There are lots of lifestyle changes we can make to cut down our carbon footprint – but what we don’t talk about very much at all is the impact that our tech has on the planet.
Technology is great for social and economic development, but the tech industry is responsible for around 3.7% of greenhouse gases (The Shift Project, 2019) – that’s almost the same amount as global aviation.
Because we rarely think about the infrastructure powering a device it can be easy to underestimate its impact.
As more money is invested into tech its carbon footprint is only set to grow. This will require more energy and more raw materials.
So what can we do to reduce that impact?
Let’s look at sustainable alternatives for your everyday tech.
There are more and more eco-friendly versions of everything you need to run your life, from mobile networks to bike lights.
The Best Sustainable Technology For Everyday Use
We don’t often think of our phones as contributing to the climate crisis – but powering them requires electricity and energy.
Honest Mobile are the world’s first carbon negative mobile network. They offset double the CO2 generated by their members’ phones – including their use, manufacture and charging.
They also look to go beyond simply planting trees to do this – and have recently introduced Direct Air Capture (where you suck carbon out of the air and store it permanently deep underground) and Biochar (where you burn biomass to create a charcoal that locks up carbon for at least 100 years) into their offsetting portfolio.
As a member of 1% for the Planet they donate 1% of revenue to environmental causes (just like pebble) – working with TreeSisters to plant One Million Trees.
You can read more about TreeSisters and the work they do in our article here.
As the only B Corp certified mobile network in the UK they’re legally committed to consider people and the planet in every decision they make as a business – and it shows – they’re the top-rated pay monthly network on Trustpilot.
Get 50% off your first month with Honest Mobile with the code Pebble50.
Gomi are all about bringing the circular economy into the tech space.
Based in Brighton they’ve made wireless chargers, portable chargers and are now running a kickstarter for the world’s first portable speaker made from 100 plastic bags and powered by 100% repurposed e-bike batteries.
The 25W speaker has a modular design and 20 hour battery life, and because it’s made from recycled materials each one is completely unique – with a different marble design.
You can also pair two Gomi speakers to create enough volume for a small music event!
Gomi don’t believe in end of life for a product so offer a repairs-for-life return service – so that your speaker never ends up in landfill.
‘The Gomi Speaker is designed to be an everyday essential, that provides you with your favourite music at great quality, without feeling guilty about harming the environment in the process.’
House of Marley design and build record players, headphones and speakers using sustainable materials, but still with incredible sound quality.
They make products that are better for the planet like their beautiful turntable made from bamboo – because it’s one of the fastest growing plants in the world – and REWIND™ Fabric – made from recycled materials – a mix of reclaimed organic cotton, reclaimed hemp and recycled PET.
They’re also committed to supporting global reforestation and ocean preservation projects through their Our Project Marley Global Giving initiative – in honour of Bob Marley.
The most CO2e heavy part of a phone’s lifecycle is its manufacture.
That’s why choosing to keep your phone as long as possible will always be the best decision for the planet.
reboxed sell refurbished smartphones – as well as phone accessories like AirPods.
As a pending B Corp they believe in changing how we buy tech for the better – both for the planet and for your purse.
They buy their iPhones from certified sources and directly from customers and have a full range of models, colours and storage sizes. Every phone goes through a thorough checking process, is securely wiped of all data, given a good clean, and is then reboxed – with free next day delivery across the UK and a 15 month no quibble warranty!
If you do need to buy a new phone then be sure to check out Fairphone – also known as ‘the world’s most sustainable smartphone’. Fairphone put people and the planet at the heart of everything they do.
They’re committed to building phones that last – with a modular design their phones are easy to repair and upgrade and the Fairphone team helps you keep the software up to date so you keep it as long as possible.
Fairphone also have a recycling programme for old handsets helping them to reduce e-waste – the world’s fastest growing domestic waste stream (UN’s Global E-waste Monitor 2020).
If you’re looking for an eco-friendly phone case then look no further than Pela cases.
Pela cases have the cutest range of designs and colours – for phones and AirPods that are also 100% compostable.
The average person keeps their phone for two-three years so choosing a compostable phone case is a great example of where small choices can have a big impact.
reboxed also offer eco-friendly phone cases which are made of compostable, biodegradable material that isn’t plastic.
Ecosia is best known as the search engine that plants trees.
Their servers run on 200% renewable energy and every search query removes 1kg of CO2 from the air. They also have a strong belief in data privacy.
It’s easy to switch – and you can see how many trees you’ve planted to offset your internet use.
Read our interview with Ecosia on how they plant trees.
Say hello to the world’s most sustainable charging cables – made of recycled fishing nets and plastics.
You can buy Le Cord products without the product packaging and get a discount – saving customers money – and the earth’s resources.
Are you the kind of person who’s always losing their keys?
When you purchase one Chipolo donates $1 to ocean clean up.
See.Sense are a bike light company. Not only is biking a great way to get around without contributing to transport emissions but See.Sense are also partnered with WeForest and have planted 7,500 trees with them.
They also donate upgrade lights to Madagascar with the Adsum Foundation and offer service maintenance to their warranty customers.
What tech would you add to our list? Have you tried one of these brands out? Who are we missing? Let us know in the comments below!