Going green is easier than ever. There is a cool tool for mostly any activity to make life easier, healthier and better for the environment. We checked out consumer reviews, cited consumer electronic show best-of’s and perused editorial reviews to learn what’s hot and new in the world of sustainable technology and design. Check out our top picks:
- Sony VAIO® Eco Edition W Series
This mini-laptop packs a lot of green power in its green-tint frame. Made from 23% recycled CDs with a fabric case made from recycled plastic bottles, it offers 10.1 inch LED screen, high definition and up to seven hours of battery life. And those in the know Restriction of Hazardous Substances Directive (RoHS), Energy Star and Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool (EPEAT) certify its energy efficiency. At $450 it’s a smart choice for a computer to complete everyday tasks.
- Oregon Scientific Advanced Wireless Appliance Manager
Popular Mechanics named it one of the Top-22 products from the 2010 Computer Electronics Show in Vegas. This monitor displays real-time cost, power consumption and even carbon emissions created at up to four sockets. You can monitor and master your energy output. Get one in hand for about $80.
- Razor® E300 Scooter
Alternative transportation never looked so sleek than with the Razor® E300 Scooter. Scoot around town in this green-friendly ride that scoots around for up to 45 minutes with each battery charge and traveling up to 15 miles per hour. The environmentally-friendly electric power engages a super quiet chain driven motor. Available for around $259.99, this model blends form, function and sustainability all in one.
- Voltaic Generator Solar Laptop Charger
Turn up your techie style with this solar-powered laptop charger. This fashion-forward bag is covered in fabric that is made from recycled bottles to make it lightweight and water resistant—plus its solar panel generates up to 15 watts of energy. This nifty generator can charge most laptops, cell phones and hand-held devices and is available online for around $500.
- Eco Simple Flash Drive
No lead, no mercury, no cadmium…no-brainer! Not only is this device, created by USB Europe Ltd., made from earth-friendly materials and does not emit any toxins, but it lets you take your computer archived information with you knowing you are generating less waste. Fun colors and advances in packaging technology keep the good green feelings going. Moreover, the traditional packaging has also been replaced with recyclable material, even more reducing this gadget’s byproduct. One GB of storage runs around $28.
- Philips' Eco Flat TV™
Power saving features and its RoHS compliance makes this TV the most eco-friendly on the market. The Philips' Eco Flat TV™ features bold colors and high definition, plus it is made of lead-free materials and only "trace" amounts of mercury. Not only does the television feature a traditional "power-saving" mode that caps the peak light output, but it has a backlight dimming capability that offers a dual benefit of power saving and improving black-level performance. This sustainable purchase is for around $1400.
- Yogen(R) Hand Charger
When a technophile is on the go, this tool keeps you connected in a jam. Hook up the Yogen(R) to your cell phone or iPod, a few cranks on the back-to-basics pull-string and you’re back in business. The YoGen, registerd under Easy Energy Inc., works through sheer manpower. This slim, pocket-sized, durable, hand powered electric charger that produces a previously unmatched level of charging power when driven by the repeated pulling of a cord, in a way which somewhat resembles the action of a Yo-Yo. It offers an industry-leading ratio of power output to input effort and that its ergonomic design allows for extended charging effort with minimal operator fatigue. This product runs around $40.
- Lehr Eco Trimmer
This isn’t your garden-variety lawn trimmer. Powered by cleaner, cheaper propane rather than gas, the Lehr Eco Trimmer eco-fies weekend lawn maintenance. The Lehr Eco Trimmer can run about two hours on one can and works just as effectively as its gas-guzzling counterpart, and costs around $200.