Biodegradable Plastic Made Using Bacteria

by Justin Thomas •

Metabolix has found a way to produce high-quality plastics using plants and bacteria. In one process it has re-engineered bacteria to turn them into highly efficient "biofactories." By feeding sugars and oils to bacteria in a fermentation process, the company has created bacteria that produce plastics amounting to more than 85% of the cell’s weight. Read more at Metabolix…

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Rebinder by Sustainable Group

by Justin Thomas •

The Sustainable Group produce a binder made of a durable material that is 35-40% recycled post consumer corrugated cardboard. We are not fans of vinyl, the material usually used to make binders, so these binders are a welcome alternative. The binders have resuable covers that are replaceable because they are attached to the metal spine with screws rather than rivets. …

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Book Review: “Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things”

by Justin Thomas •

The ideas in this book are refreshing and optimistic. The authors, William McDonough and Michael Braungart, propose that factories, homes and consumer products can be redesigned so that they are actually beneficial to the world. This is in contrast to the approach of attempting to regulate industries and minimize environmental damage. Instead of trying to cause "less harm" the authors …

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Swampy IceStrMystr 12-Volt Model IM-30

by Justin Thomas •

Notes from Manufacturer: The IceStrMystr IM30 combines ice induced Air Conditioning with the age-old art of evaporative cooling. The cold water rushes through a special Cooling Core to produce air-conditioned air instead of merely evaporative cooled air. You can now choose your own size of cooling container. The water contained in your Ice Chest is cooled by ice or ice …

Premier Peerless 36 " Natural Gas or LP Range – GAK

by Justin Thomas •

Manufacturer Notes: Beware of new stoves with a 500 watt electric glow bar pilot in the oven that runs orange hot all the time the oven is in use, consuming power rapidly. Peerless Premier kitchen stoves offer convenient electronic spark to light the burners automatically, and to ignite a gas pilot light in the oven only when the oven is …

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Canon i560 Printer

by Justin Thomas •

We list this inexpensive printer because it is one of the most efficient in terms of ink consumption and ink price. Also, Canon has committed to eliminating lead, cadmium, hexavalent chromium, and mercury from its printers by December 2004. Inkjet printers also use much less energy than laser printers. Notes from CNET: Canon’s i560 desktop photo printer shows that quality …

Panasonic Toughbook W2

by Justin Thomas •

Most notebooks aren’t really built tough enough. They get scratched and break if you drop them. The Toughbook W2 has a lot going for it. It’s rugged (it has a magnesium alloy case & shock mounted hard drive), ultralight (2.8 lbs), thin (about 1.2"), has a long battery life (5-6 hrs), and is relatively inexpensive for an ultralight. It is …

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Producing Drinking Water from Rain Water

by Justin Thomas •

rainwater

It is possible to produce pure drinking water from rain water using a combination of devices costing around $300 total. Here’s how to do it: Install a roof washer and a rain barrel ($200). A roof washes diverts the first ten gallons or so of rain water away from your barrel — it contains such things as dust and bird …

Azumi Multifunctional Furniture

by Justin Thomas •

  This chest of drawers by Azumi cantilevers with a simple action to become an occasional table. The Azumis, a husband and wife team of designers, say this reflects Japanese needs where rooms are often multipurpose and furniture and tatami mats are reconfigured as required. Another example is their wire-frame recliner that can be flipped over and used as a …

Chlorine Filter for Baths: Crystal Ball

by Justin Thomas •

This bath filter removes 90% or more of free chlorine, improves lathering with quartz crystals. You swirl in the bath water for a few minutes, for filtration to occur. Available from: Natural Baby or Ebay