EcoModo - The Best of Treehugger

Illustration for article titled EcoModo - The Best of Treehugger

This week at TreeHugger: We took a break from watching global warming videos entered in the Convenient Truths contest long enough to find some other good green stuff, like a convenient how-to guide to building a greener PC. We've seen several energy management devices, but none that have looked as good as the Behouden wall clock/power display that reads the electrical consumption of your house and displays it in kilowatt-hours and pounds sterling. It is even made from fully recycled and recyclable materials. Microsoft's Vista is off and running, and taking a beating in green circles: Brits think it's too expensive and Greenpeace says it's going to generate mountains of e-waste by trashing at least 10 million PCs with its heavy hardware requirements. Sounds like it's time to install Linux. Lastly, TreeHugger loves multifunction furniture and designs that take up less space, so we just had to show this integration of a 15" TV/DVD player with a 1200 watt microwave oven. Never wait for commercials to get the popcorn again.

The guys at Extreme Tech decided to take a shot at building their own green machine, taking care to address both energy efficiency and hazardous materials. They grabbed a green power supply suitable for expansion to a bigger system in the future, all lead-free components, and even found that in many cases, the greenest components were more powerful than many less green options, because they're newer and more efficient. The end result isn't the greenest, most efficient machine we've ever seen, but it's extremely flexible, making it useful from just about anyone from gamers to bloggers to casual users with a few modifications, and shows that every computer user can have a green(er) machine.

We have shown a number of energy management devices over the years; most are utilitarian and without much thought to how they look. British designer Thomas James Owen proposes the Behouden wall clock/power display - it reads the electrical consumption of the house and displays it in kilowatt-hours and pounds sterling. It is made from fully recycled and recyclable materials.

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Microsoft's Vista is taking a beating from all sides. Brits think it's too expensive. Greenpeace says it's going to generate mountains of e-waste by trashing at least 10 million PCs with its heavy hardware requirements. It's tough to virtualize. And, based on the 10 billion dollar investment and dismal sales, some think it will be the last operating system ever produced for profit. We guess that puts the term "upgrade" in a whole new light, maybe "lastgrade" might be better. Our idea: why don't you try what this guy did to his dad; upgrade your users to Ubuntu and tell them that it's Vista? We're guessing you'll get twice the life out of your machines, and that's a good thing.

Lastly, TreeHugger loves multifunction furniture and designs that take up less space, so we just had to show this integration of a 15" TV/DVD player with a 1200 watt microwave oven. Designed for HE (Holland Electric) by Marcel Wanders, who decorates all of the items on his website with animals, hence the chicken. It's no high-def plasma screen, but at least you won't have to wait for commercials to get the popcorn.

TreeHugger's EcoModo column appears every Tuesday on Gizmodo.

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