Geeks On Site: Gadgets Go Green

Last July, a pilot flew an experimental solar-powered plane for 26 hours without using a single drop of fuel. Then in August, teams from three continents set off on a trip around the world in 80 days driving solar powered cars. With headlines like these hitting the technology news sections, perhaps a glimmer of hope is shining for the future of our environment. Geeks On Site takes environmental friendliness to heart, and we believe that a lot can be accomplished with small actions (like printing on both sides of the paper, if you must print!). So how can the average consumers do their part in keeping the earth green, the oceans blue, and the sky full of breathable air? You will be surprised at the range of inexpensive options offered by new technology to be “in the green.”

SOLAR CHARGERS FOR MOBILE DEVICES

You might have seen a few solar panels here and there, but did you know that you can now charge pretty much anything on the go with solar power? This goes for a wide range of items from phones and cameras to iPods and mp3 players. Some solar chargers will even charge your laptop. When put in direct sunlight, solar chargers harness the heat of the sun and transform it to energy. This means that you no longer need to worry about your items’ battery levels before leaving your house. You simply need to bring your charger with you, and connect your portable device to the charger with a USB cable (or some come with custom cables) and charge away while working on your tan. Some chargers also come with an internal battery that will save the energy for later use.

ENERGY MANAGEMENT TECHNOLOGY

The winter is approaching, meaning higher electricity bills for those who want to keep their households warm and cozy. Many companies are now targeting consumers with energy management devices that monitor the amount of energy usage in your household. Competition between these companies has contributed to the development of a variety of features in the devices, ranging from the ability to control your appliances via mobile phone to monitoring real-time energy prices. Energy management equipment usually consists of computer software and a central panel that monitors your household’s energy consumption. Some software allows you to enter data from your old utility bills to make an estimate of your past consumption, and shows you how much lower you can go. To name two appliances available in the market, you can check Intel’s Intelligent Home Energy Management or The Energy Detective (TED), which works with Google’s free PowerMeter software.

ENERGY SAVING GADGETS

If you feel that merely monitoring your household’s energy consumption is not enough, you can take it a step further by getting familiar with power saving gadgets, such as surge protectors that automatically shut down outlets whey they are not in use. For example, the iGo Green technology product line has brought to the market surge protectors that you can connect to several outlets at a time. The company has also developed chargers that consume little energy. These so called “travel chargers” are a practical solution if you do extensive traveling (they can be plugged into a car or airplane outlet), or live in an area where relying on solar chargers is not a viable option.

You do not have to be a “geek” to know many more green gadgets are on their way, but while you are waiting why not try out the Geeks On Site recommended items listed in this article. Stay tuned for more green tips from Geeks On Site!