Going green doesn’t have to cost a lot of green – but when you’re an environmentally conscious billionaire, it’s all relative, and half a million dollars might not seem so crazy for a bicycle. It’s hard for most of us to imagine paying this much money for eco-friendly flip flops, furniture, cars, houses and yachts, no matter how impressive their green features may be. Here are 14 of the most insanely expensive, overly lavish ‘green’ items ever put up for sale.
Eco-Friendly Flip Flops for $18,000
(images via: chipkos)
Cheap (and almost definitely not green) flip flops can sell for as little as $1. Can any eco-friendly iteration of this summer footwear favorite be worth a whopping $18,000? Eco-friendly shoe maker Chipkos apparently thinks so; it has partnered with artist David Palmer to create the world’s most expensive pair of flip flops. They’re… uh… colorful. But just imagine how many useful green gadgets that amount of money could buy. The good news is, a chunk of the price actually goes to the charitable cause of your choice.
$500,000 Damien Hirst Bicycle
(image via: trek bikes)
Bicycles are great. They’re one of the greenest ways to get around, save for your own two feet. But can you still call them green when they cost half a million dollars? The butterfly-covered Trek Madone bike by artist Damien Hirst is certainly pretty in a very pink, flowery kind of way, but it doesn’t fly, and it’s not going to make you breakfast.
The $14 Million Orchid House
(image via: lme architecture)
This unusually-shaped, nature-inspired home sold for an incredible $14.2 million in 2008. Known as the Orchid House, the residence is located at the Lower Mill Estate in the United Kingdom, a project that is turning a disused gravel pit into a 450-acre nature preserve. The home aims to produce more energy than it consumes, and is made from sustainable materials. The home was set to be completed by 2011, but there’s been no news or photos, so its status is unclear.
Palmer Johnson World Superyacht
(image via: super yacht times)
It’s hard to justify calling a luxury yacht ‘green’. They’re flagrant displays of concentrated wealth, and it takes an awful lot of fuel to lug them around. But the uber-rich are going to continue to buy yachts, so they might as well be a tad less wasteful. This ‘superyacht’ design from Palmer Johnson World uses the latest diesel-electric propulsion package from Rolls Royce, resulting in lower fuel consumption and reduced greenhouse gas emissions. Not only does it nestle its passengers in the kind of luxury only billionaires can afford, it has a security system complete with water cannons, thermal imaging and acoustic shields.
SOLo Solar Table for $14,000
(image via: intelligent forms)
There’s no denying that this is a cool table. Its surface is basically one big solar panel, and if it’s left for a year in a ‘typical outdoor setting’, it can store enough power in its built-in batteries to charge your cell phone 6,800 times or your laptop 168 times. Weatherproof and nicely designed, it has LED lighting effects and a built-in LCD monitor. One of its suggested uses is on a cruise ship, which gives you an idea of the kind of people who are expected to pay $14,000 for it (hint: the kind of people who can buy a PJ World Superyacht.)
Most Expensive ‘Green’ Car Costs Nearly $1 Million
(image via: rimac automobili)
You, too, can roll in the ultimate in eco-friendly luxury – if you have $1 million to spare on a car. The $980,000 Rimac Concept One is an electric sports car with a 1,088 horsepower output and a range of over 370 miles. Debuting this September, the Concept One goes from 0-60 in 2.8 seconds. Only 88 models are being produced, but it’s kind of mind-blowing to know that there are even 88 people in the world who can afford a million-dollar car.
Solar-Powered Private Floating Island
(image via: mpd designs)
Why mix with the dirt-smeared proletariats on real islands when you can lounge on your own private floating resort? The Solar Floating Resort is a miniature private island with an underwater observation room and an on-deck Jacuzzi. It’s covered in thin-film photovoltaic panels to soak up solar power, and it’s made from modular components so it can easily be transpired and assembled within a few weeks, ‘like a Lego.’
Eliica Eight-Wheeled Electric Car – $255,000
(image via: inhabitat)
If the Rimac Concept One is too rich for your blood, maybe a quarter-million dollar car is a better bet. The Eliica Eight-Wheeled Electric Car has a range of 200 miles and can go up to 230 miles per hour. The Eliica (Electric Lithium-Ion Car) aims to test the speed capabilities of electric vehicles, and the makers plan to manufacture 200 of them for individual use.
Acqua Liana $29 Million ‘Green’ Mansion
(images via: frank mckinney)
This lavish mansion attracted a lot of attention when it went on the market for $29 million in 2008, with the architect billing it an eco-friendly residence. Acqua Liana by Frank McKinney is a massive 15,071-square-foot house on 1.6 oceanfront acres in Palm Beach County, Florida. The house has a range of green features including solar panels that meet most of its energy needs, energy-efficient lighting that cuts electricity consumption by 70 percent and a water collection system that can capture and store enough rainwater from the cedar roof to fill a swimming pool every 14 days. That water is used in the water garden, and to irrigate the landscaping.
$25,000 Floating Bed
(image via: okooko)
Doesn’t this bed look relaxing? You can just imagine setting it into the water and letting that shade/sail catch the wind to take you away to the most luxurious and scenic nap you’ve ever experienced. ‘Float’, by Okooko, is made from natural latex, bamboo and wool and comes at a cost of $25,000.
Green Jet Sail Yacht
(image via: middies design)
There’s no price tag on this one, but suffice to say the vast majority of us can’t afford it. Erik Sifrer’s Green Jet sailyacht is navigated and controlled by a computerized sail system and has hydraulic motors that can hoist the sails to full height in 30-40 seconds. At night, the sails light up with LED lights.
$8 Million Luxury Eco Bunker
(image via: born rich)
UK soccer star Gary Neville put a chunk of his fortune into the ground, in the form of a $8 million eco-friendly bunker shaped like a flower. The building will have solar panels, geothermal heat and a wind turbine, supplying extra energy to the grid.
Tilapia Skin Manolo Blahniks for $895
(image via: born rich)
When you’ve just seen an ugly pair of $18,000 flip flops, $895 might seem like a bargain for a pair of Manolo Blahniks. And these are no ordinary luxury shoes. They’re made from sustainable materials including cork, raffia and the skin of tilapia fish, a byproduct of the food industry.
An $80,000 Toilet – With Good Reason
(image via: wikimedia commons)
A new storm-proof, eco-friendly toilet for a tiny island in Scotland will cost an unbelievable $80,000 – but this isn’t a case of people with too much money encrusting everything they come into contact with in diamonds. Built for the island of Handa, which is uninhabited for six months of the year, the toilet is so expensive because it must withstand gale-force winds and be installed with the utmost in care to ensure that it won’t impact the island’s sensitive native species. Protecting 500 adorable puffins (pictured above) is worth it.