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Sunday, 16 August 2009

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The world has gone green. But what about the billions of mobile phones in use worldwide? Most people just throw them away after a couple of years. Imagine what that does to the world's landfills? Mobile phone makers have understood this problem and are coming out with environmentally friendly phones.

A case (two, in fact) in point: The Motorola Renew W233 and the Samsung Reclaim. Both sound 'green' with names like that, but they have many features that make them stand out from the crowd. Both phones are built for disassembly and recycling.

The Renew is billed as the world's first carbon neutral cell phone. It is made entirely of recycled water bottles (except for a few essential metal parts) and comes in packaging made from 100 percent recycled material. The ink on the owner's manual is soy-based. With an estimated talk time of nine hours, the Renew will use less energy than most phones. The display is also low-resolution to save battery power. It is lightweight, as the number of non-recyclable parts is minimal. There are only a few hardware controls. There is a micro SD card for additional storage.

Likewise, the Samsung Reclaim SPH-M560 is also is made from recycled plastic and comes in a box that's also made from recycled paper. Again, the ink on the user manual is soy-based. It has a full QWERTY keyboard too, which the Moto lacks.

The Reclaim comes in green, to highlight its green credentials, though blue is optional. True to its green image, the Reclaim offers specialized content like a Green Glossary and Green Guide. The Samsung too offers long battery life. These two phones are currently offered only in the US, but they should come our way soon.

Expect more green phones from other manufacturers as well. Count on additions such as solar chargers to raise the green profile further. That plastic bottle you throw away today could become a phone tomorrow (and vice versa). The message is clear: Renew your love for the environment and Reclaim its resources for the future.

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