Home / Features / Green time: the best eco-friendly tech and sustainable gadgets

Green time: the best eco-friendly tech and sustainable gadgets

Kit that’s kinder to the planet

You don’t need a Muppets melody to know it’s not always easy being green. Sure, you can bring your own bags and refill your own bottle, but one short-haul flight and you’ve undone all your offsetting. That said, while carbon neutrality is an aim that eludes a lot of us, the best eco-friendly tech makes it simpler to be more sustainable.

Keen to channel your inner Kermit? From recycled speakers and repairable smartphones, to headphones that charge from the sun, the kit below is all built to be greener.

No, it won’t give you a free pass to fly as you fancy. But opting for eco gear is a small step that supports the planet. And because many of the gadgets listed also support sustainable schemes – from planting trees to cleaning the seas – buying green puts money where it matters. And gives you bragging rights at your next beach clean-up.


JBL Flip 5 Eco edition

Beating the drum for sustainability is sound, but a cappella percussion can be an acquired taste. Give your green beats a backing track with this eco speaker. Durable, waterproof and good for 12 hours of sustainable wireless sound, the fresh-faced Flip 5 is made from 90% recycled plastic. Plus a redesigned driver inside delivers bolder bass for your renewable remixes.


Circular Reusable Water Bottle

One green bottle won’t save the planet, but this sustainable vessel will at least stop 14 single-use containers from entering landfill. Designed to last a decade, the 600ml cylinder is lightweight, leak-proof and features a 360 lip for sipping in the round. A robust construction means it can accidentally fall – and when its time is finally up, it can be left sitting on the wall for kerbside collection: it’s entirely recyclable, so it won’t add to the world’s waste woes.


Fairphone 4

Flagship smartphones are finally getting greener. But Fairphone goes further: from the plastic back to the tin inside, this blower is built better with recycled components. The mobile maker also uses Fair Trade metals and works with suppliers to improve working conditions. And it doesn’t want to sell you a new one next year: the modular build means you can repair or upgrade the device yourself, swapping out everything from the cell to the selfie camera. The fourth-gen phone features future-proof 5G, runs stock Android 11 and ships with dual lenses for sharper sustainable snaps.


Microsoft Ocean Plastic Mouse

Poorly sorted rubbish can attract rodents. Take this wireless mouse from Microsoft: instead of sniffing out cheese, the eco clicker tackles the issue of floating trash. A fifth of its shell is made using plastic waste recovered from oceans and waterways. Washed and squashed into pellets, the recycled detritus is blended with virgin materials to make a more sustainable scroller. It also ships in packaging crafted from wood and sugarcane.


Triwa SUB Ocean Plastic

The clock is ticking on climate change. Keep your eye on the time while doing your bit with this eco ticker. A timepiece of the sea, its shell is crafted entirely from recycled ocean plastic, while the strap follows suit with nylon made using the same stuff. More than a material watch, its design is an ode to underwater exploration, from the textured wave pattern on the dial to the chunky rotating bezel desired by divers. As you’d expect, it’s also water-resistant down to 10 metres – perfect for aquatic clean-ups.


Allbirds Tree Dasher

Crafting shoes from tree material might sound like a one-way sprint to splinter city, but the only thing these eco kicks will stick in your step is a spring. With a one-piece upper knitted using FSC-certified eucalyptus trees, the Tree Dashers are breathable, lightweight and flexible – yet still keep your foot as snug as a nut in a squirrel’s hoard. A merino wool heel cushion locks your foot in place, while the carbon-negative sugarcane midsole returns energy with every stride.


House of Marley Rebel True

Three little birds won’t sit on your doorstep if they find out your habits are harmful for the environment. Help them be happy with these eco in-ears. made from solid bamboo and House of Marley’s Regrind wood fibre composite, they also get up, stand up for the planet by shipping with a sustainable braided cable. Don’t worry about battery life: eight hours of playtime is bolstered by 22 more from the wireless charging case. Is this love that you’re feeling?


Cotopaxi Teca Calído

Leftovers are great for waste-free filling. Just as you stuff your tummy with yesterday’s dinner, Cotopaxi packs its reversible jackets with remnant fabric – for warmth that won’t worsen global warming. Recycled polyester insulates against chilly conditions, while repurposed taffeta gives each hooded number a suitably silky finish. Flip its skin to give your cold-weather wardrobe an instant revamp – or pack the eco Calído down into its own chest pocket for storage that doesn’t waste space.


Chipolo Ocean One Edition

It’s all too easy to find plastic in the sea. It’s a lot less easy to find your house keys in a hurry. Tackle trash while tracking your stuff with this dinky Bluetooth disc: attached to your fob, the clever clip notifies your phone before you leave your keys behind – and the Ocean Edition is made from recycled fishing gear.


Lifeproof Wāke

Most mobiles don’t mix well with the sea, but Lifeproof’s eco cases want your phone to befriend the ocean. With a sculpted back inspired by the waves, more than 85% of each cover is crafted from salvaged fishing gear and recycled aquatic plastic. Available to fit a range of smartphones and tablets, the wraps won’t waterproof your device, but they will protect it from drops of up to two metres. Plus the merpeople should approve.


Stubble & Co The Roll Top

Pedal power is a greener way to go. For a rucksack to suit your sustainable steed, stick Stubble & Co’s robust pack on your back. Designed with cyclists in mind, it features a reflective bottom to keep you seen in the saddle, plus well-placed pockets for your everyday essentials – including your laptop, bottle and bike lock. Crafted predominantly from recycled PET, the bag’s waterproof body is ready for two-wheeled travel in all weathers. Get it in Urban Green and no-one will question your eco credentials.


Urbanista Los Angeles

Headphones aren’t the hungriest of tech accessories, but every trip to the plug still consumes some juice. These noise-cancelling cans make one less demand of the planet: thanks to Powerfoyle solar coating on the band, they can refuel straight from the sun – or any other light source. Assuming you don’t restrict your listening to the dead of night, that means a theoretically infinite play time. And even if you do, they pack an outstanding 80-hour battery life between eco boosts.


Dualit EcoPress Aluminium Capsule Recycler

Coffee capsules might be made of metal, but their soggy contents often prevent used ones from being recycled. You could switch to a compostable equivalent. Or to make your existing brew more eco, drop and pop your pods using Dualit’s EcoPress. Compatible with most mainstream containers, a firm push on the top turns aluminium capsules inside out, emptying their contents into the base to leave behind a husk you can chuck into your home recycling.


Le Cord Ghost Net Cable

Oceans are treacherous enough without phantom fishing equipment floating about. Virtually invisible in the water, ghost nets trap millions of marine animals every year. Do your bit to clean the seas by buying your next Lightning cable from Le Cord: the braided sleeve is fashioned from recycled textiles, while the connector shells are made using plastic recovered from fishing nets.


Urth Zeolite Tech Organiser

Urth doesn’t care about spelling. Despite the typo, it does care about the earth. That’s why its tech organiser is crafted using recycled nylon. From memory cards to charging cords, 11 storage zones make it simple to stash your stuff – and it’s light inside to reduce rummaging. Stretch pockets keep kit sorted, while the weatherproof shell ensures your gear won’t get soggy. Still fearful for the planet? Urth plants five trees for every pouch purchased.


Goal Zero Nomad 10

Renewable energy might be the key to greener living, but it takes a lot of golden rays to power an entire pad. While you save up for a photovoltaic farm, this flat-pack panel can at least refuel your phone. Lightweight and built to last, the Nomad 10 ships with an integrated kickstand for stable sun-worshipping. Pair it with one of Goal Zero’s power banks to harvest solar fuel for later.


Vivobarefoot x Finisterre Primus Lite III

Going barefoot is the best way to connect with the earth. Trouble is, it’s also a shortcut to thorns in your sole. For grippy footwear that still lets you feel the ground beneath your feet, slip your trotters into these eco sneakers. Crafted using recycled plastic waste, Vivobarefoot’s vegan trainers tread lightly on the planet and the pavement. With a barely-there base protecting your toes, the Primus Lites let your hooves move as nature intended.


Anti Desk Lamp

Scrapheap Challenge made scavenging for spare parts look like a barrel of laughs. But climb a tottering heap of trash and you’re one scraped elbow away from needing a tetanus booster. For eco-friendly fabrication without the risk of injury, let Anti do the crafting. Its desk lamp combines recovered components with sustainable bits to deliver upcycled illumination. The 3D-printed shade is made using recycled plastic filament, while everything from the stand to the shade support began life as umbrella elements.


Climeworks

Cowspiracy. Seaspiracy. Our Planet. A Netflix subscription unlocks access to all sorts of eco documentaries. Want a monthly membership that actively addresses the situation? Climeworks fights climate change by removing CO₂ from the atmosphere, using modular machines which filter air to capture harmful emissions for storage or safe re-use.