CES 2012: Yep, There Are Still Gadgets Made of Bamboo Sneaking In to CES

© Jaymi Heimbuch

A couple years ago, there was bamboo-covered allsortsofstuff at CES -- from netbooks to speakers to keyboards. Lately, not so much. We figured the trend (which I happened to really like) got old and died off, but I still spotted Impecca's booth which sports some bamboo-covered stuff.

But exactly how eco-friendly the process for making these items is feels questionable. The booth rep told me that to make these, they actually source material from companies making rolling paper for cigarettes. Apparently they use bamboo, and Impecca gathers up leftovers from companies in New York, "takes out all the poisonous stuff" that is used to treat the bamboo for turning it into paper, and remanufactures it into the bamboo covers on the gadgets from radios to calculators to iPhone covers and, yes of course, keyboards and computer mice. Um, huh? Reusing scraps from cigarette rolling paper companies? Really??

The rep said that the sourcing of the material wouldn't be in any literature because it deals with the tobacco companies -- he actually looked a bit shocked at how apparently ridiculous I am when I asked if that information was in the literature -- so I was told "of course you won't see that in here." That's a shame because that is the real story here.

While I chip away at finding out more about that, check out the ever-present bamboo stuff that is "hand-carved from 100% natural biodegradable bamboo material." It's actually quite beautiful, even if questionable -- especially this little radio that I'm sure isn't green but is still pretty (see what a little wood veneer can do?! Sucks you right in...).

© Jaymi Heimbuch

© Jaymi Heimbuch

Tags: Bamboo | CES | Electronics | Gadgets | Greenwashing

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