Rather than throw food waste down the drain, the Smart Cara allows households to turn food waste into reusable compost through a combination of processes such as heating, dehydration and grinding. The made-in-Korea gadget, which is compact enough to fit on countertops, is able to convert all types of food waste, either in cooked or raw form, into compost. "There is no sorting needed, and as it comes with a built-in carbon filter, the whole process is odourless," says Ivan Sei, chief executive of Ecoponics, the local sole distributor. The portable machine holds up to 1kg of food waste, and after three to four hours of processing, compost is produced. "Smart Cara uses very little electricity," says Mr Sei. "If you run it daily, it will cost you about S$5 a month in electric bills."
The LED Lantern S$540, from atomi at Mandarin Gallery, #04-27
This LED Lantern harnesses the technology of solar beads cell. The lantern uses a spherical micro solar cell that captures sunlight from all directions. The cell is different from the traditional flat substrate photovoltaic design and opts for a much more efficient shape – the sphere, allowing it to capture more sunlight than a flat shape. This is how it works: you charge the lantern during the day by placing it by the window. At night, when you need to use it, switch it on by turning it over like an hourglass. Its clean lines and compact shape make it ideal for use as bedside table light, or in place of tea lights on a dining table.
Crometta Showerhead From S$41.20, from Hansgrohe at 69 Mohamed Sultan Road
According to PUB statistics, the highest amount of water usage for an average household in Singapore is for showering. Hansgrohe's new Crometta range of showerheads come in an EcoSmart version which limits water to nine litres per minute, and there's also a Green version which limits water consumption to an even lower six litres per minute. The hand shower comes with a soft rain shower and a more powerful, intensive spray. The appeal of this hand shower lies in its 10-centimetre showerhead, its ergonomic handle, chrome finish and white plastic spray disc. Less chrome is used in its production, thereby conserving production resources.
Bittergurka Hanging Planter S$17.90 each, from Ikea at 60 Tampines North Drive 2
Growing your own food is also a way to live sustainably. This hanging planter allows you to hang your herbs by a window, then unhook, and bring to the table or cooking pot for fresh herbs with each meal. Alternatively, hook one hanging planter to the next by using the bar underneath, to create a vertical garden.
Pringles Lounge Chair S$1,028, from Folks at 85 Playfair Road, Tong Yuan Industry Building, #02-01
The green feature about Pringles is that it is made using walnut and oak that has been sourced from a sustainable farm, so for every tree that is cut, seedlings are introduced back into the land and trees are not harvested until they are mature. Design-wise, it is an inviting chair, encouraging users to sit back and relax in it. The dowels that are used to secure the back of the chair to its frame look like eyes. Chunky legs are intentional to provide stability and friendliness to the overall form.
Paloma II Reclaimed Wood Dining Table S$3,799, from Crate & Barrel at ION Orchard, #04-21
Made in Indonesia, this eight-seater dining table is the story of timber reclamation from around the world. Its distinctive base of precision-cut strips is handcrafted peroba wood reclaimed from homes in Brazil no longer in use. In organic contrast is a top veneer of Australian ironbark hardwood, reclaimed from Brisbane's historic Hornibrook Highway Bridge circa 1935. The table's striking base is hand assembled in a horizontal Prairie-style continuum, displaying a beautiful range of natural Peroba wood grain in dark and honeyed browns.
The Emeco 111 Navy chair is an example of how PET bottles can not only be turned into containers for plants, but into a piece of furniture. Furniture brand Emeco teamed up with Coca-Cola to solve an environmental problem: Up-cycling consumer waste into a sustainable, timeless, classic chair. The 111 Navy Chair is made from 111 recycled PET bottles, and its form was inspired by the aluminium 1006 Navy chair which was designed in 1944. Since its launch in 2010, over 21 million bottles have been saved from landfills.
Swiss designer Jonas Merian used to be a prosthetist but switched to furniture design in 2009. Now living in Shanghai, he turns unwanted items such as a kid's bicycle into a floor lamp, or old floor boards into a mahjong table. Local retailer Journey East carries Biscuit Box Lamps from the Jonas' Design label. These are table lamps made of old Chinese biscuit tins. The lamps can be switched on or off and dimmed by touching the tin anywhere.