04/12/2009 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Plantr To Use Unwanted Phones To Arm Urban Farmers

What a cool idea -- stopping cell phones from being recycled by reusing them. But the coolest part is what Plantr wants to use them for:

What if there's a way to recycle them without the effort of taking them apart and reprocessing the materials? Plantr is a project looking to explore that very idea, and has already come up with a way to revolutionize urban gardening. And you can help!

First off, Plantr is a group research effort aimed at giving our overabundance of used cell phones a second life as something useful. They're figuring out how to use them as "nodes delivering micro level data to a broad research network."

As Treehugger points out, you can get in on the ground floor if you're in New York City or Los Angeles. Check Plantr's site for details. Here's their own description of their plans:

Our first project promotes sustainable gardening and an increased understanding of micro-climates and ecological processes in urban spaces. Current macro-level meteorological data does not provide the necessary level of resolution for urban growers. The granular data available from Plantr's networked sensor provides this information at the individual level. Participants will share their individual data, as well as the Plantr devices themselves. The project is designed to build community and ultimately to lead to a network of skilled urban agriculturalists who share gardening information and food.