Our Thursday green news brings you the latest on green architecture, climate change, energy and communities:
- Idaho architect’s tiny dream house: Do you have a dream house? What does it look like? Do you need an inspiration? When Idaho architect Macy Miller got divorced and lost her 2,500-square-foot house to foreclosure, all she wanted is to get out and get something just for herself. So she designed and built a tiny house that has barely 200 square feet. She built it with her own two hands at a cost of only $11,000 during an 18-month period.
- New sustainable textile is on the horizon: According to new research at the University of Guelph in Ontario, slime fibers from hagfish could one day be used as a sustainable material for clothing and other textile-based products. Hagfish are covered with glands producing a thick, white fluid, which creates slime they use for self-defence when mixed with seawater. The fibers contained in this slime are made of linked proteins that are almost as strong as spider silk. Scientists are working on artificially reproducing these proteins that could then be assembled into fibers. Once this technology is fully developed, the new material could be a major breakthrough and a promising replacement for petroleum-based textiles such as polyester.
- Fort Collins goes greener with new solar gardens, wind farm and more: The city of Fort Collins in Colorado is exploring new possibilities on how to increase their clean energy production, and one of their new initiatives is what could be the world’s first “solar garden.” The project is part of the city’s program for establishing a zero-energy district called FortZED, which plans to cut emissions by twenty percent by year 2020 against its 2005 levels as well as significantly increase its use of clean energy sources. As Steve Catanach, one of the creators of FortZED explained: “We’ve got a goal to generate six percent of our power from renewables by 2015, rising to 10 percent by 2020. But we’re currently examining that goal and will probably double it.” FortZED also works on a proposal for a new wind farm on the edge of the city, plus plans to trial smart grid, energy storage and energy efficiency technologies.