Green gadget anxiety? Read customer reviews.

For the average consumer, going green can be a multi-part question: What green products can I introduce into my daily life, are they really making a difference when it comes to saving energy and the environment, and are these products any good?

A Listmania list can sometimes be self-serving affair constructed around the motivation of the lister – that’s not a cynical comment, it’s just the way it is, as all of the products on the list are for sale. But given that all Amazon reviews have user comments attached to them, the list begins to feel more objective.

The selling point of the green gadgets list, quite simply, is that it’s a good discussion starter for your household. Many of us know there are little ways we could be saving energy, but we’re not often armed with enough information about them. Did you know there was such a thing as a handheld electricity usage monitor that, according to the manufacturer, “shows the operating costs of your household appliances” and “calculates cost and forecasts by week, month and year”? Perhaps you heard tell of such a thing, but does it work? Two hundred customer reviews add up to a cumulative 4 ½ star rating, which, if you’re accustomed to relying on user reviews, is a good sign. The “works great, fast results” type of comment dominates, but look for yourself. As with any product, it’s the details, even within the positive reviews, that call the product’s usefulness for you into question.

Among the list’s items is one that’s decidedly old school –a classic push-reel lawn mower that users say is safer, quieter, and better for the environment. But in the words of one user it requires “a little more elbow grease” especially on hills. So you might want to ask yourself, is that additional exercise going to benefit you in the long term, or will it cause a strain? Hypothetical questions, of course, but all worth asking if you’re thinking about new ways to go green.

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