and the Fukushima Plate!

Local online green-retailer makes it easier for overseas military personnel to afford eco-friendly goods

Making the best green gear even more affordable
On the heels of its first-place win as readers’ choice for Best Place for Green Gear in the CN&R’s recent Best of Chico poll, local online eco-friendly retailer announced that it is now offering free shipping on orders of more than $30 in goods going to APO/FPO military addresses.

“We support our military and their efforts around the world,” offered Greenfeet’s Valerie Reddemann in a recent press release. “While we have always shipped to APO/FPO addresses, by offering free shipping on orders over $30, it’s yet another way we can help our troops stretch their dollar and enjoy sustainable products wherever they may be. … Customers will see the new option of free shipping when checking out at the Greenfeet website.”

In addition to helping military members and their families save money, Greenfeet’s move also helps local friends and relatives of service members save a little when they send environmentally friendly care packages to their loved ones overseas.

Check out for lots of great ideas to green up (and brighten up) someone’s holidays—from pretty recycled-glass coffee mugs, to eco-friendly housecleaning supplies and personal-care items, to portable mini-greenhouses.

Radioactive roll?

Living with radiation
If I said something like, “Who’da thunk it?” I’d be lying, because it just seems kind of inevitable in the sort of postmodern, preapocalyptic world we live in that someone would come up with this invention: the Fukushima Plate.

Invented by a German design student named Nils Ferber, the Fukushima Plate is, as the U.K.’s Daily Mail put it recently, “tableware with its own built-in safety mechanism.” Or as Ferber describes it on his website (, “The Fukushima Plate is an ordinary kitchen plate with built-in radioactive meter to visualize your food’s level of contamination. It might become an indispensable tool of survival in the future.”

The plate, which looks like an ordinary dinner plate, features three embedded concentric, circular OLEDs (organic light-emitting diodes) that light up according to the amount of radiation detected in one’s supper. “Underneath the plate is a radiation meter that logs whether your sushi has absorbed too much seaborne radiation from the Fukushima disaster earlier this year,” said the Mail. (The user sets his or her own preferred levels of acceptable radioactivity.)

If no circles light up, your food isn’t radioactive. “One glowing [inner] ring tells you that there is slightly increased radiation coming from your food but nothing to worry about too much,” says Ferber, and two lit-up inner rings means “significantly increased radiation and your dish is not as healthy as it may look.”

If the outer, red OLED ring is glowing, beware! You probably don’t want to eat that particular plate of sashimi, nigiri or rolls.

Check out other clever inventions on Ferber’s website: His Kill Your Car project with two other designers in which they turned cars into “more useful things,” such as chairs; a sturdy, fat-wheeled bicycle; and a “narcissist’s mirror” made from six mirrors from one car. Also take a look at his bamboo Symbiosis machine, which is attached to a (fast-growing) bamboo plant and enables it to water itself.

“Modern technology/Owes ecology/An apology.”—Alan M. Eddison