1

Nikon Introduces Green Binoculars: Ecobins

Nikon has introduced some new binoculars called Ecobins with some nice green features. The body of the binocular is made with rubber than does not include chloride, toxic inks or dyes. The lens and prisms are made with Nikon’s Eco-Glass™, which is lead- and arsenic-free.

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

11

AeroGarden: Easy, Efficient Indoor Gardening

In 2004, MetaEfficient.com pre-reviewed the AeroGrow aeroponics growing system. That was before the system was released. A couple of years ago, you couldn’t cut on your TV without seeing an ad for AeroGrow indoor gardening systems. It isn’t as ubiquitously advertised now, but it hasn’t disappeared from the market. In fact, five years after its initial release, there are several …

3

Bags Made With 95% Recycled Material

I’ve been testing a new line of bags called Terraclime by Lowepro. I was impressed by the fact that 95% of the material used to make these bags is recycled content. The fabric is made with recycled PET bottles (i.e. post-consumer plastic). The hooks and zippers are made from plastic salvaged from the factory floor, and reground.

67

An Inexpensive Electric Bike Conversion Kit

Sales of electric bikes have spun into high gear this year — some merchants reporting a 6000% increase in sales. This is good news, because, for short trips, the efficiency and convenience of electric bikes is hard to beat. You may have heard that in the U.S.,  40% of all trips are made within two miles of the home, and 50% …

3

16 Million Color LED Lamps Now Available

Last year, Philips showed off their LivingColor lamps at a media event. Each compact light can illuminate 16 million unique colors, all of which can be controlled via an included wireless RF remote. You can set any remote to control up to six fixtures simultaneously, keeping their colors in synchronization for a dramatic effect. Since it uses some seriously bright …

1

Efficient: Bamboo Toys

The Contina line by Hape International is said to be the first range of 100% bamboo toys. They are colored with natural, water-based paints. The full range is available from Hape through Amazon. Found via: Eco Child’s Play

Can-Crushing Frog

From Japan, comes this frog that can crush cans! You can buy it from this Japanese store. A less whimsical can crusher can be found at Amazon for $20.

3

Flexible Solar Cells: SolarRolls by Bruton

Brunton makes a range of flexible solar cells they call SolarRolls. These weather-proof solar cells can be rolled up quite tightly, and attached to a backpack. Seen here is a 14W model — it produces DC power even during low light conditions. SolarRolls come with a range of plugs, including a standard car lighter socket. They can also be attached …

21

Spin Dryer From Laundry Alternative

A spin dryer is an appliance that can readily improve the energy efficiency in your laundry. A portable spin dryer like this one from Amazon, uses centrifugal force to dry clothes. The dryer was out of stock for a while, but it is now available again. Spin drying is much more efficient than electric tumble drying, in terms of energy …

153

Electric Tankless Water Heaters

Note: This post has been expanded and updated for 2009! Tankless water heaters only heat water when it is needed. About 8% to 30% of the energy consumed by a standard water heater goes to keeping the water hot while it’s not being used. New tankless systems heat the water instantly when you turn on the faucet, rather than keeping …

3

Non-Toxic Stainless Steel Sippy Cups

Klean Kanteen has just introduced this non-toxic Sippy Cup for toddlers. It is made with stainless steel, and it does not have epoxy coating in the inside. It’s coupled with a non-leaching #5 polypropylene adaptor and #5 polypropylene sippy spout. This cup does not contain the Bishphenol-A chemical, a potent hormone disruptor found to leach from hard, plastic (particularly #7 …

3

Optimal: Natural Linen Sheets by Area Simone

We recently discovered these 100% natural linen sheets by Area Simone. Linen, which comes from the flax plant, is an optimal material for making sheets. Like hemp, linen does not require pesticides to grow. By contrast, 25% of all pesticides used in the world are sprayed on cotton. Linen is also 2 to 3 times stronger than cotton, has no …

2

A Non-Toxic Stainless Steel Lunchbox

Here’s an interesting alternative to those regular old vinyl lunchboxes which have a tendency to leach phlatates and lead into your food. It’s a stainless steel lunchbox that will probably garner attention from your co-workers, fellow students or curious passers-by. Based on the idea of the Japanese Bento Box, the lightweight “To Go Ware” has two stainless bowls that sit …

1

Now Available: Very Efficient: Toilet Lid Sinks

These sinks are finally available in the U.S. They sit atop your toilet and replace the lid. When you flush the toilet, the clean water that would go straight down the toilet is first routed up through a spigot to dispense pure water for hand washing. The sink shut off automatically when the toilet has been filled. It saves on …

7

Criollo Chocolate: Efficient Food of the Gods

In its pure state, chocolate, or cacao, is quite nutritious, and inspires eudaimonia. There are number of varieties of cacao. Almost all commercial chocolate is made using beans of the Forastero Group. Another more prized cultivar, Criollo, is used by the top chocolate makers around the world. It is less bitter and more aromatic than any other bean.

2

Corelle: Durable and Inexpensive

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 …

2

Building Green: A Complete How-To Guide

This practical book is the first step-by-step green building guide we’ve seen. It is packed with photographs illustrating building techniques like Earth Plastering, Straw Bale Construction, Living Roofs, Cordwood Building and Cob Building. At over 600 pages, this hefty guide is useful for anyone wanting to see the nitty-gritty details of green building. The author’s web site is Think Building …

1

How To Grow Fresh Air

Author B.C. Wolverton originally began his research to investigate creating a breathable environment for a NASA lunar habitat. What came of that research was the discovery that houseplants are the most efficient filters of common pollutants such as ammonia, formaldehyde and benzene. (See our list of the top plants for cleaning the air). In this well laid-out book, Wolverton presents …

2

Efficient Sprouting: The Sprout Bag

In the growing world, it doesn’t get much easier than sprouting. It’s a easy way to grow fresh ingredients for your sandwich or stir fry. It takes only about 6 to 7 days for sprouts to grow. People often assume sprouts are best grown in jars. But jars were never designed for sprouting. According to the Sprout Man, it’s more …