Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Greener Gadgets Pt. 1: Solar Backpack

If you follow gadget or environmental blogs, you might know that there was recently a conference recently in New York about greener gadgets. Gadgets are big polluters on the grand scale of things. Harvesting and disposing of the raw materials for the ultra-refined components of every technological item is a big pollution ditch to climb out of. Efficiency is one way to make gadgets greener, but some products rethink the equation.

Some products generate their own power using solar panels, some are made of materials that are better for the environment, and some are made to be recycled more easily. This backpack made by Reware generates power for your gadgets, newer versions are even made in the USA from recycled soda bottles. It charges your cell phone, iPod, GPS unit, rechargeable batteries, etc. using a standard car charger outlet. 

There are other solar backpacks on the market, but the Reware ones use thin film solar so the panels won't break (most others are made out of hard glass panels), are made in the USA of recycled bottles, and have removable solar panels so that the packs can be washed.

I use the iGo car adapter and tips from Radio Shack to make all my gadgets work with the backpack.

Even if you're not out hiking, you can always leave your backpack in the window to charge your stuff.

The bags run from $200-400, so this is a perfect use for your refund check.

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