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Twenty-Three Reasons Why I Love

Flavio Sauza, the Tokyo resident behind the GreenITers website, is like the dreamy excited guy at the party who is all over the next big thing

Posted on Sep 22 2011 by Michael Chandler

When I want to get an inside look at the amazing innovation happening around the world in service of a more sustainable future, I look to Flavio Souza in Tokyo. Souza curates a glorious collection of innovation news and images at his website,

Sauza has created an exuberant riot of inspiration. You won’t get a handle on it in a few visits, and interesting things do get deleted, so if you find something you’ll want to refer back to, save it on your hard drive or you may never find it again. While GreenBuildingAdvisor is practical and pragmatic, GreenITers is like the dreamy excited guy at the party who is all over the next big thing — except here they really do know what they’re talking about.

Innovative gadgets and electric vehicles

Here is the place to watch the huge explosion of innovation in Japan in the months following the tsunami. It’s a great place to find info-graphics that help make sense of complex changes in technology and global demographics. This is where I first became aware of the pollution impact of the global shipping industry and what was already being done to address that.

It’s the place to watch electric vehicle innovation, motor bikes, hybrid cars that can feed power to a house during a power outage, zillions of electric scooters, bikes, trikes, vans, trucks, and trains.

It’s the place to watch battery innovation as it spins chaotically on multiple intertwining streams of innovation and experimentation. It’s where I heard about growing solid lithium crystal anodes for improved battery performance rather than using a carbon-lithium amalgam. This is where I first heard of new sheet super-capacitors and their controller technology that could take the place of batteries in cars that would store energy in their body panels and embed the motors and regenerative brakes in the wheel hubs.

New applications for PV modules

It’s the place to watch solar generation components coming up that will even further reduce the embodied resource content of photovoltaic(PV) Generation of electricity directly from sunlight. A photovoltaic cell has no moving parts; electrons are energized by sunlight and result in current flow. modules and reduce the cost accordingly.

It’s the place to discover what is being done to make lives better for people who lack access to clean water and affordable transportation.

It’s a place that recognizes the inherent potential of even the craziest ideas, like little piezo-electric generators embedded in clothing, shoes, wrist bands. A camping stove with a USB plug in the end of the handle that generates electricity when you boil water to charge your cell phone or GPS over a camp fire after a natural disaster or even on a trek in the wilderness. Arboform wood-based moldable plastic. Photovoltaic lawn chairs. Carved wood cell phone cases (yummy). Bluetooth sunglasses with bone conductionMovement of heat through a material as kinetic energy is transferred from molecule to molecule; the handle of an iron skillet on the stove gets hot due to heat conduction. R-value is a measure of resistance to conductive heat flow. technology (I tried to buy one — Flavio offered to help me out, but it just got too complicated).

Innovations in waste disposal

It is a place that looks at the waste in disposable beverage containers and reports on all the myriad ways innovators are making headway in improving that situation.

It’s the place that reports non-judgmentally on goofy marketing schemes like window-mounted wind turbines in taxi cabs that can charge the customers cell phones as the taxi speeds them from the airport. And it calls out sexist marketing schemes like the solar bra and

And when you’ve had enough, it’s the place to find out about an urn for your ashes that will turn you into a tree after you die.

Thank you, Flavio, for all the inspiration over the years. Check it out: be inspired, innovate.

And, in a tip of my hat to the cool dudes over at the Architects Lounge, I'd like to offer a sound track for these 23 images, "The Beauty of 23" by Glory Fountain.

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