A So-Called and Coloured Green Phone

The Reclaim looks green, but does it taste green?

The Reclaim looks green, but does it taste green?

I couldn’t resist this… undoubtedly the cutting edge of environmental communication technology… Sprint and Samsung today announced a phone made in part from “bio-plastic” derived from corn. The “Reclaim” phone is also said to be 80% recyclable, has an Energy-Star charger, no paper manual and is PVC free, among other things. Just don’t drop it in the grass.

The phone also boasts ready access to green information:

A new green One Click tile makes its debut on Reclaim providing the gateway to several green applications including:

  • Five Simple Steps from Discovery Channel provides five simple changes you can make to be more eco-friendly, from how you commute to what you eat for dinner;
  • Green Guides from Discovery Channel offers handy guides to help you green your lives with ease, and understand why;
  • Green Glossary from Discovery Channel provides words and explanations about the Earth and Climate Change; and
  • All Things Green, a Sprint Web category contains dynamic green headline and links to downloadable content.

Seriously though, these are nice claims and easy access to green tips will undoubtedly appeal to some, but as with so much green marketing, there are hidden realities to be considered. What about the manufacturing? What about the non-recyclable bits? What about the technological obsolescence? What about the e-waste? What about the fact that this is all tinkering?

Really, are cell phones a necessary component of an ecologically sustainable world? Can we really expect to continue to produce and consume all these short-lived electronic gadgets, not to mention the infrastructure to support them? What are our priorities?

Don’t get me wrong. I’m all for cradle-to-cradle, but we are a long way from it. Call me when I can safely eat my phone after I get tired of it.

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About Mark S. Meisner

Executive Director of the International Environmental Communication Association (IECA). I also research, teach, write about, and speak on environmental and sustainability communication, media, culture, and policy. Facts are usually facts, but opinions and sense of humour are always my own.
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