Archive for March, 2010

In New Zealand, One Cool Habitat is shipping tiny container habitats all across the globe. Whether you’re looking for extra space for a home office, studio, or anything else, this 160 square-foot space comes with a clean slate ready to be customized inside. The habitat is built with a 20″ container, composite panels, and, of course, strategically placed windows. The base model starts at $29,500, according to Inhabitat. [+] Learn more about One Cool Habitat. Photo credits: One Cool Habitat;…

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giant kauri tree photo
Image credit: g-hat/Flickr

Buried in New Zealand’s peat bogs are more than 30,000 ancient climate records containing data that spans back to the last ice age. This data, stored in the rings of preserved kauri trees, is threatened by the demand for the prized timber.

Now, a group of researchers from Oxford University is racing to collect this vital data before it’s too late…. Read the full story on TreeHugger
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giant isopod sea monster photo
Photo: Gwynzer

For the Love of Cute Kittens! It Looks Like a Sci-Fi Movie Prop
This just goes to show how little most of us know about the oceans. I’m sure some marine biologist reading this will go “Duh, it’s a Bathynomus giganteus, better known as giant isopod! An important scavenger in the deep-sea benthic environment…”, but the rest of us will just stare with our mouths open. Didn’t one of those make a cameo in District 9?… Read the full story on TreeHugger
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toad close up photo
photo: Lida via flickr.

It’s long been known that many animal species somehow are aware of impending natural disasters like earthquakes and tsunamis, but new research shows that common toads can sense earthquakes up to three days in advance. … Read the full story on TreeHugger
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snow leopard opener photo
Photo credit: Steve Winter and National Geographic

The endangered snow leopard is famously elusive: Not only do fewer than 7,000 remain in the wild, but the animals are notorious for avoiding humans and camouflaging themselves on rocky ledges.

Snow Leopards are in danger from poachers, habitat loss, and neighboring herders who shoot them to protect their livestock–which is why Panthera and the Snow Leopard Trust are working on tracking a group of five Mongolian snow leopards via GPS collars. These photos from the field scientists offer an unusual l… Read the full story on TreeHugger
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cuttlefish image
Screen capture via Life episode preview

Sunday’s upcoming episode of Life – the groundbreaking documentary series from the Discovery Channel and the BBC – is all about creatures of the deep. I’ve always been a fanatic of ocean documentaries, so this one is particularly exciting. And that’s because in no small part it emphasizes how little we still know about what lives in the farthest reaches of Earth’s ecosystems. Here on TreeHugger, we’re constantly hearing about crazy new discoveries from the deep. … Read the full story on TreeHugger
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baby gorilla photo
photo: Chrissy Olson via flickr.

In an effort to help replenish the population of gorillas in a reserve in the east part of the Democratic Republic of Congo, UN peacekeepers from the MONUC mission will airlift nine orphaned gorillas into the region. The UN action follows a request from the Congolese Institute for Nature Conservation and the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund…. Read the full story on TreeHugger
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One of the most vital ingredients for life, water has long been revered as an incredible compound (changing from a liquid to solid to gas is pretty impressive if you ask us), but what if water could also replace conventional cleaners? No soap, water and elbow grease – just water. Sounds pretty crazy (believe me, we were skeptical at first too) but the latest in eco-friendly, dirt-removing, bacteria-killing options is an on-demand cleaning and sanitizing tool that activates and converts tap water into ionized water to act like a magnet, attracting dirt and lifting it from the surface so it can easily be wiped away.

Initially it can be a little daunting to simply trust that the bacteria has been killed – we’re all so programmed to need that toxic clean smell, but Activeion technology has been tested and approved by Healthy Child Healthy World, with lab results verified by the EPA. Already large institutions like Georgia Tech are switching their traditional cleaning program to one based on Activeion technology, saving 50% on chemical expenditures during a five-month pilot program. But let’s get serious for a moment and deep dive into the science behind it all… check out this video from none other than Bill Nye “The Science Guy” as he walks us through the process of how activated water can become a lean, green, dirt-killing machine:

Click here to view the embedded video.

At $169 the ionator HOM is a steep initial investment, but just think of the hundreds of thousands you’ll save over a lifetime on cleaners (not to mention the amount of packaging and plastic bottles that won’t need to be produced!).

For more ecofabulous insights, sign up for Zem’s List and be entered to win free eco goodies each month!

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Studio Aisslinger, designer of the Loftcube, recently unveiled this new modular design for a home that’s transportable, sustainable, and low energy, all at the same time.  According to Design Boom, Fincube, a 500 square-foot structure with a kitchen, living space, bedroom, and bathroom, was built with locally sourced wood in Northern Italy and features 360-degree triple glazing windows. 

It’s an interesting design.  All the walls and equipment are banished to the middle while the views remain pretty much unadulterated.  What do you think?

[+] Check out Studio Aisslinger.







Credits: Studio Aisslinger; noticed at Design Boom/MoCo Loco.

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You’ve probably heard about IKEA’s prefab homes offered overseas called BoKlok.  This isn’t anything like that, but it has some interesting potential.  As discovered by Michael Janzen of Tiny House Design, IKEA recently teamed up with ReadyMade to show these ReadyMade Signature Modular Dwellings at a few locations along the West Coast.  The dwelling has a full kitchen, living room, and bedroom — all tightly packaged in a tiny little space. 

The IKEA ReadyMade structure is neat and, if commercialized, could serve as a work shed, ADU, or studio.  But “the house seemed designed specifically for showcasing the IKEA stuff inside,” explained Janzen, and “would take some modifications to make the structure habitable.

Apparently, ReadyMade hinted to visitors that blueprints would be available in the future, which could be interesting.  We’ll see if anything comes of this. 




Photo credits: Michael Janzen, Tiny House Design.

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