Great Geek Gifts: 13 Essential Green Gadgets

The greenest Apple iPod Nano yet. The solar-powered charger that saves your cell phone battery. The simple switch that cuts your power use in half. There are hundreds of green gadgets out there, but some are more hype than helpful. Hack your life to a greener one with these smart green gadgets that make life easier and go easier on the planet, too.

iPod Nano

(Image via Apple)

No really. The 4th gen iPod Nano comes without hazardous materials (arsenic-free glass, no flame retardant or nasty plastics) and can be recycled. Apparently all the viral campaigning against Steve Jobs and Apple really worked.

Iqua Solar-Powered Bluetooth Headset

(Image via GLiving)

Some people feel wearing a Bluetooth headset makes you look like a tool. But with stricter cell phone use rules in many states, particularly for motorists, a headset is a good idea. The greenest one out there is the Iqua Sun, which is solar-powered and easy to use.

DIY Kyoto Wattson

(Image via house bible)

Talk about a device with anger management issues. Whenever you so much as pop a Hot Pocket into the microwave, the DIY Kyoto Wattson goes from calm blue to furious red. Operating on the premise of Pavlovian psychology, perhaps? The Wattson not only glowers, it shows how much money you’re wasting in real time, so you’re sure to green your ways.

Rechargeable Batteries

(Image via smartplanet)

Finally! Though it’s a simple innovation, it’s one that can make a big difference. Batteries power nearly everything, and it’s a shame that we use them once and throw them away. These rechargeable USBCell batteries are a bit pricey, but then, you’ll have them forever. You charge them from your USB port.

Solar Style Charger

(Image via Solar Style)

Whether you have a Treo, BlackBerry or iPod, this solar charger with 10 different ports can probably charge it. Save electricity by harnessing the power of the sun. There are numerous green chargers out there, some wind powered, some hand-crank, some simply more efficient with electricity. But solar power is a smart bet.

Intellipanel

(Image via chongqing)

This “glorified multiplug” helps kill the power suck of standby mode until engineers figure out how to eliminate such wastage for us. This smart surge strip of sorts shuts down everything – speakers, monitor, external hard drives – when you shut off your computer. Read more about the Intellipanel here.

Naturemill Automatic Composter

(Image via myninjaplease)

Composting is a natural process and a smart way to make use of food waste. But the Naturemill turns it into a science. Not only are smells eliminated, this automatic composter turns, heats, vaporizes and otherwise manages your food scraps, turning out a neat, clean, ultra-concentrated compost material every few weeks.

HYmini

(Image via coolest gadgets)

The HYmini has popped up on many a green blog, and for good reason. This hot favorite is a fun wind-powered, handheld way to recharge your devices in style. Bonus points for great design, light weight and next-to-nothing cost.

Aube Solar Timer Switch

(Image via smarthome)

This device may cut your electricity wastage in half. Forget worrying about your roommate turning off the lights. The Aube Solar Timer detects when someone enters or leaves a room – and flicks the lights on or off, accordingly. Sensitive to natural daylight and guaranteed to save you electricity (and hence, cash).

Forever Flashlight

(Image via Excalibur Electronics)

It’s like Shake ‘n Bake for flashlights. This battery-free flashlight will last for years and all it takes to generate light is a little jiggle. And since it uses an LED light, you’ll never have to replace the Forever Flashlight.

Sunwhisper Solar Lawn Mower

(Image via freepowersys)

We tend to think of SUVs as being the most destructive engines out there, but the seemingly harmless lawnmower is actually far worse in the carbon footprint department. If you must have a lawn at all, make sure it’s truly “green” by mowing with either a hand-push mower or, the much cooler and far geekier Sunwhisper solar powered lawn mower.

Oxygenics Showerhead

(Image via Metaefficient)

The problem with a lot of water saving showerheads is that they render a weak shower that feels really Spartan. The Oxygenics is amazing in its technology, which conserves water and delivers a powerful spa-like stream so you’d never know you’re actually helping the planet.

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