The Guide to Highly Efficient Things
February 28, 2009 9:01 PM   Subscribe

Meta-efficiency is the analysis of efficiency at a more comprehensive level. Metaefficient Review assesses products considering not only their energy efficiency but also the embodied energy, toxicity, affordability, and usability.

In the architecture and building section you can find articles such as The Largest Building In The World To Be Green. The renewable power section includes information about Solar Canopies For Parking Lots that provide shade for customers, while generating up to a half-megawatt of electricity. New zero emissions electric scooter bicycles can be found in the transportation section.

Metaefficient has been at this for five years, so there are hundreds of articles and product reviews in the archives. Metaefficient is the brainchild of Justin Thomas.
posted by netbros (4 comments total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
It's very pretty, and there may be useful, deep articles in there, but it's a bit too Treehuggery; set up to be bought by a media conglomerate as a press-on green lifestyle solution. I think I see that ship on the horizon, but it's too far away to tell if it's sailing away.

I'm also missing quite what the author means by "efficiency"; I'm seeing very few studies into lifetime energy usages of products reviewed, but I am seeing a lot of recycled news releases. I mean, seriously; what makes this wi-fi detector, this power adaptor, or this neti pot efficient? How do they achieve maximum productivity with minimum wasted effort or expense, or prevent the wasteful use of resources? It's not obvious from the site.
posted by scruss at 5:03 AM on March 1, 2009 [1 favorite]

I dunno - for example, the post on the Aero Garden claims it's highly efficient and cost effective, but he doesn't say what he's comparing it to. It *might* be more cost efficient than buying imported out-of-season vegetables from an upscale supermarket, but it's certainly not cheaper than buying normal seeds and growing them in your yard or in pots. It's less time-intensive than garden growing, but more energy-hogging. What are his criteria?

I think there's probably some useful reviews in there (I'm interested in the best commuter bikes, for example), but I don't understand why he's decided to market it based on efficiency when there's nothing in the content about it. Or have I missed the good stuff?
posted by harriet vane at 5:57 AM on March 1, 2009

At least they're trying, I'll give 'em that, and tree-huggers like me, or at least those who would like to be if products like that were available over here, would like it. I especially like the transportation section, cos you see nothing like that over here. The luckiest you'll be is if you're driving behind a car that doesn't blow out smoke into your face and Blind You!

I was also going to get a packet of rechargeable batteries, and I'll see if these new ones are available over here--thanks netbros!
posted by hadjiboy at 6:54 AM on March 1, 2009

I was lured in by the name a while back. I have a bit of an efficiency fetish, and clearly "Meta" adds a certain cachet to anything you prefix with it. There were a few good bits here and there - a review of clothes washers, one time, or maybe some nice links to LED flashlights another. But it started to feel unfocused. Like others have noted, it seems to be "reviews of things that eco-friendly-web-types might like." And then he posted crap like this for a while, and I dropped it from my RSS feeds.
posted by whatnotever at 8:10 AM on March 1, 2009

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