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The Stealth Toilet Uses Only 0.8 Gallons Per Flush

In the U.S., toilets account for 30% of indoor water use, but this is mostly due to their inefficient design. So I was pleased to find the Stealth Ultra-High-Efficiency Toilet toilet by Niagara. This is probably the most water efficient flush toilet available for residential use. The Stealth uses only 0.8 gallons per flush (GPF). This is much less than the average …

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How To Control Your Data Online

We’ve become accustomed to online companies hosting our data, but this practice is actually highly inefficient. This page explains the situation pretty simply. My advice is to use “unhosted” online services that support personal data control, or “zero-knowledge” services that encrypt your data before it leaves your computer. I’ve created a list of suitable services at the end of this …

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Efficient In 2012: Collaborative Consumption

The rise of collaborative consumption is perhaps the most efficient movement arising in society today. Basically, collaborative consumption is based on an economic model where products are shared or rented instead of owned. This model may become pervasive enough to replace the ownership-based model we have today. For good introduction to this movement, see the video above. It’s by Rachel …

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Mint: A Free, Easy-To-Use Operating System

I’ve converted my Apple computers to run Mint Linux in place of OS X. Mint Linux was built to be easy to install and a system that novice users could enjoy. Based on Ubuntu, Mint became the poplar desktop version of Linux this year. Linux is a free, open-source operating system that been around for 30 years. It’s not widely …

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The Best LED Reading Lamps

The small size and directional light output of LEDs make them ideal for personal reading lights, and they are energy efficient too. Here are some of the best LED reading lamps:

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The Best LED Camping Lanterns

LED Lanterns are perhaps the most useful portable lights — they can be used as camp lights, work lights, or emergency lights. The LEDs inside aren’t susceptible to shocks, and they burn for decades.

The Best Golf Cart Chargers

What do you want in a golf cart charger? Golf cart batteries are lead-acid batteries that operate at 36 or 48 volts. Like all lead-acid batteries, they must be charged at a specific voltage and amperage levels. They cannot be fast charged — a full charge requires 14 to 16 hours.

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A Review Of NiZn Batteries

NiZn (Nickel-Zinc) batteries are a type of rechargeable AA battery that operates with a nominal voltage 1.6 volts, which is very close to the 1.5 volts of alkaline batteries. This makes NiZn battery perform well in high-drain devices like handheld games.

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The Best 18650 Batteries

In a Nutshell Our choice for the best 18650 battery is the Orbtronic cell. This battery has a high capacity (3100 mAh), and maintain their voltage until fully drained. A two-pack of these cells is available at Amazon for around $30. Also available are Panasonic 18650 cells, with a bit more capacity (3400 mAh). If you are looking for a …

The Best Rechargeable AA Batteries For Flash

In A Nutshell When recharging a camera flash, you need a battery capable of delivering a high amount of current in a short time. Ideally, you want the batteries with the highest rated capacity. The highest capacity rechargeable AA batteries are: Ansmann’s 2850 mAh batteries and Powerex’s 2700 mAh batteries. Of these two batteries, Powerex’s 2700 mAh gets the most positive reviews from photographers. It …

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The Best Ni-MH Battery Chargers

In A Nutshell The best Ni-MH (Nickel-Metal Hydride) battery charger is a “smart charger” like the LaCrosse BC-700 Charger (sells for $36).  Smart chargers have circuitry to prevent overcharging and damaging your batteries. They also provide features that allow you to test and “renew” Ni-MH batteries. If you are looking for a charger that also charges C, D and 9V batteries, we …

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The Best Women’s Cruiser Bikes

Recently we featured men’s cruiser bicycles. Now let’s take a look at women’s cruiser bikes, which have become very popular in recent years. Nearly every major bike manufacturer now offers at least one cruiser model, if not an entire line. We feature some of the best looking bikes below, with an eye towards classic styling.

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The Best Shower Filters

I just replaced my shower filters, so I thought I’d update my best shower filter review from earlier this year. Each update to the review generates a lot of useful comments. So I’m incorporating what I’ve learned from those comments into this latest review.

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Using Solar Power To Run Electric Boats

Solar power is increasingly becoming a feasible choice for powering electric boats. In the last decade, we’ve seen improvement in the efficiency of electric boat motors, lithium-ion batteries, and the efficiency of solar panels. In 2010, the Tûranor PlanetSolar, a huge catamaran yacht powered by 470 square meters of solar panels, was unveiled by New Zealand’s LOMOcean Design. It became …

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Enjoyable Travel Using Slow, Clean, Car-Free Techniques

Right now, I’m investigating a new travel technique, which I’m calling “Slow Daily Travel”. By going slow (traveling 1o to 100 miles per day), your journey can often become more intriguing and enjoyable. My technique involves traveling as far as you like each day, and then staying overnight in a hotel. The next day you repeat, until you reach your …

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The Best Rechargeable D Size Batteries & Chargers

The best rechargeable D size batteries are the new LSD Ni-MH (low self-discharge Nickel-Metal Hybride) cells. These new Ni-MH rechargeable batteries are able to retain a charge for a year, making them suitable for using in flashlights and other low-term applications. See also our full review of the Best AA Rechargeable Batteries and Chargers. 

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The Pharox 300 Flame: The Warmest LED Light Bulb Available

Pharox Flame LED Light Bulb Replacement

The Pharox 300 Flame is the warmest LED light bulb I’ve tested. It’s been in a desk lamp in my living room — it gives off a pleasing yellow glow (a 3000 kelvin output). The Pharox’s light quality is very good. Unlike CFLs, this bulb contains no mercury it emits no UV radiation. Typically, quality household lights tend to have the …

1

Air Jet Showerhead: A High-Powered Water Saver

AirJet Showerhead: A Low-Flow Vacuum Showerhead

I’ve been testing the Air Jet showerhead, and so far I’ve been impressed. This is low-flow showerhead, but it creates a high pressure shower experience using simple physics.

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The Most Efficient Public Swimming Pool In The U.S.

A community swimming pool called the Richmond Plunge has just opened in Richmond, California, and it may be the most efficient swimming pool in the country. The Richmond Plunge has many efficient features: it’s heated by solar collectors, it’s entirely chlorine-free, and the building is powered by solar panels on the roof. The Plunge is a historic pool — it …