+

When you think about climate change, what comes to mind?

I immediately imagine smokestacks billowing black soot, congested highways with idling cars, and millions of unassuming, gassy cows hanging out on the prairie. I don't, however, think about the house I live in — but I should, if you ask a climate scientist.

The housing sector is responsible for over one-third of global greenhouse gas emissions, according to the United Nations.

And that's what makes this amazing tiny house all the more spectacular.


Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images.

This Ecological Living Module — aptly dubbed the "tiny house" — aims to spark fresh ideas rethinking home construction and functionality to fight climate change.

The house, set up in New York City's U.N. Plaza between July 9-18, was built through a collaborative effort between U.N. Environment, U.N. Habitat, and Yale University. And its features are pretty darn remarkable.

Could this tiny house represent the homes of the future?

Many environmentalists certainly hope so.

Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images.

It's a mere 72 square feet (!), give or take, and is truly a work of sustainable art.

Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images.

Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images.

The house was constructed using only locally sourced and bio-based materials. It runs on solar energy, has on-site water collection for in-home use, and uses plants to keep the interior air pure and fresh.

Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images.

Photo by Hind Wildman/U.N. Environment.

The home even has a "micro-farming wall" on its exterior so that potential residents can eat (very) locally.

Photo by Hind Wildman/U.N. Environment.

The tiny home movement has been picking up speed in American culture as more people trade large houses on big properties for a simple, cheap, and sometimes mobile alternative.

But beyond relishing in any short-lived lifestyle trend, the U.N. module home is aimed at helping solve two dire global problems in the long term:

  1. People are in desperate need of more housing, especially in the expanding urban regions of the developing world.
  2. The worsening effects of climate change go hand in hand with a growing world population emitting more carbon into the air.

The tiny home is a two birds, one stone solution.

"We clearly need more housing," explained Erik Solheim, U.N. Environment Head, "but the key thing is that we also need smarter housing."

Homes like this one do the trick.

Photo by Hind Wildman/U.N. Environment.

While this particular tiny house in New York will be moved this month, U.N. Environment plans to build future iterations in different countries to continue pushing for solutions-based design.

"Adequate housing is at the heart of sustainable urbanization," according to Maimunah Mohd Sharif, executive director of U.N. Habitat. "If adopted widely, this practice can create jobs and prosperity with lower greenhouse gas emissions."

Sounds like a win-win for our world to me.

Joy

Delivery driver's reaction to snacks left for him shows how a little kindness goes a long way

'Seeing a grown man get so excited about Capri Sun is extra wholesome.'

"Dee" the delivery guy stoked to get some Doritos.

Sometimes the smallest gesture can change someone’s day for the better, especially when that act of kindness lets them know their work is appreciated. Over the last few years, delivery drivers have done a fantastic job keeping people healthy during the pandemic, so Toni Hillison Barnett told News 11 that she and her husband started a tradition of leaving snacks for their drivers on the front porch.

The Barnetts, who live in Louisville, Kentucky, can see the drivers' reactions by recording them on their doorbell cameras. “I live for reactions like this to our snack cart! Thx to all of the delivery drivers out there! We appreciate you!” Toni wrote on an Instagram post.

Recently, one of the Barnetts’ delivery guys, a joyous fellow that we believe is known as Dee, went viral on TikTok because of his positive reaction to receiving some snacks during his deliveries. The snacks are tasty, no doubt. But it’s also wonderful to feel appreciated. After Toni posted the video, it received more than 100,000 views.

“Oh my God, you guys are the best, I gotta take a snapshot of this,” Dee can be heard saying in the video. “Oh, Capri Suns are my favorite, Yes!”

Keep ReadingShow less
Photo by Roméo A. on Unsplash

Cat hilariously rats out owner in front of the landlord.

Maybe it's a right of passage into adulthood or maybe some landlords discriminate against pets because they can't tell people kids are forbidden in their residence. Either way, just about everyone has lived in a rental home that didn't allow pets. Most people just abide by the rules and vow to get a pet when they find a new home.

Some people, on the other hand, get creative. I once came across a post on social media where someone claimed their pit bull puppy was actually a silver Labrador. But one woman on TikTok was harboring a secret cat in her rental that had a no pets policy, and either her cat was unaware or he was aware and was simply being a jerk.

My money is on the latter since cats are known to be jerks for no reason. I mean, have you ever left something on the counter for a few minutes? They make it their mission to knock it on the floor. So I fully believe this fluffy little meow box wanted to make his presence known in an effort to rat out his owner.

Keep ReadingShow less

Phil Collins and George Harrison

This article originally appeared on 12.01.21


Beatle George Harrison was pigeon-holed as the "Quiet Beatle," but the youngest member of the Fab Four had an acerbic, dry sense of humor that was as sharp as the rest of his bandmates.

He gave great performances in the musical comedy classics, "A Hard Days Night" and "Help!" while holding his own during The Beatles' notoriously anarchic press conferences. After he left the band in 1970, in addition to his musical career, he would produce the 1979 Monty Python classic, "The Life of Brian."

Keep ReadingShow less
Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash
woman holding a cup of tea, writing in a notebook

It's no secret that everyone could use a little kindness in their lives and it can come in many forms. Sometimes it's the neighbor cutting your grass when your husband's away and you're too busy to get to it yourself. Other times it's sending a card to the elderly widow down the street.

One woman in Arkansas has taken to spreading kindness through writing letters to strangers. Allison Bond, 25, started writing letters over a year ago during COVID-19 when she couldn't attend school due to her medical condition. Bond has cerebral palsy and is at greater risk for serious illness should she contract the virus. Writing letters was an act of kindness that didn't require a trip out of the house.

Bond began by writing to soldiers and inmates. In fact, the first letter she received back was from a soldier. Bond told 5News, "I have one framed from a soldier. He had all his battle buddies sign it. So I framed it so I could put it up." She's kept every letter she's received.

Keep ReadingShow less