Eco-friendly travel gadgets are becoming more and more popular among avid travelers. Knowing that traveling affects the environment, many people are looking to minimize their impact. One way to do this without sacrificing any preferences or luxuries is eco-friendly travel gear.
Alternative energy use items are particularly useful in China as there are not cafés around every corner for you to charge your electronics in and when there are outlets they are not compatible with Western plugs. In addition, because water quality is very low, people are forced to buy a large amount of bottled water.
When I first arrived in Beijing, my hotel did not have a plug adapter and neither did I so if my computer or cell phone ran out of electricity, I had to find a Western café and pay for drinks I didn’t actually want in order to charge my electronics. Plus, lugging around my chargers with me all day weighed down my already heavy backpack. An all-purpose charger, especially one that I didn’t need to go to a store to use, would have been much more convenient.
Today there is a growing number of eco-friendly travel products ranging from practical to outrageous in both function and price. There are cell phones made from recycled water bottles, biodegradable external hard drives, solar-powered media players, speakers make from recycled cardboard, shake flashlights, wind-up radios, luggage made from recycled materials, and much more. However, many of these items carry a hefty price tag, and although a biodegradable laptop sounds great, paying $2000 for it does not.
Through a bit of research, I have found some of the most useful items for eco-friendly traveling in China:
1) USB or solar-powered electronic charger: $60. This can charge almost any electronic item so you don’t have to bring a whole slew of other chargers or buy a plug adapter which is otherwise necessary when traveling to China.
2) Water-powered digital alarm clock: $16. This would be great if you are camping or traveling to a remote village such as Yubeng, Yunnan.
3) USB rechargeable battery: $16.65 for two AA batteries. These would help you avoid a situation of having your non-rechargeable AA batteries die in a remote place where you cannot buy replacements.
4) Water-purifying pen: $60. This pen allows you to drink tap water safely so you can avoid purchasing bottled water everywhere you go.
Travel gear and gadget companies are continually coming up with innovative products to lessen our environmental impact while traveling. If you wish to lessen the impact of your travels, you may want to consider these products when planning your trip to China or anywhere else.
Photo credit: Steripen