Green gadgets for your business
A selection of our favourite things to make going green that little bit more fun
The UK is a nation obsessed with gadgets. In fact, a recent report by the Sunday Times found that for 94% of men, the main reason they get excited when their partners announce their pregnancy is not because of the bouncing bundle of joy that will soon be gurgling away in their arms, but because of the whole new category of gadgets – or ‘dadgets’ – that will shortly become available to them.
It’s unsurprising, then, that there have been hundreds of gadgets developed for the aspiring ecopreneur. Here, we list a few of our favourite ways to cut your business’ carbon consumption.
By far the most beautiful eco-gadget available, Wattson is a sort of aesthetically pleasing guilt-o-meter which displays your energy use in either units or pounds in delightfully diffused red LEDs. Underneath, it emits a soothing lilac glow – presumably there to placate you as you watch in horror at the numbers ticking over. Wattson is more than just a pretty face, though: it’s designed to be able to go anywhere in the house, and, along with the software that comes with it, the ingeniously monikered ‘Holmes’, claims to be able to help you reduce your electricity bill by between five and 20%.
Perfect for businesses who are looking save space as well as reduce their energy usage, the Greenhive is computer which can have either four or seven users connected at once – and the computer is even cost effective: it’s about £1,000 for the smaller version, and just over £3,000 for the larger one. The company, which won the PC Pro Environmental Innovator of the Year award in 2007, says the computer uses as little as nine Watts of electricity – compared to most desktop computers, which use around 100.
Yes, we all have good intentions, but occasionally there is a time where we forget to switch of our computer screen, or leave a TV on standby. Luckily, though, the Intellipanel has come along and changed that. Working in the basis that as a species, we are a lazy bunch (‘let’s be honest, who really thinks about turning equipment off at the mains after each use?’ asks the website somewhat impetuously), the IntelliPanel automatically cuts power to appliances which are not in use. A godsend to those inclined to forget.
Everyone needs a cup of tea during their working day, but according to research, on average we boil about twice the amount of water we need for a cup of tea. Enter Ecokettle, a measuring jug-cum-kettle, which includes a feature allowing the user to fill the kettle to its eight-cup maximum, but only boil enough water for the number of cups they want to make. Its makers say the Ecokettle can save you nearly a third of the energy you would usually use for tea making, which, according to Defra, could save enough electricity to run ‘practically all’ the street lighting in the UK.