Before my TV started to die, my Siemens cordless phones started to show signs of an impending expiration as well. I have to say, my 8 year old cordless Siemens Gigaset phones performed well. For a cordless phone, the clarity was equal to any corded phone, imo. But apparently, several cycles of re-charging these things has taken a toll.
Now, in addition to looking for a new HD TV, it appears I am inching closer to being forced to buy new phones for home use. (People are complaining my phones are starting to sound static-y. Not good.) Since we all know that electronics equipment isn't always environmentally friendly, I try not to buy products that once disposed, cause harm to the environment.
This is where Siemens comes in..
A ShantyWorld FIRST !
The Siemens Solar Phone (Cordless phone).
This is one gadget that neither Gizmodo nor Engadget have listed first. Since I love my Siemens 2420 Gigaset phones, I decided I would first give their new phones a look. (I like the Siemens phones in part because they are not only the clearest cordless phones I've ever used/owned, but Siemens engineering is consistently solid.)
Siemens also has a line of phones that use SIM chips, so you can pop your mobile phone SIM card into your home phone and have access to your mobile's calendar & phone book. Nice. Siemens also has a line of phones that work as intercoms, which let you see a live pic on your handset of who's at your front door.
Anyway, I surfed over to the Siemens site (3/3/08) and saw that they've introduced the "SOLAR" -- clearly an iPhone knock-off in the style department. According to Siemens, it's a "self-charging solar phone". Interesting.
From the Siemens website:
Solar, the high-end phone in the design study “Gigaset Eco Visions” uses all-over solar cells for a self-sustaining energy supply. It recharges naturally in the sun. The eco-index indicates the renewable energy use. Made of pure, separable materials (metal, eco-plastics, glass) the Gigaset Solar is truly state of the art high-tech inside and out. OLED touchpad technology allows a function-depending key indication on the Solar’s transparent display.
According to the Siemens Gigaset blog, the Solar is the second in a Trio of Eco-Friendly Home/Office Communication (SHC) devices to be rolled out over the next year by Siemens. (Errr, EFHOC is a posh way of saying "phones"...) From the Siemens site, "The phones have been engineered to be eco-friendly in terms of design, technology, materials, and characteristics throughout the entire product lifecycle – from manufacturing to recycling." [UPDATE 5/31/08, see new photo of Solar prototype above.]
The Leaf and Stone are the other two models that make up the SHC Trilogy. I've been eyeing the Gigaset S675 & S450 DECT phones & to replace my 2420 system, but consistent with my early adopter ways, I might have to wait until the Siemens Solar comes out. Too many gadgets, too little time (and cash).
Recycling of Electronic Equipment (in the USA) -
A lot of big box office supply and electronics retailers will recycle your old electronics equipment for you. Just call your local store in advance to make sure the location near you will take your old stuff. Some locations offer FREE recycling services. Others charge a small fee ($5-10 depending on the type of equipment.) Many of these stores have drop-off boxes/ spaces in their stores for old equipment. Either way, it's a good idea to properly recycle your old electronics.
electronicsrecycling.org - Database of places to recycle your old electronics equipment.
eCycling - US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) web page listing Electronics recycling info, for computers, old TVs, cell phones, etc.
There are plenty of other places that can direct you to recycling programs, but at least you've got a few places to start.
Be GREEN, recycle those old gadgets.