Gadgets, gizmos, and other useful items that defy conventional categorizations, add value to our daily lives in many ways. There’s a surprising new field of gadgetry to obsess about, though. Green gadgets. These useful tools and handy toys have one other added benefit. They may help you save money too!
Green Gadgets for the Home
Your home is the place where you do the bulk of your living. Gadgets designed for the home typically make living easier or more entertaining. Green gadgets have the added benefit of being good for the planet at a time when so many things are not.
These are a few excellent examples of green gadgets you may find useful to have in your home.
1) Photovoltaic Venetian Blinds
PVVBs function the same as traditional Venetian blinds. The difference is that they pull double duty. Instead of just hanging around in windows blocking or filtering sunlight, these blinds also collect energy from the sun and transform that energy into electricity.
Horizontal blinds are able to generate electricity in any position (opened, closed, or filtering). Vertical blinds, though, must be oriented towards the sun. The blinds generate DC power, which is converted to AC power for use charging cell phones, operating lights, etc.
The real beauty about these PVVBs, like these from Nanergy Inc., is that they are utility interactive. This means that if you generate more power in the course of a day than you consume, you can sell the generated power to utility companies for a profit.
2) LED Light Bulbs
After lingering for more than 100 years with few, if any, changes or improvements, the light bulb has come a long way in the last twenty years. One of the most significant changes is the introduction of the LED light bulb.
These bulbs use up to 80 percent less energy than incandescent bulbs and last up to 25 times longer. This generates bigger savings for consumers, less electricity utilized, and fewer bulbs creating waste in landfills everywhere.
As an added bonus, LED bulbs do not burn hot like so many others. This means that you can operate them inside the home without turning up the air conditioning to compensate for the heat they generate.
LEDs also burn brighter. In some homes, this means you can generate more light with fewer bulbs – even lighting up corners that remain darkened with other types of bulbs.
Finally, you can compound your energy savings by considering investing in motion detectors or smart light switches that help turn off lights when a room is not in use for a predetermined period of time or arranging for lights to turn themselves on and off (via smart switches) at designated times.
3) Smart Power Strips
Have you heard about energy vampires? These are items inside your home that greedily gulp electricity even when turned off. All they need is to be plugged in, in order to continue leeching your electricity creating higher bills and wasting precious resources.
Smart power strips stop these energy vampires in their tracks. They detect when they are not in use and cut power to the strip. These are especially effective for use with the following notorious energy vampires.
- LCD Televisions
- Cable Boxes
- Gaming Systems
- Mobile Device Chargers
- DVD Players
- Coffee Makers
Using smart power strips can help you save up to 10 percent each month on electric bills. While it may not sound like much, over the course of a year it can add up. The benefits to the planet, though, if more families adopt this technology, are potentially enormous.
4) Bluetooth Plant Monitors
Part of going green for many families involves adding plants to your home. Whether your goals are to grow you own fruits, vegetables, and herbs, or just to add little pops of color throughout your home, plants can be a visual representation of your attempts to lead greener lives. Bluetooth plant monitors, like Parrot’s Flower Power Monitor, are wireless sensors that you place in your garden or pots, to receive recommendations straight to your smartphone about soil conditions, such as:
- Air Temperature
- Sunlight Exposure
The beauty of this nifty gadget is that it allows you to live like you have a green thumb – even if yours is anything but.
5) Solar Powered Generator
Anyone who has been through a major, widespread disaster knows that traditional fuel powered generators are only useful as long as there is fuel to power them. They are also very limited in their usefulness as they are noisy and create emissions that are harmful to breathe in.
Enter solar powered generators that make little, if any noise, and have no emissions. Most importantly, the fuel source is renewable. There are no long treks or standing in line in search of fuel to keep them going.
These solar powered generators may not be large enough, yet, to power an entire house, but they can assist in keeping lines of communication open by powering mobile phones, radios, laptops, and even small televisions so you can stay informed and keep in touch with friends and family.
Green Gadgets on the Go
Traveling can be exciting for people who are devoted to living leaner, greener lifestyles. Camping and enjoying the great outdoors is one of the favorite activities among those devoted to the planet. That doesn’t mean you have to give up creature comforts though. These great green gadgets will help you enjoy some of the finer things even while roughing it – without raising your carbon footprint in the process.
6) Water Powered Travel Alarm Clock
Fill the clock with water once every three months and that’s all there is to it. No batteries or electricity required. The small size makes it convenient for traveling rather camping in the woods or staying in the finest eco-friendly hotels around the world.
7) Solar Ovens and Grills
Cooking over an open fire in many areas carries big risks. Yet you still need to eat while camping and enjoying the great outdoors. Sometimes, you need a great meal at a tailgate parity. High efficiency solar ovens and grills may be the perfect solution to your dilemma.
These ovens harness the power of the sun to cook complete meals – some as quickly as 10 minutes. No charcoal, propane, wood, or flame to worry about. All you need is sunlight and you’re good to go – even in the heart of winter.
8) Solar Powered Chargers
Solar powered chargers are typically small, making them easily portable for your journey in the woods. If you want to get a little more mileage from your gadget, consider the WakaWaka Power+. It is suitable for charging most common smartphones on the market, and provides up to 150 hours of light. It’s the perfect companion for camping, hiking, or backyard sleepovers.
These eight green gadgets mean exciting things whether you’re staying home or camping out. Try them on for size, and see what a difference they make in utility bills and expenses, as well as your own carbon footprint.
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