Home  >  Magazine  >  Issue 23 : July/Aug 2008  > Columns  >  Eco Corner  >  Choices For Sustainable Lifestyles


Eco Corner

By Jake Reiner

Choices For Sustainable Lifestyles


Eco People Power
Commuter-generated Electricity

Weblink - www.piezo.com

JR East is trying to go eco-friendly. Piezoelectric elements in the floor at ticket gates can generate electricity as commuters walk through. By simply stepping on a piezo disc, a small electric current is produced.

They are now being tested at the JR East head office in Shibuya (4F reception area) and, once installed in train stations nationwide, the system could provide free energy. One small step for commuters, one great leap for sustainable energy.

Eco Fashion
Solar Bags

Weblink - www.noonsolar.com

Fashion and function come together again in Noon Solar’s line of beautiful bags with solar panels built in. More stylish than anything we have seen on the market so far, the satchels are made with chrome-free, vegetable-tanned leather and hand shibori-dyed hemp/cotton fabric with natural pigments. The flexible ultra-thin solar panel can easily recharge your i-Pods and cell phones. Look and feel smart.

Eco Ride
E+ Bike

Weblink - www.electricmotionsystems.com

The next generation of electric propulsion bikes is here. The E+ Bike, with a 20-40 mile range, top speeds faster than 30 mph and generative braking, gets you around town and up those hills with less effort than a traditional bike.

You can pedal when you have the power, and let the batteries give you a boost when you need it. Available on a front suspension mountain bike frame and a head-turning beach cruiser, these beauties may the best thing since the horseless buggy. Order online.

Eco Farming
Eden Farm School

Weblink - www.edenfarmschool.com

Looking for your own little space to grow some vegetables and plant a few fruit trees? No room on your veranda? The Eden Farm School on the foot of Mt. Fuji is only two hours from Tokyo and has beautiful farm lots ready for planting. They provide everything you need to get started, and the staff can teach you the basics so you can maintain your fields throughout the year.

Eco Skyscraper
The Lighthouse

Weblink - www.atkins-me.com

Dubai, with its cache of wealth and luxury, is often considered the epitome of waste and excess, yet some of the most innovative and sustainable designs in the world are being developed and built in this desert enclave. The Lighthouse, by the Atkins group, is a green skyscraper aspiring to reduce its total energy consumption by up to 65 percent and water consumption by up to 40 percent.

Three enormous 225-kilowatt wind turbines (29 meters in diameter), and 4,000 photovoltaic panels power the gentle spire. It also includes low water engineering, vertical gardens and some interesting energy recovery strategies.