Recycled TVs, iPhone cases made from rice husks, solar-powered sailcloth bags and a recycling bin you don’t need to touch to open – technology’s gone green.
Simple Human 48 Litre Rectangular Sensor Recycler
Stunningly expensive, but also stunningly simple and smart mixed-use bin. This 48 litre bin features two caddies - one for mixed rubbish, one for recycling (or compost etc.). The real techno wizardry though (as nowadays, lots of companies do multi-use bins), is the electronic sensor that lifts the lid for you automatically. The “multi-sense” system means the bin only opens once you’re waving directly over the lid - not just if you wander near it. And then once opened, the system increases sensor sensitivity so the lid doesn’t close just because you lean away for a second to grab more rubbish. If anything else justifies the price, it’s the “odorsorb” carbon filters in the lid to keep smells to a minimum.
from 390 Swiss Francs plus shipping
“100 per cent climate neutral” range of Swiss-made solar-recharging courier-style bags. Sakku bags feature solar panels in the side that can either recharge gadgets as you walk, or be used to charge an optional battery, which can then be used later to charge mobiles, sat-navs, cameras etc. Be warned though, the bag’s batteries don’t carry enough charge to juice up a laptop. The bag construction around the solar panel is from recycled sailcloth from boats and any pollution generated by “production and disposal” is compensated via the ‘myclimate’ Climate Protection Partnership scheme.
Philips Econova LED TV
EISA’s European Green TV 2010-2011, the 42in LED Econova TV is at the end of its lifecycle - so snap one up as a bargain, or wait until 2012 when Philips is set to announce its replacement. The Econova cuts energy use by up to 60 per cent compared to similar TVs, uses recycled and recycleable materials in construction and packaging, has a zero watt ‘standby’ mode and even features a solar-powered remote control. There’s also reductions in use of hazardous materials - the set is PVC and Brominated Flame Retardent-free. Plus the stand doubles as a wall-hanging mount.
$25 plus shipping
An iPhone case made entirely from recycled rubbish. The Re-Case is produced from rice farming by-products, usually discarded as agricultural waste, as well as from post-consumer, recycled thermo-plastics. The resulting “Polliber” has more mechanical strength than traditional recycled polypropylene - due to the rice husks. To boost the green credentials, the packaging is also recycled and cardboard. To boost the tech credentials, the Re-Case’s design includes space for an RFID card behind the phone - slip your Oyster or contactless credit card in there. Miniwiz are a company specializing in “sustainable energy development”, their other products include recycled curtain wall systems for builders, reusable wine bottle packaging and solar chargers.
Outdoors brand Patagonia are pioneers when it comes to environmental credentials and clothing. This R2 fleece features over 60 per cent recycled material. “Used soda bottles, unusable second quality fabrics and worn out garments” are turned into polyester. And the company is admirably clear about its products, not only letting you track construction of the product at all key stages, but also admitting that polyester is “oil-based” and “we have a bit further to go”. The fleece itself? It uses Polartec Thermal Pro and Power Stretch panels to remain light, breathable and warm - with great drying times.
Sony Ericsson Xperia Mini Pro
around £250 SIM-free
Its predecessor, the Sony Ericsson Xperia Mini won EISA European Green Smart Phone 2011-12. The QWERTY-keyboarded Android Mini Pro smartphone successor features similar ‘GreenHeart’ credentials, including less packaging, no printed manual and recycled plastics throughout. GreenHeart mobiles also feature a Energy Star level V charger with under 30mW standby power loss. And the phones are eligible for Sony Ericsson’s ‘Global Take Back’ programme at end of life. The company has broad environmental commitments including “phasing out hazardous substances” and to “by 2015 reduce the total greenhouse gas emissions from the full life cycle of Sony Ericsson’s products by 15 per cent”.