After a series of thoughtful roundups from 2010, we thought we would add one more thing to the list: innovation! Despite a sluggish economic market, the green economy continues to expand and 2010 was no exception. Here were some of last year's most interesting innovative concepts.
Here at Re-Nest we have found some unique innovations that are brand spankin' new with a few improvements on eco-concepts we have loved in the past.
TOP ROWSolatube Solar Star Attic Fan It may be hard to envision summer if you live in the snowy North this year, but this solar-powered attic fan may be something to invest in on a sunny day. Powered by the 10 Watt solar panel, this fan can help release the humidity that can cause structural damage, fungal decay and plywood delamination.
Wooly Pocket Islands Now when the original Woolly Pockets came out, we were pretty excited. Fun and fashionable living walls for a lot less than the more industrial solutions. This past year they took the modular garden to the next level with freestanding versions of their wall pockets. Still made with 100% recycled plastic and arriving to market with a variety of sizes, they are hard to resist.
Niagara's Eco-Friendly Toilet The Stealth Toilet has arrived to save you literally gallons of water. It uses a meager 0.8 gallons per flush, meaning a savings of 37% more water than a typical toilet. It looks like the average toilet, so there is nothing new for guests to learn (composting toilets can be tricky conversation starters). Best of all, you get to keep all of the water savings, and with the cost of water projected to rise significantly over the next 10 years, this could be a great investment.
Solar Panel Awnings We love these functional solar awnings! They are naturally propped at an angle for optimum sunlight, provide sustainable solutions in a visual way, and are multi-purpose as awnings. What a unique find!
The Steam Tower Puzzling and yet fascinating, the Steam Tower is a steam cooker for three dishes in one made out of porcelain ceramic. It can also function as your serving dishes (with a little help from a plate underneath).
BOTTOM ROW2 Minute Water Purifier This nifty device is hot off the innovation market. Designed by a UK student, it sterilizes water in 2 minutes, a vast time improvement from standard water purifiers. Portable, fast, and easy on the eyes, we think this ideas has the potential to make it big.
Green Power-Link Energy Use Monitor We think both Team Jacob and Team Edward would be against vampire energy, and this easy to use device can help you monitor just which appliances are sucking energy. Tracking up to 9 devices, it tells you the electricity used, the cost, and the energy use trends over time.
Velux Solar Water Heating Systems Solar water heating systems have grown tenfold, and Velux has developed 3 different systems to help match the diversity of home sizes and inhabitants. With a potential water feating bill reduction of 50 - 80% and a payback time of 3 - 7 years, these systems have a lot of potential for growth.
MANTIS LED Lamp This lamp fits the age of the minimalist to a tee. With an LED light strip rotating on an aluminum tube, this highly efficient and space-saving lamp could be a hit. Watch this design in 2011.
Bathroom Recycle System The clear water tank of this design has won it all sorts of press. The designer hopes to by opening up the water tank for users to see, they will in turn use less water. The system is also equipped with water saving devices and efficiencies, along with its cool design.
(Images: See linked posts for full image credits)