veg-head | |

SO much pointless stuff gets passed around at Christmas. We’ve tried to suggest a handful of gifts which are both useful and unlikely to be things you have seen before

The Energenie Automatic standby shutdown is a clever little device (sold in the UK only) that powers down your flatscreen TV or any other annoying, badly designed, unecological electronic goods that have been supplied without a proper on/off switch.

You plug it in between the unit and the wall socket, and it does the rest.  Once the TV is switched to standby, the Energenie detects it, and switches it off properly.  Push one button on the inconspicuous Energenie control panel and on comes the standby again. Save money, reduce the risk of fires and lengthen the life of your equipment  – not bad.   A warning on the box says do not use with equipment that runs at less than 40W.

The Oregon wireless weather station (sold in both the UK and the US) is great for anyone who depends on the sun and wind for their energy.  Pretty useful for pot growers too, as you can check on outside humidity and the temperature in your greenhouse without having to walk over there under the view of those nasty cop helicopters.

Around $100 in the US, and 100 sterling in the UK, the Oregon offers local weather information at a reasonable price. At a glance, you’ll see the forecast, time, wind speed & direction, indoor & outdoor temperature & humidity, barometric pressure , and rainfall reading with bar graphs.

Features include

Indoor and outdoor temperature and humidity

Wind speed and direction

Barometric reading with bar graph

User selectable altitude and display in mb/hPa or mmhg

You can get the manual here   http://www.oregonscientific.co.uk/ulimages/manuals2/US%20version%20WMR80_US.pdf

Next up – Kinetic powered torches have been around for a while, but the technology keep improving.,  One of our favorites is a wind-up mobile phone charger and torch from Uni-com.  It comes with all the plugs you will need for any phone.  The Varta 3-LED dynamo light also uses Kinetic energy to power you on your way.

And here’s a nifty little thing – a voice recorder hidden inside a fake USB chip. Its from findmeagift.com and you can use it to entrap your boss as he makes improper suggestions at the Christmas party, or just to record perfectly innocent conversations, thought why you would want to secretly record perfectly innocent conversations is beyond me.

And if you’re in need of clean hands after the innuendo of that last remark, try Olive Leaf hand wash – part of the Method range of biodegradably packaged soaps and cleansers.

Buy our book - OFF THE GRID - a tour of American off-grid places and people written by Nick Rosen, editor of the off-grid.net web site

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