Where are the green phones at CES 2010?

Green once again is being pushed at CES, but this year's offerings leave much to be desired

The holiday season is over, yet consumer electronics enthusiasts are enjoying one final gift: the bounty of gizmos and gadgetry on display at CES 2010 in Las Vegas. Green-tech enthusiasts, however, might come away disappointed. Sure, the Sustainable Planet space at the show, where vendors flaunt their eco-friendly wares and services, has increased by 40 percent since last year's International CES. But with notable exceptions, the level of green-tech innovation is sorely lacking, especially given the absence of new green phones and other mobile devices.

Greener mobile devices would be a welcome development, considering the rate at which people are tossing out old phones to adopt the newest models. At last year's CES, Motorola unveiled a phone made from recycled water bottles. Later in August, Sprint unveiled the Samsung Reclaim; 40 percent of the phone's shell is made from bio-plastics and about 80 percent of the entire phone can be recycled.Companies such as Samsung and Sharp also announced solar-powered phones last year -- but they never seem to make it to the United States.

[ Find out what's hot at this year's 2010 CES show. | Track green IT trends on InfoWorld's Green IT Topic Center. ]

I would've very much liked to see CES 2010 be the venue for at least one of the leading manufacturers to announce a widely available green phone, one using alternative energy (solar, for example), low-power, full-featured, and made from recycled materials as well as renewable resources, such as bamboo.

Moving on to what green goods actually are on display at the show, there's the LG E2350V LED, a new 23-inch LCD monitor. Ninety percent of the materials and parts used to make the E2350V monitor can be reused or recycled at the end of the product's useful life, reducing the amount of materials sent to landfills. The monitor is sold in packaging that is 90 percent recyclable as well.

As such, the E2350V has earned the first UL (Underwriters Laboratories) Sustainable Product Certification gold mark. To garner the SPC mark, the monitor had to undergo independent, third-party certification to ensure it meets the IEEE 1680 environmental performance benchmark for consumer electronics, including Energy Star requirements. UL's environmental certification criteria include the elimination or reduction of certain hazardous substances that pose threats to human health and the environment.

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