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Biodegradable milk jugs

Add / Remove Designed and manufactured in Britain, Greenbottle is a biodegradable milk bottle that uses a smart two-part system to aid recycling. The bottles are composed of a cardboard outer manufactured from pulped, recycled cardboard, which is lined with an inner sleeve of biodegradable plastic made from corn starch. The plastic keeps the cardboard […]

Vintage watches into unique timepieces

Add / Remove A few weeks ago, we featured a British bicycle company that disassembles old bikes and rebuilds them into unique, customized rides. Yesterday, we spotted a US company that’s applying the same concept to high-end watches, turning vintage Rolexes, Kelberts and Rados into one-of-a-kind timepieces. Watch faces, backs and bands are replaced or […]

Soft drinks for the undecided

Add / Remove Taking the surprise economy to another level, Singapore beverage company Out of the Box caters to consumers who respond to “What would you like to drink?” with a non-committal “anything” or “whatever”. Two weeks ago, the company launched two complementary brands: Anything and Whatever. Anything is fizzy and comes in six flavours […]

Gyms for kids use gaming to keep them hooked

Add / Remove With growing concerns of childhood obesity, keeping kids fit is on the minds of many parents. Keeping it on the minds of kids may be more of a challenge. Fitness franchise NexGym seems to be on the right track with Exergaming—a hot new exercise concept that combines video game technology with calorie-burning […]

Crowdsourcing graphic design

Add / Remove Last week, we wrote about uShip, where customers post shipments online and shipping companies bid for their business. A similar approach is being taken by another venture we recently spotted. This time, it’s all about design. SitePoint, an Australian media company that targets web professionals, lets companies hold design contests and gain […]

Garbage into gold, via worm poop

Add / Remove Tom Szaky is passionate about worm poop. So passionate that he dropped out of Princeton to start Terracycle, a company that sells worm poop. Vermicomposting is the process by which earthworms eat, digest and excrete castings (aka worm poop). Water is mixed with the worm castings to produce a nitrogen rich ‘tea’ […]

Custom-blended teas

Add / Remove Get ready for fully personalized breakfasts: following customized cereal from Mymuesli, which we covered last week, comes Blends For Friends, a British company that sells custom-blended tea. As the name indicates, Blends For Friends are mainly ordered for others. Gift-givers are requested to tell the company all about their friend in question, […]

Indie music for kids

Add / Remove When parents hear the strains of their wee one’s favourite ditty for the hundredth time, their toes curl up. Most hadn’t realized that listening to a cartoon character singing the same song over and over would be one of the sacrifices they’d have to make as parents. Bryan Townsend, founder of Atlanta-based […]

Tour guides for virtual travel — Update

Add / Remove Last year, we featured a virtual travel agency that offers tours through the virtual world of Second Life. That agency, Synthravels, now has 5,000 volunteers offering themed tours focusing on everything from architecture to virtual love for sale. Three recent spottings reveal that other long-time residents are providing similar services. Since volunteers […]

Amusement park puts kids to work

Add / Remove Pretending to be all grown up may never have been as much fun as it is at Kidzania—an amusement park that gives children ages 2 through 15 the chance to try on up to 70 different career options and get a taste for real-world commerce in a pint-sized replica city. Kidzania offers […]

Solar-powered trash masher

Add / Remove The BigBelly is a solar-powered waste container that aims to eliminate those all-too-familiar overflowing trash cans, keeping public spaces cleaner and greener. The flagship product of US-based Seahorse Power Company, BigBelly units compact trash on the spot, optimizing refuse capacity — a BigBelly holds up to five times as much garbage as […]

Shipping marketplace capitalizes on intentions

Add / Remove In a nutshell, uShip is an online marketplace for shipping and moving. Customers with something to ship post a request on the website, and service providers bid for their business. uShip certainly caters to customers who have a truckload of furniture to move, but the concept comes into its own when a […]

Pop-up bakery

Add / Remove Bake sales are popping up all over the place in the Silver Lake neighbourhood of Los Angeles—and pinpointing exactly where and when is part of the fun. Billed as a “secret bakery,” Treat Street is a roving guerilla venture that operates out of a homemade stand that temporarily alights in a baker-friendly […]

Order online from local shops

Add / Remove “Bought locally, ordered online and delivered to your door.” That sums up what Poptotheshops offers South Wales residents. Poptotheshops, which was launched late last year, currently serves four high street areas, who each sell between 3300 and 4500 products using the internet shopping service. 292 shoppers have registered so far, and 36 […]

Mixed-to-order muesli

Add / Remove As much choice as there may be in the cereal aisle, nothing beats made-to-order, especially if you can mix and match 70 different ingredients. Which is what Mymuesli offers through its online cereal store. Using a simple and user-friendly interface, customers build their own personal muesli. First, they pick a foundation (oats […]

Crowd-buying a soccer team

Add / Remove We’ve written about the phenomenon of team buying, whereby consumers band together to negotiate good deals. A different kind of team buying is being initiated in the UK, where a large number of people will buy a sports team. MyFootballClub, which launched just two weeks ago, aims to buy a professional league […]

Pizza vending machines

Add / Remove One of the world’s favorite fast-food options just got even more convenient with Wonderpizza—the world’s first vending machine to serve up piping hot pizzas in less than two minutes. The Wonderpizza machine stands at about six feet high, six feet wide and three feet deep, and holds up to 102 pre-sliced 9-inch […]

Old bikes to unique rides

Add / Remove Of the millions of new bicycles sold each year, thousands end up neglected, abandoned or gathering dust in garages or sheds. British Specialbike has set out to change that by refurbishing old bikes with precision craftsmanship and high-end parts. The result? Sleek and stylish one-of-a-kind bicycles. Specialbike breathes new life into beaten […]

Gravanity dolls — Update

Add / Remove We featured gravanity dolls last year and the year before. It’s a concept that continues to spin off businesses, as witnessed by our most recent spotting from Sweden. TinyPocketPeople produces made to order dolls, based on digital photographs that customers upload to the website. The company was founded by two parents whose […]

Indie download cards

Add / Remove Bridging the divide between digital and physical, DiscRevolt provides a tangible solution for selling digital media. Artists upload songs to DiscRevolt’s website and design their own artwork for a plastic download card. The cards are then printed by DiscRevolt with a unique redemption code on the back. Artists sell the cards to […]