EcoModo - The Best of TreeHuggerS

This week, we discover R2D2 as a recycling robot, how much twittering adds to your carbon footprint, bamboo-ing of tablet devices, it's easier for people in India to text than find a toilet, and more.

Let the Bamboo-ing of iPad Begin - Cool Hack Warms Up a Tablet Device
Last year, bamboo covers on notebooks and netbooks were all the rage. This year, tablet devices are all the rage. So it was only a very short matter of time before we started hearing about bamboo-clad tablets. The hacks for tablet devices are rolling out, thanks to handy folks excited to customize their gadgets.

Texts or Toilets? More People In India Have Access to Cell Phones than Bathrooms
We know that access to cell phones is skyrocketing in developing nations, simply becoming a basic necessity for daily living. But meanwhile another basic necessity is too often out of reach - access to sanitation services. A new report states that more people in India have access to a cell phone than to a toilet.

One-Touch Activism and Animal Sounds From Wild Calls iPhone App
Talk about Call of the Wild. A new iPhone app from The Center for Biological Diversity puts the sounds of endangered animals on your cell phone. You can literally hear them howling (or screeching, or singing, or growling) for help.

Wind Farms Might Buy Your Old Electric Car Batteries
A battery pack that isn't good enough for an electric vehicle could still hold about 80% of its charge. Not something you want to throw away!


Necker Nymph Electric Submarine: See Richard Branson's "Underwater Plane" in Action (Video)
It's a kind of small electric submarine that looks kind of like a futuristic airplane. The Necker Nymph was featured on Oprah recently, and we have the video that shows it in action below.

MyFord Touch and Eco-Route Nav Feature Will Help Drivers Save Gas
Having a screen that shows you your instant-MPG and a historical graph is a great teaching tool, letting you know what kinds of driving and routes give the best (and worst) fuel economy. Ford wants to push this a bit further with the MyFord Touch onboard computer and the Eco-Route nav feature (kind of an extension of the SmartGauge in the Fusion hybrid). These systems will be available in non-hybrid models starting in 2011.

Twittering Adds How Much to Your Carbon Footprint?
How much energy does it take to send a tweet, and how does that impact your carbon footprint? A talk by Raffi Krikorian of Twitter answers the question.

Turn Your Froot Loops Into Furniture With The Sustainable Slotted System
At Arizona State University's Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts, students were asked "What does a Wall provide? Utility? View? Privacy? Connection? What passes through? What is obstructed? In response, they came up with S3 Sustainable Slotted System, that anyone can build out of cereal boxes.

Smart Concept Design Uses Waste Heat from Light Bulbs to Dry Clothes
A chief complaint about incandescent light bulbs is that they waste so much electricity through heat. But German designer Samuel Treindl came up with a way to transform the waste heat into something less, well, wasteful. While not justifying the use of incandescent light bulbs, the clever design does indeed make the most of the incandescents still in use.

R2D2 and Other Rockin' Robot Recyclin' Bins of Coachella 2010
Recycling bins came fromGlobal Inheritance, a Los Angeles nonprofit that likes to mix art with music and environmental awareness. The nonprofit solicited artists to turn otherwise boring bins into works of art through its TRASHed project. The results are pieces of plastic that cry out for your recyclables: "Gimme your non-garbage!"

TreeHugger's EcoModo column appears every Tuesday on Gizmodo.