6 Surprisingly Eco-Friendly Products You Didn’t Know About

Reader Contribution by Kayla Matthews

In the past decade, an environmentally-conscious revolution changed the way manufacturers and businesses operate. Here are 6 eco-friendly products challenging traditional industrial design and even the process of brewing beer.

1. Beer

New Belgium Brewing, operating out of Fort Collins, CO, is one of the top producers of craft beer in the country. Their greatest hit is perhaps Fat Tire Amber Ale, which is popular among beer connoisseurs.

Brewing companies aren’t traditionally known to be environmentally-friendly due to processes and cultivation practices they use to manufacture beverages, but companies like New Belgium Brewing are trying to change that.

The Colorado brewing company launched a powerful initiative to be more eco-friendly in their practices. They even have a page in their website dedicated to providing data and reports regarding their green initiatives.

2. Solberg Filters

Solberg Manufacturing is a company based in Itasca, IL, a suburb just outside Chicago, which manufactures oil and vacuum filters. Solberg actually partnered with the U.S. Energy Department’s Better Buildings Better Plants program. The manufacturer’s goal is to cut down its energy use by up to 25%. A majority of Solberg’s products are already made from renewable materials.

3. Bathmats

Designer Nguyen La Chanh created a natural moss-covered rug that actually grows interdependently with the temperature and moist environment of your bathroom.

The design takes “eco-friendly” quite literally, and offers a unique, quirky product that will make you feel good just by stepping out of the shower.

4. Sports Car Engines

Ford introduced the first popular commercial car with the Model T during the peak of the Industrial Revolution. Almost a century later, Ford is pushing the boundaries again by leading the charge in designing eco-friendly sports car engines.

The engine provides lower EPA emissions than traditional V6 engines, but doesn’t sacrifice the Mustang lineage’s legendary performance. American car manufacturers weren’t known for environmentally-conscious, innovative designs decades ago — something German and Japanese car makers masterfully executed — but Ford and even Cadillac are changing that.

5. Remote Controls

A Taiwanese student from Dong Hwa University designed an energy-efficient TV remote control after Sony launched a design challenge in China, Hong Kong and Taiwan. The program by the Japan-based megacorporation was inspired by the initiative to create more eco-friendly tech devices.

The student’s invention embodied everything great about the innovative technology trends of today: a sleek, attractive design married with environmental consciousness.

Its functionality is actually pretty simple. You wave the remote control around in different motions — as you would with a Wii remote control — that correspond with specific commands, such as turning the volume up and down.

What’s brilliant is the remote control is dependent on motion to recharge, which you can stand up in its center of gravity and sway side to side. A green LED light indicates its power level.

6. Pet Toys

West Paw Design manufactures pet toys using plastics from bottles and other reusable materials. The Bozeman, Montana company, founded in 1996, definitely takes the Three Rs seriously. They even reduce gas emissions from shipping trucks by producing up to 98% of their products in-house.

As you can see, the eco-friendly product revolution is still very much progressing forward.

In fact, the products above show it’s actually picking up steam. With new technologies such as 3D printers and cheaper solar energy parts, young designers and even established manufacturers have more resources to change the way we relate with our products, and the way products relate with the environment.

Image by PublicDomainArchive

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