Categories: Eco Friendly

Stunning Eco-Designed Keyboard

If you find yourself sitting in front of a computer for eight hours a day or more, longing to be out in nature, perhaps a desk makeover might help lift your spirits. The new Orée Board is an eco-designed keyboard fashioned from a single piece of wood, offering a warmer desktop experience for the user. The name has a double meaning: “the outer edge of the forest” and “the brink of something new.” Orée chooses wood varieties from sustainably managed forests, offering natural and renewable material sources with each product. Each board is cut into three sheets to preserve the wood grain and minimize waste.

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Take a Ride and Visit a National Park

 

Did you have time to get a vacation in this summer? If not, that’ll give you all the more reason to visit one of our National Parks this fall. The amazing Sierra Club has put together a fun subway map depicting all of our country’s great treasures. How many stops have you made along the way? Unfortunately, getting around our parks isn’t nearly as easy as this map would have you believe. However the clever design reminds us just how rich our country is in natural wonders.

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A Guide to Ecodesign

Back in the day, being eco-friendly often meant automatically having a flagrant disregard for good design in favor of a more hippie aesthetic. Today all that has changed. Indeed, to earn the title of eco-design today, a product has to not only be good for the environment, but also look great in the home, in your wardrobe, in the school or office. A new trilingual handbook, Ecodesign: Ecofriendly Objects for Everyday Use, written in English, French and German by Silvia Barbero, Brunella Cozzo, Paola Tamborrini serves as a guide for designing with an eco-conscious today.

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A Greener Popemobile

Pope Benedict XVI made waves last year when he took a ride in the first green Popemobile, a Mercedes M-Class hybrid. Now His Holiness has gone a step further, with two fully electric vehicles designed and gifted by Renault. It’s not bad being the Pope. Renault made one car, based on the Kangoo maxi Z.E., specially for the Pope for travel at his summer residence in Castel Gandolfo. The other gift is a blue, bulletproof version, to be used by the Corps of Gendarmerie Corps of Vatican City for the Pope’s security.

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Picnica Tote Doubles as a Bunny

If you’re like us, you’ve had your fill of reusable totes. At one point our closet was so over-flowing with canvas tote-bags, we felt guilty of over-consumption. And then came this $290 Jill Stuart “designer” paper bag that made us roll our eyes. But then we came across this adorable creation straight from Japan, and realized our bag collection is not yet finished. Enter the bunny bag.This adorable bag from Eding:Post is a fold-up tote that folds up into a plush bunny rabbit.

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A Very Clever Brown Paper Bag

 

A trip of young designers created a shopping bag, the H+Bag, that folds into a hanger with easy-to-fold instructions that are printed right on the bag. Hyojun Jeon, Younha Hwang, and Minjae Kwan took a common problem, how to reuse the many paper bags we get in shops daily, and made a creative solution, turning it into something with a creative purpose that can complement that shirt we just bought. The result is a sleek hanger that helps save closet space. And they even takes a tip from the dry cleaners, who sometimes fold their own hangers to protect your delicates. By not using metal or plastic, the hangers won’t create unsightly bumps in your more sensitive fabrics.

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Real Swell Lunch Bottles

Do you ever struggle to get your kid to bring a reusable lunchbox and bottle to school, and bring them home for the next day? If you’re arguing with your child over a Fruit Punch juicebox vs an eco-friendly alternative, argue no more. Just send them off with the coolest gear in town. We stumbled upon these adorable bottles from Swell that are sure to make any kid protect their lunch goodies.

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Would you drive a fold-up car?

 

Move over fold-up bike. Researchers from MIT and DENOKINN have developed a new electric car, the HIRIKO Fold, that literally folds in half to fit into tight parking spaces. The new car is expected to go on sale in 2013 for around $16,000. It could be just the solution for congested urban traffic. This 100% electric car passes all the tests for sustainable mobility.

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Green School Supplies

 

Have you started your back-to-school shopping yet? What’s top on your list? I always loved picking out a new backpack, selecting dozens of colored pencils and markers, anything to ease the pain of going back to school. Nowadays everyone from Staples to Target to the corner boutique is stocked with eco-friendly goods, that will lighten the amount of waste that goes into our landfills. Here’s a look at a few of our favorite, stylish back-to-school goodies.

TreeSmart pencils are hand-rolled from recycled newspapers, made from completely non-toxic binding. They look awesome and come in regular graphite as well as colored pencils. A set of mini colored pencils in a tube is $3.95. You can even get them customized with your child’s name.

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Little Sun: Rethinking Light

Artist Olafur Eliasson, known for bringing among other things, waterfalls to New York City, has just released a new project that is aiming to bring light to the world, literally. With his studio team in Berlin, he created Little Sun, a solar-powered light that can be placed anywhere, bringing a sustainable light source to the developed world where electricity is not always reliable.

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