By Lisa Michaels
With our electronic gadgets creating tons of waste each year, it’s hard to imagine how adding another machine can help Mother Earth. In reality, however, inventors are getting into the green revolution too and high-tech products that are created from, powered by and good for the natural world are hitting the market.
From sun and water-powered devices to electronics made from renewable resources, here are a few examples of the environmentally friendly gadgets you’ll find these days.
Here Comes the Sun
Since the earth’s beginnings, the sun has powered life. Now it’s powering our electronics too.
The Freeloader doesn’t pull on the planet’s non-renewable energy sources but gets its juice from exposure to sunlight. After some time in the sun, the powerful rays absorbed by the Freeloader can charge up your phone, tablet or other devices.
In addition to being useful just about anywhere, the Freeloader is especially handy for camping, hiking or in other places where you might not find an outlet readily available.
Another device that can come in handy if you’re in a location unlikely to have electricity is the Sun&Cloud Camera. The Sun&Cloud Camera has two green charging options, in addition to a USB portal. There’s a small panel for solar powering and a hand crank that will power the device with just a little elbow grease.
Bamboo as Planet Savior
What if we could find a natural, biodegradable, fast-growing, renewable material that could be used for making many of the items we find so necessary to modern life? What if that material could also absorb greenhouse gasses, helping to clean up some of the mess we’ve already made?
Oh, wait, we already have! It’s bamboo!
By using this renewable material, everyday gadgets can be made in an eco-friendly way. For example, an earth-friendly external drive. The SimpleTech (Re) Drive has a casing made from bamboo and recycled aluminum. The aluminum also serves as a heat sink for the 500GB hard drive, meaning that it doesn’t need a fan.
Lower tech, but amazing in its usefulness and simplicity is bamboo. A piece of bamboo cut to about a foot in length, the renewable grass becomes a speaker when an iPhone is inserted into its docking station. The resonance within the hollow blade creates an amplified sound making it nature’s own speaker system.
When in Doubt, Recycle
You know the benefits of recycling range from reducing the amount of new non-renewable resources used to reducing the amount of garbage going into landfills. What’s news is the kinds of items you can get that are being made from recycled materials.
What if you could recycle your current facilities into a more usable office that was made from recycled and natural materials? The OfficePod does just that, allowing companies to reduce their large carbon footprints while providing a private, work-friendly area that can be constructed to your specifications within a day.
With the flexibility to create a meeting room, interview area, or home work area, the OfficePod is designed to reduce carbon emissions from your office by up to 67 percent per year.
Now that the workplace is out of the way, what about relaxing with some earth-friendly TV. From its packaging to its frame, and all the way down to its remote, the Philips Econova TV is a green device.
With the TV set arriving in a recycled cardboard box, smaller items are in paper bags – not plastic – inside the box. Recycled aluminum frames the TV, which uses about half the energy of other sets. Finishing off its environmentally conscious features is a solar panel on the remote so that the device can charge itself when not in use.
Water, Source of Life
With trillions of gallons of water available on the planet, water is technically a renewable resource and can be one of the cleanest power sources.
You can harness the power of your kitchen tap with the Bedol Water-Powered Clock. Serving as an alarm that is going to sound even if the electricity goes out while you’re sleeping, you power the Bedol by filling a tank with tap water. The ions in the water are then converted into energy.
Though it may be a renewable resource, less and less water is actually usable as more of it becomes polluted. Another alarming device, the Water Pebble, benefits Mother Nature by saving some of that precious resource and can help you save some money on your utility bills.
This small, battery-powered device is placed by your shower drain and measures the amount of water you’ve used. It alerts you when you’ve used half the amount of water allotted and then flashes red to tell you when you’ve used all you’re allowed and it’s time to turn the faucet off.
Thoughts for a Greener Tomorrow
Whether at home, work or play, environmentally friendly products give you the chance to walk a little more gently on the planet. As these examples show, devices that help the environment can also bring savings, convenience, and flexibility to you. As living green becomes more important to more people, you can expect additional options that make your life better while also protecting the natural world.
About the Author
Lisa Michaels is a freelance writer, editor and a striving content marketing consultant from Portland. Being self-employed, she does her best to stay on top of the current trends in the business world. Feel free to connect with her on Twitter @LisaBMichaels.