Hay may be for horses, but it makes a pretty great mobile phone material as well. Appearing for all the world like a brick of sod outfitted with a keypad, Je-Hyun Kim’s Natural Year Phone concept carefully considers the life cycle of cellular phones, which are all too frequently disposed of due to obsolescence and the constant cycling of two-year contracts. Designed to last only for the length of its functional life cycle, the grassy green phone biodegrades and pieces apart for easy recycling after two years are up.

As the effects our conspicuous consumption become more and more evident, we’re happy to see designers taking product life cycles into account. Not all products need to be designed to last forever, especially those that are exercises in planned obsolescence from the start.

Fortunately, more and more manufacturers are now using recycled materials and offering e-waste recycling via mail, however Je-Hyun Kim decided to cut out the middle man and design a phone that automatically biodegrades as it reaches the end of its functional life. Once the grassy casing has dissolved, the screen and soft keys can be easily recycled and integrated into a new phone. It probably won’t survive a dunk in the sink, but then I’ve never known a phone that would.

Via Yanko Design