If failed green technologies are entertaining (at least scientists are trying to improve the environment), greenwashed eco gadgets are at once baffling and bizarre. With the rise of eco-friendly living and green awareness you can be sure companies are trying to cash in. There are plenty of smart green gadgets that will help you hack your way to a lower energy bill and lighter carbon footprint. These are not them. Read on for some of the dumbest green gadgets in existence.
One of the biggest problems with “green” gadgets is that they are rarely fully green. While they can ease consumer guilt, they may never actually help the planet. Often the help is so trivial the benefit is of no consequence. The best choice is counter-intuitive: buy high-end products that aren’t necessarily marketed as “green”, and buy them once. One product that lasts a lifetime is far superior to the purchase of numerous marginally “green” products that may need to be replaced soon.
Green Means Green, Right?
(Image via 2DayBlog)
For example, this Samsung phone is encased in “biodegradable” plastic. But that doesn’t really help the planet – unless when you’re done with the phone you take the time to safely bury the plastic rather than throwing the whole thing away. Great. So part of it can be thrown away in a *slightly* less wasteful manner than normal. You’re still going to buy another phone. It sounds nice to say it’s an eco-friendly phone, but it still used virgin resources to produce and it’s also not fully recyclable. While the green color is sort of cool, this is greenwash.
In Ur Skin, Acceptin Ur Callz
(Images via MSN and uberreview)
One designer has developed a theoretical invention that would allow a cell phone tattoo to replace actual cell phones. When the host receives a call, the cell phone keypad materializes on the skin. When the call is done, the keypad disappears. Or something like that. Someone will have to tell our long-lobed friend he’s so beta.
Gaming the Green Market
(Image via Japan Trend Shop)
The Aqua Drop Nano Tech Water Puzzle is eco-friendly because the amazing technology utilizes water drops instead of metal balls to play the game. Just think of all the balls we will save! There might even be enough left over to give to the dorks who would fall for this.
The Motorcycle Exoskeleton
(Image via BoingBoing)
Aside from the issue of being torn apart limb by limb in a collision, this motorcycle exoskeleton concept is pretty awesome. And green. But also stupid. Again with the limb issue. Anyway, watch the video here – go on, suck up some power, you planet hater.
The Solution to Winter Energy Consumption
(Image via USB Brando)
We all know that keeping the thermostat set just a little cooler than we want it to be set is a good way to reduce energy consumption and help the planet. These USB heated gloves claim to be the solution to keeping you warm while the thermostat stays low. Someone tell Obama we don’t need a more efficient power grid – all we need is glove! Just keep that computer turned on and using power to heat your gloves. Do not question the logic. There are flowers. That is all you need to know.
The Better to Slap a Greenwasher’s Head with?
(Image via thegreenhead)
The newspaper log roller fills a massive, gaping vacuum in the marketplace – until this amazing invention came along no one really knew how to shape old newspapers to be burned in the fireplace. Balls, Lumps, Logs – oh, the chaos! If that sounds too stupid to believe, consider the market: who still reads print newspapers? Not treehuggers, that’s for sure. A completely non-eco-friendly product that helps you make slightly prettier use of a non-eco-friendly product that you shouldn’t be buying in the first place. Amazingly, this “problem solving” product is all over green websites.
If You Do Not Have Sunlight in Your Office, You Have Bigger Fish to Fry
(Image via Treehugger)
Sayeth Treehugger: “What with our USB powered necktie fan D’Light and our typing orb, we are running out of USB ports. However something’s gotta go to make room for this USB powered mini greenhouse.” Srsly? What ever happened to photosynthesis? That’s free, and eco-friendly! This gadget is fun, but it is also stupid. No, not because it isn’t green, but because if you are working in a place that actually requires this technology to avert killing the desktop greenery, you have bigger problems to deal with. Save the planet another time.
What’s Wrong with a Goat?
(Image via Clean Technica)
Ohhhhh it’s the cutest! And yes, this solar powered lawn mower is fully green. But with all the obesity just sitting around collecting in our bodies, shouldn’t we get up off the couch and move our asses anyway? Mow the lawn with a manual push-mower and you’ll not only be green, you’ll be lean. Besides, if your lawn is so big you can’t mow it yourself, a green mower isn’t going to “cut it” – you need to downsize the McMansion your megayard likely comes with. Or consider goats. They’re fun, cheap, and pheening for your lawn.
(Image via Wonder Webby)
Not strictly a gadget, of course, but a bit of a thorn in the side of cloud computing fans who promote virtual living and working as green. Think of all the computers that have to be on. In a rather ironic discovery, one researcher found that Second Life avatars alone have a worse carbon footprint than the average Brazilian. Meaning your second life is actually not so second after all. It’s very real indeed, in terms of impact anyway.
Math Is Hard!
(Image via Gizoo)
The Eco Kettle has won awards, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t dumb. Seeking to avert all the tea water that goes to waste, the Eco Kettle lets you select exactly how much hot water you want. Apparently measuring the appropriate amount of water one needs before heating it is very hard, thus requiring production of a energy-sucking gadget…made in China…of plastic.
(Image via Yanko Design)
Green Daily uncovered this greenwashing gadget. Stick a green sticker on it and suddenly it’s green – at least, that seems to be the extent of the eco factor for this shredder that operates just like any other shredder. It doesn’t even use less power.
(Image via pcnews)
Hippyshopper discovered that the all-bamboo (and hence eco) Asus laptop evidently had a hard time once it hit the production room floor. Bamboo scraps flew and all that was left was a bit of paneling, making the end result more greenwash than green.
Now You See It, Now You Don’t
(Image via toysgadget)
TV maker Vizio made a big green deal about their supposedly amazing 50% power saving flat panels. Too bad Vizio uses toxic chemicals and materials in its manufacturing process. Which takes place in China and Tawain – so claims about being an American company are a little misleading. Vizio’s products are also among the worst-ranked in consumer electronics, so even if you do save a little energy, it’s not likely to be for very long since your Vizio TV will probably fall apart. It can’t even be recycled, as its e-waste policy is years behind others in the industry.
No Swiffer Tonight Dear, I Have a Headache…
(Image via cocatalyst)
…from all the toxic chemicals. In a truly dazzling sweep of greenwash, the maker of the Swiffer claims that a nonbiodegradable plastic gadget that requires the use of chemical-soaked single-use cleaning cloths that cannot be reused or recycled is greener than…water and a regular old mop. Why? Because mopping uses hot water, and all those gallons of hot water are surely far, far more harmful for the planet than the manufacture and use of nonrecyclable plastic mops and straight-to-the-landfill chemical drenched cleaning pads. (Some Swiffer models also come with a special attachment that allows for luxurious extra squeezes of detergent in case the pad doesn’t do enough.)