In a consumer economy that has depended in the past on moving disposable products for continued success, forward-thinking businesses are opting out of planned obsolescence and taking a different, more Earth-friendly path.
The concept of planned obsolescence is actually not that old. As recently as fifty years ago, people weren’t throwing away as much as they do today, partly because goods were traditionally built to last.
Because we’ve created so great a need for various products and services to prosper and entertain ourselves in our busy contemporary world, at least some businesses are choosing to take steps to bring their wares to consumers in a form that lasts longer and is less demanding for the environment.
Green product certification
In an effort to support and promote eco-friendly products, known more familiarly as “green products,” special organizations have been created to verify and certify items and services that meet fairly strict standards for being environmentally friendly. These products generally reduce energy and water waste, have a longer lifespan, and emit a limited amount of harmful substances into the atmosphere.
As landfills grow and multiply, and more people question the ultimate fate of the planet, many companies have responded by looking for ways to turn out products that will last for a long time and also reduce their impact on the environment.
From among all the newly available products on the market today, here are four green items you really shouldn’t go without:
- A bagless vacuum cleaner that connects to your sewer
The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), located in Washington, DC, is an organization that runs a research center dedicated to identifying ways to encourage building construction techniques, building materials, and designs that minimize environmental impact. The NAHB’s official recognition of green products through the National Green Building Certification program provides consumers with cleaner, more energy-efficient options when they’re building or remodeling.
The NAHB has certified Drainvac as a green-approved product that has transformed the way we think of the vacuum. This innovative item earned its NAHB green-approved certification by eliminating the need for vacuum bags, and by connecting directly to the water pipes and sewer drains of a house or business for maximum efficiency.
This product is perfect for auto body shops, wood and metal shops, and even your private home if you happen to do a lot of handy work in your garage.
- A garden in your living room
Aquaponics is the science of creating a contained and balanced ecosystem of fish and plants. When you feed the fish, they feed your plants, and in turn, your plants feed you.
Using only a tenth of the water and no dirt, an aquaponics indoor garden is more efficient than an outdoor garden. And if you like looking at fish, you’ll appreciate it even more.
GroveGrown is a Massachusetts-based firm that uses sustainably sourced materials to hand-craft an entire aquaponics setup for you. Upon delivery, the company provides everything you need to get started, including your first crops and fish.
- A portable wind turbine
Imagine hiking the Grand Canyon with a friend, and just as she’s about to capture the moment with her phone camera, her battery dies. She’s upset, but you’re prepared.
You reach into your pocket and pull out a portable wind turbine to recharge her phone. And that makes you a hero.
Powering up a smartphone isn’t the only thing you can do with a portable wind turbine. With the Trinity, you can select one of four models, and the most powerful one can recharge your electric car.
- A salt lamp that can run on ocean water
You may or may not have heard of salt lamps before. They’re made of crystalized pink salt and the negative ions are said to carry away electro smog.
But this salt lamp is entirely different. It isn’t made from salt but is powered by salt.
All you have to do is fill a reservoir with salt water (even ocean water if you’ve run out of salt), and as the air passes through the metal and interacts with the salt water, electricity is produced, which powers the LED lights inside for about eight hours.
Not only can you generate eight hours of grid-free, guilt-free light, but you can charge your smartphone as well.
To the future of our planet
As more people realize the need to conserve energy and resources by rethinking the way we live, work, and play, little by little we’re all making a huge impact where it matters most.
With brilliant entrepreneurs getting younger every year and engineering simple, affordable solutions to problems we’ve been facing, there’s no telling what kind of innovative products are right around the corner with the next generation.