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Polish Woodcarver Makes Functional Bicycles Exclusively from Wood

Slawomir Weremkowicz, a 59-year-old former plumber from Poland, creates functional bicycles using only wooden components.

The talented woodcarver from Biala Podlaska says he had always wanted to be an artist, and since God gave him the talent of carving wood, he he thought he should do something amazing with it. So he decided to go greener than green and create a series of wooden bikes for which he didn’t use a single gram of metal or plastic. Simply looking at a piece of wood, Slawomir can already envision how he’s going to turn it into one of his bicycle parts, and using simple woodcarving tools like chisels and saws he does just that.

The seat, steering, even the pedals and chain are made only from a variety of wood (oak, ash, beech and plywood) and if you’re looking for screws holding them together, don’t bother, as Slawomir Weremkowicz only uses wooden pegs. Carving an entire wood bicycle is a lengthy process which takes about a year, but when he looks at his completed “wooden dinosaurs”, as he likes to call them”, Slawomir doesn’t regret the time he puts into his work.

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Sol Cinema – The World’s Smallest Solar Powered Theater

Nowadays eco-friendly is definitely the way to go, and green is a hip color, so the Sol Cinema follows the latest trends.

It was created by artist Peter O’Connor with the help of some of his colleagues from the British art collective Undercurrents, in a travel trailer from the 1960’s. The Sol Cinema is fully powered by the sun, using 120W solar panels that are connected to four large lithium-ion batteries, providing sufficient energy for the LED projector and all the other electronics inside .

But being powered by solar energy alone isn’t the only unique characteristic of the Sol Cinema, as being set up inside a trailer also makes it the world’s smallest solar theater. Believe it or not, it’s able to accommodate up to eight visitors.

The cinema focuses it’s screenings on eco-themed movies or documentaries. If you’re interested, more info on the theater’s tour dates and locations can be found on the official website. Apparently, following its local success, the Sol Cinema is preparing for a tour around Europe.

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Ingenious Architect Uses Aluminum Cans as Shingles for His House

Richard Van Os Keuls has used flattened aluminum soda and beer cans as siding for his plywood house extension, after deciding conventional materials were too expensive.

Van Os Keuls, an architect from Silver Spring, Maryland, first got the idea of incorporating flattened aluminum cans into his trade after seeing a car drive over a discarded soda can. He thought to himself that it would make a pretty decent aluminum shingle, so he began building his own stash of old cans to experiment with, at a later time. That time came around when he finished the plywood extension on his house, and began looking for a cheap material to side it with.

The ingenious architect admits his idea of using aluminum cans has nothing to do with art or the environment, as he was simply looking for a cheap and durable alternative to conventional siding materials. Wearing heavy construction boots, Richard first stomped on the cans and then flattened them even further with a sledgehammer, rounding the corners so people wouldn’t get cut when leaning up against the house. He found that flattening each can was time-consuming, so he started working on several at a time. When they were ready to be placed on the wall, he would place 30-40 cans overlapping each other and secure them with a long aluminum nail.

At first, he wanted to paint over the cans, but as the siding started to take place, the color mosaic looked better and better, and he even made sure that no no two same color cans were put together. He began ordering cheap colorful beer and soda cans from other countries, just because he wanted as many different colors as possible. But he needed a lot more cans than he could buy, if he was to complete the siding, so he tried to collect more from the neighborhood dump. That got him cited twice, and earned him fines for theft of city property and transporting stolen property, so he had to rely on donations from neighbors.

When he finally completed his unique project, Richard Van Os Keuls’ house was covered by around 22,000 flattened aluminum cans. He says they aren’t noisy when it rains, and while aluminum tends to develop a chalky oxidation, the ink on the cans has significantly slowed up the process, so his can-covered home is still a colorful inspiration to architects and designers around the world.

 

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Artist Turns Caravan into a Mobile Garden

Kevin van Braak, a young artist from the Netherlands, has transformed his common caravan into an extensible garden he can take anywhere.

In a world where real gardens, with trees and grass are still available, Kevin’s creation can seem a bit odd, but in a few years, it might be the closest many of us will come to real nature.  It looks just like any other caravan, from the outside, but the artist cut it in two, so it would reveal the lavish garden inside, when open.

Kevin van Braak’s mobile garden comes with fake trees, silk grass,  stuffed animals, an electric barbecue and even bird-songs coming through the van’s speakers. It sounds fake, but the young Dutch says many people prefer his garden over the real thing. His caravan garden is for sale, he just hasn’t fixed a price yet.

via Daily Mail

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World’s Largest Solar-Power Hotel Opens in China

Using thousands of permanent solar panels to harvest energy, the Solar Valley Micro-E Hotel is the largest solar-power hotel on Earth.

Built by Himin Group, China’s leading solar products manufacturer, the Solar Valley Micro-E Hotel opened its gates Dezhou City, eastern China. It covers 75,000 square-meters and features thousands of solar panels and solar heat pipe collectors that harvest and store enough energy to sustain 70% of the hotel’s needs.

The solar energy is used for a variety of functions, including air-conditioning and water heating.

via ImagineChina

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The House of Plastic Bottles

Apart from the breathtaking Iguazu Falls, one of the most important tourist attractions in the Iguazu area is the House of Plastic Bottles, built out of plastic bottles and other recyclable materials.

Alfredo Alberto Santa Cruz got the idea of building a house from plastic bottles while he was creating a playhouse for his little daughter. After he finished it, he noticed the plastic the structure was pretty sturdy and realized he was on to something. That’s when he decided to build a one-bedroom cottage out of plastic bottles, for him and his family.

Mr. Santa Cruz’s bottle house features a bed, chairs, shelves and even a fake hanging plant, all made out of PET bottles. Practically everything inside the house is recyclable, apart from the wood framing and a few metal bolts. The walls are made from 2-liter plastic bottles, while the roof consists of hundreds of tetrapak cartons (the boxes you drink juice from). Alfredo has flattened them into shingles and turn them aluminum side up, to reflect the sun and keep the place cool. They would only last for 4-5 years, due to rains, but he covered them up with a layer of plastic, cut from bottles and says this combo could last even 20 years.

I’ve seen glass bottle houses before, even a temple built out of glass bottles, but this is my first plastic bottle house.

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XR3 – The Plug-in Hybrid Trike

I don’t know if I like the XR3 or not, Right now all I know is it looks…different.

Robert Q. Riley has been working on the XR3 Trike for a long time now, but it looks like his three-wheeled car is finally ready to go into production. Designed to be as light as possible, the XR3 hybrid allows 200 mpg and 125 mpg when running on its 23 hp diesel engine.

The plans available on Ripley’s website allow car-enthusiasts to implement some of his ingenious designs on their own rides and help them reduce mobility energy. You can find out more about the XR3 plug-in hybrid here.

via Autobloggreen

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Bambgoo – The Bamboo Car

Developed by Kyoto University Venture Business Laboratory, Bambgoo is a fully functional vehicle that runs for 50 kilometers on a single charge. This ecological concept car is 270 cm long, 130 cm wide, 165 cm high and only 60 kg heavy. That’s what’s so special about Bambgoo, its body is made out of bamboo. If you happen to pass through Japan these days, you might want to check it out and maybe even take it for a short drive-test.

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