Inhabitat’s Week in Green: An impressive mobile home, and more!
Is the age of the flying car upon us? This week a new report revealed that Google co-founder Larry Page has secretly invested over $100 million in two aerial vehicle startups. Meanwhile, four major political parties in Norway have proposed a ban on all gas-powered cars by the year 2025. A team of Swedish students unveiled one of the world’s most energy-efficient rail-bound vehicles. A young filmmaker transformed a boring Chevy van into an incredible solar-powered mobile home. And the Coboat is a sun and wind-powered catamaran for co-working freelance nomads.
Wave power has lagged behind solar and wind energy, but that could be changing. Australia just set a world record by generating 14,000 hours of wave power, while a new oceanic energy plant could provide 15 percent of Gibraltar’s energy. Switzerland is harnessing energy from water with a massive subterranean hydropower plant that can power one million homes. Harvard just developed a new artificial leaf that uses sunlight to split water into hydrogen fuel. Apple formed a new company to sell surplus solar energy. And an Icelandic power plant found a way to turn carbon emissions into stone.
Sometimes the most brilliant designs are the simplest. Take the Eco Cooler, a clever air conditioner made from plastic bottles that cools down buildings without using any energy. IKEA is going green by launching a new hydroponic garden specifically designed for restaurants. BioLite launched a brand new line of camping gear that keeps your gadgets charged when you head off the grid, and a disturbing new study warns that the Earth’s magnetic field is weakening 10 times faster than expected. And in wearable tech news, Adidas launched a new line of shoes made entirely from recycled ocean plastic, and a Parson student developed a functional fashion line specifically to help Syrian refugees.