If you keep a flashlight on your keychain you know how convenient they can be.
…but what if your trusty flashlight runs out of batteries?
The Key Ring Solar 2-LED is a keychain flashlight with a green twist. Sure, it uses ultra-efficient, long lasting LED bulbs, but it also features a solar panel on the side for power.Â Although it’s a bit bigger than most keychain flashlights, measuring 6.8 x 3.8 x 1.4 cm it’s still pretty tiny, but those with a massive amount of keys already might want to think otherwise.
I do also wonder how effective the solar panel will be, seeing as my keys are either in my pocket or in my car. Not a lot of solar exposure. Powering only 2 LEDs however, I can’t imagine much exposure is required.
This might be a bit impractical for those without a lot of pocket space, but a flashlight with guaranteed power could come in handy. I might suggest this as a backup flashlight for emergencies, rather than a keychain. Still, good to see even keychain accessories going green.
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I’ve been a huge fan of the SimCity games over the years, all the way from the super-cool 2D SimCity classic.
The latest installment of the game, to be released next month, gives would-be mayors a whole new range of green options to incorporate into their city.
While wind and solar power have been in previous SimCity games, the latest makes carbon emissions an important priority. It extends green technologies to allow you to create a low emissions, eco-friendly simulated city.
What’s cool is the effects seen by non-green choices. Polluting options are cheaper, but instead of just making the surrounding area undesirable, the game actually keeps track on your emissions, simulating rising pollution levels in the environment. The game will issue warnings if these get out of control. If your emissions continue to rise, you’ll start seeing the environmental effects. Harsher disasters, droughts, heat waves, and other natural disasters will ensue. Realistic environmental impact in a video game? Sounds great!
We’ll be sure to pick up a copy in November and review it for you.
It sometimes amazes me just how easy it is to save a whole bunch of electricity. You don’t have to go completely off-grid to save money on electricity, in fact, many effective tips are as simple as turning something down, or unplugging something else.
Nigel’s Eco Store, one of our favorite online green retailers, has a great list of tips to reduce your energy consumption. I highly recommend reading it!
I figured I’d post some of my favorites here:
- Take shorter showers: a 5 minute shower will use only a third of the water of a bath, and having a 5 minute shower every day will save 400 litres of water a week. Nevermind giving you some extra time in the morning!
- Wash your clothes in colder water. If you can, use a laundry detergent designed for cold water. 90% of the energy used by a washing machine is used in heating the water. If you can’t find cold-water detergent, try turning down the heat a bit. A wash at 60C uses 30% more energy than a wash at 40C.
- This one amazed me: turning your thermostat down 1.5C can save up to 10% on heating bills.
- Get a Savaplug to reduce your refrigerator’s electricity usage by up to 20%.
- Use DryerBalls to save money on your dryer’s costs.
These are just a few of the great tips from the original article at Nigel’s Eco Store. Check it out!
Laundry is often overlooked when taking energy usage into account, but it’s a huge waster of electricity. Laundry machines use lots of electricity to heat up water to wash your clothes, and the dryer uses a massive amount of electricity to heat up air to evaporate the water.
Turning down the heat for your Laundry machine, or using a cold-water detergent can help a lot in reducing usage, but what about the dryer?
The answer? DryerBalls. Nigel’s Eco Store sells these little wonders. DryerBalls are a form of fabric conditioner, but they also heat up. Providing another source of heat within your dryer, these DryerBalls can reduce the time it takes to dry your clothes by as much as 25%! That’s a 25% reduction in energy usage for your dryer, and a whole bunch of saved money.
DryerBalls are chemical free, and fully guaranteed for 2 years, even though they are expected to last for as many as 5 years.
Each pack contains 2 DryerBalls and sells for about $20 (Â£9.99) from Nigel’s Eco Store.
This is the Savaplug, it’s a brilliant “set-it-and-forget-it” method to save electricity in your home.
Simply plug your fridge into the Savaplug, and it will regulate your refrigerator’s electricity use.
Here’s how it works: when your refrigerator turns it motor on, it uses it’s full power capacity, however once the motor is turned on and running, the fridge no longer needs full power. The Savaplug intelligently recognizes when the motor is up and running, and reduces the flow of electricity to the appliance.
The result? The Savaplug can reduce your fridge’s energy consumption by up to 20%. It works even better on older models.
It’s not compatible with every fridge, an incompatible fridge is often one with a digital display, motorized drink or ice dispenser, or electronic controls. If you have any of these on your fridge, however, you’re already wasting electricty and should think about getting a different fridge if you’re looking for savings.
The manufacturer has a 10 year guarantee on the Savaplug, and claims savings of up to $238 (Â£120.00) over the 10 year lifespan.
The Savaplug sells for about $50 (Â£24.99) from Nigel’s Eco Store.
Well CFL bulbs are almost a requirement for anyone considering themselves even remotely green, they hadn’t completely replaced all the functions of an incandescent
Sure, they’re energy saving (will save about half a ton of emissions over it’s lifetime!), but up until now, they hadn’t quite mastered setting the mood; they weren’t dimmable.
Well Nigel’s Eco Store is now selling the solution, dimmable CFL bulbs!
There are two types available, one designed for use with a standard dimming switch, and the other designed to dim using a standard on/off switch. You can set the brightness (from 2%-100%), and the bulb will “remember” this level until it is reset. Pretty cool!
These are both 20W bulbs, but give off the same light as a 100W incandescent. They’ll last for about 16,000 hours.
You can get these both from Nigel’s Eco Store. The Dimmer-switch version sells for about $25 (Â£12.49), and the normal on/off switch version sells for about $21 (Â£10.99)
Â Solar gadget chargers are a dime a dozen, some are better than others, but they’re all the same basic idea.
Well let me introduce you to another take on green gadget charging: wind power. The HYmini wind power charger uses wind, the often forgotten green technology, to generate electricity to charge your devices. Perfect addition to your bike, car, or even your backpack on a windy day.
It can even be used at night!
Treehugger sums up all the performance information in a quote from Swept Away Media:
â€œSpend an hour outside in the sun with HYmini and youâ€™ll get enough power for 2 full hours of MP3 playtime. Ride your bike for an hour, with HYmini strapped on your arm, or mounted on the handlebars, and youâ€™ll have enough power for over 50 digital photos or about 15 extra minutes on your cell phone. Mount HYmini on a car window, drive about 40 MPR, and youâ€™ll generate enough power to listen to over 8 hours of music on your MP3 or chat on your cell for over 40 minutes.â€
Not bad for free energy!
Of course, if you’re riding your bike, you’ll get power as long as you’re moving. Great way to soundtrack a bike ride!
via Treehugger & EcoGeek
Can you imagine how much waste there is in public washrooms across the world?
Traditional hand dryers are power suckers, heating up air. Paper towels waste a tremendous amount of paper. Well this is the Dyson Airblade. It’s like a hand dryer, but it doesn’t exactly dry your hands, it more wipes them clean… with air.
See the Airblade does not try to evaporate the water from your hands, it instead blasts the water off your hands using a very thin, 400mph sheet of air. It doesn’t have to heat up the air first, saving huge amounts of electricity. In fact, the Airblade is 80% more efficient.
It also saves on paper waste, a 100% reduction! When the p
rice of the unit is taken into account, you get a savings of about 98%. No wonder it’s the only hand dryer to be certified by NSF International.
All this will dry your hands in about 12 seconds. Pretty slick.
Check out the technology behind it here (click for a bigger photo):
Â via EcoGeek
A new method of producing paint has been developed by Andrew Parker, professor of biology, and his team at Green College at Oxford University in England.
This new method uses a much greener way to create iridescent pigments. This could be used for paint, cosmetics, and even holographic plastic.
It process involves tiny sea creatures known as diatoms. Diatoms live in oceans, fresh water, and soil, and have a pearl-like shell with tiny holes in it. These holes scatter the light in such a way as to create a shiny, rainbow-like iridescent pattern. The process is a much greener way to make pigments with this effect.
“The whole industrial process has a low carbon footprint when compared to conventional [methods],” explained Andrew Parker
Could we soon all have tiny sea creatures in our holographic plastics? Well it’s still at the university research stage so it might be a while, but it sure does sound cool. Check out photos of diatoms below:
via Discovery Channel
Another green iPod accessory today, the Boblbee solar iPod case is a solar charger for your iPod.
Featuring a stylish solar panel on the back, the case allows you to charge your iPod with the sun, allowing for infinite music play, as long as there is sun.
Charge time is expectedly a bit longer then plugging your iPod into the wall. The case will charge your iPod in about 8-10 hours. This does seem like a long time, but with modern iPods lasting about a day on a single charge, you shouldn’t have to worry about running out of juice. What’s even better is your iPod will be charged using 100% green energy.
When I saw this I immediately thought how cool it would be if this could be combined with a wireless speaker system for your bike. Unfortunately it can’t since they both use the dock connector, but with green technology becoming more and more popular, it probably won’t be long!
The Boblbee iPod Case is not available right now (at least in North America) but it seems like you might be able to order one from the Japanese product page. Anyone able to get their hands on this?
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