From luminescent fiber-optic wallpaper to wood-powered hot tubs, kinetic iPods and cardboard bridges, green technology and sustainable innovation continue to amaze and impress us all. Here’s a look at our top 10 eco inventions:
Off-the-Grid Hot Tub
Who needs electricity when you have a Dutch Tub? This portable, wood-burning hot tub may not be the greenest, but it’s a great example of future possibilities for non-electric recreation.
Solar Pedal Boat
When gas prices were at their highest, spending the weekend on your boat wasn’t really an option unless you had a couple hundred extra dollars to waste on fuel. This solar powered boat concept can go all day without ever visiting the gas tanks – and when the sun’s not enough to keep you moving, just start pedaling!
Instead of throwing out all those cardboard tubes, why not build a bridge? Shigeru Ban used more than 250 tubes to construct the recycled cardboard bridge above, along with rescued paper and plastic to build the steps – and the structure is strong enough to support 20 people!
Steam Powered Batmobile
This futuristic eco car is called Inspiration and was designed to break records. Powered by liquid propane and a lot of water, the British steam car boasts a top speed of 215 mph – plenty of power to beat the current steam car record of 127 mph!
Luminescent Wall Coverings
Lamps consume less electricity than most overhead lights, and energy saving bulbs can cut down power even more – but wouldn’t it be easier to just integrate the lighting into your wallpaper? Fiber optic wiring in creative designs are one of the latest eco-lighting innovations currently under development.
Human Powered River Gym
The floating river gym is probably a bit smellier than your traditional gym – but it’s completely self-sufficient, offers a great view, and it helps purify the water. This renewable energy concept is powered by whoever happens to be working out at the time!
No batteries or power cord, this green gadget keeps perfect time and looks quite cool! If blue’s not your color, it’s also available in bright green, flashy orange, and a more subtle charcoal gray. Simply fill it up with water, add a dash of table salt, and a tad of lemon juice for perfect eco-time keeping.
Magnetic Cell Phone Charger
The reality of a green cell phone is getting closer and closer – but mobile accessories have already gone green. This iPhone charger is purely magnetic, providing a charge through a motion similar to that of a yo-yo – hence it’s name, the iYo.
A weird, but definitely abundant, idea for an alternative energy source, the Dragon Power Station uses plates within the road to harness and compress waste from the thousands of big rigs that drive over them.
Solar Powered Robots
The hotter it gets each summer, the more you don’t want to spend your time mowing the lawn. Thanks to this eco innovation by Husquevarna, you don’t have to! No gas and oil, this robotic lawnmower is powered by the sun and requires no human effort.