Enviro-product savings

Review of the products featured on the Guardian’s eco-store today

Green Product Even more astonishingly green alternative Rating out of 5
Dyson Air multiplier An electric fan that looks like an i-phone, if Henry Moore had designed one in a fan format.
Cost: £199
A folded piece of paper waved about in front of your face with a fanning motion.
Cost £0
A minus number too huge to compute
Intellipanel A remote control device for switching off things connected to your tv so you don’t leave them on standby.
Cost: £29.95
Get up and switch off at the set and/or the wall
Cost £0
minus 3
This would be lower-rated than the elegant fan, except for the fact that it’s so much cheaper. At least the fan serves a purpose.
Organic beetroot juice Liquidised beetroot juice and a bit of apple
Cost:£3:09 per 740 ml bottle or £17.38 a case
Grow organic beetroots and apples. Stick them in a blender Cost: a couple of pounds per case equivalent.
(Or, even buy beetroots and apples and liquidise them. That might push the case cost up to a fiver.)
Shipping (unreturnable?) glass bottles all over the country marks it down. But at least it’s food and it’s organically grown and so it’s not really adding to the world sum of useless consumer goods that will be landfill in a year.
2 Recycled Grolsch bottles (turned upside down and with their ends cut off)
Cost: £12.95
No, I can’t imagine why you’d want one, either – let alone two – but, it’s easy enough to work out how to do it. Turn a Grolsch bottle upside down. Wrap a hot wire round the base and watch the bottom fall off. Sand it down a bit if you don’t want to cut yourself.
Cost: The cost of 2 bottles of Grolsch, plus you get to drink the beer first. A 20pack of Grolsch costs £20.99 from Drinksdirect. So, that’s under £3 for 2 full bottles of beer.
Or indeed Free, if you already have empty Grolsch bottles. Or any other bottles, as far as I can make out.
At least it aims to reuse an existing product. I’d mark it up if standard glass recycling didn’t already exist. But then I’d have to mark it down again for the fact that it implies that the outcome of recycling beer packaging costs the consumer 6 times the cost of the beer in its original container.
Pants to poverty men’s underpants
Buy normal underpants at about £1 and give ten pounds straight to a development charity if you need to feel that your underwear purchase is doing some global good.
Cost: £11
I don’t like the way that “charity” seems to involve paying massively over the odds for things, when it is unlikely that much of the cost ends up where you thought it was going. So, we all pay to feel better about world problems rather than to solve them.
Owl Wireless Energy Monitor (or – as they used to be called – an electric meter.) This shows you how much electricity you are using, so you will see how much it costs and use less (Replacing the traditional electric bill then?)
Cost: £29.95
Switch things off without getting a digital readout first. (Or if you really want to see numbers while you do it, look at your old-fashioned meter occasionally. or look at a digital watch display occasionally and remind yourself that digits mean “Switch something off”)
Cost: £0
Glow in the dark brick Stores up solar power in the day to light up an acrylic green brick.
Cost: £13
Can’t think of a way to make this at home. The only obvious alternative is just not to have one. That seems to be working out quite well so far for most of us.
Cost: £0
I am quite taken by the idea of having a glowing green brick. But despite the sop to my conscience provided by its use of solar energy, I’m still going to have to ruthlessly decide that I will try to manage without one.

Greenwash, don’t you just love it?