7 genius gadgets made from recycled materials

Let's be honest, gadget makers don't have the best track record when it comes to helping saving our planet's precious resources, but there are signs that that is beginning to change.

Sony arguably got the ball rolling by incorporating vegetable-based plastics into some of its kit, while Apple, of course, now makes computers like the MacBook from recyclable aluminium and glass.

What we're looking at here, though, are seven products that have either been completely recycled - or use components that feature recycled materials, so peace out, hug a tree and flex your eco-friendly plastic friend at these...

Recycle USB Stick
€19 / £17.83 (8GB version)
Good news, everyone! Available in a range of sizes from 1GB to 16GB, the Recycle USB stick has a shell made from old newspapers, with space for a personal or company logo. It supports USB 2.0 and 1.1 and works with all major operating systems including Windows ME to Vista, Mac OS 9.0 or greater and Linux 2.4. The Recycle USB stick is currently available for sale in Sweden, although you can order it online.

Nokia E3110 Evolve
Greenpeace's favourite tech maker has a long history of producing eco-friendly kit, thanks to its habit of eliminating hazardous substances. The E3110 Evolve takes that one stage further by featuring a case design made from 50 per cent recycled plastic. It also boasts an energy-efficient charger that drastically cuts the amount of energy it sips when the phone is fully charged. Going green needn't mean that you skimp on features, either - the Nokia E3110 Evolve is GSM triband ready and packs in a 1.3-megapixel camera, MP3 and video playback, plus a stereo FM radio. Battery life is pegged at 370 hours, talk-time is more modest four hours. For more info, check out TechRadar's review.

ATP EarthDrive
£14.49 (4GB) £22.99 (8GB)
ATP is claiming a double-first for its EarthDrive - its the first USB stick to be made from recycled materials, which in turn can also be recycled themselves. That's in part due to the fact that the EarthDrive's housing is made from a biodegradable polyester called Polylactic Acid, which in turn is derived from corn. The EarthDrive is available in wide range of sizes from 1GB to 16GB and is USB 2.0 / 1.1 compliant. It's also been designed to be completely waterproof, dustproof and shockproof. It's a winner, then, all round.

Motorola MOTO W233 Renew
First shown at CES 2009, the MOTO 233 Renew boasts eco-credentials aplenty. Its case has been made from recycled plastic bottles, and is itself 100 per cent recyclable; and it's the world's first first phone to be truly carbon neutral - Motorola offsets the environmental impact of its manufacture, distribution and use thanks to an alliance with the Carbonfund.org. Key features include a 4cm colour display, 2GB of removable memory and, dual-band GSM network connectivity and a built-in MP3 player. Motorola says the battery will last for up to 19 days between recharges; or 9 hours if you make a lot of calls. The MOTO 233 Renew is currently only available in the US, but it should make its debut here within the next few months.

Purple.com Blackberry Pearl 8100
If you want to buy a smartphone and save the planet at the same time, you could do worse than pop along to Purple.com, a brand new website that specialises in repurposing old phones - effectively turning them in to 100 per cent recycled devices. Purple.com offers a wide range of phones from Alcatel through to Sony Ericsson (including Apple iPhones, natch) with each model graded according to its condition. You can pick up an A-graded Blackberry Pearl 8100 for £130, or a B-graded model for £110. The Blackberry Pearl 8110, of course, is packed with features including quad-band GSM networking, email and HTML web browsing, 64MB of onboard memory, colour display and a SureType keyboard. Marv.

Fabrik SimpleTech [re]drive
$159.99 / £113.80
You don't normally associate external hard drives with eco-friendly technology, but that's exactly where this SimpleTech [re]drive comes in. It promises a 25 per cent cut on your energy consumption and comes with a case made from a mixture of tree-hugger's favourite bamboo, and recycled aluminium. It should even make your local environment a teensy bit nicer - it's been designed to work without a noisy fan. The SimpleTech [re]drive can store up to 500GB's worth of files and is Mac OS X and Windows compatible, sporting a Turbo USB 2.0 connection.

Flashsticks USB drives
You can't get more eco-friendly than a 2GB USB drive mounted in a wooden stick - which is exactly what this baby is. Its creator makes the drives by first foraging from wooden branches that have naturally fallen off trees around his Berkshire home. They are then left to dry naturally over several months, and then hollowed out so the data-carrying bit can be inserted. The Flashsticks are smoothed off and coated in beeswax to help you avoid splinters, although be warned - leave them lying around long enough and they could be infected by malware of a natural kind - woodworms.


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