Father's Day is almost upon us, and most sons and daughters are hustling to find the gift that expresses how important their fathers are. If you're still shopping for your tech-savvy dad, fear not - Inhabitat is here to help with a list of our favorite green gadget gifts! We've rounded up a great array of gizmos that are sure to please techy dads - whether they're on the way to work, in the backyard, or just relaxing at home. From smart phones made of recycled plastics to solar USB device chargers and water-powered shower radios, give one of these green gadgets to your father and show just how special both he and the environment are to you!
These recently released smart phones are made from environmentally friendly materials (a high percentage of which are post-consumer recycled plastics), and they can be almost fully recycled after use. The Replenish, an Android phone, is made from 34.6 percent post-consumer recycled plastics and is 82 percent recyclable after use. The design avoids the use of environmentally harmful materials such as PVC. The Restore also uses recycled, environmentally safe materials, and is energy-efficient in its power usage. The Restore is offered to Virgin Mobile customers with an inexpensive $25 per month unlimited data plan. Both phones are packaged with recyclable materials printed with soy ink, and digital user manuals can be accessed in lieu of printed booklets. If your dad’s been good this year, a battery cover with solar cells can be purchased as an extra gift. Perfect for the eco-conscious professional father, Replenish and Restore contain most of the features found in other Samsung smart phones, but leave a much smaller footprint on the world once they are phased out by newer devices.
This versatile solar device and battery charger can be used in any setting as long as the sun shines, making it a great gifts for outdoorsy dads. While most solar charging devices provide minimal photovoltaic surfaces, this wallet-sized series of solar film cells can charge USB devices or AA batteries faster than almost any other portable product in the market. The USB+AA Foldable Solar Charger charges 2 AA batteries from completely spent to full in 4 hours of direct sunlight. A universal USB port allows for direct charging of most micro USB devices, like cell phones, smart phones, and iPods. The charger can even power up a USB device in 100% darkness with the help of two rechargeable batteries that act as storage devices for the energy absorbed by the solar panels during the day, discharging the energy as necessary after the sun has set. The Foldable Solar Panel Charger is available on Amazon for $100 – a small price to pay for a durable, eco-conscious, reliable source of energy. If your father is an avid camper and likes to keep in touch with your from remote locations, or just needs that extra boost for an outdoors conference call during a beautiful summer day, keep him charged up and ready to go!
Belkin’s Conserve Valet Smart USB Charging Station makes it easy for tech-savvy dads to charge all of their gadgets at once, and it incorporates a variety of energy efficiency controls to cut down on wasted energy. The Conserve Valet only turns on when the user presses a button, and it shuts off automatically when all devices are unplugged so that it only uses as much energy as is required for the task. The valet also keeps the surrounding space neat and organized by keeping cords underneath its charging pad; this eliminates wasted minutes taking knots out of cords and fumbling through various chargers. The Valet is a streamlined gadget pit stop where the energy conscious, multitasking, plugged in dad can recharge for a new day of work or play!
Rainwater collection gained lots of momentum recently — it’s even drawing attention and support from various city governments. But what if dad does not live in one of those cities, or wants a simple way to thoroughly water his urban farm or vegetable garden without wasting energy? The RainPerfect Solar Water Pump System by ITT Flow Control is the ideal solution for pumping all that stored rainwater from storage tanks and onto moisture-needy plants. Water is collected in a common barrel, from which it is pumped using a Ni MH battery charged by a 3.5 kW plastic encased solar panel. With 15 meters (approximately 50 feet) of wire, the photovoltaic panel can be placed at a strategic location with the most exposure. Each charge provides energy to draw up to 100 gallons of water with a maximum pressure of 13 pounds per square inch from the barrel. Because of the pressure generated by RainPerfect, its applications are not limited to a simple hose; a particularly green-thumbed dad can easily hook this system up to a low-pressure sprinkler or drip irrigation system that can water a garden even more efficiently.
The H2O Water Powered Shower Radio gives dad a source of energy-efficient music for those relaxing showers after a long day of work. This FM radio uses a micro H2O turbine to produce the electricity needed for operation. The device is easily installed by attaching to the shower unit, and running the shower head hose to the lower end of the product, allowing water to flow down through the turbine before being used by the bather. An internal Ni-Mh rechargeable battery stores power produced from the turbine, and the gadget remembers the most recent listening history, locking into the last radio station until the next shower. So help out dad with his shower singing, and give him this eco-friendly, energy efficient radio – just remember to tell him not to spend too much extra time in the shower enjoying it!
Fathers with more artistic tendencies are bound to love Olympus’s ecologically conscious Digital SLR cameras, including the lightweight EVOLT line. These cameras are assembled from thinner components, so they use up 15% less material than comparable products and have lighter, smaller bodies. All materials sourced to build the E-410/420 are free of hazardous substances; no PVC is used, and the lenses are made with eco-glass containing no lead, cadmium or arsenic. This sleek camera also operates at much higher efficiency than conventional competitors, using almost 40% less energy when in use. Easier to transport, ergonomic and light in your dad’s hands, this versatile and potent eco-friendly camera can rekindle the budding photographer’s spirit in any couch-potato dad!