The Bardessono Inn: 93% Of Construction Waste Reused

by Justin Thomas •

In Napa Valley, the newly opened Bardessono Inn and Spa is perhaps the greenest luxury hotel in the country. There are several innovative features that make Bardessono a model for green builders. Perhaps most impressive is the fact that 93 percent of the Bardessono’s construction waste was recycled — an unusally high amount. Materials like wood, steel and paper which …


The Best Portable Car GPS Navigators Of 2010

by Justin Thomas •

In the past five years or so, one of the handiest applications of GPS technology has been the development of portable GPS navigators designed to go into a car to help a driver navigate as she drives.


HippoRoller Water Carrier – Simple Efficiency With A Far-Reaching Payoff

by Benjamin Roman •

Water is an immediate, fundamental need for human survival, but one in six people worldwide don’t have immediate access to water resources, particularly in arid regions of southern Africa. The HippoRoller is a deceptively efficient water carrier with the potential to offer huge health, economic, and social benefits to developing communities.

Dahon Jack: An Inexpensive, Folding, Full-Size Bike

by Justin Thomas •

Dahon Jack Urban Utility Bike

The Dahon Jack folding bike. It weighs 28.4 pounds (or 12.9 kg). I’ve treated this bike harshly for a year now, and I haven’t had any problems with it. It costs $459. The Dahon Espresso. It has 21 gears instead of 8. It weighs 13.3 kg (or 29.3 lb). I’m currently testing this bike — so far it been as …

Old Running Shoes Never Die – But Brooks BioMoGo Really Does Fade Away

by Benjamin Roman •

A critical aspect of a product’s “efficiency” involves not just what it does, but also where it comes from and where it goes after its useful life. Brooks has taken an innovative step to improve the life-cycle efficiency of its running shoes with its biodegradable BioMoGo cushioning material.


World’s Brightest Single LED Flashlight: Neofab Legion II

by Justin Thomas •

Update: There are now many other LED flashlights that exceed this one, see my article the Brightest LED Flashlights. A triumph of careful thought, detailing and thorough testing, the Neofab Legion II is a new single LED flashlight that is said to produce a whopping 742 lumens. If accurate, this light will be the brightest single-LED in the world.


The Best Rice Cookers

by Siel •


I recommend a fuzzy logic rice cooker if you eat rice every day, basically making your cooker an always-on device. Your rice will take about twice as long to cook as it does in on-off rice cookers — but if rice is part of your daily routine, that will never be a concern. In a fuzzy logic cooker, there will …


SmartSwitch Takes Human Error Out Of The Energy Efficiency Equation

by Justin Thomas •

The quest for low-impact, efficient living is often at odds with the human flaws of sheer laziness and absentmindedness. This couldn’t be more poignantly-illustrated than in an average American home. Much electricity is wasted each and every day by very simple, avoidable behavior. One of the most common examples is the vast amounts of electricity that are essentially thrown away due to …


New Longtail Utility Bike: The Madsen kg271

by Justin Thomas •

Here’s a rare find — a new longtail bike. This bike is called the kg271, and it’s made by Madsen Cycles. They describe the bike as an “urban utility bike”. It comes in two versions: one with a rack built with oversized steel tubing, and another version with a bucket that incorporates a removable seat and two seatbelts.