Energy Efficient iPod Speakers: The Vers 2X

I’ve been testing the Vers 2x iPod speaker system. This system is one of the most energy efficient and sustainable products I’ve come across. The casing is crafted out of wood (either cherry, bamboo or walnut). The wood comes only from plantation forests, and each speaker system is hand-finished. This is a refreshing change from the usual dull plastic that …

Windows That Double As Solar Panels

MIT researchers have announced that they have created “organic solar concentrators” that could make windows become powerful solar panels in as little as three years. The concentrator is mixture of two or more dyes painted onto a pane of glass or plastic. The dyes absorb light across a range of wavelengths, re-emit it at a different wavelength and transport it …

High School Captures 280,000 Gallons Of Water Per Year

Our buildings and homes could capture all water we need on a daily basis. A great example of rainwater harvesting can be found at the Langston Brown Community Center and High School in Arlington, Virginia. The community center has two 24-foot-tall 11,000-gallon cisterns that store rainwater.

The Best Pressure Cookers Of 2010

Pressure cookers are efficient cooking devices —  they are up to 70% more efficient than conventional pots. The lids of pressure cookers are built to completely seal the pot so that the contents can boil easily inside the pot. Food cooks faster because the liquid inside rises to a higher temperature before boiling. Cooking times can be reduced by a …

Hand-Crafted Recreational Vehicles

Tonke Campers are hand-built RVs that are now being sold in the Netherlands. The Campers are a distinct contrast to the mass-produced plastic RVs that are so common in this country (although the market for these RVs is actually plummeting). Tonke Campers are inspired by gypsy caravans, and the classic yachts created by Dutch boatbuilders in the 1920s.

The Best Battery Chargers (For D and C Size Batteries)


We briefly reviewed battery chargers in a previous post “The Best Rechargeable AA Batteries“. But let’s take a look at the best “Universal Battery Chargers”. These are chargers that can handle AAA, AA, C, D sized cells, and well as 9V cells.

90% Of Israeli Homes Have Solar Water Heaters


I recently noted that Hawaii has enacted a law that requires all new homes to install solar water heaters. Eventually, Hawaii may have as many water heaters as Israel, where 90% of homes have solar water heaters installed. When viewed from above, the Jerusalem often glitters with the shine of the thousands of solar heaters that adorn rooftops.

Portable Air Conditioners

An efficient portable air conditioner can be a good alternative to window units or central AC

Electric fans are the most efficient cooling devices. Fans use far less power than air conditioners (see our recent review of the most efficient portable fan). But in hot and humid weather, air conditioning is a great relief. Cooling an entire house uses a lot of energy — it’s much more efficient to only cool the areas where you are …

Solar Water Heaters Now Mandatory In Hawaii

Hawaii has become the first state to require solar water heaters in new homes. The bill was signed into law by Governor Linda Lingle, a Republican. It requires the energy-saving systems in homes starting in 2010. It prohibits issuing building permits for single-family homes that do not have solar water heaters. Hawaii relies on imported fossil fuels more than any …

New High Power LED Floor Lamps

Koncept has released a new series of their I-Tower LED floor lamps. It’s good to see LED floor lamps becoming widely available. These lamps use the latest generation of high-power LEDs, which means they are brighter than the older I-Tower lamps, but they actually uses less power (8.8 watts). There are two models: a daylight version (~5500 Kelvin) and a …