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Environment

Pickmaster Plectrum Punch Owes a Debt to Credit Cards

Attention indebted guitarists, don't be so quick to cut up those maxed-out credit cards. The Pickmaster Plectrum Punch quickly recycles VISA, Master Card and other name brand credit cards into cheap “green” plastic guitar picks. Sing with me now, “E I E I Owe!”

Washable Toilet Seat Liner Warms Hearts, Saves Power

If your pet peeve is a cold toilet seat and you're dreading the onset of winter weather, Japan's got something that'll warm your heart (and more): fluffy, furry, reusable and washable toilet seat liners. Next time nature calls, don't let American Standard give you the cold shoulder - plop your posterior on a poodle instead!

Chinese Compensation Scheme Saves Wild Predators, Reimburses Herdsmen

Cry wolf, prey tell? China's innovative compensation program has proven to be a roaring success, protecting endangered wildlife as well as the pocketbooks of farmers and herders.

'Video Memo' Digitally Updates 3M's Classic Paper Post-It Notes

Video Memo from Japan's Green House allows you to leave short video messages friends, family and/or co-coworkers can watch. With its 1.77-inch LCD screen and on-board CMOS camera, Video Memo is the 21st century's version of the Post-It Note.

Eco-Friendly Heat Pad Pencil Combo Composts As You Compose

Care to shave a few cents off your monthly heating bill? Looking to be the next hot writer? Say “yes!” to both, provided your purple prose is penned with the Heat Pad Pencil!

Polar Bear & Penguin Ice Cube Cups Raise Environmental Awareness While Cooling Your Drink

Global warming poses grave consequences for polar bears and penguins. Raise awareness of their plight while you raise your glass... cleverly chilled with global warming warning ice cubes from cups conceived by Japan's Atsuhiro Hayashi.

LED Emergency Flashlight Pig Needs No Batteries, Won't Hog Energy

The cute, practical & eco-friendly 'Dynamo Torch Pig Shape' from Chinese online gadget emporium Shanghai Donya may have an unwieldy name, but this flashlight swine will rise & shine when storms strike and power outages leave you in the dark.

Beijing to Build 42,000 Electric Car Charging Posts Within 5 Years

Chaaarge it!! Beijing is becoming China's “Electric City”, at least where drivers are concerned. An ambitious plan to set up 42,000 new electric car charging posts by 2015 intends to match the current number of gas stations in China's bustling capitol.

Tsunami Survival Capsules Offer Hope for Japan's Next Great Wave

Ready for the next tsunami? Then you've really got balls: enhanced fiberglass “Noah” capsule balls, to be exact. Japan's Cosmo Power designed these bright yellow survival spheres so users can escape onrushing floods and ride the relentless quake-spawned tidal waves to rescue.

New Japanese Smartphone Case Doubles as Radiation Monitor

Japan's largest mobile phone service provider, NTT DoCoMo, has produced a prototype cellphone case that adds a radiation detecting function to your smartphone.

Beijing's Tallest Skyscraper Takes Energy-Saving Technology to New Heights

The 108-story China Zun building will soar 510 meters (1,673 ft) into the sky over Beijing, China, when it's completed in 5 years time. The distinctively shaped, skyline-changing building has been planned from the ground up as an eco-friendly structure featuring the latest energy-saving technology.

Toray's Carbon Fiber Electric Sports Car: Light Weight, Heavy Performance

The innovative Teewave AR1 electric sports car concept from Japan's Toray Industries is made mainly from super-strong, lightweight carbon fiber-reinforced plastic, allowing drivers travel up to 185 km (115 miles) on a single battery charge.

Watts Up! Japan's Largest Solar Power Plant Says “Let it Shine”

Clean power generation for the nation? In Japan they're just getting warmed up, as the nation's largest solar power plant begins firing on all cylinders... er, panels.

Calling All College Students: The Biomimicry Institute Student Design Challenge

For the third year in a row, the Biomimicry Institute, a non-profit organication that promotes the study and imitation of designs found in nature, is sponsoring the Biomimicry Student Design Challenge.  This year the Challenge, which is open to college students world-wide, is to use biomimicry to design a solution that results in more efficient use of energy and ultimately reduces greenhouse gases.  No small feat, but the Institute provides students with plenty of resources on biomimicry....

 

Reusable Eco-friendly E-Paper Could Make the Office Truly Paperless

Today's computerized and LAN-equipped “paperless offices” are far from being paper-free but thanks to rewritable and reusable electronic paper technology developed by Taiwanese think tank ITRI, trashed paper could finally become a thing of the past.

Organic Pet Toys Are Now More Affordable & Adorable

Until recently, one could rarely find a dog toy made of natural organic materials outside of a high-end specialty pet boutique.  High end usually meant high prices, although many environmentally-conscious were willing to pay them.  But it's common now to find dog toys mass marketed with both their stuffing and the adorable, colorful character patterns in totally organic materials... and they're much more affordable.

 


Animalia Tape Cutters Cut Through Red Tape, Green Up Your Desktop

Animalia Tape Cutters from Japan give some bite to tired old stationery styling and add a touch of the wild side to any concrete jungle.

Pandas Release Secrets Of Biomass Processing - In Their Poop

Giant pandas are still very rare, so it's not likely that their poop will be used as a substitute for gasolene, but the chemical analysis of panda poop has provided new information about the microbes that assist pandas in digesting some of the roughest roughage in nature - lignocellulose - and that information could certainly lead to a biofuel that is much more efficient than any biomass fuels that are being produced currently.

Pink Panther Strikes Again as Cherry-Coated Cats Cavort

Blame industrial pollution in China for creating a cat of a different color. At least one cherry-coated kitten has been seen in Lanzhou, western China, and odds are it isn't there to audition for the role of a real-life Hello Kitty.

Graffiti Umbrella by Liu Hsiang-Ling is Write as Rain

The Rain Brush Umbrella designed by Liu Hsiang-Ling points the way to sustainable, renewable, temporary urban graffiti: write what you like but come rain or shine, your message will vanish.