Cool Eco-Friendly Travel Gadgets
When it comes to the environment, technology can be a double-edged sword. New devices use up energy and precious resources, but they also offer exciting ways to travel green. These days, the best are doing this while also lightening their footprints. Take the Android-powered Samsung Replenish smartphone ($50), made from recycled plastic and without many of the toxic chemicals found in other phones. It is loaded with a bundle of eco-friendly apps (Treehugger; National Audubon Society) and can be powered using a solar battery charger. Music lovers, meanwhile, can take comfort in knowing that the new Etón Soulra XL ($300) iPod dock, which is designed to resemble an old-school boom box, not only charges while it plays but lasts up to five hours on a single solar charge—perfect for the beach. Unfortunately, most travel-size solar chargers are still not strong enough to power your laptop. In the meantime, though, there’s the Energy Star–rated IDAPT i1 Eco ($24.99). Constructed of recycled materials, it lets you charge nearly any device on the go. The green edge: when a gadget is fully powered, the IDAPT turns itself off—conserving essential electricity.
Taking a road trip sometime soon? At agencies such as Enterprise and Hertz, you can now rent cars with built-in dashboard eco-modes that will show you, in real time, how efficiently you’re driving. A new generation of smart-phone apps, such as OnStar MyLink (free; iPhone), will also now deliver an overall assessment of your driving, showing you how to save both gas and money.