Southface Energy Institute: A Resource For Sustainable Design

Energy efficient building designs and technologies are everywhere these days. In fact, the sheer number of options can seem a little overwhelming for those interested in sustainable construction techniques. But Southface Energy Institute, headquartered in Atlanta, can be a valuable resource for homeowners, commercial or residential builders, or individuals who simply want to learn more about environmentally friendly design.

HippoRoller Water Carrier – Simple Efficiency With A Far-Reaching Payoff

Water is an immediate, fundamental need for human survival, but one in six people worldwide don’t have immediate access to water resources, particularly in arid regions of southern Africa. The HippoRoller is a deceptively efficient water carrier with the potential to offer huge health, economic, and social benefits to developing communities.

An Inexpensive Electric Bike Conversion Kit

An Electric Bike Convesion Kit by AmpedBike

Sales of electric bikes have spun into high gear this year — some merchants reporting a 6000% increase in sales. This is good news, because, for short trips, the efficiency and convenience of electric bikes is hard to beat. You may have heard that in the U.S.,  40% of all trips are made within two miles of the home, and 50% …

Micro-Wind Turbines: Update

I first wrote about these wind micro-wind turbines for TreeHugger in March. Since then the microturbines have become available for sale through the Motorwave website (here’s a direct link to the store). Right now, shipping costs from Hong Kong are about $300, but Lucien Gambarota, the inventor says he hopes to offer the turbines for sale in the U.S. soon. …

Loopwing Wind Turbine At Japanese Tradeshow

I first saw the Loopwing wind turbine last year. Lately, the company has been showing it off in trade show across Japan. There’s still no solid data on this turbine, but the design is certain intriguing — I’m keeping my eye on this one. Here’s what the Loopwing website says about the turbine: it’s a low-noise, low-vibration, self-stabilizing device. It …

The Pocket Survival Pak

These are the best pocket-sized “survival kits” we’ve seen. They are a collection of minimalist survival tools packed into a tiny case — handy to have during wilderness travel or any other time a emergency situation could arise. They also include “Survival Instructions” with 33 illustrations printed on waterproof paper. The packs were designed by Doug Ritter who runs the …

New Nike “Considered” Models

Nike has released four new “Considered” sneakers. This is good news, because the first round of sneakers were fairly unattractive. Nike produces these shoes using sustainable manufacturing practices (more details here). However, Nike has a history of maintaining questionable working conditions in its oversesas factories. More information on this issue can be found on the Responsible Shopper website. You can …

SafeCoat: Non-Toxic Paint

Why does almost all of the paint sold in the U.S. contain toxic ingredients? Because chemicals (such as formaldehyde and acetone) are cheap. The resources needed to study the long-term effects of the thousands of chemicals contained in paints, stains, and varnishes would be immense. The . Other non-toxic ingredient could be used — but they are slightly more expensive. …

Vivavi: “Rock-n-Roll” Bookshelves

These unusual bookshelves are manufactured from recycled "paperboard" — a special kind of cardboard that is strong yet pliant. Each paperboard roll is lined with heavy-duty Velcro. This allows for modular assembling and disassembling of the shelves. Designer: Sergej Gerasimenko Website: Vivavi Price: $195.00