Sustainable Tech: Products and Companies That Give Back to the Environment

By: Christine Persaud

November 4, 2022

Giving back to the environment is more important now than ever. Buying and using technology that gobbles up loads of electricity and/or uses disposable batteries then end up in landfills seems counterintuitive to reaching that goal. But items like laptops, smartphones, home appliances, and even earbuds, are considered essential so avoiding using them altogether is not an option. It’s all about balance.

You can take steps to be more mindful of how much electricity you consume and how much electronic waste and greenhouse gas emissions you generate by reducing your technology usage overall. Do things like walk or ride a bike instead of driving when possible. Responsibly recycling your electronics when the time comes. Unplug devices to avoid using up phantom power. These are just a few simple steps. But did you know there are also technology products that give back to the environment in some way? It’s becoming more common for manufacturers to incorporate recycled components in their latest products, but these companies and specific products take things to another level.

House of Marley

House of Marley One-Drop Wireless Charger

Pretty much everything from House of Marley is built with sustainability in mind. The company uses only mindfully sourced materials in the manufacturing process, including bamboo, Rewind fabric (which includes 30% reclaimed organic cotton), 30% reclaimed hemp, 40% recycled PET, Regrind silicone (created by reclaiming and upcycling post-process and post-consumer silicone that might otherwise end up in landfills), FSC-certified wood, recyclable aluminum, recycled plastics, recycled metal alloys, wood composite, organic cork, and even recycled paper for packaging.

House of Marley Cable Management

The company, started by the iconic Marley musical family (those related to musical icon Bob Marley), takes its environmental focus a step further through Project Marley, which supports global reforestation and ocean preservation. This includes the One Tree Planted program and support for the Surfrider Foundation.

While House of Marley is predominantly known for its portable Bluetooth speakers, headphones, and wireless earbuds, the company recently launched the One Drop wireless charger and a variety of rugged and stylish charging cables, all made from a combination of these recycled and mindfully sourced materials.

Samsung Galaxy Products

The recently announced Galaxy Buds2 Pro true wireless earbuds, the latest in the growing line from Samsung, is more than 90% made using recycled materials. The new Galaxy Z Series smartphones, meanwhile, also incorporate ocean-bound plastics in key components and come in 100% recycled paper packaging that was also reduced in volume by up to 58% compared to the first-generation foldable phones from the brand. According to Samsung, this will help save approximately 10,000 tons of carbon emissions based on transportation from Korea to Europe just this year alone.

This is all part of the Galaxy for the Planet initiative, which involves Samsung’s commitment to incorporating recycled plastics in its products. Samsung is also working on creating new materials, in partnership with leading sustainability partners.

Acer Aspire Vero Laptop

Dubbed a “Green PC” by Acer, the Aspire Vero Green Laptop (model AV15-51-5155) is made using 30% post-consumer recycled plastic in the chassis and 50% in the keycaps, which the company says helps save about 20% of CO2 emissions. It’s also paint-free to help reduce the negative impact of harmful volatile organic compounds (VOCs). A nice, added touch: the “R” and “E” lettering on the respective keys are reversed to emphasize the company’s focus on reducing, reusing, and recycling.

One of the issues with electronic devices is that it’s often easier to discard and buy new than to try and fix it. This isn’t the case with the Aspire Vero, which was designed to be easily dissembled for quick repairs, upgrades, and recycling so worthy parts can be maintained and others can be responsibly disposed of when the time comes. The claims are backed by the EPEAT Silver registration, which confirms that the laptop employs an environmentally friendly design.

Nimble Champ Charger

Ironically, a device you can use to keep your gadgets powered up 24/7 is itself designed to be environmentally conscious. The Nimble Champ portable charger is made from Nimble’s own Replay materials, including 72% post-consumer recycled plastics that Nimble says can help reduce up to 7.5 lbs. of average CO2 emissions per unit. It also comes in plastic-free packaging. Offering 18-watt Power Delivery (PD) fast charging thanks to the built-in 10,000 mAh battery, it works with all types of smartphones and other devices. You’ll get up to an 80% charge in just half an hour, depending on the device. As a bonus, it can charge two devices simultaneously. Available in three sizes, the Nimble Champ is competitively priced with other portable charging banks in its class, but it’s one you can feel good about buying.

Microsoft Ocean Plastic Mouse

Microsoft aptly named this mouse Ocean Plastic because its shell is indeed made from 20% recycled ocean plastics, with the goal of helping to remove plastic waste from oceans and waterways. Microsoft explains that the recycled material is removed from oceans and waterways, processed into recyclable plastic resin pellets, and blended into the materials development process. The mouse also comes in 100% recyclable packaging, with the box made of recyclable wood and sugarcane natural fibers.

Further, Microsoft offers a free mail-in program for responsibly recycling old mice through its contracted partners. Running on a single AA battery, you’ll get a year’s worth of use after which you can safely and responsibly dispose of the battery.

LG XBOOM 360 Speaker

The super-stylish LG XBOOM 360 speaker has received Eco-Product certification from SGS Societe Generale de Surveillance SA of Switzerland, along with Environmental Claim Validation from Underwriters Laboratories, and Global Recycled Standard recognition from Control Union Certifications. This is because its fabricated, in part, from recycled plastic and other post-consumer materials. Since it’s controlled from an app, you can turn it on and off from anywhere, so there’s no worry if you forgot you left it running after heading out the door or going to bed.

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