“Watch-Out” Roundabouts: More Efficient Than Stop Lights

The safety and efficiency of roundabouts has been hotly contested in countries that have been wary to embrace them, such as the United States. People have argued that roundabouts are more confusing than signal lights, and consequently lead to more frequent accidents. While it is true that roundabouts can be confusing for first-time users, officials argue that once people have …

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Top 5 Bike-Friendly Small Towns

Most lists of the top bike-friendly towns include major metropolitan areas, but small towns, those with a population under 100,000, actually pull in higher percentages of bike commuters. Small towns have the advantage of smaller road grids, easier commutes, and local government support. The most bike-friendly small towns are typically college towns where bicycling is considered by college students as …

Glycerin: An Underrated Natural Moisturizer

Glycerin is perhaps the best natural humectant (moisturizing substance). It absorbs an amazing 50 percent of its weight in moisture from the air. This makes it an excellent aftershave — just a rub a little on your skin for the moisturizing effect. Glycerin is created when a vegetable oil like olive oil is mixed with an alakli. The result is …

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The Best Places To Trade-In Your Electronics, DVDs & Books

Recently, I tested trading-in some of my old books, electronics, DVDs and CDs that were gathering dust on my shelves. I was able to free up some shelf space, and in addition I received some cash and credit (about $600 total). All of these trades went smoothly, the most laborious part was packaging all the items in a box, and …

Bone Char: A Very Effective Filter

Bone char — the name is perhaps…uninspiring, but it’s one the most underrated water filtering substance I’ve encountered.

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Bidet Seats: More Efficient Than Toilet Paper

Bidets are those devices that spray water (and sometimes air) on your posterior. They are more hygienic than toilet paper, and save you money in the long run. In Japan, high-tech bidets called Washlets are now the most popular electronic equipment being sold — 60% of households have them installed. In Venezuela they are found in approximately 90% of households. …

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Alpaca Wool Blankets: Amazingly Warm And Inexpensive

Alpacas have been bred in South America for thousands of years. Their wool is a soft, durable, luxurious fibers. Alpaca wool is similar to sheep’s wool, but it is warmer and has no lanolin, which makes it hypoallergenic. Here are some alpaca wool blankets I’ve personally tested:  Alpaca Blanket Made In The US If you are looking for an alpaca …

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Efficient Products I Like

Here are some efficient products I like in 2013. I’ve tested all these products and found that they perform well. Generally, I like things that are ultralight and ultradurable. I also look for things that are sustainably made and come with lifetime warranties. For purchase things, I like Amazon and REI, due to their efficient return policies — I return …

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Fan Creates Tempest In Your Room Using Just 133 Watts

Energy Efficient Fan By Lasko

Lasko is a company that still makes its fans in the USA. I like their all-metal fans because they are very durable, and the parts can be replaced by Lasko. They also come with a two-year warranty. The fan featured here is the Lasko 20″ High Velocity Floor Fan, and it will move a huge amount of air in a …

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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 …