MetaEfficient: Hand-Crank Coffee Grinders

Grinding coffee by hand has a few advantages: it’s quiet, it yields a more uniform grind, and you can take them camping. You can find hand-cranked grinders at Amazon.

New DVD About Building Green Homes

Green home building in all its forms is metaefficient. There’s a new DVD out with some practical advice for green building, called Building With Awareness: The Construction of a Hybrid Home. It is a how-to video on building one home, from start to finish, that uses sustainable materials, generates its own electricity, collects rainwater in a cistern, is passively solar …

Kapok Pillows

kapok

Kapok is a silky fiber harvested in the rainforests of the Philippines, India, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, tropical America and Africa. After the ripe pods of the tree are harvested, the seeds are removed and the fluffy fiber is meticulously cleaned and dried.

Oxygenics Showerhead

The Oxygenics showerhead is definitely worthy of inclusion here. With a nifty design, the showerhead is able to take low pressure water and transform it into a forceful stream for showering. It does this while using just 1.5 gpm (gallons per minute). It adapts to variable water pressure, and any water pressure from less than 20 psi to 100 psi. …

A Lightweight Water Bottle that Doesn’t Leach

Yes — a water bottle that does not leach plastic or any other compound into the water its holds. Klean Kanteen is a reusable, lightweight stainless steel container. Plastics containers tend to leach unwelcome compounds such as BPA during regular use, exposure to heat, and especially after cleaning. Klean Kanteen is made from 304 L.N. Stainless steel which is grade …

Book Review: Earthbag Building

What is Earthbag Building? Well, plainly enough, it’s a method of building using bags filled with earth. This newly released book, Earthbag Building, is the first comprehensive guide to all the tools, tricks, and techniques for building with earthbags. Having been introduced to sandbag construction by the renowned Nader Khalili in 1993, the authors developed this “Flexible Form Rammed Earth …

Using Urine to Grow Plants

This book, Liquid Gold: The Lore and Logic of Using Urine to Grow Plants, by Carol Steinfeld explains how urine can be utilized as a resource! Urine contains most of the nutrients in domestic wastewater and usually carries no disease risk. Starting with a short history of urine use — from ritual to medicinal to even culinary — Liquid Gold …

Lead-Free Garden Hoses

Some garden hoses leach lead and other chemicals into the water. The problem is that they are made of PVC, which uses lead as a stabilizer. Consumer Reports tested 16 brands of garden hose sold at national chains and on the internet. In some hoses they measured 10 to 100 times more lead than the EPA considers safe coming out …

Icebreaker Jackets: Innovative Merino Wool

Icebreaker, a New Zealand company specializing in merino wool performance wear, has just introduced a new line of jackets named PurePlus. The jackets are constructed from two merino fabrics: a stretch knit interior laminated to a finely woven exterior. They are wind resistant, warm and highly breathable. We’ve noted the virtues of merino wool in a previous post. It is …

The Magic of Tents: Transforming Space

Endlessly flexible, nurturing of creativity, cost — and energy-conscious, tented structures are an ideal means to address many concerns of modern architecture — a creative means to not only define space, but also to transform it into something to meet all sorts of design needs, for projects both grand and small. Recent years have seen an increase in the use …