This is a guest post be Alex Clark-McGlenn, who is currently earning his MFA in creative writing from the Northwest Institute of Literary Arts. He has been published in eFiction Magazine, Inkwell at Evergreen, Slightly West Literary Magazine, and appeared in Smokebox Literary Magazine July, 2014. He currently lives in Bellingham, Washington.
It’s easy to create a lot of waste while traveling on an African safari. From driving and plane rides to water waste and charging batteries, it’s difficult to stay green while on the move. But, there are ways to capture your memories while staying green at the same time. Here are some gadgets that help you conserve without forfeiting your ability to record these precious memories:
Because most cameras are now digital instead of using film, there are no more chemicals used in the developing process and no more film gets thrown out. However, there are still some cameras that put a premium on being green, such as the following:
- Olympus EVOLT E-410: For a conventional SLR, the E-410 is a great option for the green traveler. While it is a bit bulky, this camera is made using eco-friendly manufacturing processes and comes in sustainable packaging materials. This is a high end camera if you are concerned about being eco-conscious, but don’t want to jeopardize the quality of your photography.
- Solar Camcorder: Like its name explains, this handheld camcorder runs on solar power. With a flip out solar panel attached to the body, it charges every time it is exposed to sunlight. It has a 12-megapixel sensor and the ability to record in 720 by 480 pixel resolution, so you don’t have to sacrifice on quality video to stay green.
- Xperia Z1S: Sometimes the best way to save power is to cut down on the amount of gadgets you have to charge. The Xperia Z1S is a smartphone, GPS, gaming device, 20.7-megapixel camera and video recorder. With this smartphone, you can easily take high-quality pictures and then send them to your family back home or post them on social media.
While on the road, trail or rail, you need a way to charge your camera. However, charging consumes energy and can be harmful to the environment. Here are some green gadgets to help you keep your batteries charged without leaving a large carbon footprint.
- USBCell Rechargeable Batteries: Rechargeable batteries might not eliminate the problem completely, but disposing of used batteries is tricky business. If introduced into the water source of an ecosystem, batteries can wreak havoc. By cutting down on the number of batteries thrown out, you can diminish the impact you have on the planet. The USBCell battery can be charged from any USB port.
- Goal Zero Nomad 13 Solar Panel: Goal Zero makes a number of portable solar panels that plug neatly into battery packs with USB ports that can be used for charging your electronics. The Nomad 13 is robust enough to power your phone, tablet and laptop.
- JUSE: Another solar charger, JUSE is a smartphone case with a built-in solar panel that stores energy in a nano-battery. When your phone needs charging, the nano-battery kicks in so your phone never dies. While JUSE has yet to hit the market, you can preorder one from its Indiegogo page. With cases for the iPhone 6, Galaxy S5 and Galaxy Note 4, JUSE will be available more broadly in the years to come.