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Thumbnail image for solar panels new.jpgSolar powered concept phones have been around for a while now, Nokia did some interesting work in this area a few years back and again more recently there is a strong selection of solar powered chargers for iPhones and other mobiles.

But might solar powered phones be about to hit the mainstream? That's the rumours following new reports that Apple is working on solar powered elements to its batteries to reduce the strain caused by brighter screens and faster processors,

A recent job listing confirmed that the company has a requirement for a solar power expert within the company's Mobile Devices group.

The company filed this patent for a solar panel earlier in the year.

Originally published on Shiny Shiny

Blue elephant.jpgThis Saturday March 23rd at 8.30pm marks Earth Hour when people are supposed to switch off their lights to show, albeit symbolically, how much we need to protect the planet, but carry on using our mobile phones of course! (for more information go to http://earthhour.wwf.org.uk/).

To mark the event, WWF Wildlife Mobile is giving all new and existing customers 60 minutes of free calls so they can tell their friends about Earth Hour (or anything else for that matter).

According to the WWF, every conversation you have helps conservation so, for example, 24 hours of chatting could pay for 36 tree seedlings to help critical areas of Tiger habitat.

Wildlife Mobile gives 10% of the net call revenues for conservation and is open to anyone - not just existing WWF members.

The new, SIM-only, mobile network from WWF promises 99.7% UK wide coverage through the Vodafone network.

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Apple may have sold over 5 million iPhone 5s already. But with Apple's own map sending people over the edge (not really) and reports of people unboxing the new wonder only to find it having a scratch or a dent, we thought we'd take a look at what else is out there.

What we came across - as the panda loving individuals we are - is quite exciting: a phone made from bamboo!

OK, The Bamboo Smartphone isn't entirely made from bamboo, but rather has the important chips and tech essentials (it runs on Google's Android technology) encased in the lightweight material. And there's no need to worry about the durability either, as it has been specially treated to withstand horrible weather conditions (a must in the UK!), water and the occasional meeting with the ground.

We think its gorgeous! Where do we sign up to get one?

Created by ADzero, the design was launched at Tent London last weekend.

[via Design Milk]

We love our Macs, iPhones and iPads and wouldn't really want to live without them - even if Apple has decided to pull out of green-tech programme EPAT. But our eco minds are always on the look-out to find accessories to our Apple gadgets that are made with sustainability in mind, and not with badly produced plastic things shipped from far, far away. As we await the official announcement of the iPhone 5, here are some of our favourite Apple accessories we've come across lately - and a novel idea of how to upcycle an old iMac...

Lights 2 Go - 109.jpgSponsored post

The global move towards low energy lighting has been joined by the US, where incandescent bulbs will be phased out and new technologies such as LEDs brought in.

Despite objections from many in the US, the legislation mandating greater efficiency became law on January 1 this year.

Due in part to the new standards in the US and Europe, major leaps are being made within the lighting industry as research takes place to build better lights and different types of bulb.

The bulb that was invented by Thomas Edison and has been used for so many years is on its way out, and is being replaced by newer more advanced technology that improves energy usage and environmental impact of light bulbs.

The way the whole world views light bulbs needs to change - moving away from a throw away cheap item to something that is more likely to be viewed as a long-life home appliance. LED lighting and other newer technologies can give up to twenty years of use rather than about twelve months from a normal bulb.

Lighting companies in the US are gradually phasing out the old style bulbs, like the 100-watt bulb. New technologies are replacing the former and will use at least 28 per cent less power. These changes will bring the US in line with the UK and other countries in Europe, where eco-friendly bulbs were introduced three years ago.

China will also be joining in this year, banning the 100-watt bulbs and implementing plans for bulbs to have lower wattage by 2016.

"There are about four billion screw-in sockets out there [in the U.S.], and today only a quarter of them have an energy-saving bulb in them," said Noah Horowitz, a senior scientist with the Natural Resources Defense Council.

"When the standards are in full effect, we'll cut our nation's electric bill by about $12.5 billion a year and eliminate the need for 30 large power plants and all the pollution that comes from them. It's a big deal."

The change in standards comes in as many lighting companies, large and small, are developing new technology for the industry.

This has already included a new type of incandescent bulb, the 72 watt halogen incandescent bulb, which is relatively inexpensive and will fit into existing sockets.

"It's a bulb that costs only marginally more," said Brian Howard, co-author of a book on new lighting technologies, Green Lighting.

"You get the same colour, temperature, light that we're used to. So really the only disadvantage is that they don't last quite as long as fluorescents. The lifetime of halogen incandescent (bulb) is about two to three years".

Small steps of change are beginning and according to the US Energy Star efficiency programme, if every home switched just one bulb with an energy efficient one, the US would save $600 million a year.

UK energy savers can snap up their environmentally friendly LED lights for both inside and outside the house from leading lights specialists www.lights2go.co.uk.

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Kindle owners may never have to mains-charge their eReaders again thanks to a newly revealed cover from SolarFocus Technology on show at this years CES.

That is providing you live in sunnier climes than the UK, we mean. SolarFocus have been touting their SolarKindle case, which stores power thanks to a built-in solar panel.

One day's use in the sun gives you Kindle an extra three days worth of charge, stored in the SolarKindle's built-in battery, up to a maximum of three extra months.

There's also a mini LED light built in, good for 50 hours of use, which doesn't drain the Kindle's own battery.

"For the past six years, SolarFocus has been dedicated to developing the most technologically advanced portable solar powered solutions for consumers," said Dick Lu, EVP at SolarFocus.

"We will continuously improve the price / performance ratio of our solar powered solutions on even more consumer electronic products to reduce carbon emissions."

Hitting US shops on January 15th, you'll be able to pick the SolarKindle up for $79.99. That's providing Amazon let SolarFocus use the Kindle name, of course.

Via TechDigest.tv">Via Tech Digest

For more news from CES 2012, click here.

thinkbig.jpgHippyshopper and sister site TechDigest have teamed up with the O2 Recycle team this Christmas in order to raise some money for a pair of great causes.

Collecting all our old tech gear from the Shiny Media towers, the O2 Recycling gurus are going to re-sell the items, and ethically dispose of the ones that have no value, pushing all profits made to two separate charities.

The Shiny Media profits will all be going towards the Great Ormond Street Children's Hospital, who work tirelessly to help our little loved ones battle illness. O2 will be giving their share to Think Big, O2 will be giving its share to Think Big, its own initiative which empowers youngsters up and down the country, giving them funding to run their own community projects.

But we can't do it alone! We need your help to raise as much cash as we possibly can for these two great causes.

According to the O2 Recycle team's research, we throw away 17.5 million perfectly usable gadgets every year, with a potential value of £750 million!

We're asking if you can pool together any unwanted gadgets lying around your house to put towards the fund raising effort. Just pop them into the post, to the address found at this link, and we'll do the rest. We'll make sure that the owner of each profitable item sent gets credited on the site, so that you're hard work is recognised.

O2 offer a full price-match service on your recyclable gadgets too, meaning if you're offered a better price for the item elsewhere, they'll match it to the penny.

The recycling scheme can of course also be used personally if you've got a charity you'd like to support, or just need a little extra cash of your own. But you'd be helping out a great cause by teaming up with the Tech Digest and Shiny Shiny teams!

For more info, check out the video below, and then head over to www.o2recycle.co.uk to get started

british-gas-app.jpgBritish Gas have begun trialing a new app service that will allow customers to remotely switch off appliances from a smartphone.

The service, designed to keep bills low by tighter control over appliances (as well as being an additional safety feature for those worried they may have left a cooker or boiler on whilst away) could be ready to be rolled out early in 2012.

A new Smart Meter, letting customers measure exactly how much energy they are consuming in real time, is also set to launch.

Jacqueline Epifanie, Head of British Gas Smart Homes, said: "We've all had that sinking feeling when we think we've left the boiler on as we disappear on holiday. Our new technology will mean people will be able to switch off their appliances when they are away rom home and thanks to new smart meters will also be able to control their energy use when in the home as well."

According to British Gas's research, these tools cant come soon enough considering the penny-pinching times we live in. The average household wastes £150 a year by leaving a boiler on all year round, a loss of £1 billion nationally, with a further £740 million lost leaving tech gear on standby.

A further 30 million Brits suffer from "appliance anxiety"; a fear that they've left potentially dangerous items switched on and unattended before leaving the house.

Here at Hippyshopper we love nerdy, geeky gadgets that can help us be even more eco-friendly and save energy. But with all the tech wizardry around, it can sometimes be difficult to filter through all the shiny gadgets to find those that can help with a greener lifestyle.

[thanks to energyrethinking.org]

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By Greg Collins

There comes a time when we all go shopping for a new sound system or radio. It's a bit of an overwhelming experience sometimes isn't it? There are literally thousands of choices from hundreds of different companies. Sometimes you just want something nice and simple. This is where the cardboard radio fits in.

Sold by monsterstuff.co.uk and designed by Christopher McNicholl the cardboard radio is one of the simplest FM radio and MP3 players on the market and looks set to be a perfect christmas present for that one hippy music loving friend we all have.

The whole outer structure is made completely of card and is fully recyclable. It comes with four AA batteries and an audio input cable, making this the perfect portable music system for any office or picnic, when the weather decides to sort itself out.

The radio only costs £24.99 and is available right now from monsterstuff.co.uk. Looks like a great combination of environmentally friendly materials and technology.

Via Tech Digest

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Still feeling the pinch of the recession and with increasing energy prices, it's understandable to want to invest in products that are eco-friendly and that help save pennies. However, as consumer group Which? now can reveal some of the products on the market might not be the best way to save money.

Which? has identified 10 eco products that it claims might not offer worthwhile savings for consumers. Published in the August issue of Which? magazine, the investigation claims that you can avoid wasting up to £535 by avoiding the products.

So what are the 10 eco products you don't need?

1. Freeloader Classic £40

2. Vphase Voltage Optimisation Device £300

3 & 4. Disposable Battery Chargers - Battery Wizard Deluxe and Battery Charger for Alkaline Disposable Batteries £30-£35

5. Ecotek Energy Wizard £25

6. TreeGreen energyEGG £40

7. Standby Saver £17

8. Mira Eco Shower Head £35

9. Nordic Galant Shower Head £40

10. Window Insulation Kit by Stormguard £8

Image from here.

people-trade-rings.jpgMost of us has a tendency to cling on to things we don't use anymore, call it sentimental value, hoarder instinct or simply because we might possibly have use for it in the future... In fact, recent research found that nine out of ten hang on to items we never or rarely use.

However if you have a flat that is scattered with old games consoles, unloved toys or perhaps a wardrobe filled with clothes that you don't really wear there is hope! Of course you can take any unwanted items down to your local charity shop, or you can go online to www.netcycler.co.uk - a new swapping site - that allows you to swap and give away unwanted items for things you really want and need.

By creating matches between offers and wishes all you need to do is list what you want to get rid of and what you would like in return. In the words of a well-known meerkat: Simples!

You can also give away things for free or in return for a charitable donation.

Could it be more easy to minimise waste and clutter in your home and give unwanted items a new lease of life? Get netcycling now!

PS: there is even an iPhone app to make things really easy...

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H2OT-Shower-Powered-Radio.JPG Here's an interesting eco-friendly gadget - the world's first water-pressured radio.

Designed for use in the shower, the H2O Shower Powered Radio is powered solely through water, without the need for disposable batteries.

The FM radio is powered solely through the motion of water flowing through a small H2O™ micro turbine; driving a generator that creates energy to power the radio. An integral battery recharges as the shower runs.

The radio is both economically and environmentally friendly, harvesting energy that would otherwise, literally, go straight down the drain. It simply connects to the shower hose and is compatible with 99 per cent of all showers.

Previously showcased on TV programme Dragon's Den, the radio is the brainchild of Vivian Blick, Managing Director of Tango Group, the owners of the H2O.

H20 radio (small).jpg Inventor Vivian Blick is also a former director of Freeplay Energy Group, the company behind the commercialisation of the Wind-up Radio, which was invented by Trevor Baylis OBE in the 1990s.

Says Blick:

"Having seen huge success with the commercialisation of the Wind-Up Radio we were constantly looking into new ways that further innovations in the radio sector could be made.

Creating the now-patented micro turbine technology, that allows the radio to operate solely through the flow of water, was the key to our new innovation; and thus the world's first water-powered shower radio was created."

The H20™ Shower Powered Radio will be available to purchase from March 2011. The recommended retail price is £34.99.

TangoGroup

Via TechDigest.tv

Ethical Valentine's Day Gifts For Him

Comments (5)

Thinking about what to get your man this Valentine's Day that it both romantic and eco-friendly? Hippyshopper has put together this gift guide to make your shopping easier, even if buying for Mr Have It All.

I-Green: Bike Powered Charger

Comments (5)

The I-Green by Designer Fandi Meng, is a brilliant concept that I would love to see come to fruition.
The I-Green is a small bike peripheral that turns kinetic energy into electrical to charge nearly any portable device. Making it great for cyclists who want to keep phones or mp3 players charged on the go.

Meng has already won an iF and Good Design award for previous work and in my opinion, is definitely a designer to keep an eye on.

iGreen

iGreen

iGreen
iGreen

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