The hottest and cheapest green gizmos on the market share a waste-not, want-not mentality, letting us better time our showers, shake up solar flashlights, and even air dry plastic sandwich bags for reuse. Here are 20 that cost $20 and under…meaning they will lighten the planet’s load without making a big dent in your bank account.
Being a consummate shutter bug, my camera burns through batteries way too fast, so it’s good to find this rechargeable battery called USBCELL – giving new life to the NiMH AA cell by plugging it into a USB port. Makes good sense when you think about the over 15 billion alkaline batteries produced and tossed each year. (Are they disposed of responsibly? Not exactly.)
This baby version of the L.E.D. Forever Flashlight never needs batteries or bulbs and is ideal for packing in emergency kits and glove compartments. Just 15-30 seconds of shaking gives you up to 5 minutes of continuous bright light with over a mile of visibility.
All eyes are on ICU Eyewear for its affordable readers made from recycled materials in a variety of fun styles, such as these retro preppy frames like the ones William Hurt wore in his younger days. It’s not just the horned rims but the price point that makes you look smart! The company’s UVA protection sun shades of recycled plastic sell for a little more moola, $22, and made Oprah’s “O List” in her magazine.
Just add liquid and stir out of bed by setting this blue, mirrored front clock with a large LCD screen display for time and date, from Smart Home. It’s as green as you can get since it is powered by nature – using water or any electrolytic fluid such as fruit juice, coffee, beer or soft drinks as the power source.
It has been referred to as a “sadistic stocking stuffer” but actually it’s a pretty tasty gizmo at $10 with the shape of those tempting bars as well as the yummy scent. Solar powered, use this functional eye candy from Curiosite to count on the calories you are saving by not eating the real deal.
This is a sweet auto light for kids who are nervous about the dark. Plug it into an electrical outlet and the L.E.D. technology produces the energy for the light. Unlike the bathroom light, a sensor on this little guy from Choose Renewables turns it off when the boogie man goes away.
I’m not fond of the word nifty, but this is nifty. Crafted from sustainably harvested birch and ash woods, this gadget lets you air out your plastic bags and reuse them for lunches or storage. Who would have thunk it? Available at Gaiam.
A very friendly alternative to fabric conditioners, these yellow and green dryer balls from My Eco Store will save energy and money and are said to be ideal for anyone with asthma, eczema or psoriasis. The pair work a a team to lift and separate laundry while it is tumble drying, allowing the retention of heat so it can go towards the drying process.
Whether you mount a green house or yellow duck to the shower surface, you will probably cut down on your shower use by timing yourself. It is battery operated, waterproof and steamproof and can be affixed using a suction cup on the back. The programmable countdown timer will beep when your shower time is up. Sure, you will be singing shorter songs but think of the energy savings. It’s all part of Green Living Every Day.
You can personalize this cool design with the 60 elements (letters, fire hydrant, dog bone, etc.) that come with this collar which is available in both small and large sizes from Uncommon Goods.
One of several chargers from Solar Style, this SC017 is a great lightweight portable charger for Cell phones, MP3 Players, and some PDA’s. Charge directly to your electronic device or you can use the Polymer Battery On Board for storing your power. The purchase price includes one connector with additional ones sold separately.
Save your loose change for parking or a rainy day using this Epromos personalized piggy bank made from recycled materials. Includes a recessed key for the lock.
From the new world of cardboard design, you can get creative with this eco-friendly kit including six colored pencils and boxes made with 70% recycled materials. They were crafted by Merkury and are available at Urban Outfitters.
This 4.5″ diameter German mesh strainer is your little composting assistant, helping to collect scraps of food that would otherwise go down the drain. Also great for catching the wedding ring that slips off while scrubbing the pots and pans!
Made with eCycleÃ¢”ž¢, a 100% recycled plastic derived from food-grade recycled polypropylene, this Aladdin to-go cup is a good way to transport your coffee and cold drinks while on the move. I found it at REI.
The snap hook on this design attaches your keys to your purse or belt loop making them easy to find. The retread idea belongs to Heather English of Boulder Colorado, owner-designer of English Retreads, which produces handbags, book bags, totes, backpacks and belts from discarded truck and tractor inner tubes rescued from landfills.
Organic peanut butter is great any time of day (or night) but it can get as thick as molasses and is hard to stir with a plain old knife. Enter the mixer, which gets that sandwich spinning. It includes a gasket that wipes the rod as you remove it and a removable lid liner that makes for an easy clean up. From Real Goods.
The ECO Digi Mode, sold in Japan, is able to take 3 megapixel shots, has a 2.4-inch display and a flash mechanism. Take it to the Great Reef to capture the beauty as it can be used up to a depth of 3 meters underwater and can take up to 50 pictures. It’s designed to transfer and store the images to a CD after use. As with a digital, the pictures on the camera can be deleted. Then off it goes for recycling, which allows the LCD and flash unit to be reused in the next camera.
The PC energy saving Eco Button device plugs into your computer or laptop and lights up as a visual message to use it. When you push the button, your computer goes into Eco-Mode, drawing the least amount of energy possible. Hit a key on your keypad and return back to where you left off.
Sustainable bamboo meets modern technology in this optical mouse with a fast scroll wheel for easy navigation, from Sourcing Map.