CES: Greener in 2009

The annual Consumer Electronics Show (CES)—at which every new gadget debuting in the year ahead is trotted out for display in a stadium-size convention center in Las Vegas—is upon us again. After spending days walking amidst rows of 82-inch flatscreen TVs and pocketing useless tchotchkes from hundreds of vendors at the show, you couldn't imagine a more perfect event to embody the ultimate in consumerism and waste. But in 2008, CES introduced a "green" component, showcasing low-power gadgets, solar-powered devices, and recycled goods, in an attempt to make the show a little more palatable to the environmentally inclined. And in 2009, the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA), the trade group behind CES, is expanding that green aspect even further, trying to adjust to both eco-friendly attitudes and leaner economic times.

Since last year's trial run, CES has also doubled the number of companies in its (newly renamed) Greener Gadgets Tech Zone, and the section has grown from just 520 square feet last year to more than 3,000 square feet this year. Exhibitors will include Better Energy Systems, which makes the ; Fuji, with its ; ; and even cell phone maker . In addition, expect to see more eco-themed announcements from some of the CES headliners this year. CEA spokesperson Jennifer Bemisderfer tells us that industry-watchers should look out for environmental news and products from the likes of Toshiba, Sony, Samsung, Panasonic, and HP.

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