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Tiny Homes for Holiday Getaways

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The curious but non-committed may wonder, however, what it is like to actually live in a tiny home without going through the whole process and cost of designing and building one, or may be wanting to find a tiny house or cottage to stay in while on holiday. In that case, take a look at our visual tour of some of the many tiny homes for rent all over the world.” – Kimberley at TreeHugger

Read more about 11 Tiny Homes you can rent for a holiday getaway

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Rather then continuing to destroy the limited pristine wilderness we have left, building up already urbanised areas is the way to go from where I’m standing. And if we’re all going to live in teeny-tiny little apartments, we will need space saving ideas to make the most of the space that we do have. This video features but one example of a myriad of such spaces that are now out there. http://vimeo.com/55389782 Perhaps not everyone’s cup of tea but if you do live in shoe-box it may be worth taking a few leaves from this book. 

(via Live Animals Being Sold as Keyrings in China : TreeHugger)

Photo: Li Bo

Keyring ornaments are perhaps the most useless item you’ll ever carry in your pocket or stuff in your purse – but now, thanks to an increasingly popular item being sold in China, it can easily be the cruelest, too. For the price you might expect paying for some kitschy trinket, Chinese street vendors are selling live animals, permanently sealed in a small plastic pouch where they can survive for a short while as someone’s conversation piece. Apparently, these unimaginably inhumane keyrings are actually quite popular – and worst of all, it’s totally legal.

According to The Global Times, these keyring accessories containing live animals are widely available and sold publicly in subway stations and sidewalks. Potential buyers (read as animal-abusers) have the choice between a living Brazil turtle or two small kingfish, sealed in an airtight package along with some colored water. One vendor claimed that the trapped creatures “can live for months inside there” because the water contains “nutrients,” though veterinarians have already disputed this claim.

“I’ll hang it in my office, it looks nice and brings good luck, ” said one customer who purchased the turtle.

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As the cruel trinkets continue to gain in popularity, thankfully so to have the voices of animal rights supporters in opposition to the inhumane treatment of the animals they contain. “To put a living thing inside a sealed and confined space for profit is immoral and pure animal abuse,” Qin Xiaona, director of the NGO Capital Animal Welfare Association, told the Global Times.

Even some right-thinking passersby are trying to do their part in saving the animals’ lives where they can. “I bought one to free it. It looks so miserable,” said one woman, unnamed by the Times.

Despite the fact that the selling of animals as keyring ornaments is a clear-cut case of animal cruelty, it is actually entirely within the law. Chinese law prohibits the sale of wild animals – a designation which evidently does not apply to the Brazil turtles and kingfish being sold.

For the time being, in lieu of legislation which may or may not come to pass outlawing the sale of living creatures as objects of amusement, Xiaona suggests people use their better sense to squelch the trade. “If nobody buys it, the market will die,” she says.

Sadly, it is likely that so to will the animals which have already been sealed in their colorful, transparent tombs – gasping for the final breath of air they’ve been packaged with, as they peer out to a world in which their lives are considered essentially worthless.

And in such a dark hour, it’s hard not to believe our very humanity awaits a similar fate.

Stephen Messenger, treehugger.com

Albert Einstein Was A Vegetarian

The first Earth Day, 42 years ago, marked an awakening of environmental awareness. Much has been done to reverse the damage decades of irresponsible behavior has had on out planet. What that being said, there’s obviously a lot more work to be done.

TreeHugger asked some of the Web’s best environmental writers to share their wishes for Earth Day. Responses varied, some said renewable energy, changing the human brain, or simply that there is no silver bullet that could solve our endless environmental problems. But if there was one response that I couldn’t agree with more, it would be that of professional race car driver, environmental activist, and frequent contributor to TreeHugger.com Leilani Munter

“If I could change one thing about the world, I would have everyone adopt a plant based diet. Many people associate their carbon footprint with the fuel in the car they drive but they don’t associate it with the food on their plate." 

This is a large part of the reason why I am a vegetarian myself. The meat industry is very hard on our natural resources, polluting our land and water, cutting down rain forests and slaughtering billions of animals annually. Even Albert Einstein was a vegetarian! He once said:

"Nothing will benefit human health and increase the chances for survival of life on Earth as much as the evolution to a vegetarian diet.”




Sustainable Fashion

Fashion has often been role cast as a wasteful industry according to treehugger.com, however we have seen how up and coming fashion designers are increasingly using disgarded material in sustainable ways to create beautiful work.

Stefanie Nieuwenhuyse a British fashion design grad student is an example of this, she took her cue from the discarded, laser-cut plywood chips she saw strewn on the floor of her school’s workshop. In collecting them, she used hand sewing to re-make these waste pieces into a fabulous collection that also mimics the natural patterns of snake’s skin.

I could definitely see Lady Gaga and other eccentric celebrities Sporting this trend.

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What Happens When BP Spills Coffee?

“Don’t worry, it’s a small spill on a very large table”

I found this on: http://www.treehugger.com/files/2010/06/what-happens-when-bp-spills-coffee-video-funny-ucbcomedy.php when I stumbled here.

Seems to be pretty fitting for the present situation.

It’s a pity the direction that we are going, in regards to our attitude towards our environment.

Its future lies in our hands, and every little thing we do to it could alter it forever.  We are the reason for the extinction of so many species.  Why do we allow ourselves to be so destructive?  The human race cannot survive unless there is pain and suffering.  It will not settle for peace.

It’s not enough to recycle.  Conserve, save energy and materials before they are used.  That is how a beautiful future for our planet can be made.  Carbon footprints and everything.  They won’t wash away as easily as our footprints at the beach.

We are all one people on this planet, strangers to it.  You would not go to a stranger’s home, eat up all of the food, and then leave after destroying everything.  Why then can we not, each of us, live on Earth and leave it just as awesome, if not, more so, than how it was when we came to it.

The lives of our children depend upon everything that we do.  Why would you deprive a child of the necessities he or she needs for life, love.  We were not born of this Earth to rape it and rip from her bosom the fruits of time.  It took billions of years, the exact position of every particle in the vast expanse of the universe to make that cell in your body, the same as any creature.  Every single one of us is created so specifically in perfection, in synchronization with everything else.  It should not be in us to rupture the harmony.

Over the course of some years, new cells regenerate, and old cells die, making us newer forms of ourselves, completely new.  In that time, our experiences will shape us to be so different from who we used to be with those older cells.  If we are wounded and scarred, though our body tries its hardest, the mark remains. 

Earth is no different.  As intricate as our bodies are, so is the Earth.  And when she is attacked and mutilated, she cannot always fight back.  What is made dead will remain dead, until it is consumed again by that same life-force that created it.

There is so much beauty in the world if you only take the time to look and to appreciate it:

The oceans hold forever and the secret of life in their embrace, for without the water, nobody would be here.  All of the strange and exotic life that exists, as though from another planet, hidden within the dark confines of the deep.

The rainforests are filled with a variety of flora and fauna, untouched by human hands, undiscovered and immaculate.  The delicate balance there exists until we invade.  They are so full of life and promise.

The desert sands, how the living have adapted so well to the harsh environments.  But what makes this so appealing is the knowledge that out there is a well.  And perhaps the dream of the dune beneath the solitary star where one can imagine the wonders of the universe and the behaviors of man. (I love the Little Prince by Antoine Saint-Exupery!)

The mountains, testaments of the Earth’s might, exploring into the heavens.  The howling of the wind, the lone animals making an honest way for themselves.  With hands out, you could touch the far corners of the world, if only you reached.

The cities containing the lives, the hopes and dreams of so many people, the excitement and energy, innovation, creativity, cooperation, friendships.  The skyscrapers, landmarks of our teamwork, reflective, reaching for the stars.  The wonders that pass through the night.  The home of the world.

The highways and trains like veins that carry the life element throughout the body.  Everyone goes so quickly by, around all of the breathtaking views.  Each so filled with a purpose, a passion that shakes the ground that burns for that day, a month, a year, an eternity.  The colors pass, fade, and disappear.  One day they will return.

The farms, built on hard work, with a certain care for the earth, the animals.  From dawn to dusk.  Everything has its place.  Everything has its reason for being there.

The laughter.

The tears.

The smiles that can bring one back from the dead.

There is beauty everywhere.  The soul can recognize it.  It’s the eyes that deceive, the ears that mute, the mouth that lies.  It takes a certain person to touch with the heart.

Life is made of moments.  There are no significant days.  It only takes a second to make a lasting impact.  Use it well.

Don’t wait for tomorrow.  Tomorrow will never come.  It will be too late.

Smile and make the seconds count.

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German artist Bartholomäus Traubeck recently debuted a record-player he developed which is capable of digitally reading tree-slices and translating them into surprisingly moving piano music. Tree-rings, of course, considered to be annual records of a tree’s growth rate – which in turn offer clues to the hardships and fruitful periods experienced over the life of the tree.

- Treehugger.com

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Usually when you see “vibrating” on the Internet, you double-check to make sure it’s not a virus or that your virus software is updated. 

I think small devices like this are really cool because A.) it’s a cool design for a problem no one thought about solving, B.) great stocking stuffer and C.) it uses vibrations. Anything that uses vibrations in empty objects has to be amazing… I wonder if you could use it on the cast of Jersey Shore.

Maybe not. You might get too much bass and hair-gel.

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The Biggest Little Apartment in the World

Most urban dwellers know the pain of sleeping in your kitchen and eating in your bathroom, but that all might come to an end thanks to the ingenuity of Graham Hill, the founder of Treehugger.com. His incredible transforming apartment will never turn into a Mack truck and fight for the future of the Earth, but it will turn 420 sq ft into 1100. Check it out above.

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6 Rooms into 1: Morphing Apartment Packs 1100 Square Feet into 420
Kirsten Dirksen 

This video is about the LifeEdited apartment in Soho, New York City, New York. This is the apartment of Graham Hill, the founder of treehugger.com and “a serial entrepreneur." 

More info on the LifeEdited apartment can be found here