Buying electronics might be one of my least favorite chores. (Yes, including cleaning the bathroom). When something breaks or desperately needs an upgrade, I generally put off replacing it for as long as possible, unwilling to do the research to find out what I should purchase next. (Retina display? Battery life? Who cares?).
Now that I screen all of my purchases for sustainability factors too, well, the process has gotten even more complicated. I try to choose secondhand tech whenever possible, but sometimes you just need a certain thing, or you need a certain thing right now.
So I’m heartened by a shift that I’m seeing in the sustainability space towards companies offering more ethical, eco-friendly technology options. Our electronics are likely always going to have an outsize environmental impact, but folks are investing in decreasing that impact, and making the choice easier for picky shoppers like me.
One of the companies making an effort to provide better tech options is Nimble. I’ve been using their five-day portable charger, which I’ve found helpful for trips, airport charging emergencies, and even workdays at coffee shops when an outlet is hard to reach. (Especially workdays at coffee shops when an outlet is hard to reach). They also make portable chargers with smaller or larger capacities and wireless chargers, in addition to standard wall-mounted plugs and cables, in case you need a replacement or extra cable to keep on hand.
Nimble sources their production materials as sustainably as they’re able; my portable charger is made using recyclable aluminum, plant-based bioplastics, and other materials with a lower environmental impact than traditional materials. Better yet, I’m making every effort to take very good care of it so that it lasts as long as it possibly can, by tucking it into a small fabric pouch instead of throwing it loose into my tote bag.
Their products come in plastic-free packaging (down to the paper tape!), wrapped in paper and cardboard made from 100% recycled materials. Instead of using inks and dyes, which can be toxic and energy-intensive, they simply emboss their logo into the cardboard packaging surrounding their products.
Better yet, each item comes with a small pouch that you can send back to Nimble with a piece of old electronics that you’d like to recycle. (Just print a free label on Nimble’s website). For every Nimble product you buy, you’ll be able to send up to a pound of old e-waste back to them for responsible recycling and disposal.