7 Offbeat Off-the-Grid Green Gadgets, Inventions, and Innovations

DutchTub, wood fired hot tub. Designed by Floris Schoonderbeek.
DutchTub, wood fired hot tub. Designed by Floris Schoonderbeek.

Who says you need electricity to have a good time?  These off the grid innovations can light up, cool down, and even serve you a hot cup of joe – all with absolutely no electricity required.  From magnetic fields to photoluminescent materials, tomorrow’s gadgets promise to take green technology to new levels…and they’re sure to start up some great conversations!

Instead of using electricity, this refrigerator is cooled by magnetic fields.  The Technical University of Denmark is still perfecting the magnetic fridge and expect working models to be available by 2010.  The unit is expected to be at least 60% more efficient than standard refrigerators.

Photo by Ian Kath
Photo by Ian Kath

The world’s simplest espresso maker, the Presso uses hot water and manual pressure to make a great espresso.  The Presso is completely recyclable and made of durable materials.  The big downfall of manual espresso makers is temperature – warming the mug and heating up the machine mechanisms usually means better coffee.

The Gravia Floor Lamp was designed by Clay Moulton and won 2nd place in the 2008 Greener Gadgets Design Competition.  The LED-lit lamp depends on human energy to set in place a weight that then uses gravity to generate power, providing about 4 hours of light.  The creator claims the Gravia lamp will last up to 200 years with 8 hours of use a day!

Is it an oddly shaped flash drive?  No, it’s a wind-up camera!  The Twist Camera, designed by John Rothapfel, doesn’t operate on batteries and never needs plugged in – simply give the end a twist and it’s powered up and ready to snap your photos.  The built in USB plug makes it easy and convenient to transfer images to your computer and the device should be able to support 5 megapixel quality, rivaling most mobile camera phones.

Photo by After-Lite
Photo by After-Lite

Another electricity-free way to shed some light on things, the After-Lite is guaranteed to last for 8,000 hours and harvests energy from both artificial and natural lighting.  A photo luminescent material stores the light, using it to produce an almost eerie green glow that can last until the morning hours before starting the process again.

It may look like a fashion accessory, but Kinetic Energy is actually a mobile power source that can be used to recharge your phone or iPod on the go.  The band straps around your ankle and stores your kinetic energy as you move about.  A standard connector is included and a multi-adapter is available as well so you can recharge your gadgets completely off the grid.

The Dutchtub wins my vote for the most entertaining no-electricity-required gadget. This wood burning jacuzzi is lightweight and easy to transport so its a perfect vacation companion.  Just throw in some wood and get the fire going for some good green fun.  Water temperatures usually reach about 100 degrees within 2 hours depending on the outside temperature and the type of wood used.

58 thoughts on “7 Offbeat Off-the-Grid Green Gadgets, Inventions, and Innovations”

  1. You can grow the trees again, they are not saying to cut down old growth forests. Wood is one of the few sustainable products we have…you prefer coal, or electricity? The amount of non-recyclable products that go into making solar panels is horrible too. Yes…this is very “green”.

    The CO2 put out by people debating the subject is probably worse than what that small wood fire puts out once or twice a week.

  2. Wow, how puritan can you get??? Who cares about the world…if something looks vaugely sexual (it didn't to me until you mentioned it…have you been using the “butterfly strap-on vibrator too much??) then one it should not be considered?

    Or were you making a funny?

  3. 10 months ago
    When you use electricity there is an 80% chance that energy came from fossil fuels that were harvested from below the earth. When you burn wood the source is a co2 absorbing tree. There for the wood is far more green because it is offset by a tree that absorbed all the carbon that it took to make that wood…

  4. this is a good stuff.. thanks… but i think butterfly vibrator is more popular now than other traditional sex toys… what do u think?

  5. I think the refrigerator one is fake and I don’t understand how the first lamp works (I realize that may be my fault)

    The Kinetic Energy sound great and I really think we should start using that kind of thing.

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