Last month, our most popular article on Facebook was this one on the next gen v100 Mod Box, while the most shared article on Twitter was this one on five easy solar options. For more green coverage, stay current with our weekly email newsletter delivered every Saturday. Below you’ll find a gathering of links from last month.

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As a community committed to thought leadership and the pursuit of it, I want to take a short moment to mention Opportunity Green 2010, the world's leading cross-industry, sustainable business conference.  Ranked as the #1 Green Conference by Google, Opportunity Green is at the nexus of the connections and collaborations that are vital to propelling new business models in a green economy.

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I just recently learned of this contemporary retreat designed by CCS Architecture for an eight-person family.  The 2,800 square-foot home sits on a picturesque, 20-acre site nestled about five miles inland from the beach town of Aptos, California.  It's a vacation place, which some of you won't think is all that green, but the owners and design team worked to make the $1.8 million project a low-impact one. 

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Today, the most viewed and emailed article on the NY Times is one on Passive House, “Can we Build in a Brighter Shade of Green?“ The concept of Passive House has been growing in popularity over the last eight years or so, especially in green building circles. These homes are ultra energy-efficient and, with some on-site energy generation, can be energy neutral or energy producing.

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If Apple were to sell a homes, perhaps they would look something like this. The v100 Mod Box is a 10′ x 10′ x 10′ cube made with green materials, state of the art appliances, and stylish fixtures. It’s a new kind of structure that can be assembled by anyone — no tools required — and lives comfortably despite the fact that its footprint is so tiny.

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You don't have to read Nieman Journalism Lab to know the publishing world is in shambles.  Particularly in the shelter magazine category, where available titles shrink from one month to the next, there hasn't been much going on.  But in the past few months, I've noticed some new activity — perhaps this is an inflection point.  In any event, if you're looking for fresh green design inspiration, here are three new titles to keep in mind. 

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This month, Modular builder Keiser Homes and architecture firm Kaplan Thompson Architects launched the net zero energy series of modular homes called the "Modular Zero Collection."  These homes have been designed to use the smallest amount of energy possible and, if purchasers opt for solar hot water and solar photovoltaics, can produce as much energy as is consumed on an annual basis. 

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Today, the GreenCycler is making its debut at West Coast Green 2010.  This is a "small-footprint" countertop or cabinet appliance that shreds organic kitchen waste and deposits it in a storage and transfer container.  In other words, GreenCycler is helpful in pre-composting waste into a size that's just right for quick composting. 

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A guest post by Anne Maertens from EnergySavvy. com.

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The folks at GreenovationTV and Old House Web are working on a net-zero energy renovation of a 100-year-old home. Through the process, they’re posting helpful videos, including this one on insulating uninsulated spaces. This kind of information is on the money for anyone living in an existing home, especially if you’re like me and you own an old house from 1958!

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Recently I had the opportunity to talk with Kevin Romano of SquallCo Development about his new website and modern green homes offered on Long Beach Island. The development company has two home plans, the smaller called Akamai and the other called Ohana, which have been designed in a joint venture with Steve Midouhas. With these, SquallCo hopes to make warm, modern, sustainable homes more approachable to folks in the area.

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Public Architecture, the firm behind Scrap House, just published a free primer on the topic of material reuse.  The Design for Reuse Primer, funded by the USGBC, includes 15 case studies of all sorts of projects — civic, education, residential, office, retail, interpretive, religious — calculated to show that "material reuse represents one of most creative, exciting, and effective approaches to building green."

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Let’s say you get a lot of floor traffic or you have a kid that jabs Hot Wheels into the ground. Maybe you have a dog that runs in circles, and you want a strong wood floor. You’ll probably look for a high Janka scale rating — a measure of hardness — to find something that will hold up against denting and wear. You might even consider this strand woven floor from Cali Bamboo that the company says received a 5,000+ pound score in recent tests.

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Perhaps you've seen one of a few micro-inverter-type solar products on the market and wondered whether you could install a solar system at home.  Unless you're an electrician, that may or may not be a good idea, but these products (some available now and others coming to market) make it a whole lot easier to get started generating solar energy at home.  Check these five:

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Leave a comment below through the end of Friday, October 1, 2010, to be considered for this random book giveaway.*

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Dwell and its writers/editors have considerable influence in the prefab industry.  They made a big move last year announcing the Dwell Homes Collection of “warm modern” prefabs designed by Turkel Design and produced by Lindal Cedar Homes.  This year, Lindal and Turkel Design added seven new plans to the collection and they’re beautiful, to put it simply.

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Leave a comment below through the end of Friday, October 1, 2010, to be considered for this random book giveaway.*

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For the fourth year, Jetson Green has teamed up with West Coast Green as a media partner.  We're excited to invite you to West Coast Green 2010 – the world’s leading event on green innovation for the built environment.  As a friend of Jetson Green, you are invited to attend this conference with a special access pass here or click the image above.

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Michelle Kaufmann just announced the launch of three new prefab homes available exclusively through Studio 101 Designs and built by Blazer Industries.  These homes — Ridge0, Vista0, and Contours0 — are part of the Zero Series designed to produce as much energy as is needed over the course of a year.  As you can tell from the renderings, they're undeniably contemporary and seemingly approachable at the same time.

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Critics gave me a hard time for discussing a 2,988 square-foot home in Florida.  One loyal commenter, bruteforcecollaborative, responded:

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Notwithstanding all the factors hammering the real estate world in 2009, we had the opportunity to cover over sixty-two innovative green homes.  Forward thinkers all over the country, and the world for that matter, are finding ways to develop, renovate, design, and build greener homes in different ways.  Some are more affordable.  Some are more efficient.  Some are certified at the highest level.  Some are prefabricated in days.  They're all interesting and innovative.  Click the text links below for more images and information.

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In July, we mentioned a small wind turbine from Earthtronics and Honeywell and want to provide an update. We also have some newer images of what the actual turbine may end up looking like. The WT6500 Wind Turbine, referred to as the Honeywell Wind Turbine Gearless Blade Tip Power System, will be priced at $5,995, with early units available in select Ace Hardware Stores starting in February 2010.

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We all know design will do a lot of the work in making a building green, but technology is important, too.  Over the past year, we've seen some interesting innovation in a broad category of articles we call building-related green technology.  Solar innovation is hot, and small wind — albeit heavily scrutinized — is doing some things also.  So, check out this retrospective on green technology in the built environment (click the text links for more images and information). 

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Recently, the home of architects Doug Glasgow (Lord, Aeck & Sargent) and Yun Lee (HDR CUH2A), located at 715 Kirk Road in Decatur, Georgia, was awarded LEED Platinum certification. It’s the first renovation in the state to achieve LEED certification, and the first renovation in the southeast to obtain Platinum level certification. The gut rehab was performed by Hammertime Construction, a firm with expertise in green building. Take a look inside …

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Plant communities dominated by exotics tend to be less diverse than plant communities dominated by natives. Apparently, few people have been curious enough to plan an experiment to try to further understand why this is the case.

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Do people value rare species more than common ones? This is an important question for conservation because not only does valuation justify public funds being spent conserving rare species, but valuation can have negative implications as well.

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Biological activity in the world open ocean’s surface is characterized by autotrophic and by heterotrophic processes. Phytoplankton organisms take up dissolved CO2 (dissolved inorganic carbon, DIC) and together with other inorganic nutrients and light they produce biomass (particulate organic carbon, POC) and dissolved organic carbon (DOC).

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This is probably the most appropriate blog I have ever written. My family and I were evacuated two weeks ago because of the Jesusita fire in Santa Barbara, and several homes in our neighborhood were lost.

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Numerous human activities, such as logging, fishing, pollution and the introduction of exotic species negatively impact ecosystems around the world. These negative impacts mean ecosystems lose species diversity, biomass production, carbon storage, and nutrient uptake.

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In a large-scale study published this week in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Hongcheng Zeng and colleagues show that hurricane damage can diminish a forest’s ability to absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. Their results suggest that an increase in hurricane frequency due to global warming may further amplify global warming.

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Many multicellular organisms have the ability to distinguish self and non-self. This is clear in animals, but is not so well documented in plants.

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With the world’s fisheries teetering on the edge of collapse, familiar items at your local sushi bar might disappear in the near future. One candidate for replacing the Hamachi, Ikura, Maguru, Tai, and Toro on the menu is the jellyfish, which seems to be doing well – too well, actually – in today’s environment.

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Dear readers of EEB and flow, Sorry for the lack of postings as of late. I've just started a professorship, which involved a move from my postdoc in California to my new position in Toronto, Canada, and I guess I failed to completely appreciate how much of a time sink all this would be.

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I went to a session on a macroecology yesterday, which featured some wonderful speakers, and came away with an unsure feeling about this field. The Session started off with a fantastic talk by Rob Dunn on how macroecologists differ on what the main mechanisms are for explaining diversity patterns.

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Speciation by polyploidy (see here for a general description of polyploidy) is one of the mechanisms of speciation and evolutionary diversification. We all learn about it in Bio 101, right after allopatry and sympatry.

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Normally I run around ESA looking for talks that have the best potential to inform or entertain me. This time around I decided to go to a session on invasions and communities and settle in for the long haul.

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Hi from ESA Albuquerque! I've been in the organized session on species interactions and evolution all morning and there were some great talks (e.

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Something that has continuously bothered me about our collective narrative concerning invasions has been the conflicting processes determining invader success and impact. Numerous studies (including some of my own) show that invaders are successful often because they are different from residents.

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