Earth Day Gadgets: Be Green, Save Money

By: Rich DeMuro
April 22, 2013

“We live in a beautiful world,” or at least according to Coldplay.

And to keep the world clean and green, Earth Day was created in the seventies as a movement to bring focus on environmental issues.

Today, we live in a gadget-filled world, where many of the devices we use at home drain power–taxing the environment and our wallets. But, thanks to advances in technology it’s possible to conserve the planet while saving some cash.

One of the most common waste comes from phantom load–gadgets that are turned off but still plugged in.

Belkin’s Conserve Switch AV makes it easy to stop electricity from trickling while not in use.

It uses a switch to cut off power flow so that electricity isn’t wasted. It even includes two special outlets for stuff that do need a constant flow of power like your DVR.

Speaking of special needs, we humans are a fickle bunch.

When it comes to temperature, we want it just right. So, to save money at home while keeping comfortable, try the Nest Thermostat.

The “smart” thermostat learns when you’re home and when you’re away so that energy isn’t wasted heating or cooling an empty house.

You can even set the temperature when you’re away using a free app for Android and iOS.

Another bright idea for conserving at home: The award winning Philips LED light bulb. It uses one-sixth of the power of your typical incandescent light bulb and fits into to standard slots. One down side, the LED bulb is still fairly new technology, which means higher costs per bulb.

But, keep in mind, when deciding on the purchase, it only costs $1 a year to run compared to $5 a year for the average bulb.

Put all that light to good use with Logitech’s Wireless Solar Keyboard K750 and K760.  They charge using the sun or artificial lighting.  No need to fumble around for replacement batteries.

Finally, try Goal Zero’s Extreme 350 Power Pack to get the juices flowing at home.  Charge it with the solar panel attachment and there’s enough power to charge laptop for ten hours.  It’s small and easy to carry, so it’s great for going green or providing emergency power when you need it.

To find out which of your devices use more energy than others or how much money you’re spending on powering your devices, check out Greener Gadget’s Consumer Electronics Energy Calendar.

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