Allison Rogers: Commuting Overnight By Train: Efficient

Train travel — it’s an efficient form of travel that really should revived in this country. Air travel, as we know it today, doesn’t make much sense, if closely examined (although I’d like to see zero-emission planes and airship-based travel). But I digress — Allison Rogers, an optimal living trailblazer, has been commuting up and down the East Coast by …

Triobike: An Innovative Cargo Bike

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Straight out of the heart of Copenhagen, comes the Triobike, an innovative cargo bike, that can transform itself into a regular bike and a stroller. It’s no surprise that this bike comes form Copenhagen — the city is filled with urban bikers. With the Triobike, you can transport your kids to school in the cargo bike, then, instead of riding …

Furoshiki: Traditional Japanese Cloth Wrapping

A “Furoshiki” is a traditional Japanese cloth used to wrap gifts, clothes, and other goods. Recently this practice has been revived in Japan. The appeal of this form of wrapping is that the cloth is reused for other purposes, and it is an eco-effective technique in this regard. Furoshiki means “bath spread” and it derives from the practice of bundling …

“Full Circle” EcoResins

Some interesting elements of nature are incorporated into this new line of “ecoresins” from 3Form. Called Full Circle, the designers utilize renewable materials collected from artisans in diverse communities such as Inodnesia and Africa. I’d be great if they could make Ecoresins more eco-effective — its currenly a polyester resin which incoporates a 40% post-industrial recycled content. Perhaps 100% recycled …

Translucent Eco-Resins

EcoResin™ by 3form is a specially formulated polyester resin which incoporates a 40% post-industrial recycled content (it meets the threshold for LEED credit). The resins allow natural elements, textures and colors to be embedded in the translucent material, creating a striking effect. The interlayers can be arranged into thousands of combinations. Customization is encouraged by the manufacturer.

Wood Heating

If done correctly, a very efficient form of heating. See this guide to efficient wood burning. See also woodheat.org.

FutureProof/ed: IForm: Voxia: Oto Chair

The Oto chair is made from a single piece of molded beech plywood. It is part of Peter Karpf’s Voxia line of furniture. The chairs are shaped into their 3D form in one continuous process — this minimizes cut-away wood and energy used in manufacturing. The beech plywood comes from a sustainably managed forest in Belgium close to the production …

Gel Cell Batteries

Gel Cell batteries are also lead acid but the electrolyte is in gelatin form instead of liquid. Thus, they need no maintenance — water does not need to be added, and it doesn’t corrode. They can also be stored in any position and since there are no dangerous fumes, they can be placed in any part of the house. It …