EcoWeb June 17

Don’t worry, ecochicks: I have read the internet so you don’t have to.

You a geek who wants to be green? Gizmodo showed us this new Monitor from LG that uses about 45% less energy than traditional models. Now you can feel a whole lot less Green Guilt about your WOW addiction.

Looking for a new source for green news? The Huffington Post, the US political commentary site named the World’s Most Powerful Blog by the Guardian, recently launched a new channel: Huffington Post Green, with news, blogs, and commentary about all the latest green news. This one will have some clout!

Sustainablog brings us news about Power of Green Consumers working together through Earth Aid Group Buys: Groups of consumers combining their purchasing power to buy in bulk and get better prices on green goods. Take the power into your own hands! They also posted a great article on Low Impact Living: 10 ways to cut energy consumption. What changes can you make?

Inhabitat featured several cool stories, including these awesomely funky Lamps made with recycled bottles, cool Solar Curtains that shade your home from the sun while absorbing energy, and an uber-useful Crank USB Battery that you could use right away to generate power, and that you will need to surf the web in case of the apocalypse.

At Treehugger, they featured this cool Lettuce Billboard, the Whippy Light (hide your CFL bulbs no more!) and these recycled plastic cutlery cases to curb your need for take-out cutlery with your pad thai.

There was also one piece of ironically good news: the high price of petroleum means that the Cost of Petro Plastic is Skyrocketing, forcing companies who rely on petro-plastics to find alternatives – natural rubber vs. synthetic rubber, reducing plastic packaging, and looking to increased use of recycled materials. While the price of petroleum is hard on the wallet, it’s forcing industry to make changes that make things easier on the planet – which in the end, is good for everyone.

Oh, muffin – is all this gloom and doom getting you down? Don’t worry: the Budget Ecoist has a great list of 5 Great Organic Wines for Summer to help you through.

Got any ideas for ecoweb? Send ‘em to me at talk at ecochick dot ca!

Shop Solio and Plug into the Sun

These days, we carry innumerous gadgets. Laptops, phones, iPods, digital cameras, video game players, tons of other things, all of them requiring one simple thing: Power. Without a power source, your gadget ends up a very expensive brick before too long.

End your reliance on the little plug on the wall with a Solio Universal Hybrid Charger! The Solio charger is a sleek little unit that spreads into a full solar panel array at need. It will accept power from a wall socket, sure, but it also will charge from simple exposure to the sun, either directly or through a window. You can either leave it to absorb a full charge, or put it in the sun, plug your dead gadget in, and power it up as you use it. And at 4.6 ounces, it’s a no brainer – and no effort – to chuck it in to your bag and take it on the road, especially since it replaces the 4,246 separate chargers you’d otherwise be carrying.

The Solio Hybrid charger is available at their online store, accessible by clicking the link.

MacBook Air: Apple’s moves towards eco-responsibility

With this week’s announcement of the MacBook Air, the new item of lust for Mac geeks everywhere, Apple is taking a few significant steps towards making their laptops more environmentally friendly. To wit:

  • The shiny aluminum case is fully recyclable;
  • The display mercury-free
  • The glass in the monitor is arsenic-free
  • The circuit boards are bromide-free and PVC-free
  • The Air packaging is 56% less than that of the MacBook, while still having that awesome New Mac smell.

With the introduction of these green initiatives, it begs the question: How the hell did I not know there was arsenic and mercury in my laptop?

Iqua Handsfree Bluetooth Solar Headset

You know when you see obnoxious people in suits walking down the street with borg-like devices in their ears talking to what appears to be nobody in particular? Those gadgets in their ears are what’s called Bluetooth devices, and they hook up with your mobile phone and other devices to allow you to talk hands-free. By nature of the beast, these Bluetooth devices spend most of their time exposed to light.

Finnish company Iqua has taken advantage of this, and has slapped solar panels on the front of the Iqua SUN BHS-603 model so as to recharge it as you walk. Capable of up to 12 hours talk time on a full charge, it will absorb light from any source – indoor or outdoor – to power the device.

Comparable in size and capabilities to traditionally powered Bluetooth devices, the Iqua Sun won’t save the planet on its own, but what it does do is illustrate a brilliant environmentally friendly technology that will actually cause the product to have an advantage over its competitors: Its ability to remain continually charged as long as it’s exposed to light means it’s one less detail for very busy and important people to worry about in their very busy and important day.

The Iqua Sun will be available in stores shortly.

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