Inhabitat's Week in Green: solar buildings, solar stadiums, and an algae-powered lamp

The Week in Green is a new item from our friends at Inhabitat, recapping the week's most interesting green developments and clean tech news for us.

The past week Inhabitat saw solar-powered transportation soar into space as Japan successfully unfurled the world's first solar sail aboard its Ikaros spacecraft. We continued our transportation coverage by taking a took a look at a futuristic plant-powered photosynthetic concept car that seats riders within an enclosed jungle canopy. However if the Inhabitat editors commuted to work, it would probably be via these amazing solar-powered shrub cars!

In other news, the world of architecture is heating up with the onset of summer as countries around the globe gear up to unveil high-tech sun-powered homes at the European Solar Decathlon. This week we took a look at two of our favorites - the solar shelled Armadillo Box House and Finland's hyper-insulated Luuku House, which is expected to generate more energy than it consumes. We also celebrated the launch of the 2010 World Cup by taking a look at the technologies behind five stunning green stadiums that will be hosting this year's games in South Africa.

Speaking of the World Cup, this week were also excited to see the unveiling of a brand new version of the sOccket, an energy-generating soccer ball that scores a goal for green power in developing countries. We also took a look at a cheap solar-powered refrigerator for the developing world that can be assembled using local materials and could save millions of lives by storing and distributing vaccines.

Renewable energy was also a hot topic this week -- the UAE is blazing a trail with plans to construct a record-toppling solar plant that eclipses the size of every photovoltaic farm to date. We also saw home-grown algae power make its domestic debut in this gorgeous green Latro Lamp, which is fueled by a pond-scum powered bio-battery. And renewable energy took to the streets this week as telecom provider Orange unveiled a set of spiffy set of thermoelectric galoshes that charge your cellphone using heat from your feet.

Finally, this week we unveiled some incredible new uses for everyday materials as we announced the grand-prize winners of our 2010 Spring Greening DIY Design Competition. Speaking of innovative examples of repurposed design, we were also blown away by this open-source printer made from LEGO bricks and a felt-tip pen. And if you insist on continuing to use a standard printer, you can rest assured that there's an inspired re-use for those expired ink cartridges - Australia recently unveiled a bike path made from them!