Top eight planet-saving gadgets for Earth Day – don't be mean, be green

Energy systems, Top Fives, Top tens

earth-day-2008.jpgIf you are as yet to navigate to the Google homepage today, you may be unaware that it’s Earth Day today. Happy Earth Day everyone!

Earth Day is a day as old as the hills – even older. It’s as old as the mud the hills are made from. Earth Day started back in ancient Egypt when the villages on the banks of the Nile would celebrate the annual floods which brought silt deposits to fertilize their land.

In celebration, the villagers would throw the mud at one another in joy and to this day people still mark the event with the giving and receiving of pieces of earth.

Actually, that’s a complete lie but it was a nice story, wasn’t it? No, Earth Day is about awareness of the environment as started in 1970 by a gentleman named Gaylord Nelson and to do our part at Tech Digest we’re going to look at the best Earth-saving gadgets that money can buy.

SolarRoll-laptop.jpg1.)SolarRoll – is one of the best for my money. Not only does this little bundle of joy save the planet, it makes your laptop oh-so-much-more portable. I’ve managed to ghost the battery on my Dell to death. It uses the mains like a life support machine.

The SolarRoll comes in three different sizes of sun-harnessing rubber depending upon what device you want to power, which can be anything from a mobile phone to your computer. They start at a not-too-cheap US$220 and go up to a blimey-I’m-broke US$484 but you’d be the envy of all mobile laptop users and have a very clean conscience. if you don’t fancy shelling out the mega-bucks, you could always go for the more specific…

strap-ya-solar-battery.jpg2.)Strap-Ya – which is a wee mobile phone charm that is itself a solar cell. The Strap-Ya isn’t designed to power your phone full-time but it’ll certainly keep you going till you get home and you can even charge it up at the mains to act as a back-up in case it’s a very cloudy day out there. The downside – and you may have guessed this from the silly name – is that it’s only available in Japan. Ah well.

Of course it’s not just energy we need to save and with it oft said that the future wars will be fought over water, you may want to invest in a gun or…

hippo-water-saver.jpg3.)Hippo – yes, I’m serious and no, I’m not suggesting you squash one of Africa’s biggest killers into your cistern in Kettering. The Hippo I’m talking about is a polyethylene bag which you pop under the float in the back of the toilet. It traps a certain amount of water and stops it from draining away when the cistern flushes out.

It saves 33% of the water in your loo, it has a life time guarantee and they come in packs of three for a dirt cheap £7.99 – a must if your water supply is metered. But if you want to try something even more radical with your porcelain how about…

wasup_concept.jpg4.)Wasup: toilet-mounted washing machine – just a concept, those absolutely horrified will be pleased to hear, but the idea is that the Wasup decants your used washing machine water into your toilet for all your subsequent flushing needs, and that’s a very sensible idea considering that just four or five flushes uses up the entire water allowance that the UN deems the minimum necessary for survival.

What’s more this is a damn good space saver. The only problem is it looks ridiculous and I’m absolutely positive I’d be dropping socks into the bog on a daily basis. Let’s hope I’ve already flushed.

It always winds me up that we, the consumers, have to feel like terrible people if we’re not trying to recycle our own heads and buy renewable microwaves yet businesses on the street happily blast hot air out of their open shop doors in the middle of winter. So, I was thrilled to see…

5.)Revolution revolving door – Pretty simple idea here of fitting a charger on to revolving doors of a busy office and you may just be able to harness enough energy to power the rest of the building. Although you might have to order a lot of couriers to make sure it’s in good use outside of lunch and the rush hours.

Wattson.jpg6.)Wattson – This sleek looking device isn’t going to save energy on its own but together you and your Wattson could just make the greatest Earth-saving team in the history of man. Wattson tells you how much energy you’re using by communicating wirelessly with a small sensor you clip around one of the wires from your fuse box to your meter. It’ll glow a placid blue while energy consumption is low but changes colour up to a furious red should you test its patience with the hoover, the washing machine, the hair dryer, the TV, the radio, the dishwasher and the electric ear cleaner all at the same time.

Wattson comes in at £155 but will probably save you that in the first year alone. It even comes with software for you to connect to the online Wattson community, eco-geeks that they are.

headlight_shoes.jpg7.)LED headlight running shoes – Ok, so I’m not sure how these are going to save the environment but they might just save your arse and they look really good as well. The headlights in these cool little concept kickers are powered by the action of your feet, so if you’re crazy enough to run when we’re all asleep and it’s still night time, then they’ll keep you safe. I suppose they may encourage you to keep off energy consuming, electronic gym machines; how about that? Green enough for you?

ecopod.jpg8.)Ecopod – for staying green until the very end. It’s made of 100% recycled, naturally hardened papers. I’m personally not convinced about how it would cope with a really mucky corpse but then I suppose it’s the undertaker’s job to stop you oozing too much after you’ve bitten the dust. It costs a hefty £769 but that’s absolute peanuts compared to more traditional five-figure coffins out there and you can boast about being green even after your dead.

Daniel Sung
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  • I actually really like the idea of the revolving door managing to power the entire building. Now THAT is good business; saving electricity and money all at the same time. That’s what I’m talking about.

  • Personally:

    I like the SolarRoll. As a child I used to invent products conceptually and to the extent of the toys I could dismantle assemble. I do recall trying to create an electromagnetic train with my erector set, or on another occasion creating blueprints for a solar powered car.

    That was in the 70’s, so at least it is good to see someone working with the whole scaled down solar cell technology. If the price point is right, then it should be a hit.

    Jeffrey L. Smith / SEO Design Solutions.

  • Happy Earth Day to you also. Though I was unaware of this, its good to know that there are eight planets saving the gadgets for the earth. Thanks for the information.

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