Archive for March, 2009

Samsung’s Blue Earth cell phone – earth friendly or just hype?

Saturday, March 21st, 2009

samsung blue earth cellphone

In the effort to further green their product line, Samsung is offering its new Blue Earth solar-powered touchscreen cellphone. This recently announced product will be available starting in the UK later this year.

Samsung should be congratulated for the desire to be more green but the greenness of this phone perhaps has less to do with the solar power on its back and more to do with being made from recycled PCM plastic and that it’s free from toxic substances such as brominated flame retardants, beryllium and phthalates. It also has an eco-mode that changes the backlight duration and screen brightness and even includes a pedometer which suggests your CO2 emissions savings of walking instead of driving. Sounds groovy in a Samsung marketing group meeting but lets be real here – how often is your normal user going to use that feature and how much energy does a cellphone use compared to the energy used in the manufacture, mining, transport and marketing of yet another cellphone and you still need to purchase cell phone service.

Considering most people keep their phones in their purse or pocket, I can’t figure out how the phone will get and adequate charge from the solar panel. However, unless you walk around outside with the phone glued to your ear (literally, as otherwise your hand will block the solar panel!) I don’t see how this will work, unless the solar is just optional auxiliary power and the real power comes from a standard lithium battery.

As cellphones and similar gadgets don’t really use that much power to begin with, I don’t see this any significant source of reduction of CO2 and is more of a marketing lure than anything. Rumors of the iPhone, iPod and other apple handheld devices getting solar power maybe prompted Samsung to get ahead of the game.

from Green Upgrader

Affordable Solar Coming to the City?

Wednesday, March 18th, 2009

Veranda Solar panel outside window

in development at Veranda Solar

Most solar panels for homes are primarily marketed for larger, more affluent suburban home owner. Veranda Solar has a new idea that offers an affordable solution for people living in the city, small enough to use outside apartment and condo windows. It probably won’t generate enough power to run all the electricity but may offer significant help in lowering energy use. They are estimating they will sell these for $400-600 and that the end user will be able to install easily themselves. The caveat, of course, is you’ll need a sunny window and unless the panels can move to move to follow the sun – there will only a be a limited time it can collect direct sun rays. Still, they may be able to work out these issues so it can offer solar power to renters and other city dwellers.

from Coolest Gadgets

Solar LED Water Bottle

Tuesday, March 17th, 2009

Solar LED Water Bottle

$19.95 at nexusgadgets

What a cool idea, a solar led light and water bottle all in one. On your next hiking trip take this along to use as a water bottle through the day to drink from and to store up power with its built-in solar panel which will power a LED lantern for nighttime use. It has not only has your standard white LED light mode but also a blinking red light “help” mode.

Restore Full Protection for Polar Bears

Monday, March 16th, 2009

Polar Bears

last week Congress passed — and President Obama signed into law — a bill giving Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar the authority to immediately rescind Bush administration regulations that eliminate essential protections for the polar bear under the Endangered Species Act. Under the bill, if Salazar doesn’t withdraw the Bush regulations within 60 days, the regulations stay in effect and the polar bear is deprived of the legal protections it needs to survive.

Secretary Salazar must act immediately, or we’ll lose this precious opportunity to instantly remedy one of Bush’s worst environmental attacks. Please sign the petition to Salazar and demand that he immediately rescind the Bush regulations harming the polar bear.

Please consider taking a moment to go to the Center for Biological Diversity save the polar bear site and sign their petition.

Bottom Trawling and Overfishing – Footage you don’t often see

Monday, March 9th, 2009

Great short video from Greenpeace on the destruction of Ocean life from Bottom Trawling factory ships and overfishing in general. If you want to eat only fish that are caught in a sustainable manner, check out
The World Wildlife Federation’s website on sustainable fishing.

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