Introduction: Green Keyboard

Picture of Green Keyboard

Our colleague has gone on leave and so we thought it was a good time to go all environmental on him and give him a green keyboard.
Note: the use of the term green here may not be in the same context as what you're thinking!

Step 1: Preparation

First, assemble your materials. we'll need the following

Keyboard (unplugged)

Toilet Paper


1x Cisco WS-C2950C-24 - 24 10/100 ports with 2 100BASE-FX uplinks, Enhanced Image
Some polythene

Seeds of your choice

Absent colleague

Step 2: The Keyboard

Picture of The Keyboard

Cover the keyboard in about 5 layers of toilet paper. Roll some up and push into the cracks.
Make sure it's well covered
Wet the paper thoroughly

Step 3: Sowing the Seed

Picture of Sowing the Seed

Sprinkle a good layer of seed onto the paper. I'm using alfalfa here, though mustard or cress will be fine.

If your mate is off for a month or more, grass seed will give a lush greenness not obtained with other seeds.

Step 4: Germination

Picture of Germination

This next step is important as it will provide the optimum environment for your green keyboard

Unpack the Catalyst switch and discard all the contents apart from the bag with the book and cables in.

Discard the the book and cables and split the bag down each of the long edges

You should end up with a rectangle of polythene, half a seal on each end, which just fits over the keyboard.

Water the seeds again, and place the polythene over the keyboard.

Note: this could work with other polythene - I didn't have any other polythene.

Step 5: Growth

Picture of Growth

Water every day. After a couple of days, the seeds should have sprouted. Now is the time to add more seed and water again

Step 6: What Next?

Picture of What Next?

Continue watering, adding seed etc and after about a week, remove the polythene. You should now have a green keyboard

What Next?
You could surround the keyboard with gravel, place a small dish in the gravel and add Sea Monkeys to give that calming Japanese Garden with Koi Carp feel

For an English Cottage Garden feel, thimbles and fishing line can be used to make hanging baskets. Superglue them to the front of his/her monitor

Toy people and bears will recreate the fear of a wild forest on the keyboard. Use epoxy to glue them to the keys before adding the paper.

If your colleague is only off for a week, why not go for instant results with turf?


ewilhelm (author)2008-04-01
xproplayer (author)ewilhelm2008-04-01

u might want to fix the robot hes vandalised the website at the top

marc92 (author)2007-05-25

Another fun keyboard prank: Pry off all of the keys and put them back in different locations on the keyboard Maybe this is how dvorak was invented :P

Bets2 (author)marc922015-08-20

If you are a true typist - not a finger pecker - then moving the keys around will not slow you down & most won't even be notice the key changes at first.

som3thing (author)marc922008-01-24

yeah dvorak was actually invented before qwerty, i assume you know the story of qwerty key layouts being invented to SLOW DOWN typing. Because in the old type writers people would type so fast that they would jam the type writer, so qwerty was invented to slow down peoples typing funnily enough. just a handy bit of trivia for you :] Som3thing

dannix (author)som3thing2008-03-28

I was not to slow down typing but rater to have the common letters possitioned such that they were less likley to clash due to the mechanical mechanism used.

Yeah, dannix is right, it wasn't to slow you down but rather to separate letters that commonly used together and to prevent jamming. Not to slow you down

yeah, dannix and trogdor are right, it wasnt to slow you down it was to separate letters that were commonly used together to prevent jamming.

jaysbob (author)MadMechanicMike2008-03-28

yeah, dannix and trogdor and Mike are right, it wasnt to slow you down it was to separate letters that were commonly used together to prevent jamming.

bratnose (author)jaysbob2008-03-29

uhhhh... yeah, what they said.

Yep. Which inevitably has the effect of slowing down the operator's typing speed. Nicely, that means you are all correct.

Let me get this right, because it slows/slowed typing, that was the reason for the QWERTY layout?

Not really. It was meant to keep the type arms from jamming against each other, if one key had not returned to its rest position before another one was actuated.

Dam and I thought it was so the typewriter sales man didn't get it all jammed up, slowing him down, and his sales, while typing "typewriter" which is also the longest word you can spell using only one row on a qwerty keyboard...

Derin (author)Big Bwana2009-08-03

I need two rows to type typewriter I use TR Q layout

Actually, I do remember a study where non-typists (this must've been in the 70's or something...) were given randomly generated keyboard patterns and a few months to get used to them and tested for typing speed. I think they were then given the QWERTY or the alphabetic layout and tested again. The results were that there was no perfect keyboard layout as everybody could type just as fast with any layout. So you could all potentially be wrong...

dannix (author)jongscx2008-03-29

Why is that then? QWERTY was to stop mechanical clashing, regardless of typing speed. It may have slowed it down till they got used to it, point remains that it was for mechanical reasons not typing speed.


The effect would be less pronounced with non-typists. The random keyboard experiment was with IBM selectrics, if I recall correctly, and on those machines, there is no jamming of type arms because they had none. I'm pretty sure that unless one is really really fast, that keyboard layout is irrelevant to typing speed... provided it is a standard type of typewriter and not a stenotype machine or some other exotic keyboard like the Maltron etc...

dannix (author)bratnose2008-03-29

I think everyone gets it now.

MadMechanicMike (author)dannix2008-03-29

lol it was fun though

marc92 (author)som3thing2008-01-25

Hahaha, I never knew that!

bobulator (author)marc922008-01-25

so that means I should use a DVORAK keyboard since nowadays keyboards don't jam(not as much)!

If you will always have access to DVORAK keyboards, then possibly yes.

You don't need a Dvorak keyboard -- just a Dvorak driver, which is included on most OSs. You can rearrange (most of) the hard keys on a keyboard into the Dvorak layout, but after you've learned the layout, that's not really needed. Now if Palm, iPhone, Blackberry and other PDAs would just have a Dvorak driver that rearranged the soft keys, I'd be set! :)

CoolKoon (author)som3thing2008-02-08

You know it's pretty funny that QWERTY is quite beneficial in Hungarian, since the letters used in many of the most common phrases and words are pretty much close together, like "az" (means the), "egy" (means one or a, an), "és" (means and, but convenient only if you don't use diacritics), various digraphs: ty, gy, sz, zs, cs, dz, dzs and even some words: "azaz", "mert" (means because; only the letter m is in a more inconvenient place), "ki" (means out), "de" (means but or confirmation). Despite this fact some people in their infinite wisdom thought that it's more convenient if they mix up the letters z and y (creating the QWERTZ layout in the process of doing so). Well, it isn't, but some people still prefer the latter because they got used to it :P

CoolKoon (author)CoolKoon2008-02-08

grrrrr Looks like the site doesn't handle the "nonstandard" characters correctly (despite the fact that it seems to be using Unicode). So "és" is in fact az e with an acute mark on it and an s....

jongscx (author)marc922008-01-26

you could also rearrange his keyboard AND upload a custom keyboard driver, so it'll look possessed... Better yet, try to find an enigma-like encoder that will change the character with each press...

erikals (author)jongscx2009-07-21

cool. Can you program your own driver?

Dr.Paj (author)jongscx2008-03-29

Or maybe rearrange the keys and then program the keyboard so that if you hit the 'y' key it will type 'y' even if its where the F1 key used to be. Just a thought. Another idea is to only switch the letters. Change them to alphabetical order on the keyboard and program it the same way as above.

omnibot (author)marc922007-10-23

Better keyboard-prank : Clear Turtle-wax on all the keys .. apply .. pollish .. done. Watch someone try to type slippery keys :D

Bets2 (author)2015-08-20

You are nuts! ha ha - So did your co-worker survive? And did the keyboard survive? I would be afraid to plug-in the keyboard.

Of course, this is an old entry - but still interesting. (and I thought that keyboard looked 'older')

tigerboy (author)2008-04-02


qwixel (author)tigerboy2009-01-27

The keyboard can be destroyed doing this. Willful destruction of company property could get you seriously fired at just about any job.

If you want to try this I suggest you supply your own used keyboard (maybe tech has a pile of dead keyboards...) *AND* make sure your superiour knows and has a sense of humor...

Remember to take it to an electronics recycler later, because this thing will be toast when you are done: water and electronics - not a great mix esp. not the thin metal layers on the plastic membranes that make most keyboards work.

Oh, and don't plug the keyboard in if you do this. Most USB keyboards run on 5v with a surprising amount of amerage available. Might not be enough to hurt you, but water inthe wrong spot could cause a short that could destroy the computer.

zack247 (author)qwixel2010-09-27

i had a keyboard i picked up from the curb that sat in the rain for days. i let it dry out, and it worked like a charm

computer_guy (author)qwixel2010-05-13

 the keyboard is unplugged. easily cleaned with the toilet paper layer. after the keyboard is dry, just use again normally.

adamvan2000 (author)2008-01-24

I did dunk a keyboard in the sink after someone had spilled pop on it, hoping to clean it. I also took it completely apart and scrubbed the sticky parts. Had the pop not shorted out one of the traces in a few spots, it would have worked fine when put back together. BTW, if you're going to do this, take the keys off and use more tp, or other porous paper products, and give them seedlings something to grab a hold of. ~adamvan2000

hammer9876 (author)adamvan20002009-06-30

I had a co-worker spill her yogurt on her keyboard (blueberry if I remember right.) She unplugged it right away and called my department. My boss called the computer company (HP) and they recommended rinsing the keyboard under warm running water for 15 minutes, dousing it with rubbing alcohol, then letting it dry for 24 hours. I was elected to rinse. I had a great time standing at the sink letting people ask me all kinds of stupid questions. ("No, really. I do this every week. You don't wash yours? Eew, yuck!") When I was uninstalled, that keyboard was still working....

Big Bwana (author)adamvan20002008-03-28

You can actually blend the toilet paper in the blender with some water and pour it right in the keyboard if you are mean ... and mix the seeds in with a spoon ... just lift a key, keep the spring and pour away banging it every so often so it levels out and fills in all the cracks ..... mmmm it's like a high fiber milkshake hold the milk ....

you can clean keyboards in the dishwasher if you put them upside down and let it completely dry before using.

Bardouv (author)2009-06-08

For a second, I totally thought that was marijuana... So cool!

szechuan53 (author)2008-06-27

wink wink nudge nudge snicker snick k A U G H splat

n8man (author)2008-05-20

I got an idea from the seamonkeys thing. Put another layer of glass an inch away from the screen glass, waterproof the container, add a closable top, and fill with water and seamonkeys. That would be cool!

spartana (author)2008-05-20

Wow. At school I heard that a bunch of teachers did this to another teacher, but with chunks of turf and grass seed all through the keys. They also plastic wrapped his whole classroom. Sucks to be him. Great Instructable, My peoples better watch their keyboards, because they might get replaced with something a little greener...

tony stark (author)2008-05-13

I don't get it. Is it a prank. I didn't read the steps but what does it do.

NIS3R (author)2008-04-20

hope he isnt on stress leave! :S this wont help!

goodfishfive (author)2008-04-02

Truly a great prank. Thanks for the idea. If your co-worker will only be away a short time you could plan in advance and start the process on an old keyboard and replace theirs with the new green one before their return....

Yerboogieman (author)2008-03-30

i would put the toilet paper inside the keyboard

RetroPlayer (author)2008-03-28

It says it in the instructable, but it should be repeated: Do not plug the keyboard back in! Otherwise a funny, cheap practical joke will turn into an expensive computer repair. Now, anyone try this with a backlighted keyboard yet? I have a nice green one here that is also spill-proof. Sounds like it would be interesting, but I'm not going to risk my keyboard for it!

jongscx (author)RetroPlayer2008-03-29

... NEVER with the Optimus Maximus either...

that could end in homicide...

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