The Best Toasters of 2014

by Siel •

What makes a toaster efficient? Read through reviews of popular toasters, and you’ll see that many people seem to care more about the bells and whistles — automatic lowering of bread, pleasant dings when toasting is complete, and the like — than anything else.

Efficient Natural Deodorizer: MultiFresh

by Justin Thomas •

I’ve been testing a new deodorizer called Multi Fresh. It is made with pyroclastic rock called Ignimbrite, which is found in volcanoes. This natural deodorizer absorbs odors like baking soda, but it is said to be many times more effective. Ignimbrite is one of the few negatively charged minerals in existence, so it also works by adsorbing molecules to its …


The Best Pressure Cookers Of 2010

by Justin Thomas •

Pressure cookers are efficient cooking devices —  they are up to 70% more efficient than conventional pots. The lids of pressure cookers are built to completely seal the pot so that the contents can boil easily inside the pot. Food cooks faster because the liquid inside rises to a higher temperature before boiling. Cooking times can be reduced by a …


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 …


The Best Kitchen Faucet Aerators

by Justin Thomas •

One of the least expensive ways to increase the efficiency of your home is to install low-flow aerators on your faucets. These devices save water, and lower utility bills as well, because less hot water is used. Because of this, low-flow aerators will generally pay for themselves in only a few months.

Bamboo Flatware Tray by Bambu

by Justin Thomas •

This attractive tray is made from 100% organically-grown bamboo, held together with non-toxic adhesive, and finished with natural, food-safe wood oil. It’s by Bambu, a company that is committed to environmental protection and fair labor practices in China. They also ensure worker health and safety measures, and fund third-party auditing. Available from Branch for $32. Found via productdose.

Inexpensive, Non-Toxic Solvent: Washing Soda

by Justin Thomas •

Washing soda is an efficient substitute for conventional toxic solvents. It cuts grease, cleans petroleum oil, removes wax, and neutralizes odors in the same way that baking soda does. Washing soda is sodium carbonate — it is in the same family as baking soda, but it has been processed differently. It is much more caustic/alkaline, with a pH of 11, …


Biodegradable Dish Scrubbers and Brushes

by Justin Thomas •

Made from thin ribbons of fine-grit sandpaper, these biodegradable scrubbers come from Japan. They are called “Sandclean Scrubbers” and they are said to outperform regular sponges and steel wool. They are quite durable and do not beak apart. They work well on tea or coffee stains in teapots and cups. Also shown here is a Tawashi Brush — it’s a …


Corelle: Durable and Inexpensive

by Justin Thomas •

Corelle dinnerware is efficient because it is highly durable — it doesn’t break, and the designs on the plates cannot be scratched by knives. Corelle is actually made out of glass, but it is created like a sandwich with a glass core that’s thermally bonded to an outer glass glaze. The lamination creates a finished product that is much stronger …


Origami Tableware by Orikaso

by Justin Thomas •

Orikaso, a design firm in the U.K., has released these foldable polypropylene cups, bowls and plates for backpacking or travel. They can actually hold liquids without leaking.