The Eco-Cell: Samsung's Evergreen
Samsung has become the forerunner of developing environmentally conscious cell phones, and now the company can add one more feather in its cap. The company's newest phone, "Evergreen," was released November 7 and pledges to give customers "an exceptional blend of responsibility combined with a sleek form factor and latest must-have features." Not just eco-conscious, the device is charity-conscious as well. Sold exclusively to AT&T customers, Samsung will donate $1 per phone sale to Cell Phones for Soldiers (with a maximum donation of $100,000). The phone is a mere $29.99 (after $50 mail-in rebate) with a new 2-year agreement and $20 monthly messaging package.
Made of 70% recycled post-consumer plastics, this quick messaging phone is also packaged in 80% recycled post-consumer paper. Most importantly, the phone itself is 100% recyclable. Meeting strict RoHS Standards (Restriction of Hazardous Substance Directive), the device is free of PVC2, BFR3, and Beryllium. Powered by an Energy Star 2.0 qualified energy efficient charger, the device has a standby power loss less than 0.03 watts and an energy efficiency less than 75%. As is the trend for eco-conscious gadgets, the phone is not accompanied by the traditional paper manual; rather, an interactive tutorial, a user manual, games and apps, as well as AT&T's recycling program are all contained on a CD. And let's not forget the eco-oriented wallpaper and ringtones.
Interestingly, AT&T is not entirely new to the green world; they collected more than 4.2 million cell phones in 2009 for reuse and recycling as well as over 1.8 million pounds of batteries and accessories. Customers can currently donate old cell phones in three ways: (1) drop-off bins at select retail locations; (2) free, prepaid mailing envelopes available at stores; and (3) postage-paid mailing labels available on their site at AT&T Recycle and Reuse.
So, how does the Evergreen compare to less eco-conscious cell phones? The phone still boasts a 2.4" display, full slide-out QWERTY keyboard, 2.0 mega-pixel camera and video camcorder, AT&T Navigator and stereo Bluetooth wireless technology, and dual-band 3-G connectivity.
Michael Woodward, vice president of AT&T Mobility and Consumer Markets states, "Taking steps to reduce the amount of environmentally sensitive materials in the device and increase the amount of recycled paper in packaging are small steps, which in the end, lead to a healthier environment."