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Glenvill

Australia Will Be Home to the World's First 'Tesla Town'

Glenvill
Glenvill

A new town planned for outside Melbourne, Australia could provide the first look at the future of suburban living. As Renew Economy reports, the “Tesla Town” will be the first in the world to feature solar roofs, energy efficient appliances, and Tesla Powerwalls built into every household.

Designed and developed by the Australian property group Glenvill, the town has been dubbed YarraBend for the nearby Yarra River. When the project is complete, it will have 2500 townhouses, apartments, and single-family homes. The people who populate the town are predicted to use 43 percent less water and generate 80 percent less trash than they would living elsewhere, and because solar energy will be so abundant, residents should have enough to charge up their vehicles for no extra cost.

Glenvill is billing the town as the first Tesla suburb, but it won't be the only place in the world that's making strides toward clean energy. Towns in Poland, Austria, and even the capital of Vermont all claim 100 percent renewable energy status.

The homes aren't cheap. Prices range from $1.48 million to $2.1 million AUD. The first 60 properties went on the market this week, and the town’s first residents are expected to start moving in late next year.

[h/t Renew Economy]

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Live Smarter
All National Parks Are Offering Free Admission on April 21
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iStock

Looking for something to do this weekend that's both outdoorsy and free? To kick off National Park Week, you can visit any one of the National Park Service's more than 400 parks on April 21, 2018 for free.

While the majority of the NPS's parks are free year-round, they'll be waiving admission fees to the more than 100 parks that normally require an entrance fee. Which means that you can pay a visit to the Grand Canyon, Death Valley, Yosemite, or Yellowstone National Parks without reaching for your wallet. The timing couldn't be better, as many of the country's most popular parks will be increasing their entrance fees beginning in June.

The National Park Service, which celebrated its 100th birthday in 2016, maintains 417 designated NPS areas that span more than 84 million acres across every state, plus Washington, D.C., American Samoa, Guam, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands.

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environment
How the Planet Has Changed Since the First Earth Day in 1970
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The first Earth Day in 1970 was celebrated with protests, nature walks, concerts, and other activities meant to spark interest and engagement in the planet's well-being. Since then, April 22 has been a day to reflect on our impact on the environment, on broad and individual scales. So just how much has the Earth changed since the first Earth Day 48 years ago? According to this video from the American Museum of Natural History, it's changed a lot, and not for the better.

The world's population has doubled since 1970, from 3.7 billion then to over 7 billion today. While there are more people consuming resources, more resources are also being consumed per person. On average, we're each burning 37 percent more fossil fuel than we were in 1970, eating 60 percent more meat, and taking 495 percent more plane trips. All that consumption adds up to 1.2 trillion tons of CO2 emitted in the past five decades, which contributed to ocean waters warming 1°F and sea levels rising more than 5 inches.

Those numbers look pretty grim, but it isn't all bad news: Humans have also made significant strides toward protecting the environment in that same period, including passing the Endangered Species Act, designating protected marine areas, and signing international agreements to reduce greenhouse gas emissions across the globe.

People are also more aware of what can be done on a personal level to reduce their carbon footprint. For tips on how to be greener this Earth Day, check out our list of eco-friendly habits.

[h/t American Museum of Natural History]

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