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Green tech finds: big ideas in small packages

overflowing trash in new york city

A “camper van” built over an electric bicycle may not attract a lot of buyers, but a 480 square foot off-grid cabin (with plenty of amenities and style) just might. That and more in this week’s green tech finds.

Could NYC power itself on trash? Mayor Michael Bloomberg mentioned “cleanly converting trash into renewable energy” in his most recent state of the city address, and representatives of various constituencies are lining up to debate the costs and benefits of such a model. (via Sustainable Cities Collective)

The tiny electric camper: Don’t plan on going too far from home in artist Jay Nelson’s “Golden Gate” concept vehicle – it gets about 10 miles per charge. (via Earth Techling)

Rent a bike, and a helmet: Bike-sharing programs have run up against one impediment in a number of places: helmet laws. Now, bike share kiosk creators SandVault have created the HelmetStation, which allows renters to also pick up and drop off helmets for their ride. (via Do the Green Thing).

Why a “broken internet” matters to environmentalists: Think yesterday’s protest against anti-piracy bills in Congress was only for geeks and free speech advocates? Grist’s executive editor Scott Rosenberg argues that we greenies should be paying attention, also.

Old belts = new floors: Designer Inghua Ting has figured out a good second life for leather belts: flooring. At $80/square foot, though, it’s definitely a luxury option (though I’d guess old leather would be great on your feet!). (via Crisp Green and @ecosphericblog)

The garden gnome that melts into plant food: We could argue about the aesthetic appeal of garden gnomes, but no one would call them “useful.” Italian designer Giovanni Tomasini may change that, though: his Mino Garden Gnome design is created from composted material, and dissolves over time into plant food.

The tiny coastal cabin: Architect Alex Scott Porter‘s retirement home for her father is completely off the grid in coastal Maine, but doesn’t skimp on comforts.

Found something we didn’t? Small or not? Let us know about it in the comments.

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Image credit: Ralph Hockens at flickr under a Creative Commons license