This little dining table, which I read about at Treehugger, might either be the grossest or the coolest eco-tech idea I've heard in a while. Or maybe both. The cone-shaped thing under the table is a fabric bag that's home to a functioning ecosystem full of creepy crawlies like worms and sowbugs, which break down your leftover food and turn it into compost that your house plants or garden will find very yummy. The compost then sprinkles out the bottom of the bag when it's ready. Plus, there's an LCD screen that's hooked up to … Read more
Here's a bright idea that we found on The Gadgets Weblog: if people can't figure out how to conserve energy, maybe showing pictures of cute animals conserving energy would help them get the idea. Indeed, it's being implemented in an ad campaign by a French electricity company--see, the penguin is turning off a computer, and the meerkats are installing solar panels on the roof! As you may know already, I have a thing for penguins, so of course I think this is a cool idea. And seriously, how cute are those meerkats? (Bigger versions of all the … Read more
I could say something really deep, introspective, and postmodern-pop-philosophy-ish about recent trends involving large-scale indoor horticulture. You know, about the blurring of indoor and outdoor spaces in the collective unconscious, and the human yearning for closeness to the organic in a sterilized world, and...
Here's a better way to put it. These days, it seems to be kind of trendy to take things--like owls and tree branches--that are normally found outside, and put them indoors. Like that wall of plants they've devised over in Sweden. Well, a design group in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, has taken the … Read more
I've co-existed with housecats most of my life. In the same living space. The little darlings will awaken you at night when they want room service. Some needlessly kill salamanders or wild birds. We had had one angry tom who pooped on top of our piano. They'll sneak food from your plate if you leave the dining table. Pick fights with the neighborhood skunk or raccoon with the expected results. And they will always sleep on your pillow, leaving a free deposit of soft fur behind.
But none of that matters, or even moves the annoyance needle. Not … Read more
Eco-chic uberblog Treehugger has written up the winners of the "Light Objects" sustainable design competition hosted by Core77, and the first-prize gadget looks something like...an iPod. Called "Pulse," this slender little device monitors energy output and glows red when you're dealing with a nasty energy hog (oink, oink). Designer Daniel Sutherland has said that he intends "Pulse" to be used as an indicator of how many electronic products we leave on standby throughout the course of the day and night--and how many of those, like our computers, could be turned off instead.… Read more
Pop quiz: Which automaker just won an international competition for the greenest car? Hint: It's not Toyota, Honda or any U.S. company.
This year's GreenFleet award goes to ... Citroen. "In the last four years, Citroen has sold more well over a million fuel-efficient vehicles in Europe" and "has been committed to using biofuels in its engines since March 1998," according to the judges of the U.K. contest, which was created to promote environmental awareness among transportation companies.
But does it come with a doughnut holder?
As the Segway struggles with various problems, upstart T3 Motion is targeting a pedestrian-alternative rival at local police departments. The three-wheeled T3 Series, according to Edmunds.com site Inside Line, made its debut at the International Association of Chiefs of Police convention in Boston last weekend.
The "environmentally friendly" vehicle, which runs on two lightweight rechargeable batteries that can be exchanged in the field, has been tested on the mean streets of tourist-packed Catalina Island off the coast of L.A. "Equipment includes an integrated LED lighting system, sirens, … Read more
The full $695 for the Tumi PowerPack goes to the celebrated aid group that sends doctors to war zones. On top of that, this solar-powered bag can charge your smart phone on the go. Its water-repellent, nylon frame encases an electric adapter, secret pouches, and a laptop sleeve (but no way to charge a laptop). Tumi's solar panels are the smallest yet for a bag in its league, tucked away on top … Read more
Calling someone a carpetbagger may actually become a compliment if people take the advice of designer Giles Miller. Miller offers laptop cases made out of corrugated cardboard and carpet as an environmentally friendly alternative to traditional laptop cases.
The cases were featured as part of London's [Re] design event in September. The non-profit organization seeks to promote sustainable design by connecting designers with people who can put their ideas into the marketplace. "[Re] design supports designers who don't want to make landfill," according to its posted philosophy.
The corrugated cardboard cases are $224 each, or $ 448 … Read more
Most of these gadgets are pretty out-there; I'd never heard of most of them before. But the Solar Cool Cap looks oddly familiar. I won't be a bit surprised if I ever see one atop the head of a Segway rider; they both have the same sort of socially-conscious-but-still-really-dorky aura about them.
(Photo: About My Planet)