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Tag Archives: eco-conscious

Inglorious Produce: French Supermarket Chain Finds A Way To Reduce Food Waste

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Did you know that a good portion of the produce farmers grow ends up being discarded simply because it’s too ugly to be sold in stores? Too ugly doesn’t mean it doesn’t taste as good or is less nutritional, so French supermarket chain Intermarché decided to buy these leftover fruits and veggies, and sell them heavily discounted (30% off) in a special aisle named “Les Fruits Et Legumes Moches” (“The Inglorious Fruits And Vegetables”). Stars in the new lineup include “The Grotesque Apple”, “The Ridiculous Potato”, and “The Failed Lemon.” To help people realize that these runts were just as good as their more beautiful siblings, the stores gave away juices and soups prepared with them. And people loved it.

Not only can patrons save a good amount of money by buying these ugly fruits and veggies, instead of the traditional produce, Intermarché’s initiative is helping drive awareness about food waste. Seeing as the EU declared 2014 to be the “European Year against Food Waste”, the French grocer’s actions are a solid first step towards Europe’s goal of reducing waste by half by the year 2025.

[ Intermarche's Website ] VIA [ TheAwesomer ]

EcoDrain Recycles The Heat From Your Used Up Hot Water

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One of the things that uses up the most energy in a home is hot water. And all of that heat is wasted as it drains away into the sewage system. The EcoDrain device pictured above allows you to partially warm up incoming cold water with the heat from the outgoing hot. It’s a heat-exchange system, and isn’t exactly a new invention, although unlike most other solutions can be installed horizontally. This allows it to be placed “under the bathroom floor immediately adjacent to the drain, thus catching the waste water at its hottest.” It won’t be enough to get the incoming cold up to a good steamy temp, but it’ll help you use less hot water mixed in, thus saving you money. It requires no electricity, and has no moving parts; once installed you can just forget its there. “It’s priced at US$439.95, and is claimed to offer a return on investment ranging from 17 to 43 percent per year – based on the energy costs in various American cities.” Or in other words, you’ll be able to shower for about 33% longer while using the same amount of power you would have without the EcoDrain.

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[ Product Page ] VIA [ TreeHugger ]

Mobile AirDesk Brings The Comfort Of A Desktop To Laptop Users

Slate-Mobile-Airdesk There’s no point in going on about how great laptops are, but obviously the convenience comes at the cost of a few tradeoffs. Your legs can get hot and sweaty and if you want to use a mouse, you’re out of luck. Instead of forcing you to find a desk, the Mobile AirDesk brings it to you. Made from bamboo, this slab lets you have the best of both worlds:

The Slate is cut from a block of pure, premium bamboo. It’s ultra lightweight, super strong, and it will absorb the heat from your laptop. The curves, air ventilation, and docking station are chiseled, hand-sanded, and polished to mirror the feeling of glass. A super thick and heavy duty mouse pad is installed and sits flush against the surface of the slate.

There’s even a slot to slide your phone in. It’s a popular product, having gone over their funding goal almost twenty fold. If you want to get your hands on one, it’ll set you back $98.

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[ Project Page ] VIA [ LikeCool ]

BMW i8 Plug-In Hybrid Is An Eco-Conscious Supercar

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We’re not completely sure it qualifies as a supercar, but with a $136,000 price tag, exotic “swan wing” doors and a 4.4s 0-60mph time… it’s pretty close. BMW has officially unveiled the i8, a hybrid coupe that features a BMW TwinPower Turbo 1.5-litre three-cylinder petrol engine with 170 kW (231 hp) of peak performance on the rear wheels, as well as an electric drive on the front wheels, cranking out an additional 96 kW (131 hp) for a combined power output of 362bhp. That’s enough for the aforementioned acceleration stat, which you can maintain until you reach the top speed of 250km/h (155mph). Unlike other cars with similar performance, you can drive the i8 calmly and squeeze 94 miles to every gallon of premium gas in the tank. Granted, that figure depends on how you’re driving the beast, but the fact that it can reach it in any condition at all places the vehicle quite a few steps ahead of other cars with similar power in the consumption department. Take all of the above, and then consider the futuristic looks of it, and you have yourself a car that’s making us consider changing professions. Being in a reality show seems like the easy way to fame and fortune these days…

[ Product Page ] VIA [ Werd ]

Electric Scooter Uses iPhone As Dashboard

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Not the most popular mode of transport in the US of A, a good chunk of the rest of the world loves their scooters. The A4000i from Japan’s Terra Motors is fully electric, with a range of 65km, which should be enough for the average commuter. Reaching top speeds of 65 kmh (40mph), the A4000i features a recessed space on the dashboard in which an iPhone is meant to go. Once there, the phone will display your current speed, as well as battery charge and other information.

Other features include a removable battery, which you can carry inside with you to charge. This is particularly useful if you live in a high rise building, and lugging the whole bike with you inside is not an option. Finally, the battery is rated to last 50,000km (31,000 miles), which is about 5 times more than a standard battery from other e-bikes.

The A4000i will be released this November, mostly in Asian countries. Its estimated price in the Japanese market will be ¥450,000, which is about US$4,500.

[ Product Page ] VIA [ UberGizmo ]

[ Advanced mobile phone car kits provide a safer way to handle your phone as you drive. ]

SolSource Reflector Can Cook Anything With The Power Of The Sun

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If it wasn’t for the sun, we would simply not be around. It’s responsible for giving energy to practically all living creatures on the planet, as well as helping pasty white boys look a little less sick. If harnessed properly, it can also cook. The SolSun reflector is shaped so that the sun’s rays focus on the cooking area, and can reportedly grill a hamburger in about 6 minutes, or about the same time as a regular BBQ. Except of course this cooker doesn’t require any fuel, and is up to cooking temperature much faster than coal or propane. The thing weighs 40lbs, is 4.3ft. across, is made of a black steel base and plastic reflective panels, and assembles in about 30 minutes with the included tools. It’s able to support up to a 20L stockpot, although the maximum temperatures it reaches will obviously depend on weather factors. Still, at that diameter on a sunny day, you should be good to cook just about anything.

The SolSun is currently on pre-order on Kickstarter for $250, with shipping in October of this year, which is unfortunately a little late for the summer in some parts.

[ Project Page ] VIA [ Gizmag ]

Mission Motorcycle RS: The Electric Bike Just Entered The Big Leagues

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With Tesla paving the way, the reputation of electric vehicles as tree-hugging, wheeled road turtles is slowly fading away. The Mission RS from Mission Motorcycles is breaking ground in terms of performance. With an electric motor that’s one tenth the size of a standard motorcycle combustion engine, the RS packs 160hp and 120 ft/lbs of torque starting from 0 rpm. This can propel this crotch rocket to 60mph in 3 seconds, cover the quarter mile in a blistering 10.492 seconds, on its way to a top speed of 150mph. The bike is so fast that “Piloted by Steve Rapp, the Mission RS dominated the 2011 FIM/TTXGP at Laguna Seca, finishing the 8 lap race 39.9 seconds ahead of the second-place finisher. Rapp’s qualifying lap time of 1:31.3 broke all previous electric vehicle records at Laguna Seca.” All this with zero emissions, barely any engine noise and a real world range of about 140 miles. You won’t go cross country with this beast, but at least you’ll care about the environment without sacrificing any performance. You will sacrifice one thing however, and that’s money. The Mission RS is limited in production to 40 vehicles, and costs $75,000. Its almost-as-performing and much less rarified sibling, the Mission R, “only” costs $30,000 to $40,000, however.

[ Product Page ]

Leaf Shaped Silicone Pocket Cup Professes Your Love For The Planet

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Disposable cups at the water cooler getting you down? You feel we’re kicking the planet in the nads every time we throw something away that we could be recycling? There’s a solution. Simply ignore the carbon footprint that it takes to create something like the above leaf-shaped silicone Pocket Cup and pat yourself on the back for doing something for the planet. And if carrying around a cup in your pocket has you worried about germs, just run it under some boiling water to sterilize it now and then.

$12.

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[ Product Page ] VIA [ HolyCool ]

Tesla Model S Does Quarter Mile In The Twelves

We knew the Tesla Model S was fast, but when we read that it was doing the quarter mile consistently in the 12s. region, we were blown away. “This past weekend at the Palm Beach International Raceway in Florida, the National Electric Drag Racing Association awarded the Tesla Model S its stamp of officiation for being “the quickest production vehicle” in quarter mile tests.” It ran the distance in 12.371 at 110.84mph, a number that is very impressive for very large and very fast combustion cars, let alone electric ones. It’s even more impressive considering the Model S is rated at only 416HP and weighs in at a hefty 4,700 lbs. Clearly the electric power delivery and curve, and instantaneous torque, all combined with the lack of gear changes (it uses a single-speed gear-reduction transmission) produce the kind of thrust that is hard to match without consuming ridiculous amounts of gasoline. And don’t forget that despite the blistering acceleration, the Model S is capable of traveling up to 350 miles on a charge, although of course this is with more sedate driving.

This car is still a luxury item, and it’s not even one that will really save you money on the long run. It is however electric, and on par with luxury sedans in its class, cost-wise. So all else being equal, if you’re really hankering for a greener ride but are worried about performance issues, the Tesla Model S won’t let you down.

VIA [ Engadget ]