Every now and then, creativity kicks in and my imagination starts running crazy ideas. Once, I thought about making a mini-JaBag (Jacket that converts to a bag) prototype since I noticed how puffy jackets seem to be a nuisance and takes up too much space when you're carrying it. But, I thought that this will probably require a big investment since you'll need to come up with your own new line of convertible jackets or outdoor apparel. Also, I was pretty sure that someone already came up with it. I looked it up and found this neat designer's website from Berlin - Dos Caras: http://myitthings.com/starx/Post/fashion/It_Thing/Convertible_jacket___bag/47724200720405831.htm
Now that's fancy! So, I decided to think about it economically. How about an accessory that has the same function but an add-on to your OWN jacket or bulky clothing? It can convert it to a bag or something functional when you're not wearing it. It'll be small, the size of a key-chain or a tiny coin purse, so that you'll have it with you anywhere and anytime you need it. It's also detachable that you can easily stick and remove it and use it with another jacket (e.g. detachable zipper, velcrow, button) but strong enough to hold the piece together. A good example of this application is this detachable magnetic strips product that I found, which you can use to temporarily shorten your pants ($30 at http://www.zakkerz.com/) by supporting its folds. The good thing about "detachables" is that you can build around them, too. They can come with other optional accessory (if you want to actually make more money of it) or they can come in a kit with a complimentary "pair" - one that you can easily attach or build in to your jacket. Well, it's exciting to think about it but that's as far as I want to talk about this idea at this point since it's still on my "future projects" list. I think I should look back on list and add my other ideas on this blog, such as my barcoded containers you can use in grocery stores to get items from food dispensers. The purpose of this is to stop generating unnecessary packaging and garbage from items we buy in the grocery store. We can bring our own container and the barcode label is something we print and used by the cashier to tare the container and weight the item in it. Other stuff that may come up in the future includes: wireless TV (no more cables and antennae, it'll be similar to how wireless network works), anti-EMF clothes, automatic paper mache maker, etc. There are couple of Tech / Innovation weblinks in my BlogRoll that you can check out and maybe that'll inspire you to come up with a more anti-global warming ideas.
As far as coming up with new, innovative products and ideas. I think that we should really come up with stuff that really works and benefits both the consumers and the environment. There are so much junk out there and only few are functional or useful. Some looks really great but are crappy and end up collecting dust in the garage. I'm a big fan of multi-functional, unique organizers that don't take up too much space, convertible and light products (from shoes to furniture), and the reuse-recycle idea (e.g. re-sewing or piecing together old clothes to design and make a new one or anything that you can definitely use - a stuffed toy, rag, quilt, accessories, scarf, tiny purses, art projects, etc.). For clothes, it's pretty much a matter of updating or reviving them back to the latest fashion. One time, I cut couple of inches off a shirt and added it to an old, shrunken shirt to add length to it. When I was in high-school, I dyed an old skirt, used old scarves as belt, and string together orphan buttons and beads to make a beaded curtain and to accessorize my dad's pillow.
The most exciting part of this is daring yourself to be creative. Just start snipping those old things, put some small holes, and run up old, colorful laces to piece them back to life! Kids always appreciate cute stuff and most of all, the time you spend with them. So, instead of buying them more useless stuff in Walmart, give them a project or work on one with them that can teach them to recycle. If you don't have the time, just make one and give it to them as a present (you can put a fake tag in it to make it look like you bought it, if you want).