Electronics are turning green all over the markets. They’re a popular consumer option because they’re more efficient and less carbon intensive. It seems like every day there are new environmentally-friendly products being released in stores as companies make their products greener and support more green brands. This is an overview of specifically green electronic initiatives out there right now in the market.
1. Paper Shredders
There is always going to be a need for paper shredders because there are still a lot of paper documents out there which have sensitive or financial information. Disposing of confidential materials like that can only safely be done with a shredder, and there is a big electronic paper shredder industry. However, there is now a new eco-friendly solution in hand-powered shredders, because all it requires is for the person using it to hand-crank the shredding mechanism. These paper shredders are not only a great and simple way to conserve energy and make your business eco-friendlier, they’re also portable and very easy to use.
2. Solar Speakers
Solar panels are excellent sources of energy. In the past they have been used to power devices, but now they’re going one step further and becoming completely self-sustaining. For example, there are some great wireless sound systems out there that are powered by solar power and can rival any traditional auditory systems. As per Nathanial Gower, an environmentalist at Draft Beyond and Research Papers UK, “the solar panels are embedded on the top of the device in a seamless fashion so that the most light possible is absorbed without creating a bulky product. This is not only a cool-looking design, but it’s the latest state-of-the-art technology and is environmentally friendly, too.”
Portable GPS units have been around for a long time, giving directions and details on traffic, routes, and other stats to drivers in many vehicles. These devices aren’t known as the eco-friendliest, though, and there is a lot that can be done to improve them. Thankfully, GPS products are being developed that will help your car minimize its carbon footprint. These green models can give the driver the most fuel-efficient route as well as detailed diagnostics of the performance of the vehicle. The device also logs every route you take so you can look at analytics on fuel efficiency. Now that green GPS devices are available, drivers should be making the eco-friendly consumer decision by choosing those models over traditional ones.
4. Phone Apps
There are so many companies that are trying to present themselves as green and eco-friendly, because they know that’s what consumers are looking for. Many companies seek out an official certification from a third-party to confirm their environmentally-friendly status, but there are other companies who claim to be eco-friendly for sales and appearance purposes but they aren’t actually green companies.
Because of this, Joshua Woodley, an electrical engineer at Last Minute Writing and Writinity, explains that “it’s possible to download a phone app called Eco Label by Consumer Reports, and there is a list of all the products and brands that are certified green so consumers avoid being tricked by false advertisers. Eco Label is a great app that lets you find out in real-time what products are truly good for the environment.”
5. Charging Cases
Similarly to the sound system, it’s possible to get laptop charging cases that are powered by solar panels. The panels are placed on the case and can power all electronics, not just laptops. They also look quite neat, and use batteries that can quickly absorb solar power, along with the highest-quality solar panels.
However, paradoxically, the production method of these greener products can still have a considerable carbon footprint, often overlooked in favour of their potential for greener electricity production. Solar panels, for example, consume vast amounts of water and electricity in their production method, as well as the use of the caustic chemicals sodium hydroxide and hydrofluoric acid. The carbon footprint of the creation of green products is still not as great as the carbon footprint of the usage of other similar products, but it does exist. It can thus sometimes be more green to keep using less eco-friendly products.
There aren’t many people who question purchasing more eco-friendly electronics these days, because everyone seems to understand why such action is imminently needed and important in today’s climate change-conscious society. What’s being explored now are the different ways of producing greener products so that their price is equal to or cheaper than their less eco-friendly counterparts, so that all stakeholders can afford them before change is too late. There are so many new green conferences and awards that producing and promoting green products is now firmly in the mainstream.
Harry Conley is a prolific editor with Lucky Assignments and Gum Essays. He is passionate about sustainability and the environment and he researches and writes about ways we can improve. In his free time, he goes hiking or sailing with his family.