Monday, February 6, 2012

Great Green Inventions

Great Green Inventions
By Ivy Newport

image: depositphotos
Who says that "green" can't be fun? Sustainability is quickly becoming synonymous with innovation. Here are some awesome inventions you may never have heard of-all eco-friendly, of course!

The Eco-Nightclub
First launched in London in 2008, the eco-nightclub features a bouncing floor and a series of power generating blocks that generate over 60% of the necessary energy to run the club. They serve only organic spirits in polycarbon cups. The venue features air flush, waterless urinals and low flush toilets. The best part? You get in free if you can prove that you walked or biked to the club. Customers are only allowed in if they sign a pledge promising to work towards curbing climate change.

Green Roofs
Quickly gaining popularity, these "sky gardens" can be found on many rooftops in large cities. They can be used as community spaces, areas for stressed workers, or even to grow food. Not only are they good places for social activities, but they also reduce run-off when there is heavy rain, and they reduce the heat that gets trapped inside buildings, reducing the need for air conditioning.

The Lilypad
Architect Vincent Callebaut was alarmed when he read about the prediction that ocean levels would rise by 70 cm over the 21st century. In response, he designed the Lilypad, also known as the "Floating Eco-polis for Climate Refugees," an "ecotectural" masterpiece. The idea behind his project was to create a series of floating, self-sufficient eco-city islands. Each one would be able to house up to 50 000 people and they would support an abundance of biodiversity. Collecting pools located in their centres would gather and filter water for use. Callebaut envisions the Lilypad to be able to be manufactured around the year 2100.

Solar Bikinis
Worried about your iPod running out of batteries during your long day at the beach? No sweat! Designer Andrew Schneider developed the solar-powered bikini. The high-tech swimsuit is made up of thin, flexible photovoltaic film strips and a USB connection, and can keep your iPod charged all day. Priced at just under $200, it's not that much more expensive than your typical over-priced swimsuit.

The Pencil Printer
So long, cartridge woes, for the Pencil Printer is here! Designed by Hoyoung Lee, this printer separates the wood from pencils and uses the lead to print documents. It also features a built-in eraser to remove text and reuse the paper. Never again will you throw away a pencil stub or buy another ink cartridge.
While you may or may not see these green innovations in your lifetime, consider what areas of your life you can innovate in and how you can support those who make a difference in creating eco-friendly products and ideas.

About the Author
Ivy Newport is the resident "green expert" at Every Little Bit Eco Shop, an online store offering everyday products that are conveniently green. Visit for more tips & education on going green, as well as a wide variety of eco-friendly products for greener giving and greener living.

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