In July 2021 Jeff Bezos spent 5.5 billion dollars on a 10-minute getaway to space. The hefty price tag of his galactic mini-break was enough to save 37.5 million people from starvation (Global Citizen). Such headlines beg the question: are recent advancements in technology working to save the future of our planet, or is the world – and its neighbours – turning into one big playground? Progress in technology and sustainability can appear both at odds and in harmony with one another. On the one hand, explorations in technology allow for efficiency, whilst on the other, the luxury of immediacy and accelerated consumption are proven to be detrimental. The jury’s out on whether inhabiting mars could be beneficial but could the development of everyday eco-friendly tech products on a smaller scale make an accumulative difference?
aware_ presents 10 eco-friendly tech products you should know about.
Every year the world produces 300 million tons of paper (Record Nations). Out of the 17 billion trees cut down every year, 60% are used to generate paper (Capital Solutions). That’s a lot of trees. To counterbalance these figures, Sony has developed a digital paper system, users can read and annotate documents, without compromising the sensation of writing on paper. Using wifi or bluetooth documents can be wirelessly shared.
Approximately 100 million phones are discarded every year. In 2014 it was reported that Apple had generated up to 40,000 tons of e-waste, enough steel to lay 100 miles of railway track. Research demonstrates that mobile phones have become the “fastest-growing form of electronic waste” (SidmartinBio). To combat these increasing levels of waste Fairphone, which launched in 2013, have developed “the world’s most repairable phone”. Advocating for a fairer industry for the manufacturing of tech products, the Amsterdam-based company prioritises responsible material sourcing, employee welfare and have developed a phone-specific recycling program.
The BigBlue solar charger enables you to charge 3 devices simultaneously on the go. Unlike the other models available, the BigBlue solar charger is able to charge your device in variable weather conditions. Even through cloud, the panel will continue to provide consistent charge to your devices.
The United Nations reports that over 1 million plastic bottles are bought every minute, the equivalent of fuelling 25 million cars for an entire year. Rocean, the New Delhi founded water filtration company, are on a mission to remove 1 billion bottles from circulation in the next five years. Rocean has developed a single device – suitable for any kitchen countertop – that filters, flavours and carbonates water.
VanMoof is the Amsterdam-based start-up changing the face of e-bikes. With a sleek, streamlined design – a welcome change for the standard e-bike design available on the market – VanMoof celebrates Holland’s heritage bicycle culture with state-of-the-art technology. The bikes can reach up to 25 km/h, are custom-tuned for the ultimate riding experience and have integrated anti-theft technology.
Forget to turn off the lights? The Philips Hue smart lighting system enables you to control the lighting in your home with just one click on your phone. Easy to install – there’s no need to rewire your home – their range of lights, sensors and switches allows you to control your electricity usage from the comfort of your own sofa.
Every year 92 million tonnes of textile waste is generated by the fashion industry. DRESSX is a digital clothing company on a mission to show consumers that virtual clothing could provide a solution to the planet’s critical habit of overconsumption. Customers can purchase a digital outfit from the website and place the outfit on any given photograph of themselves. Although specifically targeted at influencers, with advancements in wearable technology DRESSX believes this could be a universal solution for the future of the apparel industry.
The Vitamix FoodCycler is the food recycler for every kitchen. Complete with a carbon filter lid that eliminates odours, the bin can be filled with everything from meat bones to vegetable peel after every meal. After the press of a button, the FoodCycler breaks down the food waste to create a fertiliser that can be distributed over your garden soil. Worried about space? The Vitamix FoodCycler just requires a power outlet and one cubic meter of space.
Recent lockdowns have had city dwellers pining over their own private garden. The EXKY Smart indoor garden invites you to grow herbs and vegetables all year round. The garden’s LED GROW LIGHT allows plants to grow three times faster than in a standard garden. Going on holiday? The EXKY garden has an integrated watering system that can last up to three weeks.
COP26 last year lay great focus on issues of deforestation, could this range of “booky” tech products be the answer? Kindle – the leading e-book developed by Amazon – provide a sustainable solution for those invested in the protection of our forests. Amazon’s Kindle Paperwhite boasts a waterproof design, integrated audiobook technology and, when used for an hour a day, has a battery that can last up to 3 weeks.
– By Eliza Edwards