10 Ways to Be Eco-Friendly With Your Tech
by Jane Marsh
Like other products, all technology uses up resources when its created or operated. While technology has become a part of everyday life, there are still ways to make it better for the environment. Here are ten ways to be more eco-friendly with your technology.
What Is Eco-Friendly Technology?
Eco-friendly technology is about materials or behaviors that conserve resources. Your technology use directly affects the environment, so conscientious use is beneficial. For example, even if your phone isn’t made in a sustainable way, you can still use it in a more environmentally-friendly way.
There are three main ways technology affects the environment:
- Energy consumption: When turned on or plugged in, technology uses up energy and electricity.
- Transportation: Shipping and handling of technology use fuel and energy.
- Waste: Old or broken technology ends up in a landfill if its owner doesn’t recycle it.
More eco-friendly technology reduces energy consumption, is transported as little as possible, and is recycled at the end of its life span. Each step is a chance to be more conscious of the environment.
How to Be Eco-Friendly With Tech
Being eco-friendly with your tech is more than looking for a sustainable brand. Technology impacts the environment from its creation to its disposal. Using your technology sustainably protects the environment. Changing how your technology is shipped, used, and disposed of relieves environmental strain.
1. Look for Long Battery Life
Reducing energy consumption is a large part of eco-friendly technology. The longer a device’s battery life, the less it has to charge. Some technology comes with packaging that represents good energy consumption. For example, the U.S. government uses the ENERGY STAR symbol to identify technology as energy-efficient. Watch for this symbol when you are looking to get new tech.
2. Protect Technology Sustainably
Making your technology eco-friendly is about more than the technology itself. For example, cases are essential for protecting technology but aren’t always eco-friendly. However, it’s possible for cases to be made of recycled material.
Not all technology needs protection, but you should choose eco-friendly products if it does. Environmentally friendly or recycled materials in protective coverings are great alternatives to plastic.
3. Find Local Technology
The larger and heavier technology is, the more resources it uses when shipping. For example, a light and thin computer will ship using fewer resources than a bulky and heavy computer. Locally available technology saves resources because it travels less distance.
If you can’t find a local option for the tech you’re looking for, search for the most eco-friendly way to ship it or look for local alternatives.
4. Find out How Long It Lasts
Technology that lasts longer relieves strain on the environment because less demand for new products reduces the consumption of natural resources. Find out the life span of the tech you’re getting and decide if it’s worth it. If you choose a product that you’ll use for a long time, you’ll help the environment and conserve resources. Look for reviews and compare similar technology to make the best decision.
5. Recycle or Donate
Technology outlives its usefulness when it stops functioning correctly. Selling, repairing, or donating gets rid of old technology in an environmentally-friendly way. Even if the technology is broken beyond repair, it may have valuable parts someone else will appreciate. Consider donating your old technology or looking for local recycling programs.
6. Use Eco-Friendly Accessories
Many tech products come with accessories like keyboards, chargers, headphones, or other attachments. Eco-friendly technology use relies on environmentally conscious accessories. For example, a keyboard can be sustainably shipped and disposed of if you get it locally and recycle it when you’re done. Be mindful of how you use your tech accessories.
7. Pay Attention to Materials
The materials that make up your products affect the environment. Some materials are toxic or take many resources to collect. Technology made with ethically sourced materials is better for the environment. Beyond that, less material is better for the environment because thinner or smaller tech requires fewer initial resources. Look for technology that uses ethically sourced and sustainable materials.
8. Leave It Unplugged
Devices consume energy when plugged in, so unplugging technology will save energy. Instead of leaving your device plugged in all night, set a schedule for charging to conserve energy. Technology that isn’t in use can also be unplugged to save energy. For example, you’d unplug your desk fan when not in use or before leaving the house.
9. Shop Used
New technology drains resources when created with new material. Used technology is available online, and some companies or manufacturers even offer refurbished technology at a reduced cost.
10. Stay Offline
Staying off the internet and turning off your devices altogether saves energy. For example, turn off your television when you leave the room or turn off your computer’s automatic screensaver. Find alternatives to being online and find activities other than using your technology.
Technology Can Be Eco-Friendly
You can make technology environmentally friendly even if it wasn’t built with sustainability in mind. Be mindful of where you get your technology and how you use it to conserve energy and resources. Eco-friendly tech protects the environment and makes the world a little greener.
Article by Jane Marsh
Jane works as an environmental and energy writer. She is also the founder and editor-in-chief of
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