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Home / Articles / Special Sections / Green Gifts /  Tech -- and green!
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Thursday, December 3,2009

Tech -- and green!

By Ryan Casey

Here’s the dilemma when it comes to electronics: they rock — sometimes, quite literally — but they often leave a large carbon footprint.

Whether they suck power (ahem, Mr. Xbox 360 hooked up to a 60-inch television, I’m talking to you), or are simply made of products that are harmful to the environment, there can be a guilt factor associated with those tech toys you own.

Fear not. We have a comprehensive guide to our favorite eco-tech toys, starting with Boulder-based PureEnergy Solutions, which has patented a technology for batteries that outlasts both traditional disposables as well as other rechargeables.

PureEnergy’s Rechargeable Alkaline Manganese Technology batteries are the only batteries in the world based on alkaline chemistry.

“This chemistry contains no heavy metals, unlike other rechargeable chemistries such as nickel-metal hydride, lead-acid, or lithium-ion, and thus are better for the environment,” says George Holmes, senior vice president of worldwide sales and marketing for PureEnergy Solutions.

PureEnergy’s biggest draw may be its WildCharge technology, a wire-free charging platform that allows users to charge multiple devices at once, and thus, save on power. Besides, these guys have made a conscious commitment to green business.

“We are very aware of the need to do our part to help take care of our planet,” Holmes says. “Where each of us can do something to help, we should.”

PureEnergy’s products are available at www.shop.pureenergy.com.

Here’s some other fun stuff, from cell phones that charge themselves (all-day texting!) to wind-powered all-purpose chargers — and where to snag them around town or on the ’net — just in time for the holidays:

Samsung Blue Earth. Talk, and never stop, because this guy can recharge with solar energy. Sure, technically it’s only available in Europe, but when has a technicality ever stopped anyone? Samsung has long been tightlipped about this touch-screen beauty (which retails for around $300), but here’s what we do know: solar panels adorn the back of the 4-by- 2-inch phone, making it easy to recharge. It’s also made of recycled water bottles and comes with a built-in pedometer. The trick, at least until a U.S. release is announced, is to snag one off eBay and then unlock it to use on your preferred carrier. So, the next time someone asks you what you want to bring to a desert island, be sure to include this.

The Motorola Renew W233 could very well be the world’s most green cell phone, and, no, it isn’t just the lime faceplate that we’re talking about. Its plastic parts derive entirely from recycled water bottles, and the phone even comes in 100 percent recycled packaging. Ranging from $15-30, this little bugger can be picked up at T-Mobile (1590 28th St.).

USBCell offers batteries that charge in your computer’s USB port. They come in a variety of standard battery sizes — and only run $19.50 for a two-cell pack of AA batteries. Pick ’em up at www.usbcell.com.

What better way to charge something then to not think about it at all? Australian-based Sunnybag has designed a line of bags that can charge your favorite gadgets. Producing up to three watts of power, the bags feature solar panels that can charge 400 different phones, MP3 players, PDAs and even USB devices. Bags retail for $299. Pick one up at www.sunbagshop.com.

The faster you ski, the faster you … recharge your iPod? With the HYmini, yes, absolutely. This hand-held wind-powered device can collect and store energy from wind, the sun or even an outlet. Then, you can use it to charge your iPod, PDA, camera or other device. Basic model retails for $49.99; deluxe edition goes for $74.98. For more: www.hymini.com.

And just for fun: Motherboardgifts.com. Ever wonder what happens to old computer motherboards? You know, those little green circuit boards that make your PCs (or Macs!) tick? Of course you don’t. Nevertheless, the guys over at Motherboardgifts.com found hundreds of things to do with them.

They list their top sellers as the business card cases ($28.95), luggage tags ($19.50), coasters ($27.50), clipboards ($19.50), spiral journals ($19.95), mouse pads ($19.95) and bookmarks ($10.50).

Our favorite, though, is their cigar case.

“Hey man, whatcha got there?” your friends will ask as you pull out the sleek green-and-silver box. “Oh nothing,” you’ll say, smirking, “just my motherboard cigar case. No big deal.” Trust us. It’s dope. And it’s only $26.95.

These guys have been around since 1991.

Gift certificates are available on the website.

A few other highlights:

  • Checkbook case ($19.95)
  • Money clip ($14.50) Clocks (from $26-63)
  • Sterling silver cuff links ($125)
  • Nightlight ($17.50)
  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
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