There was a Greener Gadgets of 2009 competition, and the top spot went to “Tweet-a-Watt”, a device that records your power usage to your Twitter account. The logic goes that if other people can see how much power you use then you will be inclined to use less. Other picks included a printer that uses coffee and tea as ink, a sustainable desktop computer, and a water meter with a digital readout that displays the amount of water used.
Time and CNN produce a list of top 50 inventions every year. In 2009, the list was dominated by green gadgets and items. Just to name a few: the $10 mil lightbulb, the smart thermostat, the solarshingle, the yikebike, etc. To view the full list, check out http://www.time.com/time/specials/packages/completelist/0,29569,1934027,00.html
The winner of the Greener Gadgets design competition was AUG, the Living Goods Program. The main reason why this won was two fold: first, it focused on dematerialization – it wasn’t a new “thing” at all, but something that we could add on to our existing devices to help us live more sustainably. And while it isn’t a thing, it does function to help us be smart when we do buy things, since it helps us track, read about, and decide on the purchases of local products.
Similar to the GoodGuide app store, which provides information about the environmental impact of products on store shelves, this app specifically focuses on local goods. It solves a current problem, and can be created now – it doesn’t rely on futuristic technology like better solar cells or the implementation of the smart grid, nor does it rely on some company being willing to manufacture a new product.
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