For one thing, conference organizers said they would offset about 20,000 tons of carbon associated with the event by buying up carbon offsets from the nonprofit Carbonfund.org.

Some industry watchers consider that a minimal effort. As Green Wombat points out, the cost of $108,000 won't immediately offset the emissions from the 140,000 attendees gridlocking the strip and the electricity -- much of it coal-fired -- the event is using.

With the Federal Trade Commission conducting hearings on its green marketing guidelines, starting with carbon offsets, these efforts under coming under closer scrutiny (see our story in November, Cleaning Up Greenwashing, and a New York Times story published Wednesday).

But in addition to other green nods like biodegradable utensils and recycled carpet in an exhibit hall, the conference added "a green component" this year to provide a stage for companies to showcase their efforts to bring more green to consumers.

Here are a few of the greener gadgets and new technologies that made a splash at the show (click "Next" below the photo to see them all):

provoq
Not Your Granddaddy's Caddy

It might have been blamed for killing the electric car, but General Motors is keen on making an alternative-vehicle comeback. During a CES keynote, GM CEO Rick Wagoner unveiled the company's concept Cadillac, called the Provoq, which runs on a hydrogen fuel cell and a lithium-ion battery. The fuel cell charges the batteries, which in turn power the wheels. Twostoragetanks in the rear hold 13.2 pounds of hydrogen to feed the fuel-cell stack under the hood. The vehicle, which only emits water, is expected to drive 300 miles on a full tank of hydrogen and go 0 to 60 in 8.5 seconds. Additional perks include a rooftop solar panel to powering onboard trimmings such as interior lights and audio systems.

Source: General Motors
fmv
Corny Computers

Looks like plastic. Feels like plastic. But 50 percent of Fujitsu's third-generation Biblo PC casing is made from plant-based material. The computer already is being sold in Japan and the company is considering bringing it to the United States. But there is still one major drawback. The other 50 percent of the computer's casing is made from regular ol' petroleum plastic. Fujitsu is working to integrate biomaterials into more of its products and has begun developing its own bio plastics including one made from castor beans.

sony oled
Lighting Up Your Television

Flat screen television manufacturers already are working with light-emitting diodes to boost visual performance and cut energy consumption. But at CES, companies were going organic, showcasing TVs made with organic light-emitting diodes. These OLEDs potentially offer significantly better contrast ratios and greater energy efficiency. Samsung was among the companies to showcase its 31-inch OLED television prototype. But manufacturers say OLED TVs for the masses are still years away, as it will take time to beat the cost and price performance of LCD and plasma (see CNET story). Sony's 11-inch OLED TV, for example, costs $2,500.

Source: Sony
angstrom
Fuel Cells in a Phone

Canada's Angstrom Power announced it had successfully completed a six-month test in which its fuel cell was used to power a Motorola MOTOSLVR phone (see Fuel Cells Step Forward). The test is the first time a fuel cell has been fully integrated into a standard mobile device, with no battery required, the company said. Angstrom claims its fuel cells offer twice the run time of the usual lithium-ion batteries and recharge in 10 minutes, and said it is collaborating with battery manufacturers, portable electronic device-makers and mobile-service providers to commercialize the cells. Other companies, such as Horizon Fuel Cell Technologies and MTI MicroFuel Cells, also flaunted their power-charging prototypes for cell phones and other mobile devices at the show.

Source: Sony
green plug
Managing an Unruly Powerstrip

Consider the ubiquitous powerstrip, that lowly gadget into which we plug the web of chargers for more-exciting tools like our computers, cell phones, iPods and digital cameras. For convenience, many of us leave it all plugged in, giving rise to "phantom power," that wasted power chargers suck away when electronic devices are no longer there -- or when the devices are connected, but fully charged. Green Plug hopes to exorcise that phantom. At CES, the company previewed its universal power adopter hub that communicates with your gizmos, allotting the proper amount of power -- and no more -- to each.

Source: Green Plug
voltaic
Fashionably Solar

For green-gadget fashionistas, Voltaic Systems announced it would offer a spring line of bags with a 14-watt solar panel. The bags include a battery pack to store the power, in case owners catch some sun when their laptops already are charged. But don't plan to leave your power cords at home just yet. The panels need a day's worth of direct sunlight to charge a laptop, and many owners might not find themselves outside that long with their computer bags in tow. The bags, which also can power cell phones and other handheld devices, are expected to cost around $600.

Source: Green Plug