Get Your Green On–13 Energy (and Money) Saving Gadgets

As many of you know, in addition to The Dough Roller, I also blog about green products over at Energy Saving Gadgets. It’s a lot of fun because I love gadgets and the science of reducing our impact on the environment. The technology that is available today is quite remarkable, and many green gadgets can not only lessen our impact on the environment, but also save money.

And that brings me back to The Dough Roller. To give you an idea of easy ways you can go green and save some money, here are 13 green gadgets for your consideration. With the exception of #13, I’ve selected these items for several reasons. First, they can all be used in our day-to-day lives to conserve energy and reduce utility bills. Second, each gadget is practical. In the early days of green technology, a lot of the products just weren’t all that useful. That’s no longer the case, as these gadgets demonstrate. And finally, these gadgets cover virtually every aspect of our daily lives, from electricity and water consumption, to yard work, to commuting, to information technology. And as for gadget #13, it shows us just how cool and innovative green technology can be.

1. CFL Bulbs: The CFL bulb is the starting point for anybody looking to lesson their impact on the environment. The cost is not significantly more than a power-hungry incandescent, and the CFL lasts up to 10 times longer and consumes up to 75% less energy. You can get a 8-pack of GE Energy Smart 60 CFL bulbs from Amazon for $12.69.

smart-strip-power-strip2. Smart Strip LCG5 Energy Saving Power Strip: Known as energy vampires, computers and other electronics can use significant amounts of electricity in standby mode. To reduce this energy consumption and save some money, invest in a power strip that automatically shuts off the power when the gadget is not in use. The Smart Strip (about $40) comes with Autoswitching Technology designed to switch off your devices automatically when they are not in use. Also available are less expensive energy saving power strips.

3. Rechargeable Batteries: Four AA rechargeable batteries can replace the need to buy 100 replacement batteries, a savings of about $40. Rechargeable batteries not only save you money by eliminating the cost of buying replacement batteries, but they also make a big impact on the environment. Replacement batteries stress the environment both when they are manufactured and when they are disposed of. Four AA replacement batteries eliminate 8 pounds of hazardous waste!

Factoid: If every American home replaced just five incandescent bulbs with CFLs, we’d keep more than one trillion pounds of greenhouse gases out of the air, which is equal to the emissions of 8 million cars. Oh, and we’d also save $6 billion in energy costs.

p3-watt-monitor4. P3 Watt Monitor: It can be a real shock when you learn just how much electricity the gadgets and appliances in your home consume. And armed with this knowledge, you can begin conserving electricity and money by making even modest changes to the way you use electricty. There are several power monitors available on the market today. Some will even send power usage data to you via the Internet. Once option is the P3 International P4460 Kill A Watt EZ Electricity Usage Monitor. The P4460 is really easy to use and costs as little as $40.

5. Scotts Push Reel Lawn Mower: Until recently, gas powered lawn mowers had unregulated emissions, and by some estimates, account for up to 5% of the nation’s air pollution. One very green alternative is the Scotts 2000-20 20-Inch Classic Push Reel Lawn Mower. This people-powered mower emits noting into the atmosphere but those unwanted calories you stored up during the week. If your yard is just too big for a push reel, consider an electric or battery powered mulching mower.

6. GT Nomad LTD Comfort Bike: If you can bike to work some or all of the time, the GT Nomad LTD Comfort Bike makes for a great commuter bicycle. Biking to work not only reduces are impact on the environment, but it also can be a real money saver and a great work out. There are many bike options, of course, and you can even consider a used bike from eBay. If you really want to get into commuter biking, check out The Bike to Work Guide: What You Need to Know to Save Gas, Go Green, Get Fit. You may also want to check out Paul Dorn’s Bike Commuting Tips.

Factoid: About three billion new books are sold each year, requiring about 400,000 trees to be chopped down.

7. Kindle 2: This one may spark a bit of controversy, but the Kindle 2: Amazon’s New Wireless Reading Device (Latest Generation) does have the potential to significantly reduce our demand for paper and reduce the cost of each book. Besides, this one is at the top of my must-have gadget list, and a request to Mrs. Dough for the Kindle 2 as a Father’s Day gift has already been submitted.

8. Delta Water-Saver Shower Head: The Delta 75152 Water Amplifying Adjustable Showerhead with H2OKINETIC Technology, Chrome is a dual setting shower head offering both a water-saving and a high-volume spray. The water-saving “comfort spray” operates at 1.85 gallons per minute, while the high-volume spray operates at a standard 2.5 gallons per minute. For every 10 minute shower, you’ll save about six gallons of water in the water-saving mode. Over the course of a year, you can easily conserve 2,000 gallons of water. This dual sprayer is backed with a lifetime warranty.

9. PUR DS-1800Z 2 Stage Water Dispenser: Bottled water is expensive and terrible for our environment. Both the manufacture and disposal of plastic bottles is costly and eco-unfriendly. The PUR DS-1800Z 2 Stage Water Dispenser offers a convenient and inexpensive way to enjoy clean water. The 18-cup dispenser reduces lead and removes 99.9% of microbiological cysts (cryptosporidium and giardia), while leaving beneficial fluoride in the water.

Factoid: Plastic is derived from petroleum. It takes over 17 million barrels of oil annually to satisfy America’s demand for bottled water. If converted to gasoline, the oil could fuel 500,000 cars on coast-to-coast trips.

10. Smart Temp Programmable Thermostat: According to the Energy Star government website, homeowners can save about $180 a year by properly setting their programmable thermostats and maintaining those settings. There are many programmable thermostats to choose from, and the Lux TX1500 Smart Temp Programmable Thermostat is one low cost option. If you want more alternatives, here are 16 programmable thermostats to chose fromm.

11. PUR Water Filters: Another option to bottled water is the PUR FM-3700 3 Stage Vertical Faucet Mount with Filter Chrome. One filter provides up to 100 gallons of clean water.

voltaic-solar-packback12. Voltaic Solar Backpack: This is one of my favorite green gadgets. The Voltaic Solar Panel Backpack charges iPods, cell phones, and other electronic gear while you walk. Perfect for school, hiking or camping.

13. Tesla Roadster: Saving the best “gadget” for last, the Tesla Roadster is an electric car capable of 0 to 60 in 3.9 seconds. Imagine cruising down the road at 60 mph in under 4 seconds without hardly making a sound. While at $109,000, this isn’t exactly a money saving gadget, it’s hands down the coolest. Here are some pics:

telsa-roadster

tesla-roadster-ev-interior

And remember, if you have any other energy (and money) saving gadgets to recommend, please leave a comment.

Published or Updated: June 12, 2013
About Rob Berger

Rob founded the Dough Roller in 2007. A litigation attorney in the securities industry, he lives in Northern Virginia with his wife, their two teenagers, and the family mascot, a shih tzu named Sophie.

Comments

  1. Ken says:

    We will be moving in our new house in a month and I am going to try these CFL bulbs. I’m all about the savings and efficiency.

  2. Stacey says:

    If it gives off heat, it’s using too much energy: the dishwasher heated dryer, the clothes dryer, ect. We’ve seen tremendous savings in our energy bill just by eliminating these two energy hogs.

  3. I like the CFL bulbs, and I have seen significant energy savings from them, but their mercury content makes me nervous. Be sure to bring them to Home Depot or IKEA for recycling.

  4. Kate says:

    LOL- I don’t know if the Tesla is exactly a money saver, but it sure is cool! Great tips– I’ve never even heard of some of these things before. I’m pretty new to the whole green movement, but I read a post on one of the PF blogs I read regularly (maybe Wisebread?) about a new website called Shift Your Habit that makes suggestions like these on a daily basis. It’s really helpful and, like your tips, shows us all great ways that we can use a “power of small” type approach to really make a difference in our environment (and save a few bucks, too).

  5. Josh says:

    CFLs are a nice step but with the US throuwing away 5 million light bulbs a day into land fill and with CFLs having traces of mercury, we are all better off using LEDs. They last up to 10-50 times longer and do not contain mercury. 5 million bulbs a DAY is alot of trash that makes this planet LESS green than if you were using a LED. Prices are problem though, best prices I have found were on Amazon and a site called eaglelight.com. Check out the ‘Pharox’ and the cree MR16 bulbs. If you really want to be green, think beyond your pocket book if you can.

  6. Pete says:

    Author and editor, please look up the definition of “factoid.” You discredit yourselves buy labeling what should really be side notes or parentheticals as spurious made up statements designed to appears as fact.

  7. david says:

    josh is right, CFL’S have traces of mercury in them and that’s not good for the environment at all…even though it says it right on the packaging, they kinda don’t advertise that. LED is certainly the way to go. And as far as that PUR 2 stage unit leaving “benifiting fluoride,” I’d rather not have that in my water thank you very much. Flouride is ment for toothpaste, not drinking, its considered a toxic chemical by yhe FDA if I recall correctly, I guess just google search that.

    • DR says:

      CFL bulbs do have traces of mercury. The technology has reduced the amount considerably. I do think LEDs are the future, but CFLs are here to stay for the foreseeable future. If they don’t break, the mercury is not an issue, which is why we only use them in places where the risk of breaking is minimal.

  8. Sieuwerd says:

    Great site with some nice products that could save me some money. This site was one of the reasons to start my own site that provides information on products that can save people money. You should take a look at http://www.moneysavinggadgets.com and tell me what you think about the featured gadgets. Keep up the good work and I hope to see new content on this site soon..

  9. You can definitely see your enthusiasm in the work you write. The sector hopes for even more passionate writers like you who aren’t afraid to say how they believe. At all times follow your heart.

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