Sustainable and Environmentally Friendly Gadgets

April is the month we celebrate Earth Day, and while technology and the environment are not two things you may normally think go together, some companies are aiming to change that. Whether that means using more sustainable materials or actively trying to help people live a more environmentally conscious lifestyle, here are a few devices and gadgets worth looking into if you’re interested in adopting a greener mindset.

Smartphone: Low-Carbon Manufacturing

Apple has invested $4.7 billion in Green Bonds to help support more innovative green technology. One result of this investment is the purchase of aluminum that is manufactured at industrial scale without creating any direct carbon emissions during the smelting process. This material is being used in the latest iteration of Apple’s mid-range iPhone SE ($429 and up), which is made with 100% recycled rare earth elements in the Taptic Engine and audio magnets, 100% recycled tungsten in the Taptic Engine, and 100% recycled tin in the solder of the main logic board.

Laptop: What’s Old Is New Again

Lenovo recently introduced two new products made with recycled materials. The Yoga 6 ($636.99 and up, pictured above) is a convertible laptop that is available in a Dark Teal hue with a cover made from recycled aluminum or you can choose a fabric-wrapped cover option made with 50% recycled plastics. Additionally, the power adapter is made with 30% recycled plastics. Meanwhile, the ThinkPad Z Series features the Z13 made with recycled aluminum and recycled vegan leather and the Z16 made with recycled aluminum.

Recycling: 100% Remanufacturing Guaranteed

Of the world’s waste, only 9% is recycled and 2% of materials are closed-loop recyclables. Lasso Loop is dedicated to changing that with its Lasso ($3,999) domestic recycling appliance. Simply insert an item and Lasso will detect whether it can be recycled; clean it; remove any contaminants; and break it down to a fraction of its size. It then stores the recyclable materials in separate containers and alerts you when it’s full. At that time, you can schedule a curbside pickup to ensure materials are taken to a place for remanufacturing and not end up in a landfill or the ocean.

Dishwasher: Compact and Water Conscious

Meet Bob, the mini dishwasher ($349 to $449) from Daan Technologies, which is only 13.4 inches wide and can fit right on your countertop. Bob doesn’t require a water connection thanks to its 3.9-liter integrated water tank, though it still can be directly connected to your water supply. Either way, Bob can wash two place settings worth of dishes using only .8 gallons of water, which is up to 5x less water typically used during hand washing. The unit is also made up of 50% recycled plastic and its Bob Cassettes, which hold the dishwashing detergent, are reusable.

Remote: Powered with WiFi

Samsung is releasing a new version of its Eco Remote, which will be available with various models of Samsung TVs. Like last year’s version, this remote can be charged with solar energy—both indoor and outdoor light. But this iteration can also be charged by drawing power from the radio waves emitted by WiFi routers. The company previously estimated that switching its TVs to solar-powered remotes could help reduce 99 million batteries from being discarded each year.


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