Green tech finds: Earthships and solar get affordable

Think “green tech” automatically means “expensive?” Nope: costs are dropping on everything from Earthships to solar power.

An affordable Earthship: I’ve been in love with the Earthship building concept for years, but no way I’d ever be able to afford one. That may be changing, though: the “Simple Survival” model Earthship is designed to provide the amenities of these self-sufficient structures without the “mortgage bondage.” Check it out above.

Disposable cups into wall art: Turkish firm Designnobis created the NATURWALL, a “plug-and-play” system for turning disposable coffee cups into plant holders on a living wall. (via Inhabitat and @dothegreenthing)

Cheap solar in 2023: That’s the prediction by the Institute for Local Self-reliance for solar power to hit cost parity with grid power in the St. Louis area; other parts of the country (yes, that’s you, NYC) will see this much sooner, according to a new animation by the organization. (via Co.Exist and @bennuworld)

Fighting fracking on Reddit: Social sharing site Reddit has clearly broadened beyond its tech-heavy early adapters, as a post about BLM efforts to lease land for natural gas fracking in Colorado has gone popular. (via Treehugger and @jerryjamesstone)

The reusable cup that your barista will love: If you actually get coffee at the coffee shop (like I do), reusable cups and mugs aren’t a problem – but try handing one to a barista for that double-shot, half-caf, something-a-chino. The KeepCup was designed by baristas (baristi?), so it fits under the standard espresso nozzle. (via MNN)

Low-tech lawn care: Think Google’s not serious about low-carbon technology? If so, consider their approach to dealing with fields on their corporate campus that need occasional “mowing”: renting a herd of goats. (via TechCrunch and @EcoverUS)

The perfect gift for a 16-year-old — a Zipcar membership?: That whole “get your drivers’ license, buy a car” connection so many of us once considered sacred? Forget about it: some members of the Millennial generation understand that owning a car’s a pain, and prefer access to a vehicle (or other transportation options) rather than ownership.

Santa’s carbon footprint: And, finally, just for fun, Ethical Ocean has created an infographic detailing the greenhouse gas pollution that results from Santa Claus’ one-night worldwide journey.

Got a find we missed? Leave it in the comments, and then take a break already: it’s the holidays!