Saturday, March 15, 2008

A review of two Eco-conscious media players from the NY times

Just came across this review of two green media players from David Pogue of the NY Times.

The first device reviewed is the Motion Street eMotion Solar, which can play mp3's, video, and also has a couple of classic Nintendo games to play.

And it's completely solar powered.

In fact, with an adapter, the integrated solar panels can be used to charge a phone, or a USB chargeable device, which might eliminate the need to carry around a separate solar charger.

The second media player reviewed is the Baylis Eco-Media Player, named after Trevor Baylis, an Eco-Conscious inventor.

The Eco-Media Player is cranked for power (1 minute gives you 40 minutes of play). It's kind of like the swiss army knife of media players: it's a flashlight, music and video player, audio recorder, phone charger, mass storage device, picture viewer, and an FM radio, among other things.

It seems like, if you were going to choose a media player to bring camping, or keep something in your bag for emergencies, these two green media players would beat an iPod any day.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Finding a "green" computer

Most people seem to find the idea of a computer being "green" a bit of a paradox. Technology just seems to be one of those necessary evils, something that just needs to consume whatever amount of energy it needs to, and be made of whatever materials it needs to be made of in order to work. And you want it to work, right?

Not so.

Companies like Dell have recently gotten on the "green" wagon by marketing their new Optiplex models as being more energy efficient than previous desktops in that line have been.

Also, they advertise that they use less heavy metals, like mercury and lead, in the manufacturing process, and when you order one, it comes preconfigured for maximum energy savings.

There's even an option to plant a tree.

If you're thinking about buying a new computer, but aren't sure what your options are, go to, where you can find a list by manufacturer of the latest in energy efficiency and low-impact desktops and laptops.

One company which isn't mentioned on Climate Savers, is enano. I've gotten to play with one first hand, and I have to say that they're designed for power computing, and extremely sexy.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Reducing energy drain at home

For Green IT NYC's first official post, let's start with one of the easiest ways to "green" your tech life at home: less energy use.

Use power strips to plug in your chargers
By plugging your phone, camera, or battery chargers into a power strip that can be turned off, you prevent "phantom drain" by those devices. Most chargers do use current even when they aren't being used.

If you want to go the extra mile, you can get a Smart Strip, which is a power strip with a control outlet. When you turn off the appliance plugged into the control outlet, power is cut to the rest of the outlets as well.

I have my external hard drive plugged into the control outlet on mine, so that when I turn off the hard drive, my monitor and speakers go off with it. To turn them back on, I turn the hard drive back on and the monitor and speakers come on automatically.

Become familiar with the types of rechargeable batteries your devices use, so that you can prevent over or undercharging them
Check out this battery charging guide (this one focuses on cell phones, but it still holds true for their use in other devices) to get the most out of your device's battery.

Solar chargers work
For most small devices, a solar charger can be ideal. Connectors are made for most types of phones, iPods, and even laptops.

Check out Solio for all your solar charging needs. You can also get a backpack version.

Check back for more tips in the next post.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Green IT NYC - A resource for Green IT news and tips

The purpose of Green IT NYC is to create a resource for reducing the footprint for a part of modern life that can't be ignored: technology.

Here is where you can find new "green tech" products and solutions that can help all of us stay connected and conscious of our use at the same time, whether it be choosing products that use less electricity, or that are made from materials that use less heavy metals and non-recyclable parts.

Green Information Technology, or Green Computing, isn't a new concept.

By focusing on the idea of technology and it's devices as part of a system, we can analyze that system to find out how to run it cleaner, more efficiently, and with less waste.

This applies not only to corporate and government policy, but to people's everyday lives.

Like Thomas E. Lovejoy, former chief biodiversity adviser for the World Bank, said about the solution to Global Warming, "There's no silver bullet, it's more like silver buckshot".

There may be no "silver bullet" to the waste and power-use associated with modern technology, but there are many small changes, especially that individuals, and small/medium-sized businesses can make much more rapidly than a larger institution.

Speaking to people, these ideas intrinsically make sense. This is just getting started, so any feedback, crit, or links are more than welcome.

Let's see what we can accomplish when we put our heads together, and make being connected better for all of us.