Our current era is characterized by a desperate need for a global transformation. We’re trying to shift away from a reliance on fossil fuels, towards cleaner energy that does not require vast amounts of human, social, and financial capital to extract and transport. We also live in a world of technological advances that enter and exit the market at a head-spinning rate. Smartphones, tablets, gaming consoles and other gadgets are consistently among the most popular items on wish lists every year. Yet many of us are beginning to question how our favorite devices are impacting the planet, and also are concerned about issues of energy efficiency.
Thankfully, consumers now have a great deal of environmentally-friendly devices to choose from. Many of these are composed of less hazardous materials than were used in the past, and have been designed to create far less waste. A number of eco-friendly products operate on an energy source that you and I use on a daily basis – the sun. Check out these five must-have eco-friendly solar-powered gadgets and perhaps you will find one that is right for you.
From the technological powerhouse and now household name – Apple – comes an innovative and green model in the MacBook Air series. Extremely thin and light, the latest version consumes approximately 27% less power than its predecessor. Its hardware is made from far less hazardous materials: it includes arsenic-free display glass, a mercury-free LED display, and no polyvinyl chlorides in its cables or power chords. Apple has really stepped up its commitment to energy efficiency and in the process has earned an Energy Star 5.0 rating for the new MacBook Air from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
Solar Power Generator
Powered entirely by energy from the Sun, the Solar Power Generator can provide backup power to any home appliance. It can supply electricity to almost anything in the case of an emergency and could come in handy during rolling blackouts or natural disasters. The generator is completely silent – unlike gas and propane generators – and does not emit fumes either. On a fully-charged battery, or after about 20 hours of direct sunlight, the Solar Power Generator can run: a refrigerator for almost four days; a TV for 35 hours; or a laptop for up to 30 hours.
Toshiba Biblio Leaf
Book lovers and gadget enthusiasts rejoice! The Toshiba Biblio Leaf is the newest e-reader to join ranks alongside LG’s groundbreaking Solar eReader. It is the same size as the Amazon Kindle at 8.5 by 5 inches, and has a front-side mounted solar panel which is much smaller – but equally as powerful – as the LG Solar eReader. In the future, we will surely see more of these efficient e-readers. Keep an eye out for the Biblio Leaf coming to your favorite electronics store soon!
USB Solar Tree
Keeping devices like smartphones, laptops, and tablets charged can be a bit of a hassle when you’ve got a busy schedule. Use the USB Solar Tree to harness the Sun’s energy and power up any of your devices, wherever you are. With nine ‘branches’ on the tree, you can position this device anywhere that receives direct sunlight and charge nine different gadgets at the same time. It also comes with nine connectors suited to the most popular smartphones available on the market today.
Logitech K760 – Solar Keyboard
Logitech has targeted users of the Apple line of products – most notably those of the MacBook, iPad, and iPhone – with its K760 Solar Keyboard. The gadget boasts a pre-loaded Bluetooth connection that lets you switch between devices and type away with the push of a single button. It can also be paired for use with different devices simultaneously, making navigating between your laptop and cell phone simple.