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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, …

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ASUS Introduces Bamboo-Cased Computers

Bamboo is an ideal material to fashion into gadgets — it’s tough but lightweight, and it wears well. I also find it much more pleasing to the eye than plastic. But few bamboo-clad electronics have made it into mass production yet. One exception is ASUS’s bamboo-cased version of its U2E notebook which is now available (currently only in Asia). ASUS …

4

Efficient: HP Reduces Laptop Packaging By 97%

Recently, HP announced that its DV6929 laptop will be packaged in messenger bags made with 100% recycled materials. This will reduce the amount of packaging by 97% — almost all the Styrofoam and cardboard conventionally for packaging will be eliminated.

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.

2

The Strida: An Efficient Short-Trip Bike

Several readers have noted that we neglected to mention the Strida folding bike in our folding bike round-up. The Strida is a unique bike designed to take a commuter a few miles to the train or bus. It has an extremely quick folding action: it takes about seven seconds to fold one up. Here’s a video of the folding action:

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Hand-Crafted Recreational Vehicles

Tonke Campers are hand-built RVs that are now being sold in the Netherlands. The Campers are a distinct contrast to the mass-produced plastic RVs that are so common in this country (although the market for these RVs is actually plummeting). Tonke Campers are inspired by gypsy caravans, and the classic yachts created by Dutch boatbuilders in the 1920s.

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Innovation: Biodegradeable Coffee Cups!

Today, there is no way to compost or recycle the billions of disposable coffee cups used in the U.S. each year. It’s all due to a simple fact: the cups are lined with a petroleum-based plastic (polyethylene) to prevent leaking. But, finally, someone has invented a biodegradable coffee cup. The innovators are International Paper and Green Mountain Coffee. They’ve created …

4

Modern Rainwater Tank: The LUMI

Unfortunately, most rainwater tanks and cisterns are unsightly blocks of concrete or plastic. The LUMI Rainwater Tank, however, was designed by Katrina Logan to be visually appealing. It’s made of sculptural satin acrylic and can be made in a range of colors and sizes (250 liters – 1100 liters). The tank glows in the sunlight, making the rainwater reserves visible, …

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 …

1

Most Efficient Food Storage Bags: BioBags

The most efficient food storage bag are BioBags. These bags are similar to plastic bags, but they are composed of corn-based bioplastic. Unlike conventional plastic, the bioplastic “breathes” without leaking, allowing heat and moisture to evaporate, which keeps food fresh longer. They are also GMO-free, 100% biodegradable and compostable. Note: The bags are labelled “Food Waste” bags but the company …

1

Wooden Hot Tubs

Wooden hot tubs are an attractive alternative to the plastic tubs that have come to dominate the marketplace today. These traditionally styled tubs are built with wood that contains natural anti-bacterial oils. SeaOtter Woodworks build their tubs by hand with Western Red Cedar. They are one of the few companies in the U.S. making wooden hot tubs. They support sound …

5

Non-Toxic Sippy Cups

These cups by SIGG are Swiss designed and are a bit different from regular sippy cups. They have a totally inert inner lining that won’t leach chemicals. This is important because kid’s cups receive a lot of washing and wear and tear, thus the plastic inside degrades quite a bit. The cups are extruded from a single piece of pure …

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BioBag: Biodegradable and Compostable Bags

BioBags are the first 100% bio­degradable alternative to plastic bags. They are made from cornstarch, vegetable oil and other renewable resources. BioBags makes kitchen “compost bags” to store foods scraps before composting. They can also can be used to store food in the refrigerator. The advantage over plastic, is that these bags will “breath” without leaking. This allows heat and …

2

Non-Toxic Infant Toys and Teethers

Infants absorb chemicals more easily than adults — their bodies run at a higher metabolic rate, and their skin is ten times thinner. Infant toys and teether made of PVC plastic often leak phthalates (pronounced “thay-lates”) and other toxic substances (see more details in this report on 2003 PVC Report Card on Kid’s Toys Manufacturers).

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Biolet Toilets

Notes from Manufacturer: BioLet composting toilets are efficient, compact and reliable appliances which can be easily installed in any location. All models are manufactured from durable, easy to clean ABS plastic and non-corroding stainless steel and are backed by over 25 years of experience, a three year limited warranty and toll free customer support. Home Page: Biolet Price: $1065-2000

Servel Portable Fridge (LP Gas, 120V AC, 12V DC)

Although not the most efficient cooler, we like the fact that this cooler can be powered by so many energy sources. Notes from Manufacturer: Large enough to hold six 6-packs. Lightweight and compact with rugged turquoise plastic exterior. Comes with ice cube tray, thermostat and push button piezo igniter. Works with three different power sources: LP gas (disposable 1-lb, low …