Dad And Son Convert Old 90’s School Bus Into A Tiny Dream Home

Patrick Schmidt was unemployed and living in California when a used 1990 school bus changed his life. Schmidt, who goes by Skoolielove, bought the bus for 4,500 USD in March and then spent three months and 9,000 USD converting it into a motor home with his dad; then Schmidt left for a 10,000 mile journey to Florida.

“My plans are to stay in Florida until March, then most likely find my way back slowly to Vegas, and up to Seattle to live again for a while,” Schmidt told Metro UK. “Find some land to park on. That’s kind of the life I’ve imagined for myself. Ride around, travel, find temporary work, and see where to go from there.”

Patrick Schmidt didn’t want to run in the rat-race


So when he saw an old school-bus for sale for for 4,500 USD, he decided to buy it


Schmidt and his father spent 3 months and 9,000 USD converting the bus into a motorhome


“I decided to check out of the game and live in a school bus tiny home conversion”


And then Schmidt left for a 10,000 mile road-trip to Florida, winding through 30 states


His mobile home is “off grid ready,” with solar power, converters, inverters, batteries etc


They’ve even installed a sink


And a tiny shower next to a toilet!


LEDs were used to create this cosy atmosphere


“My dad’s idea for storage and putting an A/C in place. It’s been tremendously useful”

“That’s kind of the life I’ve imagined for myself”

“Ride around, travel, find temporary work, and see where to go from there”

Read more: http://www.boredpanda.com/school-bus-dream-home-motor-patrick-schmidt/

27 images of ‘reincarnated’ plastic bottles show why it’s better to recycle.

Do you know how much plastic waste the U.S. generates each year?

33
million tons
, according to the EPA, from a 2013 analysis.

If that’s not sobering enough, over 90% of these plastics meet their final resting place in landfills, meaning they’ll never be recycled.

However, I’m not here to depress you with statistics.

I’d like to introduce you to the born-again plastic bottles that are recycled.

The ones that are
hiding in plain sight, as opposed to the ones that are out-of-sight, out-of mind at your local garbage dump.

The ones that found a higher calling thanks to your decision to throw them away in the blue or green bins, as opposed to the black ones.

The recycled plastic bottles that are just
begging you to rediscover them in their newfound glory.

NOTE TO READER (especially you lovely folks on your mobile devices): It might take a few seconds for these images to load. I promise it will be worth the wait!


1. Cozy Patagonia fleece

Check out all their recycled plastic products here.

2. Winter jackets, too!

3. Check it out: Luxury bedsheets designed by will.i.am

4. Plastic bottle denim jeans by a company called Dirtball? Sign me up.

A+ business name, guys.

5. You can also root for your favorite NFL team in these plastic bottle football jerseys.

6. Do yoga (or just be comfy) in these plastic bottle yoga pants.

Namaste, plastic bottles. Namaste.

7. You could also look fly in these New Balance NewSky sneakers.

8. Plastic bottle UNDERWEAR, y’all

9. Designer handbags, backpacks, and luggage by Matt & Nat

Even the inside liner is made from plastic bottles!

10. Red (or green?) carpet fashion

But like, what plastic bottle wouldn’t want to end up with Colin Firth and his wife, Livia?

11. Plastic bottles can also strut their stuff on the runway.

Work it, plastic bottles. Work. It. Out.

12. Pet beds!

GOOD BOY.

13. And pet toys, too!

14. And you’ve probably walked on a plastic bottle rug.

And, hey! These are affordable.

15. Plastic bottles can also get a second chance with these “B2P” pens by Pilot.

Next time you’re ready to restock, consider these bad boys.

16. Rainy day? Try a plastic bottle umbrella.

17. You probably want to buy this awesome bat backpack.

For kids or adults? I’ll let you decide. They also come in pink bunnies, purple owls, penguins with ties, and more.

18. Or this pink dump truck.

*adds to Christmas list*

19. Be fancy with a fancy plastic bottle chandelier!

20. Stare in awe at some ridiculously creative plastic bottle artwork.

21. And don’t forget to check out this artwork … made with plastic bottle “paint.”

WHAT? HOW??

22. You can even make an entire HOUSE from plastic bottles.

23. A bus stop?! Yeah, a bus stop.

24. These people are riding solar-powered recycled-plastic-bottle BOATS.

25. Even the roads of the future are paved in plastic bottles!

26. No big deal, just a man-made plastic bottle island here.

27. Or, you know, 1.5 million bottles could get you AN ENTIRE FREAKING BUILDING.

Learn more about the EcoARK in Taipei, Taiwan, here.


See? It’s an absolute
crime to send plastic water bottles to the dump when there’s so much potential awaiting them elsewhere. Not to mention each ton of recycled plastic saves over 16 barrels of oil since it requires less energy to produce than new plastic.

And remember: Recycling is only one part of the “reduce, reuse, recycle” mantra. Reducing (or even eliminating) your consumption of plastics, in addition to coming up with your own fancy DIY uses for milk jugs and water bottles is even better for the environment, if you’re willing to make the lifestyle change.

Recycle on, friends!

Read more: http://www.upworthy.com/27-images-of-reincarnated-plastic-bottles-show-why-its-better-to-recycle?c=

When do taxpayers get paid back on the $50M in VW tax credits?

You’ve all heard by now thatVW figured out a way to trick the government agenciesthat monitor vehicle emissions in order to get better environmental ratings on its line of “clean diesel” cars.

Well, here’s a new wrinkle: how do taxpayers get paid back on the $50 million in “clean energy” tax credits that buyers received to help purchase the fraudulent automobiles?

More from the Detroit News:

The Senate Finance Committee on Tuesday said it was opening an investigation into Volkswagen AGs use of about $50 million in tax credits for diesel cars that the automaker has now acknowledged have software that evades emissions rules.

In a letter to VW CEO Matthias Muller and VWs top U.S. executive, Michael Horn, Senate Finance Chairman Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, and the ranking Democrat, Ron Wyden of Oregon, want VW to answer questions about tax credits for cars that are among the 482,000 diesel vehicles that had defeat devices on them allowing them to emit up to 40 times allowable pollution in real-world driving.

Keep in mind that these tax credit were instrumental in selling the cars:

Even worse, the liars at VW wanted team Obama to allow credits designated specifically for electric cars to go toward the purchase of the fake-clean diesels:

Now the question is, “who pays back the government?” Will it be the buyers of the car, which would mean refiling tax returnsor will VW pay?

And another problem is the reduced value of the cars people already own:

VW is taking care of their dealers, but not American who bought the cars or U.S. taxpayers who financed them:

Not right, VW.

Read more: http://twitchy.com/2015/10/09/when-do-taxpayers-get-paid-back-report-vw-buyers-got-50-million-in-clean-energy-tax-credits/

It Started As A Normal Van, But With A Bit Of Work, She Turned It Into A Cozy Home

In the midst of a condo renovation, a move, a job, and caring for her father with dementia, Chris of Defying Normal somehow found time to work on her passion project — transforming an old white van into a camper. In addition to running water, she added solar power, a bed, and a sweet TV projector. It may have taken her two years and eight months to complete, but considering all that was going on in her life — and the fact that she had no prior experience in construction — this is still pretty impressive!

You can check out each of the individual steps in detail on Chris’s YouTube page. She also invites people wanting to make their own camper to download her free step-by-step guide on her website.

Read more: http://www.viralnova.com/chris-camper-van/

Obama flying 747 to Paris to warn about security threat posed by climate change

On Earth Day, President Obama torched nearly 10,000 gallons of jet fuel to go to the Florida Everglades with Bill Nye to warn about the threat posed by “climate change,” and he later burned over twice that amount to fly to the Clean Energy Summit in Las Vegas.

If those trips weren’t enough to highlight Obama’s commitment to battling America’s number one national security threat, the quest to make man-made climate change the most expensive self-fulfilling prophecy ever continues:

That alone might be a bigger carbon footprint than the Keystone pipeline would have made, but the climate hangs in the balance!

Question of the week:

Perhaps a member of the WH press corps can ask about that.

Read more: http://twitchy.com/2015/11/09/obama-flying-747-to-paris-to-warn-about-security-threat-posed-by-climate-change/

The amazing school where grandmothers go to learn to save the world.

Barefoot College is an NGO that is training a new generation of female solar engineers to fuel the rural developing world with renewable energy.

I think you don’t have to look for solutions outside. Look for solutions within. And listen to the people on the ground. They have all the solutions in the world,” said Bunker Roy, the founder of Barefoot College in his 2011 TED Talk.

from around the world in “barefoot solutions” to problems they face back home, like how to power villages through solar power, create water purification systems, build FM radios, engineer parabolic solar-powered cookstoves, and become midwives, dentists, and teachers.

At the moment, Barefoot College’s most successful program focuses on teaching women to become solar engineers. Launched in 1990, it has exceeded all expectations.

By the end of 2015, women from all 43 of the world’s least-developed countries will have trained as solar engineers. Their knowledge and skill power an estimated 45,000 rural homes worldwide.


Students at Barefoot College have a few things in common.

1. All of them are women from small, rural communities where electricity is hard if not impossible to come by.

The Barefoot model gives them the skills to power their homes and villages with renewables, in exchange for a small monthly fee based on how much they would have spent on candles, kerosene, and wood. This fee really is small most of these women get by on less than $1 per day.

2. They’re likely illiterate or semi-literate.

At most schools, this would be a huge barrier to learning anything but not at Barefoot College. Here trainees learn from graduates and other teachers many with the same literacy limitations. Instead of teaching each other to read instructions, they develop skills by following mimed instructions (sometimes delivered via puppet), learning to recognize component parts by shape or color, and through regular practice.

3. Many of the graduates of Barefoot College are grandmothers.

The school makes a point of prioritizing training for women who are single mothers, middle-aged, divorced, physically challenged or illiterate because they need the employment opportunity and income the most.”

Image by Gaganjit Singh/Flickr.

It just goes to show how giving women tools and knowledge can change both their lives and their communities for the better.

After six months of training, the women leave with the skills to build and maintain solar energy systems, and to manage a solar workshop in their own community. As a teacher who worked with Barefoot College writes, the change in their confidence is astounding:

“Their transformation has been astonishing. Transformed into Solar Engineers, but beyond that, into joyous and confident women. Women who worked and laughed and bossed about other women from 7 countries they had never heard of or known existed, in languages they did not speak. I hardly recognize their faces today, so much younger and alive than when they arrived.”

Learn more about Barefoot College on their website or on their YouTube channel.

Read more: http://www.upworthy.com/the-amazing-school-where-grandmothers-go-to-learn-to-save-the-world?c=tpstream

While the rest of the world wasn’t looking, Mongolia managed to achieve something kind of amazing.

Even though up to 40% of Mongolia’s population is nomadic, the country has found a way to achieve something wealthier nations can only envy: 98% of its girls and 93% of its boys are now getting a secondary education.



“Big Brother Walks by His Sister and Mom”

Since his family is nomadic, 14-year-old Munkhin Otgonbayar has gone to schools in Uvs Province, Ulaangom, and Mongolia’s capital, Ulaanbaatar.


“A Traditional Yurt, Now With Solar Panels and a Satellite Dish”

Mongolia has worked hard to preserve its cherished traditions in the face of modernization.


“Boys and Their Horses”

For school, Munkhdemberel Munkhbat leaves home and lives in a dormitory. Here he is hanging out with his friends at home he’s the one on the left.



“Doing Homework at Home”

Munkhdemberel hits the books in the family yurt.


“Two Boys Race Their Horses”

It’s a traditional Mongolian pastime. These two boys are prepping to race in the Naadam festival of the Three Manly Sports: horse racing, wrestling, and archery.


“A 37-Year-Old Mongolian Mother”

Years ago, Togtokh Buyanjargal had to leave school in first grade to become a herder. She looks to a better future for her kids thanks to education.


“A Little Girl Watches the Big Kids Do Homework”

A girl watches her siblings work on their assignments. She looks a little envious.



“Urangoo Bayartsogt, Proudly at Her School Desk”

15-year-old schoolgirl Urangoo Bayartsogt attends a boarding school. Even though she’s a long way from her parents and home, she obviously enjoys being there.


“Urangoo at the School Computers”

The good thing about [boarding] school is that … you can ask teachers to explain anything that you don’t understand at any time.”


“Dorm Life”

Urangoo has lived in a school dormitory since first grade. Her younger brothers, 8 and 9, live there with her.



“Teacher Gantuya Galkhuu”

The 29-year-old math teacher has been teaching at her boarding school for eight years. Mongolia encourages teachers to take jobs in remote areas, offering bonuses as incentives.


“Herder Battulga Dorjpurev”

35-year-old herder Battulga Dorjpurev has two kids at school in Bayankhangai Soum. When he was young, his parents weren’t able to provide him an education.



“A Schoolboy and His Parents Shear Sheep During a School Holiday”

When school’s in session, Dorjpurev’s wife (left) moves to town with the kids so they can attend. I guess everybody strives to provide their children with education,” says Battulga.

Read more: http://www.upworthy.com/while-the-rest-of-the-world-wasnt-looking-mongolia-managed-to-achieve-something-kind-of-amazing?c=tpstream

This ancient Japanese art could improve everything from bridges to surgical gear.

Origami: It’s more than just paper cranes!

My crane style defeats your monkey style. Photo by
Doug/Flickr.

Did you know the principles of paper folding have been used to cram car airbags into tight spaces for years? And that’s just the beginning.

All that material sits patiently inside your steering wheel until you need it. Photo by
Scott E./Flickr.

The ancient Japanese art is actually inspiring the future of engineering.

Researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Georgia Tech, and the University of Tokyo, for example, have been toying with
a specific fold configuration they’re calling the “zippered tube.”

They say it could have some pretty amazing applications.

Whooooa. All GIFS via
University of Illinois News Bureau/YouTube.

They start by folding a strip of paper into a sort of zig zag. Then, they glue two of these folded strips together to form a flexible-yet-powerful tube. From there, multiple tubes can be combined in all kinds of different combinations and geometric formations.

The result?

Firm, yet still flexible, Transformer-like structures capable of folding nearly flat for easy transportation or storage.


Here’s a basic paper bridge holding up some hefty weights.

A lot of (our research) was driven by space exploration, to be able to launch structures compactly and deploy them in space,”
says Evgueni Filipov, a graduate assistant on the project. “But we’re starting to see how it has potential for a lot of different fields of engineering. You could prefabricate something in a factory, ship it compactly and deploy it on site.”

But it’s not just paper that can be origami’d into amazing new forms.

Imagine a steel surgical probe capable of collapsing in order to fit through a tiny incision, then expanding after insertion in order to perform its function.

Imagine shelters, bridges, housing, boats, and medical equipment that can be deployed at lightning speed during natural disasters.

Imagine
an incredible, self-assembling robot. (Sound familiar?)

The possibilities are really endless.

From super cool, super convenient pop-up furniture…

This table is “more than meets the eye.” Photo by
Brett Jordan/Flickr.

… to solar panels that collapse and then expand when launched into space.

Starts small, becomes huge. Image from
BYU/YouTube.

It may take some time before we see some of these techniques reach the mainstream.

But it’s pretty exciting to think about a world where structures can be moved, modified, and stowed away with ease. And it’s even cooler to think about a world where engineering is based as much in art as it is in science.

So, let’s keep folding our way to a more beautiful, more functional world.

Read more: http://www.upworthy.com/this-ancient-japanese-art-could-improve-everything-from-bridges-to-surgical-gear?c=

‘Cronies he needs to pay off’? Obama seeks to double ‘clean energy’ spending

President Obama will send his final budget proposal to Congress next week, and he’s seeking to again crank up the amount of money going into “clean energy”:

Haven’t we been down this road before?

In his weekly media address, Obama announced that he will send a budget to Congress on Tuesday which hits twice the current spending levels for clean energy research and development by 2020, declaring that “rather than subsidize the past, we should invest in the future.”
[…]
“One of the greatest challenges of our time is climate change,” the US leader said.

Additionally, Obama has proposed a $10-per-barrel oil fee.

Never let a low energy price “crisis” go to waste:

Obama’s budget doubling “clean energy” spending faces hurdles though:

Obama appears determined to make energy prices as high as possible by the time he leaves office.

Apparently not.

Read more: http://twitchy.com/2016/02/06/cronies-he-needs-to-pay-off-obama-seeks-to-double-clean-energy-spending/

How do you power a solar panel without sunlight? These scientists have an awesome answer.

The more you think about it, the more it seems like solar panels were gifted to us by a strange foreign planet.

GIF from “Superman Returns.”

Of course, there’s one major catch: The amount of energy solar panels create and store can be substantially affected by weather.



GIF via “Smallville”

With a little tweaking, these graphene-coated cells could very well revolutionize how the some areas on our planet generate power.

But the story actually gets more dramatic from there.

Not wanting to be outdone, researchers at Binghampton University’s Thomas J. Watson School of Engineering and Applied Science inNew York published a paper of their own on the same topic.

In their study, they were able to generate energy across a bio-solar panel using bacteria. BACTERIA, you guys! According to their research:

“Using cyanobacteria (which can be found in almost every terrestrial and aquatic habitat on the planet) as a source of clean and sustainable energy … the group connected nine identical bio-solar cells in a 3×3 pattern to make a scalable and stackable bio-solar panel. The panel continuously generated electricity from photosynthesis and respiratory activities of the bacteria in 12-hour day-night cycles over 60 total hours.”

This means the weather might not even matter much for generating solar energy in the future. “This could result in barrier-transcending advancements in bio-solar cells that could facilitate higher power/voltage generation with self-sustainability, releasing bio-solar cell technology from its restriction to research settings and translating it to practical applications in real-world,” the report read.

Both rain and bacteria-powered solar energy are a long way from becoming readily available, but the proof of concept under development in these projects is awesome.

People are really into solar energy right now. In fact, last year was the biggest year on record for solar energy development, with over 7,000 megawatts of solar power being installed in the United States alone. China also plans to triple its solar power capacity by 2020 in an effort to significantly reduce its greenhouse emissions, according to a recent Bloomberg report.

Read more: http://www.upworthy.com/how-do-you-power-a-solar-panel-without-sunlight-these-scientists-have-an-awesome-answer?c=tpstream