High-tech gadgets make your life easier but Mother Earth’s life much more difficult. Modern electronics are typically made of a variety of constituents, such as lead, cadmium, nickel and mercury, which pose risks to the environment and human health once their useful life is over. There are gadgets, however, that save energy and also reduce the amount of harmful materials used in manufacturing them.
Solar-powered window sockets
Harness the power of the sun for a green gadget that can keep you productive while on the go. For example, you may be in the middle of creating a website through WebHostingBlueBook.com, but if you’re traveling through airports, it can be difficult to find an open power outlet. A solar-powered electric outlet will allow you to plug in your tablet and soon be making those site updates. The product is easily used with any full-light window and works by converting sunlight into electricity to power your device. Created by designers Kyuho Song and Boa Oh, this green gadget isn’t on the market quite yet, as its developers are working to improve storage capacity. But watch for this one to transform on-the-go productivity for busy business travelers. In addition, it can be used at home as a no-cost electricity source.
Headphones with a conscience
LSTN Headphones’ unique look stems from their manufacture from wooden furniture that would otherwise be thrown out by furniture companies around the world. But these wooden headphones are not only distinctively green, a portion of sales will go toward charity partner Starkey Hearing Foundation, which provides hearing aids to underprivileged children suffering hearing loss. The headphones range in price from $50 for ear buds to $150 for the top-of-the-line headphones.
Solar-powered bags and backpacks
BirkSun is a new West Coast company offering solar-powered backpacks and bags that can help you carry all your other green gadgets in style while on the road. Unlike some solar-powered backpacks, the BirkSun model is designed to look much like any other backpack with its smaller, efficient solar cell. For $150, the bag features a 4.5-watt solar panel, enough to charge your phone, tablet or other device.
Amplify your iPhone
Without benefit of batteries, power adapters or other power sources, the AirCurve Play by Griffin will increase the speaker of your iPhone by 10 decibels, vastly improving its suitability for audio and video conferencing while you’re away from home. This former Time Green Design 100 winner is available for $19.99 from the manufacturer’s website.
Solio manufactures an entire line of products designed to keep your smartphone, tablet, e-reader and other electronics operating, even when you are off the grid, or the grid fails you. In addition, Solio offers a USB-rechargeable line of outdoor products, including action cameras, GPS watches and water purifiers for the adventure seeker. You are able to charge your device on the go without having to look for an outlet, and Solio products can store energy up to a year, so the products can double as emergency preparedness kits. Solio products are carried by Sprint, Radio Shack, Amazon and numerous outfitters.