This past week, there has been a huge amount of new and improved eco inventions or products being put to the test. Creations range from toys to electronics to shelters. Here is a list of some that I’ve found to be the most fascinating or useful.


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The Foldable Eco-Shelter
Have you ever been worried about what might happen to your home during a natural disaster? With the hurricanes in the Southern US and the Tsunamis bombarding Asia, it’s easy to see the destruction and devastation Nature can cause when irked enough. Should you be unfortunate enough to end up in a situation where you may lose your home (or even part of it), the foldable eco-shelter (lovingly called “the box”) will be perfect for you. It is specifically designed for emergency and disaster relief situations. Made from recycled polyester and corrugated cardboard, this shelter is lightweight, easy to transport and set up. Granted, it doesn’t amount to much more than a tunnel-like pup-tent, but when your home is destroyed any shelter may be a welcome sight.

The Bloom
If roughing it is not your cup of shelter tea, check out this elegant, eco home. This is a mobile, high-end home designed to give you the best in renewable resources. The home is self-sustaining and acquires all heat and power from solar energy. The home can fold into a smaller unit to make transportation easier; and then easily unfolded—once you reach your destination—to open the space up again. This home can support 6 people, and includes a kitchen, 3 private living zones, a general area for dining and a sanitary/hygienic block.


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Samsung Blue Earth
For those of you that are tech-minded and looking for an eco-phone, look no further: Samsung has created yet another green phone. Earlier this year, it was a phone partially made out of corn, now they’ve decided to go solar. Blue Earth is made from recycled plastic, supports a full solar panel on the back, can generate enough electricity to call “anytime, anywhere”, and is free of harmful chemicals found in most other phones. Another awesome feature of this phone is its “Eco-Mode”. Users can track their steps with a built-in pedometer, and it also calculates how much they’ve reduced their CO2 emissions by walking rather than using motorized transportation. Right now, it’s only available in Europe, and soon to be tested in Asia. They have yet to announce any American distribution plans, however.

Matchstick Gardens
Many parents don’t want their kids playing with matches, but they will have no fires to worry about with these. Each book contains 10 matchsticks, and each stick holds a mix of seeds embedded at the tip. These matchsticks are also biodegradable and can be planted in an outdoor garden or window-box. Instructions are included and there are 4 types of gardens you can pick from: Mixed Herbs, Wildflowers, Italian Garden, and Mixed Greens. If you do decide to share these with your kids, make sure you teach them the difference between these sticks and actual matchsticks; we wouldn’t want them to ignite a spark of pyromania instead of garden-mania.


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Milk Jug Toys
Last, but certainly not least, we have recycled milk jug toys. These toys are made entirely from recycled milk jugs, and range from cars to tea sets to tools and more. Apart from being made from recycled milk jugs, they are made in the US to cut down on transportation greenhouse gases. It is also estimated that for every pound of recycled milk jugs used to make the toys, enough energy is saved to power a laptop for one month or a TV for 3 weeks; and all the packaging is 100% recyclable.

And these are things that have been talked about in the past week. Imagine what people could create in a year, if they only put their minds, hearts and green thumbs to it. It also goes to show that to save the environment and create something that people (of any age) may enjoy, it does not have to be extravagant or expensive. Corporations beware; one day the Dumpster Divers of the world may be in charge of things, and that may be a fine day, indeed.