The Most Exciting Developments In Green Cell Phones


From solar-power to less toxicity, here are the best eco-friendly mobiles.

Very few of us can live without a mobile device that keeps us connected while on the go, but our cell phones and PDAs contribute to toxic waste and lost resources, especially at the rate with which we upgrade. You can do your part by choosing a greener cell phone the next time you’re looking to trade-up.

1. Sticky phone

A concept design by Liu Hsiang-Ling integrates solar cells into mobile phones in a simple, elegant design. Though many are concerned that they can’t leave their phones charging in the sun for several hours (can’t be without my phone), this new design (which can be found on Yanko Design) tries to work through that problem by incorporating a suction system for easy charging.

Simply peel back the protective cover from a sticky surface and then stick the phone to a nearby window getting full sun.

2. Samsung’s New Blue Earth Phone

Already available in the UK, Samsung’s Blue Earth Phone is another take on the solar-powered mobile phone. It is a touch screen smart phone that can generate its own power with a built-in solar panel on the back.

What makes this mobile device even more green is that it is made from post-consumer recycled content—PCM, which is a plastic made from recycled water bottles (recycled waste).

Additionally, it has a super efficient charger (where traditionally you lose a lot of wasted energy), and is made without toxic chemicals like phthalates, brominated flame retardants (BFR), and beryllium, to name a few. Plus, it’s delivered in recycled packaging, too.

3. LG Pop GD510

LG is another company that has recently launched a cell phone with solar cells embedded in the actual phone. A slim-line phone with simple, sleek design features, the LG POP (LG GD510), can capture enough energy for 2.25 minutes of talk time in about 10 minutes of charge-time. And like the other green phones mentioned here, it comes with additional eco-friendly features.

These include the fact that it is PVC-free and made without BFR. And it has a feature that will notify you when the phone is fully charged so that you can unplug the charger to save additional energy. It was released in Europe during the fourth quarter last year and should be available in other regions soon.

4. GreenHeart by Sony Ericsson

With some of the greenest features of any cell phones on the market, Sony’s two new options—the Elm and the Hazel—are being billed as devices that go above most other green phones out there. Part of their GreenHeart project which aims to integrate environmental advances across Sony Ericsson’s entire product lines, these phones are loaded with eco-friendly features.

Both are constructed in part of recycled plastic and are made without toxic chemicals commonly found in electronics. And both come with energy-efficient chargers to cut back on phantom energy losses. Additionally, they’re packaged in minimal packaging and use eco-friendly paints.

Both phones also some with the Walk Mate feature which helps the user find a walking route to where they need to go so that they can leave the car behind.

The aim is to encourage phone users to walk more than they drive. The Walk Mate even calculates how much carbon dioxide is saved by using this more eco-friendly method of transportation. These phones are slated to be available during the second quarter of 2010.


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