With Earth Day bringing the concept of eco-conscious technology to the world’s attention, we decided that it would be best to spotlight 5 of the most eco-friendly accessories that are on the market today. From ‘green’ chargers to eco-efficient alternative fuel apps, this list will provide you with all of the information that you’ll need to kit yourself out with a plethora of iPhone accessories that won’t leave you feeling worried about your carbon footprint.
1. Bracketron Mushroom GreenZero: Energy Saving Charger
The thing about iPhones is that they need so much energy to keep them going; lots of people actually keep them charging overnight just so that they have a full battery for the morning (tip: this is a bad idea as it will actually reduce the longevity of your battery life). The Bracketron charger starts charging when it’s connected to a device with low battery levels by simply pressing the ‘mushroom’ button with your hand or foot. The eco-friendly thing about this charger is that it automatically switches off as soon as a device is fully charged or disconnected (I think that this should be mandatory for all chargers!).
Available: May 2012
Available at: www.Bracketron.com
2. Iconosys Alternative Fuel Apps: Locate A Nearby Green Refueling Spot
Whether you have a gas-guzzling behemoth of a vehicle or a nippy little sports number, there’s no doubt that pouring petrol into its engine is doing no good for the environment; if you’re on a long trip, every time that you fill up you’re increasing your carbon footprint. To get yourself on the waiting list for eco-Heaven rather than plummeting to eco-Hell, check out the collection of smartphone apps that locate and guide you to green refueling locations along your travel route.
The apps include the ‘Alternative Energy Fueling Directory’, ‘Where to get Biodiesel’, ‘Where to get NGV’ and ‘My Plug-In Directory’. The apps can help save you both time and money by helping you find the most convenient fueling stations/charging points, all found entering zip codes of your route as well as providing numbers for top roadside assistance companies that specialize in popular electric and hybrid vehicles.
Available at: Iconosys.com and from the Android Marketplace
3. Edifier Luna5 Encore: Sleek And Stylish Speaker
This speaker is not only eco-friendly, it’s an absolute beauty of a ‘room piece’, one that will fit into any stylish flat or house; the shape of the speaker is totally unique, sort of like a massive upside-down black tear drop that happens to provide a fantastic level of sound.
The 5-driver speaker system features iDevice docking as well as an auxiliary input so that you can hook a laptop up to it instead of using speakers. The speaker is ROHS certified (restriction of hazardous substances) and manufactured under eco-friendly and humanitarian conditions; the actual company Edifier itself is committed to running facilities that constantly work to lessen environmental impact, which you can learn more about on their website.
Now for the technological bit…as the speaker system incorporates unique vibration and resonance control technologies for stellar audio, the actual sound quality is second to none; we set one up in the iPAC offices and have been blaring out the tunes for the last few days, knowing that whatever sound pollution we’re creating is balanced out by our lack of energy waste. (Plus, it means that I can rock out to Purple Rain with much less irony than listening to it on a power-draining sound system.)
This speaker is available in black and white and has a built-in FM tuner and remote control so that you can manage the track selection and volume from anywhere in the room. What I really like about the Edifier is how snugly it fits into a room compared with how gigantic the sound emanating from it can be; seriously, I’m expecting complaints from the neighbours any day now, but all I have to do is chuck my coat over it and it’s hidden!
4. Scosche solBAT II: Solar Powered Back Up Battery And Charger
If you’re caught on the hop and you haven’t brought your charger, or worse yet, you’ve got your charger but there are no nearby plug sockets then this charger could come to your iPhone’s battery life. Compatible with almost any handheld USB powered device, the solBAT II’s simple two light design indicates whether it’s charging or fully charged; the two suction cups make it easy to attach the charger to a window or windshield so that it can get maximum charge.
Now, when it comes to the actual charging of the device, we referred to our buddies over at engadget who say that the soBAT, “takes between four to five days (!) to charge up fully under sunlight — not ideal for most power-hungry smartphones nowadays. There’s always the $93.23 Energizer SP2000 (2,000mAh) for your consideration — it’s bulkier, but with three solar panels it only needs six hours of solar-charge time. Guess we’ll just take the faster one, thanks.” Nice to know that we have options…
Available at: Scosche.com
5. REV360 Case For iPad 2: Rotate Your iPad In The Palm Of Your Hand
Now this one’s pretty darn cool; if you’ve ever wanted to flip your iPad round so that it can be viewed from every and any angle then here’s the accessory that you’ve been waiting for. The REV360 case contains a rotating disk that clips to the back of your iPad and allows you to spin it around 360 degrees, changing from landscape to portrait with one deft flick of the wrist.
I particularly like this case because it let you handle and manage your iPad when on the go; for example, let’s say that you are walking along the street with your buddies and you want to show them a slideshow or check out some Facebook photos, you can swivel it around for all to see without stopping to see if everyone has got the correct angle. The strap itself is ‘one size fits all’, so it doesn’t matter whether you have dainty little mitts or gigantic dinner plates for hands (I’m somewhere in between…dainty dinner plates?!), the REV360 will fit in your palm.
Read the full review here.
If you are at all interested in helping to save the world then you want to check out our Earth Day Special: Save The World By Recycling Your Smartphone.