A Tour of the World's Most Futuristic Port

If you live anywhere in the US, chances are that you have a product in your home right now that came through the Port of Los Angeles. The largest port in the Western hemisphere handles about a quarter of all cargo distributed throughout the country—about $1 billion a day. Now LA is working to make it the most… » 3/17/15 2:40pm 3/17/15 2:40pm

Paris as a Green and Sustainable Future City Is Even More Beautiful

Paris is one of the world's most beautiful cities, with its landmarks, parks and the cobbled roads of Montmarte the envy of the world. Architectural progress can sometimes meet opposition when a city's iconic sights and historic look is challenged, but architects Vincent Callebaut's vision of a green, sustainable… » 1/19/15 7:15am 1/19/15 7:15am

Amazon's Using the Heat From Its Data Centers To Warm Its New HQ

Downtown Seattle is being slowly consumed by Amazon-funded infrastructure, thanks to the expansion of its corporate headquarters—glass domes, bike lanes, streetcar improvements. Now the company has figured out an innovative way to heat their new buildings by using the energy generated by their data centers across the… » 9/16/14 8:10pm 9/16/14 8:10pm

6 Brilliant Ideas That Tackle the Toughest Environmental Problems

Buckminster Fuller was a designer, futurist, and humanitarian, from his famous dome to his perspective-changing map. Each year, the Buckminster Fuller Institute honors the visionary's legacy with a competition showcasing ingenious solutions for global problems. » 9/03/14 9:00am 9/03/14 9:00am

Ikea Is Betting Big on These Six Small Tech Companies

Ikea is one of the largest corporations in the world, and even the smallest change in its supply chain could have a gigantic impact on its business. After all, this is a company that uses 1 percent of the world's wood supply. In fact, Ikea operates a whole venture fund devoted to emerging tech, from ice cream to… » 8/27/14 8:39am 8/27/14 8:39am

The First Supercomputer-Designed Wind Farm Is Coming To Mexico

Mexico is getting a brand new wind farm from a Spanish company called Iberdrola, and it's no ordinary field of windmills. This one will be the very first to be designed by a supercomputer. Humans: who need 'em? » 8/14/14 10:17am 8/14/14 10:17am

The Quest to Find the Worst Piece of Design on Earth

So many design awards seek to honor the smartest, the prettiest, the most innovative or responsible or sustainable. The Dead Prize, announced last week, wants to honor the worst—the very, very worst—that design has to offer. » 8/11/14 1:36pm 8/11/14 1:36pm

Why Brad Pitt's Nonprofit Is Building Homes for Native American Tribes

Make It Right launched in 2007 to rebuild homes in New Orleans' Lower Ninth Ward that were devastated by Hurricane Katrina. Now the nonprofit founded by Brad Pitt has moved on to other communities in need—and its next project will be building sustainable homes for Native American tribes in Fort Peck, Montana. » 6/23/14 5:20pm 6/23/14 5:20pm

You'd Never Guess This House Was Made Entirely From Trash

This house looks normal. Lovely, even. But get up close and you'll realize that it's far from conventional—because it's made from trash. Real, actual trash. » 6/19/14 5:51am 6/19/14 5:51am

You Can Recycle These New Circuit Boards by Dunking Them in Hot Water

It almost seems too easy. With government funding, a trio of British companies recently developed a new way to build circuit boards that makes them 90-percent recyclable. In fact, all you have to do to recycle them is dunk them in hot water and scrape off the circuits with a business card. » 5/07/14 1:40pm 5/07/14 1:40pm

The Tech That Powers Six of the Greenest Buildings of 2014

Hearing the word "sustainable" conveys pretty much zilch about what makes a building efficient—more than anything, it's a term that tends to bore people. But if you look closer at the mechanical systems at work in some of the most energy efficient buildings going up today, you'll find technology that sounds almost… » 4/29/14 9:00am 4/29/14 9:00am

Almost Everyone Is Angling Solar Panels the Wrong Way

Conventional wisdom in the northern hemisphere is to face solar panels south so they get the most light all day. Architects and panel installers implement this approach all the time, especially on homes. But a new study indicates that panels facing west may actually get more juice from the sun, and at more convenient… » 11/17/13 12:04pm 11/17/13 12:04pm

How Many Electric Car Charging Stations Are Actually Out There?

Hybrid and electric cars have gone pretty mainstream. But it's hard to get a sense of whether the charging infrastructure is keeping pace. Especially since there are lots of proposals for how we could transition away from the gas station model. » 10/27/13 6:06pm 10/27/13 6:06pm

IKEA's Going to Sell Solar Panels Now (No Assembly Required)

Get excited, Earthlings who like the Earth: IKEA just announced a new program to sell energy-saving solar panels in each of its 17 UK stores. This means that with a little bit more effort than it takes to purchase a set of Billy bookcases, Brits can be doing their part to bring the world a little closer to sustainable… » 9/30/13 1:27pm 9/30/13 1:27pm

Is This Sustainable Hut the Future of Affordable Student Housing?

This modern 33-square-foot wooden hut is a concept by Swedish firm Tengbom Architects for affordable student housing called a smart student unit. It cleverly packs about five different traditional types of space into one small volume. But would it actually work? » 9/18/13 4:40pm 9/18/13 4:40pm

This City Planted "Moving Gardens" On Its Buses

Environmental awareness has risen exponentially in recent years and many people have grown a strong urge to surround themselves with anything green amidst vast concrete jungles. Vertical gardens, urban farming, and guerrilla gardening are a few phenomena that have only recently entered our daily lives. » 9/13/13 4:00pm 9/13/13 4:00pm

The Boy Scouts' Educational Treehouse Looks Just Like an Ewok Village

The Boy Scouts of America are becoming more progressive every day. Next year the organization will introduce a brand-new Sustainability merit badge alongside the Environmental Science badge from 1972. And now, scouts can visit a giant treehouse designed to school them on sustainability using fun installations, from… » 9/12/13 12:20pm 9/12/13 12:20pm

Uh, Why Is an Artist Living Inside a Floating Wooden Egg For a Year?

There's a strong probability you'd go crazy living inside of an egg, despite the fact that you actually came from one. But artist Stephen Turner is up to the challenge. Starting this month, he'll be taking up residence in the Exbury Egg, a self-sustaining studio/home/boat/monument to fertility, for the next 365 days. » 6/12/13 3:13pm 6/12/13 3:13pm

This Is the Propane Tank Bench of Hank Hill's Dreams

The King of the Hill definitely never went this far with his love for an open flame. Meet Colin Selig, a California designer who fabricates sleek, sinuous couches out of metal sheets cut from empty propane tanks. » 5/31/13 9:55am 5/31/13 9:55am

The Systems That Power the Year's Most Sustainable Buildings

Only a decade ago, sustainable building techniques were fairly rare, a fringe culture on the periphery of mainstream architecture. But with Stephen Colbert interviewing radically green architects like Mitchell Joachim and Passive House buildings popping up in New York City, that's all changing very quickly. » 4/25/13 10:22am 4/25/13 10:22am