Ed is floored when Rachelle presents him with a weather station that he can use in conjunction with his solar panels. You don?t have to like green gadgets as much as Ed to appreciate the value of a weather station; anyone who?s gotten soaked or burned because they neglected to check the forecast certainly can. Read on to find out more about weather stations and how you can make one part of your green routine. ]

The facts:

A weather station consists of two basic parts: an outdoor sensor and a small screen that displays the information the sensor collects. As you saw on ?Living with Ed,? installing a home-sized sensor is not too difficult as long as you don?t mind following Rachelle?s example and getting up on a ladder. Basic weather stations display a few variables, such as time, indoor temperature, outdoor temperature, barometric pressure, and moon phase. Some of them also have cute features like icons suggesting what to wear (note: some of these icons are more family-friendly than others). More advanced weather systems have additional display features, which may include: wind speed and direction, rainfall, and solar radiation (probably Ed?s favorite).  

Why it?s green:

A weather station helps connect you and your home to the environment by making you more aware of conditions. You can act on the information you receive to save energy and prevent waste. For example, if you see rain in the forecast, you can water your lawn less or not at all. Some of the more advanced weather stations are solar-powered, so they do not create pollution. Other stations are battery-powered, which can create problems since people often neglect to dispose of batteries properly. If you go with a battery-powered station, just make sure not to let your used batteries end up in the trash and, consequently, in the environment and the food chain.

How to buy one:

There are countless weather stations available online and in retail stores, which range in price from around eighty dollars into the thousands.  Ambient Weather and Weather Shack are good places to start your research. On these sites you can browse and compare a wide range of weather stations. Weather Shack has an education center on its website that is very helpful and their customer service agents are informative and pleasant. Consumer reviews can also help you narrow down your search before you make your investment. One major point to consider is wireless versus cabled systems. Though wireless weather stations tend to be more expensive, cabled ones carry the risk of danger from a lightning strike. This is another reason why researching your purchase is so important.

Your home weather station may be just a useful tool, may inspire you to learn more about greening your home and your habits, or may even make you a green enthusiast like Ed. In any case, it is one green gadget that is certainly worth having.