Archive for the ‘Green Tech’ Category

How to Save Your Wet Cell Phone

Wednesday, February 16th, 2011

It happens. You leave your cell phone on the bar next to you ands someone knocks over a drink. Or you leave it out on the deck and it rains. Or, a more common scenario, your cellphone takes an accidental fall into the bowl when you are using the bathroom.

If you are brave enough to fish it out, is there a way to save your cellphone, and if so how? Or is this going to become yet another cellphone condemned to sit in a landfill for years, which far too many of them are these days. In fact There are more than 500 million used cell phones in the U.S. sitting in people’s drawers or worse, in our crowded landfills and that number is only going to increase unfortunately.

Very few phone companies will cover your water damaged phone either, so if cell phone CPR is unsuccessful your bank account is going to take a hit as well.

The fact is that most partially drowned cell phones can be salvaged, but only if you act quickly. Here’s how:

  1. Remove the battery. Unless you have an iPhone, as the battery in them is never supposed to be removed (a great innovation on the part of Apple that almost ensures that you will have to buy a new one withing a few years anyway) Make sure your iPhone is off and locked though.
  2. If your phone has a SIM card take that out too. If the worst comes to the worst and your phone cannot be revived at least you will not lose all your data as well.
  3. Dab up excess moisture by blowing on the phone or dabbing at it with paper towels. The ideal thing to have with you in this situation would be one of those cans of compressed air used to clean keyboards, but  the chances that you bought one out to the pub with you are, we assume fairly slim (since this is where these accidents seem to happen most often)
  4. This is the crucial part. As soon as you can, that wet phone needs to be buried – in a bowl of uncooked rice. The rice actually works wonders to remove all that moisture without ruining your phone. Leave the phone in its rice bed for at least several hours.
  5. Remove your phone from the rice, reinsert the battery (if you ever took it out) and hope for the best. Most of the time, if you acted quickly this will work and your phone will be restored to its former glory.

If the phone still does not work, even with its charger, don’t throw it away. It may be useless to you now but it can be recycled. Instead send it to Earthworks Recycle My Cell Phone. You won’t receive any cash or direct reward for doing so, but you will be able to write the cost of the drowned cell phone and the amount you paid to mail it off on your next tax return.

Developing Green Tech that Could Change Your Life

Tuesday, October 5th, 2010

Tech and green do not always go together, but some researchers around the world are really working hard to achieve just that. And some of the innovative projects they are working on have the potential to not only help save the planet but to revolutionize peoples’ everyday lives. Here are a few of our favorites:

Solar Powered No Paste Toothbrushes – Take a walk down the tooth care aisle in any pharmacy and you are faced with a huge array of products for keeping your pearly whites bright. The downside (apart from the cost) id that many of these products are packaged in wasteful cardboard boxes. A solar powered tooth brush is being developed however that will do away with the need for toothpaste altogether, while still providing, its creators relive, a superior clean.

Kunio Komiyama and Gerry Uswak, both dental professors are developing the Soladey-J3X. It has has a small solar panel and titanium dioxide rod embedded inside and when a small amount of light hits the brush electrons are sent to the bristles that react with the enzymes in the user’s saliva to remove plaque and kill of disease causing bacteria. The brush is currently being trialed by a group of 120 teenagers to see how they think it stacks up before the Soladey-J3X goes into production.

Biodegradable Festival Tents – One of the problems that music festivals organizers face is the debris left behind by festival goers after the show is over. Rather than pack up and leave many people just leave, discarding their cheap tents and leaving someone else to clean up the mess.

To address the problem a Canadian researcher is working on a biodegradable festival tent. . One of Vanessa Harden’s more recent prototypes is a foldable cardboard tent embedded with local seeds, coated in bees wax, covered in biodegrading cellophane and anchored with biodegradable potato-based pegs.

She trialed her creation at this year’s T in the Park festival in Scotland. The tent she reported fared well, standing up to the rain and mud very well. However returning one night she found that her creation had completely disappeared. She is still not sure if it blew away or was stolen by a shelter-less soul. Her work continues though.

The Human Monorail – If you are like me the idea of cycling to work sounds great, until it comes to dealing with all those roaring cars and trucks that are far from cyclist friendly. A new monorail system being developed in New Zealand might help green conscious commuters feel a little safer though.

The monorail is based on a fairground ride already in existence. Inventor Geoff Barnett got the idea while in Tokyo, wishing he had a quicker and safer way to get around the city. His system uses pods locked onto an enclosed track that work efficiently with low resistance. The pods have reclining seats, ventilation holes and roofs that reflect the sun’s bright rays. The team developing it recently received a $1 million grant from the Google funded

10^100 to continue their work.

To learn more about great green tech innovations visit the world’s fastest growing green wiki Tip The Planet