I am always intrigued by new designs that aim at energy saving, which is probably why my attention was caught by Switch a power socket designed by Yong-jin Kim. Switch’s purpose is to help users save on their electricity bills that are often affected by the Stand-By power of many appliances and gadgets left plugged in. By making it very easy and effortless to disconnect any type of power-sucking device, the consumer’s “lazy” or “forgetful” behavior can therefore be modified. So, instead of bending down all the way to your power socket and unplug whatever is contributing to both a bad consumer and environmental behavior, you can now bend all the way down but simply turn the plug to turn it off.
And now I wonder, is Switch really making a difference?
I like its concept and sleek design but I am not convinced that it will influence a behavioral pattern for the better. Granted, its fancy style will make my power sockets look a lot nicer and my apartment a lot tidier than if I would have a bunch of unplugged cords lying around, but if I forget or am just too lazy to unplug my appliances I wonder how Switch will make it any easier for me to either remember or make it so effortless to unplug the incriminating device that I will actually go ahead and do it.
Via Yanko Design.
Someone apparently doesn't believe in the word "waste". And you bet they are bound to have a few creative genes when they can defy such a powerful word. Well, apparently such creative genes must total much more than one can imagine, for these geniuses from TerraCycle have created the most unique products in their effort to turn waste into something useful.
The company, founded by Tom Szaky, collects waste from groups across the country and turns it into over 100 useful products, in addition to donating money to charities for each "waste" item that it receives. Consider the Frito-Lay Speakers, for example. These funky speakers are made from discarded chip bags. And they are functional. They are foldable speakers that don't require batteries and plug into your mp3 or other portable audio player with a 3.5 mm universal plug. TerraCycle sells them online at $19.99.
So the next time you toss out that used chip bag, think new and send it to over to these sensible folks at TerraCycle - you would have earned $.02 for a non-profit organization or school of your choice, plus the right to brag that you helped create the world's cleanest speakers.
The association between batteries and geeks is like a romance between "two young star-cross'd lovers", to take a little help from Shakespeare. Only, the relationship is most certainly polygamous. For, every geek in his lifetime depends on hundreds of different kinds of 'em lovely batteries to maintain his identity. Now, this is where we want to step in and reduce those that he's not taking seriously - the "disposable" ones, you see.
The Battery Wizard has the same noble intent as it turns out a unique battery recharger - one that can recharge both disposable as well as rechargeable Ni-Cad and Ni-Mh batteries (AAA, AA, C, D, 9v block). Interesting huh? The Battery Wizard can apparently extend the life of standard alkaline batteries by up to 10 times by "reconditioning" them - a process whereby the "batteries' valuable chemical contents are fully utilized". There is an LCD screen that indicates the status of each one of the 4 batteries that you can load at one time. Faulty batteries are rejected and completely dead ones are ignored, if you will.
And don't you worry - the device has been certified for safe operation according to British Standards. Clap, clap.
Available from Gizoo for around $42.
Via The Red Ferret.
It seems intuitive that predicting the whims of Mother Nature's should be environmentally friendly. The folks at Oregon Scientific have seen to that with their new solar-powered weather station from their +Eco collection.
The +ECO Clima Control monitors current outdoor and indoor temperatures and humidity and includes an atomically-controlled clock. It also features a graphical at-a-glance weather forecast. And, it's all powered by the built-in solar panel which, when fully charged, will power the unit for up to three months. Includes a remote sensor and is capable of monitoring conditions in up to four separate locations inside or outside your home. Backlighting helps you see the easy-to-read display at night and a mold alarm helps you keep tabs on one of the less-than-welcome whims of Mama Earth.
The Clima Control lets you go green and stay on top of the forecast with ease. Now if only we could get one that controls the weather…
Whoda thunk that there was any use for the paint chip samples they have by the dozens in every home store other than to… well… pick out paint?
The creative talent behind Petra in a bag, has made sure there is an answer to that question… wallets.
Woven from recycled paint chip sample cards, Petra's wallets are not only unique, but the available choice of colors puts your latest J. Crew catalog to shame! The wallets are available in various styles as part of Petra's line of eco-friendly, hand-crafted goods that includes handbags, eye pillows, and newly-to-market cup cozies.
The wallets feature a clear, protective outer layer that adds durability. The larger models also have a color-keyed elastic to keep everything held in place.
If you like unique and like exclusive, a Petra wallet might be just the accessory you have been looking for.
Recently this famous television journalist caught my attention when he said "Aren't the best things in life always custom made?". And drool I did when he was pampered by the best fashion designers, accessory-makers, perfumeries, and even chefs when each of their products were made specially for this gentleman to be the only one of their kind in the world!
Well, since some of us are neither so affluent nor famous, we should perhaps settle for smaller assets - like this GG2G Foleo laptop sleeve, which promises to be so unique that once you purchase one, it is replaced by another that is completely different in design, so nobody else can ever own the same bag. There is more to be happy about - each of these bags is made from recycled highway billboards and lined with recycled fabric. The outer casing is made from "re-vinylzed" water-repellent material which imparts a stylish, shiny look. Plus, there is a handle on the side and an inner pocket to hold your thumb drive.
Currently, there are four different styles on the site for you to choose from, each costing $56. And oh, I was wondering too - GG2G stands for "Green Goods 2 Give & 2 Get". Nice.
Whoever came up with the proverb "Use your enemy's hand to catch a snake" (apparently Persian in origin) was pretty damn smart. And must've caught a lot of snakes too. Jokes apart, this is exactly what the Dutch have invented in their long quest to ward off the danger of rising tides - a new construction project called "New Water" which has created "The Citadel", an apartment complex completely built on water.
The Citadel, designed by Koen Olthuis of Waterstudio, is built on a floating foundation of heavy concrete and will house 60 luxury apartments, a car park, a floating road to access the complex as well as boat docks. Each unit will have its own garden terrace as well as a view of the lake. The building is designed to float perfectly on the rising and falling water, and makes use of the water to cool itself as it pumped out of submerged pipes. Make that a slash of 25% on your electricity bill as water cooling techniques are far more efficient compared to the ones used by a conventional building on land.
And water surfing maybe just as simple as taking a walk around the block.
Isn't it a smart idea that you make use of the scorching sun itself to keep you cool during harsh summers? Why not. And it just seems so perfectly logical, I wonder why solar-powered air-conditioners haven't made themselves loud enough (not literally) to be heard by folks like us who spend shameful amounts on our electricity bills all summer.
The Frost is a concept solar-powered air-conditioner designed by industrial designer Philip Stankard that uses stored solar energy to power its fans, and refrigerator freezer energy to provide a source of low temperature for the fans' breeze to circulate into your home. While the unit itself soaks up the sun and converts that into power to operate the fans, there is a removable freezer pack that you can put into the refrigerator's freezer unit for soaking up the ice. All you then need to do is switch on the unit and insert the freezer pack to get some cold wintry breeze.
Apparently it's not only a breeze on your electricity bill, but also an air-conditioner that looks swell. As there aren't more details available yet, one would assume that since this device doesn't seem to have the luxury of temperature regulation, it would perhaps be more appropriate to term it an air-cooler. Which still doesn't take anything away from how cool a concept this is. This time, literally.
Agreed this 4-port USB hub isn't much of a looker compared to the cute ones floating around currently, but you could give it a try based on that one thing that really matters to all of us these days - more juice for our cellphones.
Though this 4-port USB hub functions like any other when connected to your computer, there is an additional port to which you can jack up your cellphone through the connecting cable provided (connectors specific to the cellphone models supported) and receive those few drops of nectar to bring it back to life. The charging itself works in dual mode. When connected to the computer, the USB hub charges your cellphone by taking power from the PC's USB port. But you can even let the hub's own internal battery charge itself through its solar panel and then connect your cellphone to the hub to transfer the stored charge.
This nifty combination of (solar) cellphone charging and USB hubbing, plus a pocket-sized form factor makes this device a wise addition to your travel bag. Available for $22 from USBFever.
Most of us like to buy environmentally-friendly products were we can and no-one likes the thought of beauty products being tested on animals, but what is perhaps most appealing about Dr Bronner's Magic soap in these credit crunching times is that it has so many uses: 18 of them, in fact, from body wash to toothpaste to household cleanser and many more. At $21 for two 32 ounce bottles, that's pretty great value.
Popular in the '40s and '50s when penny-pinching became an art form for housewives following the second world war, the soap is now a hit with Hollywood stars like Drew Barrymore and the company donates a share of their profits to charities including War Child International.
Plus, as I alluded to previously, the soap is all-natural: totally biodegradable, made with no synthetic foaming agents, thickeners, preservatives, fragrances, dyes or whiteners and packaged with 100% post consumer recycled (PCR) cylinder bottles and paper labels.