Green Tech

Lexus CT200h Sporty New Hybrid CrossTourer

Lexus has a new hybrid vehicle being readied for market and let me begin by saying I wish them more luck with this CT200h hybrid sportwagon than they saw with the HS250h hybrid sedan that debuted last year. Lexus’ last sporty wagon was on the inaugural IS300 platform and was dubbed SportCross. I was assured the CT200h is not intended to be the next SportCross but the two do share bloodlines and driving dynamics. We spent some time with Lexus and the new CT200h in New Orleans recently and I was left with the impression that the CT should see…


Apolis Global Citizen Transit Issue Smartphone Wallet iPhone 4 Case Review

Companies like Apolis don’t come around very often.  After I had agreed to review their latest offering, a wallet style case for the iPhone 4, I went to read up and learn more about the brand.  What I read really made me stand up and take notice.  Work conditions at the Chinese factory that produces the iPhone have been all over the news of late and details on the numerous suicides by the Chinese workers are shocking.  We’ve all read the stories about the less than stellar work conditions in factories that product sneakers and other brand named clothing too….


Looking for a Job AND Trying to Save the Planet? Here is Where You Should Live!

I have been lucky in my current job that in addition to making cell phone screens more durable and presentation projectors that can fit in your pocket, I have also been able to work on things with specific objectives of cleaning up the environment. It is satisfying when work you love also benefits the planet. At the same time I have friends who have still been unable to find work that is at the level they had before the recession, some still burning through savings and others working at whatever they can find. So it was interesting to read “Top…


Bioserie iPhone 4 Case Review: Made from Plants

I’ve reviewed a ton of cases for the iPhone over the last few years. Cases made from leather, silicone, plastic, metal, felt, fabric and polycarbonate. But the Bioserie case for the iPhone is the first case I’ve reviewed that’s made entirely from advanced bioplastic materials which are derived entirely from plants. Here’s some technical information from Bioserie on how this is done. Bioplastics are a variety of plastics derived from renewable biomass sources, such as plant starches or microorganisms, rather than fossil-fuel plastics which are derived from oil. Bioplastics represent a relatively new and very promising field of modern biotechnology….


Maybe It’s Time to Revisit the DutchTub

Yesterday was a cold, damp day here in the northeast., and tomorrow looks like more of the same. This is the type weather that makes you want to do anything you can to warm up, which prompted my wife Elana to say, “This is when you want… no, you need a hot tub.” Of course, the problem is that the place where we would like to put it is nowhere near an electrical outlet. Luckily there is a solution. photo courtesy of BizIvy photo courtesy of Design Crack The DutchTub, which we first heard about year ago, is a self-contained hot…


The Urinal Sink: Ultra-Efficient, Eco-Friendly … But Do You Want It?

This weekend we were visiting my nephew before he started back to his senior year in college, and took him and his girlfriend out for lunch. He chose P. F. Changs in Albany, which was great for us as we lack quality Chinese food in the Corning area, but a rather odd choice for someone who had spent the entire summer working on a research project with his professor in China. But as we were finishing up and everyone hit the rest rooms before we went our separate ways. Despite their only being four men, we created a line in…


GreenSmart Gear Is Stylish AND Environmentally Friendly!

I reviewed some of GreenSmart’s Neogreene products last year; their basic philosophy is to make functional tech accessories using recycled and non-chemical materials. They had a great lineup then, but they’ve really come out swinging with their 2010 products! One of the great things about their products is that much of their material is made from recycled plastic bottles. If you have or used to have a soda addiction (I’ve been weaned off Diet Coke, but it was a long and painful process), there’s always the (infinitesimal) chance your bottles might be part of their gear! Check out this video…


Green Diary: Making You Feel Better About All That Energy Your Gadgets Are Sucking

It’s an interesting dilemma: the readers of this site tend to love their gadgets, but at the same time want to be respectful of the environment.  All of our electronic tools, toys – whatever you want to call them – use resources in their manufacturing, may contain toxic materials that are harmful if not disposed of properly, and require energy to operate.  If you’re like me, you mitigate some of your less environmentally friendly hobbies by making up for them in other ways (I use an electric lawnmower, for crying out loud). With an eye toward balancing our interest in…


Charge Your Mobile Devices with the Power of the Sun

External batteries are great, but they’re only as good as the mAhs they possess; once you deplete them, until you find yourself near a charging source they become useless. The Monaco Mobile Power Solar Charger from Wireless Ground takes care of that problem by harnessing the power of the sun to recharge itself. You can use the battery to recharge you device and then recharge the battery on to go so it’s ready to be used again. In addition to the battery itself you’ll also get some tips to charge with. The Monaco comes with a USB out cable which…


ECOWRIST Review: Wearable Art That Helps The Planet

Every year I take one of my daughters on a weekend trip to NYC.  This past weekend on our annual excursion we stumbled across ECOWRIST at a street fair in the Soho section of Manhattan.  ECOWRIST was founded by husband and wife team David Gandy and MarQuerite Hamden in 2008 and the pair hand-makes watches from recycling, the use of natural materials, and minimal wastes to ensure as little effect on the environment as possible. From the ECOWRIST web site……….. The primary components of the watches are bamboo, tagua nuts, acheera seeds, coconut, wood, cow’s leather and canaflecha (reed in…


First Drive: 2011 Chevrolet Volt

Well, I did it. I drove the new Chevy Volt extended range electric vehicle that will be available later this year. What is it? In many ways it is similar to the current Toyota Prius hybrid. It features a battery pack that powers an electric motor that turns the wheels to make the thing go. It also has a combustion engine powered by gasoline that charges the battery pack when voltage drops too low. Where it differs from the current breed of hybrid electric vehicle is that the combustion engine does not propel the Volt at all – it is…


Feuerwear Scott Laptop Bag Review: Each Has a Story to Tell

Feur is the German word for “fire.”  Being a firefighter I’m sure it’s not surprising that I often visit various firefighting related blogs & web sites. During a recent visit to one I stumbled upon a link the Feuerwear web site. Feuerwear is a German company who takes out of service fire hose and turns it into bags, wallets and belts.  Since the hose they use to make their products was actually used in the field, each item they produce takes on its own individual look.  Fire hose often gets dragged through the elements and exposed to extreme heat and…


Battizer Review: Charges your Batteries and Helps Save the Planet

If you’re like me and never replace your batteries until it’s too late, then this product might be for you. If you have kids, lots of remotes, RC cars or anything that takes AAA and AA batteries, then the Battizer could prove to be a great investment. My home theater remotes, thermostat batteries, and Wii controllers are the items which to die at the most inconvenient times., so instead of saving money by going to the Costco, Sam’s Club or BJ’s and buying a bulk pack of AAs, I usually run to the convenience store and spend $6 on a…


Despite Early Issues, 2010 Toyota Prius Best Yet

(All photos courtesy Toyota) Toyota Prius is the ubiquitous hybrid. And yes, I did have to look that word up. The 2010 model is the third generation Prius to hit U.S. soil and this new midsize model bring better fuel economy, enhanced performance and modern styling to the platform. It is roomier, quieter and equipped with all of the latest technology including offering a moonroof complete with solar panels, four driving modes, Intelligent Parking Assist and steering wheel touch controls that display on the instrument panel. “The Prius has evolved with our customers over the past 10 years and is…


Review: Etón FR360 Emergency Preparedness Digital Radio

It is starting to be that time of year.  What do I mean?  Thunderstorm and Tornado Season that’s what I mean.  That is followed by the Hurricane season.  The best thing to do to st?ay safe dur?ing this season is to take time to prepare now before the worst happens.  One device that will help you keep informed during a storm is a radio.  If you have a portable radio, one problem you always have is batteries not being charged when you need it or you only have the radio on your stereo.  If that’s you, then you should pickup…


10 for 2010

Once again automakers rolled out some eye candy at the annual North American International (Detroit) Auto Show. And once again it leaves many of us wondering which of the vehicles on display will actually make it into production, will they be affordable and are they really practical. Inspired by this, I am rolling out a list of 10 things to watch in 2010.


First Drives: New Lexus IS convertible, HS250h hybrid

Despite all of the news coming out of Detroit recently, the rest of the automotive world is pretty much “business as usual.” Case in point, Lexus recently rolled out a pair of new models to the automotive press – a convertible version of IS sport sedan and a new entry-luxury hybrid sedan.


Going green? How about reusable toilet paper?

Interested in doing your part to improve the environment. Who’s with me on switching to reusable toilet paper? Cloth toilet paper is not much different from the concept of re-usable diapers. It’s more economical, uses less paper and — no more late night trips to the store when you run out of paper! Biggest downside? Who wants to wash this in their washing machine? Soft Cloth Toilet Wipes Details: * Two-layer construction for soft strength. * Basic wipes are one layer of soft flannel and one layer of knit terry. * Premium wipes are one layer of soft flannel and…


2009 Chevrolet Tahoe 2-Mode Hybrid

My relationship with the new fullsize GM hybrid SUVs continues to be a love/hate one. I love the fuel savings and cleaner emissions delivered by these “green beasts,” but I hate that consumers still cannot get one for less than 50 grand.


2009 Toyota Highlander Hybrid

I never really took notice of the benchmark status of Highlander until recent new model introduction events held by competitor automakers. More and more I heard the name “Highlander” included in their marketing and technical presentations when reciting segment target data.