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.
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.
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.
Ready to finally solve the universal problem of what to make for dinner once and for all? Meet mor.sl, a new website founded around the principles that we should be eating out less and making home-cooked meals more. Of course that’s easier said than done for the busy mom. But the brains behind mor.sl have put over a year’s research into perfecting the new site, and giving you literally no excuse not to cook.
It’s hard to know how to prepare for a new baby, especially if it’s your first. A dozen different books and articles will tell you to buy a dozen different things. But how many are actually necessary? Our friends at Inhabitots have compiled a handy list for what you don’t need to buy. Check out this list of things that are just too excessive or can be easily swapped for something you already have. What? No changing table? Just convert any dresser by putting a changing pad on its surface with a safety strap. And of course your voice and tender love will prove to be more crucial in that first year than any toy could be. Next, think about swapping out a crib for a co-sleeper. Click to see more items you can do without, a handy guide on how to cut down on overbuying in that first crucial year. Your home space, and landfills will thank you. What else would you add to the list?
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.
We’ve seen a bamboo water-bottle, BPA-free bottles, bottles built for tiny hands, and now when you’re craving a healthy fruity mix, the Aqua Zinger! The device is simple. Add some berries, mint, or fruit of your choice to the small capacity in the bottom. Twist it on, shake it up and let it sit. The mesh screen allows flavors to seep through without adding any pulp to your drink. You have an instant fruit-infused water that sure beats artificial sodas.
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.
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.
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.