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Expandable “Origami” Pot Grows Along With Plants to Cut Waste

By melding gorgeous design with adaptive functionality, the humble gardening pot goes from static to sustainable.

image via studio ayaskan

I’ll be the first to admit that I don’t possess a particularly green thumb. Sure, I’ve got a few potted mint and basil plants lined up on my kitchen countertop, but those were inherited from a since-departed neighbor. I’m fairly certain that if I’d been the one tasked with raising them from seedlings, well, my countertop would probably be a lot emptier than it is now. In particular, I’ve never gotten the hang of transferring a plant from a small pot to another larger, more accommodating one. Invariably I’ll slice the roots or over/under water the newly-transferred foliage, at which point the plant dies, and for my effort I’m left with not one, but two empty, useless pots. What a waste all around.

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Don’t Touch the Wild Venus Flytraps

Plant poachers are taking a huge bite out of exotic species in their natural habitats, and law enforcement is starting to bite back.

On January 3, 2015, local officials arrested four men in North Carolina for possession of 970 freshly excavated Venus flytraps. The quartet were the first to be charged under a new state law, passed last August and put into effect in December, elevating the illegal collection of wild Venus flytraps from a misdemeanor punishable by a slap-on-the-wrist fine of a few bucks to a Class H felony punishable by a much larger fine and up to 25 months in prison.

To those used to seeing the archetypal carnivorous plant for sale at home and garden stores and roadside stands, this penalty for basically picking a few plants may seem excessive. But for years, poaching has been driving the Venus flytrap and hundreds of other vulnerable species towards extinction in the wild without much perceptible attention or decisive response from lawmakers or society at large.

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In a modern house or office, the air inside can actually be two to five times more polluted than the air outdoors. And if you're like the average person, you spend around 90 percent of your time inside. State-of-the-art design can help solve the problem: architects can design for good ventilation, and product designers can design furniture, carpets, and paints that don't pollute the air. But what if you're stuck with a stuffy apartment and a formaldehyde-filled couch?

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What if Making Biofuel Means Growing Dangerous Invasive Species?

The same qualities that make a good biofuel crop are also hallmarks of species that crowd out native plant life.


The same characteristics that make a good biofuel stock also make successful weeds. The next generation of biofuels won’t come from corn, but from cellulose-rich plants—grasses, algae, and reeds—and those most suited for biofuel production might be those that are “fast-growing, highly productive, highly competitive, self-propagating or able to regrow rapidly,” a report from the National Wildlife Federation suggests.

“Unfortunately, many invasive species, by their very nature, exhibit these qualities as well,” researchers Aviva Glaser and Patty Glick write in the report.

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A 'Vertical Greenhouse' Could Make a Swedish City Self-Sufficient

Growing these plants in the city will make food production less costly both for the environment and for consumers.

The future of urban farming is under construction in Sweden as agricultural design firm Plantagon works to bring a 12-year-old vision to life: The city of Linköping will soon be home to a 17-story "vertical greenhouse."

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