Iqua Handsfree Bluetooth Solar Headset

You know when you see obnoxious people in suits walking down the street with borg-like devices in their ears talking to what appears to be nobody in particular? Those gadgets in their ears are what’s called Bluetooth devices, and they hook up with your mobile phone and other devices to allow you to talk hands-free. By nature of the beast, these Bluetooth devices spend most of their time exposed to light.

Finnish company Iqua has taken advantage of this, and has slapped solar panels on the front of the Iqua SUN BHS-603 model so as to recharge it as you walk. Capable of up to 12 hours talk time on a full charge, it will absorb light from any source – indoor or outdoor – to power the device.

Comparable in size and capabilities to traditionally powered Bluetooth devices, the Iqua Sun won’t save the planet on its own, but what it does do is illustrate a brilliant environmentally friendly technology that will actually cause the product to have an advantage over its competitors: Its ability to remain continually charged as long as it’s exposed to light means it’s one less detail for very busy and important people to worry about in their very busy and important day.

The Iqua Sun will be available in stores shortly.

CES – less green than you’d like to think


Last week I blogged about CES going green, with several environmental initiatives including using some environmentally friendly carpeting, purchasing of carbon credits, etc. ecochick was impressed. However, the reality is fairly different than the hype. For example, in wandering around the halls, I did not lay eyes on one recycling bin. And with the dry, recycled Vegas air in the convention center, there was a whole lot of bottled water being consumed. Based on my own experience, ALL of these bottles are heading for the landfill.

Any other green initiatives were well hidden on the part of CES. One of the most effective things an organization can do for the environment is to set an example. CES took a few steps, but they really didn’t make a point of telling anyone at the show. This is crucial. When you tell someone the fantastic product you’re using is environmentally friendly, it encourages the consumer who experiences the product to start thinking of environmentally products in a different way, to look at them as viable options instead of “alternative”. CES wasted this opportunity. Why not create environmentally friendly signage in the Central Hall saying “this awesome carpet is recycled?” Why not have huge recycling bins everywhere? Why not have signage in all the food centers saying “the packaging used here is entirely biodegradeable?”

ecochick strives to be positive and bring you news on organizations that are creating positive change for the earth. Unfortunately, in this case, ecochick is bringing out the rarely used ecotwerp label. CES has not only not come through on its own claims of sustainability, it squandered an excellent opportunity to show itself as a trend leader and expose environmentally friendly products at the same time.

Call2Recycle

Be honest: How many old cell phones do you have kicking around in your junk drawer? The old brick phone, the phone from your first job, the old monochrome screen phone with that annoying ringtone. They’re all around somewhere, and they all have batteries with toxic chemicals that really need to be kept out of a landfill.

The Call2Recycle organization helps you with that. Their network of affiliated organizations allows you to take your old rechargeable batteries from devices such as those in cordless power tools, cellular and cordless phones, laptop computers, camcorders, digital cameras, and remote control toys, and recycle them. You can search their website to find a convenient location. Their website also has lots of resources to talk about their recycling program and spread the word. Check it out at http://www.call2recycle.org

Nokia Eco Sensor Phone at CES


At CES, the focus in electronics is slowly but surely shifting to more environmentally friendly, sustainable technologies. One example of this is the Nokia Eco Sensor Phone. Although all they have on display is a non-working prototype, the concept is very intriguing. From the website:

“Our visionary design concept is a mobile phone and compatible sensing device that will help you stay connected to your friends and loved ones, as well as to your health and local environment. You can also share the environmental data your sensing device collects and view other users’ shared data, thereby increasing your global environmental awareness.

The unit will have a wrist or neck strap made from wearable solar cells that provide power to the environmental sensors. These sensors will track data on personal health, local environmental conditions and local weather, telling you more about your own personal environment.

The unit itself will be made from as much recycled or sustainable material as possible, including printed electronics (an innovative technology which allows smaller electronic units to be created), biomaterials (sustainable materials which can be used in place of environmentally hostile plastics) and 100% reclaimed steel – thus reducing the footprint of the unit.

Regeneration. org – EcoGeek at CES


ecochick has been patrolling the cavernous halls at the CES show to find the latest in green technology. Here in Las Vegas, Dell brought in a live guest blogger – Matt James from EcoGeek. He’s live blogging at the Regeneration booth. From Regeneration.org:

The ReGeneration is a global and dynamic movement, a group of people who are committed to sustaining the world’s natural environment. There is some fantastic information at the ReGeneration – videos on sustainability, links to inspirational stories where others are taking great green initiatives, tips and downloads on how to start not only making a green difference in your own life, but also how to impact the lives of others. This is a fantastic initiative from the folks at Dell.

Check it all out and join the ReGeneration at http://www.regeneration.org.