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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 …

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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 …

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The Most Efficient Chest Freezers

In brief, these are the most efficient chest freezers: The most efficient AC-powered chest freezers are by Whirlpool The most efficient DC-powered freezer are by Sundanzer When researching energy efficient appliances, we often turn to the recommendations of the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE). The ACEEE continues to publish helpful information about all sorts of appliances, including freezers. …

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The Best Kid’s Trailer Bikes

Want to bring your child along on an extended bike ride? One easy way is to use a trailer bike — it’s a one-wheeled bike extension that attaches to the back of your bike. Your smaller companion can then assist you with pedaling, while you control the steering and speed. If  your child gets tired, they can just stop pedaling …

Minimalist Functional Design

Kenya Hara wrote the book “Designing Design“, which is 472 page tribute to “white” not just as color but as a design concept. It contains chapters by like-minded designers such as Jasper Morrison and Naota Fukasawa. The works of German industrial designer Dieter Rams (Braun), and Apple’s “Snow White” design language are other examples of the “less is more” approach …

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Intelligent Electrical Outlets: Efficient and Safe

Here’s a short presentation at TED 2010 by inventor John La Grou, where he unveils an invention that would make electrical outlets much smarter. The invention, Safeplug, promises to prevent deadly accidents like house fires — and to conserve energy.

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Non-Toxic Indoor/Outdoor Lounge Chairs

These polymer-based chairs can be used both indoors and outdoors. The Bubble Club Chair by Kartell (shown above), is made of non-toxic materials, and it has all its plastic parts printed with an identification mark to determine the correct recycling classification. It sells for $680. The Heller Mario Bellini MB1 Armchair (below) is constructed of one piece roto molded polymer, …

Ultrafine Yak Wool Clothing: Efficient

Khunu is a start-up company that aims to be the first to bring yak wool clothing to the global market. They offer a range of athletic clothing that is made with 100% Himalayan yak wool. What are the advantages of yak wool? Khunu says that independent lab tests have shown yak wool to be 10-15% warmer than merino wool of …

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Looptworks: Products Made Of 100% “Excess” Material

I’ve been testing some Looptwork products, and they are amazing. Here’s why: the company makes all their products from 100% industrial “excess” materials. That means every zipper, button and thread used in their designs was about to be thrown out. For example, the Hoptu Laptop Sleeve shown above is made with 100% upcycled nylon neoprene which was recovered from a …

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Ovopur: The Art Of The Water Filter

Ovopur Caviar Water Filter

I’ve been testing an Ovopur water filter from Aquaovo, a company based in Montreal. This filter is certainly the most attractive I’ve come across. My eye is often drawn to its porcelain ovoid shape sitting in my ktichen. I’ve come to think of it as a piece of art that also happens to filter water.

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The Best Water Filters

There are a lot of misleading claims about water filters. Many filters are marketed with general statements like “improves taste and odor”. But filter manufacturers don’t mention the specific amount of pesticides or chloramines removed, for example.

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The Most Efficient Snack: Pure Organic Bar

A MetaEfficient snack bar. Unlike other nutrient bars I’ve tasted, this one’s delicious. My topic pick is the Orange Cranberry Bar. It’s made by a company called PURE, based in Holland, Michigan. 

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A MetaEfficient Men’s Winter Outfit For 2010

In this new series of posts, I will be reviewing the top MetaEfficient Products of 2010. For a product to be considered MetaEfficient it must be: green, functional, durable and reasonably priced. Where possible, the product should be made by a company with high environmental standards and good manufacturing ethics. Our featured Men’s Winter Outfit is multifunctional — it works …

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A Solar Flower Tower Rises In The Desert

This unusual solar tower was designed by Israeli architect Haim Dotan for AORA Solar. It is set to launch on June 24 in South Israel. The tower has 30 tracking mirrors (heliostats) that reflect sunlight towards the top of a 30-meter high solar tower. The top of the tower has a special solar receiver and a 100kw gas turbine. The …