Smart water purifier one of Index 2007 winners.

The Danish design competition Index rewards design that can make life on this planet a little (or a lot) easier. The other year the smart personal water purifier LifeStraw won one of the prizes. We have covered LifeStraw previously. One of this year’s winners is a smart lid that transforms discarded soda- or beer cans into a safe disposal for medical sharps. Our previous post here. An idea that we have not seen before, however, is the 2007 winner in the Home category; the Solar Bottle water cleaner. The Solar Bottle utilizes the known fact that heat and UV radiation cleans water from bacteria and harmful micro organisms. The new design makes this process faster and more efficient. The four liter bottle is wide and flat, thus exposing a larger surface towards the sun; one side is dark colored, which enhances infrared absorption and speeds up heating. The carrying handle, finally, is designed to allow adjustment to achieve the most efficient angle towards the sun. Design Alberto Meda and Francisco Gomez Paz. More on Index 2007. brbr

How to avoid groceries all over the floor II.

A while ago we posted on a clever hanger for grocery bags we had found in car accessory store Biltema’s catalogue. The idea is to hang the grocery in the car and thus avoiding spilling the contents all over the floor in the first corner. Now we discover that others have experienced the same problem. It is Lasse Åkerlund, of Järvsö in the Swedish province of Hälsingland, who got tired of picking up his groceries from the car floor and invented the Baggis, the bag hanger in the picture above. You put the loop over the headrest and hang the bag from it. In comparison to the Biltema hook which is SEK 19:90 (about USD 2:80) for two, the Baggis is a bit on the expensive side at SEK 48:- (about USD 7:-) a piece, but then it is made right here in Sweden, which is probably not the case with the Biltema hook. More on the Baggis web site (Swedish only).brbr

Competition for the FoodLoop.

It is a dog-eat-dog world out there. Since we posted on the FoodLoop, a clever silicone cable-tie for food, the competition has been busy it seems. Just today we found this on German webshop Design 3000. It is called the Schürli (a diminutive on the German word for string). We like the FoodLoop for when we like to tie-up a stuffed chicken breast or fish with herbs inside, (much easier than the old trussing string we used to use) and we suppose these Schnürli work in much the same way. The Schnürli is EUR 9:95 (approx. USD 13:50) for two. In comparison, the FoodLoop is USD 14:99 (about EUR 11:-) for six on Amazon.brbr

Microwave oven in a drawer.

After our previous posts on fridges, freezers and washing machines with drawers, here is the microwave i a drawer. Of course we had to find it, it was just a matter of time. Now we could do an entire kitchen with no high cabinets. This micro comes from Dacor who offer all kinds of kitchen appliances. The oven in the picture is available, among other places, from HomeClick where it is USD 1.049:-.brbr

Another idea for a party plate.

We have posted on party plates before, but this is a new take. The first one we see that handles paper plates. The previous ones have been made of plastic or porcelain and you were meant to put your food directly on them. This one just holds the paper plate in place. It is USD 19:99 for 8, it is only available in red, but it is machine washable on the upper level.brbr

3D printer for the home office.

3D printers are among the most fascinating pieces of technology on this planet. Nerdy? Well, in that case, so be it. It is close to pure magic to watch a product prototype slowly growing in the printer chamber. We saw it once at an industrial fair a couple of years back, but that machine was the size of a closet and cost maybe USD 60,000:-. Now, however, technology has reached a point where 3D printing might be affordable for the home office or small business. Desktop Factory has designed a pretty small 3D printer that can build objects up to 5 x 5 x 5 inches (12,7 x 12,7 x 12,7 cm) and will have a reasonable price tag; USD 4.995:-.brbr

Cool idea if you have your own site or blog.

If your site or blog is anything like ours, you get quite a lot of visitors who just check out the current page (i.e. this one) and then move on to some other site. But what if we could send our leaving visitors to you and you could send yours to us? If our blogs have anything like the same visitor numbers, we could double them! Now there is actually a way to do this, and it is called ExitExplosion. Corky name, perhaps, but the tech seems solid. Here is how it works: They put up an exit page on your site that offers alternative sites to visit after yours. And since everyone else in the program displays your site among the alternatives, you look to get a lot of new visitors to your site. Check it out on ExitExplosion.brbr

Bicycle chain spa.

We did not even know this invention existed until we browsed through the new Biltema catalog. Cleaning one’s bike chain is a sloppy job at best, so this little chain washing machine has lots of promise. The washing box attaches with the chain in place, som there is no need to dismount it. Inside the box, the chain runs past three brushes and one sponge. The first brush scrubs the chain with cleaner, the second and third removes dirt, and the sponge, finally, wipes off exess cleaner. Apparently there is a need for some sort of cleaning agent, but the Biltema site is not clear on this point. Anyway, the chain cleaner is SEK 69:90 (approx. USD 10:-) and its article number is 27-042. There is a similar gadget on ComCycle USA for USD 14:95, and one for USD 24:99 on Gregg’s Cycle. Finally, there are several like it on Amazon, for instance the Clean Machine for USD 12:99.brbr

Grow your own fresh air.

The fact that house plants contribute oxygen and moisture to the air is nothing new. But our leafy friends can do more. Some can even be used as air purifiers. The plant that is said to be the best moisturizer is the Areca palm (left), and we have posted on it earlier. It I moisturizes, absorbs pollutants and above all, it can be grown in the house. The Rubber Plant (right) is supposed to be a champion chemicals absorber. It cleans the air from formaldehyde (found in fiber boards and furniture), ammonia and benzene. It, too can be grown in the house without much trouble. This and much more can be learned in a book titled How to Grow Fresh Air, where you will meet 50 plants that are good for the indoor environment. It is on Amazon- for USD 12:25.brbr

Coolest fridge – now from Norway.

A while back (on October 19, 2005, to be precise) we wrote a post on a both smart and good looking fridge with drawers instead of doors. It was from American Sub-Zero, who celebrated their ten year anniversary with drawer fridges. In the post we asked where Electrolux and everybody else had kept their heads during all those years. We still do not know, but we now now that Norwegian company Norcool has had their heads scewed on right, and are now selling a fridge with drawers. And, since it is a Norwegian company, there might be a chance that we can find their products in our country, too…brbr