There are plenty of gadgets that can make your life easier, and then there are gadgets that can help make your life greener. Following are a few of my favourites, none of which are all that costly and all of which can reduce the amount of waste you produce or the energy you consume. They’ll also come with the added benefit of saving you money over the course of time if you look after them well. I am a thrifty person by nature and any opportunity I get to hoard I will so sometimes I am not the most reliable, however, some gadgets really make a difference. I also rarely talk about modern products so this is a kind of one off. The thing is sometimes practicality has to take the lead, especially when the environment is at stake.
An example will be if you are making a weeks worth of dinners to save money, handy plastic containers that are now microwavable will make a big difference. Where as before, plastic was toxic in the micro…
Most are also handy when the power goes out:
Lighter and easier to tote around than a vacuum cleaner, a manual sweeper is great for quick, unplugged cleanups. It’s also invaluable for keeping your home from descending into messy-carpet heck during long, drawn-out power outages, like the four to seven days I occasionally experience during hurricane season.
Solar garden lights.
Not only do these brighten a yard or garden path without cords and plugs, but they also can provide backup lighting indoors on stormy nights when the lights go out.
Hand-pumped oil sprayer.
Why waste money on disposable spray cans of cooking-oil, and create needless trash when the cans run empty? A refillable, hand-pumped spray bottle is a must-have for any green cook, and can be used for everything from lightly coating skillets with olive oil to adding a dash of peanut-oil flavour to Asian dishes. They don’t have to be all that ugly either, most will be quite contemporary as per the picture below, but you’ll also find a nice vintage one to improve your home decor at a boot fair. It’ll also compliment your green countertop very nicely.
Batteries that are made from cheap disposable materials are seriously damaging to the environment. If we have a lot of gadgets that are powered by standard batteries then it makes a lot of sense to buy one of these. The savings speak for themselves and if you buy quality you’ll get 1000 charges from a set – and combine that with new solar charges, you are making impressive savings.
No more dead batteries when you need them most, and not nearly as much battery waste (though even rechargeable batteries will expire eventually). While I use a plug-in variety now, my next addition will be a solar-powered one for completely renewable and no-cost battery charging.
A great way to enjoy a bit of civilisation or keep up with the news when the basics of modern life – electricity, batteries, etc. – are otherwise inaccessible. Handy for hiking, camping, boating, or simply when you’re stuck at home without power during a storm. You never know how amazingly useful a crank powered light is until the electric goes off. There are even vintage lamp styles to improve your living room decor. Sure they don’t look all that authentic, but on occasion practicality has to out weigh aesthetics. This example isn’t all that obtrusive.
Couple this with a solar-powered battery charger, and you’ll always have a way to keep cool, even during the hottest electrical blackout days. It’s also nice to have for those steamy days at the beach or outdoor sporting event.
String shopping bag.
OK, it’s not so much a gadget as an accessory, but it’s still one of the best little green investments you can make. Easy to stuff into a purse or glove compartment, a string shopping bag ensures you’ll always have a tote handy without the need to specify “paper” or “plastic.” You can be sure that people will be impressed by your organisation, and care for the planet with one of these beauties.
We are far too reliant on disposable plastic which is damaging our environment. This easy to store bag makes the perfect item to fold away in the car, or in your handbag. It takes almost no space at all and can carry a lot of weight making it a very useful product indeed.