Bamboo Socks

Bamboo socks are efficient because they don’t retain odor and are very comfortable to wear. But we’ve also learned that producing bamboo fiber involves a great deal of chemical treatment. Socks made with hemp or organic cotton are the most efficient overall.

Endless Hot Water: Takagi Heaters

Takagi water heaters do not have tanks, instead they heat water instanteously using a gas burner. They are efficient and powerful — even the smallest heater, the Takagi T-KJr., can produces 180 gallons of hot water in an hour, but weighs only 30 pounds and is 20 inches high. They run on propane or natural gas. Computer controlled electronic ignition …

Modular Dwellings

Modular Dwellings makes these compact, modern rooms. They are designed to be easy to transport and quick to assemble. They were created by Edgar Blazona, who is based in San Francisco. The blueprints to one “shed” can be purchase from ReadyMade Magazine’s store for $35. It can be constructed from Plexiglas, steel, and prefinished plywood. The cost is about $1,500. …

Hybrid Taxis Arrive in NYC

A Reuters story today said the first six Ford Escape hybrids have entered the NYC cab fleet. City officials there are apparently saying that the city’s entire fleet of 13,000 taxis could be coverted to hybrids within five years. The Escape hybrid apparently gets double the mileage of the Ford Crown Victoria model predominately used in cab fleets. Reuters via …

LIKEaBIKE: A Cool and Efficient Learning Bike

The LIKEaBIKE is a unique toy vehicle for children between the ages of two and five. It’s a learning bike with no pedals — children can push themselves along with their feet. It allows them to gain the confidence and coordination to ride a real bike. It can be used indoors and out. With its inflated tires, it can be …

The World’s First Flushable Diapers: gDiapers

gDiapers are innovative diapers invented by a husband and wife team from Australia. They are being billed as the first flushable diapers, and will soon be available in the U.S. The system consists of an outer shell (similar to a diaper wrap), an absorbent flushable insert, and a nylon snap-in liner. The whole ensemble comes with a “swishstick” for breaking …

Low Raffia Chair by Horchow

This low-profile chair is made of renewable materials like raffia and wicker. It’s priced at $349.90 plus $86 shipping (currently on backorder). Available from Horchow.

Philips’ New “Simplicity” LED Bulbs

The new LED light bulbs from Philips will change color and brightness with one touch, squeeze, or turn. They are also energy efficient and last 10-20 years. Good work. Expect to see these in coming months or years. These LED bulb designs are part of the Philips Sense & Simplicty design project, which the company has been working on for …

Why Prefab Homes Can Be Compelling

Living Box is a site that has a nice cross-section of prefabricated homes. The examples seen there are actually intended to inspire entries in a design competition. Prefab homes are appealing to us, due to their compact lightness and modern architecture. Another compelling factor should be the price, but designers have not full realized this goal — we aren’t seeing …