Air conditioners aren't exactly known for being particularly environmentally friendly, but during a scorching summer we're all happy to turn a blind eye. Not Thibault Faverie, though. Perhaps racked by guilt, he's created the Cold Pot, a simple terracotta device that can cool a room using just evaporating water.

The porrous terracotta pot—the same material you'd plant flowers in—absorbs water from a two liter reservoir on the inside which seeps through to the outer surface and then evaporates. In the process of the H2O turning from a liquid into a gas, the terracotta, and an aluminum pipe on the inside, dramatically cool down. And a quiet electric-powered fan on the inside circulates air past that cold pipe and out into a room.

Don't go tearing your AC unit out of the window just yet, though. The Cold Pot was created by Thibault while at ECAL University in Lausanne, Switzerland, and there's no indication he plans to put it into production. But while he might own the design, he doesn't own the simple science behind how it works. So there's no reason you couldn't hack together a similar contraption on your own. [Thibault Faverie via HomeCentrl]