Let’s be honest: Americans love their gadgets. Smartphones, computer tablets, music players, video players, hand-held gaming gizmos, whatever.
Happily, gadgets increasingly come is various shades of green – designed to use less electricity and produce less hazardous waste, manufactured using more recycled materials and less energy. Oh, and they’re still cool.
Here's a sampling of eco-friendly gadgets and gizmos:
The newest edition of the MacBook Air – Apple’s ultra-thin, ultra-light laptop – uses 27 percent less power than the original MacBook Air, earning it an ENERGY STAR 5.0 qualification for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The MacBook Air was engineered to use far fewer hazardous materials that older computers and features arsenic-free display glass, a mercury-free LED display and no polyvinyl chlorides in the cables and power cords.
Laptop with an edge
The Samsung 13.3-inch 9 Series introduced early this year was awarded the TCO Certified Edge label for it’s eco-friendly features and bright display that provides superior outdoor readability. TCO Development, owned by the Swedish Confederation of Professional Employees, provides certifications for computer and office equipment. The 9 Series laptop weighs less than three pounds and features a 128GB Solid State Drive.
The Samsung Restore cell phone – available through Sprint June 6 – is the latest in a line of green handsets from Samsung. The outer casing of the full-featured multimedia messaging phone is made from 27 percent post-consumer recycled plastic. The Restore has a full QWERTY keyboard and an Energy Star 2.0 qualified charger.
The Samsung Blue Earth, introduced in 2009, features a solar panel located on the back of the phone.
Motorola touts the MOTO W233 Renew – available through T-Mobile – as the world’s only carbon-neutral cell phone. The plastic phone housing for the Renew is made of recycled water bottles and the phone is printed on 100 percent post-consumer recycled paper. Motorola earns the “carbon-neutral” boast through an alliance with Carbonfund.org. Motorola offsets the carbon dioxide required to manufacture, distribute and operate the phone by putting money in renewable energy sources and reforestation.
The LG Remarq – available through Sprint – is loaded with the Eco Calculator app that calculates reduction of greenhouse gases gained by walking or cycling instead of driving a car. The reduction is calculated in pounds of carbon dioxide or trees planted. The outer casing is made from 19 percent post-consumer recycled plastic.
Battery life continues to improve, but you’ll still need to charge your gadgets. The IDAPT i1 Eco is a dual charger that can be used at home and in your car. You can charge two gadgets at once and the AutoOff system ensures you don’t vampire electricity when you aren’t charging other gadgets. The charger itself is made of recycled materials. The IDAPT i1 Eco compatible with more than 4,000 gizmos including iPad, iPhone, BlackBerry, Nintendo PSP, XBOX controllers and GPS systems.
Go solar – indoors
The Logitech Wireless Solar Keyboard K750 gives you a long-range wireless connection to your desktop with no worries about ever changing a battery. The keyboard, which is just one-third of an inch thick, has two panels that turn indoor light into go juice. The keyboard can also work in total darkness for up to three months.
Know of other great green gadgets and gizmos? Leave us a note in the comments below.