Recycled Chardonnay bottles made into a bathroom tile-wall may be the most unique form of “smart-living” I’ve heard of yet – and maybe the only benefit to drinking heavily I’ve heard thus far.

The Chicago Museum of Science and Industry has built SmartHome, a 2200-square foot home on its grounds that will show visitors how they can work toward living more eco-friendly lives. The three-story home was ecquipped with LED light-bulbs, sustainable flooring made out of recycled products on the deck, a utility bike that, when the pedals turned, powered the television, a garden rooftop, etc.

The idea behind everything Matt ‘the hippie’ tourguide explained was that although these ‘smart’ items cost more upfront, they will pay off as they outlast the cheaper choice.

courtesy of Brian Jones of "Treehugger" website

courtesy of Brian Jones of

One interesting feature, aside from the excercise machine was the technology that connected “SmartHome” technology to the owner’s cell phone, allowing them to turn off lights, close the garage, turn down the heat, etc. from his/her cell phone if they forgot to do something. This is probably more in the area of expensive technology but seems like it would be great for securing someone’s home.

The exhibit is at the museum of Science and Industry through January 4, 2009. The home itself cost $400,000 to build on a piece of $300,000 property, including heating and electricity and all of the features (not furniture).

courtesy of

courtesy of