Wednesday, 14 October 2009

Rechargeable outdoor lights

Rechargeable LED lights are great for camping or eating outdoor in the evening. Charge them from your (green) mains supply and then you've got soft portable lighting that will last for hours and hours. Solar powered lights are even easier, just leave them in the sunlight to charge and switch them on at night.

Candela Portable Light Set
These are great lights, but not the cheapest. You get four rechargeable lights that when charged each give off about the same amount of light as a candle which, unlike many LED lights, is a soft and pleasant glow. The absolute business for dining outdoors.

Sun Jar
If you look at the photos you see a bright glowing jar, but in reality they're not as good as that as they give off about the same light as one or two candles. They are however a true eco gadget and I love mine. Take the jar, put it in daylight to charge from sunlight and then at night you've got a groovy looking table feature or night light. If you're looking for portable illumination, get something else, but if you want a night light with the wow factor, this is it.

Bubbly colour changing solar garden lights
There's loads of different solar garden lights on the market, but these are my personal favourites. Stainless steel tubes with a liquid chamber and solar panel on the top. When they come on at night they change colour and the liquid bubbles for a really fun effect.

Monday, 5 October 2009

Electricity Monitors

One quick way to reduce your impact on the environment and save money at the same time is to reduce the mount of electricity you consume. Electricity monitors allow you to quickly check how much electricity you are using at any moment.

Mini Eco Eye Wireless Electricity Smart Monitor
Quickly check how much your appliances are using with this easy to use device.

Owl Cm119 Wireless Electricity Monitor
Monitor how much electricity your household is using at any time and see how much it is costing you.

Sunday, 4 October 2009

Green Clothes Washing

Want to stop using environment harming chemicals to wash your clothes but don't know what else to use? What you want is balls! Eco Balls. They do some groovy things to the Oxygen in the water which means your clothes get clean and soft without detergent or conditioner. They work out to be really cheap per wash as well.

In reality they're not perfect. They're great for colours that are moderately dirty, but for whites or really muddy clothes and the like you'll still need to reach for the chemicals. However, they can still make a decent impact and save you from using lots of detergent.

Ecozone Ecoballs 1000 Wash Balls
The original. We've used these for years and they do a decent job.

We started using these recently. They're cheaper than the Ecoballs and yet seem to do as good a job.

Saturday, 3 October 2009

Portable Power

If you're travelling and want to be able to recharge your electronic gadgets wherever you are you want a portable power source to take with you. There are our favourites:

Freeloader Globe Trotter - solar charger travel kit
The lightweight battery pack can be used to charge your electronic devices using the supplied set of adaptors. The battery pack is recharged using the kit's solar panel or by connecting to a USB port.
Tough and reliable, Excellent.

PowerMonkey Explorer' Portable Charger
Similar to the Freeloader Globe Trotter but with charging by solar panel or mains adaptor.

Friday, 2 October 2009

Wind-up Radios

Ditch those polluting batteries and move to one of the iconic gadgets for anybody with even the mildest of green credentials. Since Trevor Bayliss first created a storm with his Freeplay Wind-up Radio in the mid-1990s the number and variety of wind-ups has mushroomed. These are the ones we think are best value available at this time:

Duronic Hybrid Radio - Wind-Up, Solar & Rechargeable AM\FM Radio with USB charger cable
Wind it up, charge it with sunlight, or plug it into your USB port to charge.
Excellent value

Duronic Ecohand Wind-Up, Rechargeable AM\FM Radio with flashlight
My experience is that the flashlight on these radios quickly eats up your charge, but it's handy in an emergency - like when you need a light so you can find where you put your torch!
Great budget wind-up

Eton FR140 Solar, Wind Up & Rechargeable FM/AM/SW Radio
The big selling feature of this radio is the Short Wave receiver. Great for picking up English language stations like the BBC World Service Radio and others when you're a long way from home.
Excellent reasonably cheap travel radio