We're familiar with sustainable products in the green generation we live in--low-impact electronics, energy-saving appliances, and recyclable materials are the norm. But designers are always looking for ways to improve the technology of sustainability, to create even more efficient, far-reaching green products.

Here are 11 examples of sustainable product design, just a handful of the hundreds you'll find in the extensive 440-page book Product Design in the Sustainable Era, out next month.
Dell Studio Hybrid
2008, San Francisco, CA

Design: Dell Experience Design Group in collaboration with NewDealDesign

Dell's smallest and greenest desktop PC uses 70% less power than a typical desktop and meets Energy Star standards with an 87% efficient power supply.
Stax Chair
2008, Newport Beach, CA

Skate Study House
Created by Pierre Andre Senizergues
Designed with Gil Le Bon De LaPointe

Skate Study House uses recycled skateboard decks to recreate iconic pieces of furniture from the renowned post-war project Case Study House.
2004, Buenos Aires, Argentina

Deby Piwnica, Roberto Piwnica

It takes roughly half a millennium for rubber tires to decompose, so Neumatica turns the inner-tubes of used tires into fashionable accessories (that surprisingly don't cross the line into tacky territory).
Aquaduct Concept Vehicle
2008, Palo Alto, CA


In response to the overwhelming amount of people who don't have easy access to clean water, this concept was created to easily transport and sanitize water in developing countries. A pump attached to the pedal crank draws water from the large holding tank, through a filter, and into a smaller container, creating clean drinking water and saving valuable time and manpower.
2006, London, UK

Kleber Puchaski, Jorge Santos

This self-sufficient greenhouse grows herbs and small plants by using mineral-enriched solutions and a central heat lamp.
2009, Vancouver, Canada

Madeleine Shaw

If you really want to make an eco-statement, ladies, you can prove your dedication to the environment with washable menstrual pads. (Tip: Wash with like colors.) "Ew"-factor aside, the reusable cotton pads and liners have obvious far-reaching environmental benefits, are cost-beneficial at around $20 each, and may also be beneficial to your health.
One Laptop Per Child: XOXO
2008, Cambridge, MA

Yves Béhar, Bret Recor

The durable, energy-efficient learning tool has a five-year estimated lifetime.
Solio: Universal Solar (Hybrid) Charger
2005, London, UK

Better Energy Systems
Christopher N. Hornor (CEO/Founder); David Fowler

Three fold-out high-efficiency solar cells harvest and store energy for portable charging. The device can hold a charge for up to one year and can be charged from the sun, a USB port, or a wall outlet.
Help Remedies
2009, New York, NY

Little Fury
Scott Chapps, David Malina, Tina Chang, Esther Mun

Aside from their ultra-helpful product names when it comes to curing simple health issues ("I Have A Headache," "I Have A Blister"), Help Remedies' packaging is made of compostable paper pulp and corn resin.
Eco Coffins
2009, Cambridge, UK

Cambridge Graphics

Unlike chipboard coffins that release toxins when cremated or buried, Eco Coffins are made from 100% biodegradable recycled cardboard, layered to create a sturdy, eco-friendly alternative.
Voltaic Solar-Powered Bags
2008, New York City
Voltaic Systems

Voltaic Systems
Shayne McQuade

Lightweight, waterproof solar panels embedded into these bags can charge hand-held electronics or laptops just by taking a walk outside. A removable battery pack also stores extra unused energy that can be used when the sun goes down.