A truly high-efficiency washer

This hand-powered washing machine is based on a salad spinner.

Green is all the rage these days, and nearly everyone wants to help out. But we're also fans of being clean, so it's not always easy to go green. Particularly if you're single, garnering enough laundry to run even a not-so-efficient small load means you have to buy a lot of clothes, or just wear dirty ones and wash them all at once.

Easy as 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. Core77

The Greener Gadgets conference recently showcased a product that tackles this dilemma head-on. The conference "invited designers to explore the concept of 'Greener Gadgets.' Designs sought to minimize the environmental impact of consumer electronic devices at any stage in the product life cycle."

And so was born the Laundry POD. The idea came from another kitchen product: the salad spinner. The designers learned that some women choose to wash their delicates in salad spinners. This started the wheels turning (sorry!), and they came up with the idea of a portable, hand-powered laundry machine.

The POD is perfect for small loads, delicates, and hand-washables. It wouldn't last 5 minutes in my house (with four kids, including two who are not fully toilet-trained; we do a lot of laundry), but maybe it would work in yours. The spinning action washes gently, rinses, and then extracts water to improve drying times. Take it with you on vacation, or make it a permanent fixture in your home.