I've always had mixed feelings about green consumption - the manufacture and sale of 'earth-friendly' items that often have no real purpose. For example, at the bottom of this page there is a fan and handbag with built in solar panels that store energy in the day and glow at night. They are marketed as earth friendly. Um, ok, but no. This is just more consumption, and although it incorporates technology that can be green, it doesn't actually do anything green. In fact, in their current state of development, solar panels require several decades of constant use before they produce enough energy to exceed that used in their manufacture - thankfully that is expected to change drastically in the next few years.
But this new little gadget, the Eco Media Player (found via Boing Boing) might actually be quite useful. It is an MP3 player/electronic Swiss Army knife powered by a windable crank - you get 40 minutes of music for every 1 minute you wind the crank, and you can store up to 20 hours worth of energy. It's also chock-full of features - you can store computer files on it like a USB drive, it has a built-in radio, video player, photo viewer, torch/flashlight, audio recorder (which it converts to MP3s), and you can charge your mobile phone with it! It can also be charged via the USB connection, if need be. At £170, it is very competitively priced with similar non-green MP3 players. The built-in memory is a little on the low side at 2 gigs - that's 33 hours of music (the latest ipods hold 80 gigs - 1300+ hours of music.) But fortunately it has an SD memory slot, so you can add plenty of extra memory for just a few pounds more. It's highly functional, genuinely green, and affordable - everything a green tech should be.
I don't have an MP3 player - honestly I really appreciate silence when I can get it - but if I do get one, this would definitely be the one. I would use it while wearing my 30+ wheel rolling body suit.
I love the future.