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Ear to the Ground

When Life Gives You Corn, Make Corn-Based Cell Phones

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Posted on Aug 6, 2009
Samsung / Sprint

Samsung and Sprint are coming out with a new cell phone for the green crowd. The “Reclaim” is made from recycled materials and corn-based plastic and comes in eco-friendly packaging complete with soy-based ink. It’s enough to make one long for the day when all electronics are manufactured sustainably and iPhones grow on trees.

Press release here.

Engadget:

We love the Earth, and apparently so do Sprint and Samsung. The two companies have just introduced the Reclaim, a super-eco cellphone made from 80 percent recycled materials. The device—a stout, sliding, QWERTY message-friendly model—is constructed from “bio-plastic” materials made from corn, is free of PVC, and mostly free of BFR (brominated flame retardants)... which are apparently pretty bad.

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Russian Paul's avatar

By Russian Paul, August 7, 2009 at 4:01 pm Link to this comment

Sorry, the last comment was an off-topic response to hippie’s reference to one of my favorite movies…although I honestly can’t remember Mink Stole saying “hippie for ever” at any point in the film. Anyway, everyone else can just disregard the last two posts, I apologize.

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By Russian Paul, August 7, 2009 at 1:13 pm Link to this comment

“A single gunshot can never destroy the beauty of fascism!”

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By Russian Paul, August 7, 2009 at 12:18 pm Link to this comment

Freddy, did you seriously just post a link to the Monsanto website as an example of green technology? You do realize the goal of this company is to completely monopolize agriculture? That their products aren’t green or even safe, but designed to reap the most profits? Monsanto wants to destroy biological self-sufficiency and force people into continually purchasing more of their artifical, genetically modified seed. This is your idea of a green company?

Monsanto makes much profit off of selling their genetically modified crops to poorer nations. The results are usually not as beneficial as you think. In India, more than 4,500 farmers have committed suicide, mostly because of mounting debt caused by the poor yields and the increased need for pesticides and ever increasing cost of seeds. These aren’t famers, they’re serfs. It’s quite similar in the US. Most farmers don’t have a choice in the matter, they can’t afford it. They HAVE to grow enough corn to meet demand, and they have to grow Monsanto. Otherwise, Monsanto’s secret police will open up an investigation and they will likely face a lawsuit if they decide to make trouble.

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By hippie4ever, August 7, 2009 at 9:03 am Link to this comment

Fat Freddy, I remember that character well. Does Mr. Crumb still live in France? 

BTW, my moniker comes from a line in a John Water’s film, “Desperate Living.” It fell from Mink Stole’s lips.

You make some good points about the major sources of cellphone pollution, although the plastic casings for phones, cds, dvds, computers, etc. do leach dangerous chemicals into groundwater, and air (if incinerated). I’d like to see all casings made biodegradable since it’s possible to do so.

Batteries are holding us back, not only in producing toxicity, but in limiting the driving distances of electric cars. I’ve heard there is surpressed technology that produces more efficient batteries, but have no idea if pollution is reduced through their usage.

I also agree Sprint is better than many other carriers, especially since they refused to cooperate with the Bush Regime’s domestic surveillance program. Verizon and AT&T followed GW’s edicts.

Regarding your comment about left-wing nut jobs: you really should avoid throwing stones insofar as your house is made from glass and utterly transparent. Need I invoke the magic name of Sarah Palin to make my point? Opps! My bad…

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By Fat Freddy, August 7, 2009 at 5:47 am Link to this comment

First of all, I am not fat, and my name is not Freddy. Fat Freddy is a character from The Freak Brothers comics.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fabulous_Furry_Freak_Brothers

As as far as the use of the corn crop for other than food, I think you need to take a look at the government subsidies that went into causing the corporatization of agriculture in this country. And keeps prices high. And who are you to tell farmers what they can and can’t use their crops for. Perhaps technology isn’t the problem, but the answer.

http://monsanto.mediaroom.com/index.php?s=43&item=676

Corn that can grow in arid conditions. Well, we can’t let those poorer nations have any of that.

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By ardee, August 7, 2009 at 5:02 am Link to this comment

Fat Freddy thinks selective education proves his wisdom. I think he is fat because of our inflated lifestyle, one which comes at great cost to the rest of the world in fact.

I would post links to the harm that the use of corn crop for other than human consumption does to the poorer nations, but he wouldnt read them, wouldnt believe them if he did read them, so I wont waste both our time.

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By Fat Freddy, August 7, 2009 at 4:18 am Link to this comment

Cell phones are “rich folks toys”?

“...take food from children”

Wow. I guess the left has its “wing nuts” just like the right. Better turn in your computers.

I’ll be the first to admit this is mostly a marketing scheme. But let’s try to keep this conversation reasonable. The environmental hazards caused by electronic devices is not in plastic casings or packaging. It’s the materials used in the circuits and batteries.

Now, having said that, I think you folks need to RTFA and see what other measures Sprint is taking to help the environment.

http://www.businesswire.com/portal/site/home/permalink/?ndmViewId=news_view&newsId=20090806005265&newsLang=en

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By ardee, August 7, 2009 at 3:30 am Link to this comment

When there is money to be made some will make it. I wholeheartedly agree that foodstuff is far to valuable to use as a manufacturing agent for rich folks toys.

Already 70% of the corn crop in this nation of ours gos to cattle feed. Cattle do not thrive on corn but do gain weight rapidly. The stuff we feed our cattle would amaze and disgust most folks I think, should they delve into it.

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By T Graf, August 6, 2009 at 6:34 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

With 1 billion of the world’s population already struggling to even approach a level of sustainable food security, let’s celebrate our materialistic culture with food based plastics and inks.  Eat your phones and enjoy your green status but know that you take food from children in doing so.

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