Biodegradable pots by Ecosource ($3.99 to $9.99 are made of pulverized bamboo and held together with starch. They’ll beautify a windowsill or garden for two to three years; when they start to show wear, break them up (to speed decomposition) and toss them onto a compost heap. They’ll biodegrade in four to six months and provide a nutrient-rich addition to the soil. Other Ecosource pots, made of rice hulls ($4.99 to $19.99), have similar properties but last about five years. Available at Johnson’s Florist & Garden Centers, American Plant, the Greenhouse at Washington National Cathedral, and other stores.
Step on this white disk and water shoots up from the perimeter. This Austrian-made outdoor shower ($1,302) connects to a standard half-inch garden hose with a Gardena attachment (available for a few dollars at hardware stores). The disk, made of nonslip plastic, is a little more than 30 inches wide. Your weight on the disk determines how high the water will go—low for a small child, high for a tall adult, but over the heads of both. Available through viteo.com; click on “products,” then “fresh design,” then “shower.”