You don’t have to be a card-carrying tree-hugger to take some simple steps toward a better environment. Whether you care deeply about air and water pollution or just want to cut your energy bills, the things you choose to use can make a difference.

ISRAEL21c looks at eight products designed in Israel that can help make a positive contribution to planet Earth.

GREEN HOME

Sensibo

The Sensibo unit for smart air conditioning works in any country. Photo: courtesy

Sensibo reduces energy consumption by controlling your air conditioner remotely via the free Sensibo smartphone app. It offers seven-day scheduling and reminds you to clean the air filters for maximum operating efficiency.

Plus, Sensibo turns off the A/C automatically when it detects that everybody left the house.

Designed in Israel and manufactured in China, the unit takes less than a minute to install, ships globally, and is compatible in every country with any voltage and power outlet. Sensibo synchs with Amazon Echo and Google Home.

HomeBiogas

The HomeBiogas system converts food leftovers and animal waste into natural biogas for cooking and into a liquid garden fertilizer. The backyard unit works best in warm climates and can turn the food waste of about five people into some 200 liters of gas.

Units have been installed in 70 countries, mostly in the United States, Australia and Mexico. The made-in-Israel system costs comes with tools and a detailed assembly guide.

HomeBiogas 2.0 debuted on Kickstarter November 2 and surpassed its $75,000 goal after three hours. It’s available for pre-order at $460, 40% off retail price.

GreenIQ Smart Garden Hub

Replacing your irrigation and lighting controller with GreenIQ’s Smart Garden Hub allows you to save water. The GreenIQ mobile app lets you create and control scheduling programs for each irrigation zone and automatically modifies your program using online weather data.

GreenIQ also controls outdoor lighting so you can save power by turning off lights remotely when not needed. It coordinates with “smart garden” accessories such as Flower Power and Vegetronix, and with home automation platforms such as Echo and Nest.

Smart Garden Hub is sold worldwide online and in stores in France, Italy, Spain and the United States. In the US, customers can get rebates from the Environmental Protection Agency because the product is WaterSense-certified.

SmarTap

SmarTap installed in a Tel Aviv home shower. Photo: courtesy

SmarTap digital shower system enables reduction of water consumption, energy usage, and smart monitoring and control via algorithms and cloud computing (IoT) for residential and commercial customers. You can control the intensity and temperature, auto-fill the bath and be alerted to leaks via manual digital controllers, smartphone or voice activation using Amazon Echo.

Sales are starting later this year in UK retail outlets. Meanwhile, SmarTap units are being installed in the Tel Aviv Sheraton following a successful pilot, and the product is being tested by hotels in London, France and Brussels. SmarTap won third place in the IoT competition at the 2017 4YFN conference in Barcelona.

ECO-CHIC ACCESSORIES

Havie

Archie and Denis Ryabko at work in the Havie shop in Tel Aviv-Jaffa. Photo by Or Kaplan

In this Tel Aviv workshop established in 2013, brothers Archie and Denis Ryabko upcycle old army gear, uniforms, tents and duffel bags into cool new bags, aprons, wallets, bucket hats and key holders. They ship worldwide.

“One of our biggest challenges and joys is searching for new and unique materials at supply stores or rummaging for hours through thrift shops and markets,” the brothers say.

“We love to discover treasured items that tell a story. There is a certain romance in finding someone’s initials handwritten on an old army tent or reading hidden messages scribbled in several kinds of ink. It makes us think of the lives and the adventures that these objects were part of.”

Havie was brought to our attention by the Green Prophet sustainable news blog.

Life Story Bio-Chic bag

Life Story’s Bio-Chic bag is biodegradable. Photo courtesy of Bram Industries

The Bio-Chic fully biodegradable shopping bag is made by Life Story, a subsidiary of Bram Industries in Sderot, and helped Bram win a spot on Fast Company’s 2016 list of 10 most innovative Israeli companies for “bringing sustainability to the plastics market.”

Life Story also makes disposable cutlery made from cornstarch and other products sold in American and European mega chains such as Target, TJ Maxx, Amazon, Bed, Bath & Beyond, Tesco, HomeGoods, Home Depot, The Container Store, GiFi and Carrefour.

ELECTRIC PERSONAL TRANSPORT

Until electric cars and buses are fully mass market, electric scooters and bikes are a good way to put fossil fuels to rest with the dinosaurs.

Inokim

Inokim subway. Photo courtesy of Inokim Israel

 

Inokim electric scooters are the green brainchild of award-winning product designer-engineer-entrepreneur Nimrod Riccardo Sapir. The lightweight folding e-scooters run on rechargeable lithium-ion batteries and charge up in five to six hours.

“It’s an Israeli mind export,” Sapir tells ISRAEL21c, meaning that he does the R&D and marketing domestically although the scooters are made by a Chinese company. Two new models are coming soon.

Inokim e-scooters are sold online and in stores in Australia, Austria, Canada, China, Czech Republic, Finland, France, Germany, Israel, Korea, Lithuania, Mexico, New Zealand, Romania, Russia, Singapore, Sweden and the United Kingdom.

INU

Coming to market in mid-2018: a folding lightweight e-scooter by Green Ride of Haifa. Equipped with an in-wheel electric battery, INU scooters will feature a phone dock, GPS and GSM, and will fold automatically upon receiving a voice command.

BambooBike

BambooBike City Solar model. Photo: courtesy

These bamboo e-bikes are made in northern Israel by women from minority and disadvantaged communities. They ship anywhere in the world. Serial entrepreneur Ophir Fromm founded the company to combine his engineering talent with his passion for cycling and making a social and ecological difference.

BambooBike’s several models are produced on demand, costing between $250 and $1,000. Fromm says they’re the only bamboo e-bikes with TUV SUD certification and a warranty. The bamboo is grown in Israel and other places, specially bred to be crack-proof.

The bicycle weighs just 15.5kg (including battery) and has double the range of most other e-bikes, according to Fromm.