Recycled battery flower - Award-winning product design of 2009
Recycling old batteries is essential to avoid the toxic chemicals they contain leaching from landfill sites. The Energy Seed, designed by Sungwoo Park of Kookmin University and Sunhee Kim of Chung-Ang University, both in South Korea, is designed to encourage good recycling practices by making the recycling bin attractive and obvious.
Users deposit their old batteries in the slots provided, and a circuit scavenges the dregs of power in the batteries to light the device.
The flower-shaped unit supposedly helps people see discarding batteries as a constructive process, akin to planting a seed that then flowers when the unit lights up.
The 2009 International Design Excellence Awards (IDEA) competition winners have just been announced. Co-sponsored by BusinessWeek magazine and the Industrial Designers Society of America (IDSA), the awards are "dedicated to fostering business and public understanding of the importance of industrial design excellence to the quality of life and economy", says the IDSA.
Here are some of New Scientist's favourites from this year's awards, including a cookbook you can taste, shoes made from trash, and a genius cheese grater