Can-Crushing Frog

by Justin Thomas •

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From Japan, comes this frog that can crush cans! You can buy it from this Japanese store. A less whimsical can crusher can be found at Amazon for $20.

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25 Houses Under 3000 Square Feet

by Justin Thomas •

As the Small House Society points out, compact homes are efficient in many ways: they require less power, they require less maintenance, they require less materials to build, and they have smaller environmental footprint. Another advantage is that you can invest in land, rather than spend money building a huge home.

Off The Grid Homes

by Justin Thomas •

In Off the Grid Homes, architect Lori Ryker, examines a number of modern homes that are “off grid” — meaning they are self-sustaining in regards to electrical power and water use. Looking at each home, she highlights the techniques that were used to generate power and conserve it.

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Flexible Solar Cells: SolarRolls by Bruton

by Justin Thomas •

Brunton makes a range of flexible solar cells they call SolarRolls. These weather-proof solar cells can be rolled up quite tightly, and attached to a backpack. Seen here is a 14W model — it produces DC power even during low light conditions. SolarRolls come with a range of plugs, including a standard car lighter socket. They can also be attached …

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The Best LED Floor Lamps

by Justin Thomas •

Even in these modern times, LED floor lamps are tricky to find. We, however, found one by Adesso, the Eternity Floor Lamp, which incorporates 20 white LEDs. So what can you expect from an LED floor lamp? Well, white LEDs will emit a concentrated, bluish-white light. So these lamps are great for accent lighting. As far as energy goes, these …

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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 …

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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 …

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Non-Toxic Stainless Steel Sippy Cups

by Justin Thomas •

Klean Kanteen has just introduced this non-toxic Sippy Cup for toddlers. It is made with stainless steel, and it does not have epoxy coating in the inside. It’s coupled with a non-leaching #5 polypropylene adaptor and #5 polypropylene sippy spout. This cup does not contain the Bishphenol-A chemical, a potent hormone disruptor found to leach from hard, plastic (particularly #7 …

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Optimal: Natural Linen Sheets by Area Simone

by Justin Thomas •

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We recently discovered these 100% natural linen sheets by Area Simone. Linen, which comes from the flax plant, is an optimal material for making sheets. Like hemp, linen does not require pesticides to grow. By contrast, 25% of all pesticides used in the world are sprayed on cotton. Linen is also 2 to 3 times stronger than cotton, has no …

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A Non-Toxic Stainless Steel Lunchbox

by Justin Thomas •

Here’s an interesting alternative to those regular old vinyl lunchboxes which have a tendency to leach phlatates and lead into your food. It’s a stainless steel lunchbox that will probably garner attention from your co-workers, fellow students or curious passers-by. Based on the idea of the Japanese Bento Box, the lightweight “To Go Ware” has two stainless bowls that sit …