Want to Play More Pokemon Go? Grab One of These Batteries

Pokemon / Apple
Pokemon / Apple

The Pokemon Go sensation that's sweeping the country is getting people to exercise, forcing them to learn the metric system, and restoring Pikachu's pop-culture prominence. Unfortunately, by keeping trainers' phone screens lit, it's also draining their batteries at an astonishing clip. While there are a number of tricks players have found for extending their phones' battery lives, from lowering their screens' brightness to switching off the game's augmented reality feature, nothing is as frustrating as watching your phone die while you're tracking a particularly elusive Pokemon. No Pokemon Go player wants to miss a shot at Ditto because their phone pulled a Snorlax and conked out on them.

If you really want to pound the pavement to catch monsters and incubate eggs, you're going to need more than battery hacks. You're going to need more juice. By picking up a portable charger or a charging case, you'll be able to quickly top up your battery while you're on the hunt for that elusive Mew. Grab one of these gadgets and watch your Pokedex fill up.

Mental Floss has affiliate relationships with certain retailers, including Amazon, and may receive a small percentage of any sale. Good luck Pokemon catching, and let us know if you spot Vaporeon.

1. ANKER POWERCORE+ mini 3350mAh, $19.99

Anker's tiny charger packs enough juice to fully charge an iPhone 6 into a package the size of a lipstick.

Find it: Amazon

2. ANKER POWERCORE 5000, $21.99

The Ivysaur to the previous entry's Bulbasaur, this cylindrical charger is a little larger, which gives it enough oomph to charge an iPhone 6s twice.

Find it: Amazon

3. X-DRAGON 10,000 mAh DUAL USB SOLAR POWER BANK, $18.99

Any trainer who has been playing Pokemon Go long enough has probably dreamed of leaving the grid and heading deep into the forest to spend the rest of their days amassing an army of Vileplume. The only major hurdle? Keeping your phone charged where there aren't outlets. X-DRAGON's charger harnesses the power of the sun to keep your devices up and running.

Find it: Amazon

4. ANKER ULTRA SLIM EXTENDED BATTERY CASE, $42.99

If you're looking for a more streamlined solution to your power woes, review site The Wirecutter raves about Anker's battery case, which can boost an iPhone 6 or iPhone 6s's battery life by 120 percent. It's slim enough that it won't affect your Pokeball tossing skills.

Find it: Amazon

5. ANKER A127 20,000 mAh PORTABLE CHARGER POWERCORE 20100, $55.99

If you're going to try to catch enough Magikarp to evolve into a Gyarados in a single Pokemon Go session, you're going to need patience and a lot of battery life. Anker's bigger charger only weighs as much as a can of soup, but it's capable of fully charging an iPhone 6s over seven times. Better yet, since it's got dual USB ports, you can lend a little juice to your fellow trainers.

Find it: Amazon

BONUS: MAKE YOUR OWN

If you want a battery that matches the Pokemon theme, consider making one yourself. This handy DIY guide will show you how to make a battery that houses your phone and looks just like a classic Pokedex. Paired with a trainer hat, it'll be like you're really in Kanto.

Find it: SparkFun

These Modern, Minimalist Cremation Urns Double as Planters

C.C. Boyce
C.C. Boyce

Cremation is becoming an increasingly common end-of-life plan, but many have lamented the lack of options when selecting an urn to store their loved one's ashes. Many of these vessels take the form of drab-looking vases that, for some people, serve as reminders of a painful event.

That’s why C.C. Boyce stepped in. The Los Angeles-based designer and woodworker created a collection of “planturns”—urns that double as planters—to fill a gap in the market.

“A while back a friend’s father passed away and they couldn’t find a cremation urn that they liked, so they asked me to make something, and I did, thinking this would just be a one-off custom job,” Boyce said in a video uploaded to Kickstarter. “But when I posted the final product to Instagram, I was flooded with messages from people all across the death care industry—people who took care of pets as well as people.”

Plant urns
C.C. Boyce

Some wanted an urn with a more modern aesthetic, while others wanted a subtler piece that would effortlessly blend with their household decor. The symbolism of death fusing with new life has not gone unnoticed, either.

Boyce spent a year experimenting with different designs and settled on two styles: one that comes in speckled maple, and another that comes in a two-toned walnut and sycamore. All of the vessels have two parts that attach via magnetic pull, so even if the planturn gets knocked over, the ashes will still be safe and sound.

The bottom part contains a hand-waxed muslin bag to store your loved one’s cremated remains, and the top part features a glass or ceramic holder for your plant of choice, whether it’s a succulent or air plant.

They come in three sizes, which will vary in accordance with the amount of ashes you want to store. A small planturn is suitable for small pets, while a large can hold the ashes of a person. Get it on Kickstarter for $225 to $500, depending on the size.

Celebrate Earth Day With 7 Eco-Friendly Fashion Options That Won't Pollute the Planet

iStock.com/lolostock
iStock.com/lolostock

Fashion is one of Earth’s most resource-intensive, environment-polluting industries. Manufacturing clothing requires vast quantities of water, international transport, and labor—and after all that, clothes regularly get thrown away after just a few months or years. (In part because recycling fabric into new textiles is very difficult.)

But that doesn’t mean that you need to become a nudist in order to save the Earth. There are plenty of clothing companies that take their environmental impact very seriously, using recycled and organic materials and trying to minimize the carbon footprint of their supply chain and manufacturing process. This Earth Day, take a look at some of the clothing that allows you to feel good about looking good.

1. Ralph Lauren Earth Polo

While it’s easier to find eco-friendly clothing at outdoor and sporting retailers, some mainstream fashion companies are getting in on the trend, too. Ralph Lauren just launched its first polo shirt made of recycled material—the Earth Polo. Available for both men and women in four different colors, the shirts are made with fabric derived from plastic bottles. Though they look nearly identical to the company’s regular styles, each Earth Polo is made from approximately 12 recycled plastic bottles. And to reduce water pollution, the colored fabrics are dyed with a process that requires no water.

Buy it from Ralph Lauren for men and women for $90.

2. Madewell Second Wave Swimwear

Madewell launched its first sustainable swimwear line in February 2019, meaning that you can feel a little less guilty about ocean trash while frolicking at the beach. Made from recycled plastic bottles, Second Wave swimsuits are available in two-piece or one-piece designs in a variety of colors and patterns. According to the company, the one-piece suits incorporate material from eight used plastic bottles, while its separates are each made from two plastic bottles. (In other words, if you want to save the environment, cover up!) We like the simplicity of this $80 red one-piece suit, but there are plenty of options to choose from starting at $45 per piece. Sizes run from XX small to 3X.

Buy it at Madewell for $45 and up.

3. PrAna Shirts

The California-based clothing company prAna is all about sustainability, from its materials to its manufacturing to the composting program at its headquarters. It makes pieces with organic and recycled materials and participates in fair trade and bluesign certification. You can filter items in its online store based on whether it’s made with recycled content, and there’s a lot to choose from, whether you’re looking for something to wear to the office, the beach, or yoga class. The Iselle t-shirt line for women is made with 92 percent recycled polyester and 8 percent hemp (which requires fewer pesticides and less water to produce than cotton), and comes in short-sleeve (left), long-sleeve, and tank designs. For men, the Transverse line of shirts is made with 95 percent recycled polyester and 5 percent hemp. There are also dressier options—the Merger button-down shirts (right) are made with 44 percent recycled polyester, 53 percent hemp, and 3 percent spandex.

Buy it from prAna.

4. Patagonia Stretch Rainshadow Jacket

A navy blue Patagonia jacket
Patagonia, Backcountry.com

Patagonia’s Rainshadow jackets are designed to keep you dry but cool during summer showers or while you’re working hard. The latest version of the design—which is fully waterproof but still breathable—is made with ECONYL, a recycled nylon made from discarded materials like abandoned fishing nets. ECONYL’s manufacturer estimates that the material reduces the climate change-related impact of nylon by up to 80 percent compared to new construction made from oil.

Buy it from Backcountry.com for men and women for $200.

5. Mammut Convey Recycled Down Jacket

Down-filled jackets are a reliable way to stay toasty during the cold months, but you may worry about the impact your outdoor adventures have on the ducks and geese that serve as the source for your jacket’s filling. Many outdoor retailers are switching to recycled down, which repurposes down from used bedding, cushions, and other items that would otherwise end up in the landfill. Mammut’s Convey is one of the best puffy jackets for cold weather, according to Popular Mechanics, and its 700 fill down comes from recycled sources.

Buy it from Mammut for men and women for $200.

6. Decathlon Fleece

Decathlon, a French mega-retailer that’s essentially the IKEA of sporting goods, makes a number of jackets, shirts, and pants using recycled polyester and other eco-friendly materials. (It’s also dedicated to reducing any unnecessary packaging.) The company just launched its first U.S. store in the Bay Area, and is rolling out its online store nationwide. If you’re looking for gear made with recycled materials, head to the fleece department—it its lightweight Forclaz 50 fleece jackets are made with 100 percent recycled polyester. The company also manufactures plenty of warm-weather gear with recycled materials, too, like its TREK 500 t-shirts (available for men and women) and flip-flops, all made with a majority, if not 100 percent, recycled materials. Oh, and did we mention that everything is dirt cheap?

Buy Forclaz 50 fleece jackets from Decathlon for both men and women for $5.

7. Pacsafe ECONYL Backpack

Recycled fabric isn’t just for clothing. A number of retailers also use sustainable textiles to make accessories. Pacsafe, which makes secure bags designed to keep your stuff from getting snatched while you’re traveling, makes a line of anti-theft bags designed with ECONYL regenerated nylon. The carry-on backpack has all the same security features as the company’s other products—cut-resistant straps and fabric, locking clips and zippers, and more—but it’s made with recycled materials. And all the profits from the line go to the Turtle Fund, the company’s conservation effort aimed at helping endangered sea turtles.

Buy it from Pacsafe for $130.

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