by Jordan Stauder @ 9:22 am post a comment »
I love my smartphone; you know you do, too. But most of us Americans are wirelessly chained to a metaphorical ball that appears to outpace our unsustainable trek downhill. The earth is ripped and torn to procure the rare elements that make our smartphones’ existence possible. Nonetheless, today’s smartphones are an essential mixture of convenience, communication, entertainment and intelligence; devices that are indeed so intelligent that they count our every footstep, turn themselves on silent when you are near a preprogrammed location such as work or school, and tirelessly serve as our pocket personal assistants. The Cellular Telecommunications and Internet Association (CTIA) – The Wireless Association estimated in June, 2010 that there were 292.8 million active smartphones in the United States, representing 5% of the world’s wireless subscribers. For now, let us ignore the material costs or natural resource uses associated with the production of all of these smartphones and let us focus on the most archaic component you find when unboxing your new toy.
Asmo Saloranta is a young Finnish engineer and entrepreneur who, up until 2013, worked in information technologies. When an electrical fire stemming from an unattended mobile phone charger consumed his girlfriend’s childhood home, Asmo began thinking of how to best avoid similar events in the future. There were not any products in the market at the time that fit his vision for a safe, energy efficient smartphone charger, so Asmo took it upon himself to come up with a solution. The resulting ASMO Charger is arguably the most interesting innovation to come out of Finland since the modern sauna and heavy metal music. By incorporating a simple relay into the smartphone charger, electric current can be blocked automatically when the device is disconnected.
Conventional smartphone chargers continuously draw electricity while plugged into the wall (vampire power) even when they are not in use, which poses a constant – although small – risk of fire. After a successful Kickstarter campaign, which garnered 533 backers, full scale production of the ASMO Charger is scheduled for (more…)
Tuesday, October 14, 2014
by Maureen O'Connor @ 9:42 am post a comment »
Does your little lover of nature need some woodland creatures or rustic art to adorn their room? These handmade artworks will add rustic charm to any kid’s room or nursery. These sweet pieces of wall art have been designed and made by the husband and wife team of Denise and Robert Devenie of Devenie Designs.
Woodland creatures, trees and messages are featured on weathered reclaimed planks that have been hand painted, refinished and sealed. A cool way to add inspiration to any 2-legged creatures shelter.
Why purchase a piece of mass produced art from virgin wood, when you can decorate your home with art that is OOAK, handmade and loaded with rustic character – while also saving living trees? Surround your wee ones with nature and they’ll hopefully learn to appreciate and value it. A great way to bring the spirit of the outdoors inside. The pieces featured above range in price from $45 to $135.
related: more eco-friendly home decor items featured on The Alternative Consumer
Monday, October 13, 2014
by Jordan Stauder @ 11:15 am 2 comments »
Where does your food come from? Who is producing it and what goes into it? These previously questions are being uttered from a growing number of people in the United States, as tales of inefficient water use, polluting fertilizer runoff, or our consumption of mysterious genetically modified crops commonly sweep across our news feeds and regularly grace our dinner tables. We are blessed with a wealth of arable lands and favorable climates in the United States which have historically secured the availability of affordable foods in our society, so why must we overuse artificial fertilizers, poisonous herbicides and pesticides or implant genes from fish into our tomato plants? The answer: the American farmer is ultimately limited by the amount and distribution of flatland available for cultivation. (more…)
Thursday, October 9, 2014
by Ross Dulmaine @ 9:20 am post a comment »
Art or furniture? The answer is – both. design Provocateur is a New Jersey based collection of artists, architects and designers led by Robert delPazzo. The design group creates furniture and decor that merges art and design with discarded, recycled and vintage materials to create unexpected art furniture – like their “Louis XV” gilt lounge chairs (above). The chairs have been re-upholstered with custom printed cloth featuring a thought-provoking image of the burning rainforest. (The rainforest image was custom printed on the fabric by Duggal of New York)
The striking vintage chaise lounge (above) has been custom painted by artist Nelma Guimaraes. This OOAK piece features a secret storage compartment under the cushion and oodles of exotic style.
The “Dirty Secrets Bench” (above) is constructed from an eclectic assortment of chairs backs and furniture pieces – all (more…)
Friday, October 3, 2014
by guest @ 8:03 am post a comment »
There are many benefits of using solar power to run the electronic gadgets within your home. For one, you can reduce your carbon footprint as solar electricity releases no carbon dioxide or other harmful pollutants into the environment. The cost of your electricity bills will be reduced substantially too. This is due to the fact sunlight is readily available, so most of the expenditure will take place during the initial installation.
If you’re undecided about investing in solar power due to the price of this initial outlay, Rapid Online has put together a simple guide on how to create your very own solar power generator.
Read on and find out how a solar panel, a charge controller, a deep cycle batter, an inverter, some wires and wire connectors are all you need to run an energy-saving light bulb for 25 hours or a laptop computer for up to eight.
Thursday, October 2, 2014
by Ross Dulmaine @ 10:02 am post a comment »
What could be more rewarding than joining a growing trend in eco-friendly interior design and saving precious trees? If you’re a friend of the Earth and decorating your abode the answer is probably – not much! That being the case, we thought we’d do a quick roundup of 5 great home decorating solutions that all involve reclaimed wood.
This modern looking bed frame and headboard (above) possesses clean lines, modern styling and all the character of the reclaimed wood from which it’s constructed … and it’s suitable for regular or memory foam mattresses. Made from reclaimed antique pine, and/or oak, the bed can be ordered in any size. The twin is $840 from BarnWoodFurniture
(above) A modern dresser created from vintage, reclaimed wood, this classy OOAK piece features: touch release drawers, salvaged wood, finished birch and reclaimed heart pine. $1,350.00 from Croft House LA (more…)
Wednesday, October 1, 2014
by Sheila Thomas @ 7:50 am post a comment »
When we look at an old, discarded tire we don’t think to ourselves that it might contribute to making a better roadway; but old tires may do just that. Currently most old tires are collected by tire retailers and recycled for a small fee. Once collected they are separated and then reduced. The larger pieces are used as stone aggregates or fuel to power kilns. But the small fine pieces are considered crumb rubber. Crumb rubber is used as a raw material for a wide variety of applications including molded rubber goods and adhesives.
Tires can also be recycled into a form of asphalt. (more…)
Sunday, September 28, 2014
by Jordan Stauder @ 11:05 am post a comment »
If you find yourself traveling down your 5-mile gravel driveway in the pouring rain, returning from a bi-weekly grocery run or a quick trip to the mailbox, and an unidentified flying donut appears high in the evening sky, do not be alarmed. It is not going to hurt you; this is not an Independence Day-type scenario; the Led Zeppelin tour likely has not stopped in your small town in rural America, either. Your home greets you with porch and interior lights as you clamber up the steps to your front door, reusable grocery bags and a wealth of paper bills in hand. You find that the phone, television, internet and trash utilities await payment, but the power bill has been strangely absent for some time. Soon thereafter, you collapse into your couch and turn the television to the nightly news, where the headline story covers the widespread electrical outages in the city in the next county. The newscaster says that high winds and heavy rains have knocked out critical elements of the power grid leaving hundreds without electricity, as you think to yourself, “what was that man’s name from Altaeros? I must thank him for the ‘BAT’ outside.”
Based in Boston, Massachusetts, Altaeros is a leading innovator in the wind energy sector, recently receiving a large grant from the Alaska Energy Authority to field test their new Buoyant Airborne Turbine (BAT) system in the skies over Fairbanks, Alaska. (more…)