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Cool Green Gadgets for the Home

written by: Jennifer Claerr•edited by: Lindsay Evans•updated: 7/26/2011

It's hard to get off the grid, but you can do it a little bit at a time using wind-up gadgets and solar rechargers for your electronic devices. Check out some of these cool green gadgets and find out how they can help you to save on energy.

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    Green Gadgets to Reduce Your Dependence on the Grid

    Some of the best green gadgets for the home are capable of being completely independent of the grid. Some of them can even help you to recharge your cell phone, laptop, MP3 player, handheld games or PDA without plugging into a wall socket. These cool gadgets include wind-up devices and solar chargers which are easy and convenient to use. They can help you reduce your consumption of disposable batteries and allow you to continue using your rechargeable devices even during power outages. These are just a few of the best and most innovative green gadgets that you can use around your home.

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    Dynamo Illuminator Wind-Up Flashlight

    The Dynamo Illuminator Wind-Up Flashlight is an essential green gadget for anyone who wants to avoid throwing away or recharging batteries. This flashlight has three bright LED lights and a hand crank you can use to charge them up. The lightweight, compact flashlight can be charged in about 60 seconds to produce an hour of light. Since the LEDs are practically unbreakable and have 30,000 hours of light, you'll never have to replace a flashlight bulb again. The Dynamo Illuminator Wind-Up Flashlight is inexpensive, so you can get more than one to keep around the house in case of emergencies.

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    Baylis Revolution Wind-Up MP3 Player

    Using the Baylis Revolution Wind-Up MP3 Player, you can listen to MP3s and FM radio at home and on the road without using disposable batteries. The Baylis Wind-up MP3 Player, which runs a lithium ion rechargeable battery, also has a flashlight, a cell phone charger and a voice recorder. You can also use this green gadget to watch videos, read e-books, view your personal photos and record songs off the radio. 60 seconds of hand cranking provides about 45 minutes of music playback, making it great for emergencies. It can also be charged by USB for about 48 hours of playback. This green gadget is slightly bulky, but all of its useful features will make it well worth this slight inconvenience.

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    SolarGorilla Solar Laptop Charger

    A portable solar laptop charger is the perfect green gadget for getting your computer off the grid. The lightweight SolarGorilla Solar Laptop Charger has two solar panels, a 20 volt output socket and a 5 volt USB socket, making it compatible with your laptop computer, cell phone, iPod or PDA. For greater versatility, use the SolarGorilla in combination with the PowerGorilla Portable Laptop Charger, which can provide your laptop with an additional 2 to 6 hours of power. The SolarGorilla Solar Laptop Charger is compatible with a wide range of laptop brands, including Acer, Compaq, Dell, HP, Sony and Toshiba. To use it with a MacBook, MacBook Air or MacBook Pro, you just need an Apple MagSafe Airline Adaptor.

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    Power Monkey eXplorer Solar Charger

    There are few things more frustrating than going to use your cell phone, only to find that the battery is dead. The Power Monkey eXplorer Solar Charger is an essential accessory that will ensure your cell phone will never run out of power again. This lightweight, compact solar gadget has a backup battery and can be charged from the sun, by the USB port on your computer or by an AC adapter. It can store up to 96 hours of power for your rechargeable devices. In addition to your cell phone, the Power Monkey will also charge your iPod, digital camera, MP3 player, PDA and Sony PSP. Also include with the Power Monkey eXplorer Solar Charger is a universal travel adapter which you can use in 150 different countries.

    For more information about green electronics, read LCD vs. Plasma: Which TV is Best for the Environment? and The 5 Best Green Computers.

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    Amazon: "Dynamo Illuminator Wind-up LED Flashlight"

    CNET: "Baylis wind-up MP3 player is no joke"

    PowerTraveller: "Powergorilla."

    PowerTraveller: "Powermonkey eXplorer."