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Solar Garden Sculptures from Micromark

Micromark

The latest line of garden beauties from Micromark takes the solar garden light and embeds it in sculptural stone-style elements called the Twist, Tango, Waltz and Bolero. Each is accented with long-lasting LEDs. No price given, but Micromark claims they offer "value for money" so they're probably not astronomical. [GT]

Micromark Outdoor and Garden lights

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February 28, 2007 in Plants & gardens | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Hello Kitty Solar Swing Digital Clock

HKclock.jpg

Instead of a hanging pendulum below the clock, the Hello Kitty Solar Swing Digital Clock has her cute little head bobbing above the cup she's curled up in. It's also solar-powered via a cute little panel that juices up the button cell that keeps her running eternally. $15. [GT]

Hello Kitty Solar Swing Digital Clock [via Gizmodiva]

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February 28, 2007 in Green gadgets | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Garden Water Saver

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Here's a really inexpensive way to save an afternoon's rainfall: attach a Garden Water Saver to your downspout.  Instead of the water pouring off into the ground, it'll pop nicely into a your chosen container until the container is full, whereupon it'll shut off and let the water go back down the spout.  An hour's moderate rain is good for about 100 liters, which would put a nice glow on your garden during the hosepipe bans.  $20.  [GT]

Garden Water Saver [via GoTo Reviews]

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February 28, 2007 in Water saving | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Eneloop solar-powered battery charger, hand radiator

Sanyoeneloop

Instead of a chemical-process single-use hand warmer which leaves you a packet of goo that you have to throw out, pick up a Sanyo hand warmer plus a Sanyo Eneloop.  The Eneloop is a solar-powered AA battery charger, which is paired with the hand warmer if you like, or you can just sneak the batteries into your Nintendo DS.  Unlike old-school rechargables, it also comes ready to use, no initial charge necessary.   [GT]

Sanyo Eneloop [via Cocolico]

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February 28, 2007 in Green gadgets | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Sphelar is prettier and more efficient than flat solar cells

E_tokucho_zu3

Where flat solar cells depend on angle to maximize how much energy they extract from sun, the Sphelar solar cell has an efficiency of nearly 20%, because it places 1mm ball-like solar cells in a flower-like pattern which can extract energy from all directions. It's also thin, flexible and transparent enough that it could be placed on regular window glass, turning those monster skyscrapers self-sufficient. Its production process is also vastly more efficient than flat solar, making it cheaper and reducing silicon waste enormously. [GT]

Sphelar [via Metaefficient]

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February 28, 2007 in Green gadgets | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Make Your Own Shoes

Dancingfeet

Frustrated with ephemeral changes to women's footwear and the astronomical prices charged for a few scraps of silk and leather covered in glue, Mary Wales Loomis decided to learn to make her own shoes.  Possessed of sturdier construction than most fashion wear, and just as up-to-the-minute (your model, she says, can be easily updated to change the few bits that actually vary) your handmade shoes will also fit you perfectly since they're based on a 'last' modeled from your very own foot.  $26 USD for her book on how.  [GT]

Make your own shoes [via Trendhunter]

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February 28, 2007 in Do It Yourself, Fashion & accessories | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Is global cooling the answer to global warming?

Lmt

Though increasing effort goes into combating the worldwide effects of pollution, will it be enough? And if not, then what? Roger Angel, University of Arizona Regents Professor and the Steward Observatory Mirror Laboratory's director, suggests not interposing a great big sci-fi type mirror between us and the sun, but trillions of tiny "flyers", in a glistering silver shield to break up the sun's rays and disperse them (or better still, in some future generation, absorb that power and turn it into something usable by man). Flyers are transparent sheets 60cm in diameter and vastly thinner than a human hair, each weighing about a gram, which would be launched in a cloud encircling the earth, with a diameter of about 100,000 kilometers. If we start now, and launch one every five minutes, by 2017 it would be entirely in place. Or, Angel says, we could just do a better job of cleaning up the place now. [GT]

Technology Review: Cooling the Planet

More energy saving

February 27, 2007 in Energy saving | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Blinky Bug gets a cute little groove on

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Handmade from wire, LEDs and bits of electronics, the Blinky Bug is a tiny bit of art designed to respond to wind, vibrations and movement. Each unique bug, which subsists interminably on a very low power trickle, blinks its eyes and waggles about as though it naturally belongs in its own environment. Video interview of the creator, Ken Murphy, after the jump. [GT]

Blinky Bug

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February 27, 2007 in Green gadgets | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Intelliplug makes energy saving easy

Product_intelliplug

Plug your computer into the Intelliplug master socket, and plug your, for example, monitor and printer into the slave sockets. Then when you turn off the computer, the Intelliplug automatically cuts power to the monitor and printer. Recommended by the Energy Saving Trust. £17. [GT]

Intelliplug [via EcoStreet]

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February 27, 2007 in Energy saving | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Zopa social lending networks microcredit

Zopa

The other day I read about a young man who was practically destitute, despite having excellent job skills, because he had poor dental luck and couldn't afford the £1100 to get false teeth. He might benefit from Zopa, a social networking site which matches lenders and borrowers in a model based on eBay. Though it presently uses a credit check, the plan is to expand it to check things like your MySpace contacts (who'd've thought that'd ever get you a car loan?) or LinkedIn comments in order to judge whether or not you're a better person than your history (or lack thereof) says. Maybe you just got divorced, went abroad, or were ill (I was all three of those things). By going in this direction Zopa could offer a powerful ethical alternative to usurious payday loan companies, who are often the only option low income people have, or banks who simply don't give a damn.

“You could offer people the ability to say ‘I’d like to lend to A-rated nurses living in London for 12 months,” says Nicholson. “Or you could lend to charities for a zero percent return, or at least a very low interest rate. That’s where the social networking side can come in. We have to be very careful with privacy issues though, when it comes to stuff like letting people connect and chat online.” For more on this, see Techscape's interview with Zopa co-founder Dave Nicholson. [GT]

Zopa social network lending

More money and finance

February 27, 2007 in Money & finance | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack