TOP 6 Alternative Technologies You Haven’t Heard Of

By Rachael Kostelec

Like far too many others, I know next to nothing about renewable technologies (in fact I find it difficult enough to keep up with traditional technologies), but that doesn’t stop me from wanting to reduce my carbon footprint – I just never knew how. Pleading ignorance can no longer be an excuse because I found these six awesome ways that others have figured out how to be greener (and cooler).

1. Walking Powered Boots

These boots were made for walking, and charging your cell phone! Each step we take produces 70 watts of power, which was the idea behind Orange Power Wellies, rubber boots that convert heat into current. The current model takes 12 hours of walking to charge a cell phone for an hour, but they are expected to advance the technology to create energy faster. For now, less talking more walking.

2. Solar Powered Pool PC
This one has me wishing the scorching summer days weren’t behind us! Now your work doesn’t need to keep you trapped indoors while your friends are all soaking up the sun. This PC is made from waterproof floatable plastic and is completely solar powered, so no need to worry about pesky cords. Instead of an internal fan to keep your laptop from overheating, it is kept cool with the water you’re swimming in and attaches to any size inner tube. Did I mention this ultra-hip device has Wi-Fi?!

3. Pedal Powered Planes, Trains, and Automobiles (not to mention motorbikes, helicopters, boats, kayaks, and anything else that moves)
These vehicles are innovative, curious and oh-so green. I am most in awe of the pedal powered Sky Cycle roller coaster in Japan’s Washuzan Highland Park. It’s a leisurely bike ride four stories up, on the side of a cliff, on a tiny little trail. No loops in this ride yet but you are definitely guaranteed to be living life on the edge.

4. Pedal Powered Washing Machine
Transportation doesn’t need to be the only thing that is pedal pushed; now you can work those calf muscles while you are washing clothes. Just fill the portable plastic tub with soap and water, put on the lid with built in seat, sit down and start pedaling! When you are done, wash it out, fill with your favorite adult beverage, and bring to the tailgate party as this multifaceted device can double for your favorite party accessory. Did I mention it’s only $40?

5. Water Powered Radio
If you have learned your lesson the hard way by bringing your water-intolerant ipod into the shower with you, this shower-powered radio is a great alternative. There are no batteries or cords. The radio is installed directly below the faucet and automatically switches on when the water starts flowing, playing the station you were listening to when you last showered.

6. Solar Powered Backpacks
I’m not much of a hiker, but this backpack definitely comes in handy when our power so frequently goes out. Within three hours this bag will fully charge your cell phone; take that Entergy! And while I am not much for the outdoors I am all about fashion, so thank you Ralph Lauren for creating your own version for a mere $800. (Staples also sells them for a much more affordable $110.99)