Portable wireless mice have a problem: most of them rely upon disposable batteries, which often wind up in landfills as e-waste. Adele Peters’ Corky mouse aims to change all that — it’s a kinetic energy-harvesting mouse that is powered with a flick of the wrist. One of 18 finalists in this year’s Greener Gadgets Design Competition, it’s also made from 100% recycled plastic components and recycled and biodegradable cork.

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The Corky mouse uses piezoelectric elements to generate energy every time you click or move it around on your desk – even rolling the scroll wheel will generate a few watts. We’ve seen many watches that harvest kinetic energy, so the technology is definitely available, and it makes a lot of sense in this application. Since computer mice function through movement, why not harness that expended energy?

Adele is also considering the device’s sustainability from a systems-based approach – something we love to see in industrial design. Plans are included for regional sourcing and assembly, product take-back and recycling, and disassembly data will be easily accessible for recycling centers. That last point is important, because a big issue with electronics recycling is that disassembly information is often considered proprietary and not disclosed, which makes the process of dismantling and recycling a device difficult if not impossible.

If you’re a fan of Corky, be sure to vote on it in this year’s Greener Gadgets Design Competition!

+ Corky