Sure, we should all try to live more energy-efficiently.
But some environmentally friendly gadgets being pushed on consumers today are useless toys that aren’t going to save anyone anything.
Going green is certainly in fashion these days, but the 10 products listed here are taking the trend a little too far.
The Wind N' Go Freedom Shaver is powered by cranking a plastic handle for a full minute, which provides enough power for one shave. If you're too lazy to shave using a razor, the last thing you're going to add to your morning routine is 60 seconds of winding to charge up your environmentally friendly gadget. Replacement blades and foils sold separately.
The Tweet-a-Watt starter pack is a system that lets you share your energy-saving successes with the entire Twitter community, because people want to know exactly how much you can brag about living green. Just make sure you already own a Kill-a-Watt power monitoring system and be prepared for some serious DIY action. Setting this up requies taking the Kill-a-Watt apart and attaching the Tweet-a-Watt's various capacitors and resistors and things.
Even though you're already recycling, you might still want to fork up $270 for the Mode Premium All-In-One Recycling centre, a bulky device that keeps all your paper, plastic, glass and metal in one unit. Sure it holds very few recycling products, but at least it comes with a carbon filter for odor control.
The Bedol Water-Powered Clock runs on a combination of water and lemon juice, and that's cool, but a cheap gadget you have to 'refill' every six weeks that saves a negligble amount of energy is a little ridiculous. Especially considering there's no alarm on this model. The water-powered clock with an alarm will cost you $29.
Another wind-up gadget, the Eton Solar Link Radio, a clock/radio with USB cell phone charger connectors, is supposedly for 'emergencies,' just so long as they don't involve rain (it's not waterproof). It is sun-friendly, but to run on solar power it takes a whole day of direct sun light for a few hours of operation. Not recomended: owning more than one gadget that requires cranking a flimsy plastic knob to charge.
The Kiwi Fuel-Saving Device is a dashboard space-taker-upper that plugs into your vehicle's on-board diagnostic port to gather driving data, analyse it, and help you increase your gas mileage. 'If used correctly,' it can increase your fuel economy by up to 20%. Efficient driving, however (reducing speed, accelerating gently, coasting as much as possible when stopping) can be done without buying an unecessary gadget. If you really want to save the environment (and money for gas), just buy a more fuel efficient car.
Because conventional re-usable coasters are really taking their toll on the environment, you should probably buy some colour-changing solar powered ones that, when turned on, give your drinks a flourescent, radioactive look. True, they don't technically save any energy, but come on, it's solar power!
The Suntrica Solar-Powered Badge is really more of an environmentally friendly fashion statement. Attach it to any part of your body that remains directly exposed to the sun's rays for hours at a time and you're strapped with an extra charger for mobile phones, digital cameras or MP3 players. Suntrica really pushes the fact that it's pocket sized. Not much light in there though.
This 'Energy Curtain' is a window blind that stores up solar energy during the day. At night, the blinds glow to provide you with free lighting. Unfortunately, they do need to be down in order to charge up, in which case you might have to turn on your electricty-powered lights and start being wasteful again.
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