Consume, consume, consume. We’ve become very good at it. But what if we took a step back and realized that it doesn’t have to be this way? We can spend less money, have more, and give back to Mother Earth while doing it. A house where electric bills are just so passé? Yes please!
If you haven’t heard of Plus-energy homes yet, it’s time to get acquainted. These sustainable abodes are beginning to make a name for themselves around the globe, as they are both beautiful in design and efficiency, generating more energy than they consume. What’s more, they can be set up to allow for the excess energy to be sold back to the grid.
As they continue to gain popularity, they are dropping in price, while the unique and chic aesthetics and energy efficient features just add icing onto the cake of a concept that’s hard not to celebrate. Marking another important step away from our dependence on fossil fuels, these homes are worth checking out.
ZEB Pilot House is the outcome of a collaboration between the architecture and design firm Snøhetta, Scandinavia’s largest independent research body, SINTEF, Zero Emission Building (ZEB) partner Brødrene Dahl, and Optimera. This plus-energy home generates enough extra energy to power an electric car all year long. Residing in Larvik, Norway, this 200-square-meter home is powered by both geothermal and rooftop solar energy.
Designed by ArchiBox, the solar panel-topped Carbon Positive House is Australia’s very first carbon-positive prefab home. All 800-square-feet of the house generate more energy than they consume while also soaking up significant amounts of natural light via the double-glazed facade. A green roof and vertical garden walls provide proper insulation and shade. Inside the home you’ll find an interior that offers materials and fixtures that are energy efficient, sustainably sourced, and non-toxic to boot.
“Heliotrope plants have blossoms or leaves, which turn themselves with the rotation of the sun. That is also exactly what the Heliotrope can do!” reads a statement on the website, which also says this energy-plus solar home in Freiburg, Germany, was the very first home in the world to produce more energy than it expends. The home rotates 180 degrees to follow the sun’s path and take full advantage of solar panel efficiency. A 6.6 kWH rooftop solar array is responsible for the home’s plus-energy status, while solar thermal tubing heats the home’s water radiators.
Image: Rolf Disch
This home in Cannon Beach, Oregon, has incredible ocean views and southern solar exposure. Boasting a green roof, energy-efficient design, and sustainably sourced materials, this award-winning abode is also net-zero. The home was designed to last multiple generations for the client, while also taking into consideration their love of materials and forms found in nature.
Light seeps into seemingly every inch of this stunning contemporary home. One of eight experimental designs from Active Houses, and financed by FKR Holding, Home For Life is a 2,045-square-foot two-bedroom house that was strategically placed in order to take in 50% of its winter heating from passive solar means. Noteworthy features include a photovoltaic system, solar hot water system, heat pump, energy optimized windows, and automatic natural ventilation.
“With buildings accounting for 40% of carbon emissions in the Western world, and 30% of buildings having deficient indoor climates, we sought to create a carbon-neutral building that would benefit from solar energy, both actively by producing electricity and solar heat and passively by benefitting from the heat of the sun,” a statement on the website reads.
Architecture studio Werner Sobek Group is behind this energy-plus home that generates so much clean energy it not only powers itself, but two electric cars and the house next door, too. Consisting of 914-square-feet, the home features a smart energy system capable of learning and adapting to the habits of the homeowner, who can access the system via a smartphone or tablet.
“The surplus energy is used to power two electric cars and – utilizing smart grid technology – the neighbouring house built by the architect Le Corbusier (home to the Weissenhof Museum since 2006). Combining mobile and permanent infrastructures is an extremely promising approach towards achieving an integrated and decentralized power supply to serve the needs of both electro-mobility and the built-up environment,” a statement on the website reads.
Image: Zooey Braun
New Images Of Jupiter Are In And They’re Awesome
Low and behold, the magnificent gas giant Jupiter in all its glory!
Earth is a miraculous being. We have lived on this planet for centuries and still haven’t learned of all its magnificent depths and crevices. Yet, beyond the mysteries of our own home, we have the beauty of the stars to consider, which inevitably leaves us wondering, what else is beyond this blanket of darkness and twinkling lights? While we have discovered much about our solar system and neighbouring planets, there is still plenty more to learn.
In 2011, Nasa launched a space probe called Juno which is currently orbiting Jupiter. Juno finally began its scientific investigation of the planet when it entered orbit on July 5, 2016. The mission aims to learn more about how the planet formed, its composition, the amount of water present within the deep atmosphere, and its mass distribution. It will also measure its deep winds, which have been noted to reach speeds of up to 618 kilometers per hour (384 mph), and its gravity field, magnetic field, and polar magnetosphere.
On July 10, Juno completed a close flyby of Jupiter and its Great Red Spot during its sixth science orbit. “For generations people from all over the world and all walks of life have marveled over the Great Red Spot,” said Scott Bolton, principal investigator of Juno from the Southwest Research Institute in San Antonio. “Now we are finally going to see what this storm looks like up close and personal.”
On Friday, September 1, the JunoCam collected more images of this magnificent gas giant from its seventh science orbit, and NASA put the raw images online. In the following photos you will see what seems to be a large storm cutting into the side of the planet, creating a rather lovely pattern, along with amazing closeups of the clouds, a shadow on Jupiter caused by one of its moons, and hurricanes making their way across the planet. As an additional treat, there is also a video stitching together images as Juno flew over Jupiter.
Juno’s missions is scheduled to end in July 2018 but the mission could be extended if all continues to go well.
Breath-Taking Images of The Recent Full Solar Eclipse, From Space
As you probably already know, Earth experienced a total solar eclipse on August 21st. This rare astronomical event garnered plenty of attention, capturing the imaginations of people from all around the globe.
I’ve always been fascinated by such events that happen in space, as well as chronobiology, a field within biology that examines and studies phenomena in living organisms and how solar, lunar, and other related rhythms affect our physiology.
Here at Collective Evolution, based on all of our research in several different fields, we believe there is currently a massive shift in consciousness happening, and that it’s actually coinciding with the heightened activity of the Sun. Throughout all stages of human history, major events (like 9/11) have been marked by a spike or increase in solar activity.
“I believe it will be the magnetic influence produced by the sun that will usher in what is described by our ancient ancestors as ‘the transition’ bringing us to a new state-of-being.”
– Mitch Batros, author, solar researcher
Today, we understand that the sun goes through cycles, like the sun spot cycle that lasts 11 years.
Do these events affect human consciousness? A Soviet-era interdisciplinary scientist and biophysicist who founded “heliobiology,” the study of the sun’s effect on biology, named Alexander Chizhevsky produced a lot of great research on the subject, as have many others.
“When I first came across Chizhevsky’s research it was fascinating because you’re seeing thousands of years’ worth of human history and human events that seem to coincide almost perfectly with the cycles of the sun, and the radiation and cosmic rays that are coming down cosmologically and that are ultimately impacting human consciousness and the events that take place here on Earth.”
– Joe Martino, Founder of Collective Evolution
After analyzing years of data, Chizhevsky discovered a remarkable correlation between sun spot cycles and major events in human history. We go into more detail about this in our third documentary, The Collective Evolution III: The Shift, at approximately the 40 minute mark.
It’s also important to mention the fact that an international cooperative effort to help activate the heart of humanity and facilitate a shift in global consciousness is underway, thanks to the work of scientists over at the HeartMath Institute. Science has recently shed light on the fact that what we used to perceive as ‘human’ aura is actually an electromagnetic field that all our bodies emit, a fact which plays a very important role — far beyond what is commonly known — in understanding our biology, and the interconnectedness we share with all life.
Astronomical bodies, like the Sun, also have electromagnetic fields. Perhaps we have a relationship with the stars and the planets that we don’t yet understand.
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According to Vedic scholars, teachers, and gurus like HH Swami Vidyadhishananda, this event was a rare opportunity for meditation:
In general, eclipses indicate an interruption of the energy of the luminaries and hence are deemed as important events for life on Earth. The effect of an eclipse on each individual is different and depends on their particular position or placement of luminaries at the time of birth. . . .
Typically the effects last for three to six months if the eclipse is of particular significance to an individual, whereas it can even last for up to a year if relevant to a country. If and how an eclipse affects an individual is a specific and detailed calculation and is in itself a vast subject. An eclipse of this magnitude influences life across the entire globe to varying degrees. . . . However such effects which are out of our control can be best mitigated at the personal level by way of contemplation or meditation.
Whereas eclipses and their effects have been feared by most traditions and cultures, meditators patiently wait for such moments to come forth. This is because the depth and power of meditation increases manifold during an eclipse.
Definitely some interesting things to think on. Thanks for reading.
Why This Photographer Shoots Real People Doing Everyday Tasks Naked
As an adult, how many times have you been nude around someone else? Friends? Lovers? Family? Strangers? Likely not very often, since being naked, other than taking off your clothes and jumping in the shower, or quickly changing, remains taboo in our culture.
In a way, I understand it. The naked body is most often associated with sex, and so, we cover up the parts of our body associated with it. But of course we dress for so many other reasons: to be warm, to be comfortable, to be fashionable, to be symbolic, and so on.
But the taboo of being naked is just that: a taboo. It’s fear-based, and so we refrain from it. Maybe it’s too much to imagine walking around the streets of a city naked, but what about doing one of your favourite things in the comfort of your own home? Would, and should, being naked really change it?
Photographer Sophia Vogel knows nudity carries this taboo, and so she sought out to prove to people that being naked should feel just as natural as being clothed. “If you think of it right, we are all naked underneath our clothes,” she said.
In her photo series “With and Without,” Vogel got intimate with her subjects, entering their homes and asking them what their hobbies included. Whether it was listening to music or playing with their cat, she asked them to perform their hobbies with and without clothing. Taking photographs during their clothed state and then again during their naked state, she gave a side-by-side comparison of what a hobby looks like in these seemingly different contexts.
Though nakedness has certainly gained more popularity in the mainstream, allowing it to slowly escape the confines of the taboo world, it is still very much a shocking, inappropriate state to many.
“The pressure of being a sexual being is omnipresent for every human being,” Vogel said. “We are observed and judged every day, and the fashion industry lavishes beauty ideals and criticism on us. We set high standards for ourselves. I want to speak up against these ridiculous standards.”
But Vogel’s portraits show no signs of sexual connotation, despite nudity being so sexualized in modern society.
“By presenting all kinds of different body shapes and natural postures I would love to show that everybody is beautiful in their own way,” she said. “I love to present nudity in an aesthetic manner without any sexual context. Not every single nude photograph should be linked to sexuality.”
Even more intriguing about this photo series is that Vogel’s subjects are not models at all, but regular people who agreed to take part in the project by way of reaching out on Instagram, or word-of-mouth. Clearly, many others wanted to break the stigma, too, including the teachers, dentists, attorneys, and various other volunteers — most of them millennials — featured in the series.
“Right now, I am unfortunately only able to get ahold of the younger generations, but I would love to photograph a wide age range,” she said.
Photos: Sophia Vogel
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