10 of the Best Green Gadgets

When purchasing gadgets, some of us are very concerned about the impact they have on the environment. The 10 green gadgets listed below will keep many geeks happy, while still allowing them to be environmentally friendly. Most importantly, the following devices surprise with their innovation factor.

Eton Scorpion: Crank It Up and Stay Tuned

Most green gadgets rely on a single method of generating or storing energy (e.g. solar, hydrodynamics), but Eton Scorpion is certainly not one of them. This device uses both solar cells and a dynamo for producing the energy that is necessary. The product also has many uses, and since it has a compact form, it is able to save green geeks a lot of space in their backpacks when they go hiking.

First of all, Eton Scorpion features a digital AM/FM radio tuner. In other words, you will be able to listen to news and music anywhere radio signal is available. During the day you can leave the gadget in the sun to power up using the large solar panels and at night you can rely on the dynamo. The built-in LED flashlight is certainly an useful feature, too. Not at last, Eton Scorpion includes a USB port, thus allowing you to charge your cell phone on the go. It is available in two colors (green and orange) on the manufacturer’s web store for $50.

Samsung NC215: World’s First Solar Netbook

Forget bulky and heavy solar chargers and backup batteries! Samsung NC215S comes with a built-in solar panel that will allow you to keep the device up and running for a much longer period of time. In other words, Samsung’s solar netbook is at least theoretically able to blow the competition out of the water, in terms of battery life.

In what concerns the specifications of the device, there is not really anything out of the ordinary. The netbook is powered by a dual-core 1.66 Ghz Intel Atom N570 CPU which is paired with 1GB of DDR3 RAM and a 250GB HDD. The most important feature remains the solar panel which adorns the lid. According to the manufacturer, the netbook gets one hour of battery life for each two hours of sun exposure, fact that will surely be appreciated by the geeks who spend a lot of time outdoors or in places with a lot of natural light. Those who want it can order it on Amazon, for around $400.

Logitech K750: The Wireless Solar Keyboard

Logitech K750, one of the latest additions of the manufacturer to its keyboard range, brings solar energy into play. If you add to that the fact that it is wireless, then you will certainly realize that this device has “convenience” written all over it. The keyboard can be powered by any source of light, so besides sunlight you can also use lamps and even flashlights. However, turning on devices that require electricity solely for powering up the keyboard defeats the entire purpose of this eco-friendly gadget. According to the manufacturer, the keyboard runs for up to 3 months if left in total darkness after being charged. It is light (pun intended), thin and extremely comfortable to work on.

While this keyboard would fit perfectly on a desk, I see it even more appropriate for a HTPC. Its light weight and no need for batteries make it a perfect companion for such an application. The keyboard is available on Amazon for $59.99, which is $20 less than the MSRP.

Suntrica SolarStrap: Solar Power on the Go

SolarStrap is the product of Suntrica, a Finnish manufacturer specialized in eco-friendly gadgets. This particular one comes in several different varieties and in a great number of colors. Basically, you will certainly find a color to match (or complement) the one of the device you want to charge. The difference between the basic SolarStrap and the other models is represented by the power capabilities of each one of them. Depending on the device you are going to pair it up with, you can choose between:

  • Basic SolarStrap
  • SolarStrap for portable Apple devices
  • SolarStrap Freedom
  • SolarStrap High Energy Pack

Probably one of the things that you will appreciate the most in this gadget is its compact form. It measures 6.3 by 4.72 by 1 inch when folded and weighs around 2.3 ounces. If you connect an Apple device to it, you will get 8 hours of standby time or 19 minutes of talk time for each hour of solar charging.

Atomic Clock H2O: Water-Powered Timepiece

Using water to power up electronic devices seems to be the next logical step in the evolution of green gadgets. Atomic Clock H20 is a timepiece that only requires water (as the chemical formula from its name suggests) to function. As soon as the required liquid is added, the clock will start to display the time with a precision that will be envied by the competition of the manufacturer. Atomic Clock H20 communicates via radio waves with stations that in turn get the correct time from real atomic clocks.

To make the product even more attractive, the manufacturer also added a thermometer and a calendar to the mix. Not at last, geeks will also be able to use this green gadget as an alarm clock. It is already available for buying on many websites, so if feeding your clock with water sounds like a tempting idea, go ahead and buy it.

Eco-Pulse: Taking Electricity Hungry Devices to Checkup

Not only the name of this gadget, but also its shape and function make you think of a medical device. Resembling a stethoscope, Eco-Pulse has a simple, yet very important role: to measure the electromagnetic fields of your electronic devices. This way, you are able to discover power usage in places you would not have thought of before. After measuring up the power usage of all the devices in your home, you can plug the device into a computer. The Eco-Pulse software will show you more detailed statistics related to your power consuming habits.

At the moment, Eco-Pulse is still in the concept phase, but hopefully we will see it in a shop near use someday soon. The device was an entry for the 2010 edition of the Lite-On awards, and the fact that it is getting a lot of publicity should encourage the designer to pursue the mass production of the gadget.

Presso Espresso Coffee Machine: The Green Way of Brewing Coffee

Geeks who want to be green must do this from morning till night. If this implies that their coffee needs to be brewed in a green manner, then Presso Espresso Coffee Maker is the gadget to use. The water necessary for making the espresso is boiled in a separate kettle. After pouring it in the heat proof cylinder and filling the steel filter with your preferred coffee, all you need to do is to lift the lever arms, put the cup in place and lower the arms. The best thing about all this is that Presso does not require any electricity and is hence wireless.

Presso is available in the US for $150 and in online shops from several other countries at the equivalent of that sum.

Rectenna: Turning WiFi and TV Signals into Electricity

Rectenna (portmanteau of Rectifying and Antenna), is a device that is capable of turning WiFi and TV signals into electricity. For geeks who own routers and TV-sets this may sound just as a way of getting back some of the energy consumed by those devices, but in fact, it is more than that. The device could prove to be very useful when used in areas that feature a lot of hotspots.

Obviously, there is a lot of room for improvement in what concerns this gadget. Ideally, future versions of Rectenna would also be able to harvest energy from FM radio and GSM signals. In such a scenario, there would surely be a lot of Rectenna owners all over the world.

Green Box: A Gadget for Paper-free Conventions

Organizers of such events as conventions, trades and exhibitions will be happy to find out that there is a green gadget out there that can cut down the use of paper. Green Box, a device manufactured by ViridiSTOR, is a solution meant to make the aforementioned events greener. The solution is made of high capacity USB drives that come with the proprietary Presenter software and a Green Box that is used for downloading data from the ViridiSTOR cloud. That specific data is securely uploaded by exhibitors through a software.

When the visitors arrive, they receive USB drives on which they can download data pertaining to certain exhibitors. By making the transition from hardcopy to digital data, trade show management firms are able to cut the costs significantly, while also saving numerous trees.

Solarball Uses Solar Power to Make Water Drinkable

Solarball is a device designed by Monash University graduate Jonathan Liow as his final year project. Since it is estimated that only one eighth of Earth’s population has access to clean water, using such a device could actually save lives in certain areas. Even in civilized countries water may contain chlorine and other harmful chemical substances.

The principle on which this device works is that sunlight absorbed by the spherical case helps dirty water to evaporate. Through a condensation process, water vapors are turned into liquid, thus separating the contaminants. Once the condensed liquid is gathered and deposited, clean water can be drunk. Even though the device does not represent a premiere in any way, it has a more simple design than its counterparts. Because of this, using it is more intuitive.

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