-Rebecca, San Francisco 😉
Filed under: design, environmental issues, savvy tools | Tags: home decor, recycle, salvage
As mentioned before, the Five Non-Blondes are a group of designers who are creating a line of women’s power and hand tools. Not only have these tools been designed to fit a women’s hand, but sustainability and recycled materials have been incorporated too! This whole idea came about in the midst of designing and building our own furniture and thinking how much easier it would be if we had tools that didn’t over-extend our grip and were easier to control.
Anyone who enjoys design, fabrication and doing their part to help the environment as much as we do, would love this book I found called Recycle!, by UK designers Moira and Nicholas Hankinson. It’s a book full of instructions and ideas for your own DIY projects around the house using reclaimed objects found at yard sales, salvage yards, or just lying around your own house. Some of the more simple projects include using slate roof tiles as place mats; old window shutters as CD racks; and painted bed-springs as candle holders. The more difficult projects suggest reusing old axe handles for the legs of a stool; using hip tiles as a light fixture such as a sconce, and much more.
This book had everything from furniture, to accessories, to garden features. To say the least, it opens your eyes to the possibilities of turning “trash” into treasures. Just think how fun these types of DIY projects would be if you conveniently had a set of Savvy Tools around the house.
Kelsey – Vail, CO
Filed under: design
So the company Artek released a line of furniture called 2nd Cycle. It consists of re-claimed pieced of their furniture (mainly Aalto classics), character and all, that are being re-sold under this line. I absolutely love these pieces! The furniture comes with paint chips, patina, and home repairs that make each piece unique. It is a very anti-consumerism approach re-using existing well designed pieces of furniture that have withstood the test of time. The company hasn’t even done a thing to the furntiure besides purchasing back pieces to sell under this line.
Along with each piece comes a coded RFID tag that is related to a record of that furniture’s history, story, and information about its origins. It really is a pretty brilliant marketing idea that is also environmentally conscious (instead of throwing out it becomes re-used/new again.) No two pieces are alike.
Filed under: design | Tags: floating houses, Holland architecture, waterstudio
As of late I have turned into a NPR-a-holic! I just can’t get enough of their reports of politics and the environment. On my drive home last night I listened to a great concept that is coming out of Holland. Architects there are designing homes that will go with the flow (sorry for the obvious) of nature. If the sea levels continue rise, so will their houses.
This is a big concern with so many low lying areas in Holland. Now, let me explain. This isn’t your typical house boat you might be thinking in your head, but a house that allows it foundation rise and fall with the sea level. When the water rises or falls, the houses float to up to 18 feet above ground by sliding along two mooring poles at the front and rear of the buildings. There are a system of flexible pipes that keep the house connected to its necessary sewer and electrical lines. They say that you will feel the waves, but nothing turbulent.
After disasters such as Katrina we must design with prevention in mind so that history indeed will not repeat itself. An architecture firm in Holland called Waterstudio is trying to address this problem head on. They are leading the front with the floating houses, gardens and even have plans for floating roads. The Dutch government is even backing them with government money for their projects.
I wonder if these ideas will catch on the US as we begin to rebuild cities that have been vacated by raising water. Would people in this country be willing to live on water? I can’t say that I would, but the concept is so intriguing. As our country grows smaller with more people and less land, some of us might be forced seaward. Until then we’ll wait and see how the homes in Holland fare, and in words of Modest Mouse, “We’ll all float on ok.”
-Alison, Kansas City, MO
As I said, we updated our design for the drill & submitted it to the Greener Gadgets Competition last night. Below is the description that accompanied the images to help explain our goals and the design features of the drill and the new solar charger.
“Fossil fuels are disappearing and waste is filling our landfills to maximum capacity. We have a social responsibility to focus on renewable energy sources and closed loop manufacturing. Savvy Tools wants to make that our biggest priority and hopefully encourage other tool manufacturers to do the same. The Savvy drill is made entirely of recycled plastics, rubber, and metal; with no compound materials. It breaks down easily for convenient repair/reuse & recycling. Our company would actively seek to collect all unwanted tools from our line and others to create a constant supply of recycled materials thereby reducing the amount of raw materials necessary to create the drill and the amount of trash being added to the waste stream. Our company would try to partner with UPS & Fed-EX to offer inexpensive rates to return these unwanted tools as well as discounts towards a new Savvy drill for those returns.
The drill itself has features like a retractable guide/depth gauge that steadies the drill so all screws can go in straight when desired and you can always tell how deep you’re drilling. All of your bits would be stored conveniently inside the drill. It would be run by a 12v, more earth friendly, lithium-ion battery, but the Savvy company would constantly be seeking better technology. There is a new battery (currently in development) that’s lighter, runs longer, and most importantly has no toxic properties & requires no special disposal. Savvy would make every effort to partner with this company to bring consumers the best “green” options in the market.
The battery would be charged in the new Savvy solar cube. The cube is a beautifully designed object covered on all sides with solar panels. The configuration will take longer to charge, but it’s meant to be left out at all times, not only charging its internal 20v battery, but it would also be a great conversation starter and educational tool. Put it on a light-colored surface or outside in direct sunlight for the best results. Simply plug in your tool battery, cell phone, i-pod, or any other mobile device and the internal battery transfers its charge immediately. You’ll have clean, renewable energy within your grasp at all times.
The packaging is also taken into consideration. The drill & charger would be packaged in cardboard with all soy based inks that could break down easily. It would also serve a double purpose with instructions for do-it-yourself projects printed on the inside.
The idea is simple. Savvy tools would provide people with products they need that perform as well or better than what’s currently on the market, but we would do it in a way that does not harm the environment and encourages others to take these important matters into consideration. The Savvy Drill would be the first of it’s kind and is looking to change the way people think about power and their tools.”
-Rebecca, San Francisco
I just submitted the current design for our drill/ solar charger for the greener gadget competition and wanted to share the entry images. It’s been a long week, so I will give more information on it later, but I do want to thank my friend Michael Townsend for helping me with the renderings.
-Rebecca, San Francisco
Filed under: design, environmental issues | Tags: Austin, bags, design, environment, fashion, solar power
I just went to Austin, TX for the first time and I guess I never knew what the slogan “Keep Austin Weird” really meant. I had this vision that there would be a bunch of weirdo cowboys with guitars slung on their backs roaming the streets, but I learned that is not at all true. What they’re actually saying is “Leave the Chains Out and Keep Austin Unique”! I don’t remember seeing a single chain restaurant or store on my trip….it was extremely refreshing!
I was in awe walking down South Congress Avenue peeking in all the cute little boutiques when a store sign caught my eye. The store’s name was Therapy and their motto was “Dress well. Eat Chocolate. Live Green.” I was so excited because I enjoy doing ALL of those things! All of their clothes were made of organic cotton and hemp and they didn’t even look like those Potato sacks dresses you think of when you imagine eco-friendly clothing. They even had shoes made of recycled plastics and lets not forget the entire wall full of CHOCOLATE!!!
One of the most innovative items I saw was a Purse by a company out of Chicago called Noon Solar. Their philosophy is to combine fashion with sustainability. All of their bags are made out of materials that can either bio-degrade naturally or be reclaimed and re-used for generations to come. They’re all similar in the aspect that they all have a solar panel pouch on one side, but the opposite side has multiple design options to choose from for both men and women. To learn more go to www.noonsolar.com
-Kelsey, Vail, CO