Did you know that it is quite possible by 2010 that the biggest users of electricity in our homes will be the gadget (see www.tinyurl.com/2010gadgets ) and everything from mobile phones to lap tops to MP3 players do, of course, need energy. Now somethings, like wind up radios and torches are pretty energy efficient, just neededing a tiny bit of human effort. But every thing else either needs mains poweer or a battery. We throw 600 million batteries away every year – nasty toxic things – so rechargable reusable AA batteries are a simple and far eco-friendlier solution. You can even get rechargable bateries which plug into your USB port on a laptop – very funky. But even these batteries still need energy and in gadget land everything else needs power – and massive amounts of it when its ball added together. So, what is the greenest way to recharge gadgets? Well firstly try and get a gadget with low energy use – they vary dramatically – and you can compare mobile phone charger efficiency for example at www.tinyurl.com/mobchargers. There are ‘eco friendly’ chargers too for mobiles – wind powered and solar powered (Solio, Freeloader, Solar Monkey) so have a look at them too – at the Glastonbury Fetsival last year a number of living pods came with a built in eco-mobile charger. With laptops make sure you look for a lap top with a long lasting battery – and even when it is finished – try and recycle the battery – rechargable batteries in Nokias and Macbooks can be recycled. New fuel cells might be the future and the recently developed new generfation of silver zinc latop batteries might be a green solution – but in tne meantime that old mantra – reduce – reuse – recycle – still holds true in gadget land. Switch of a gadget or charger when not in use – reuse batteries – and recycle what you cant reuse.
See the article by Adam Vaughan in the Observer Magazine (Ethical Living) 26th April 2009