This is a clever idea for habitual doodlers or for those who just want to save on all those post-it notes and scraps of paper that end up floating around your desk. It is a mouse pad that has ‘magic slate’ type top. You can write on it with the plastic stylus, or with your finger nail. Then once you’ve finished with your notes or doodles you just lift up the plastic top sheep to erase the notes. This would work well if you tend to write things on paper first then transfer them to your computer, or just like to jot down reminders for yourself to call people, or whatever. It may be a bit too gimmicky for some, but others will find it useful (like I do — SO much nicer than wadding up a bunch of post-it notes before I leave the office!). It may even end up saving you paper and ink, hence it being included as a green gadget. $17.00 from Amazon.com
Here is another great You Tube video about electronic waste dumping.
When we think about green gadgets we need to consider where they will eventually end up. As this Greenpeace video shows, many of our computers, monitors and other electronics which contain many highly toxic components may be dumped in electronics waste yards in places like Ghana where extreme poverty and lax or non-existent environmental laws encourage e-waste dumping.This related article from Greenpeace explains further.
Computers are power hungry monsters, often using between 300W and 500W of power! Given that an energy saving light bulb uses around 15W of power, computers can be responsible for expensive energy bills. I know that when I was a student at university, 6 computer scientists in one house each with at least one computer, led to an expensive electricity bill!
The Aleutia E2 was designed with low energy consumption in mind, needing only 8W of power! That’s just 2% of the power compared to a conventional PC using up to 400W of power! The computer uses solid-state memory cards rather than hard drives for storage, no energy guzzling CD or DVD drives, and uses energy efficient memory and processors. Admittedly the PC runs at 500MHz with 1GB of RAM, but it can run all conventional applications such as Firefox and OpenOffice on Ubuntu Linux.
The Aleutia team have recently released a Windows XP version, as well as a Wifi-enabled one, and an Aleutia E2 model with 32GB of storage as an SSD card. It’s only the size of about 3 CD cases stacked on top of each other too (Only 11.5cm x 11.5cm x 3.5cm). It’s not quite fast enough for YouTube, Google Earth or BBC iPlayer, but it does everything else. Absolutely fine for word processing, email, blogging, etc.
The motivation behind the Aleutia PC’s design was to find a rugged, reliable, low energy and cheap PC that could be used in the developing countries such as Africa. Energy supplies are hard to come by in that neck of the woods, hence the Aleutia PC was designed to be run from a solar panel! The Aleutia E1 was the first generation of Aleutia PC, but the E2 has attracted the attention of eco-technology-loving-folk such as myself. It’s an exciting product that doesn’t cost the earth too!
This article was written by Dan Harrison of EnviroGadget.com and Daily Eco Tips. Dan is enthusiastic about low power computers, green issue, and encouraging people to do their bit for the planet in small easy steps.
Earth Drive 4 Gig drive 34.99 at Costco
Now that almost everyone is using the USB flash drives to transfer and store their files we are facing the same issue that we have with CD’s and floppies – they get thrown out eventually. Our landfills are already overflowing with electronic junk so it’s a great idea that ATP has come up with a fully recyclable USB flash drive, called the EarthDrive. What makes the EarthDrive so special is that it is made from bio-recycled materials and is completely shockproof, waterproof and dustproof. You might freak out when you see their inflated prices (Costco sells the 8 Gig drive for 60.00) but the bite out of your wallet is less painful when you hear that ATP donates a portion of all their proceeds to planting trees all around the world. (hopefully not too near the Arctic circle.)