Friday Favorites: creative reminders to conserve


We’re posting things we like every friday. They’ll range from amazing dishes to jars of pickles to cleaning products to eye-catching graphics.  One thing you can be sure of is that they’ll all relate to our principal passions: food, beer/wine, and all things green, sustainable and design-y.

This week we’re highlighting creative ways to encourage conservation around the house.


A nightlight that goes to sleep when we do.

Book, bookmark, and light source elegantly work together in Mark, Serbian designer Damjan Stankovic’s geometric bedside lamp. Not only does Mark use LED bulbs, which are more efficient than their incandescent pals, it powers down when an open book is placed over it (see picture). Mark is still a prototype, but we think it’d be great for kids who resent their early bedtimes and secretly hunker down with a book in the wee hours.


A light switch that helps us clean up.

Leaving lights on in vacant rooms happens a lot. So does leaving a trail of jackets instead of opting for a hanger or coat rack. Scott Amron, Designer/engineer/award-winning creator of Amron Experimental, tackles both with a simple solution: the “OFF light switch”. It neatly fits over a light switch, fully functional, but presents the user with a choice: turn it off, and enjoy an extra hook for ones coats or scarves; or turn it on and enjoy a well-lit room. We don’t think of it so much as a provision of deprivation, but rather as an illumination of choice. Check out Amron’s other inventions, too. We’re especially fond of the fruit label that dissolves into produce wash when exposed to water.


A shower that keeps track of how much water we use.

No one wants to waste water, but we’re usually not aware of how much we’re using, let alone wasting. In response to the prompt “create concepts that bring awareness to the topic of global warming” issued by I.D. Magazine in 2007, IDEO designers dreamed up 13 solutions. On the topic of water conservation, John Lai and Afshin Mehin created “5-Gallon Jug”, a digital meter installed in the shower, that shows water filling 5-gallon jugs in real time. The longer the shower, the more jugs are filled, and the more visual impact this reminder has. The concepts have since been compiled into a booklet, part of the project “Designs On–”, which features innovative designs from the IDEO team on a range of topics. See the complete booklet on Global Warming, including 5-Gallon jug, here.

All images are copyright of their creators. Sources are in alt text.