Think green travel gadgets have to break the bank? Think again.We’ve rounded up some eco-friendly gear and socially conscious companies that can also make your travel experiences a little easier. Dara Bramson reports on her findings from the Green Products Expo in New York City and beyond:
SensorPlugYou may have heard that plugged-in electronics still drain energy even when they’re not turned on—which means that even when you’re on the road, your electrical bill is still mounting. To solve that problem, SensorPlug is a motion-activated electrical outlet that shuts off two to six minutes of sensing no motion and turns back on almost immediately upon movement. Available for $19.99 or two for $35, with free shipping in the US. www.sensorplug.com
Best Energy System Hybrid 1000 Solar ChargerIf you want to forego electrical charging entirely, try out this solar charger works on most electronics such as phones, MP3 players and GPS units. For phones, one hour of sunshine typically equals 15 minutes of talk time using a battery that stores energy for up to one year. Each unit is $79.95 and weighs only 131 grams. www.solio.com
Verilux Satco LED Solar Rechargeable FlashlightCampers can take advantage of this eco-friendly flashlight that has six LED lights and actually provides a wider beam than most conventional flashlights. Best of all, $1 of the $29.95 purchase is donated to the New Sudan Education Initiative, which works to install solar power in Sudanese schools. www.verilux.com
Fuji EnviromaxIt doesn’t take a scientist to realize that chucking used batteries into the trash can translate into an environmental nightmare. Fortunately, Fuji Enviromax batteries are PVC, cadmium and mercury-free, which means landfill-safe and eco-friendly. Batteries are available in AA, AAA, C, and D and are $3.99 for Super Alkaline and $5.99 for Digital Alkaline. www.greenfuji.com
AspenwareIf you’re too lazy to wash but too guilty to waste, check out Aspenware’s disposable, biodegradable wooden cutlery. Packs of 12 for knives, forks and spoons cost $3.99 each. Serious campers without a sink can also purchase a 250-pack for $45 or a 500-pack for $85. www.aspenware.ca
Filtered Water Bottles Worried about water quality on your travels? Water bottles with filters are a great way to protect yourself from lurking bacteria.
Pure Water 2 Go (www.purewater2go.com) helps filter chlorine, taste and odor. One 16-ounce Level 1 Filter bottle is $7.95 and treats up to 40 gallons of water. Another 16-ounce bottle has a more advanced Level 2 Filter, which treats up to 80 gallons of water and helps remove significant proportions of heavy metals including lead, mercury and copper.
Fit N Fresh’s LivPure (www.fit-fresh.com) water bottle costs about $9.99 and has the added benefit of anti-microbial protection in the bottle to inhibit bacteria growth.
MOTO W233 Renew An eco-friendly cell phone? This Motorola phone is actually made with recycled water bottles. The nine-hour talk time capability means less charging time and therefore less energy wasted. In addition, a partnership with Carbonfund.org means that the company offsets the amount of energy needed to produce the phone by investing in carbon-negative programs such as reforestation and renewable energy. Available now from T-Mobile, the Renew costs $9.99 with a two-year service plan. www.motorola.com
Sustainable Beauty in 3 Ounces or LessUntil the TSA lifts its liquid ban, air travelers are still limited to 3-ounce beauty products, so why not invest in a company that also gives back? Coola Lip Lux all-in-one lip treatment is concentrated with organic ingredients and available in SPF 30 and 15 for $12 each. Coola also makes disposable packets of sunscreen that retail for $1.99 for SPF 30 and 45, and donates a portion of its proceeds to the Skin Care Foundation. www.coolasuncare.com
Travel usually means coming into contact with germs, so the Australian-based Frais produced a 100-percent vegan product in a recyclable container made out of sugarcane alcohol rather than rubbing alcohol. Pocket size 0.2 fl. oz. Frais is $3.50, also available in 1.7 fl. oz. and 15 fl. oz. containers. Frais donates proceeds to Just a Drop Foundation, which works to provide clean water systems in developing countries. www.frais.com.au
Men can enjoy the Men’s Essential Travel Kit from Skin by Monica Olsen, which includes wash and shave, aftershave, night and day cream, antiperspirant and deodorant, lotion, shampoo and conditioner for $34.95. Skin by Monica Olsen donates proceeds to its own alternative energy resource fund and Healthy Child Healthy World. https://skinbymonica.com
By Dara Bramson for PeterGreenberg.com.
Want more green gadgets? Check out Virtuous Traveler Leslie Garett’s top Green Travel Gadgets.
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