illinois

Green tech finds: the power-free kitchen appliances edition

Green tech finds: the power-free kitchen appliances edition

Refrigerate and cook food without electricity? We’ve got finds this week that get you pretty close, along with mushrooms that eat plastic, and plans to reuse dirty diapers (really!).

The DIY, electricity-free refrigerator: Ever heard of a zeer pot? This very old concept for keeping food chilled only requires two clay flower pots, and some sand and water to build yourself. (via @dothegreenthing)

And then cook that food without power: Well, not exactly, but with a lot less power. The Wonderbag keeps food cooking after the heat’s turned off, and was originally designed for very poor people who couldn’t afford much fuel. (via Inhabitat)

The state fair goes green

The state fair goes green

Rickety carnival rides. Animal and agricultural exhibits. And fried… well, just about anything. State fair season is coming up, and future farmers, midway operators, and bands past their prime are ready to roll. At a few fairs around the country, you can add renewable energy vendors, green builders, and organic foodies to the mix: the greening of the state fair is slowly but surely underway.

Solar Decathlon: The Envelope, Please…

Solar Decathlon: The Envelope, Please…

While the 2009 Solar Decathlon officially wrapped up yesterday, the winners of the solar-powered home design competition were announced Friday morning. While sixteen of the twenty student teams hailed from the US, an international competitor took the gold: Team Germany received the highest number of points, and scored a repeat of its ’07 win.

Summer activities for the green at heart: sustainable agriculture tours

Summer activities for the green at heart: sustainable agriculture tours

Got a big trip planned to the beach, mountains, or lake this summer? Maybe not: with our current economic doldrums, you may well have cut back on summer travel plans. If you’re looking for activities closer to home this year that won’t cost big bucks, it just so happens that summer is also the season for sustainable farm tours… and there’s likely one near you coming up. Here are just a few upcoming events that will allow you to see more sustainable agriculture in action, as well as provide you with an education on where your food comes from…