Save the planet
20th Jul 2010 | 15:44
The guilt-inducer for your bathroom, by inputting the flow rate of your shower - calculated by how long it takes to fill a one litre jug - and not just timing for the usual three minutes, it'll calculate precisely how much water you're using and beep when you've had "enough".
How will it save the world?: With that power shower could be caning anything up to 20 litres per minute, the Showerdrop gives you a chance to stick to the Waterwise-recommended 35 litres per shower and save yourself 40,000 litres a year.
Cash saving?: Up to £180 if you're on a water meter.
Link: Nigel's Eco Store
Buy one here: Ethical Superstore
Compact fluorescent bulbs
The easiest way to earn your green wings. About 95 per cent of the energy used by old school filament bulbs is wasted as heat. CFs use 80 percent less energy, last up to 12 times longer and, unlike early examples, now produce something resembling light.
How will it save the world?: According to the International Energy Agency, if the world converted overnight, it'd cut 16 billion tonnes of C02 and save £1,300 billion.
Cash saving?: About £3 per bulb per year.
Price: From £0.49 at supermarkets nationwide
Buy one here: Light Bulb Tec
Tefal Quick Cup Deluxe
The table top tea urn only
boils the water you need. Fill the 1.7 litre water tank, and watch as the 2.8kW heating element gurgles you an
instant cup of hot water. It can only
muster up a water temperature of 85 Centigrade, so isn't ideal for some posher teas, but it's perfect for instant coffee.
How will it save the world? Beverage supping accounts for a
quarter of all UK electricity use. The
Quick Cup uses 65 per cent less energy
as it only heats the water you need, and
doesn't push it to boiling point.
Cash saving? £80 per year
Buy one here: Argos
This is eleven big inches of organic light emitting diode-based loveliness. Because OLED cells generate their own light Sony has done away with the separate back light, keeping energy consumption as low as 39W, or
0.2W on standby. You also get a contrast ratio of 1,000,000:1, unequalled blacks,
and stunning lifelike images. We're suitably smitten.
How will it save the world?: A screen 11 inches across won't satisfy many gadgeteers. However, the potential for much bigger, low-power-sucking screens of similarly stunning quality is there...
Cash saving?: Replace your 40-inch LCD and you'll save yourself £20-40 a year.
Link: Sony Style
Buy one here: BH Photo Video
The SUV of the
wireless world, DAB sucks twice the power of an FM radio. However, the SolarDAB answers the call, using a solar panel to keep the battery topped
up. That'll get you a hefty 27 hours audio time.
How will it save the world?: If we all powered our portable gadgets from the sun, it would be a huge step forward. Anything we can
do to avoid plugging in and relying on 40 per cent efficient, coal-fired power stations is a good move.
Cash saving?: About £2-£5 per year based on Energy Saving Trust figures for annual power consumption by digital radios.
Buy one here: Pixmania
The electronic paperback for the
bookworm of tomorrow is thinner than a Sunday supplement, holds up to 160 e-books (13,000 with Memory Stick Duo) and displays each page on a flawlessly ivory-hued, six-inch e-ink screen.
How will it save the world?: By reducing our usage of paper. Manufacturing paper is horribly resource heavy, and we get through 12.5million tonnes of it each year. Granted, the Reader runs on electricity, which traditional books do not, but you'll wade through 35,200-page novels between charges.
Cash saving?: At £224 and with E-books often pricier than paperbacks, no. But acres of vulnerable rainforest will appreciate your sacrifice.
Buy one here: Sony Style
Bosch KGH 36S52
Pretty much all new chillers are A rated for energy saving these days, but there's a huge gulf between the best and the rest. This 303-litre design is rated A+ and also remains frost free at all times, at least as long as climate change doesn't bring about a new ice age.
How will it save the world? This burns just 277kWh per year.
Compared to an A rated cooler, it consumes 25-45 per cent less energy. It also contains no foul CFC or HFC gases.
Cash saving?: It'll cost you £40 per year less than a comparable model from 1998, according to Energy
Saving Trust figures.
Link: Bosch Appliances
The world's first recyclable USB stick, the Earthdrive is built from a bio-recycled plastic casing using as much biodegradable PLA (polylactic acid derived from corn starch) as possible. Take your pick of capacity, safe in the knowledge that when it does push up the
daisies it won't still be there in 1,000 years - it'll rot like flesh.
How will it save the world? It won't, but at least when you lose it, chuck it or give it away you won't be needlessly adding to the 3.3 tonnes of electrical waste you'll get through in your lifetime. Cash saving? In this case there's none, but you'll never have felt so virtuous whilst file sharing.
Buy one here: Low Price Memory
Samsung Blue Earth
The first trendy solar-powered mobile, perch the recycled
plastic pebble on a windowsill and 10-14 hours later you'll have four hours free talk time courtesy of our hard-to-spell chum the photovoltaic cell.
How will it save the world?: If solarcells make it mainstream - LG,
Motorola and ZTE are also taking a punt - the global impact could be huge. Although each individual gadget uses relatively small amounts of power, the impact of recharging millions of them from the mains is enormous.
Cash saving?: A cool £1-£3 per year, according to Energy Saving
Trust figures for small gadgets.
Out Autumn 2009
Baxi Ecogen CHP Boiler
An ultra efficient power station for your gracious abode. The future for home
heating is a Combined Heat and Power (CHP) gas boiler like this. It looks and works just like a regular boiler, but
converts excess heat from the central heating system into electricity that can
be used to lop chunks off your bill.
How will it save the world?: Running at 80 to 90 per cent efficiency, CHP wastes hardly any energy. It'll reduce your CO2 emissions by 1.5 tonnes, while the 1KW/h of electricity generated means less juice needed from those clunky old, coal-fired power stations.
Cash saving?: Up to £150 per year lopped off your utility bills sound good to you?
Fold-out solar battery pack. Unfurl the panels in a sunny spot and leave Mr Blue Sky to work his magic on the 3.7v lithium ion battery. One hour's basking will give you enough juice for 20 minutes of phone chat or 50 minutes of
audiophile bliss. Almost all pocketable kit is compatible, thanks to iGo tips.
How will it save the world?: Once again, by reducing our dependence on mains sockets fuelled by coal-ired power stations.
Cash saving?: In the region of £7 to £10 per year, says the Energy Saving Trust.
Link: Ethical Superstore
Buy one here: Eco Hut
While your regular mobile charger will keep trying to juice up even when the phone battery is full, the Eco shuts itself down as soon as it's charged or the phone is disconnected. No wonder then they're touting it as the greenest mobile charger on God's rapidly browning earth.
How will it save the world?: With a ridiculous 217 million kWh of power - 66,000 households worth - wasted by inefficient mobile chargers every year, this ingenious widget isn't a moment too soon. With it being an all-encompassing, universal type, you'll only need one per house, cutting down on
wire spaghetti and land fill fodder.
Cash saving?: £1-£3 per year, according to Energy Saving Trust figures for pocket gadgets.
Buy one here: Carphone Warehouse