Karim Rashid has hit the market with a new product: The Iiamo Go, a baby bottle with a built-in warming mechanism.
Rashid, as you can guess, is responsible for the Pepto Bismol-ish pink accents and the wobbly, biomorphic shape. (Which kinda looks like a sex toy, right? I suppose that’s fitting–this being, after all, a post-sex toy.)
But the real ingenuity of the bottle is how the warming mechanism works: There aren’t any batteries, and there isn’t any electricity. Instead, it relies on a simple chemical reaction.
The base of the bottle screws off, allowing you to slot in a warming cartridge. That cartridge is loaded with both water and calcium chloride (a salt that you commonly find in ice-melting pellets). Turning the base breaks the seal that separates the two. As they mix, the calcium chloride absorbs the water and the ensuing chemical reaction sheds heat–enough to warm the bottle in four minutes flat:
The bottle costs $50, and the warming cartridges, which can only be used once, cost about $12 for six.
Iiamo is billing the product as a convenient, portable, and low-carbon alternative to your typical bottle warmer.
We’ll buy the convenience and portability–this thing’s genius, in that respect. But there’s a whiff of greenwashing here. Disposable plastic cartridges won’t make Gaia write a love letter to you anytime soon–and the calcium chloride isn’t exactly free energy. It takes electricity and gas to manufacture or extract the stuff.
The moral of the story: How often does “green” really involve buying more stuff?