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A Small Wind Turbine You Can Make Yourself

May 29th, 2013

As the June 17 deadline to the Instructables Green Design Contest fast approaches, Jaymi Heimbuch at TreeHugger has highlighted one particular entry: a small DIY wind power generator that can sit in your backyard.

The wind generator’s designer, out-of-the-box, offers demo videos and text instructions accompanied by photos. As the designer notes, the amount of electricity the generator can produce depends on the steper motor you choose to use when constructing it yourself. The one shown in the instructions tops out at 8 volts, but on a still day outputs around 4. Modifying the turbine to increase efficiency, out-of-the-box is posting updates after the last step in the instructions, like removing a cup off of each arm to reduce wind resistance and adding unobtrusive solar panels.

This contest’s accessibility stands out among some other green design competitions. It doesn’t involve prototypes that use obscure materials or require years of experience in aerospace engineering. Instead, each entry must provide step by step instructions to show others how to make the project themselves.

via: TreeHugger

image via out-of-the-box



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Eagle Ridge Residence is a Low-Impact Home on Orcas Island

May 29th, 2013

Remote-Controlled Car-Helicopter Hybrid Transitions from Air to Land Seamlessly

May 29th, 2013

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Flying cars aren’t quite ready to take to the roads (or in the skies) just yet, but a new remote-controlled car brings them one step closer to reality. The B RC Hybrid Car-Helicopter starts off scooting down the road, then lifts off into the air with the flick of a switch. The B transitions from air to ground seamlessly, providing possible inspiration for future vehicle design. Click through to see a video of the mini flying car in action.

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Intel’s New Haswell Chips Will Boost Laptop Battery Life by 50 Percent

May 29th, 2013

Laptop user, laptop computer, laptop, girl sitting on grass, PC, laptop batteryPhoto via Shutterstock

Laptop technology has come a long way in the past decade or so, but sales of mobile phones and tablets are leaving PCs in the dust. Part of that has to do with battery life; because they use more powerful hardware, laptops simply can’t compete with longer-lasting tablet batteries. But Intel is preparing to release a new generation of Core processors, known as Haswell, that will help to bridge the gap, giving laptops 50 percent more battery life. That will enable travelers to watch up to three HD movies on a laptop before the battery conks out.

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Pop-Up Community Space Made from Shipping Containers Opens in Detroit

May 29th, 2013

INTERVIEW: Inhabitat Chats with J Mays, VP of Global Design and Chief Creative Officer at Ford Motor Company

May 29th, 2013

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Automotive designer J Mays has become well-known as the design director of Ford Motor Company. Born in rural Oklahoma, Mays started working at his family’s auto parts store at an early age with aspirations of becoming an architect, but eventually found his calling in car design while at the Art Center in Pasadena. An automotive design pioneer with more than 30 years under his belt, Mays has been involved in the design of a number of the car industry’s most well-recognized automobiles, including the VW “New Beetle”, Aston Martin DB9, Land Rover LR3/Discovery, Ford GT, 2011 Ford Fiesta, 2012 Focus (including the Focus EV), and the new green 2013 Ford Fusion—just to name a few! For the last 16 years he’s been leading the charge at Ford as the Vice President of Global Design and Chief Creative Officer and has played a critical role in bringing a new generation of stylish, green, high-performance electric and hybrid vehicles to a mainstream market. I recently got the chance to chat with Mays about his monumental career, and I’ve published our interview here. Click ahead to read the entire interview, where Mays touches on his global travels, his design ethos and influences, the current market for hybrid and electric vehicles, and what he sees for the future of zero-emissions vehicles, both at Ford and on a global scale.

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Dominican Sisters House of Formation in San Rafael Becomes the First LEED-Certified Convent in the US

May 29th, 2013

Citi Bike Share Program Officially Launches in New York City

May 29th, 2013

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New Yorkers rejoice – NYC’s first bicycle sharing program just launched with 6,000 bikes! So far over 10,000 people have signed up to use the brand new Citi Bikes in Brooklyn and Manhattan, and the system will soon be expanded to Queens with 4,000 additional bikes and 330 more stations. Hit the jump to learn more about this innovative program, which now offers New Yorkers a fun, healthy, and low-emission mode of transportation.

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Walmart Fined $81 Million for Dumping Hazardous Waste in California, Missouri

May 29th, 2013

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Walmart suffered another public relations blow this week when they admitted to dumping toxic hazardous waste materials throughout California and in Missouri. The retail giant will pay an $81 million fine as part of a plea agreement that closes out a decade-long investigation, The Guardian reports. They paid a $27.6 million fine in 2010 for a similar case but have vowed that they have since cleaned up their act.

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DIY VIDEO: How to Make a Mason Jar Herb Garden with Model Summer Rayne Oakes23

May 29th, 2013

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If you’ve always dreamed of having a little herb garden in your kitchen, here’s a video DIY from our friend Summer Rayne Oakes that can bring that fantasy to fruition today. Follow along as Summer and her dad use just a few components to create a mason jar herb garden that not only provides fresh seasonings for cooking but also looks fantastic.

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