Now a days, life seems to be impossible without electronic devices. We need them and want them but if we not change the way we produce and consume them the impact on the environment will be too much for our little planet. As designers we need to make products sustainable in an attractive way to be able to reach the masses.
The TDK Designer Solar Panel. Picture by Engadget.
A good example is the TDK solar panel design that has different draws and patterns on it. It could be argued that this device may not be as efficient as a normal solar panel but making the solar panels attractive could do a lot to make the adoption of the technology faster; and that’s important. The real potential in this technology is for use in big surfaces (like buildings) and maybe not just as personal devices.
Docomo Touch Wood phone
Many could think that the Docomo Touch Wood phone, made of wood, looks good. As this is avoiding the use of traditional plastic this design could be going in the right direction. In comparison to bio plastics, wood could last longer and, eventually, the case box could be reuse. Can we imagine updating the inner part of a wood phone instead of throwing away the whole thing?
Novothink solar charger for iPod
I am a little bit more skeptic about the greenery of this specific-use gadget. This is yet another gadget and the amount of resources needed to build it is probably big (water, energy, plastic, etc.). This is a big question we should ask ourselves as designers if we design a product to be marketed as “green” or sustainable: with this thing, do we save resources or do we consume more out of the planet?
The Samsung phone made of corn
Bio plastics are a very interesting material, still their advantages are questionable. They could be made of different sources, like potatoes and corn, fact that makes them not only less polluting but also morally incorrect (many people would argue). Of course that might depend on the efficiency of the producing of these materials: how many potatoes do we need to produce a kilo of bio-plastic?