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Thursday, December 18, 2014

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green furniture: handmade mid century modern


moderncre8ve walnut table

Artisanal furniture maker and designer, Chris Williams, and his company Moderncre8ve create sweet, mid-century handcrafted furniture that’s evocative of some of our favorite 1950′s Heywood Wakefield pieces.

moderncre8ve walnut table

Most of the furniture pieces (pictured above and below) are created from FSC-certified black walnut and made to order. No filler, plywood or veneers found here – the furniture is made of solid, high quality walnut. Many pieces are finished with Danish oil and beeswax. Love the simple lines and craftsman construction.

moderncre8ve dresser

moderncre8ve walnut coffee table

The clean, modern pieces are handmade in the company’s Cleveland, Ohio workshop and sold via Chris’s Etsy shop.

moderncre8ve coffee table

related: more eco-friendly furniture featured on The Alternative Consumer

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Sunday, December 7, 2014

Pulling Water out of Thin Air – Sustainable Condensers Create Drinkable Water


elowater turbine

Fresh drinking water is a disappearing commodity for many people of the world. In fact, some 750 million people in the world lack access to safe drinking water. With current climate changes the desperation for water is expected to increase. This need has triggered the rise of numerous new technologies. Most promising are those that are self-efficient. The following devices function by condensing fresh water right out of thin air – utilizing renewable energy to get the job done.

water from wind

Since 2011 Eolewater has been developing the WMS1000  a wind turbine that powers itself using the wind and collects water from the humidity in the air. The WMS1000 has been able to collect an average of 62 litters an hour of fresh water in 45 percent humidity at 24 degree Celsius. After being able to produce 1000 liters a day of freshwater the turbine is currently being shipped to Abu Dhabi for the first phase of tests in extreme weather conditions. If successful, the WMS1000’s wind powered water collection can be implemented bring fresh water to people in need.

NERIOS S3

Eolewater also has systems that harness solar to power water collection. The NERIOS S3 is a solar powered water condenser. It’s the newest model and boasts 28 individual solar panels. Its ice storage system means that no battery is needed for when the sunlight is not available.

fontus condenser

Also harnessing the power of the sun  is another invention called Fontus. Designed by Kristof Retezar a Austrian industrial design student; Fontus is a solar powered water condenser for your bike.

fontus self filling

Fontus attaches to the frame and when you ride air flows in through the filter, is cooled, water condenses then drips down into the removable bottle. Offering a way to allow bicyclists to ditch the camel-packs and make their own water as they ride.

fonuts design

In 50 percent humidity at a minimum temp of 68 degrees Fahrenheit Fontus can condense at a rate of 1 drop per minute. However it currently lacks an additional filter to prevent pollutants from being in the water so it’s not recommended for use in an urban setting. At a price point of 25 to 40 dollars for a unit it might be a fun investment for the alternative bicyclist.

These technologies all address a growing problem in different ways. With our need for fresh water growing by the day inventions like these might save rivers and groundwater from being tapped.  They can also create a water source for people that live in even the driest of environments. Although water collection from humidity is more practical in areas where humidity is high, these strides are perhaps a step in the right direction.

related: more green design projects featured on The Alternative Consumer

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Wednesday, December 3, 2014

eco art: reclaimed pallet wood wall hanging


reclaimed pallet wood wall hanging

Bring a little rustic charm into your home with an eco-friendly wall hanging made of reclaimed wood (above and below). North Carolina-based woodworking artist Jason McNeill makes a handsome array of handcrafted furniture and art primarily from reclaimed pallet wood.

eco art reclaimed pallet wood wall hanging

McNeill often paints a lovely tree and accompanying text on his pieces. Most of the work is fully customizable – with the color of the stain and hand painting customized to match the buyer’s decor. The 60″x 34″ wall hanging is perfect for a dining room or living room wall. Each tree is unique. $400 @ Indian Beach Wayfarers

By purchasing furniture and art made from reclaimed wood you can help preserve living trees, while capturing the character and charm often inherent in reclaimed wood.

related: more eco-friendly home decor items featured on The Alternative Consumer

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Monday, December 1, 2014

This Eco-Friendly Water Bottle Heats Your Drink Just by Shaking!


Warm Tech bottles

How often have you been suffering through the cold weather at some sort of sporting event or outdoor excursion, while clutching onto your once-warm and cozy thermos? If you were unfortunate enough to be stranded at home, snowed in, and without power through this young season’s already devastating snowfalls, you can relate to this as well. There are some super-high-quality containers out there to choose from — each new model promising to keep your hot coffee or tea warmer for a longer period of time, but they have each been restricted by the amount of they can keep a beverage hot, until now.

Warm Tech info

The Warm Tech Bottle introduced in last year’s Lite-On Award competition in China allows you to keep your hot beverage warm simply by shaking the bottle! A talented, four-person design team from the Tainan University of Technology was awarded the Silver Award for the Warm Tech Bottle, which they say, “aims to facilitate outdoor users to get warm water easily.” (more…)

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Friday, November 21, 2014

The BEHA Eco Aircraft Seeks Crowdfunding


beha overheadA British company, Faradair Aerospace Limited, has recently launched a Kickstarter campaign to raise funds for a new eco aircraft the company has christened, BEHA, or Bio-Electric-Hybrid-Aircraft. The company has created a concept for a lightweight aircraft with extremely efficient and economical power. The intention is to create “the most environmentally friendly aircraft in the world”. The project is about to enter a year of R&D to fine tune the design for maximum efficiency, with the company hoping to have the first prototype aircraft built within two years.

de havilland dragon

Much of the inspiration for the plane came from an early passenger aircraft called the De Havilland Dragon Rapide. This 1930′s airliner had graceful lines and innovative power recovery systems, many of which will be incorporated into the design of the BEHA.

beha front

Another source of inspiration for the project is an unmanned aircraft created in 1990 by the father of the company’s Managing Director. The new design combines a bio-diesel engine with two electric motors, and is envisioned as an innovative six seat Hybrid Aircraft. The BEHA group is currently building a list of partners to help deliver the key technologies to make the prototype aircraft a reality. (more…)

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Tuesday, November 18, 2014

salvaged charm: elegant dining table in reclaimed wood


reclaimed wood New Orleans dining table

One-of-a-kind, and evocative of classic New Orleans style, this dining room table strikes the perfect balance between old world elegance and modern aesthetics. Rescued from the remains of Hurricane Katrina, the table top once served as the outside of an olde home in the St. Roch neighborhood of New Orleans.

reclaimed wood New Orleans table

reclaimed wood New Orleans table

Standing on stunning wrought iron which once graced the balcony railings of an 1860s Greek Revival style home in the Garden District, these newly fashioned legs hold up very nicely indeed. Upcycling what easily could have been discarded material, these textural elements speak volumes, victims of Katrina no more. Doorman Designs; (1,500)

related: more eco home decor on alternative consumer

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Monday, November 3, 2014

Robots: Behind the Scenes of the Green Energy Revolution


solar panel robot

Robotics has become a common industrial tool in the United States and abroad, taking the place of countless industrial workers and raising the production efficiency of the manufacture of many goods we use in our daily lives. It is, unfortunately, taking away

military robot

many blue-collar manufacturing jobs, though on the other hand robotics has arguably saved many American soldiers’ lives via the use of Unmanned Ground and Air Vehicles, such as bomb defusing mini-tanks and aircraft with remote pilots. Although robotics is largely working “behind the scenes”, beyond the awareness of  the average consumer, its articulated arms are in fact involved in many industries; perhaps the most important being the green energy sector. (more…)

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Thursday, October 30, 2014

Crafty DIY Halloween Decorating Ideas


DIY Halloween Lantern Box

Something wicked this way comes: Adding some low impact flare to your Halloween décor

As with any holiday, when looking around for fun decorations it’s important to think about the materials those decorations are made from and what will become of them when they are tossed out. So keeping this in mind and counting down to the last day before Halloween – I’m going to share a fun and simple DIY anyone can do to add some last minute-flare using basic cardboard. (more…)

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