five non blondes

Greener Gadgets Competition
January 9, 2008, 9:57 pm
Filed under: environmental issues, savvy tools


Core77 and the Greener Gadgets Conference in NYC are sponsoring a design competition to come up with new products that keep sustainability in mind.  Specifically, they’re judging on energy, materials, life cycle, recycling, and social & educational development.  See details here: We’ve decided that our drill would be perfect for the competition.  We’re still in the process of re-evaluating the design from what it was 2 years ago, so it’s going to be pretty difficult to make their January 26th deadline, but we think it could be just the push we need to get things going and also get some good exposure. 

Here are some of the sustainable changes we’re proposing:
1. All materials that go into the tool should be made from recycled materials
2. The tool itself is easily taken apart for ease of repair and ease of recycling individual components
3. Reducing the number of compound materials within the tool (they’re very difficult to recycle)
4. Using lithium ion batteries instead of nickel-cadmium or Nickle Metal Hydride.  Both NiCad & NiMH are toxic substances that can leach into landfills harming soil and water sources if not disposed of properly, incinerating them is an even bigger hazard, yet most people throw them away in their household garbage.  Lithium ion batteries are safer for the environment, last longer, and are lighter weight.
5. Creating a battery charger that is solor powered . (We’ve been checking out www.mysoldius.comwhere they make many cool solar panel chargers for phones & ipods.  They’re about to introduce one for laptops, so why not one for a battery charger?)  It obviously takes more time to charge this way so we feel like we should still provide means to plug the charger in for a quick fix, but why not plan your project ahead and leave it charging in your window all day while you’re at work, or leave it out after you finish up a project so it’s ready the next time around?
6. Reduced packaging that serves a purpose- Use cardboard that unfolds and has a DIY project plan printed on the other side so you can make something simple with your new drill. Or has more information about the threats posed to the environment and a couple suggestions that we as consumers could easily do to make a difference.

We’re always looking for new materials & suggestions, so let us know if you know of any other sustainable features we should be adding or new materials on the market.  I’ll be sure and post our final entry too at the end of the month.

Rebecca, San Francisco


1 Comment so far
Leave a comment

I think what you gals are doing is great. I love that you are adding the concept of sustainability to your tools. By doing this you are making a great product even better. Consumption and waste in this country has become a big problem, I applaud you on your efforts.

Love the Blog.
Keep up the good work!

Comment by Jason

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