ETech 2009: Plantr Uses Recycled Cell Phones to Get Urbanites Gardening

plantr cell phone gardening photo
photos by Jaymi Heimbuch

What on earth do we do with all these cell phones headed to landfills besides sending them to recyclers? What if there's a way to recycle them without the effort of taking them apart and reprocessing the materials? Plantr is a project looking to explore that very idea, and has already come up with a way to revolutionize urban gardening. And you can help!First off, Plantr is a group research effort aimed at giving our overabundance of used cell phones a second life as something useful. They're figuring out how to use them as "nodes delivering micro level data to a broad research network."

There is already a project in the works that uses cell phones to promote urban gardening, and more importantly, the community that surrounds urban gardening.

plantr etech display photo

The granular data available from Plantr's networked sensor provides this information at the individual level. Participants will share their individual data, as well as the Plantr devices themselves. The project is designed to build community and ultimately to lead to a network of skilled urban agriculturalists who share gardening information and food.

You can take part in the project. If you're in New York City or Los Angeles and want to get involved in the Plantr Alpha test, you can get a hold of the team about being part of it.

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