Most tech innovators plan in a touch of near-term obsolescence in order to make sure consumers keep buying, and some now add the ability to disassemble a product in order to make it more ecologically sound, but designer Je-Hyun Kim took it further and made a phone that will biodegrade completely. The Natural Year Phone has a grass casing that disintegrates over time, leaving recyclable hardware that can be used in a new phone in the future. Naturally this begs the questions: What do you do if you are chatting in a rainstorm? What if you spill your coffee near your phone? And of course, is this short-lived green gadget priced according to its lifespan? Nevertheless it's a thought-provoking idea and a very literal interpretation of a "green gadget."
When not working in design, Sarah Rich writes, talks and forecasts about food and consumer culture.