plants

Green tech finds: the monster trade shows edition

Green tech finds: the monster trade shows edition

CES and the Detroit Auto Show are going on this week, and we’ve got finds from both!

The tiny electric pick up: Need to haul stuff? You won’t get much into the Smart For-Us, but, as Charis Michelsen at Gas 2.0 points out, it’s awfully cute, and may serve the actual hauling needs of most truck drivers.

Your plants are Tweeting: And they’re thirsty. That’s right: the Botanicalls gadget (not sure what else to call it) sends you a tweet when your plants need watering. Only marginally green, but kind of cool. (via Crisp Green)

Leafsnap: the electronic field guide that gets smarter with use

Leafsnap: the electronic field guide that gets smarter with use

Ever been out on a hike, a camping trip or just a walk in the neighborhood and been faced with the question “What kind of tree is that?” More often than not, my own answer is “I don’t know.” Leafsnap, a new “electronic field guide” developed by Columbia University, the University of Maryland, and the Smithsonian Institute (which I covered very briefly a few months ago) is designed, in part, to change that answer. Using your iPhone, you can take a picture of a leaf, flower, or fruit from a tree and identify it through comparison with images in the app’s database. Think of it as facial recognition software for the nature lover.

Maryland nursery specializes in plants for green roofs

Maryland nursery specializes in plants for green roofs

Green roofs are quickly becoming a standard for improving building energy efficiency and managing storm water run-off. Chicago became a green roofing hub during the Daley administration, and Toronto now mandates them for new buildings. But, unless a building owner has plans for a rooftop garden (and the care required for it), a green roof requires plants that can thrive under hot, dry, and sunny conditions. Farmer and management consultant Ed Snodgrass saw an opportunity here, and, in 2004, expanded his wholesale nursery into the green roof plants niche.

Amazing upcycle: old furniture into planters

Amazing upcycle: old furniture into planters

Milan Design Week may be over and done with, but so many incredible ideas made their debut on the vast showroom floor that the event still has us buzzing. Take this deceptively simple idea from Italian designers Peter Bottazzi and Denish Bonapace that turns used up and useless old furniture into artfully rendered homes for plants. Called Da Morto A Orto, or from redundant to abundant, Bottazzi and Bonapace took various pieces of furniture and combined them into hybrids – a rolling desk chair with a wooden dresser drawer and an aluminum lamp or a plush armchair with metal pots sprouting out its back. The combinations are endless and these pictures are the ultimate inspiration for DIY-ers.

Lazy green landscaping: meadowing

Lazy green landscaping: meadowing

Want to convert your front lawn into a garden or a native plant habitat? You’re likely looking at a lot of work in terms of killing off or digging up sod (we’re assuming you wouldn’t just douse it with herbicide), preparing the soil, and putting in new plants.

Turns out there’s a method that the Lazy Environmentalist would love: meadowing.

The latest green product: poop in a tea bag

The latest green product: poop in a tea bag

You can call Annie Haven a “tea bagger” if you’d like, but keep in mind the title doesn’t necessarily reflect her politics (or any other preferences); rather, it’s a professional title. Haven is the founder of Authentic Haven Brand soil conditioner tea, which takes manure from her family’s cattle farm, puts it in 3×5 teabags, and sells it to homeowners looking for something akin to an energy drink for their house plants.