Peruvian Inventor Paints Mountain White to Restore Glacier

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Eduardo Gold, a Peruvian inventor, came up with the ingenious idea of painting the mountain peeks in white to restore the glacier on Andes mountains.

It seems that this phenomenon is due to global warming and Eduardo Gold’s idea is based on a very basic principle stating that if  solar light is reflected onto a white or light colored surface it goes back into the atmosphere,thus preventing the excessive heating of the ground. In the last years alone, Chalon Sombrero peak has lost almost 30% of its glacier.

Gold is not only willing to solve this problem, having painted 2 hectares in 2 weeks, but has also found a way to get financial help. This idea won him the prize in the “100 Ideas to Save the Planet” competition, for which he submitted at the end of 2009. The prize, awarded by the World Bank, is of about $200.000 (£135.000).

There is one more important thing to be mentioned : The paint he uses is a mix of ecological ingredients like industrial egg-white, water and lime.

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Environment Crisis Spawns Artworks Visible from Space

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Environmental organization 350.org has just kickstarted the world’s first global climate art project, where the Earth itself is the canvas for incredible artworks visible from space.

The worldwide exhibit includes sixteen art pieces in twelve different countries, but they all have the same purpose – raising awareness about climate change. Created just before world nations leaders gather in Cancun, Mexico, for the UN climate meetings, these giant artworks will catch the attention of everyone, including aliens, since they are visible from outer space.

Trying to get leaders to accept 350 parts per million as the target for stabilization of the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, members of 350.org have organized the masses around the world into living works of art, visible from space. I’m not sure this is enough to impress corporation-controlled governments to do the right thing, but their efforts are definitely commendable. Take a look of what they achieved, below:

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Russian Woman Builds Glass Bottle House

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The glass bottle house built by Olga Queen, from Novoshakhtinsk, Russia is a fine addition to our hefty collection of glass bottle architecture, which already includes various bottle houses and a unique bottle temple.

In an effort to build herself a house out of cheap and environment-friendly materials, Olga Queen spent six months collecting glass bottles, around her home town of Novoshakhtinsk. She managed to gather around 5,000 of them, which proved enough to build her very own little dream house. Using some wood for the framework and concrete to fix the bottles in place, she manged to finish construction and is now ready to move in.

Glass might not seem like the right material to use when building a house, especially in a place like Russia, but the air trapped in the bottles actually provides great insulation. We’ll just see if Olga makes it through the winter in her little glass home.

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Chinese Environmentalist Sails 1,000 Km in Plastic Bottle Boat

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Xia Yu, a man who really believes in the concept of recycling, has built a functional boat out of 2,010 plastic bottles.

The 37-year-old boat builder gathered all the plastic bottles at a tea-house he manages in Xiangtan, central Hunan Province, China. Every time a customer left behind a plastic bottle, he just added it to his supply, until he got the number he needed to start construction on his boat.

This is not Xia Yu’s first plastic bottle boat. Last year, he built hos first one out of 1,500 plastic bottles and sailed 35 miles in it. This experience gave him the confidence to built a second, larger boat, to sail in all the way to Shanghai, for the World Expo. His second creation is seven meters long, features 5 sails ( the tallest of which las a special message that reads “Low carbon emission, beautiful world”) and has room for a six man crew.

Although when he began his journey to the Shanghai World Expo, in May, he expected it to last only 45 days, Xia Yu only arrived at the event on September 15, after sailing over 1,000 miles. He hopes his achievement will raise awareness to the environmental problems afecting our lives every day.

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Environmentalist Builds Floating Island with 100,000 Plastic Bottles

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Eco-pioneer Richard “Rishi” Sowa designed and built an artificial island kept afloat by 100,000 plastic bottles.

Spiral Island II is actually Rishi Sowa’s second artificial island. He built the first one in 1998, near Puerto Aventuras, using 250,000 plastic bottles to keep it afloat. Sadly, his recycled island was destroyed in 2005, when Hurricane Emily passed through the area. Most of Spiral Island was washed up on the beach, but Sowa decided to build a whole new island, in a safer area.

And that’s how Spiral Island II came to be. With the help of volunteers, Rishi Sowa gathered around 100,000 plastic bottles and hand-built his second recycled island, in a lagoon that offers protection from bad weather. The new island features a house, beaches, 2 ponds and a solar-powered waterfall, but its creator says Spiral Island II is and always will be an eco-work-in-progress. Although smaller than its predecessor (only 20 meters in diameter), you can expect the new Spiral Island to increase in size, significantly.

One of the most impressive DIY projects ever attempted, Spiral Island has inspired volunteers to come to Mexico and help Rishi Sowa improve his creation. But while some believe it a perfect environmental design, built entirely of recycled materials, there is some controversy surrounding Spiral Island. There are those who believe that if the island gets destroyed by a hurricane, again, the materials used to build it (mainly plastic bottles, sand, mangrove plants) will litter the waters of the Atlantic.

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Chinese Student Builds Boat Out of Paper

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Wang Luyao, a junior student at the Commercial Service College in Wuhan, has built a perfectly functional boat out of sheets of paper.

In an attempt to raise awareness about recycling, and green living in general, Wang used his paper boat to cross from one side of the Hanjiang River to the other. Escorted by two normal canoes, the young student jumped in his paper boat and rowed the 800-meter distance in just seven minutes, proving that boats made of recycled paper really are an environment-friendly solution.

Wang Luyao’s paper boat is 1.9 meters long, 1.2 meters wide, weighs 45 kg, and is made out of raw sheets of paper that the young student collected, himself.

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The Turf-Covered Houses of Norway

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Norway, like all Scandinavian countries, has always taken pride in trying to live in harmony with nature, instead of conquering it, and its old turf roofs are a perfect example.

Houses with their roofs looking like small meadows may seem a little strange in these modern times, but until the late 19th century, turf roofs were the most common type of roofs in rural Norway. Nowadays, inhabited turf-roof houses are very rare, as the Norwegians have turned most of them into museum exhibits.

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The Recycled Art of Guerra de la Paz

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Guerra de la Paz is the name of an artistic duet, made up of Alain Guerra and Neraldo de la Paz, two Cuban artists who live and work in Miami, Florida.

Since the favorite art medium of Guerra and de la Paz is clothing, the two find procure their material from waste bins and second hand shipping companies in Miami’s Little Haiti. Guerra de la Paz views its efforts of looking for discarded clothing as a form of archaeology. Each item is a relic that defines an individual’s personality, and together with other recycled clothes allows the artist to reinvent classic icons and historic themes, and send a message about the need for recycling, at the same time.

The works of Guerra de la Paz have been exhibited in galleries across America and Europe and have received positive reviews, ever since the project was born, in 1996.

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Seven Flora and Fauna that Can Only Be Found in the Everglades

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The Everglades is home to many unique plant and animal species, mostly because it’s the farthest-north tropical environment in the world. It is the only true tropical forest in the northern hemisphere. The flora and fauna found in the Everglades are without peer.

Fauna

Florida Panther & Florida Black Bear – This entry gets two, since you’re not likely to see either of them. Both species are critically endangered, so count yourself lucky if you see the slight frame and tan fur of the Florida Panther, or hear the inquisitive snuffling of the Florida Black Bear. Well, count yourself lucky, back away slowly, and hope the animal isn’t hungry.

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7 Bad-Ass Trees You’ll Probably Never Climb

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I remember reading an article on Environmental Graffiti, a few months ago, about the thorniest trees on Earth. The photos were really impressive, considering I had no idea such trees even existed, but I felt there wasn’t really enough information about these amazing species of trees. So I took it upon myself to do some research and came up with seven bad-ass trees you couldn’t even hope to climb without some serious protective gear.

Silk Floss Tree (Ceiba Speciosa)

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Chinese Car Enthusiast Build’s World’s Cheapest Electric Car

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Zhang Haiting, a 58-year-old car buff, from Shanghai, China, has built a mini electric vehicle, all by himself.

But we’ve seen people build their own cars before, the thing that makes Zhang Haiting so special, is that his particular creation is environment-friendly. The resourceful Chinese inventor and machinery veteran designed and put together his electric vehicle, by himself, using all kinds of salvaged parts and materials.

Zhang has been using his zero-carbon emissions electric car, on his daily commute, for about a year, and Shanghai locals have begun noticing. They regularly get close and curiously check out the weird looking buggy that looks more like a bumper car than a real vehicle, and never miss the chance to get behind the wheel.

The home-made vehicle, built by Zhang Hiating, reaches a top speed of 30 km/h and runs for 50 km, with a fully charged battery. Seeing the reactions of passers-by, its creator is now thinking of commercializing his invention, for the price of just 5,600 yuan ($820).

via ImagineChina

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Trash Artist Builds the World’s First Garbage Hotel

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H.A. Schult, the designer behind the famous Trash People, has teamed up with beer-make Corona to create the world’s first hotel made of garbage.

The initiative to build the “Save the Beach” garbage hotel was started by Corona, in order to raise awareness to the huge amount of waste being washed up on our shores, every day. And who better that H.A. Schult, a designer who has used trash as art medium since 1969, to build a hotel out of the trash collected from various European beaches?

The doors of this bizarre hotel, made of garbage, have opened to the public, last week, in Rome and has already received the support of various celebrities, like Helena Christensen, the famous model, who agreed to spend a night in the Save the Beach Hotel.

H.A. Schult, the creator of the trash hotel said “The philosophy of this hotel is to expose the damage we are causing to the sea and the coastline. We live in the era of trash and we are running the risk of becoming trash ourselves. Do we really want this world?”

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Womble Truck – A Recycled Environment Friendly Art Car

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British sculptor and active environmentalist, Buzz Knapp-Fisher, has spent the last six years working on the Womble Truck, an odd looking vehicle that has almost no impact on the environment.

Buzz bought the truck, six years ago, for a little over $400, and thought it was perfect for his environment art car. Named after popular TV show, “The Wombies”, who recycled all kinds of junk, in ingenious ways, the Womble Truck was modified to tun only on chip fat and biodiesel. One of the most amazing things about this weird looking truck, is that it was put together using parts from 21 different cars.

The Womble Truck had its original engine replaced with a biodiesel engine,and in the last year, the British inventor managed to make some adjustments that allow it to run on chip fat alone. If temperature is high enough, the truck will start and run on fat, if not, it will start on biodiesel and then switch to chip fat. And, believe it or not, this baby reaches top speeds of 110 mph, so it can hold its own, on the road.

Considering it only cost a little over $400, and the car parts were also pretty cheap, the Womble Truck is indeed a worthy technological achievement.

via Daily Mail

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Home Design Doesn’t Get Much Greener than Living Plant Curtains

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Greenpeace activists are going to fall in love with the genius invention of Li Fan : curtains made of living plants.

Chinese inventor, Li Fan, has come up with a brilliant way to support the environment, and help people say “adios” to cleaning and washing curtains. Her living curtains are actually self-sufficient plants, on a supporting mesh.

Li Fan’s curtains filter light, like regular curtains, but also suck all the impurities out of the air, and smell fresh all the time. Living plants curtains are the hottest thing in Beijing home-design, right now, and Li Fan says business is booming.

No word on whether these living plant curtains are available outside China, but I’m sure there are people out there willing to pay top dollar to green-up there homes.

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The Cyborg Plant of Gilberto Espaza

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Nomadic Plants is a quirky project of Mexican artist, Gilberto Espaza, that possible symbiosis between vegetation and technology.

This is not Gilberto Espaza’s first such project. Last year, he unleashed his Urban Parasites on Mexico City. The small machines, made from recycled consumer goods, roamed the urban area in search of power sources they could feed on.

This year, the Mexican artist has an even more interesting project prepared. His Nomadic Plants installation focuses on the symbiosis between plants, micro-organisms and technology. A few river plants and bacteria live inside the Nomadic Plants robot, and whenever the life-forms inside it need nourishment, the machine searches the nearest polluted water-source and “drinks” from it.

A microbial fuel cell process decomposes the water’s elements and turns them into energy for the robot, and the rest is used to feed the plants and organisms inside. Gilberto Espaza said he was inspired to create this cyborg plant after reading about the microbial fuel cell that inspired him to take on the theme of environment pollution.

The Nomadic Plants installation is on display at Laboral Art and Industrial Creation Center, in Gijon, Spain, until June 2010.

via We Make Money Not Art

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