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Innovation: Biodegradeable Coffee Cups!

by Justin Thomas •

Today, there is no way to compost or recycle the billions of disposable coffee cups used in the U.S. each year. It’s all due to a simple fact: the cups are lined with a petroleum-based plastic (polyethylene) to prevent leaking. But, finally, someone has invented a biodegradable coffee cup. The innovators are International Paper and Green Mountain Coffee. They’ve created …

New Plastic Solar Cells Mimic The Veins In Tree Leaves

by Justin Thomas •

Researchers at Wake Forest University have announced they they have created plastic solar cells with an efficiency of 6%. Researchers say that have achieved record efficiency for organic or flexible, plastic solar cells by creating “nano-filaments” within light absorbing plastic, similar to the veins in tree leaves. This allows for the use of thicker absorbing layers in the devices, which …

San Francisco To Ban Styrofoam

by Justin Thomas •

The city of San Francisco is planning on banning the use of Styrofoam, or more technically, polystyrene containers. The ban would take effect on June 1st, and would require city restaurants and government agencies to stop using polystyrene containers. See the details of the proposed law here. The new law was created because the manufacturing of the material involves polluting …

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IKEA To Start Charging For Plastic Bags

by Justin Thomas •

IKEA will begin charging customer five cents for disposable plastic bags. IKEA hopes that this move will be the first step in ending their use altogether. The company said the decision was aimed at reducing the amount of plastic bags that are thrown away. IKEA is believed to be the first major retailer in the U.S. to undertake such a …

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The Best Studio Headphones: The Sennheiser HD-580

by Justin Thomas •

Update: This headphone is no longer being manufactured but the Sennheiser HD-555 is a comparable headphone for under $100. Ah, the Sennheiser HD-580 — this is one of the best rated headphones of the last 10 years. The Sennheiser HD-580 has been lauded by stereophile magazines for it stellar sound quality and durability. It’s a comfortable set of ‘phones with …

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Modern Rainwater Tank: The LUMI

by Justin Thomas •

Unfortunately, most rainwater tanks and cisterns are unsightly blocks of concrete or plastic. The LUMI Rainwater Tank, however, was designed by Katrina Logan to be visually appealing. It’s made of sculptural satin acrylic and can be made in a range of colors and sizes (250 liters – 1100 liters). The tank glows in the sunlight, making the rainwater reserves visible, …

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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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Most Efficient Food Storage Bags: BioBags

by Justin Thomas •

The most efficient food storage bag are BioBags. These bags are similar to plastic bags, but they are composed of corn-based bioplastic. Unlike conventional plastic, the bioplastic “breathes” without leaking, allowing heat and moisture to evaporate, which keeps food fresh longer. They are also GMO-free, 100% biodegradable and compostable. Note: The bags are labelled “Food Waste” bags but the company …

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Jimi 100% Recycled Wallets

by Justin Thomas •

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.

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Marko Travel Toothbrush by Ohso

by Justin Thomas •

This Marko toothbrush by Ohso holds toothpaste in its handle, and dispenses it within its own bristles, making it a self-contained device for travelers. Last year we reviewed the “Clever Toothbrush” which was similar, but it was made out of plastic, and was not very durable. This toothbrush looks better — it’s composed of chrome and rubber, and has a …