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In honour of Earth Hour this Saturday, 25 March, we look at smartphone and mobile tech accessories that you (and the planet) will love!
There's no doubt that technology is a booming industry worldwide - but like all booming industries, as it grows, so does its impact on the planet.
That's why tech manufacturers are finding more and more 'green' ways to give you the devices and accessories you need and love. Here are some of our favourite eco-friendly tech products that are currently available in South Africa, to satisfy both your environmental credentials and your love of slick, smooth gadgets.
Of course, when you think of ways that your smartphone impacts the Earth, the issue of the energy you use to charge it crosses your mind. But there are a number of phone chargers on the market today that rely on greener, sustainable, renewable energy to power your device, rather than electricity.
- Solar chargers include the Powertraveller Powermonkey Extreme, which packs a massive 9000mAh battery in a durable shell casing and is perfect for outdoor adventurers who want to go off the grid but keep their phones and tablets charged. One of the features we love about it is the Velcro strap that lets you attach it to your tent in direct sunlight to charge!
- Another, smaller, less expensive solar charger to consider is the Solar PowerBank Charger, available online through Brand Innovation. It's portable, durable, and waterproof, so it can go wherever you go.
- South African organisation Nuru is full of good ideas, such as their Nuru Octopus smartphone charger, which can either be charged with pedal power (that's right, by cycling on a Nuru POWERCycle, their patented pedal generator) or solar energy. Once it's charged, it can recharge up to five USB devices. The device is distributed to entrepreneurs in rural areas so they can charge phones and lights while supporting their families.
Ever thought about how much better it would be for the environment if less non-biodegradable plastic was used in the manufacture of your tech accessories? Luckily, the folks behind innovations such as these have given it quite a bit of thought:
- Bamboo mouse: Made from renewable, sustainably sourced bamboo, a mouse and mouse pad like these make great corporate gifts.
- Bamboo USB memory stick: Ditto for a flash-stick like this, made of eco-friendly bamboo.
The most eco-friendly tech accessory you can get your hands on (and your ears in) must be the AudioQuest NightHawk Headphones. They're made from sustainably sourced liquid wood and are the first mass-produced headphones to contain 3D-Printed parts. They won the award for eco-design at CES 2015 Innovation Awards. And they'll only set you back R10 000.
Fun ways to reuse your old-school tech
Courtesy of PC Mag, we bring you innovative ways to repurpose the old gadgets and devices you've got lying around. Because if you can't Reduce or Recycle, best you Reuse!
- The tower from your old desktop PC: turn it into a postbox
- Plastic keys from old PC keyboards: turn them into jewellery
- Floppy disks: glue them together to form a (literal) storage space for desktop stationery
Go to PC Mag to find more cool things to do with your old-school tech (including a desktop PC screen that becomes a very cosy cat bed).