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Obama Announces Government Emissions Targets

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The largest consumer of energy in the US aims for 28% decrease in greenhouse gas emissions by 2020.

President Obama announced yesterday that his administration will aim to reduce the federal government's greenhouse gas emissions 28% over the next decade. “As the largest energy consumer in the United States, we have a responsibility to American citizens to reduce our energy use and become more efficient,” said President Obama. “Our goal is to lower costs, reduce pollution, and shift......read more

State of the Union: Obama's Green Report Card

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Environmental leaders weigh in on Obama's first year in office.

A year ago, as President Obama prepared for his inauguration, environmentalists were optimistic. For eight years previous, the most hostile administration to environmental concerns in the nation’s history had flouted science and flogged nature. There was nowhere to go but up. My brilliant (and more succinct) predecessor, Peter Dykstra, pegged a column to the inauguration. He asked five very......read more

SHFT Food Chart

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Our guide to green eating.

Most of us know the basics of eating and drinking with the planet in mind. Buy organic. Avoid processed, packaged foods. Think about how the food got to your plate. But still, if you want to eat green, it can be daunting to figure out precisely what - and what not - to consume. The SHFT Food Chart is our simple guide for eating green. From fruit and veggies to coffee and chocolate, we have you......read more

Mind the Curb

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British green marketing company takes earth art into the commercial realm.

For Curb, the British marketing agency that makes ads out of natural earth elements, the medium is most definitely the message. And with every brand and their mother dying to be thought of as environmental advocates, it also seems like pretty good business strategy. The company, a perennial SHFT fave, is positioned as the "world's first natural media company". The Curb portfolio......read more

The New Christmas Tree Economy

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A green shift is underway this holiday season. Sustainable evergreens are changing the way we buy Christmas trees.

Great piece in Design Observer from a couple months ago exploring the new economy of the Christmas tree, which is being redefined by growing environmental consciousness and recession frugality. Highlighting some of the tensions that exist in the Christmas ritual - pagan vs. Christian, natural vs. artifical - the essay goes on to underline some of the welcome trends in Christmas tree production......read more

Ars Natura: Genesis

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In his inaugural SHFT post, Karl Burkart explains why the hell a renowned green-tech blogger is writing a column on art and nature.

This is the first in a series I’m writing for SHFT called Ars Natura: art in nature, nature in art. Though I typically blog abut media and technology I have become increasingly aware that the problems our civilization faces are not going to be solved by technological ingenuity alone. Yes I believe we can solve the energy problem and perhaps even find a way to deflate the planet’s overheated......read more

Bigfoot Country: The Adventures of Woody and the Blue Ox

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After building his own truck-bed camper in Carpinteria, CA., Trevor Gordon embarks on a surf mission in Cascadia's Bigfoot Country

Last summer, surfer Trevor Gordon took his newly built camper north to British Columbia in search of surf and adventure. Having traded in his 1988 VW Vanagon for a blue four-by-four Jeep Comanche, he set out to build a wooden camper with a sturdy frame to withstand the rough terrain and torrential rains that define the region. “The day I finished, I immediately started the maiden voyage......read more

Bringing Solar Power To Remote Hospitals Is Saving Lives

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One startup working in Nepal learned that delivering high-quality health care often means having to innovate in unexpected ways--such as building new energy systems.

Founded by three Yale University Medical School students, Possible is a nonprofit health care company that runs medical facilities in remote Nepal. These include the 25-bed Bayalpata Hospital, in Anchham, a series of local clinics, and a small army of community health care workers. Part of its model revolves around importing Western standards of medicine and management, including modern......read more

Solar Bell by Tomas Saraceno

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Artist's aerial sculpture envisions a future of airborne buildings

Trained as an architect, Argentinian artist Tomas Saraceno explores the notion of floating buildings with large-scale installations like his latest, "Solar Bell," a collaboration with the Aerospace Engineering Faculty at TU Delft in The Netherlands. Built using carbon fiber tubing and thin, flexible solar panel "sails," the structure taps into the threefold forces of gravity, wind, and sun to......read more

Apartment No. 1: A Recycled Stone Building in Iran

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Contemporary residential architecture built from scrap stone

The economy of Mahallat, Iran is driven by the stone-cutting industry, which accounts for nearly half the city's economic activity. As with most heavy industries, there are significant environmental effects; in this case, it's stone waste that doesn't get used. Tehran-based practice Architecture by Collective Terrain makes intelligent use of the scrap stone with Apartment No. 1, a contemporary......read more

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