April 22 is Earth Day. It’s probably a little too easy to forget about Earth Day – such is the struggle of ‘days’ that don’t come with days off of work or school. That’s too bad, because it’s a worthy day to keep in mind, as we’re living in a time when modern civilization is finally being forced to come to terms with the limitations of the natural world.
Now, if you ask an especially environmentally-minded person what kind of gadgets you should buy to be eco-friendly, they’re probably going to tell you none of them. After all, the three Rs don’t leave any room for buying new stuff. But, for all the modern world’s advances, we haven’t figured out how to build a society that can function without people buying stuff. So, let’s compromise, and hope that pans out! The good news is that lots of people are making gadgets that don’t put the same kind of strain on the environment as their predecessors – if buying new stuff means we can weed out the wasteful, harmful gadgets we had before, there’s something to be said for that. So, buy away – these gadgets are a small step towards greener pastures.
Bedol Little Squirt Alarm Clock
Your home’s electricity comes from somewhere, and it’s probably from somewhere that’s creating a lot of emissions. On the flip side, we have batteries – there’s just no good cost-effective way to dispose of batteries. So, get an alarm clock that requires neither! The Bedol Little Squirt Alarm Clock is powered by tap water, using minerals and ions for power. The best part is its efficiency – according to Bedol, one load of water will keep the clock running for up to six months. You won’t even be taxing our increasingly limited supply of fresh water!
Walnut iPhone Bumper
Machining aluminum or creating plastic or polycarbonate requires a ton of energy. Usable metal and plastic don’t naturally exist! That’s problematic. Wood, on the other hand, is about as natural as it gets. The Walnut iPhone Bumper from Grovemade is made out of locally sourced walnut or domestically sourced maple – either way, the energy required to get the raw materials to the production site is much less than it would be otherwise, and it costs much less to process wood. As for you, you get a nice, natural frame around your maybe a little less eco-friendly iPhone. Not a bad deal.
Thames & Kosmos Wind Power 2.0
Well, you’re not going to be powering your house with wind energy anytime soon, but if you’re curious about how wind turbines work and want to maybe get enough juice to recharge a battery or two, check out this Wind Power 2.0 kit. It might even be enough to say that this kit comes with 133 pieces, and that you get to build your own wind turbine like a LEGO set. But, if you’re more practically minded, this is a good way to charge a couple of AA batteries using natural energy. That will depend on whether or not you live in a windy area, but if you get enough in your area to get those rotors spinning, give it a shot.
Sometimes, when a salesman offers to try a product on himself, the results aren’t too great. But, Kevin Tibbs, co-founder of Green Screen, has made a habit of spraying his cleaner into his mouth, and he hasn’t gone into convulsions yet! Green Screen comes in eight ounce bottles, and is a completely natural cleaning solution. Now, I can do that trick with my spray bottle filled with distilled vinegar at home, but Green Screen leaves no streaks and also doesn’t smell like vinegar, so that’s pretty compelling.
Energizer Recharge Pro Charger
Loathe as I am to include anything related to batteries on this list, the fact is, we’re still stuck with them for the foreseeable future. So, might as well promote the use of rechargeable batteries. Energizer is making that a little easier with their new Recharge Pro Charger, which should be available this spring. You can charge up to four AA or AAA batteries, and the charger is designed to charge the batteries efficiently without overcharging them, extending their lifespan.
Lenovo ThinkPad L Series Notebooks
Again, laptops are never going to be the most environmentally friendly things on the market. Lenovo has done a decent job with their ThinkPad L Series, though. The outer shell is made of 85 percent recycled plastic, and more efficient packaging knocks off 2 kg of packaging material from each shipment. The good news is that being eco-friendly doesn’t come at the expense of specs – the L440 and L540 both run on Intel Haswell processors, and the latter even manages to pack in a 1080p display.