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“Kids Making It” Builds Their Own Workshop

Kids can do just about anything if they set their minds to it, and Kids Making It (KMI) in Wilmington, North Carolina helps them along. Kids Making It is a non-profit that aims to teach local youth and young adults the vocational and entrepreneurial skills to spark an early interest in the trades. Started in 1994, the organization currently serves 500 students through five different programs. Through these programs, students can learn building skills, make and sell things at KMI’s store, and earn income while they’re still in school. KMI is currently working on expanding their facilities with a dedicated building for their Skilled Trades program. Students…

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Minneapolis May Require Energy Evaluations on Homes for Sale

City officials backing the energy evaluations see it as part of a plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. But some Minneapolis real estate agents express concerns that required energy evaluations would be invasive and impact sales. (Image credit: Robin Amer / CC BY-NC-ND / Flickr) In Minneapolis, the City Council is tinkering with a proposal that would require an independent energy evaluation of houses when they go on the market. Although the plan is still evolving, according to an article posted by the Star Tribune, evaluators may be boring holes into walls of houses built before 1980 to check on…

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Efficiency Is Still the Best Energy Deal

This post originally appeared at the ACEEE blog. New data by Lazard, a financial advisory firm, show that prices for renewable electricity declined again last year, continuing their downward trend. But the data, released last month, miss another critical clean energy resource. Energy efficiency — the kilowatt-hours we avoid by eliminating waste — remains, on average, our nation’s least-cost resource. Efficiency also delivers a host of other benefits. It improves electric grid reliability and resilience, can target savings where and when needed the most, creates jobs, spurs other economic development, reduces customer utility bills, makes homes and buildings more comfortable, and…

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Kitchen of the Week: A Noir Canteen in a Repurposed WWII Control Tower

“Five thousand square feet of brutalism,” is how Justin Hooper and Charlotte Seddon lovingly describe their new home. The couple—he’s a creative director at an ad agency, she’s a floral designer, and they have two children—had previously lived in a West London semi-attached Victorian. But they’re both midcentury modernists and they shared an extreme rehabbers’ dream of finding an industrial fixer-upper, “the more dilapidated, the better.” They set their sights on the Scottish Highlands, where they have family, and drew a circle on the map around the Inverness Airport, which would enable them to be long-distance commuters. Spotted by Charlotte…

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10 Easy Pieces: European Ceramic Bakeware

If you’ve been hacking it with cheap bakeware or aluminum foil-covered baking sheets, it’s time to upgrade to something more effective, healthful, and beautiful. Why not do so by way of time-honored European ceramic companies who have been producing porcelain and stoneware baking dishes for decades if not centuries? Bonus: they perform as well on the table as they do in the oven. Here are our 10 favorites. Above: One of our staff favorites is the Revol Black Rectangular Roasting Dish, made in France from lightweight porcelain and available in four sizes; $40 to $100 per dish depending on size…

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Steal This Look: Moody Monochrome in the Scottish Highlands

The Killiehuntly Farmhouse is an estate in the Scottish Highlands restored by and designed by owner Anne Storm Pedersen as luxury vacation lodging. One of the Killiehuntly guest rooms, the Birch room, features a dozen design details to steal including a coal-colored jute rug and a monochromatic Shaker peg rail. Here are the key elements to re-create the look. Above: The Birch room is designed in layers of cool color. Photograph by Martin Kaufmann from In Scotland, A Luxe Nature Retreat from a Danish Billionaire. Above: A Shaker peg rail painted in the same Farrow & Ball color as the walls. Photograph by Martin…

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