Alternative Energy

Environment News

The latest environmental news from our global warming and climate news sources.

Jan 16, 2019

Environment & Sustainability

100architects upcycles phone booths into resourceful community hubs

Jan 15, 2019: When was the last time you stepped into a phone booth? If you’re under 30, you might not even be aware that phone booths used to be on nearly every street corner as a means to contact your parents after the football game or call a taxi after dinner. Of course, there are those scenes from the original Superman that might jog your memory. Once cell phones became mainstream, the empty phone booths became easy fodder for graffiti, pollution, and public urinal use. But while the era of the phone booth...

Award-winning innovation center harnesses recycled rainwater and solar energy

Jan 15, 2019: Rio de Janeiro-based architecture firm Atelier77 recently completed CASA FIRJAN, an innovation center that’s been turning heads for its award-winning design and sustainable attributes. Recently crowned the Best New Building in the Annual Award of the Architect’s Institute of Rio de Janeiro, the project is a contemporary counterpart to the Palacete Linneo de Paula Machado, a historic twentieth-century building with French-inspired architecture. CASA FIRJAN has raised the cultural cachet of the...

Metal-clad Eco Cottage puts a modern spin on Irish rural architecture

Jan 15, 2019: Ballymoney-based sustainable architecture firm 2020 Architects has completed a new contemporary and low-energy home that offers a refreshing and sustainable take on the typical rural architecture found across Northern Ireland. Located in the coastal fishing village of Ardglass, the Black Cottage (also known as the Eco Cottage) champions low-cost construction and energy efficiency with its simple material palette and highly insulated timber frame. The project is clad in cost-effective black corrugated...

This luxurious tiny home is powered by Southern Californian sunshine

Jan 15, 2019: Who says a tiny house can’t be luxurious? Certainly not David Latimer and Taylor Mallon of New Frontier, designers of this comfortable and alluring solar-powered tiny home. The contemporary farmhouse style of their Orchid House allows for off-grid living without sacrificing comfort, and its entirely solar-powered. Though it was build it Nashville, the Orchid House currently resides on a undeveloped piece of property in the Southern California. The owner is an LA-based artist who decided a tiny...

Greenhouse gas emissions rose during 2018 after three year decline

Jan 15, 2019: After declining for three years, carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions in the United States rose sharply in 2018. According to data from the Energy Information Administration (EIA), power generation, natural gas, and oil consumption resulted in an emissions increase of 3.4 percent, marking the second largest annual gain since 1996. The only year that emissions increased at a more significant rate was 2010 when emissions went up 3.6 percent after a huge recession-driven decline the year before. Even...

California's "Skip the Slip" bill pushes for digital receipts

Jan 15, 2019: A legislator in the California Assembly has introduced a bill that, if passed, would require retailers to make digital receipts the default instead of paper. California Assemblyman Phil Ting (D - San Francisco) has introduced AB 161 - nicknamed “Skip the Slip.” And, if it becomes law, it would be the first of its kind in the United States. According to the web page for the bill, each year up to 10 million trees in the US are used to make the paper for receipts, and the process also takes...

Iguanas reintroduced to island after 200 years

Jan 15, 2019: In 1835, Charles Darwin was the last person to officially see a land iguana on Santiago Island in the Galapagos. After that encounter, predators like the feral pig wiped the lizard out of that location. Now - nearly two centuries later - an initiative by the Galapagos National Park authority has reintroduced more than 1,400 land iguanas (Conolophus subcristatus) back to Santiago Island. Authorities said in a recent statement that on January 3rd and 4th, the land iguanas were taken from neighboring...

Win a trip for two to Buenos Aires, Argentina!

Jan 14, 2019: Ready to tango in Argentina's capital city? Get ready to embrace local culture, food and wine on the trip of a lifetime to Buenos Aires. Keep reading to find out how to win a trip for two. We've partnered with General Assembly to offer a lucky reader the chance to win a trip for two to Buenos Aires, including a $1,000 airline credit, four nights at a boutique hotel, a tapas tasting street food tour, a traditional dinner and tango show as well as a walking tour of some of the city's stories...

These AI-powered cameras can sense poachers and save wildlife

Jan 14, 2019: Animal poaching is on the rise as people find interest in ivory, fur, skins and more for their financial value. Previous technologies have tried to capture poachers in the act, but often failed because the poachers could ping cell towers and find (and avoid) the tracking technology. Now, Intel is debuting a smart system of cameras that relies on radio frequencies and artificial intelligence to catch the criminals and save the wildlife. We gave this technology a go at CES 2019, and here is how it...

Foie gras ban in California stands after court battle

Jan 14, 2019: The foie gras ban in California continues. After six years of court battles, the United States Supreme Court announced earlier this week that it would not hear a challenge to the state’s 2004 ban on the production and sale of foie gras, and that means that the 2017 ruling to uphold the ban will stand. Foie gras, which means “fatty liver” is butter-rich duck or goose liver that has been especially fattened, and it is a popular delicacy in French cuisine. Traditionally, it is seared and...

These are the most endangered species in the world

Jan 14, 2019: At the end of 2018, scientists announced that three bird species went extinct, and there are even more species that could vanish in 2019. Unlike past mass extinctions - which were the result of things like asteroid strikes and volcanic eruptions - the current crisis is mostly caused by human activities that have led to a loss of habitat. And, the Earth is currently losing animal species at 1,000 to 10,000 times the natural rate, which means we could see 30 to 50 percent of the planet’s species...

A bivouac is lightly perched on a rocky peak of the Italian Alps

Jan 14, 2019: Related: + Roberto Dini + Stefano Girodo Via Archdaily Bivouac Luca Pasqualetti at Morion…

Fiat Chrysler pays millions to settle emissions charges

Jan 14, 2019: Fiat Chrysler has reached a settlement with the Justice Department, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and the owners of about 100,000 of their diesel-powered Jeep SUV’s and Ram pickups. After facing charges that the company had sold diesel vehicles in the United States that had improper software - allowing it to violate emissions rules - Fiat Chrysler has agreed to pay $800 million to settle the matter. The automaker will pay different state and federal agencies approximately $400...

Dangerous jellyfish have invaded Australian beaches

Jan 14, 2019: Bluebottle jellyfish have invaded Australia’s Gold and Sunshine Coasts. This past weekend, the jellyfish (also known as the Portuguese man-of-war) stung more than 5,000 people, and many of the victims weren’t even in the water. Just walking on one bluebottle jellyfish on the beach can bring the pain, and due to strong north-easterly swell conditions, the jellyfish have been pushed to shore. “I have never seen anything like this — ever. Not everyone reacts the same way, but there have...

Californias Monarch butterfly population hits 'potentially catastrophic' low in 2018

Jan 11, 2019: California’s Monarch butterfly population hit a record low in 2018 after dropping a whopping 86 percent from the previous year. According to the Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation, the total population has declined 97 percent since the 1980s, but this latest one year drop is “potentially catastrophic.” In the western part of the United States, monarchs migrate to California for the winter, traveling from Idaho and Utah. In 2017, the traditional California coastal sites like...

Trump threatens to halt federal disaster relief funding for California wildfires

Jan 11, 2019: President Trump has threatened to withhold federal disaster aid from California after a series of deadly wildfires devastated the state. For months, the POTUS has accused California of bringing the wildfires on itself because of poor forest management. But in a recent tweet, he took things further by threatening to halt federal aid, and this drew criticism from lawmakers in his own political party. “Billions of dollars are sent to the State of California for Forest fires that, with proper Forest...

11 ways to be more self-sufficient in the new year

Jan 11, 2019: Self-sufficient living is all about providing for your own needs - and the needs of your household - without resources or help from the outside. To become more self-sufficient, you need knowledge and skills, plus motivation and a spirit of independence. The reasons for living a self-sufficient lifestyle can be political, social, or personal. But, whatever the motivation, learning how to become self-sufficient can offer a feeling of security, even in the event of a disaster. There isn’t a...

MVRDV proposes a glowing Times Square Taiwan with interactive media facades

Jan 11, 2019: Prolific Dutch architecture firm MVRDV has unveiled a bold proposal to transform Taipei’s Main Station into a “Times Square for Taiwan.” Designed as part of a consortium led by Nan Hai Development, the Taipei Twin Towers aim to reactivate the area with two high-rises clad in interactive media facades. The mixed-use project would offer new retail, office space, two cinemas, and two hotels, in addition to the unification and redevelopment of the existing plazas. Located on the east...

Net-zero home is designed to blend in with its natural, protected landscape

Jan 11, 2019: Related: + Project Architecture Via Archdaily Project Architecture, Tung House…

An adaptable timber house celebrates recycling in Ecuador

Jan 11, 2019: Ecuadorian architecture firm Natura Futura Arquitectura has teamed up with Frontera Sur Arquitectura to develop an inspiring example of social architecture in the town of Huaquillas, Ecuador. Dubbed La Comuna, the project is a double-story timber structure that not only provides a local family a place to live, but also a safer work environment for them to continue their recycling business. The building was constructed with six easily replicable modules that take inspiration from the local vernacular...

7 of the biggest eco-friendly and green living myths

Jan 11, 2019: When you decide to go green and adopt a sustainable lifestyle, you might think that some of the biggest steps you can take in the right direction are doing things like buying a hybrid car, dropping meat from your diet, or using eco-friendly products. But, over the years, we have been inundated with eco-friendly messages that are easily taken for granted, and some of them are filled with misinformation. So, to help you go green the right way, here is a list of seven of the biggest green myths that...

Recyclable art pavilion made of mesh pops up in Kolkata

Jan 10, 2019: West Bengal’s biggest annual festival recently saw the addition of an strikingly contemporary pavilion that’s 100 percent recyclable in Kolkata, India. Designed by Abin Chaudhuri of the firm Abin Design Studio, the metal mesh pavilion was one of many temporary pavilions—or pandals—constructed to honor the goddess Durga as part of a five-day Hindu festival called Durga Puja. Unlike the other pandals, which are typically built of natural materials and reference traditional motifs and artworks,...

This aerodynamic tiny home embraces flexible indoor-outdoor living

Jan 10, 2019: As anyone in the tiny home community knows, space comes at a premium. Most tiny home inhabitants look for ways to incorporate nature and the outside world into their living space. French tiny home builder Ty Rodou has made this goal easier with the release of the Ty Bombadil tiny home. This tiny home offers a breezy outdoor feel along with a very desirable feature -- an additional deck to provide outdoor living space. <!--more→ Of course, there is no reason to escape the indoor space,...

Endangered bluefin tuna sold for $3.1 billion to sushi tycoon

Jan 10, 2019: A recent predawn auction at Tokyo’s new fish market brought a record-breaking bid for the endangered bluefin tuna. Sushi tycoon Kiyoshi Kimura, who owns the Sushi Zanmai chain, paid $3.1 million for the enormous fish, more than double the price from five years ago. Kimura’s Kiyomura Corp has won the annual action in the past, but the high price of the tuna this year definitely surprised the sushi king. But, he says “the quality of the tuna I bought is the best.” The 612-pound (278 kg)...

Precycle, a zero-waste grocery store, opens in Brooklyn

Jan 10, 2019: For many of us, a trip to the grocery store results in a ton of waste, thanks to the mountain of plastic bags and food packaging. But some stores are trying to change that by going zero-waste and selling in bulk. Precycle is a zero-waste grocery store in Brooklyn that has opened for business, and they are avoiding all plastic by having their customers buy food from bulk containers. Katerina Bogatireva, the owner of Precycle, is from Latvia, and she says that in her home country food waste is not...

Millions of Christmas candles are heading to the landfill this month

Jan 10, 2019: The holiday season has come and gone, but part of our Christmas decorations will be here forever - or at least 1,000 years. Millions of candles are heading to the landfill this January, and when it comes to holiday waste, candles are some of the worst offenders says a new report from business waste management service BusinessWaste.co.uk. The popularity of candles is soaring. Not only were they on-trend for Christmas gifts, but the Scandinavian trend of “hygge” is also playing a big part in...

Historic apartment is rehabbed into a bright and modern home in Barcelona

Jan 10, 2019: In Barcelona, Spain, a historic apartment in a block of flats dating back to 1900 has been transformed into a minimalist and modern home. Local design studio Alventosa Morell Arquitectes directed the renovation for clients who wanted a completely renewed space with greater access to daylight. Completed in 2017, the project, called the TS01 Interior Refurbishment, not only offers improved access to natural light and ventilation, but also uncovers original architectural details. Located in...

This AI food truck could bring fresh produce directly to you

Jan 10, 2019: It’s no secret that artificial intelligence is trending worldwide, which is why it is also a prominent component of CES 2019. But as interest in futuristic tech grows, so does consumer interest in fresh, local food. The farm-to-table concept continues to gain popularity, which is why Panasonic has proposed an innovative mash-up of these two seemingly polar opposites — an AI mobile delivery service that operates like an ice cream truck to bring local fruits, vegetables and other grocery items...

An old post office is reborn as a bright and breezy beach house

Jan 9, 2019: A former post office has been revived as a bright and breezy beach house in Breamlea, Australia. Designed by St. Kilda-based design firm OOF! Architecture, the modern makeover—dubbed the Green Shutter House—was created for clients who had already adapted the post office into a home but were frustrated with the building’s lack of connection with the outdoors. The renovation process opened the front of the house up to waterfront views while introducing more natural light and ventilation to the...

Faux fur or real fur, which one is better for the planet?

Jan 9, 2019: Remember the days when anti-fur advocates would sling red paint onto the fur-clad fashion elite? The fur debate has come a long way since then, with many key players in the fashion world now becoming some of the biggest voices in the anti-fur movement. But, instead of ditching fur altogether, some brands have switched to lavish faux fur options, and that has pivoted the discussion. Instead of focusing on ethics and animal welfare, the issue is now environmental sustainability. Over the past couple...

Snhetta designs healing forest cabins for patients at Norways largest hospitals

Jan 9, 2019: Patients at two of Norway’s largest hospitals can now find respite in Snøhetta’s newly unveiled Outdoor Care Retreats. Designed for the Friluftssykehuset Foundation, the forest retreats offer a calm getaway where patients and their loved ones can benefit from the therapeutic qualities of nature. One of the retreats is located about a hundred meters from the entrance of Norway’s largest hospital, Oslo University Hospital, Rikshospitalet, while its sister building is set near a woodland pond...

Potato peels offer a sustainable alternative to traditional building materials

Jan 9, 2019: Many of the typical building materials used in construction - like medium-density fiberboard (MDF) - contain toxic materials and formaldehyde, plus they have a shockingly short lifespan and a negative environmental impact. But now there is a new option to these single-use materials - potato waste. London-based designers Rowan Minkley and Robert Nicoll and research scientist Greg Cooper have developed Chip[s] Board, which is a biodegradable alternative to MDF that is made from non-food-grade industrial...

Californias largest utility company plans massive sale of natural gas division

Jan 9, 2019: Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E), California’s largest utility, is exploring the possibility of selling off a major part of the company, according to a new report. Thanks to the massive liability costs that they could be facing for their possible culpability in recent deadly wildfires, PG&E has a strategic plan called “Project Falcon” to cover costs and avoid bankruptcy. This plan would involve the company selling its natural gas division and then using the proceeds to pay the potential...

Solar-powered glass cafe overlooks a green lung in Jerusalem

Jan 9, 2019: Sacher Park, the largest public park in the center of Jerusalem, Israel, has recently gained a new cafe that embraces its green surroundings with walls of glass and an environmentally sensitive design. Israeli design studio Yaniv Pardo Architects created the Sacher Park Cafe, a coffee shop that’s powered entirely with solar energy. Completed in September 2018, the coffee shop is the first phase of larger scheme to revitalize Sacher Park. Spanning an area of 250 square meters, the Sacher...

We tried the new Impossible Burger at CES heres what we thought

Jan 8, 2019: The Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2019 is in full swing in Las Vegas. While smart home technology, televisions and wearable tech takes center stage, many surprising innovations are grabbing media attention. Take, for instance, the latest iteration of an Inhabitat favorite — the Impossible Burger. We tried the newest recipe from Impossible at this year’s CES; keep reading for our thoughts. Delicious in tacos or served as a classic burger, the Impossible Burger has become a favorite...

Heritage Melbourne home is reborn as a modern dwelling filled with light and views

Jan 8, 2019: Fitzroy-based design studio Field Office Architecture has given a small 19th-century Victorian terrace a contemporary facelift with walls of double-glazed glass and crisp, clean lines throughout. Dubbed the Clifton Hill House after the suburb in which it resides, the compact home sits at the end of a row of similar heritage houses and had been given many ad-hoc renovations over the years. The architects stripped back all of the additions to bring in light and views, while improving the home’s energy...

Tuck into these off-grid meditation cabins proposed for rural Latvia

Jan 8, 2019: Bee Breeders and Lauku Tea have recently announced winners of their Silent Meditation Forest Cabins competition, an open international contest seeking designs for off-the-grid meditation cabins in rural Latvia. Launched in search of eco-friendly and cost-effective proposals for compact and easily replicable cabins, the competition asked designers to propose a series of all-season cabins that could comfortably house a single person for nearly a week, have enough room for meditation activities and...

Triple-skin facade brings daylight, fresh air and beauty to a tropical home

Jan 8, 2019: Hanoi-based design studio Nghia Architect has completed Maison A, a beautiful home that brings to life the cherished childhood memories of the client. Located in Nam Định, a coastal village southeast of Vietnam’s capital of Hanoi, the house was created for the client’s aging mother and is large enough to accommodate her children and grandchildren who visit during the holidays. Inspired by the traditional countryside vernacular, Maison A is built for comfortable modern living and features a...

Zero-waste packaging is coming to a freezer aisle near you

Jan 8, 2019: This past year frozen food made a comeback thanks to healthier and tastier options hitting your grocer’s freezer, and the debunking of the myth that fresh is always healthier than frozen. For the first time in five years the frozen food market has grown, and consumers are starting to see frozen products as a healthy option for easy meal prep. In recent years, frozen food companies have shortened their ingredients list by removing artificial ingredients from frozen dinners and meal kits, and...

Get cozy this season with these 7 hot vegan drinks for winter

Jan 8, 2019: Thoughts of crisp fall nights and snowy winter days bring to mind snuggling by the fire, slippers, sweaters, blankets and warm drinks. It makes sense since they are the perfect combination of coziness. While traditional tea or coffee is a lovely choice, it’s fun to explore new flavors. For those that are vegan by choice or by circumstance, traditional drinks can be limiting so we’ve conjured up a varied blend of hot drink options to fit your vegan lifestyle. Note that most of these options can...

Farmhouse-inspired family home combines salvaged and sustainable materials

Jan 7, 2019: Salvaged materials from a century-old farmhouse and barn have been given new life as Ben’s Barn, a spacious family home in Kennebunk, Maine that takes inspiration from New England’s rural architecture. Designed by Portland, Maine-based architecture practice Caleb Johnson Studio for a young family, Ben’s Barn was constructed with a mix of reclaimed materials sourced not only from the former farmhouse and barn that had stood on another portion of the site, but also from a mid-century modern teardown...

Veganism on the rise, record number of sign-ups for Veganuary

Jan 7, 2019: Could 2019 be the year of the vegan? This past week, people all over the world promised to make lifestyle changes with various new year’s resolutions. And, this January, more people than ever have pledged to go meat-free - for at least a month. A movement known as Veganuary started five years ago, and each year the number of participants committing to a plant-based diet during the first month of the year has more than doubled. This year, more than 250,000 people in 193 countries have signed...

17 easy ways to upcycle worn out sweaters

Jan 7, 2019: Wardrobe upcycling is nothing new. After all, when you think about it, clothing is made from cloth. Lots of other things are made from cloth. So when your clothes have served their functional purpose as attire, why not use that material for other things? Sweaters are a great example of apparel that can be given new life in a variety of ways. From leg warmers to satchels, the pieces and parts of your old sweater will serve a new purpose. If you’re onboard with refusing to trash that old sweater...

Historic hotels in Spain switch to renewable energy in the new year

Jan 7, 2019: A state-owned chain of historic hotels in Spain is going green in 2019 and setting an example for the rest of the country. The Paradores hotel brand - which are grand hotels housed in ancient castles and monasteries - has announced that starting this year all 97 of their properties will use electricity from renewable resources. “Paradores is a company that supports sustainable tourism in every sense of the word,” said company chair, Óscar López Águeda. “What’s more, as a public company,...

9 sustainable living tips to take from our grandparents

Jan 7, 2019: Our grandparents and great-grandparents lived in a simpler time, and we aren’t just talking about technology. During the Great Depression, many rural areas didn’t have running water and electricity, and things like proper refrigeration, freezers, or air conditioning were a luxury. What’s more, big-box chains and massive supermarkets didn’t exist, and you didn’t have the option of throwing a pre-packaged meal into a microwave or hitting a drive-thru for lunch. Many modern conveniences...

Sean Parker's wedding violations result in new app for California coastline

Jan 4, 2019: What started out as a high-profile beachside wedding turned into a useful and long-term solution to beach access issues along the California coastline. When Napster founder and original president of Facebook, Sean Parker, started planning his 2013 beachfront wedding to then fiance Alexandra Lenas, he had no idea that he was breaking usage rules. With a redwood grove in mind, he simply leased the space from the hotel that fringed the area. He then spent months having the perfect set built. It included...

New York City bans polystyrene foam starting January 1

Jan 4, 2019: New York City has officially become the largest jurisdiction in the United States to ban polystyrene foam food and beverage containers. On January 1st, the city’s new policy went into effect after a five-year lobbying and litigation effort from the plastics industry to upend the city’s environmental initiative. Back in 2013, the City Council authorized the statute that states NYC restaurants, food vendors, and stores can’t possess, sell, or offer polystyrene foam containers for food and...

MVRDV to transform an Amsterdam office complex into a green residential zone

Jan 4, 2019: In response to Amsterdam’s increasing housing demands, prolific Dutch architecture firm MVRDV has designed Westerpark West, a sustainable proposal to transform the former ING office complex into a new residential zone flush with green space. Located in the Amsterdam Brettenzone, directly west of the city’s popular Westerpark, MVRDV’s master plan envisions a neighborhood of approximately 750 homes that will range in size, building typology, and price. Westerpark West will also follow an “innovative...