I gotta have my gadgets. I’ve got gadgets for talking to friends, gadgets for listening to music, gadgets to make sure I can find my way home at night, gadgets for just about all of my needs. The thing is these gadgets require power, which means I’ve got to charge them up.
In the past I have always looked for ways to hide the tangle of wires that snake across my desk leading to an intertwined disaster against the wall. Most options available are just undesirable, glorified cord winders. And since affordable, energy-efficient, wireless chargers are still a thing of the future then maybe I should start thinking about my wires in a different way.
What if I were to celebrate my wires, embrace them, welcome them into my life? Would they sprout leaves and bloom because of the affection I have poured onto them? Maybe they would look like this design concept created by MicroWorks. The vine camouflage is a thing of beauty.
And what if MicroWorks were to use Gizmodo’s idea to expand their idea into something more elaborate - like a plant charging station where the branches could double as charging cables. Perhaps our gadgets could be transformed into an aesthetically pleasing tropical paradise of energy rejuvenation. You’ve got to admit, that sounds pretty spectacular.
Eco-friendly products are becoming mainstream as consumers demand greener versions of everyday items. Manufacturers have finally begun to meet the challenge as more and more eco-friendly products hit the marketplace. And these are not your grandmother’s “green” products that used to be back-breaking and labor intensive. These are cutting-edge products that combine environmental concern and modern day convenience.
The Eco Toaster cooks your toast quicker and with 34% less electricity than conventional toasters. The innovative, auto-close lid keeps the heat in, which makes your toast cook faster. The toaster also has a variable bread width function which means that you don’t have to give up versatility to go green.
Don’t waste energy boiling water that you are not planning to use. The ECO Kettle is composed of 2 separate 8-cup chambers. The first reservoir is a holding chamber which can release anywhere from 1 cup to 8 cups of water into the boiling chamber. This means that you will only boil the exact amount of water you need. The Eco Kettle uses over 30% less energy than regular kettles and could potentially save 50kWh of electricity each year.
Most espresso machines are designed to be left on for long periods of time, thus using lots of electricity. The Presso Espresso Coffee Maker only uses enough energy to boil one cup of water.
The Presso works by filling the steel filter with coffee, attaching the filter to the Presso and pouring boiling water into the cylinder on top of the machine. The water is then forced through the coffee at a high enough pressure to produce café-style coffee within seconds.
The water-powered clock uses absolutely no electricity or batteries. Instead it runs on water or any type of electrolytic fluid, e.g. soda or coffee. Once the reservoir has been filled with liquid, the numbers appear on the clock like magic. What really happens is the internal converter extracts electrons from the fluid which provides a stream of electrical current that powers the clock.
The only maintenance required is to change the water once in a while.
The Eco Hair Dryer uses half of the energy of typical 2000W hair dryers. In fact, if you normally use your hair dryer for 10 minutes a day you will save enough energy to make 7 cups of tea or 11 pieces of toast each day.
The Eco-Heater is designed to be a low-cost heating alternative to traditional space heaters. It uses convection technology to heat an entire room while only using approximately the same amount of electricity as four 100 watt light bulbs.
The eco-heater mounts on your wall, can be painted to match your décor and can be left on for long periods of time without worry.
The Ecolectric Slow Cooker uses up to 44% less energy than competing slow cookers and 66% less energy then a full-size conventional oven. The insulated lid is the key component of the slow cookers low energy usage since it keeps the heat inside the cooker providing more efficient performance.
The Enviro Vac uses 30% less energy and picks up 20% more dirt than competitive vacuums. Its super efficient motor was designed to work as well as or better than competitive cleaners and only use 800 Watts of electricity compared to the norm of 1600+ Watts.
Make your own delicious ice cream or sorbet in 20 minutes with no ice, salt or electricity required. First freeze the Chillfast® cylinder overnight, then add your ingredients and turn the handle. The handle doesn’t even call for constant motion; an occasional turn is all that is needed.
The Solar Mosquito Guard is a pocket-size, rechargeable personal mosquito repellant. It works by emitting a high frequency sound wave that repels pregnant female mosquitoes (which are usually the ones that bite). This means that you no longer need to purchase DEET-filled products which are harmful to you and the environment.
The portable, 6-liter Eco Mini Fridge is energy efficient and can be powered by your car adapter. It consumes an average of 33 Watts of electricity and uses no refrigerant which means that it is completely recyclable at the end of its lifespan. It also converts from a mini fridge to a portable oven with the flick of a switch. And the oven is capable of heating food to 65 degrees Celsius.
The toilet paper roll is the unsung hero of the bathroom. It stoically does its job day after day without any sign of recognition. Firmly keeping the toilet paper in place and making sure it is easily accessible when you need it the most. And then once the toilet paper is gone the lowly toilet paper roll is usually thrown away and forgotten.
But some creative artisans have decided to give the toilet paper roll a new life. The creations range from basic kids crafts to works of art that will surprise and delight you.
It’s time to rethink the way we use our consumable products. We can’t give up our toothpaste and soap but what if we could stretch them out a bit more and make them last longer?
The key to finding the optimal amount of any product is to experiment. Get out of your old habits and start being aware of what you are doing. Once you achieve usage awareness it will be easier to determine the perfect amount of product. Start by scaling down what you are currently using. Do it slowly, over several days, until the product seems to lose its effectiveness. Once you hit that point, revert back to the amount used in your previous try and you have the sweet spot.
It may not seem worth the effort at first but using less really doesn’t take much effort at all, just a little consideration. Here are 8 products to get you started and once you’ve changed your thought process about them, see what else you can use less of in your home.
Did you know that most people use much more toothpaste than necessary on their toothbrush? A pea size amount is really all you need and does just as good of a job as twice the amount.
If you use a soap pump, one pump often gives you more soap than you actually need to wash your hands. A tightly wound rubber band around the base of the pump will prevent the pump from being depressed all of the way but should still give you plenty of soap to get your hands nice and clean.
Shampoos come in squeeze bottles which mean that it is super simple to squeeze out more than you need. This is especially true if you have teenagers or children in your home.
One way to start making sure everyone uses only as much as they need is to start pouring the shampoo into pump-type dispensers. One pump is lots for short hair and you’ll cut down on shampoo waste. Plus, if you are going to start pouring your shampoo into pump dispensers then you can start buying your shampoo in bulk and save even more money there.
Drying your razor blades after each use will extend their life, sometimes making them last months instead of days. It is the water droplets that do most of the damage to the blades, causing them to rust and oxidize. Simply blotting your blades on a towel after each use will help to get rid of the water that shortens the life of your blade.
A great way for men to save on shaving cream is to grow a beard and give up shaving. If this isn’t an option, then how about trying something completely different? A little bit of inexpensive hair conditioner can be used in place of shaving cream and doesn’t dry out your skin like soap does.
If you check your dishwashers’ manual you will see that the amount of detergent you need depends on your water’s hardness level. Often, the softer your water, the less detergent you need. To check your water’s hardness just give your local water company a call and they can give you that information. Then check your manual and see how much detergent you really need.
Most scoops that come with your laundry detergent are based on the maximum amount of detergent needed for the worst laundry circumstances. However, most times our laundry does not have heavy stains and sometimes we run smaller loads than others. These things affect the amount of detergent you need and if you do a little experimentation you may determine that you are using too much.
One way to double the amount of dryer sheets you have is to rip them in half before throwing them in the dryer. You won’t notice any difference in your clothes and you now have 2 dryer sheets for the price of 1. Feel free to experiment with this, try ripping them in thirds and check the effectiveness, or don’t bother to rip them but reuse them over and over again until they no longer do their job, or just get rid of them altogether.
These simple tips will sometimes double and triple the amount of usage you can get out of a product. So don’t be afraid to experiment with other consumable products, I’m sure it will make a difference in your grocery bill.
If you are looking for a fun piece of furniture to add to your living room, we have just the thing for you.
“Stop Playing With Yourself” is a combination puzzle and multi-purpose piece of furniture created by Australian designers Schamburg + Alvisse. It can be a sofa, chair, bed or just a star sculpture in your room. As a matter of fact, you may spend more time taking it apart and putting it back together than actually sitting or laying on it.
The Abisko washbasin from Eumar is more than a bathroom sink. It is stunning cast mineral marble fashioned to replicate the fresh mountain springs and waterfalls from the Swedish national park, Abisko. The flowing design is meant to remind us that water is one of nature’s precious resources and it is not in our best interest to let it pool in a big tub but to let it run free and to capture only what we need.
The Abisko washbasin dispenses with traditional drain pipes and other details. The fluid design incorporates very few components so that the water can spill freely down the length of the sink into the open grill to simulate the flow of water in nature.
I love Star Wars as much as everyone else but normally the traditional, commercial merchandise doesn’t interest me. However, when I saw these precious, handmade Kokeshi dolls I knew I had to have them.
Each doll is hand painted and signed by the artist, Mulac, which makes them a great collectible. Han Solo and Princess Leia have never looked so adorable.
A Star Wars fan custom ordered this cool little Boba Fett, so take the force into your own hands and request something awesome, like an ewok or wookie.
Easter will be hopping upon us in just a few days and what’s Easter without a cute little bunny?
Ruby Re-Usable has created this lovable little WonderBunny out of plastic Wonder bags, bubble wrap and clear packing tape. Wonder Bunny is a festive way to reuse those old bread bags and create something new and adorable. But if you aren’t creative enough to make one of your own, then check out Ruby’s Etsy store to purchase one of these colorful creatures for yourself.
Televisions are no longer a luxury item like they once were. Now, they are so commonplace that it is not unusual to find several under the same roof. And although today’s LCD TVs use less energy than the old CRTs (inch for inch), once you upsize to a larger screen, all of those energy savings are lost. Still there are some simple and easy ways to make your TV just a little bit greener.
Turn the TV off when you aren’t watching it
This may seem obvious but many people like the “background noise” that a TV offers. However it is a seriously wasteful practice and turning the TV off is a great way to save some money on your energy bills.
Unplug the TV once it’s off
This takes the first suggestion one step further to save even more energy in your home. Most people think that once the TV is off it is not using any energy, however this is not true, as televisions continue to drain small amounts of energy even when they are turned off.
Don’t sleep with the TV on
Lots of people like to fall asleep to the lulling sounds of their favorite late-night infomercial. However, not only does this waste energy, it’s also not very good for you. Scientists have determined that gadgets in bedrooms such as computers and TVs are fuelling poor quality “junk sleep”.
Turn down the brightness on your TV
Most TVs are much brighter than they need to be. Some TVs even have a home setting and a store (or showroom) setting. Make sure your TV is set to the home setting and this will reduce your TV’s energy usage. If your TV does not have these settings, turn down your brightness and possibly your contrast to reduce your TV’s energy consumption.
To test your TV energy consumption knowledge, take this fun quiz by the Sierra Club.
Concept appliances give us a peek into the future. They are often aesthetically pleasing and offer interesting and unique features; however, it is a rare concept appliance that makes it off of the drawing board and into the showroom. Unrealistic designs, high production costs and lack of consumer demand are often the reason for many ideas to be scrapped.
Yet, here are 14 interesting concept appliances that have made it to the model stage and look so good that we hope they go into development soon.
The iBasket is a hamper/washer/dryer combo. The transparent iBasket stores your dirty clothes. Once filled, the automatic wash and dry cycle begins. After it has finished drying, the iBasket will send you an email or text message to let you know it’s done.
Why do consumers need the iBasket?
The iBasket saves time and energy as you’ll never have to transfer your clothes from the hamper to the washer to the dryer again. Plus, you won’t have to worry about your lucky shirt being dirty when you need it for a special occasion.
- Transparent body
- Built-in air refresh system that removes the smell of dirty clothes
- Wi-Fi enabled to help you monitor it from your PC or laptop
The one drawback to the iBasket is that it is very small. It has a capacity of approximately 3-5 kg which works out to be around 3 t-shirts and 2 trousers.
The FlatShare refrigerator is made up of a single base station and up to 4 stackable modules. Each module is a self-contained unit so no one will need to deal with other roommates’ rotting leftovers and failed science projects. The modules are designed with a tall section for bottles, a spot for produce, and a small freezer for frozen items.
Why do consumers need the FlatShare?
Living with roommates can be fun and exciting until it comes time to clean the fridge. The FlatShare avoids potential conflicts by keeping each person’s food and mess separate.
- Customizable color skins
- Bottle openers
- White board
- A handle on the side of the module for easy transport
Coox is a mobile cooking table that lets users cook and eat wherever they like. Not only does it cook the food, it can also be an extension of the dinner table or desk since the table legs are adjustable. The Coox uses induction technology so once you are done cooking, the surface cools immediately to prevent burns.
Why do consumers need the Coox?
Everyone is on the go these days, looking for new and improved ways to save time. The Coox is perfect for someone who works through lunch or eats at their desk while trying to finish up last minute projects. They can prepare themselves a hot snack or keep their tea warm without having to go to the kitchen.
- Adjustable height
- Induction technology
- 3-burner glass ceramic cooking surface
- Cools down immediately after the cooking process has stopped
- Warming area on one corner
The E-Bag is a portable cooler bag that works by using human energy. The E-Bag’s cooling system is powered by someone swinging it back and forth as they walk. So, the longer the walk, the cooler the E-Bag gets. The E-Bag’s rotating handle charges the battery with the user’s arm motion. The cooling system uses so-called Peltier technology, a kind of solid-state heat pump that transfers heat from one side of the device to the other.
Why do consumers need the E-Bag?
This bag is environmentally friendly as it uses no external energy source. It’s perfect for picnics, walks in the park or an outing at the beach. And if you’re tired, don’t worry, kids have energy to burn. Let them carry it for awhile.
- Capacity is approximately 3 liters
- 3 LED lights indicate beverage coldness
- No batteries required
Pure Washer is a rotating dual sink that acts as a sink and dishwasher. The two sinks are designed so that only one sink is exposed at a time. After the dishes have been put into it; the exposed sink rotates under the counter to expose another sink that is exactly the same as the first. Pure Washer washes the dishes under the counter with degassed water – no detergent required. There is also a cycle for washing fruits and vegetables.
Why do consumers need the Pure Washer?
Pure Washer is perfect for the single person who lives on their own. Freshly soiled dishes are easy to clean so each wash will only take a few minutes. Plus, it is a space saver since there is no need for a sink and dishwasher.
- Dish cycle
- Fruit and vegetable cycle
- Reduces water consumption
- Reduces energy used
- No detergent required
Nevale Food Carrier
The Nevale Food Carrier is designed to keep hot foods hot and cold foods cold, all in the same container. It is built with 4 independent layers that have their own independent heating and cooling system. The digital display provides information on the conditions of each layer and can be programmed to reheat a certain layer at specific times.
Why do consumers need the Nevale?
Today’s busy lifestyle makes it hard to eat healthy, home-cooked meals. The Nevale lets you carry a wholesome hot or cold lunch with you wherever you go. It can even be programmed to re-heat your main course for you while still keeping your dessert chilly.
- Can hold up to 4 different types of hot and/or cold food
- Programmable digital control screen
- Each layer operates independently of the others
- Uses a plug or rechargeable battery
- Vacuum storage system keeps food safe from bacteria
The Organic Cook is a compact, table-top appliance that can grill, boil or fry. It uses high-efficiency radiant energy that sends high frequency electromagnetic waves to cook while the vacuum system ensures that the food retains its flavor. This technology means that your food is ready in a fraction of the time required for traditional cooking.
Why do consumers need the Organic Cook?
The Organic Cook offers healthy oil-free frying, grilling and boiling, all in one portable appliance. The food is cooked in a fraction of the time and retains all of its natural flavors, plus it’s easy to use.
- Internal cooking pad offers flexible cooking options – grill, boil or fry
- Infrared technology and vacuum cooking
- Intuitive touch sensitive cooking selector
- Prepares food in a fraction of the time
The VESSTO portable stove is an environmentally friendly appliance that uses an advanced version of the Stirling Engine to power itself. Once the small battery gets the VESSTO at a high enough temperature, the Stirling engine can run by itself by using heat from the stove to expand and contract small quantities of gas inside. The aluminum base plate protects any surface it is placed on and it is also a key component of the Stirling engine as it helps to disperse the heat and reuse it.
Why do consumers need the VESSTO?
The VESSTO stove is the perfect way to reduce energy consumption in your home. The simple control panel makes it easy to use and it even has a sleep function that automatically switches off the stove after a specific amount of time. It is compact and lightweight enough to take anywhere, including outdoors.
- Renewable energy power source
- Extremely quiet
- Easy to read control panel can display recipes, notes or other downloadable cooking information
- Sleep function
- Ceramic coating for easy cleaning
- Aluminum base plate
- Offered in red, yellow, blue and black
Go Fresh Fridge
The Go Fresh Fridge is made up of a main frame that houses 12 removable, temperature-controlled compartments. The food is identified by scanning a picture of it and then the compartment automatically sets the optimal temperature for that type of food. Once the compartment reaches the correct temperature, the cold air inlet closes to save on energy consumption.
Why do consumers need the Go Fresh Fridge?
The Go Fresh Fridge saves energy and increases the lifespan of your food (which in turn should reduce food waste) and this is good for the environment. In addition, it is so cool looking that you will be the envy of all your friends (if not, then at least it is a great conversation piece).
- Energy efficient
- Removable, insulated compartments
- Increases the lifespan of your food since it is stored at optimal temperatures
- Food odors cannot seep into other compartments
Rockpool Waterless Dishwasher
The Rockpool Waterless Dishwasher uses no water or chemicals; instead it uses super critical carbon dioxide in a closed loop system. The carbon dioxide is pressurized into a liquid with excellent grease and oil fighting properties. The carbon dioxide then combines with a small amount of environmentally friendly detergent to get the dishes clean. Once the washing cycle is finished, the carbon dioxide and dirt are separated so that the carbon dioxide can be used again.
Why do consumers need the Rockpool Dishwasher?
The Rockpool dishwasher takes an existing technology and puts it to good use in one of the most used appliances in the home. The closed loop system means that the carbon dioxide gets used over and over again while the dishwasher never uses a drop of water.
- Closed loop system means that the carbon dioxide gets used again and again
- Very quiet
- Simple user interface
The NFridge has a modular design composed of small, stackable refrigeration cubes. Each piece is self-contained and works independently of the others. It uses magnetic refrigeration that produces a constant cold, faster than conventional refrigerators.
Why do consumers need the NFridge?
Not only does the NFridge use an earth-friendly cooling system, but the cold air is not released from the entire fridge when you remove an item. The modular design is perfect for people with large or small families. You can purchase the number of cubes you need and you don’t need to cool any cubes you aren’t using.
- Space saving design
- See-though modular compartments
- Soft touch operating digital membrane
- Magnetic refrigeration
- Resistant to dust and water
- Available in a variety of colors
The Fog Shower is a showerhead that uses approximately 2 liters of water for a 5 minute shower. It does this by creating a fog or vapor flow of microscopic water droplets. The water is heated into water vapor which is then directed onto the person showering. An intelligent sensor sends the water in different directions based on the person’s movements.
Why do consumers need the Fog Shower?
The Fog Shower is a simple and easy way to reduce your water consumption by 18 liters/day which adds up to over 6500 liters/year. And since there is less water to heat up, you will reduce your energy consumption too.
- Reduces water usage
- Reduces energy consumption
- Intelligent sensor
The Agbot is a solar-powered robot that can fertilize your lawn, plant seeds and guard your house at night. Its built-in GPS plots out the lay of the land in order to fulfill these tasks. In fact, its security system is so advanced that it will take a picture of an intruder and send it to you via email all before the intruder even knows he’s been spotted.
Why do consumers need the Agbot?
The security system alone is a great reason to get an Agbot. Its motion detector, night-vision camera and alarm system will make any intruder think twice before breaking into your home. And if you require lawn maintenance, the Agbot can take care of that for you too.
- Takes 40 seconds per planting
- The fertilizer system is designed to avoid inconsistent dispersal that causes lawn burn
- Solar powered
- Speed as fast as 6 miles/hour
- Night vision camera on a 360 degree swivel
- High-frequency alarm system
- Advanced motion detector
- Artificial intelligence
- Built-in GPS
The Agbot still needs some improvements since its battery only lasts for 4 hours. However the programmers are continuing to make improvements and expect the Agbot to run longer in the near future. They also have plans to expand its functionality and make it customizable for the consumer’s individual needs.
The Bra Dryer is a unique appliance that has the sole purpose of drying bras. Bras are made of wiring, fabric and padding that can be damaged using conventional dryers. The Bra Dryer’s patent-pending design preserves the bras shape while using a gentle infrared heat source that evaporates moisture from the bra fabric while silent fans inside the appliance remove the moisture.
Why do consumers need the bra dryer?
Bras can be very expensive and need special care. Therefore they need a special dryer to keep them from getting damaged by conventional dryers. Air drying takes far too long and blow drying your bra is inconvenient, time consuming and never does a really great job.
- Comes in a variety of cup and chest sizes to fit every woman’s needs
- Can be used with all types of bras
- Available in black and white
Plans are in place to start producing the bra dryer in 2010. It will also be available in a modular variation, thus letting you dry multiple bras at the same time.