Each week our friends at Inhabitat recap the week's most interesting green developments and clean tech news for us -- it's the Week in Green.
Our smartphones have become more than just an accessory -- in some ways they're an extension of ourselves -- but we might want to rethink our relationship to the technology. Marcus Bleasdale's sobering images, published in the October issue of National Geographic magazine, pull back the curtain on the many men, women and children who are locked into a cycle of horrific exploitation driven by the demand for consumer electronics. If that depressed you, here's a little photographic dose of awe and inspiration to make you feel better. Check out this set of jaw-dropping images of Earth taken from outer space that were curated by the European Space Agency as part of its "Observing the Earth" archive. San Francisco resident Judah Schiller found a way to bike across the San Francisco Bay by creating a "water bicycle" that floats on a pair of pontoons. French biochemist Pierre Calleja unveiled an innovative new lamp that is powered entirely by a tube filled with glowing green algae. And Inhabitat even managed to find a green lining to the government shutdown that has furloughed almost 1 million federal employees: Cutting back on the workforce might reduce the nation's emissions.