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Exploring 'Sustainable Shelter' at the Bell Museum

The Bell Museum of Natural History will be open Friday, Saturday and Sunday this holiday week, offering an excellent opportunity to take in the exhibition, “Sustainable Shelter: Dwelling Within the Forces of Nature.”

Created in collaboration with the University of Minnesota’s Center for Sustainable Building Research, the exhibition allows visitors to delve into the inner workings of their own homes to discover how to live with a lighter carbon footprint.

From fascinating examples of shelters created by animals and insects, to cross-cultural examinations of home building in the last 150 years, the exhibition provides plentiful instances for discovery. Using graphic displays, model homes and mock shelters, visitors can also explore how ordinary activities — from reading a book to drying clothes — has an impact on our planet's carbon and water cycles.

One display describes the lifecycle of various construction materials, another shows a variety of low-e window options, and still another demonstrates wall constructions. A terrarium, in which you can pop in your head, allows you to breathe in the life forces of greenery and humidity.

“Sustainable Shelter: Dwelling Within the Forces of Nature.” 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday; 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday; noon to 5 p.m. Sunday (free admission). Bell Museum of Natural History, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis. $5-$3.

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