This week at TreeHugger: We find Local Cooling, a free Windows program that "fights global warming from your desktop." Sort of. Sporting an aluminum frame & rims and 12-inch wheels, the convertible Mobiky Genius goes from bike to hand luggage in a mere three seconds. Want biodiesel? Have a cell phone? NearBio puts it at your fingertips, offering a free service delivering a database of more than 1,000 biodiesel sellers to mobile phones via WAP or text messaging. Lastly, Amy Youngs' "Digestive Table" gives new meaning to the term "dining table" — it eats the leftovers.
Representing the second piece of eco-software in as many weeks (does that mean it deserves its own category? Maybe more of a mini-trend...), Local Cooling "fights global warming from your desktop." Sort of. What it really does is read the device manager to find out what is in your computer and calculates the wattage you are consuming (but doesn't actually measure it) and then tweaks the settings of your power options — monitor, disk and shut-down — and gives you a running tab of how many trees you have saved by shutting down rather than leaving things on. It doesn't actually do anything that you couldn't do yourself with a quick trip to the control panel, but it's nice to see that you've save .023 trees by turning your laptop off during lunch.
The quickly convertible Mobiky Genius sports an aluminum frame & rims and 12-inch wheels that all fold into hand luggage quicker than you can say "commuting bicyclists' dream" (about three seconds). The scissors-like folding action is designed to let the wheels hang down, so, when not in riding mode, you can trundle the Genius along without needing to lug all of its 30 pounds all by yourself. The diminutive beauty comes complete with everything you see here: folding pedals, bell, fenders (mudguards), a carry bag and one accessory that seems just a trifle unnecessary: a kickstand. A suspension stem saddle is available as an option for those who want to take this hog off-road.
Working from the idea that more people will fill up with biodiesel if they knew where they could get it, NearBio combines cell phones with the transesterification of vegetable oils and/or animals fats to bring us a free courtesy. The company offers a handy service delivering a database of more than 1,000 biodiesel sellers to mobile phones via wireless access protocol or text messaging. NearBio takes your city and state, or zip code, or GPS coordinates and gives you distance, directions, address, phone number, blends and other facility details for the five closest stations. Think of it: you'll never wonder how far the nearest biodiesel station is again...whew!
Lastly, Amy Youngs gives new meaning to the term "dining table" with her "Digestive Table" creation that makes clean-up a snap, because it eats the leftovers. Lift the lid in the center and dump them in, and the worm composter takes over. The bacteria and sowbugs begin breaking down the waste and the worms join in to further digest it into a compost; when it's ready, it sprinkles out of the bottom of the bag that hangs beneath the table, ready to fertilize the plants or whatever you have waiting at the base of the table. And the best part? You get to watch it all, via an LCD in the top of the table connected to an infrared security camera. There's nothing like the convenience of watching TV while you eat.
TreeHugger's EcoModo column appears every Tuesday on Gizmodo.