- The best eco-friendly gadgets should focus on sustainability, such as the use of recycled materials and energy efficiency.
- Some of the most innovative gadgets include the Acer eKinekt BD 3 bike desk and the Mill Kitchen Bin.
- The Acer eKinekt BD 3 bike desk is a multifunctional device that allows you to work and charge your devices while working out.
- The Mill Kitchen Bin is designed to dehydrate and preserve food scraps, reducing food waste and greenhouse gas emissions.
- Other eco-friendly gadgets include smart thermostats, such as the Google Nest Learning Thermostat, eco-friendly portable speakers like the JBL Go 3 Eco, and solar smartwatches, to name just a few.
Are you tired of expensive electronics that do nothing but harm the environment? You’d be happy to know that many tech companies are now focusing on sustainable technology. From speakers and peripherals made from recycled plastic to solar smartwatches and innovative smart home solutions, there are many eco-friendly gadgets perfect for green tech enthusiasts.
Whether you seek a gift to impress someone or want something new for your collection, grab some recycled wrapping paper and choose your favorite from this selection of awesome green gadgets.
1. Acer eKinekt BD 3 Bike Desk
|Best Feature||You can work and charge your devices during a workout.|
Work doesn’t leave you with enough time for a workout? The Acer eKinekt BD 3 bike desk could be the green solution to your problems. This innovative gadget is eco-friendly in more ways than one. To start, it has a recycled plastic desk and stand. But the best part is the energy you have to generate yourself. The concept blends a power-generating gym bike with a desk, empowering both active and sustainable lifestyles.
We particularly like that it’s a multifunctional device. Working and sports modes allow you to shift the desk position so that you can focus on a work task or speed up pedaling. Exercising doesn’t have to be constant, but you do have to pedal if you want to charge your laptop, smartphone, or other devices.
The desk comes with everything you need for distraction-free working, including a laptop bag hook, a beverage holder, and three USB ports for multiple mobile device charging. We also like the eKinekt App that allows you to monitor how many watts you generate while pedaling, as well as fitness stats such as the burnt calories, exercise duration, speed, and distance.
2. Google Nest Learning Thermostat
|Best Feature||The thermostat learns your preferences and adjusts the temperature automatically to reduce energy consumption.|
|MRSP||$179 – $240|
Green tech enthusiasts can hardly say no to a smart house gadget like the Google Nest Learning Thermostat. This stylish device aims to help you save energy and lower utility bills, and it does what it’s supposed to do brilliantly. It impresses with its attractive design and easy operation. You can mount it on a wall or use the dedicated stand to keep it on a desk or shelf, but you’ll have to buy the stand separately.
No matter where the Nest lives, this smart device will learn your preferences and regulate the temperature in your home automatically based on your habits. This means you won’t have to bother to control the thermostat yourself or change the settings manually — although you can totally do it, either by operating the device or through an app from your smartphone.
Nest’s capability to remember the various temperature settings you like throughout the day isn’t the best thing about this thermostat, though. Its major highlight is the built-in motion sensor and GPS functionality. When paired with the app, the thermostat knows when you’re out of the house so that it can alter the temperature based on your schedule.
The system might not be perfect — it misses zonal temperature control, meaning that you might end up heating empty rooms. Overall, though, this smart thermostat can help you save over 10 percent on your yearly heating bill while also reducing your household’s carbon footprint.
- Stylish design
- Helps lower utility bills
- Built-in motion sensor and GPS functionality
- Alter temperature when you are out of the house
3. JBL Go 3 Eco Speaker
|Best Feature||This portable Bluetooth speaker boasts an innovative, eco-friendly design.|
The JBL Go 3 Eco speaker is one of the best green gadgets for music lovers and outdoor enthusiasts. It comes in a bunch of colors, so you can match this soap-sized speaker to your backpack. A built-in hook makes it easy to attach it to your belt or hiking bag.
As you’d expect from JBL, the Go 3 Eco delivers crisp and clear sounds. Otherwise, this model is rather basic in that it doesn’t offer access to any of JBL’s companion apps. This means you won’t be able to customize the sound. However, over five hours of runtime, IP67 rating against exposure to dust and water, and Bluetooth connectivity for seamless audio streaming from your smartphone make it a trustworthy companion.
By now, you might wonder where is the green part. Well, the best thing about this speaker is that it’s made almost exclusively from recycled materials. All plastic parts consist of 90 percent consumer-recycled plastic (CPR), while the speaker grille is made of 100 percent recycled fabric. With these specs, it’s easy to understand why it is one of the most beloved eco-friendly gadgets.
- Comes with a built-in hook for attaching to a backpack
- Delivers crisp and clear sounds
- Bluetooth connectivity
- Made almost exclusively from recycled materials
4. The Kitchen Bin
|Best Feature||A food recycler designed to turn your kitchen scraps into food for chickens.|
|MRSP||$396/year or $45/month|
Food waste is one of the largest greenhouse gas emitters globally, so if you love green tech and want to play your part in reducing global warming, the Mill Kitchen Bin is a must-have. This gadget looks just like a kitchen bin, but it is very different inside. Its purpose is to turn the scraps into small pieces, dehydrate them, and preserve their nutritional value for later use.
Mill will then collect the scraps as often as you like and turn them into food for chickens. Alternatively, you can empty the bin yourself and toss the food grounds into a compost pile. The fact that the Kitchen Bin can collect up to a month of waste is reason enough to invest in one.
The Kitchen Bin isn’t the cheapest gadget out there, as owning one means committing to a monthly or yearly subscription. All plans are comprehensive, though, including the bin, food grounds collection, as well as regular maintenance and repairs. Currently, the Kitchen Bin uses around 1kWh of electricity per day, but Mill promises software updates that will make it more energy efficient in the future.
5. Garmin Enduro 2 Ultraperformance Watch
|Best Feature||A rugged smartwatch with a solar-powered battery.|
Whether you’re into hardcore adventures or extreme sports, the Garmin Enduro 2 Ultraperformance Watch is one of the best eco-friendly gadgets you can get. Its main highlight is the solar battery that charges directly on your wrist as long as the watch is exposed to sunlight.
This feature provides extra-long battery life even when the GPS is on. In addition to solar charging, proprietary technologies deliver built-in maps and power-saving positional accuracy. So you’ll never have to worry about running out of charge and getting lost in the middle of nowhere.
If you’re interested in numbers, you can expect around 150 hours of runtime with an active GPS and around 34 days in smartwatch mode. Beyond solar charging capabilities, we like that this watch is built for extremes and can endure pretty much anything you’re throwing at it. No doubt, this a wearable you can keep on your wrist for years to come.
- Taps the Sun’s energy for more power
- Maximizes battery life using SatIQ technology
- Lightweight, rugged design with a comfortable fit
- Smart navigation tools with preloaded maps
How to Pick the Best Eco-Friendly Gadgets: Step-by-Step
Shopping for an eco-friendly gadget is not easy. Many manufacturers use misleading, inaccurate, or downright false claims when advertising their products, and it can be easy to fall victim to greenwashing. There are five essential things to consider if you want to make sure the gadgets you buy are truly green.
Let’s see how each of these factors can affect your decision-making.
One of the first things to check when shopping for green gadgets is the type of materials the gadgets are made of. Devices made with recycled materials, such as recycled plastic or fabrics, are definitely part of the eco-friendly group. However, you should also consider those gadgets that aren’t made with recycled materials but that are recyclable at the end of their life cycle.
Eco-friendly is a loose term that can apply to a variety of gadgets, but something they all should have in common is energy efficiency. Whether the gadget uses solar batteries or is designed to improve the energy efficiency of your home, it should contribute in some way to the reduction of energy consumption. If possible, you should also consider the amount of energy that goes into the manufacturing of the product.
Another thing to check before buying a gadget is its durability. Products made with flimsy materials that aren’t designed to last are not truly green — after all, you’ll have to replace the gadget after a short time, which means the brand wastes energy to manufacture more products. To truly make an impact, you should be able to use the gadget for at least a few years.
Before buying an eco-friendly gadget, you should also check how eco-friendly it is to dispose of it. Are the materials recyclable? How much pollution will the gadget create when discarded? Beyond plastic, does it contain materials or substances that could be harmful to the environment (e.g., battery acids, etc.)?
Last but not least, you should consider how eco-friendly the packaging is. A sustainable company should use packaging made of recycled materials, or that is recyclable. It should steer clear of plastic and opt for more eco-savvy options, such as cardboard. All these things have an impact on the environment and ultimately determine how eco-friendly the manufacturer — and your gadget — is.
What to Know Before Buying an Eco-Friendly Gadget
Eco-friendly gadgets vary from wearables to smart home devices that can help you reduce your carbon footprint while also reducing your monthly bills. If you’re new to green tech, you can start small with gadgets made of recycled materials. For instance, you could buy a smartphone that’s largely made of recycled plastic. Likewise, Microsoft manufactures peripherals made of plastic retrieved from the oceans.
If you don’t need a new phone or peripherals, you can invest in a solar power bank and use it to charge your devices. This thing alone can make most of your gadgets greener. Smart thermostats can help you save on heating, while energy-efficient appliances can reduce your electricity bill.
Before investing in an eco-friendly gadget, though, remember that the best way to care for the environment is to reduce waste in the first place. Ask yourself whether you truly need the gadget. Consider how much energy goes into manufacturing it, how much waste the manufacturing process produces, and how much or for how long you plan to use the device. This is the only way to ensure that you’re making the eco-friendliest choice.
Using an Eco-Friendly Gadget: What It’s Like
Eco-friendly gadgets are designed with sustainability in mind, and using them is awesome if you want to reduce your carbon footprint. Regardless of the gadget type, an eco-savvy option can give you a sense of accomplishment, and you can feel proud knowing that you’ve done your part. Since most eco-friendly gadgets are technologically advanced, using them will also make you feel like you’ve taken a step ahead toward the future.
The image featured at the top of this post is ©BigPixel Photo/Shutterstock.com.