Making Sustainability Happen – Part 2!

Posted on March 31, 2011


Here’s the second post of “Making Sustainability Happen!” – a look at some innovative methods used around the world to be more sustainable. For the first post, click here.

6. Designer creates a shower that forces you to leave when you’ve wasted too much water

20% of our total domestic energy usage is from hot water for showering and bathing. That’s over 6 times the energy usage of domestic lighting. So designer Tommaso Colia came up with his eco-friendly shower design that will force you to get out when you take too long and waste much water. The eco_drop shower features beautiful concentric circles that will rise to force you to stop showering when you take too long, and accordingly save water. 

7. Designer creates light-switch that changes colors to teach children how to save energy

Teaching the importance of energy conservation is the goal of this design from Tim Holley. He calls it Tio, and it’s a ghost-shaped light switch that gives kids a visual reminder of how much energy they’ve used by leaving lights on. Tio starts out green and smiling. If the light is left on for more than four hours, he turns yellow and looks shocked. And if you dare to leave that light on for more than eight hours, sweet little Tio turns into a raging red hulk, complete with frowny mouth and angry eyes. But he won’t just visually remind your kids about their energy habits; information from the light switch is sent to Tio’s computer program so the entire family can see how they’re doing. In a brilliant piece of visual positive reinforcement, Holley’s program lets kids grow a ⤽virtual tree⤠which gets bigger and healthier the more energy they save.

8. Environmental company creates a staple-free stapler to avoid staple pollution

Staples are supposed to be so bad to the environment that a company decided to create a staple-free stapler. This product promises to make collation eco-friendly. Instead of using those thin metal planet-killers, the staple-free stapler “cuts out tiny strips of paper and uses the strips to stitch up to five pieces of paper together.” You can even order them customized with your corporate logo so you can, you know, brag about what your company is doing to stop the staple epidemic.

9. Cell Phone that charges while you twirl and spin it

I can see it a little addicting twirling this phone around your finger. There is a model that spins around your finger pictured here. Another model is of the crank variety.

Well now you will have no excuse to have a dead cell phone battery. I wonder how quickly it charges? Designed by Mikhail Stawsky.

10. Solar Headphone Radio

These solar headphones charge are amazing. You can charge them while walking your dog or during your morning jog. One hour of sunlight provides 1-3 hours of listening. And a fully charge the headset will run up to 20 hours.  Available at

Sources: Email thread, Ecoshopper