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He Turned A Rusty, Old Cargo Van Into An Epic Camping Mobile

He Turned A Rusty, Old Cargo Van Into An Epic Camping Mobile

Here at ViralNova, we’re no strangers to seeing people take old, rusted-out cars, ripping their innards out, and giving them a completely new look. Somehow, each new van remodel is more amazing than the last. And Reddit user VAN-Wilder‘s cargo-van-turned-Adventuremobile does not disappoint.

It all started with this 2006 Ford van that he bought on Craigslist.

The floors were rusted, but that would be easily remedied.

After ripping out all the stuff inside, VAN-Wilder got to work.

An angle grinder made quick work of the rusting.

He laid down a coat of primer.

And then painted the floor.

Runners were glued down with liquid nails — they would serve as the surface for the flooring to rest upon.

Then came the insulation.

OSB plywood went down on top.

Because the thing had seen some wear and tear over the years, VAN-Wilder had to patch up holes here and there.

More insulation on the walls meant this van would be ready for anything.

After he cut a hole out of the van’s side, he placed a propane tank inside and sealed it up with a hinged door.

He had a high top roof made for the van — this was crucial…

It meant he had six feet, five inches of standing room!

He cut out a hole in said new roof to add a fan for circulation.

He measured, cut, and put down Lonseal heavy-duty flooring.

Luan plywood was added to all the walls and the bed frame was finally built and installed!

Of course, you can’t have an epic camper van without power to operate your sound system and kitchen appliances.

Solar panels help, too.

Let there be light!

He has a working burner, refrigerator, and sink.

The bed has plenty of storage underneath it.

A privacy curtain went up for all those overnights he has planned.

There’s even enough room for his surfboard!

This is incredible!

All in all, it took VAN-Wilder about four months to make his camper. If you’d like to see the whole tutorial, check it out here. You can also follow along with his adventures on his Instagram.

Read more: http://www.viralnova.com/camper-van-remodel/

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Solar module prices have hit a new low. So Akon’s trying to bring power to all Africans.

Solar module prices have hit a new low. So Akon's trying to bring power to all Africans.

Since Akon’s rise to fame, he hasn’t hesitated to use his celebrity for the greater good.

Akon performs at a Peace One Day concert for International Peace Day in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Photo by Phil Moore/AFP/Getty Images.

In addition to participating in charitable events like the Peace One Day concert, he founded the Konfidence Foundation to help impoverished youth in West Africa and the U.S.

And he recently added another act of awesome to his repertoire:

Akon’s working to bring electricity to 600 million sub-Saharan Africans in rural areas.

Yeah, that’s no small feat, but he knows how important it is. Although Akon was born in Missouri, he spent many years growing up in Senegal, where his family lived without electricity. He told Gulf News:

“Not having electricity growing up and then going to the U.S. where I got used to having clean water and light and visiting my family in Africa only to see that not much has changed within a span of 20 years or so is really what inspired me to begin this initiative.”

Through the Akon Lighting Africa initiative, Akon is bringing affordable solar power solutions to Africa. Solar module prices hit a record low last year, which means it’s easier than ever to expand the use of solar energy in countries with limited funds. So with the help of a $1 billion credit line, the initiative pays for the upfront costs so that electicity providers in African countries can pay back the money over time to the initiative in affordable installments.

The initiative isn’t just about power; it’s about em-powering. (Yeah, I said it.)

I’m sorry! I couldn’t resist. GIF via “The Office.”

Access to electricity would obviously be a vast improvement on people’s daily lives: Street lights would improve safety, home lights would allow children to do homework later, and the special skills needed for solar power equipment installation would create jobs.

But Akon doesn’t just want to improve the day-to-day things; he wants to help Africans innovate with solar energy. That’s why the initiative’s work includes creating education opportunities for community members to understand the benefits of solar energy.

An example? They’ve partnered with Solektra International to create a solar academy for local entrepreneurs in Mali the first of its kind on the African continent.

Akon believes that giving individual Africans access to power will help the continent as a whole.

Mali women make jars under a solar-powered mobile street light. Photo by Habibou Kouyate/AFP/Getty Images.

In an interview with ThinkProgress, Akon said electricity is the key to helping the continent catch up to developed nations. He believes that foreign aid can do more harm than good, so he wanted to use the initiative to invest directly in African individuals and businesses. While it’s a for-profit venture, Akon shared in a live chat that proceeds go to African banks so the money can stay within the local economy.

So far, they’re making great strides.

Akon partially attributes the quick expansion to the fact that countries can see the benefits of solar power before committing to using it. Since the ALA initiative has the funds, they front the money to launch a free pilot program in rural areas. With a risk-free introduction to the benefits of solar energy, countries have been able to make a confident, informed decision to sign on.

And there’s more to come: Just this week, the initiative presented in Paris during the UN climate negotiations (COP21) to share the impact they’re having.

As an American-born child with family in Africa, I know how big a deal this initiative is. While I’m fortunate enough to have family in Kenya who are among the 5% of Africans in sub-Saharan Africa with electricity (compared to 80% of the whole world), I’ve seen firsthand how many Kenyans living without it doesn’t just limit their own lives; it affects the country as a whole.

I love that Akon is about spreading the power literally and figuratively.

Read more: http://www.upworthy.com/solar-module-prices-have-hit-a-new-low-so-akons-trying-to-bring-power-to-all-africans?c=tpstream

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27 images of ‘reincarnated’ plastic bottles show why it’s better to recycle.

27 images of 'reincarnated' plastic bottles show why it's better to recycle.

Do you know how much plastic waste the U.S. generates each year?

33
million tons
, according to the EPA, from a 2013 analysis.

If that’s not sobering enough, over 90% of these plastics meet their final resting place in landfills, meaning they’ll never be recycled.

However, I’m not here to depress you with statistics.

I’d like to introduce you to the born-again plastic bottles that are recycled.

The ones that are
hiding in plain sight, as opposed to the ones that are out-of-sight, out-of mind at your local garbage dump.

The ones that found a higher calling thanks to your decision to throw them away in the blue or green bins, as opposed to the black ones.

The recycled plastic bottles that are just
begging you to rediscover them in their newfound glory.

NOTE TO READER (especially you lovely folks on your mobile devices): It might take a few seconds for these images to load. I promise it will be worth the wait!


1. Cozy Patagonia fleece

Check out all their recycled plastic products here.

2. Winter jackets, too!

3. Check it out: Luxury bedsheets designed by will.i.am

4. Plastic bottle denim jeans by a company called Dirtball? Sign me up.

A+ business name, guys.

5. You can also root for your favorite NFL team in these plastic bottle football jerseys.

6. Do yoga (or just be comfy) in these plastic bottle yoga pants.

Namaste, plastic bottles. Namaste.

7. You could also look fly in these New Balance NewSky sneakers.

8. Plastic bottle UNDERWEAR, y’all

9. Designer handbags, backpacks, and luggage by Matt & Nat

Even the inside liner is made from plastic bottles!

10. Red (or green?) carpet fashion

But like, what plastic bottle wouldn’t want to end up with Colin Firth and his wife, Livia?

11. Plastic bottles can also strut their stuff on the runway.

Work it, plastic bottles. Work. It. Out.

12. Pet beds!

GOOD BOY.

13. And pet toys, too!

14. And you’ve probably walked on a plastic bottle rug.

And, hey! These are affordable.

15. Plastic bottles can also get a second chance with these “B2P” pens by Pilot.

Next time you’re ready to restock, consider these bad boys.

16. Rainy day? Try a plastic bottle umbrella.

17. You probably want to buy this awesome bat backpack.

For kids or adults? I’ll let you decide. They also come in pink bunnies, purple owls, penguins with ties, and more.

18. Or this pink dump truck.

*adds to Christmas list*

19. Be fancy with a fancy plastic bottle chandelier!

20. Stare in awe at some ridiculously creative plastic bottle artwork.

21. And don’t forget to check out this artwork … made with plastic bottle “paint.”

WHAT? HOW??

22. You can even make an entire HOUSE from plastic bottles.

23. A bus stop?! Yeah, a bus stop.

24. These people are riding solar-powered recycled-plastic-bottle BOATS.

25. Even the roads of the future are paved in plastic bottles!

26. No big deal, just a man-made plastic bottle island here.

27. Or, you know, 1.5 million bottles could get you AN ENTIRE FREAKING BUILDING.

Learn more about the EcoARK in Taipei, Taiwan, here.


See? It’s an absolute
crime to send plastic water bottles to the dump when there’s so much potential awaiting them elsewhere. Not to mention each ton of recycled plastic saves over 16 barrels of oil since it requires less energy to produce than new plastic.

And remember: Recycling is only one part of the “reduce, reuse, recycle” mantra. Reducing (or even eliminating) your consumption of plastics, in addition to coming up with your own fancy DIY uses for milk jugs and water bottles is even better for the environment, if you’re willing to make the lifestyle change.

Recycle on, friends!

Read more: http://www.upworthy.com/27-images-of-reincarnated-plastic-bottles-show-why-its-better-to-recycle?c=

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Her dad thought her clean energy idea was just a ‘kid’s project.’ He was wrong.

Her dad thought her clean energy idea was just a 'kid's project.' He was wrong.

When Cassandra was 10 years old, she decided to take on climate change … and bring her whole town with her.

In fifth grade, she’d learned that if the world’s addiction to fossil fuels continues, it’s only a matter of time before her entire town would be underwater. (When you use carbon-emitting energy like we do, that can happen.)

Our Ocean State of Rhode Island may become the Under Ocean State by 2100 if global warming is allowed to continue at the current rate,” Cassandra, now 17, said in a speech a few years ago.

So she came up with a plan.

With help from friends, Cassandra launched Turn Grease Into Fuel, or TGIF.

Their strategy was pretty simple … but also sort of ingenious.

You know all that wasted used cooking oil that restaurants just throw away? It can be used as biofuel energy that contributes significantly less to global warming than fossil fuels.

TGIF began reaching out to local restaurants to see if they could use leftover cooking oil for the initiative, and slowly but surely the idea caught on. The City of Westerly, Rhode Island (Cassandra’s hometown) decided to help out, too, setting up a grease recycling site where TGIF could do its work.

And here’s where it gets really good: The biodiesel created by TGIF goes toward warming the homes of families in need. Because why not donate the energy to those who could use it most?

We kind of thought, ‘This is a kid’s project,’ you know,” said Jason Lin, Cassandra’s father. “‘It will probably last a year or two the most.'”

Boy … was he wrong.

To date, TGIF’s efforts have helped warm the homes of about 400 families, but that’s just the start.

Since its launch, TGIF has been incredibly successful both in terms of combating climate change and helping those in need. Through partnerships with 132 (!) restaurants, they’ve recycled enough cooking oil to offset 3 million pounds of CO2 emissions, according to the EPA’s estimations.

That’s the average annual carbon footprint of 88 people.

But TGIF’s impact goes even further beyond greenhouse gas reductions and warming homes for those in need the group is changing hearts and minds, too.

TGIF has “opened my eyes to see that something needs to change or else this beautiful world we live in might not be here anymore,” said chef Joseph Tanton of Pleasant View Inn, a TGIF partner.

TGIF is proof that sometimes a small group of kids in a small town can make a huge difference.

And all they needed was some cooking oil and a little determination.

Watch TGIF’s story below:

Read more: http://www.upworthy.com/her-dad-thought-her-clean-energy-idea-was-just-a-kids-project-he-was-wrong?c=tpstream

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You’ll Be Amazed To See What The Sun Really Looks Like

You'll Be Amazed To See What The Sun Really Looks Like

The sun. It gives us life, it gives us essential vitamins that we need to survive, and it even helps us generate clean energy. Even though it is the only thing that allowed life develop on Earth, and the only thing that keeps us alive to this day, most people don’t think much about the sun beyond the fact that it looks like a big yellow ball hanging in the sky.

But this video — taken by NASA and shared online — lets us get up close and personal with the blazing ball of energy that’s so essential to our survival.

(via IFLScience)

It’s amazing how something can look so beautiful and so terrifying at the same time. I hope that this video taught you to appreciate our sun a bit more. I know it certainly had that effect on me.

Read more: http://www.viralnova.com/hd-sun-video/

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Need To Relax? Watch This Adorable Time-Lapse Of Kitties Catching Some Rays!

Need To Relax? Watch This Adorable Time-Lapse Of Kitties Catching Some Rays!

Wahey! Summer is fast approaching and the sun is starting to warm up, brightening our days.

But while us humans are running round buying BBQs, trying to find those perfect summer clothes, and slathering ourselves in sticky sunblock, our feline friends are taking it easy by chilling and soaking up those rays.

A perfect example are these adorable Japanese house cats who love nothing more than relaxing in the sun. There’s just one problem…as the day goes on, the sun likes to move around. But these clever kitties have come up with their very own system of dealing with it…

Well, that proves it. Cats are solar powered!

Read more: http://www.viralnova.com/cats-in-the-sun/

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Department of Energy thinks ‘The Onion’ just may be on to something. Yes, ‘The Onion.’

Department of Energy thinks ‘The Onion’ just may be on to something. Yes, ‘The Onion.’

http://twitter.com/#!/ErnestMoniz/status/469551031882620928

It’s really good to know that the Secretary of Energy’s staff has time to surf “The Onion” during work hours, but it’s disturbing that they think they may have found something valid there.

They’re not the only greenies doing it either.

http://twitter.com/#!/JigarShahDC/status/469566001236156416
http://twitter.com/#!/UCSRachel/status/469221810882760704
http://twitter.com/#!/TorranceCoste/status/469247156348801025

You know that last guy is a totally super-legit enviro-warrior because he’s shouting through a bullhorn in his avatar.

Let’s break down this lame joke they’re all trumpeting as sage wisdom.

Stating that they just want to make sure it’s something everyone keeps in mind going forward, an international consortium of scientists gently reminded the world Wednesday that clean energy technologies are pretty much ready to go anytime. “We’ve got solar, wind, geothermal—we’re all set to move forward with this stuff whenever everyone else is,” said Dr. Sandra Eakins…

Sorry, we couldn’t detect the humor over the din of your unwarranted smug.

“Again, we’re good to go on this end, so just let us know. You seriously should see these new hydrogen fuel cells we have. Anyway, just say the word, and we’ll start rolling it out.”

Do these enviro-nauts actually think that this is what scientists do—”rolling out” technology like they work for S.T.A.R. Labs or something?  It’s kinda cute how they skip from lab coated scientists right to worldwide mass production. Engineering? Raw materials? Marketing? Economic feasibility? Bah. Gaia craves not such things. It’s funny, until you realize that these people are in charge.

***

Related

Oops: Obama Energy Department bragged about ‘energy efficiency’ of New Orleans before power outage

Darrell Issa goes on epic Twitter rant against Energy Department’s innovation claims

Read more: http://twitchy.com/2014/05/22/department-of-energy-thinks-the-onion-just-may-be-on-to-something-yes-the-onion/

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There’s 1 thing standing in the way of U.S. clean energy, and Sigourney Weaver wants to stop it.

There's 1 thing standing in the way of U.S. clean energy, and Sigourney Weaver wants to stop it.

The United States has made some pretty great progress with the issue of climate change.

Between the recently announced
Clean Power Plan and the upcoming Paris Climate Conference and the various clean energy subsidies that have been in place for years, there’s a metaphorical Magic 8 Ball somewhere in the heartland saying “Outlook good.”

Granted, we’re also partly responsible for letting the situation get this bad in the first place:

GIF from “The Cabin in the Woods.”

Despite these efforts, President Obama has still granted permission for Shell to continue drilling for oil in the Arctic.

GIF from “Galaxy Quest.”

On the bright side, Shell hasn’t
actually gone forward with their drilling plans.

Yet.

But they still have permission, which means that that could change tomorrow. And their reasons for not risking
the entire Arctic ecosystem and causing further damage to the planet is … they don’t think they’ll make enough money right now to make it worth their while.

So regardless of all our other efforts, the planet is still facing an inevitable disaster, and we’re powerless to stop it.

Sounds familiar. Maybe we need the voice of a hero to help guide us through…

GIF from “Alien
3.”

That is, unless we all come together and demand a change.

Don’t take my word for it
here’s award-winning actress and certified Earth hero Sigourney Weaver (are you sensing a theme?) to show you what’s really going on and just how serious it is:

Join me and Sigourney and sign this petition to tell our world leaders that we demand climate action and a cleaner future.

GIF from “Aliens.”

Right here:

GIF from “Working Girl.”

Read more: http://www.upworthy.com/theres-1-thing-standing-in-the-way-of-us-clean-energy-and-sigourney-weaver-wants-to-stop-it?c=tpstream

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New Chuck Norris-y hotness: #PaulRyanFacts

New Chuck Norris-y hotness: #PaulRyanFacts

http://twitter.com/#!/YoungCons/status/235445557886341120

Move over, Chuck Norris facts! There is new hotness in town: Paul Ryan facts.

I logon, 1st tweet I see. Yes, it's gonna be a good day. RT @lheal #PaulRyanFacts Paul Ryan sharpens a knife with his steely gaze.

— Yes, We Scan ⊕ (@BoldFreshJew) August 14, 2012

A good day, indeed. As Twitchy reported, President Obama frantically tweeted out “FACTS” about Paul Ryan, in a fit of terrified meltdown, the other day.  Twitter users helped the president out with some true facts about President Obama.

Now, they are offering up Paul “terrifies the Left” Ryan facts. And, boy, are they awesome.

#PaulRyanFacts Paul Ryan doesn't need a teleprompter. Teleprompters need a Paul Ryan.

— Amy Lutz (@amylutz4) August 14, 2012

#PaulRyanFacts When Atlas Shrugged, Paul Ryan was there to hold the world up. #tcot

— Amy Lutz (@amylutz4) August 14, 2012

#PaulRyanFacts Batman has a Paul Ryan signal.

— Greg Sainer (@gsainer) August 14, 2012

Paul Ryan saved a cat from being stuck in a tree. By teaching it to climb down itself. #PaulRyanFacts

— Justen Charters (@JustenCharters) August 14, 2012

Paul Ryan hunts with a bow, because using his bare hands would be unfair to the deer. #PaulRyanFacts

— You Said Russia! (@lheal) August 14, 2012

https://twitter.com/kesgardner/status/235449193928466432

#PaulRyanFacts Paul Ryan has a pet honey badger.

— Tanner (@Brumbarger) August 14, 2012

#PaulRyanFacts Paul Ryan can balance a budget in his head before Joe Biden can turn on his solar powered calculator.

— Crispin Armon Gipson (@critterman76) August 14, 2012

Chuck Norris wears Paul Ryan pajamas #PaulRyanFacts

— Brandon Kiser (@Kiser) August 14, 2012

Arachnophobia is the fear of spiders. Claustrophobia is the fear of tight spaces. Liberalism is the fear of Paul Ryan. #paulryanfacts

— Angela (@Bear2theRight) August 14, 2012

Bingo! More, please, Twitter!

Read more: http://twitchy.com/2012/08/14/new-chuck-norris-y-hotness-paulryanfacts/

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It Started As A Normal Van, But With A Bit Of Work, She Turned It Into A Cozy Home

It Started As A Normal Van, But With A Bit Of Work, She Turned It Into A Cozy Home

In the midst of a condo renovation, a move, a job, and caring for her father with dementia, Chris of Defying Normal somehow found time to work on her passion project — transforming an old white van into a camper. In addition to running water, she added solar power, a bed, and a sweet TV projector. It may have taken her two years and eight months to complete, but considering all that was going on in her life — and the fact that she had no prior experience in construction — this is still pretty impressive!

You can check out each of the individual steps in detail on Chris’s YouTube page. She also invites people wanting to make their own camper to download her free step-by-step guide on her website.

Read more: http://www.viralnova.com/chris-camper-van/