Earth Sheltered Homes
The earth sheltered house uses the ground as insulating blanket which effectively protects it from temperature extremes, wind, rain and extreme weather events. An earth sheltered home is energy-efficient, quiet, freeze-proof and low maintenance. Aesthetically an earth sheltered home blends in with the natural environment, leaving more yard space and more space for wildlife.
Fifteen feet below ground the soil maintains a fairly constant temperature equal to the annual average temperature of the area’s surface air. If the average temperature in your area is 55, that means the soil temperature at 15 feet is 55 degrees and in the winter you will only have to bring the temperature inside your earth sheltered home up thirteen degrees, to bring it up to a comfortable 68 degrees. Versus bringing up the inside temperature 68 degrees, if your home is above ground and the outside windchill is 0. In the summer, that 55 degree soil will also keep your home much cooler than an above ground home. Many earth homes incorporate passive solar designs lessening even further the need for fuel for heating or cooling…
(read and see more: Inspiration Green)
IBM’s Plastic ‘Ninja Polymers’ Could Be MRSA Bacteria’s First Worthy OpponentsJanuary 2nd, 2014
The Nourishmat comes with everything you need to start growing organic vegetables: seeds, fertilizer and know-how.
The mats last about 5 years and are printed with nontoxic ink that won’t leach into the soil.
The mats use a technique called square foot gardening. “The key is planting in grids instead of rows so you can maximize your space,” said Weiner. “More food in less space. We adapted the layout of the Nourishmat based on this popular method. We say natural because it embraces the idea of bio-diversity.” This method requires less water and fertilizer then conventional monoculture farming.
The square-foot method also makes plants into beneficial neighbors. “The layout of the plants revolves around companion planting,” said Weiner. “For example, the bugs that like marigolds are the same bugs that love to eat the bugs that love to eat tomatoes
Revolver, a portable consumer-grade wind turbine, delivers a personal source of off-the-grid power for mobile and electronic devices. Able to generate 35 watts from a breeze, the turbine provides enough energy to hold a laptop charge, light a lantern, power a radio, and recharge phones, cameras, or other small electronics.
A home by US architect Michael Reynolds
Imagine a home that heats itself, that provides its own water, that grows its own food. Imagine that it needs no expensive technology, that it recycles its own waste, that it has its own power source. And now imagine that it can be built anywhere, by anyone, out of the things society throws away.
* What a simple way to transform a non-biodegradable material like a plastic jug into a useful tool! yayyy
Seriously, though this is kind of a big deal. Know that big problem we have? You know, the one involving a crapload of used plastic hanging around in landfills with nowhere to biodegrade for a couple million years? Well, Jonathan Russell might’ve solved that problem. See, Russell and his fellow Yale students went to Ecuador, where they found a new kind of fungus they’re calling Pestalotiopsis microspora. Big deal, you’re thinking. Anyone can find fungus anywhere! Well, something his fellow students found out after the fact is that this fungus can live on a diet of polyurethane alone — and even crazier, it doesn’t even need air to do so! In other words, we could potentially put it at the bottom of a landfill and cover it with plastic, and it would do the rest of the work. This might be game-changing if it works as advertised. (photo via Flickr user dbutt; EDIT: Updated with link to research abstract) source
* This is fucking awesome~!