The 5 Coolest Eco-Friendly Products
CES 2011 is a gigantic show. If you can imagine a product or product category, it'll be on display somewhere by someone. 'Green' is big these days, and a number of manufacturers have been working towards more sustainable consumer electronics for a while now. 2011 is the year much of their work comes to fruition. This CES has a great crop of eco-friendly gadgets.
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1. The ecoATM: If you're anything like me, you've got two or three dead cell phones and probably a few burnt-out laptop batteries just lying around your house. It's hard to throw away old tech sometimes ("But I might need it!" being the usual justification). The ecoATM makes it easier by paying cash for old phones and electronics. Just drop your device into the receptacle, the ATM will inspect your "offering" and then offer you money.
Immediate cash rewards are one hell of a way to spur interest in recycling. Who doesn't want money in exchange for broken junk?
2. Samsung's Eco-Friendly 2-Sided LED: Okay, so this one is less a 'product' and more a 'component'. Sammy has designed a 55" 240 Hz 3D LED planel that used 2-sided Edge-lit technology. This decreases its power draw by a shocking 52%. You won't see the difference, but your wallet will sure as hell feel it. Also, the environment.
3. The Joos Orange: Solar panels get me hot and bothered, and the Joos Orange is the most exciting personal charger I've seen in...ever. It works in the sun, the clouds, the fog, the rain, the snow, under water and through indirect sunlight. It has a max charging voltage of 5V, but more is possible with a "smart cable". The battery inside is a 5,400 mAh Li-ion polymer good for 1000 cycles. There's even Dashboard app for Windows, Mac and iOS that allows you to monitor the charge status of your Joos.
4. The Z draw charger: Vampire Draw is the power pulled by a device while it is off or in standby mode. Pretty much every power adapter draws a tiny amount of power, all the time, for no useful purpose. But the Z draw charger kills 100% of this Vampire Draw, saving you money and saving the world on fuel. It isn't especially "Wow!" inducing, but the Z draw solves a legitimate problem and looks cool doing it.
5. Everything Urban Green Energy Has. There will be at least one wind-power company at CES 2011. Urban Green Energy specializes in home and small business wind / solar power solutions. Check out this Sanya wind/solar streetlamp. It provides light and feeds power back into the grid via a (really cool looking) fan and a solar panel.
There's also the eddy, a simple home-use windmill. Again, it has a weird boxy design to the turbines that cuts down on space and seems like it would reduce noise as well. You can pick one of these up for just under $4,000...or you can sign up for five year financing at $75.41/month. If you want a shorter turbine for the top of your house, you can try the UGE-4K. It can entirely power an average American home with 10 mph wind speeds.
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Urban Green Energy's order process includes real feedback from representatives on government incentives and other price breaks in your area. Switching to green power can qualify you for a number of nice benefits to help offset that 4 grand.