French electronics company Orée is moving the electronics world toward a more sustainable, eco-friendly future. Sick of phones and accessories that look and act the same, while using synthetic, unsustainable materials, the company has created the Orée Pebble 2, a wooden wireless charger for smartphone devices, equipped with a bluetooth speaker and a microphone. It’s the first in a line of new products from the company made from ethically harvested walnut, tilia, and maple woods.
One of Many New Eco-Friendly Innovations
While Orée’s push towards more fashionable and eco-friendly smart goods is fantastic, the French firm isn’t alone in its move towards high quality electronics that don’t have such a negative impact on the Earth. Funded by the United Kingdom’s Technology Strategy board, three tech companies have come together to create a circuit board production process that creates circuits that are 90% recyclable and reusable. That’s leaps and bounds ahead of current technology that wastes a lot of plastic, while creating a product with very low potential for upcycling or recycling.
Better Late Than Never?
The overall trend towards a more environmentally friendly electronics industry is seen by environmentalists around the world in a better-late-than-never kind of way. According to a study by Marketsandmarkets, if waste from unsustainable products continues on its current trajectory, we’ll be polluting the world with so-called e-waste at the rate of 93.5 million tons per year.
However, with more responsible production methods and the usage of sustainable, readily biodegradable materials on the rise, 2014 looks to be on track to continue some promising trends from 2013. Most notably, 2013 showed the highest rates of electronic recycling to date, and if consumers continue to push for technology that let’s them stay in touch with friends, use Facebook, and play games, without worrying about the global impact, chances are 2014 will be a watershed year for sustainability in the global electronics world.