New York’s Green Conference Highlights

From gadgets to handbags, companies make trek to showcase their wares


Last week, New York saw two major conferences that promoted all things green for the masses to explore.

More than 50 companies came out for the Green Products Expo Feb. 25 at the Marriott Marquis in the heart of Times Square, showcasing the latest in kitchenware, technology, cleaning supplies, apparel, building products, and more.

Green technoratis gathered Feb. 27 at the Greener Gadgets 2009 Conference hosted by the Consumer Electronics Association at the McGraw Hill Conference Center. The event included a number of informative panels, with topics ranging from green technology’s functionality, design, and sustainability, to recycling programs.

Here are some of the showstoppers of the two conferences:

Greener Gadgets 2009 Conference

Taking top honors in the conference’s design competition was Tweet-A-Watt,  a twittering power meter submitted by Limor Fried, Adafruit Industries, and Phillip Torrone from MAKE magazine. The device automatically updates you on your power usage via Twitter.

While Voltaic solar bags are not new to the market, their sleek and eco-friendly design make them convenient and environmentally conscious. The bags are solar chargers designed for all handheld electronics. Voltaic bags are made with recycled plastic and fabrics and is lightweight, extremely durable, ultraviolet resistant, and water resistant.

Children know how to drain your wallet. The sometimes bad habit of leaving electronic devices turned on all day can also send shockwaves to your electric bill. But the Power Hog can alleviate that headache while teaching children the costs of energy. Here’s how it works: After plugging the device into the wall, plug in any device to the pigs snout. You’ll need to drop a coin into the top of the pig in order for it to run. Each coin provides 30 minutes of electricity to power the device.

Green Products Expo

One company offering fashion-forward handbags and accessories from recycled materials is Green Veranda. Who would have thought you could make fabulous clutches, belts, serving trays, and coasters from scraps of newspapers? The designs are chic and don’t scream last week’s fish wrappers.

EnviroVogue had some amazingly stylish totes that would be great to use for grocery shopping or carrying papers and books. Made from recycled plastic bottles, bag styles range from animal prints to polka dots. It doesn’t hurt that a portion of sales are donated to charities including the Puget Sound Chapter of Susan G. Komen for the Cure.

For unique kitchenware, tabletop, and other home accents, Grant Dawson wins in the fabulous category. With pieces like the Warbler salt and pepper shaker made from 24-karat, gold-plated pewter and sustainable materials, and the Endangered Parrots of the World chess set, also made from recycled materials, one can be sure that having style and being green can go hand in hand. Many of the pieces feature depictions of endangered animals, providing awareness about environmental issues across the globe.

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