Published on June 16th, 2013 | by Guest Contributor2
5 Innovative Gadgets for the Eco-conscious Office
It’s a common misconception that in order to progress towards a more eco-conscious lifestyle; you have to abandon the various high tech gadgets and tools that make your life easier (and more fun!).
This may ring true in certain circumstances, but in the work place it’s not always possible to chuck out that time saving gizmo. You can however, replace various gadgets with their more eco-friendly counterpart, in turn helping to reduce the offices environmental impact bit by bit.
On top of this, there are an abundance of gadgets that you can add to your office’s arsenal that can help offset your growing, but unavoidable carbon footprint. We’ve scoured the internet and handpicked the best examples that more than justify their sometimes heavy price tags.
The aptly named Ecobutton is an unobtrusive device that sits on your desk and plugs directly into your PC via USB. When pressed, it prompts your computer to enter a low energy state; pressing it again returns it back to full functionality.
The idea is to quickly tap it whenever you are leaving your desk, whether it’s for 5 minutes or an hour. Although the results aren’t instant, the software provided with the Ecobutton tracks all activity and calculates the amount of energy saved, which quickly adds up.
The cold winter months can really take its toll on employees; research carried out by the Cornell University revealed that a cold office increases errors by 44% and cut worker’s productivity by half. This in turn can cost you 10% more per hour, per employee; something we are sure you’d rather avoid.
Some offices are understandably reluctant to turn up the thermostat due to the increased costs involved; however, the ‘Radiator Booster’ succeeds at increasing room temperature without drawing upon additional energy. It subtly sits behind any wall mounted radiator, effectively storing heat until it reaches thirty degrees. Once thirty degrees is reached the heat is dispersed though built in fans, spreading around the room and increasing overall temperature.
Smart Herb Garden
Smart Herb Garden by Click and Grow is an innovative herb growing solution that recently secured over $600,000 on the popular crowd funding platform, Kickstarter. Although not strictly office related, it would make for a great addition to any work place kitchen, encouraging employees to try their hand at growing their own fresh herbs.
It currently supports several herbs including basil, thyme and mini tomatoes, which are packaged in cartridges that slot into the unit. Simply adding water starts the growing process; adding an organic touch to any bland office.
Batteries are the bane of any avid gadget user, especially where wireless mice and keyboards are concerned. There is nothing more frustrating than fighting with a dying mouse or keyboard as you try and send a pressing email, delaying the inevitable task of having to raid the supply cupboard for a mismatching pair of half charged batteries.
Thankfully the clever folks at Moixa have a great solution; the USBCELL. In its common form it looks like any old AA battery, bit flipping the top reveals a hidden USB connector. Plugging it into an available USB port for several minutes will keep it topped up for a few hours; also perfect if you’re on the go.
Breville Hot Cup
Although not the most exciting gadget, the Breville Hot Cup is a great solution for small offices that are looking to cut down on energy usage. At the touch of a button, the Hot Cup boils water in a matter of seconds, dispensing 250ml into your favourite office mug.
Its efficiency lies in the fact that it only ever boils enough for one drink at a time, meaning energy is not needlessly wasted by boiling a full kettle for 1 or 2 drinks. Holding enough water for 5 drinks before needing to be refilled means it’s not ideal for larger offices, but it’s a great alternative to a traditional energy hogging kettle.
This post was written exclusively for Ecopreneurist by Alexa Garthwaite, Business Development Manager at EO Group London, who generously sponsored this article.