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U.S. To Phase Out Incandescent Light Bulbs

by Justin Thomas •

Photo credit: USA today After being passed by Congress, Bush just signed into law a massive energy bill that will, among other things, spell the end of traditional light bulb. USA Today reports that the bill will phase out the venerable (but power-hungry) incandescent bulb over the next dozen years in favor more efficient fluorescent, halogen, and LED bulbs. Specifically, …

3

Best Prepaid Cell Phones

by Tracy McGill •

Prepaid cell phones have recently seen a surge in consumer interest as a recession-friendly option for mobile communication. With no contract to sign, prepaid cell phones are an attractive option for those who don’t want a large monthly bill or to be tied down to one phone or carrier for a lengthy period of time. Prepaid cell phones are also …

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The Greenest Cell Phones of 2008

by Justin Thomas •

Most cell phones don’t even come close to being green — their chargers are energy inefficient, they contain hazardous chemicals, and they not are designed for upgrading or easy recycling. Recently though, some the big players in the field like Nokia and Sony Ericsson are making moves towards green design. As far as assessing which phones are greenest, the best …

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Electric Tankless Water Heaters

by Justin Thomas •

Note: This post has been expanded and updated for 2009! Tankless water heaters only heat water when it is needed. About 8% to 30% of the energy consumed by a standard water heater goes to keeping the water hot while it’s not being used. New tankless systems heat the water instantly when you turn on the faucet, rather than keeping …

1

Mobile.Seed: Biodegradeable Mobile Phone

by Justin Thomas •

Interesting concept. It’s called the Mobile.Seed. The idea is to have a fully biodegradable mobile phone that contains a visible seed inside. When you done with the phone, you put it in the ground, and flowers grow from the seed within. The phone’s brand could be tailored around the seed and plant that grows.

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Windspire: Propeller-Free Household Turbine Gets Approval

by Justin Thomas •

mariah-power-s-windspire-trade-wind-power-appliance-completes-successful-etl-certification

We just featured the largest wind turbine in the world, now here’s something at the opposite end of the spectrum: a household wind turbine. In the last few years, we’ve seen a lot of mini-wind turbines that haven’t turned out to be very useful. But the Windspire turbine from Mariah Power sounds interesting. The Windspire has a propeller-free vertical-axis design, …

2

World’s First Solar-Powered Phone: Now Available

by Justin Thomas •

We’ve seen prototypes for solar-powered cell phones, but now a Chinese company claims to have developed the world’s first commercially available solar-powered cellphone. The company says a scale-like solar panel on the top side of the phone can also be recharged by light from artificial sources. It can provide 40 minutes of talk-time after sitting in the sun for an …

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2010 Review Of Tankless Water Heaters

by Justin Thomas •

Tankless water heaters have been used in Europe and Asia for 50 years, and they are gaining popularity in the US. Right now they represent about 8% of new sales in the US. Tankless heaters, also called on-demand, flash or instant water heaters, qualify for a $300 federal tax credit. How efficient are tankless water heaters?

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An Inexpensive Electric Bike Conversion Kit

by Justin Thomas •

An Electric Bike Convesion Kit by AmpedBike

Sales of electric bikes have spun into high gear this year — some merchants reporting¬†a 6000% increase in sales. This is good news, because, for short trips, the efficiency and convenience of electric bikes is hard to beat. You may have heard that in the U.S., ¬†40% of all trips are made within two miles of the home, and 50% …

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The Best Water Filters Of 2010

by Justin Thomas •

There are a lot of misleading claims about water filters. Many filters are marketed with general statements like “improves taste and odor”. But filter manufacturers don’t mention the specific amount of pesticides or chloramines removed, for example.