Some people might think it’s crazy to even bring gadgets while you’re out camping, given that camping is associated with unplugging and going on a digital cleanse, but what if there was an emergency and you needed to call for help? What if you’re using GPS for navigation during hikes? You’re definitely going to need your phone or whatever device you’re using for the purpose, and you’re going to want it to be charged.
Enter the Micro Wind Turbine by designer Nils Ferber. The two-pound turbine unfolds like an umbrella and produces a constant output of 5 watts at a windspeed of 18 km/h. The energy is stored in an integrated battery pack, or you can plug your gadget into the built-in USB port. Sounds like a great addition to your gear if you’re heading outdoors and your solar charger just isn’t producing enough juice.
Check out the video below to see it in action.
Photos by Christian Holweck/Jagoda Wisniewska/Nils Ferber
I speak from experience when I say that Manduka‘s mats are eternal, and they’re so well made and sturdy that the only reason for you to replace them is because you’re donating them. And even if your Manduka mat has been with you for years, it still looks great and provides you with the cushioning you need during practice. In that way, Manduka, aside from the fact that they use “non-Amazon harvested natural tree rubber” for their eKO mats and make sure to practice nontoxic, emissions-free manufacturing, is doing its best to offer eco-friendly products, the latest of which is the X Mat, which “is free of chemical solvents and manufactured in an energy-efficient facility.” The X Mat is great not just for yoga practitioners, but also for cross trainers, and it keeps bacteria away, too.
So many electronic gadgets nowadays are so disposable and have short life cycles. Ever notice how some phones tend to conk out when it’s almost time for a new version to come out? Or how some computers start acting up right when your warranty expires? At some point, you just want to throw away and replace your gadgets, or maybe, you know, donate or recycle them?
But there has to be a better solution, and one of them is to make sure that gadgets are modular and upgradable so you never have to throw them away again–just open them up and replace them. The principle has been introduced in the as-yet-conceptual Phonebloks, and The Module Project is well on its way to making it a reality with the Decibel, a mobile wireless speaker that you can upgrade on your own. All you need is an Allen key to open up your speaker and then swap out the components as needed. What’s more, The Module Project offers updates only “when it is logical and genuinely beneficial to the owner,” meaning there’s no real pressure to upgrade and you can choose to modify the components if you want–and you don’t even have to if you’re still happy with your speaker.
The Decibel has pretty interesting features: it connects over Bluetooth and a 24-hour battery life. It also links other Decibel units, and you can charge it through fast charging via USB-C. We have yet to find out about audio quality, however, because the speaker will be shipped out to its Indiegogo backers in December 2017.
With many clothing brands opting to produce their apparel in other countries, it’s always refreshing to hear about a US clothing company choosing to make its clothes in the US–and benefit communities at the same time. Ashley Biden, daughter of former Vice President Joe Biden, has launched Livelihood, an apparel company that carries weekend-wear apparel, and its first line features hoodies made from organic cotton, which are manufactured in the US. What’s even better is that Livelihood is also helping to support underserved communities in the US. According to their website,
A portion of the proceeds from the sale of these organic-cotton, Made in the U.S.A. hoodies, and 100% of the profits from the launch, will be deposited on a quarterly basis into a community foundation to be accessed by residents in two under-resourced neighborhoods: Riverside in Wilmington, DE, and Washington, D.C.’s Anacostia.
Livehood is available at Gilt.
Photo by Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images for GILT
Scarves are great for keeping you warm. But what if they did more than that? What if they could protect you from pollution too?
Businessman Carlton Solle became sick after a trip to Hebei Province in China as a result of complications caused by air pollution. His doctor advised him to use a mask, but it was Carlton’s wife Hazel who came up with the brilliant idea of a scarf that also functions as a filter against airborne contaminants.
Thus, Bioscarf was born. The scarf has an N95 rating, which means that can block non-oil based airborne particles with a size of 3.0 microns in size or larger. What’s more, the Bioscarf is made from 100% post-consumer recycled PET water bottles, and its labels are made out of recycled PVC.
The scarf comes in four understated colors at the moment–white, black, olive, and olive with black trim–and they cost $89, making it pricier than regular scarves, but then again, this is no ordinary scarf! Shop on the Bioscarf website, and check out their Facebook for updates! If you buy a scarf, you’ll be able to help different causes supported by the company. Under its PlusOne program, the company will donate one Bioscarf to an individual at risk for every Bioscarf sold, and part of its initial production run is allocated for the Standing Rock protesters and victims of the recent forest fires in the southern US.
Are you a skateboarder and keen on living a greener life? Your board can be just as green as the way you want to live with Uitto Boards. The company takes pride in its biocomposite skateboards that are recyclable and waterproof, and according to their Indiegogo page, “the wood fibers are sourced sustainably from nordic forests where the rate of tree growth outweighs the rate of forestry.” The deck comes in three colors, namely, bark, moss, and stone, and no two skateboards will look alike thanks to the different patterns of the material. And hey, it’s also a pretty eco-friendly way to get around!
Uitto takes its name from the Finnish word that means “log driving” and describes “a means of moving logs from a forest to sawmills downstream using the current of a river.” The company is based in Helsinki, Finland, and currently, boards are being shipped to the project’s backers, but you can pre-order your Uitto Boards skateboard now on Indiegogo.
Parties, especially surprise parties, aren’t complete without confetti as they make everything look really festive. They’re definitely cute addons, but they’re not exactly the most eco-friendly items–just imagine all that glitter and paper that you won’t be able to use again, unless you’re the sort who’s really careful about sweeping them up and getting them clean again!
For your next party, you might want to check out a different type of confetti. Niko Niko is offering the Throw and Grow Confetti. The confetti is flower-shaped, handmade, and biodegradable. Best of all, each piece is filled with flower seeds, so after using the confetti, you can toss them in your garden and grow wildflowers.
The confetti giftbox contains 50 confetti and costs €11,95, shipping included.
Thoughtful Threadz, the brainchild of Nicole Lynn Jones, is expanding its debut collection with the InnovaTees line, which will feature more categories and the works of more artists. The brand prides itself on offering “causal clothing”, which means that it
…would have a positive impact on society, encourage intelligent discourse, promote open-mindedness, allow for different perspectives and ideas to be expressed, celebrate the human spirit, and inspire greatness.
The shirts send out positive messages–literally–and are American-made. They’re also printed through an eco-friendly process, and the designs use water-based inks.
You have just over three weeks to help out, so get yourself over to Thoughtful Threadz’ Kickstarter page! You can donate a minimum of $1.