Time is quickly running out on 2012, and that means it’s time for top 10 lists! The best part about writing for a clean technology website is introducing readers to cool gadgets that make it easier to tread lightly on the planet. Of the hundreds of gadgets, gizmos, tools and toys we’ve featured this year, some are wildly futuristic while others are already available for online purchase. Some are based on little more than a neat concept, while others turn centuries of scientific knowledge on its head. Some are low tech, some are high tech, but all challenge us to buck the status quo and demand a better way.
So dear readers, here they are in no particular order. Ten of the coolest, smartest, or wackiest green gadgets we featured during the past year. Let us know which is your favorite by commenting on this post!
1. Self-filling Water Bottle
A company called NBD Nano pioneered a water bottle that can refill itself with drinkable water harvested from the air. In the novel design, the water bottle’s surface is coated with hydrophilic and hydrophobic coatings, and then a fan is used to pass air over the surface. The water condenses on the surface and, eventually, the water bottle refills itself. The design could operate using a rechargeable battery or solar cell to speed-up accumulation and filter the water.
2. Solar-Powered Water Purifier
Puralytics launched the retail version of the SolarBag, a water purification system that uses sunlight-activated nanotechnology to produce safe and sustainable fresh water. Unlike other solar-powered filtration systems we’ve featured in the past, the SolarBag does not need bright, direct sunlight to work. Even the ambient light on a cloudy day is enough to activate the nanotechnology embedded in the coated mesh insert.
3. DIY Aquaponics Kit
Thanks to the power of crowdfunding, Nikhil & Alejandro, creators of Back to the Roots mushroom growing kits, will be spreading the good news of aquaponics around the world. The simple design of this tabletop aquaponics kit allows kids and curious adults to understand exactly why these closed loop growing systems are so desirable.
4. Pee-Powered Generator
This story rocked headlines around the world: Four teenage girls from Nigeria assembled a working generator that’s capable of turning a single liter of urine into 6 hours of electricity. And it only took them two days.