

May 16, 2014 by  
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While ICFF has long been considered the centerpiece of New York Design Week , another show called Wanted Design has been making a name for itself as a must-see collection of emerging designers you may not have heard of before. The Inhabitat team is at Wanted today scouring the floor for the most groundbreaking green designs. Keep refreshing below as we add our favorites! Read the rest of The Hottest Green Designs from Wanted Design 2014! Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: “green furniture” , eco products , energy efficient lights , green design , green interiors , new york design week , new york design week 2014 , nycxdesign , nycxdesign 2014 , nydw , sustainable design , wanted design , Wanted Design 2014 , wanted designs , wanteddesign

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The Hottest Green Designs from Wanted Design 2014!

Incredible World of Origami Masterpieces Coming to NYC This Summer

May 12, 2014 by  
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If you’re fascinated by origami, you won’t want to miss “Surface to Structure: Folded Forms” , a new show coming to NYC’s Cooper Union in June. The exhibition will showcase the works of some of the world’s foremost origami masters as well as other emerging paper artists. Check out our gallery for a sneak peek at some of the incredibly intricate pieces that will be on display at the show. READ MORE > Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: Art , art nyc , cooper union , folding paper , Japanese technique , origami , origami animals , origami art , origami at cooper union , Paper Craft , Surface to Structure: Folded Forms

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Incredible World of Origami Masterpieces Coming to NYC This Summer

Would You Strut The Beach Wearing Nothing But Sand?

April 12, 2014 by  
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We’re all for living ‘au naturale’ but sometimes clothing made from natural materials can get a little weird. Like the show-stopping sand bathing suit that recently appeared on the runway during Bondi Bather’s presentation at an Australian fashion show. Yes you read that right: a bathing suit–and a tiny one at that– made from nothing but sand painted on model Imogen Anthony’s body in the shape of a halter top and string bikini bottom. Keep reading to see what the 23 year-old thought about performing with no clothes on. READ MORE> Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: Becca Gilmartin , bikini made of sand , Bondi Bather fashion week , Imogen Anthony , sand bikini , Sandkini

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Would You Strut The Beach Wearing Nothing But Sand?

Auto Show – Less Green in 2014

January 15, 2014 by  
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As we’ve done for the past several years, EcoGeek went to this year’s North American International Auto Show (the Detroit Auto Show) to see what is new in clean and green transportation. However, this year’s displays continue to move away from a focus on environmental awareness as a major selling point. This has seemed to be the trend over the past few years . In retrospect, it seems that the peak of the green focus was probably the 2009 Detroit Show . Green isn’t gone entirely. MPG is still a factor that is touted at some brands, but it seems to matter no more than other numbers like horsepower or cargo volume that manufacturers use to compete with one another. Electric drive continues to work its way into more and more cars (with mild hybridization becoming more common). But cars are not green-focused the way they were a few years ago. The fact that Ford has five different hybrid and electric drive vehicles would have been a big story just a couple years ago, but now it is just part of a major automaker having a complete line. Where once they seemed like an outsider, Tesla seems to have developed into a mainstream member of the club. For this year’s display, Tesla had two of their Model S coupes and display panels about interior finish choices; the Roadster was not in sight. The only non-traditional manufacturer on the display floor this year was VIA trucks, which had vehicles in three different places. Michelin (who has always been a major sponsor of the Detroit Show) and a couple other parts suppliers also had space on the main floor, but not to the extent as during the depths of the economic decline. The common theme across much of the show this year was the engine-on-a-stick. It’s not that it hasn’t been done before, but it seemed to be much more prevalent. Lots of “here’s what the engine looks like,” and usually nothing, or very little, in the way of explanatory text to accompany it. Overall, the show did seem to be moving back toward a more car-centric focus on the basic stuff that the core car-people really love. With that in mind, it’s not at all surprising that the Chevrolet Corvette Stingray was named Car of the Year. The driving course on the lower level is gone this year, as well. When it was introduced a few years ago, there were literally dozens of different vehicles, primarily electrics and hybrids, that could be driven, to introduce the public to the experience of driving a vehicle with something other than a gasoline engine. Over the past few years, this became less and less of a feature, and is now completely omitted from the show. Although green cars have largely become a sideline, rather than the focus of the Auto Show, the fact that they have become a part of most manufacturers’ lines should be taken as a sign of progress. There certainly were some interesting new vehicles at this year’s show, and we will take a more detailed look at some of these.

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Auto Show – Less Green in 2014

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