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Tag Archives: Eco-friendly

House Of Marley Bag Of Rhythm Ready For Sale

By David Ponce

One of the highlights at this past CES was seeing Bob Marley’s son pitching products for the House Of Marley. Yes, Bob Marley had a son. Who knew?! Turns out they have a bunch of audio products that share an eco-friendly vision. The Bag Of Rhythm is the Marley interpretation of a boombox, with green components.

Essentially everything about this monster is recycled or recyclable – not that you’d ever want to recycle such a lovely amalgamation – and is made to give you a unique experience as well as vision. The wood you’ve got here is FSC certified Birch, the canvas is durable and will bring you back to your army days, and the plastic throughout the setup is entirely recyclable as well. The packaging is recycled as well, so you’ll have nothing you need to throw away when you get the device in the mail; you get to recycle it instead.

The speakers you see here are both 4.5-inch high-definition woofers, but there’s also two 1-inch tweeters and 32 watts of power and DSP Sound Processing.

The music is fed to the machine via an iPod/iPhone dock (or an AUX line in for anything else), which recharges the device, presumably when plugged in. It’ll ship later this month for $349.

[ Product Page ] VIA [ Slashgear ]

EcoSpeed App Can Save You Up To 30% In Fuel

By David Ponce

Here’s the thing about driving and consumption and pollution: a lot has to do with how you drive. It’s all that stopping and going, and how you step on the pedal; whether you smash it or tickle it. But it’s possible to change all that and the EcoSpeed application teaches you how. It does two things. First, it can give you a route to your destination that may not be the shortest distance, but that has the lowest likelihood of stops. It avoids traffic lights and traffic, and calculates things in such a way that even with the additional mileage, you end up spending less gas and don’t necessarily take much longer to get to where you’re going.

The second part addresses your habits. Since your phone has an accelerometer, it can tell how you’re driving and scream at you to ease up on the pedal mashing. With all this coaching, EcoSpeed claims you can shave up to 30% in your fuel consumption, and consequently on your polluting.

The app should be free and available in March for Android and iOS devices.

[ EcoSpeed Demo ] VIA [ Wired Gadgets ]

Bracketron’s GreenZero Chargers Puts A Silver Bullet Through The Vampires

By David Ponce

Lord, that’s a terrible headline, but that’s the way I roll, baby! It looks like now that the term “vampire electronics” is gaining some traction in the minds of conscious gadget shoppers, more and more manufacturers are trying to make a buck off our fears of spending a few too many dollars on wasted electricity. Granted, it’s with little dollars that you make big ones, but I’m getting a little annoyed at the green veneer for profiteering. Anyway, back to the point, Bracketron’s GreenZero charger is pretty simple: it detects when your device is done charging and cuts off standby power. There. Money saved and now mother nature will hug you in your dreams.

It’s $23 and comes in iPhone and microUSB flavors. It’ll be unveiled at CES next week.

[ Press Release ] VIA [ UberGizmo ]

DIY Eco Boombox Made Of Laser Cut Plywood

By David Ponce

Matt Keeter appears to be a student at MIT and pictured above is the final project for one of his classes. It’s a sweet looking boombox whose case is made from a set of retro-inspired nested octahedral prisms. They’re all laser cut from 0.208″ plywood. Music plays off a standard SD card, while the rig is powered by a 9V battery. The controls on the front are capacitive and the entire thing holds together with barely any glue.

It’s not for sale but the link below leads to his project page where you can read about his step-by-step and even download the required files to make your own, assuming you have access to the same equipment he did.

Incidentally if one of our readers ends up making one of these, we promise to feature it.

[ Product Page ] VIA [ TrendHunter ]

Vapur Folding Water Bottle Is Ingenious

By David Ponce

So here’s the dilemma. Plastic water bottles are convenient because when you’re done, you just throw or hopefully recycle them. They won’t take any room in your bag that way. But if you care about the environment at all, you know that plastic isn’t great. You could of course simply keep reusing a single plastic bottle, but if you’re going to do that, you may as well get yourself a reusable metal bottle, right? Problem with a metal bottle is it too takes a lot of room, even when empty. But what if you could fold your reusable bottle when it’s empty? Enter Vapur.

Made from an internal layer of polyethythene covered with two layers of nylon, the Vapur “anti-bottle” also ships with a carabiner for hanging from bags, just like those aluminum SIG bottles. The bags can be frozen, can carry boiling water and will even stay open when dishwasher-ed.

Like a regular reusable bottle, the Vapur costs $10 for half a liter and they come in several colors and designs.

[ Product Page ] VIA [ Wired Gadget Lab ]

Get Paid To Charge With The Sun

By David Ponce

There’s a green wave taking over the world, that’s undeniable. For good reason we suppose, though it’s also hard to deny that it’s taking quite some time to catch on. Solar charging for instance is but a tiny fraction of the ways in which we get our electronics replenished. There are many reasons for this, and we won’t get into them here. What’s important is that there are companies coming up with incentives constantly. Take the Changers charging kit as an example. It consists of a solar panel and a base station which contains a battery. Once that internal battery is full, you can use it to charge up your gadgets. It has enough juice for 2 iPhones, or another multiple of several USB rechargeable devices. But what’s more important than that is the social and monetary aspect.

With your permission, the Changers kit will Tweet and otherwise share your eco-behavior with your circles. It will also give you points for doing so. You can then exchange these points for… stuff. What exactly isn’t clear at this point.

The kit is $150 and is up for pre-order now with shipping starting on November 15.

[ Changers charging kit ] VIA [ Digital Trends ]

T20 Bamboo Electric Scooter

T20 Bamboo Electric Scooter (Images courtesy designboom & Antoine Fritsch)
By Andrew Liszewski

And here you thought scooters were only for little tykes, or hipsters who don’t realize how ridiculous they look! French designer Antoine Fritsch has managed to create a scooter that not only looks socially acceptable for riders of all ages, but also one that serves as a viable alternative to a car. That’s because the T20 manages to stash an electric motor and battery inside the frame where the rider stands.

For ease of use acceleration is handled the same way you propel a manual scooter, by kicking off with your feet. At which point the electric propulsion system takes over, providing a respectable top speed of about 22mph, with a range of about 25 miles. The frame is made from bamboo, making it lightweight and of course stylish. And I’m a big fan of the cork covered pseudo-seat that lets the rider lean back in lieu of sitting. Sadly you’re looking at a concept prototype here, since their website doesn’t seem to mention any plans of putting it into production. Not even in France. Le sigh…

[ T20 Bamboo Electric Scooter ] VIA [ designboom ]

LOCAL Bike Was Designed To Handle All Of Your Neighborhood Chores

LOCAL Bike (Image courtesy fuseproject)
By Andrew Liszewski

In the same way a pickup truck probably isn’t going to put you on the podium at Le Mans, don’t expect to be winning any races, or securing the Tour de France’s yellow jersey, with this LOCAL Bike. Like a pickup it stresses function over form, but that’s not to imply it’s an eyesore or anything. In fact, Yves Béhar’s San Francisco-based ‘fuseproject’ has spent months designing and improving the LOCAL to the point where they’re happy to declare it the “perfect Neighborhood bike.”

Local Bike (Image courtesy fuseproject)

Is it ideal for riding off into the sunset on a multiple day bike trip? Certainly not. But as cargo bikes go, it’s designed to hold everything from groceries, to pets, to kids, to even lumber and surfboards while still being light, nimble and maneuverable. The LOCAL’s also got integrated lighting and locking systems so it’s ready for use in a busy urban setting. And even its own sound system, courtesy of a wireless Jambox strapped to the canvas panel located just below the rider. Pricing, availability and all that important stuff that lets you know this will someday be a real product haven’t been announced. So here’s to hoping the LOCAL just isn’t some design exercise.

[ LOCAL Bike ] VIA [ designboom ]

Stem Vac Touted As The World’s Most Eco-Friendly Vacuum Cleaner

Stem Eco-Vacuum Concept (Image courtesy Cambridge Consultants)
By Andrew Liszewski

Just when we thought Dyson had created the definitive vacuum cleaner, a design and development firm called Cambridge Consultants have conjured up a new concept that promises to be the world’s most eco-friendly. And how does it justify claiming that crown? Well most obvious is the fact that it would be made from sustainable components, like the wooden frame which holds all of the components together.

However, the real innovation is how the Stem regulates its power use. It’s able to detect whether it’s being used on carpet or hardwood floors, or with the hose attachment, and automatically regulates the suction power. Though at all times ensuring it never compromises on its cleaning capabilities. It will even drastically reduce its power usage when the person vacuuming pauses to move furniture without shutting the vacuum off. Overall they feel the Stem could use as much as 43% less energy than the average vac, but since they haven’t actually built a concept to test out this theory — nor do they have plans to get it in consumer’s hands — your best bet is to still probably stick with a Dyson.

[ Cambridge Consultants - The world's most eco-friendly vacuum cleaner? ] VIA [ Fast Company ]