Proximity: A Very Green Hotel In North Carolina

by Justin Thomas •

The Proximity Hotel is proof that a hotel can be very green without sacrificing the comfort of its guests. The hotel is located in Greensboro, North Carolina, and it achieved a Gold LEED certification this year from the U.S. Green Building Council. The Proximity uses 36.5% less energy and 30% less water than a conventional hotel. It gets 60% of …


Review: Smart Power Strips

by Justin Thomas •

I’ve been testing a surging-protecting power strip called the Smart Strip by BITS. The Smart Strip works like this: it has a “Control Outlet” which controls six other outlets on the power strip. If you plug a computer into the Control Outlet, and it turns off or goes into sleep mode, the other “switched” outlets on the strip will be …


Allison Rogers: Commuting Overnight By Train: Efficient

by Justin Thomas •

Train travel — it’s an efficient form of travel that really should revived in this country. Air travel, as we know it today, doesn’t make much sense, if closely examined (although I’d like to see zero-emission planes and airship-based travel). But I digress — Allison Rogers, an optimal living trailblazer, has been commuting up and down the East Coast by …


Efficient: Foot Pedal Faucet Controllers

by Justin Thomas •

Pedal Works HandsFree Faucet Controller

Foot pedal faucet controllers allow you to control a faucet hands-free. These devices are efficient and hygienic — they are commonly found in commercial kitchens and hospitals. I’m not sure why we don’t see them in more homes. You can reduce water use by 50% using pedal controllers, and if it’s hot water, you’ll be saving power too. At a …


13W LED Bulb Can Replace 100W Incandescent

by Justin Thomas •

This 13 watt bulb, the Evolux by EarthLED, is said to be first LED light to be able to replace a 100 watt incandescent. The lifetime of this bulb is rated at over 50,000 hours — which is five times longer than a compact fluorescent bulb. Other advantages of LED bulbs is their ability to brighten instantly, and be switched …


eSolar Gets $130 Million From Google and Others

by Justin Thomas •

eSolar employees put the final touches on the mirrors used to focus sunlight. eSolar is a startup company which is in the process of building solar thermal power plants. It was one of the first startups to earn financial support from Google. This morning it received $130 millions dollars in funding from Google.Org, Bill Gross’ Idealab, Oak Investment Partners, and …


Icebreaker: Efficient Wool T-Shirts For Warm Weather

by Justin Thomas •

Icebreaker, a New Zealand company, is proving that wool can be worn in warm weather. They have released a new line of  “ultra-fine” merino wool T-shirts.  I’ve been testing their Tech T Lite while biking, it has performed quite admirably in the heat — it keeps you cool, and retains less odor than a cotton shirt. I am prone to …