If you're a tech geek who cares about the environment, you probably concerned with your personal carbon footprint. You may feel like your love for gadgets is slowly contributing to the degradation of our planet, but tech is your life. And in this scenario, small changes matter.
And that small change you're looking for that could result in waste reduction on your part could be Arkyne Technologies' Bioo Lite, which let's you charge your phone using a household plant. That's right... a simple houseplant. No kidding.
Not only will you be able to use less electricity from the grid, but you can free up plugs in your home and get more benefits from that houseplant than just ecological electricity.
Inspired by studies from NASA on renewable energy, the Bioo Lite produces electricity through the simple process of photosynthesis. The energy is created by the plant's biological elements that are expelled after photosynthesis, and it's a completely natural process, so it does not force the plant to do or create anything unnatural.
Bioo Lite has its own sealed water tank which retains what is added to the plant by the automatic irrigation system or by rain and moisture in the air, which will save you 6-8 liters of water per month. The only downside to this is the size of the plant you can use, since it'll have to fit comfortably within the pot/tank. If you need more room, they do have a larger Bioo panel available.
The USB port is disguises as a rock above the plant's soil, and makes it easy for you to charge any gadget, whether it be Android, Apple, or otherwise. The Bioo Lite allows you to charge your phone fully 2 to 3 times a day with any medium-sized plant, regardless of the type of plant, soil, or irrigation.
The Bioo Lite can provide up to 5 volts at 1 amp (5 watts), which isn't quite fast-charging levels, but perfectly suitable for home use when you're not in a rush to get out the door. The larger Bioo panels can create anywhere from 3-40 watts.
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The best thing is that the instructions are simple, and that you're less likely to have a dead plant on your hands (if you're not good with caring for plants). Just dangle the USB rock outside of the pot, add some water to the pot, shake the pot around to distribute the water well, put your plant and oil in, then plug in and enjoy.
If you're wondering whether or not the Bioo Team has a chance at meeting their goal, they already have—by more than 615%. You can still back the project on Indiegogo for €99 (which is about $113 US) and receive one Bioo Lite device in white. The next step up is a limited-edition black version for €120 ($137 US). Estimated time for delivery is in December 2016, so it will be perfect as a Christmas or Hanukkah gift.