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Tag Archives: eco-conscious

PhotonGrill, An Inflatable High-Power Portable BBQ


The PhotonGrill is an inflatable, portable BBQ that uses the power of the sun to cook your food. It’s great for places where you’re not allowed to start a fire, since it uses no flames and no fuel to get the cooking pan scorching hot. It’ll reach temperatures of 500F/260C in as little as 5 minutes, which is faster than charcoal grills. It does this by letting you unfurl and inflate a parabolic mirror that focuses the sun’s rays exactly where the pan itself sits. The entire setup takes 3 minutes, and the pan provided with the kit is “solar-optimized”, whatever that means. The PhotonGrill neatly folds away into a backpack, making it easy to take with you on your adventures. If the idea of cooking your food with the planet’s only true source of extra-terrestrial energy tickles you, you’ll have to pledge around $225 to their Kickstarter campaign.


[ Project Page ]

The WalkCar Personal Mobility Device Is Not Much Bigger Than A Laptop


For a while the only personal mobility device you could get was a Segway. Or at least, the only high-tech, electric such vehicle. But now the marketplace is flooding with new electric scooters, and skateboards, and the WalkCar is an interesting addition. Its claim to fame is how small it is. Barely bigger than a laptop, the WalkCar is able to propel a person weighing up to 120 kg (265 lb) at up to 10 km/h (6.2 mph), on a distance of about 12 km (7.5 miles). It will then take 3 hours to charge via USB before it’s ready to take you on another strip. Steering is achieved by leaning forward, and since it doesn’t go very fast, stopping involves simply stepping off.

There’s a Kickstarter planned for October, with a reported asking price of $800. That may seem like a lot, but for those of you unwilling to walk a few miles, it’s a valuable convenience.

[ Product Page ] VIA [ Gizmag ]

The Ginko Solar Tree Is The Only Tree We’d Consider Hugging


We’re all for doing things that’ll help the planet stay a little greener, and increasing our use of solar energy is without a doubt a step in the right direction. While we may not have the motivation to go protest or do anything too meaningful, we certainly wouldn’t mind getting our hands on this cool Ginko Solar Tree.

he Ginkgo Solar Tree charging station for the iPhone and iPad is a astonishing solar charger. Ginkgo comes with a extra large 4.000 mAh rechargeable lithium battery to store your clean energy. This unique design is based on the Japanese Ginkgo tree. This design solar charger is made from eco-friendly plastic and bamboo. On the aluminum base there is a small black grip located to use as phone or tablet standard while charging. A green LED light will pop up when charging the Ginkgo. With one push on the indicator the other 4 blue lights will display the status of the battery.

It’s $120, and available for pre-order now.

[ Product Page ] VIA [ LikeCool ]

GravityLight Is Back, Brighter, And More Robust


The GravityLight is powered by, well, gravity. You attach it to a strong beam, tie a 12kg weight to it (made from rocks or sand), and let gravity pull it down. As it does, it powers a set of gears inside, which drive a DC generator that produces one-tenth of a Watt. That’s enough to power the LED for up to 25 minutes at a time. When that’s over, just hoist the weight back up and keep going. This is great for developing nations which often rely on Kerosene lamps that are not only polluting, but noxious, and potentially dangerous. The makers of the GravityLight already made one last year, but this new model is brighter, more robust, easier to use, and can provide light even as it is being charged. More importantly perhaps, it is being assembled right in Kenya, which will provide some jobs to the very people it is meant to help. You can get one yourself for a $70 pledge, all the while knowing you’re contributing to a good cause.


[ Project Page ] VIA [ MikeShouts ]

WINKpen Can Use Any Liquid, Even Wine, To Write


We live in a disposable society, or at the very least a society that seems too comfortable with the idea of throwing away things once they’ve outlived their apparent usefulness. But Portland-based designer Jessica Chan created the WINKpen as a way to go against our throwaway trend, and promoting sustainability, by creating the WINKpen. The writing implement can use any staining liquid as ink, like beer, tea, and even wine.

Unlike other fountain pens, where the ink usually comes out of a metal nib, WINKpen’s nib is made of glass. Spiraled grooves in the glass nib feed “ink” to the paper, producing a more pleasant aesthetic effect. Additionally, using glass offers the advantage of avoiding corrosion, plus it’s easier to clean.

It’s an interesting concept, if only a little unnecessary and unfortunately a bit overpriced. A WINKpen will cost you a rather hefty $60 pledge.


[ Project Page ] VIA [ Gizmag ]

Collapsible Water Bottle Fits Everywhere


Paying for bottled water is not only financially wasteful, it’s a bit of a dick move for the environment. The Hydaway is a collapsible, reusable silicone bottle with a plastic framing that expands into a 21oz. or 12oz. container in a couple of seconds. When collapsed it’s only 1 1/4 inch thick, and has a convenient carry handle that can be clipped to a bag. It’s watertight, BPA-free, and fully dishwasher safe. If you want your own, it’ll only cost you a $20 pledge on their fully-funded Kickstarter, and you can expect to get it in August of this year.


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GoSun Solar Grill Works Even At Night


There are a good number of portable solar grills on the market, but this is the first one we’ve come across that banks some of that heat for you to use later. The GoSun features a thermal battery that absorbs the sun’s heat and stores it for later release. It can take up to two hours to “charge”, but the GoSun will then release a constant stream of heat for hours on end, cooking your food between 300F and 400F. It uses a Phase Change Material (a type of wax) to store these enormous amounts of energy and releases it at an appropriate rate. The rest of the solar grill works much like others, using a parabolic reflector to concentrate the sun’s rays onto a cooking surface. This cooking chamber however, in the GoSun, is able to bake, steam, roast or even boil your food, allowing you to prepare some fairly fancy meals, even at night. It’s an ingenious design, and we think the $349 asking price is more than reasonable. It’s a great, fossil-fuel-free way of cooking your food.


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Foot Powered Washing Machine Works Off The Grid


Before we harnessed electricity, we used to wash clothes with a little elbow grease. But we’ve had powered washing machines for so long, it’s easy to forget that sometimes we may need to get clothes clean when the power is out, and a washboard isn’t necessarily the best way to go about it. While not as portable as the Scrubba Bag, the Yirego Drumi Off Grid Washer is a foot-powered washer and spin-dryer that uses no electricity to do its job. You simply insert some garments in the inner sphere, which is full of holes and ridges. Add some detergent and get to pumping with your foot. The sphere turns, tumbling your clothes in the water and soap, getting them clean. Draining the dirty water is done through the press of a button. The device looks good and modern, and may offer some of the more eco-conscious among us an alternative means of staying fresh and clean. It’s a $129CAD (about $107USD) pre-order, and two heaping spoonfuls of patience since delivery is slated for July 2016!


[ Product Page ] VIA [ MikeShouts ]

Eco-Friendly Coffee Cups Can Be Planted After Use


We’re pretty efficient at destroying the planet, so it’s nice to see an ever growing consortium of people doing their damnedest to slow the pace at which we bury ourselves in our own filth. The latest effort we’ve come across involves coffee cups, which Americans throw out at the rate of 146 million a year (and that number seems low, to be honest). The “Reduce. Reuse. Grow.” cups are made from 100% post-consumer recycled paper and have had tree seeds embedded in them. This means after you’re done drinking your cup of Joe, you can soak them in water for 5 minutes, and then just plant them; the type of tree that grows out is printed on the front. And even if you don’t go through the effort of planting them, the will biodegrade after just 180 days so your conscience can be just a little clearer.

Granted, their effectiveness will be determined by their adoption rate at coffee shops nationwide, but you can help by donating to the project. Although you won’t get any cups until you donate $500 or more (and then you just get a “framed and singed 1st edition cup), you can jump in with as little as $1.

[ Project Page ]