It’s Earth Day on Saturday, April 22, 2023, a day when everyone is encouraged to show their support for protecting the environment. Held since 1970, Earth Day involves a variety of events around the world, including one-billion people in more than 193 countries. Each year has a theme, and this year, it’s Invest In Our Planet.
You can do your part on Earth Day to help the environment, like being mindful of the waste your accumulate, making sure to recycle, turning off the lights when you aren’t using them, and reduce your use of tech. But for every day when tech is an essential part of your life, there are products you can invest in that are eco-friendly.
Acer Acerpure Pro Vero Air Purifier
Announced at Acer’s Global Press Conference this week from a subsidiary brand, the Acerpure Pro Vero air purifier is designed with the environment in mind. It is made using 35% post-consumer recycled (PCR) materials in the casing with a decrease of 20% CO2 emissions during production. While operating it in your home, you can use the Green mode to save energy while still enjoying air purification. As a purifier, this one boasts advanced 3-in-1+ HEPA and anti-formaldehyde filter coating that Acer says can help eliminate up to 99% of PM2.5 particles and formaldehyde in the air. There’s no word yet on Canadian availability, but it’s a product to keep an eye on.
Kobo Elipsa 2E eReader
This eReader is designed to be environmentally friendly, made from more than 85% recycled plastic in the exterior, including 10% ocean-bound plastic. It has a 10.3-inch, glare-free E Ink touchscreen with ComfortLight Pro to reduce blue light and eyestrain and a dark mode for reading at night. Along with passive e-reading, you can also create and organize notebooks using the included Stylus 2, then export them to a compatible cloud service, like Dropbox (Google Drive support is coming soon). The pen works like a ballpoint and even has a built-in eraser. With Kobo’s patented mark-up technology, you will see annotations even when changing the font size and page layout. When not in use, it stores magnetically onto the eReader. You can also use MyScript to turn handwriting into typed text. The ample 32GB of storage can hold thousands of books while the weeks of battery life on a single charge means it can last for long trips, daily reading, and more. It also has built-in speakers for listening to Kobo audiobooks with Bluetooth wireless technology. Even the SleepCover is eco-friendly, made using 97% recycled plastic, including 10% ocean-bound plastic. It’s available now for $500.
Acer Aspire Vero 15 Laptop
Acer has upgraded its Aspire Vero 15 with the latest 13th Gen Intel Core processors along with a 1,440 QHD webcam, larger screen surface, and a new colour. It also incorporate more than 40% post-consumer recycled (PCR) plastic in the chassis and fully recyclable materials in the packaging. Equipped with a 15-inch FHD IPS display, it also includes Acer’s VeroSense for battery management. Stay tuned for Canadian availability of this new iteration of the computer.
Urbanista Los Angeles Self-Charging Headphones
What’s better for an eco-conscious person than a pair of self-charging headphones? Someone who cares about the environment will get a kick out of this pair, which we reviewed last year. Selling for a reasonable price of $280, these headphones charge via the light so they can effectively last for as long as you need them to and don’t require electricity. There is, however, also USB-C charging if you need them in a pinch and have been stuck inside on a series of dreary days. But once they gain enough charge from the sun (or artificial light), there is an 80-hour battery reserve. They don’t skimp on premium features either: you’ll get hybrid active noise cancelling, ambient sound mode, and Siri and Google Assistant compatibility.
Marshall Emberton II Portable Bluetooth Speaker
As far as portable Bluetooth speakers go, the Marshall Emberton II portable Bluetooth speaker is a good option for the eco-conscious. That’s because it’s made from 50% post-consumer recycled plastic that comes from used electronics, water bottles, and automotive light covers. It’s also 100% PVC-free. At $250, it offers up to 30 hours of playtime per charge and features a new Stack Mode so you can connect multiple together for amplified sound. With two 2-inch full range drivers and two passive radiators, however, just one of them packs a punch. It’s also IP67-rated, making it both dust- and water-resistant.
House of Marley REWIND USB-C-to-Lightning Cable
You can never have too many cables. The House of Marley braided cables, which I reviewed last year, are wonderfully durable and lovely in design, but most importantly for eco-conscious folks, it’s made of sustainable materials including FSC walnut sources from responsibly managed forests and REWIND fabric woven with 99% post-consumer recycled GRS certified material. MFI-certified to work with Apple devices, the 1.5-metre length option sells for $60, though if they’ll need something with more slack, to use in a hotel room, for example, or a space that’s far from an available power outlet, consider the longer three-metre one. There are other cable types in the line as well that sell for $40 ea. These are built to last: no matter how many times they stuff them in and take them out of a backpack, leave them in the car, or use them while out and about, they can take a beating. The cable management strap, made from upcycled REGRIND silicone and recycled aluminum, is a super handy addition to the set-up.
I started using the Rocketbook Pro late last year and haven’t looked back. It features erasable, reusable Page Packs that you can write on using a Pilot FriXion pen, marker, or highlighter, then wipe the page clean with a damp cloth to erase. Before wiping clean, however, you can scan the notes and upload them to a favourite cloud app, like DropBox or Google Drive, as well as e-mail. You can even transcribe your handwritten notes to digital text. With a reinforced hardcover and 360° flip design, it can lay flat in any position. Swap the page inserts that are made of Rocketbook’s patented reusable paper. Each Page Pack contains 20 back-and-front pages bound together with magnetic clips so you can easily interchange them thanks to the Pro’s magnetic spine. To plan your day, for example, use the Daily To-Do Page Pack. For taking notes during a client call, swap for a Meeting Notes Page Pack. It comes in black, Sage Green, or Coast Blue in executive size for US$55 or letter for US$60. Each one comes with a Lined/Dot-Grid Page Pack, a Pilot FriXion pen, and a cleaning towel. Additional Page Packs starts at US$18 ea. Check out my recent review. Since then, the Rocketbook continues to work well, though I did need to purchase a new Pilot Frixion pen: you can find packs of five or six, however, for a decent price on Amazon.
Samsung Neo QLED 4K TV
Samsung’s new Neo QLED line of TVs have tons of updated tech, including Samsung’s advanced Neural Quantum Processor, Shape Adaptive Light Control, and Real Depth Enhancer Pro for a three-dimensional, lifelike picture. There’s also SmartThings built right into it so you don’t need a separate dongle. The environmental focus comes in, however, throughout the manufacturing process. Samsung is using recycled materials for 20% of the bracket parts for the SolarCell Remote. In addition, the main parts of the power board use recycled aluminum cans and copper, replacing approximately 12% of the original materials used. Samsung designed a lightweight injection mold that requires fewer materials, with a structure that can be repurposed, bringing down the overall energy consumption and raw materials needed for production.
Meanwhile, through SmartThings, Samsung’s 2023 TVs support AI Energy Saving Mode, helping you save more energy in new ways. SmartThings Energy Service on TVs helps reduce carbon footprint of connected devices with simple changes, such as automatic switches to energy saving mode on specific devices when not in use. With 3D Map View, it’s easier to get a holistic overview of connected devices and put energy saving ideas into practice.
This year, Samsung Eco-Packaging will come with minimal print, so less ink is consumed in its production, and Samsung will use paper tape to reduce the use of plastic in its packaging. Additionally, package sizes will be reduced to lower overall carbon emissions.