Got An Idea for a Green Gadget?

Humans are tool-makers. This, according to many in the sustainable business field, is our greatest asset for building an innovative and sustainable society.
While most of us read and write about the latest green inventions on the Triple P site, here is a unique opportunity to propose your own idea for a green gadget. A new design contest for the development of green electronics is now open as part of the Greener Gadget Conference in New York City, scheduled for February 1, 2008.

When it comes to building electronic gadgets, sleek and flashy usually wins out over recyclable, re-usable, or non-toxic. The Greener Gadget contest hopes to change this approach by inspiring designers to develop products that “address the issues of energy, carbon footprint, health and toxicity, new materials, product lifecycle, and social development.” The top entries will be showcased live at the conference, judged by the audience and a panel of experts.
So, what does a green gadget look like that truly tries to address the above issues? For one, I think we have to consider the novel appeal of gadgets. Many of us discontinue use of our perfectly functioning old gadgets simply because they are not “new” enough. We need only to look at the growing piles of e-waste to recognize this. What if we designed gadgets to be easily updated in appearance and functionality?
What other issues do you think green gadget designers should consider? What does your green gadget do? I look forward to hearing the fresh ideas and perspectives that this conference will generate.

Shannon Arvizu, Ph.D., is a clean tech educator and cutting-edge consultant for the auto industry. You can follow her test drives in the cars of the future at

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