Greatest New Green Products
Save Energy. Save Water. Use Natural and Recycled Materials. Here are some products we found at the 2008 International Builders' Show that will help you tread a little more lightly on the Earth
In drought-striken Australia, where wasting water is unforgivable, Caroma's Profile toilet features a faucet situated on top of the tank. After each flush, water pours out the faucet and into a recessed drain until the tank is refilled, giving you the chance to wash your hands and save water from going down the drain, just yet.
You can now get hot water for free anywhere you can mount a skylight using the turn-key collector kit made by skylight manufacturer Velux. This kit comes with a electronically controlled pump, two collectors encased in the company's weathertight frames, and a 60-gallon hot-water storage tank.
Fibertech's composite fencing is made entirely from recycled materials—plastic and cardboard—destined for landfills. And when the time comes to replace it, it can be ground up and recycled again.
When hooked up to a gutter downspout, the Rainwater Pillow can store up to 1,000 gallons of roof runoff in its rubberized cloth bladder. Just 10—feet square by 2½ feet high, it fits neatly under crawlspaces, where you can tap it to water gardens and lawns during summer dry spell. When emptied at the end of the season, it collapses into a small package for easy storage.
Here's a challenge: build a long-lasting deck using only wood—no preservatives, no metals, no additives of any kind. That eliminates most decking, but not PureWood's yellow pine. Via a method perfected in Finland and used in Europe more than ten years, PureWood takes everyday yellow pine and kiln—dries it at temperatures up to 482 degrees, making the wood unpalatable to termites, inhospitable to mildew, and exceptionally stable.
Made from a food-grade substance, Concrobium Mold Control kills mold without any harsh chemicals or a single volatile organic compound. Mold is encapsulated when sprayed, and as it dries, its spores are crushed and smothered. "It's like steppin' on a bug instead of killing it with insecticide," said our demonstrator—after licking it off his hand.
Al Gore Installed the Earth To Air geothermal heat pump in his house, boosting his energy efficiency beyond his greenest dreams. Compressed refrigerant pumps heat into his Tennessee home during the winter months and carries it out in the summer through a circuit of copper piping buried 300 feet in the ground.
It may look like a normal dishwasher now, but just wait until you see your utility bills. Bosch's top-of-the-line 800 series dishwashers, the most efficient on the market, use 190 kWh of energy per year. To put that in context, a dishwasher can use up to 330 kWh/year and still get Energy Star certification. Bosch has lots of fun facts touting their efficiency, but here's our favorite: "If every American purchased a Bosch dishwasher this year, the water saved would be enough to fill the U.S. Capitol Building 430 times."
The old commode is the biggest water consumer in your home, sucking over one fourth of the average home's H2O down the drain. Kohler's. High-Efficiency toilets, which use only 1.28 gallons per flush, reduce consumption by over 20 percent when compared to the average, 1.6-gpf standard.