Making Communal Use of Vacant Lots


Over the decades many cities have suffered from population loss. This degeneration may show in the staggering amount of vacant lots and houses. On average, 15 percent of a city’s land is vacant. The term ‘vacancy’ can pertain to many things in relation to a city. Some lands deemed vacant are abandoned houses, others brown fields or empty lots. Even though these areas are unoccupied, sometimes deemed unsuitable for occupation, they can still cost cities considerable amounts of money. There have been temporary fixes for these vacancies, including use as a pasture or for storage. It is a sad state… read more

Gasp! Showering Too Much Is Unhealthy


Researchers have discovered that overexposure to chemicals found in shampoo, soap, conditioner, and body oils is actually damaging to our bodies. Wasting water is also harmful for numerous other reasons, on top of the health concerns, and you can read more about saving water here. Check it:

Hotel Chain Switching To Smartphone Locks


Starwood, a hotel chain with over 1,000 worldwide locations, has begun switching to a new keyless system of room locks — your smartphone. The chain offers customers a free downloadable app with which they can check into their room wirelessly, and lock/unlock the room using their phones. Check it out: As one of the commenters on Youtube stated, this idea is very hackable at the moment. The chain will need to introduce some serious security measures before this idea can have any sort of mainstream success. For now, we can appreciate that somebody is working on getting rid of those… read more

Wolves Under Fire

Wolves Under Fire

Wolf hunts in Wyoming have been sanctioned this last autumn for the first time in decades. After facing near extinction, wolves were reintroduced into the North America’s Rockies in the mid 1990’s. Since then, the population has been resilient, but fluctuations remain. There has already been a 60 percent population loss since 2007. This is illustrated throughout Yellowstone where the wolf population was reduced from 171 in December 2007 to just 80 in December 2012. This is in part due to human-induced mortality both within and outside of the park. Things seemed stable from 2009 to 2011, however, 2012 has brought… read more

Simple Complexity: Art From Nature

Simple Complexity: Art From Nature

Photography and film can seize extraordinary moments and captivate the eyes, making us see things in new ways. These projects both involve photographic processes that use high resolution imaging to capture detailed magnified pictures that offer a splendid look into some of the world’s natural wonders. National Geographic has released a series titled Mysteries of the Unseen World. It is a gallery of incredible imagery that shows just how wondrous and complex nature is. Many of the photographs are shot with processes that capture the images faster than our vision can actually see them, called electron microscopy. The details and depth of… read more

Take A Different Approach

Environmental communication

There’s a magic trick in environmental and sustainability communication. It’s the slight-of-hand that brings into people’s vision something that otherwise might remain unseen. Given many people live in urban areas, some far removed from wild places, the natural environment is not always on people’s radar. Given much of the imperative for sustainability action (such as climate change) lives in the mysterious realm of the future, it’s not surprising that people don’t always see the need to act now. As environmental and sustainability communicators, we have to magically reveal that which is all too often concealed. Once you understand your audience,… read more

Google’s Ray Kurzweil Predicts The Future

Ray Kurzweil, Google’s new technology guru, has been a “prophet”, if you will, of tech trends for the past 30 years. He correctly predicted the fall of the Soviet Union, the importance of the internet in everyday use, the day when computers would outsmart humans, and much more. Last year, Google appointed him to be their Director of Engineering, and basically gave him free reign to create whatever magical devices his super brain thought up. Recently, he shared some of his future predictions with the world, along with a tentative timeline of when he thought we’d see them start happening…. read more

Stress Tests for Coral Reefs

Coral stresses

Often called “the rainforests of the ocean”, coral reefs enrich our planet with aquatic life. The coral itself is an animal that hosts a large variety of organisms. They serve as a source of food and shelter to sponges, jellyfish, sea anemones, sea turtles, clams, crabs, shrimp, starfish, oysters and sea urchins – to name a few. Coral reefs are important for a variety of reasons. In addition to providing refuge to marine life, coral reefs protect coastlines against erosion. They also act as sensitive indicators of water quality. This informs us of the overall quality of the eco system…. read more

Domes For All — An Eco Project


This week, we’ll be highlighting our favorite eco-tech projects that have successfully received funding on the crowdfunding platform Kickstarter. Today’s choice is the ‘‘ by Effalo. The project is an endeavor to educate people on the usefulness of geodesic structures. Essentially, the project is a website that creates tools for designers to easily build and construct a geodesic dome of their own. With the designs in hand, they can get straight to building the dome with little to no experience necessary. The platform allows the community to share their own designs and ideas for quick and easy public download. Though… read more

An Air Quality Egg For Community Awareness


This week, we’ll be highlighting our favorite eco-tech projects that have successfully received funding on the crowdfunding platform Kickstarter. Today’s choice is the ‘Air Quality Egg‘ from Sensemakers. The “egg” is a computerized air quality monitor that connects to your computer and phone wirelessly. With it, you can monitor the air quality outside your home, in a nearby park,  the outskirts of town where all the factories reside, and more. Essentially, it’s an open-sourced social network for eco-conscious individuals to share their findings with the world. The team received their full funding in the spring of 2012. You can purchase… read more