When gadgets are mentioned, the first image that springs to mind is James Bond. We began to picture a slightly grungier secret agent.
The tuxedo shirt is a little less brilliantly white as Agent double-0-zero (a no emissions agent) forgoes bleach. As the agent jumps into a tricked-out diesel or hybrid car, he punches in co-ordinates to his Econav, which analyzes route options based on car and fuel type, and occupancy, telling our protagonist the best route to minimize carbon emissions.
Double-0-zero switches on his Samsung Blue Earth solar-powered cellphone (handset made of recycled bottles) and calls into headquarters to say he’s running late (Econav is taking him on a slower, but less energy intensive route). Suddenly, he spots Dr. No on an electric motorbike (it’s good to know even the villains are concerned about the environment) and the chase is on. Dr. No is getting away. Must be that V-Dimension Solar Backpack! He’s probably using it to give his bike a bit of a boost. Oh well, thinks 000, leave him to 007.
Now at work, our agent heads across the lawn, narrowly dodging the Husqvarna Solar Hybrid Automower robot. This triggers something in his memory — the Estonian seductress Nonapussy, who used a vacuum-cleaning robot to search his house while she kept him … occupied. Forcing down the memory, double-0-zero springs into action. He grabs two cups of coffee, one for M, from the Tefal Quick Cup (using far less energy than a conventional coffee maker) and heads off to tell her of his suspicions about the new landscaping company.
In the main communications room, they consult the Kill-a-Watt, a power strip that indicates power usage by electronics. Ah, those dinosaur desktops really must be replaced! M switches on a Philips EcoTV (best in class, running on less electricity than a 100W light bulb) and turns to the National to see if there is any word on Nonapussy’s whereabouts.
Suddenly, the power goes out! Must be Nonapussy and her minions. Double-0-zero cranks up his Freeplay Energy hand-crank radio to hear the end of the news (and truth be told, the lotto picks). M switches on her Dell Latitude D630c laptop to send out an alert. With its low power consumption and long battery life, she should be in business for hours.
Double-0-zero, meanwhile, fires up his new MacBook, with similarly low power use and more recyclable components. This is his choice to cut down on e-waste, plus it has awesome graphics for his gaming.
M’s cellphone rings and she learns that Nonapussy is outside the building. Snatching 000 from his Dragon Quest V, they race out the door, down the path lit by glowing LED wind turbines, and capture the elusive spy. The end.
The above is not meant to endorse any specific product, but does point to some interesting gadgets out there for the eco-conscious. Of course, the danger in promoting gadgetry is it perpetuates the myth that technology is going to bail us out. While there are some neat energy-saving gadgets out there, the old credo “reduce, reuse, recycle” applies as much as ever.
– Sophia Dore is an environmental scientist with Conestoga-Rovers & Associates. Andrew Laursen is an assistant professor at Ryerson University.