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.
When you think about transportation innovations, highways probably aren't the first things that come to mind. But Dutch designer Daan Roosegaarde recently rolled out the first "smart" highway in the Netherlands -- and it utilizes glow-in-the-dark lane lines, interactive lights and smart road signs to make roadways safer and more sustainable. The skincare company Foreo has come up with a far less practical plan to lessen our need for streetlights: Increase the moon's reflectivity to make the night sky brighter. The bizarre idea calls for coating part of the moon in a reflective surface in order to increase the amount of light it reflects back to the Earth at night.
In other space news, NASA launched the very first vegetable greenhouse into space, and in case you missed this week's epic blood moon, the organization took some stunning footage of the event. Meanwhile, James Dyson wants to create an enormous vacuum that could be placed on a boat to clean up ocean debris. In wearable technology, a pair of researchers has developed a stick-on, flexible circuit board that could be used to build cheap, tiny "wearable" phones. And Google beat out Facebook in its bid to acquire Titan Aerospace, a solar-powered drone manufacturer. Google says it will use the drones to bring internet connectivity to remote parts of the world.
Milan Design Week is the world's biggest furniture fair, and this year's show didn't disappoint. Danish designer Johanna Riedl showed off her Saw Dust Chair, which uses recycled sawdust from its own manufacture to create a cushion. Italian design studio Digital Habits featured its new Dragon Lamp, a modular LED light made from interlocking triangular panels that can be controlled with a smartphone. The show also featured some impressive new 3D printing innovations, like the FoldaRap open-source 3D printer, which can be folded to fit into your rucksack to print objects on the go. And London-based designer Beth Lewis-Williams used 3D printing to create a beautiful series of lamps inscribed with images of cities and natural landscapes.
Road trip season is almost upon us, and driver Norman Hajjar got in the spirit by taking a Tesla Model S sedan on a record-breaking 12,000-mile trip across the US. In other green transportation news, Chevrolet may be planning to launch two versions of the Chevy Volt next year -- a cheaper version with shorter electric range, and a fully electric Volt with a 200-mile driving range. The BMW i3 electric car racked up the awards at the 2014 New York Auto Show, taking home the Green Car Of The Year and the Car Design Of The Year awards. Volvo announced this week that it will unveil its S60L PPHEV (Petrol Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle) concept car at the Beijing Auto Show next week. And motorcycle maker Johammer just released its funky-looking J1 electric motorcycle, which can get more than 125 miles on a single charge.
In NYC, Chad Kellogg and Matt Bowles of AMLGM Labs unveiled plans for a wild new transit hub that looks like an alien organism landed in Queens. In other green architecture and design news, ecoLogic Studio has created the world's first urban algae canopy, which produces the equivalent of four hectares of woodland every day. Multiple Chemical Sensitivity is an extreme condition that causes people to have an allergy-like reaction to everyday household items, like computers, light fixtures and even paint. Europe's first chemical-free housing complex for people who suffer from MCS was recently completed near Zurich in Switzerland. In the Chinese city of Wuxi, workers recently broke ground on a spiraling, green-roofed kindergarten that's filled with natural light. And as we gear up for summer, Inhabitat rounded up five of the year's top tiny homes, campers and trailers for a green getaway.