We've found Dubai's top eco-gadgets, just so we feel a bit less guilty about having fun
Button Pushers Not only can you say you have your finger on the button, but now it will actually be true. The Eco Button means that if you’re too lazy to turn off your computer, it will do it for you (well, practically – it will put it on a standby which uses the same amount of power as if turned off), thus saving energy and stopping the trees from crying! Eco Button, Dhs78 www.eco-button.com.
Bambooboo At first we thought: ‘What will the pandas eat now?’ However, given that bamboo grows six inches a day, we’re not so bothered now. But beyond the bambo panelling, what is there? Well, allegedly Asus tested this laptop on Mount Everest and it still worked – handy – and you can adjust its power requirements to cut down on waste. But in the end, it’s all about the pretty bamboo! ASUS U6V-V1 Bamboo, Dhs7,340 www.amazon.com.
Water, Water Given that not so long ago we wrote about the UAE’s water issues, this is maybe less of a green lifesaver as first thought, but any alarm clock powered solely by ‘tap water and a squirt of lemon’ has our vote. Bedol Water Powered Alarm Clock, Dhs59 www.bedolwhatsnext.com.
Two-wheel wonder Off-road bikes tend to get a disapproving green finger wagged in their direction – not only do their riders destroy wildlife, but the bikes pump out dirty carbon. Well, you can’t do much about the former, but Vesta’s Zero-X electric motorcycles can hit 50kph in under two seconds and 90kph in twice that, and it’s totally petrol-free. Zero-X, Dhs34,000 www.zeromotorcycles.com or call 04 295 5049.
On a budget Wind-ups
Low: Eton Handcrank Radio F400 Doubling as an emergency power generator (it comes with an emergency siren and mobile phone adaptor), this is one strictly for combat trouser-wearing survivalists, who also enjoy quality radio. Dhs190 www.amazon.com.
High: Trevor Bayliss Eco Media Player From the man who pioneered the wind-up radio comes this 4-8GB wind-up MP3 player, plus FM radio. The flaw is that you require a computer (thus access to electricity) to arrange your media library, but the wind-up principle means that you’ll never be caught short. Dhs620, www.amazon.co.uk.
Future tech: Blue is the colour Samsung’s new solar-powered touch-screen mobile phone Blue Earth won’t see the light of day until the second half of the year, but it is made from recycled bottles. The gimmicks include an app that measures how much in CO2 emissions you’ve saved by walking instead of driving (fat chance), but the key seller is the giant solar panel on the back.
The exact stats on how much power it can generate and what length of exposure it requires are still under wraps (also, we don’t fancy putting it back in our pockets after an hour in the blazing sun), but we’re excited nonetheless.
News Electric Pod Car
In fairness, the only way for Abu Dhabi’s Masdar City to hit its zero carbon target was to get rid of all the cars. But this is the UAE, and we are attempting to be the first people on earth to evolve out of the need for walking, so it kind of makes sense to ship in the electric ‘pods’.
Unveiled recently, these driverless, battery-run PRT (Personal Rapid Transit) vehicles seat six and travel at up to 40kph in a straight line. Even better, magnets implanted in the roads make sure they don’t veer off course. It’s always done with magnets (except when it’s done with mirrors)!