Fixed-gear bicycle trend

She is the queen of the urban jungle.  The fixed-gear bicycle is recognisable by her austere design that makes her look like a piece of art.

Essential and really easy to manage the peculiarity of this bike is that she has no brakes and no gear changes.

The pedals, through the chain, are directly connected to the hub of the rear wheel. And the only way to stop cycling with this bike is by pedalling backwards.

This bike also has no fenders, and therefore is lightweight and requires minimal maintenance. Imported from New York, where bike messengers made them famous, fixed-gear is definitely the bike of the moment.

The key to the success of this fashion is definitely in the beauty of the objects: frames and matching coloured handlebars, pedals and wheels: even the chains reflect the tones of the other components!

In the world of fixed gear, as in fashion, clothing is not left to chance: colourful tops, pants rolled up, always ready to jump in the saddle at all times and little vintage cycling hats.

Everything must mach to be a real “fashionista” biker.

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Light up your bike with new LED technology

Taillights and fluorscent accessories for night-time journeys are history: the way to illuminate your road will completely change with Revolights.

This LED technology will not only light up all your wheels but will also make your bike perfectly visible in the darkness.

Revolights is a set of bicycle lights that will be placed on the rim of each wheel. The design is also quite simple: two thin LED rings (one red, one white) attached just below the brakes of each wheel.

The lights will continue to charge thanks to is a small hub attached to the bike, connected with a slim wire, holding a rechargeable polymer lithium-ion battery.

Although the authorised colours for lights on a road are red and white, the lights also come in slightly different tones.

Revolights will be available on the market from March.

Once it is complete, Revolights will be available for purchase on the net and will set you back around £ 142.

Are you ready to join the revolution?

Eve’s apple risks to disappear from Kazakhstan

In Kazakhstan the oldest apple on Earth risks to be destroyed by the wild urbanisation.

Malus sieversii, this is the name of this unique species of apple, is “only” 65 million years old but the astonish think is that it could resist to all the diseases that normally kill those fruits.

Malus does not need any of the 35 pesticides that are used to fight the parasites that infest the Snow-white fruit.

This apple is a real “living fossil”,  but now it is threatened by urbanisation.

In a press conference, few days ago, the association Alma, born two years ago to save the Malus sieversii ( “Eve’s apple”), launched its appeal.

Eve’s apple grows wild in the region of Almaty in the south east of Kazakhstan. The name Almaty means “full of apples.” For millions of years, at the foot of the Tian Shan on the border of China, this apple have grown undisturbed.

The seeds of this apple are contained in an envelope and  they can not bear fruit. This is why they need wild animals, which eat the seeds and, in the intestine, break the shells. The seeds back to the ground, germinate and grow.

To discover these apples was the Soviet biologist Nikolai Vavilov in 1929, before dying in prison, but was the agronomist Aymak Djangaliev who, in 1945, made the classification.

Only in 2010 when its the gene sequences was discovered , it turned out that the Malus sieversii was the ancestor of  all the apples of today.

The trees of this fruit are particularly beautiful, high between 20-30 meters and 2 meters wide. There’s not one that looks like another.

There are 6 thousand varieties of this apple, that unlike other wild apples, it is not small and bitter, but big and sweet. The enormous genetic diversity has made it resistant to pathogens.

So the genetic material of this apple could be crossed with the one of other apples and could seriously contribute to create more free pesticides apples.

Such work was already done in Japan with the bitter apple Malus floribunda, but it took 40 years to produce a new apple.

With the apple of Eve, according to Alma, things should be simpler. However, the real problem is deforestation.

According to Alma, already 70 percent of the apple trees are already been destroyed.

Gaia, the Italian house that eliminates smog

It was built with a  smog-eating cement and paint,  in Cerro

Gaia the smog eating house

Maggiore, near Milan, the first zero emissions house.

The building was named “Gaia”, because of its impact on the environment, and is the first ecological experiment carried out with a house painting “photocatalytic”.

“Gaia” has already won awards from the Legambiente, an Italian environmental agency,  and the Ministry of Economic Development, in addition to Class A + certification, the highest certification in energy savings.

The complex includes energy-saving heating systems, no boilers or flues, elevator, and energy saving light bulbs.

But the most important new feature is the use of an exterior paint that can transform the contaminants into the air clean.

The new paint was made by Trieste Harpo  company after many years trying.

The product combines high quality and the attention to the environment.
The painting “RIALTO domosil photocatalytic”, under the action of sunlight, activates an oxidative process that breaks down pollutants particles  in the atmosphere.

These, once in contact with the facade of the building, under the action of the Sun, are transformed into non-polluting particles, purifying the air.

Zazzaro Tullio, director of the division of Harpo RIALTO group, explains: “The process of purification that is activated through the photocatalytic paints Harpo group is both very simple and very complex. The solar active photocatalyst particles to neutralize the pollutants. For example, oxides of nitrogen absorbed on the surface are converted into calcium nitrate”.

In practice, the most dangerous pollutants substances such as nitrogen dioxide, sulfur dioxide, carbon monoxide, benzene, ammonia, and formaldehyde, with the activation of photocatalysis, are converted into inert compounds soluble in water, non-polluting .

“While maintaining high breathability and water resistance of the masonry- Zazzaro says – coating system provides an effective anti-pollution and anti-fouling with the transformation of air pollutants in water-soluble or inert substances, without that they remain fouling in painting”

This, therefore, maintains the brightness of the color white in time, avoiding the need for costly maintenance and repainting.

Green gifts for Christmas

If you have no ideas for Christmas here there is an ecofriendly present guide.

I have found it on Inhabitat Green Holiday and it is completely dedicated to animals lover.

If you’ve been searching high and low for an eco-friendly gift for the animal lover in your life, then look no further because we’ve rounded up a bounty of goods that are as kind to our furry (and not so furry) friends as they are to the environment.

It is possible to choose between a WWF adoption, a vegan cupcake recipes book, a Happiknit’s hand-knit neck-warmer is a cowl, scarf, and capelet,  made with 100 % organic fair-trade cotton or even a voucher to sponsor a rescued farm animal.

All the gifts are divided in different categories so it is really easy to find what are you looking for, and I am sure that you will find a really nice idea for your family, friend, boyfriend or girlfriend.

My two favorite categories are green thumb and animal lovers.

In the first I have found the GrowBottle.

This is a cleverly repurposed hydroponic planter made from discarded wine bottles. Each nifty little growing set contains everything needed to get a low-maintenance garden growing, including a hand-crafted recycled wine bottle, soil, USDA certified organic/heirloom seeds, clay pebbles, wool wick, plant nutrient, cork coaster, and a decorative ribbon made from recycled plastic bottles. The GrowBottle is available in five varieties – oregano, chives, basil, parsley, and mint.

GrowBottle Hydropionic Bottle Planters

Or even more crazy: the perfect planter for anyone with limited garden space. Black + Blum’s Hot-Pot bbq is an attractive terracotta plant pot that also doubles as a grill!

Blum Barbecue Planter

From Animal Lover I have found instead the Moma Bubble Bag for who cannot stand the leather.
This chic bubbly bag makes a great gift for ladies who prefer to avoid leather purses. It’s cut from Laplam, a new material made from 60% – 80% recycled plastic, so it’s stylish, light on the earth, and vegan too!

Moma bubble bag

Eco Christmas tree designed by Jolanta Šmidtiene

For the past three years, Jolanta Šmidtienė has been designing the

Jolanta-Šmidtienė tree

holiday décor for Kaunas in Lithuania.

This year, the city was faced with an extremely restrained budget. They sought to create a recycled tree of some sort that would be beautiful without breaking the bank.

It is Christmas. The lights bright the streets, decorations are everywhere and a smell of crackling fireplaces fill the air.

I just love Christmas. Unfortunately since I have became an “ecologist” Christmas has a bitter taste.

In fact I cannot help to think about all the massive footprint that all our family will leave while we are celebrating the most famous birthday in the world.e

Yes because behind all our presents and lights there is a huge production of greenhouse gas and waste.

So I loved the Christmas tree designed by Jolanta Šmidtiene for the city of Kaunas.

The tree did not cost anything and it is made only by recycled plastic bottles.

The massive fir is 42 feet high and made with more than 40 thousand bottles tying together.

At night the tree lit from the inside and emits a powerful emerald light.

La Casa de Botellas: Argentinian Home Made Out of Recycled Plastic Bottles

La Casa de Botellas created by the Alfredo Santa Cruz family in Puerto Iguazu, Argentina, was constructed from thousands of PET plastic bottles, and was designed as “a tool for promoting ecological and social responsibility.”

The surprisingly sturdy structure features a Tetra pack roof, doors and windows made from CD jewel cases — and the interior boasts beds, coffee tables and couches, all created entirely from used plastic. While no one in the Santa Cruz family is an architect or engineer, they are doing their part to save the planet by providing free home building courses in Latin American countries “to address both trash [issues] and housing scarcity.

by Rodrigo Soldon

Marine Solars Cells

Innovated by London-based industrial design professional Phil Pauley, marine solar cells – abbreviated as MSC – can be used to generate effective solar and wave energy.

They looks like blue bubble and they float in the see, but they are more that a futuristic art masterpiece.

In fact MSC could use both the energy of the sun and of the waves. Thanks to their shell shape they could reach 20% more energy of the normal solar panel and they can also exploit the energy of the water reflection.

The solar-wave plant responds to the global need for large-scale renewable energy capture and has huge implications for offshore energy generation and local marine conservation.

“These hybrid marine generators would be an effective way of capturing more energy per square metre. The design means they could be largely constructed from recycled materials too,” said Pauley.

According to the innovator, this would result in more marine area being covered and in-turn a much higher rate of energy being generated. Along with this benefit, Phil Pauley also talks about extensive employment generation through the installation of the marine solar cells in the high seas and the feasibility and flexibility in terms of the materials used to build the marine solar cells.

The marine solar cells are riding on an enormous amount of prognostication both by its inventor and by the experts in its field of application. It can be hoped that the predictions surrounding the gadget materialise and that generation of renewable energy reaches to a new level unlike any before.