Five Green Smartphone Chargers
Smartphones have become almost the standard in today’s world. In fact, there are already close to 3 billion smartphone users worldwide. While this technology has taken the world by storm, it also has some long-lasting impacts on the environment. The materials needed to build these phones require significant mining and electricity to form them into workable materials. One of the best ways to reduce our overall environmental impact is to simply buy used instead of new and to make sure you recycle them properly after their time is up. Once you have a phone in your possession, there are plenty of ways you can continue to reduce your carbon footprint. Budding green technology companies have come up with ingenious renewable chargers for smartphones that can keep you connected while staying eco-conscious.
Eton BoostTurbine 2000
With the Eton BoostTurbine 2000 you’ll use some of your muscle and charge your smartphone with some good ol’ fashioned sweat equity. The charger comes equipped with a 2000 mAh battery and a hand crank. The battery carries enough power to fully charge a smartphone once. The battery itself can be recharged via USB or by cranking it. It takes about a minute of turning to charge the battery enough for a quick 30 second call, but this is perfect for emergencies. Of course the longer you turn the more power you’ll create. There’s also a larger version, the Eton BoostTurbine 4000 which can recharge larger devices.
EcoxPower Pedal Powered Headlight and Mobile Device Charger
If you’re an avid cyclist, the EcoxPower Pedal is a great accessory that serves two purposes:
- Provides white LED front light and two red LED rear lights for safer night time cycling.
- Charges your smartphone while you pedal.
Yes, you read right. You can charge your phone while you pedal around town. All you need to do is plug in the cable to the USB port and start pedaling. It also comes equipped with a built-in 700mAh battery for good measure. Depending on how far and fast you pedal you can potentially fully charge your phone by the end of your trip. Even if you don’t travel far distances, this little gadget ensures you won’t find yourself with a dead phone, so long as you remember to plug it in!
Unlike many other portable battery packs, the Powertrekk uses a fuel cell to create power. When combined with a small amount of water it starts an electro-chemical response that creates enough energy to power smartphones, GPS and even tablets. Powertrekk is able to achieve this thanks to its larger and more efficient fuel cell and a 3,800mAh battery. As well, it can charge a device in around 1-2 hours, making it much faster than other options currently available. The best part is because it only uses water and its own power cell, you can pretty much uses this wherever and whenever you need a quick charge.
If you’re big on camping, then the BioLite CampStove is a perfect two-in-one tool. Want to cook up a nice soup or boil some water? Simply add some twigs and branches into the stove section and start a fire. CampStove claims their technology not only produces a completely smokeless campfire but works as efficiently as gas stoves. While you’re cooking you can also plug in your device via USB into the BioLite portion and charge it. It takes about 20 minutes of charging to provide 60 minutes of talk-time though this varies based on your smartphone and strength of the fire. Of course, you can use the power to charge other items like headlamps and GPS. If it can plug into a USB the BioLite CampStove can charge it.
Armed with two 2.2-watt solar panels, the Voltaic Amp is one of the more efficient solar powered chargers currently available on the market. It is able to fully charge a device in about five hours and comes equipped with a 4,000mAh detachable battery. When left in the sun, it will passively charge connected devices, so you won’t have to worry about not making calls so long as it’s sunny outside. It also allows for pass-through charging, which means the solar panels can charge both the phone and the battery at the same time. Since it’s meant as an outdoors device, it is meant to withstand a couple bumps and drops without affecting performance. A unique feature of the Voltaic Amp is its dual-voltage capability that switches its output from 6 to 12 volts. This allows you to charge other devices like DSLR cameras.
Go Green With Your Chargers
Whether you’re an avid camper, want to be prepared in case of emergencies or simply want to move yourself off the grid, there is plenty of technology available that can help you stay connected through the use of renewables. The most interesting part is most of this technology has been around for decades, it’s only now there is a demand and market for them. As demand increases, prices will go down and these “niche” products will hopefully become mainstream enough everyone carries around some kind of renewable cell phone charger on them. For now, you can purchase these items or, if you’re a fan of DIY and have some time, you can make your own renewable chargers. There are plenty of instructions online and companies that sell all the items you need to create your own wind-powered or solar-powered charger.