For the technologically-inclined greenies in your life, the best gadget gifts are those that are innovative and unique, energy efficiency, and smart. Stock up green gadget gifts this holiday season that are sure to please everyone in your family, including Mother Earth and all of her inhabitants.
ONE LAPTOP PER CHILD XO COMPUTER
Here’s a gift that truly gives back. The beautifully designed One Laptop Per Child computer is the greenest computer around – combining education and social development with ingenious energy efficient product design. Best part? When you buy one of these beautifully designed uber-green computers for a needy child in a developing country, you get one for your little one.
Donate-One-Get-One offer lasts through Dec 31st
BOGO SOLAR FLASHLIGHT
Give the gift of light this year with the BOGO light – a fabulous solar-powered flashlight that costs just $25 – AND with your purchase of the flashlight, one is donated to someone who needs it in a developing country. What better way to give during the holidays?
HyMini personal wind-powered personal charger – $74.95
We’ve seen an array of solar-powered battery chargers, but the HyMini makes wind your new best friend. The personal wind turbine can be hooked up to various devices to charge your phones, cameras, and other small electronics.
$74.95 in the Inhabitatshop
Yes, there are lots of solar power bags out there these days, but none are as stylish as these foxy designs by Noon Solar. Each bag integrates a flexible solar panel that is capable of charging cell phones, iPods, and PDAs. The other parts of the bag are eco-friendly as well, made from sustainably harvested materials like rhubarb, vegetable-tanned leather, and naturally hand-dyed hemp/cotton fabrics. Not only will you feel good carrying this bag around, but you will look hot as well.
We love 2-for-1 products here at Inhabitat, so naturally we love a solar powered flashlight that can also charge your cell phone, MP3 player, or PDA. The ultra-bright LED flashlight (65,000MCD) uses monocrystalline silicon solar panels for power generation and recharging the built-in 700mAh/3.6v NI-MH battery. With the ability to provide light and charge your cell phone in an emergency, this is one versatile “safety” product that every home should have.
SOLIO UNIVERSAL SOLAR CHARGER
Like a smaller, sleeker version of the Voltaic backpack, this chic little device will charge your electronic gadgets cordlessly – using the sun’s energy. Perfect for today’s mobile lifestyles, the Solio Universal charger makes a great useful gift that won’t break the bank.
BRUNTON SOLAR ROLLS
Roll out the greenest energy to power all your other gadgets – these Brunton solar panel-clad rolls are portable, high-powered, and great in a pinch when your laptop or car battery needs a little extra juice.
UNITED PEPPER ECO USB HUB AND WEBCAM
Does it get any cuter and greener than these alien creature shaped computer peripherals from United Pepper? The company is committed to socially conscious production and eco-friendly materials, so all your high-tech needs are not only green, but super cute.
GLOW IN THE DARK GLOW BRICK
We’re not sure if this counts as a gadget, but we love it. The Glow Brick is a clever little cordless light made from a phosphorescent lightbulb (yes, a REAL lightbulb) embedded in a block of acrylic. It requires no electricity and can glow for up to three hours, “powered” only by light it soaks up from the sun or other artificial light sources, making it as energy-efficient and eco-friendly as it is engaging. (Warning: this is more of a nightlight than a “lamp” – i.e., it is not very bright).
EARTHTECH SOLAR LAPTOP CHARGER
This solar-powered charging kit combines a solar panel with a power pack that will provide up to six hours of runtime for a 25 watt laptop computer.
Zonbu Green PC
This compact and high-performance computer consumes just one-tenth the power of a typical desktop machine – which means you save on electricity bills and the planet by reducing CO2 emissions. And by eliminating fans and hard drives, advanced Zonbu is completely silent, a nice plus for your home environment, too.
KANGURU ECO DRIVE
Let’s face it, in a world where our lives revolve around our laptops, it’s a must-do to back up all your info with an external hard drive. But now you can do it in eco-responsibility with Kanguru’s Eco Drive. The patented Power Saving mode automatically gauges drive usage to drastically reduce energy consumption and prolong the life of your hard drive. These energy efficient, high-speed USB 2.0 hard drives are a great way to add storage to your notebook, PC, or Mac.
LED Z-BAR DESK LAMP
Does a desk lamp count as a “gadget”? Well we don’t care, we love this sleek LED lamp and recommend it whole-heartedly. (Jill has one in her home and swears by it). Clearly we’re obsessed with LED lights, which are uber-efficient, eco-friendly and last forever. This lamp comes in both “cool white” and “warm tungsten white” and last 40,000 hours – which means there’s no need to ever change the bulbs.
ECOPOD HOME RECYCLING CENTER – $328
This compact and efficient home recycling center is the ideal gift for the environmentally-conscious yet high-tech homemaker. Designed by BMW Designworks, the EcoPod collects and compresses all your recyclable material, from aluminum cans to plastic. The space-saving, uber-functional unit also stores your recyclable glass and paper in the removeable bins in the top lid.
POWERCOST ENERGY MONITOR
Studies have shown that when the information is more available and monitorable, you’re more likely to conserve energy. The PowerCost Home Monitor can help you save up to 20 cents on every dollar you’re spending right now on your electricity bill – without changing your lifestyle. With a PowerCost Monitor you can tell at a glance how much electricity your home is consuming – moment-to-moment and in total.
DIY KYOTO WATTSON – £350
If you’ve got a little money to spend and are concerned about energy consumption, the DIY Kyoto Wattson makes a great holiday gift. The cute little device is essentially a stylish, souped-up energy meter that provides a simple means of understanding how much energy your home consumes. The gadget takes measurements of overall domestic energy consumption, then displays the reading both numerically and “non-verbally” with an ambient red light that dims according to how much power your electronics are sucking through the outlets. Although it’s made in the UK, you can order from anywhere in the world by emailing the DIY Kyoto people directly.
AMBIENT DEVICES ENERGY ORB
We wrote about the Energy Orb back when it was a hacker project, but now PG&E has supported the technology and released the Energy Orb through Ambient Devices. The glowing orb monitors local energy grids to let you know when they’re maxed out and when is a good time to do your dishes and laundry.
GREENSWITCH WIRELESS HOME ENERGY CONTROL SYSTEM
GreenSwitch is your one-stop option for home energy monitoring (monitoring is the first step towards a more energy-efficient system!). The all-inclusive basic installation package includes installation, energy analysis, and help strategizing your home’s energy consumption.