This week Inhabitat celebrated New Year's Eve and the start of 2012 with a look at the biggest breaking green design stories from the past year. We showcased the most exciting green cars to hit the streets in 2011, and we took a look at the next-gen renewable energy technologies that are set to supercharge our grid. We also brought you the year's most popular green science stories, and we shared 7 futuristic wearable technology concepts. Last but not least, we said farewell to the holiday season with a look at an overachieving gingerbread house that transforms into a candy robot!
It was also an epic week for eco transportation news as China unveiled a brand new blazing fast 310 MPH bullet train and Russia announced the construction of the world's largest lithium-ion battery plant. We also watched M55 unveil a line of ludicrous e-bikes blinged out with diamonds and gold, and we were wowed by the Energy Return Wheel - an airless tire that utilizes springs to smooth out bumps in the road and improve gas mileage. Finally, Evantran announced pre-ordering for its Plugless Power EV charging system and Düsseldorf International Airport flipped the switch on one of the largest solar arrays in Germany.
In other news, this week we brought you several bright lighting stories to chase away dreary winter days - we took a peek inside a Christmas light recycling plant the town of Shijiao, China that processes 20 million pounds of lights each year, and we and we shared our own DIY guide to transforming burned-out bulbs into sparkling earrings. Meanwhile LG announced plans to debut the world's largest OLED TV at CES 2012 and we spotted a stunning series of solar origami lamps made from folded photovoltaic panels. To top things off, we showcased a glowing red garnet pavilion set high in the Italian alps and a beautiful dandelion lighting fixture that joins nature with technology.