Efficient Sprouting: The Sprout Bag

In the growing world, it doesn’t get much easier than sprouting. It’s a easy way to grow fresh ingredients for your sandwich or stir fry. It takes only about 6 to 7 days for sprouts to grow. People often assume sprouts are best grown in jars. But jars were never designed for sprouting. According to the Sprout Man, it’s more …

20 LED Portable Spotlight

Not bad! Good marks on efficiency and portability. This spotlight has 20 LEDs on a rotating head. It runs up to 200 hours continuously on 3 D-size batteries.You can also plug it into a 12V DC lighter socket if you wish. It’s available from Amazon for $29.97

Minimalist LED Headlamp For Kids

This is a nice children’s headlamp for about $18. We like it because it uses three bright, energy-efficient LEDs. So the batteries will last hundreds of hours. It has three settings: high, low and flash. Available at Amazon. See also this similar headlamp from Amazon.

Yaktrax Ice and Snow Shoe Grips

Here’s something that allows you to get traction on snow or ice while wearing your regular shoes. These Yaktrax grips are essentially a thick rubber bands, equipped with steel coils, that fit over the sole of your shoes. Apparently the idea was borrowed from the Tibetans. Priced around $20 per pair, available from Amazon.

Bamboo Socks

Bamboo socks are efficient because they don’t retain odor and are very comfortable to wear. But we’ve also learned that producing bamboo fiber involves a great deal of chemical treatment. Socks made with hemp or organic cotton are the most efficient overall.

Jimi 100% Recycled Wallets

The Jimi Wallet is a compact, splash-proof wallet made out of recycled plastic. It is billed as a wallet for those who don’t like regular wallets, with an eye towards travelers, cyclists and anyone who needs a minimalist wallet. Available from Amazon.

Quick Pick: Top Rated HD Television

Reviewers at CNET rate Sony’s model KD-34XBR960 at the top of the current HDTV market. They say: “If you can deal with the bulk and don’t need a huge screen, this is the perfect home-theater TV.” Their user’s reviews give it similar high marks. It is priced at $1900. Available from: Amazon.

Efficient “Canister” Vacuum: Hoover S3765 WindTunnel

Canisters vacuums normally have stronger suction than upright vacuums. Canisters can fill a dual role of a full-sized upright and a smaller machine (like a stick or handheld vac) for smaller jobs. Also the compact nature of these machines allows cleaning under furniture (usually a problem area for uprights).

Top Rated Rice Cookers: Zojiriushi

Rice cooker reviews are little hard to find — the bigger consumer magazines don’t seem to cover them, but some other sources on the web do. Reviewers on Cool Tools and Sally’s Kitchen both recommend Zojirushi Rice Cookers. Popular in Japan, Zojirushi cookers are pricey ($150-$200). But they also have no-frills models for about $60.

Rotary Cheese Grater by Cuisipro

These devices make grating Parmesan and other European hard cheeses a breeze, compared to a plane or box grater. You can use any reasonably sized blocks of cheese (1/2″-2″). Soft cheeses do not work well in this grater — they become stuck in the grate barrel and become glued to the internal structure.