Like a candle to a flame, sustainability breeds invention. From cutting-edge technology, to outlandish furniture, to politically incorrect decor, green inventions for the home are a hot commodity. But, in a sea of ideas, what jumps out? Here is a look at three pieces that made the chopping block.

Inflatable furniture

So, what’s the big idea? Furniture full of air means that it isn’t full of other potentially scarce or difficult-to-dispose material. The pros and cons are just as straightforward as the fact that the furniture is, very apparently, transparent, according to a very basic list of pros and cons by
• They are cheap. “You can get plain sofas for two at about $30, while the more jazzily printed ones could go up to $50,” the site brags. Even the large beds are obtainable at well under $50. • They are portable and easily stored. • They require no maintenance. No need to polish, wax or spray. Polyvinyl carbonate is also resistant to pests, fading and other wear and tear.
• They are delicate. If poked or hit by something sharp, a couch or bed will pop like a balloon. • They are light and do not stay rooted in place. Be careful, or the couch may scoot across the room as you plunk down on it. • The lifespan of the furniture isn’t very long. • As the list puts it, “They are considered inelegant.” Pretty straightforward — inflatable furniture looks like the plastic that it is. But, just because plastic furniture is cheap looking doesn’t mean that it can’t make a big statement. Sitting at the cutting-edge end of the recent reboom of the plastic furniture trend, Germany set the record for the largest inflatable furniture earlier this year. According to Guinness World Records, the record for the largest inflatable furniture was broken in Bremen, Germany, on April 14, 2009. The largest inflatable furniture has an internal volume of 28,287 feet³; and is 67 feet 3 inches long, 26 feet 9 inches wide and 26 feet 5 inches high! Mr.-Celsius-Christian-Malmdin

Organic light-emitting diodes

While record setting gives something buzz, sometimes something much less exciting is providing the biggest breakthrough in cool green technology. This is the case for organic light-emitting diodes (OLEDS). According to an informational fact sheet on, OLEDS can change the way that we watch TV. Simply explained, OLEDs are solid-state devices composed of thin films of organic molecules that create light with the application of electricity. OLEDs can provide brighter, crisper displays on electronic devices and use less power than conventional light-emitting diodes (LEDs) or liquid crystal displays (LCDs) used today. With this technology, the invention possibilities are endless. One jaw-dropping possibility — a high-definition TV that is 80 inches wide and less than a quarter-inch thick, consumes less power than most TVs on the market today and can be rolled up when not in use.

Character candles

An exciting new technology and a return of old furniture shows that the green movement is alive and well in the home sector. But, what is a story without the extremes? One designer decided that an exhibition showcasing a faceless Eskimo swallowing a slowly melting candle would help get the message across about global warming. Regardless of tactic or differences in tastes, the market for green decor is here to stay — though the fixtures may change.