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Folding Bike Reviews

by Justin Thomas •

Folding bikes have all the efficiencies of normal bikes but they can also be folded and stored in cars, buses, trains and even carried on air flights. A recent review by Consumer Reports gave top rating to the Brompton C3-E. It was the lightest bike tested and it sells for $675. It is easy to fold, and it folds up …

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Furoshiki: Traditional Japanese Cloth Wrapping

by Justin Thomas •

A “Furoshiki” is a traditional Japanese cloth used to wrap gifts, clothes, and other goods. Recently this practice has been revived in Japan. The appeal of this form of wrapping is that the cloth is reused for other purposes, and it is an eco-effective technique in this regard. Furoshiki means “bath spread” and it derives from the practice of bundling …

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Spin Dryer From Laundry Alternative

by Justin Thomas •

A spin dryer is an appliance that can readily improve the energy efficiency in your laundry. A portable spin dryer like this one from Amazon, uses centrifugal force to dry clothes. The dryer was out of stock for a while, but it is now available again. Spin drying is much more efficient than electric tumble drying, in terms of energy …

Efficient Merino Wool Clothing by SmartWool

by Justin Thomas •

SmartWool specializes in creating 100% merino wool activewear. I’ve worn some Smartwool clothing for a couple of years now, and it still looks new — it’s hasn’t piled or worn. The merino wool is much softer against the skin than regular wool, it feels similar to thick silk. Here’s some other reasons why I think merino wool is efficient: it’s …

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Peelu: Natural Dental Fibers: Less Abrasive Than Toothpaste

by Justin Thomas •

The Peelu Tree has been used for centuries by people in Asia, Africa and the Middle East to clean their teeth. A frayed branch of the tree is traditionally used. Now the Peelu USA company has incorporated Peelu fibers into a range of dental products, including toothpaste, toothpowder and a dental gum. Peelu is said to be less abrasive than …

Bamboo Flatware Tray by Bambu

by Justin Thomas •

This attractive tray is made from 100% organically-grown bamboo, held together with non-toxic adhesive, and finished with natural, food-safe wood oil. It’s by Bambu, a company that is committed to environmental protection and fair labor practices in China. They also ensure worker health and safety measures, and fund third-party auditing. Available from Branch for $32. Found via productdose.

World’s First Sun and Wind-Powered Ferry

by Justin Thomas •

A San Francisco-based company, Hornblower Yachts, is working with Solar Sailor of Sydney, Australia, to construct two 600-passenger trimarans for Alcatraz (at a cost of between $6 million and $8 million apiece) that will run on as much on sun and wind power as they do diesel fuel—and will emit half the pollutants of a similar sized conventional ferry. Service …

Optimal Green: Daylighting

by Justin Thomas •

Most modern buildings don’t take full advantage of daylight. Here, in the Plaza at PPL Center, a dramatic eight-story central glass atrium brings natural light deep into the core of the building, while extensive perimeter glazing provides abundant daylight.

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Modern Rainwater Tank: The LUMI

by Justin Thomas •

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, …

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Daylighting and Shading: Green Building In Hong Kong

by Justin Thomas •

Here’s an example of daylighting at the Hong Kong Science Park. Notice that the light is filtered through translucent skylights and clerestories in a central atrium, thus reducing glare and overheating. The top of the building has shades, see them after the jump: